Anna Fárová died in her home in Slavonice. Melting snow raised river levels. A heroic neighbor rescued a little boy from a burning apartment in Otrokovice. Transport labor unions threatened to cripple the country with a series of strikes if the government touches their members’ benefits or bonus tickets. Some 60 billion crowns from the European Union’s Research and Development Programme began streaming into the Czech science sector. The Winter Olympics in Vancouver came to an end. Media reported that an iceberg as big as Luxembourg had broken off Antarctica and fallen into the sea.
“Czechs might not receive the spring they’ve longed for,” Lidové noviny commented on the alarming fact that three weeks before the end of winter temperatures had failed to remain at the weekend temperature of ten degrees Celsius and had dropped back down to the usual zero. The Best Czech Soccer Player of 2008, London goalkeeper Petr Čech, defended his title and became the Best Czech Soccer Player of 2009. Batman beat Superman $1,075,500 to $1,000,000 in recent auctions of 70-year-old first edition comic books. A wild boar was killed when struck by a truck in Jívov í in the Velkomeziříčsko region. Water management authorities preventively opened the flood gates at the Vranov dam. Prime Minister Jan Fischer attended the opening ceremony of the U.S. Office of Naval Research’s Prague office.
“I deemed it important for the Chamber to pay tribute to the death of this prisoner of conscience and thus condemn his killers,” said TOP 09 vice chairman Miroslav Kalousek when asked by Právo, “You initiated a minute of silence in the Chamber of Deputies for Orlando Zapata, the Cuban human rights activists who died from complications during his hunger strike against the conditions of his imprisonment. What led you to do that?” A group of sociology and political science students from Olomouc organized a seminar about the collapse of communism in Czechoslovakia. The value of goods stolen in Czech businesses rose year-on-year by seven percent to the current nine billion crowns, and thereby confirmed the Czech Republic’s reputation as the shoplifting record holder in the EU; national chain stores have decided to combat the increasingly brazen shoplifters by installing “revolutionary monitoring technology,” which will soon record every step of every visitor from the time the enter to the moment they leave the cash register and will automatically dispatch a security guard to follow anyone who remains in one place for a suspiciously long time. An equestrian statue of T.G. Masaryk was unveiled in Lány.
“Europe striving for unity has, I believe, a problem with how to rein in each country’s spending. Europeans have long lived beyond their means while attempting to use foreign money to their advantage, and that is not good,” Vernon Smith, who holds a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, told Hospodářské noviny. The public learned that the Pandur armored vehicles purchased for billions by the Czech Army can not be used in combat operations in Afghanistan because they are “too heavy” for this type of modern warfare. The justice ministry launched a tender for wristbands for prisoners under house arrest. The Secret Service warned politicians against using BlackBerry “smart phones,” which they say can be used to track one’s whereabouts.
“After the election, I am ready to devote myself to promoting sports – especially hockey, where our experience at the last four tournaments show that something simply must change,” Social Democratic Party chairman and prime ministerial candidate Jiří Paroubek commented on the fact that the Czech national ice hockey team failed to win a medal at the Olympics and several other international competitions. The Czech Medical Chamber published a four-page manual advising Czech doctors on when to end intensive care treatment of terminally ill, comatose patients and to replace it with treatment to alleviate pain. It became clear that the recently elected director of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Jiří Pernes, had not only concealed his studies at the Communist Party’s Evening University of Marxism-Leninism during his candidacy for the position, but also kept mum about his normalization-era articles glorifying the communist regime and the fact that, despite his proclaimed “non-partisanship” and “apolitical nature,” he quite recently joined the Social Democrats’ historical commission; members of the Institute’s council subsequently announced that none of that mattered in the least and that they would let Pernes keep the job. “I will try my best to ensure that the Council does not regret its decision,” said Pernes following the councilors’ decision. Sade’s new album, Soldier Of Love, hit the record shops.