All media conveyed a Reuters report that a dog in Azerbaijan had died of bird flu. Three years passed since the war in Iraq began. The Jewish community celebrated the Purim. After Spain and Finland, France and Portugal decided to open their labor markets to new European Union member states. Snow and nighttime frosts continued. “Even in 1663 freezing temperatures lasted till the end of March, and in 1726 there was snow from fall to spring; so it is apparent that harsh winters existed even in the past, and although it seems long to us, it’s not that out of the ordinary,” Vladimír Seifert of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute in Prague reassured the public. Czech soldiers and the local police thwarted a missile attack by rebels against their base in Feyzabad, Afghanistan.
The life insurance company Winterthur increased its profit. The Anti-monopoly Authority dismissed a complaint by rejected companies, thereby deciding that Kapsch would introduce tolls for truck drivers in the Czech Republic. The Austrian industrial band Mann Ueber Bord played in Cizkrajov. Despite a presidential veto and opposition from the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) and the Civic Democrats (ODS), the Chamber of Deputies passed a law permitting people of the same sex to officially enter into a sanctified partnership. “I think beauty is terribly individual. For me, for instance, it is wedded to some kind of amusement. When it is slightly amusing, a little, it seems beautiful to me. And slightly asymmetrical!” replied illustrator and Křižovnice School director Jan Steklík when asked the question, “What do you perceive as beautiful?”, which was posed to him by journalists from the new Brno monthly, Ears and Wind (Uši a Vítr). Attempting to find good places for future tourists from his country, Indian Ambassador P. S. Raghavan and his wife went to Vysočina. Due to “inconvenient branching” eight linden trees were felled on Okružní street in Jihlava. A group of polar explorers finished building the Czech polar station on Ross Island in Antarctica and named it after Johann Gregor Mendel. Viktoria Žižkov football club manager Ivan Horník was sentenced by a court a ten-year ban on activities, a nine-thousand-crown fine, and seven years’ probation for bribing referees and thanks to their unfair refereeing collecting undeserved points for his club. Warrant officer Radek Dragoun, who was largely responsible for capturing forest murderer Viktor Kalivoda, a young man of above-average intelligence who shot people in the woods in various locations in the Czech Republic, received the best police officer of 2005 award from the interior minister. In a survey by GfK agency, patients in Czech hospitals said that what annoyed them most was the 6 a.m. wake-up call. Father and son Zdeněk and Jan Svěrak started shooting Returnable Bottle. In light of a sudden explosion of hate towards western foreigners in Arab parts of Palestine, the Czech Republic evacuated its diplomatic mission in Ramallah, and the personnel went into hiding in Jerusalem. The bears in the Plzeň Zoo awoke from hibernation. According to the latest polls, President Vacláv Klaus maintained his position as the most popular politician, with Culture Minister Vítězslav Jandák coming in a close second. The Prague Stock Exchange saw a sharp drop in trading. Standard and Poors lowered Sazka’s international rating. The organizers of the “reality show” Revealed (Odhalení), which tracked the life of gorillas imprisoned in the Prague Zoo, sent their show’s one-hundred-thousand-crown proceeds to a gorilla rescue station in Limb, Cameroon, where it is to be used to care for four gorillas rescued from poachers and for their gradual return to the wild. After a fourteen-day-break, Czech broadcasts returned to the BBC. Olšanské papírny closed its factory in Vlčice u Šumperka. In the gardens of Phnom Penh’s Chaktomouk theatre, Cambodian king and former Prague Conservatory student Norodom Sihamoni commenced celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Czechoslavakia and Cambodia. The interior ministry reinstated registration of the Communist Youth Association after the organization replaced the unacceptably aggressive pledge of “revolutionary toppling of capitalism” to the innocent pledge of “revolutionary triumphing over capitalism.” The Federation of Train Drivers conducted a half-hour warning strike against the passage of a new Labor Code. According to statistics, beer consumption in the Czech Republic dropped. “I proceed from the fact that I have something like a calling, perhaps from the highest entity, so I expect I’ll manage to bring social democracy out of the situation it was in,” replied Prime Minister Jiří Paroubek to Mladá fronta DNES’s question, “Where do you get the confidence that you’re leading it the right direction?” John McLaughlin meditated in Prague’s Smetana Hall.