Legendary British rock band the Rolling Stones are set to play in the
Czech Republic's second city Brno next summer, with the promoters due
to announce the exact date next week.
The Rolling Stones were one of the first big foreign rock bands to appear in Czechoslovakia after the fall of communism when they performed at Prague's Strahov stadium in August 1990. They have since played here several times.
Czechs are the leading smokers of marijuana in Europe, suggests a
survey of EU states and Norway, Bulgaria and Romania which has just
been published. Some 22% of 15- to 34-year-old Czechs questioned
admitted to smoking the drug in the previous year.
The Czech Republic is also among the leading countries when it comes to the use of ecstasy, so-called magic mushrooms and methamphetamines, suggests the data released by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
The environmental group Greenpeace says carp caught in the Czech Republic and neighbouring countries contains worryingly high levels of phthalate, a harmful chemical compound found in plastics. A spokesperson said Greenpeace found traces of the chemical far above prescribed limits in carp from three stores in Prague. Carp is the traditional Czech Christmas meal.
Civic Democrat chairman Mirek Topolanek says he will resign if he is
unable to form a government after elections next June. Mr Topolanek made
the comment in a newspaper interview on the eve of his party's annual
conference in Brno.
The right-wing Civic Democrats have been ahead in the opinion polls for some time but have conceded ground to the governing Social Democrats since Jiri Paroubek became prime minister this year.
The rate of HIV infection is rising relatively slowly in the Czech
Republic, with 70 new cases recorded so far this year, Miroslav Hlavaty
of the charity AIDS pomoc said on Friday.
Mr Hlavaty warned that young Czechs were unworried about catching HIV, with only 20 percent saying they use condoms the first time they sleep with a new partner.
According to the latest available figures over 800 Czechs are HIV positive and almost 200 have AIDS.
Czech ice hockey forward Jaromir Jagr is currently atop the NHL's players' list of goals and assists, one point ahead of Swedish star Peter Forsberg. Jagr has had 20 goals and 17 assists for his team the New York Rangers since the start of the season, for a total of 37. Most recently Jagr helped his team defeat the Buffalo Sabres in a deciding shoot-out.
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has told journalists that the abolition of an existing screening law', as proposed Wednesday by the Communist Party, can wait. The prime minister suggested the proposal could be put on the backburner for one or two years, stressing he would not risk the disintegration of the coalition government over the issue. On Wednesday Mr Paroubek expressed support for abolishing the screening law which bans former agents or police officers in former Czechoslovakia's communist regime from holding civil service posts. Mr Paroubek said the legislation had fulfilled its role and was no longer necessary. But, his statement angered both coalition parties, which consider the abolishing of the law unacceptable.
The body of a 25-year-old Czech student has reportedly been found on Japan's Mount Fuji. The climber went missing earlier this week, apparently slipping during his descent from the 3,776-meter summit. Officials believe the Czech climber survived his initial fall but could not make it through freezing conditions on the mountain at night.
Late Thursday the Chamber of Deputies passed the draft state budget for 2006 to go to a final reading. The vote is scheduled for December 2nd. The budget for next year plans for a deficit of 74.4 billion crowns (the equivalent of roughly 3 billion US dollars), with around 885 billion crowns in revenues and 959 billion in expenditures. The December vote will be based on the resolution of the Chamber of Deputies budget committee, which discussed financial transfers last week. The committee reviewed almost 1,200 modifications valued at roughly seven billion crowns, submitted by individual committees, deputies, and the public.