Czech cinemas have recorded marked increases in both attendance and receipts so far this year, the Union of Film Distributors said on Tuesday. Almost 3.5 million cinema tickets were sold in the first quarter, up around half a million on the same period last year. The increase has been attributed to the success of Czech films such as I Served the King of England by Jiri Menzel and Jan Sverak's Empties.
The ruling Civic Democrats would win elections held tomorrow with 36 percent of the vote, suggests a poll carried out by the Median agency. The opposition Social Democrats would receive the support of 31 percent of voters, the survey indicates. Fifteen percent of respondents said they would vote for the Communists.
Justice Minister Jiri Pospisil has defended a decision by the supreme state attorney to remove the prosecutor overseeing the case of Deputy Prime Minister Jiri Cunek. On Friday, supreme state attorney Renata Vesecka replaced the prosecutor, saying he had made procedural errors. The opposition Social Democrats said, however, that she had interfered for political reasons as a case of alleged bribe-taking against Mr Cunek was about to come to court. Mr Pospisil said on Tuesday that a ministry analysis showed Ms Vesecka had acted in accordance with the law. He called on the Social Democrats to refrain from "politicising" the issue.
Bohemians 1905 have been promoted to Czech football's first division, four years after exiting the top flight. Bohemians made a remarkable comeback from bankruptcy after an association of fans gathered the resources to revive the historic club, which even in the third and second divisions attracted gates that almost all top tier teams would envy. Viktoria Zizkov were already promoted, which means that with Sparta and Slavia the capital will have four teams in the first division.
Prague City Hall wants to put forward legislation under which owners would be obliged to remove clapped-out cars from the city's streets much more quickly than at present, Czech Television reported. Owners currently have two months to get rid of wrecked cars - City Hall wants to have that period cut to just one week. Deputy mayor Rudolf Blazek said the car wrecks were often stripped within two months, and parts were sometimes strewn about.
Two men drowned in Ostrava on Tuesday after jumping into a river in an attempt to escape from the police. A third man managed to swim across the Odra, while a fourth was prevented from entering the river, a fire service spokesperson said. The police said the men had been stealing copper piping from a nearby museum of mining. Both bodies have been retrieved by police divers.
The Culture Ministry has postponed a decision on whether or not to allow the building of two new skyscrapers in Prague's Pankrac district. The ministry says it will follow the recommendations of a UNESCO committee which is looking into the matter. Some conservationists say a 31-storey office building and a 21-storey hotel would be a blot on the city's horizon. There are already three tall buildings on Pankrac Plain, including a Czech Radio building which was never completed.
Opposition leader Jiri Paroubek says the planned building of a US radar base in the Czech Republic would change the country's foreign policy, representing a "swing towards the United States to the detriment of the European Union". In an open letter to the prime minister, the Social Democrats boss called on Mr Topolanek to have the courage to explain the security implications of the planned base for Czech citizens. Mr Paroubek pointed out that polls suggest most Czechs are opposed to it being built. Mr Topolanek, a strong advocate of the planned radar, has rejected calls for a referendum on the issue. The base would be part of a United States global anti-missile defence system.
The Czech Republic's footballers drew their opening game against England at the European Under 21 Championships in the Netherlands. Monday's game ended 0:0 after England missed a penalty in the 88th minute, following a hand-ball by Czech captain Roman Hubnik. He and his team-mates face Serbia in their next game on Thursday.
The Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar has lost a court battle aimed at preventing America's Anheuser-Busch from using the Budweiser and Budvar brand names on non-beer products such as T-shirts and barbecue sauces. The Czech firm had sought to prevent Anheuser-Busch from registering the brand names as trademarks throughout the European Union. But the European Court of First Instance ruled that the "appellations of origin relied on" by Budejovicky Budvar only applied to beer and other similar products.