The four most popular Czech politicians are all in the government, suggests a poll by the STEM agency. Culture Minister Viteslav Jandak headed the January poll, followed by Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Petra Buzkova, who is minister of education. Fifth place was occupied by Pavel Bem, the Civic Democrat mayor of Prague.
The funeral of Lady Luisa Abrahams has taken place in London. She was born in Prague in 1910 and was Czechoslovak ladies golf champion in 1938. During the war she became a major in the Czechoslovak Airforce, before settling in England with her aristocrat husband. But Lady Luisa maintained ties with her home country and did a lot of work for Czech charities.
A controversial "memorial" erected by the far-right National Party at the site of a World War II concentration camp for Romanies in Lety, south Bohemia has been removed, following a vote by local councillors. The obscure party had planned to unveil the stone memorial on Saturday; they said it was in honour of those who died during the war. However, the idea was strongly criticised by Czech politicians and Roma rights groups. Over 300 Romanies died at Lety during World War II.
The Czech minister of defence, Karel Kuhnl, has described as a terrible tragedy Thursday's air crash in which 42 Slovak soldiers died. Mr Kuhnl said the crash was all the sadder for the Czech Republic because the Slovaks had served side by side with Czech soldiers in the United Nations KFOR mission in Kosovo. He also expressed his deepest sympathy to Slovakia's defence minister, Juraj Liska.
A record number of Czech sportsmen & women - 82 in all - will compete in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy - four more than competed at Salt Lake City in 2002. Czechs are hoping to do well in an array of different sports at the Games, which start on February 10th. Hopefuls include Jakub Janda in ski jumping, Katerina Neumanova in cross-country skiing, and members of the Czech hockey team including Tomas Vokoun, Dominik Hasek, and Jaromir Jagr.