Pozadí astronaut Brázda
Pozadí astronaut Brázda

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Last week

Last week 26/2007

President Klaus turns 66, the Supreme Court rules on a 35-year-old border shooting, and artists hack Czech TV.

  • Autor: Respekt
• Autor: Respekt
Autor fotografie: Pavel Reisenauer • Autor: Respekt
Autor fotografie: Pavel Reisenauer • Autor: Respekt

Summer began. The Adriatic Express car-carrying fast train set off on its regular summer trek between Prague-Brno-Croatia. Otka Bednářová celebrated her 80th birthday. The European leaders' summit on the future of the European Union ended successfully with the acceptance of a reform agreement. „My reaction is one of joy; I and many of my colleagues hoped that reasonable people would have to do it,“ said a Prague high school principal in the press, commenting on the fact that members of the lower chamber of parliament had put off the impending launch of standardized, state-wide school-leaving exams until 2010 for „incompleteness and the threat of chaos.“ Interest in small apartments rose. Newspapers reported that Salman Rushdie had been knighted in London. Temperatures dropped.

David Christov (27) jogged through Prague on his world tour as the only Czech member of a 20-member pack of long-distance runners who are running 24,000 kilometers across the globe in 94 days in order to alert inhabitants of wealthy countries that more than a billion people on Earth suffer from water shortages, and that matters will only get worse if the current waste and man's approach to nature do not change. Construction production increased by one-fifth. The management of the Czech branch of Transparency International welcomed Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek's efforts to make the system for granting state subsidies more transparent and to post concrete results and recipients on the internet. Tori Amos sang in Prague. At a reverent act in Prague's Cyril and Methodius Church, top state officials and representatives of civic associations commemorated that it was here where the heroes of the Heydrich assassination had died 65 years ago in their fight against the superior strength of the Nazi occupiers. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC exhibited photographs by František Drtikol. The opposition tandem of Social Democrats and Communists failed to push through a vote of no confidence in the Topolánek government. After a week of tropical heat, storms came. Czech President Václav Klaus lived to turn 66. „What pains me most of all is that foolish thing I didn't do: that I didn't escape,“ replied once-famous ice hockey player and current Moravské Budějovice gas-station attendant Oldřich Válek (who refused an offer to flee Communist Czechoslovakia and play in the NHL in the 1980s) to a question posed by the iDnes website: „We've all done something foolish in our lives that we later regret – tell us yours.“ At variance with previous verdicts of courts of lower instance, the Supreme Court ruled that the statute of limitations had not lapsed on a 35-year-old crime in which three Czech border guards shot an émigré from Communist Czechoslovakia on the territory of Austria, then dragged him back „home,“ where the man was then taken to trial for the trumped-up charge of attempted murder, and finally, after seven months in prison, was driven to freedom in Spain by authorities. „It is not an exceptional case – the reconnaissance patrol abducted or tried to abduct émigrés from abroad; sometimes they shot someone, and then, in order to cover their tracks, dragged the person across the border,“ Jan Srb of the Office for Documentation and Investigation of Communist Crimes told the ČTK news agency. Totalsport magazine reported that Czech football association (ČMFS) President Pavel Mokrý had worked for the StB secret police under the Communist regime. The art group Ztohoven hacked into ČT2's morning TV show Panorama, and replaced a live broadcast from Černý Důl with an image of a nuclear bomb exploding over the Krkonoše Mountains. Parliamentary deputies from all parties except the Green Party rejected a bill put forth by the Senate and the government and thereby decided to retain their life-long immunity. The National Theatre announced that this year's theatre season would be closed by two pieces with the theme „home.“ Genesis played in the parking lot next to Sazka Arena. After a month of calm, peace, and successful sales of Tamiflu flu prevention medicine, bird flu came back to the Czech Republic: at a farm in Tisová near Ústí nad Orlicí several turkeys were infected with the deadly H5N1 virus, and the regional security council ordered the immediately killing of the entire flock numbering some 6,000; regional representatives concurrently warned citizens not to touch any birds that had fallen to the ground in the vicinity of Tisová. Mobile phone operators sharply cut roaming rates.

Robbers who burglarized a bank machine in Hnojník at night managed to escape through a rain of police bullets. The media reported that Communist China was planning to build an asphalt highway on Mount Everest. Demand for blood fell. „Yeah, I'm satisfied – despite sporadic shortcomings I'm living like I wanted to, and I hope that everything will only get better and that I'll be so happy that one day I’ll experience – what's it called? – aha, nirvana,“ former javelinist and Czech athletics legend Jan Železný said in an interview for Mladá fronta Dnes. Moviegoers received Český sen (Czech Dream) with enthusiasm at the film's sold-out New York premiere.

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