Maida Hundeling sung the role of Kateřina in a new staging of Bohuslav Martinů’s opera Greek Passion at the National Theatre. Snow and rain raised water levels in rivers again. The state decided to lend 2.5 billion to Všeobecná zdravotní pojišťovna. After a half-year journey, the European space craft Venus Express landed on Venus and began exploring the planet. “It’s political science fiction,” Prime Minister Jiří Paroubek told Czech reporters, commenting on a The Washington Times report that the American government was deciding whether to build its central European anti-missile base in the Czech Republic or Poland; Paroubek subsequently wrote in an e-mail to the English-language newspaper The Prague Post that “discussions on the base are now only in the proposal phase, there are no particular projects.”
Environmental activists gave the media photos showing a rusty cover on a reactor at Temelín nuclear power plant; the power plant’s management called the photos a “false alarm” because it reportedly isn’t rust on them, but rather residual crystals from boric acid which was poured over the reactor during a breakdown in May, 2005 and which Temelín employees have long since scraped off. The government advised citizens to move away from flood plains where high waters regularly flow. Several dozen people in Lety u Písku attended a commemorative ceremony at the location of the WWII concentration camp where Czechs kept guarded their fellow Roma citizens for the Nazis and sent them to the gas chambers in Auschwitz. A burning Easter egg made of matches was on display on Prague’s Old Town Square. Cuban authorities refused to extend the visa of the first secretary of the Czech Embassy in Havana and the Czech Foreign Ministry called it an “act of deportation” and said it would act the same towards the Cuban Embassy in Prague. Viktor Kalivoda, a well-educated young man from a model family who drove to various places in the Czech Republic and killed people whom he had randomly encountered in the woods, was sentenced to life in prison by a regional court. “Nothing. I was concentrating on shooting,” replied Kalivoda when asked during interrogation, “When you opened fire on your victims, what did you feel?” American experts advised Czech authorities on how to get a handle on corruption. Unemployment dropped from 9.1 to 8.8 percent. Mental Disability Rights International began drafting a lawsuit against the Czech Republic because Czech authorities continue to lock the mentally ill in cages and caged beds. Christians celebrated Easter. Pavel Koutecký passed away. The Hydrometeorological Institute leadership announced that according to statistics measuring the number of days with snow cover, this winter is already the longest in the last one hundred years, and might even continue till mid-May. Fighting over municipal planning in Brno flared up. “They are vermin with all that appertains to that word,” said Brno Deputy Mayor Radomír Jonáš, characterizing the citizens of Brno who disagree with city hall’s plan to move the train station one kilometer to the south and to build the high speed R43 highway through the neighborhood of Bystrc. The body of a murdered man was found in front of a pub in Kamenné Žehrovice. After successful test runs, trams made by Porsche Design were brought into regular operation in Prague. Former StB member and a member of its “strike commando” Zbyňek Dudek was sentenced to four years in prison for torturing opponents of the communist regime before the Velvet Revolution. Scientists developed a brand new vaccination against ticks. During a visit to Aš, President Václav Klaus took a tour of an orphanage and declared that “setting aside children should not become a widespread solution to the issue of pregnant women,” but that in some cases there is “unfortunately no other way.” After the whopping success of play The Emperor’s Hurvínek’s, another Spejbl and Hurvínek Theatre piece – Hurvínek and Charles IV – premiered at the Prague Castle. “Our experts learned that Madonna only wants to do business in the entertainment industry, not in explosives, so we decided not to sue her,” said Explosia Pardubice’s management, explaining why the factory won’t take Madonna to court for calling one of her songs Semtex Girls, which the Pardubice manufacturer had initially deemed a theft of the name of its notorious explosive. Forty-five years passed since Jurij Gagarin was the first earthling to blast off into space after Laika. The selection committee in Brussels announced that Istanbul would be the European Cultural Capital in four years.