A waterway known as the Bata canal is to be made longer, Pravo reported. The canal was built in 1928 by Tomas Bata, founder of the world famous Bata shoe company. It now runs from Otrokovice to Rohatec in south Moravia. Once the project wins approval from the Environment Ministry it will be extended to Hodonin, and will measure 66 km. Formerly used to transport coal, the canal is now used for water tourism.
A police officer has confessed to taking a photograph of the dead body of composer Karel Svoboda. After Mr Svoboda committed suicide last Sunday a photo appeared in the tabloid Blesk showing the dead man's hand and a pistol. The officer, who is 22 and has been in the police for two years, was a member of the first team to arrive on the scene. Police investigators have recommended that he face charges of abuse of office.
Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has apologised for raising his middle finger to opposition deputies in the lower housethe website Novinky reported. Mr Topolanek made the rude gesture after the opposition benches demanded the presence of the cabinet in the Chamber of Deputies. The prime minister first said he had raised his finger at Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, with the latter also claiming it had been directed at him. But Mr Topolanek later admitted it had been aimed at Social Democrat and Communist rivals. He said he deeply regretted the gesture.
President Vaclav Klaus's spokesman Petr Hajek has hit out at an event on Thursday evening in which lights in several European capitals were turned out for five minutes as a protest against the wasting of energy and global warming, the iDnes website reported. Mr Hajek told reporters the event was ridiculous, saying that people who believed the warnings of scientists about global warming were naïve. President Klaus has himself questioned whether human civilisation is responsible for global warming.
A Prague court has decided to release the former head of the prime minister's office Zdenek Dolezel from custody. He was remanded in October on charges of blackmail and corruption in the handling of EU money channelled via the Ministry for Regional Development. The court acknowledged the complaint of Mr Dolezel's defence counsel that he can no longer influence witnesses.
The opposition Social Democrats say they will vote against the building of
a United States radar base in the Czech Republic. Party leader Jiri
Paroubek said they will also demand a referendum on the issue. The US
recently asked the Czech government if it could locate the radar - part of
a planned global missile defence system - in central Bohemia. So far only
the biggest party in the governing coalition, the Civic Democrats, have
said they will support the plan.
On Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would come up with a "highly effective" response to Washington's plan to build parts of its anti-missile system in the Czech Republic and Poland. Mr Putin dismissed claims the system would defend Europe from Iran, saying it would directly affect his country.
Czech MEP Libor Roucek and other members of the Socialist bloc at the European Parliament on Thursday sent a letter to the Council of the European Union asking it to express its position on the matter.
This January was the warmest in this country for 46 years, according to figures released by meteorologists. While the average temperature in January is usually almost 2 degrees Celsius below freezing point, last month's average temperature was almost 3.5 degrees above zero. There was only one day when temperatures were below zero around the whole country - January 26.
Police divers have found a part of the bronze Hebrew lettering that was broken off by a vandal last weekend from one of the Baroque statues on Prague's Charles Bridge. A spokeswoman said they will continue searching the bottom of the Vltava River for the remaining bits of the artefact. The statue depicting the crucifixion of Christ dates from the mid-17th century. The Hebrew words were added to it in 1696, and paid for by a Jewish citizen of Prague, as a punishment for defaming Christianity.
Director Milos Forman and star Natalie Portman were among the guests for the Czech premiere of Forman's new film Goya's Ghosts at a Prague centre mulitiplex on Wednesday night. Others ascending the red carpet included Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and his partner Lucie Talmanova, renowned cameraman Miroslav Ondricek and singer Karel Gott.