Pozadí astronaut Brázda
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Last week

Last week 30/2007

In this week's news summary, extreme heat hits the country, US base plans remain controversial, and Czech police go to Afghanistan.

  • Autor: Respekt
• Autor: Respekt
Fotografie: Last week by Pavel Reisenauer - Autor: Pavel Reisenauer • Autor: Respekt
Fotografie: Last week by Pavel Reisenauer - Autor: Pavel Reisenauer • Autor: Respekt

Temperatures broke records and rose to 40º Celsius in direct sunlight. A tornado ripped through western Bohemia. „With the escalating temperature of our climate, weather extremes will become increasingly acute,“ remarked Radim Tolasz, deputy director of the Czech Hydrometeorological institute.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix entered cinemas. Newspapers reported that the Dow Jones industrial average, an index of American stocks, had crossed the 14,000 mark for the first time in history. The 33rd annual Summer Film School started in Uherské Hradiště, this time devoted to the theme of old age.

The Stones rolled into Brno's exhibition grounds. The Czech Police decided to send five of its policemen to Afghanistan under the framework of the European Union mission to train those interested in serving in the local security forces there. The Cabinet debated the long-awaited law on television digitalization. The Foreign Ministry caught fire.

Newspapers reported that Russia, in protest at America's plans to locate a radar defense base in the Czech Republic and Poland, would withdraw from the arms treaty concluded between the former Soviet Union and NATO after the end of the Cold War.

„Everywhere in the world that the United States has intervened, even as an arbiter of peace, it has led to bloodshed and catastrophe: Korea, Vietnam, the former Yugoslavia, Iraq… And in countries that ‚collaborated‘ with it – in Britain, for example – the number of terrorist attacks has risen; those are the facts,“ wrote Marta Železná-Davouz – the former wife of the founder of Nova TV and today a French national –for Lidové noviny in an appeal to Czechs to „proudly reject Bush's courtship with the radar.“ In a poll conducted by CVVM, two-thirds of Czech citizens came out against locating the American defense radar in the Czech Republic.

A poorly directed fast train crashed into an empty passenger train standing at the station in Čerčany; the engineer died and 15 people were injured. The US Congress started discussions on the law on canceling visas for former Communist members of the European Union.

The Wu-Tang Clan played at Prague's Triumph Indoor Hip Hop Festival. The Czechoslovak Anarchist Federation held a commemorative ceremony in Svitavy at the grave of Svitavy citizen Otto Absolon, who was stabbed to death on the street six years ago, by a young Czech patriot, for no other reason than his Roma ethnicity.

"I wrote in Literarní noviny once about a certain self-governing with schools and police for Gypsies, and someone from Respekt labeled me a racist who wants to send Gypsies to a ghetto," said Moravian writer Ludvík Joža Vaculík, recalling the 1990s, when he proposed the formation of a closed territory here in the Czech Republic to which local Romanies would be transported and forced to live „according to their own.“ Fumes from a bad gas-flow heater poisoned a 17-year-old girl in Prague. Authorities and municipalities appealed to the population to conserve water because there is a threat it will run out. The European Commission permitted the growing of genetically modified potatoes in the EU.

The traditional wheelbarrow-ride race over a plank spanning a fishpond in Řičany was won – for the fourth time in a row – by the Šoltézes, a local father-and-son team. The only trade on the newly opened Prague Energy Exchange was the sale of 3,725 megawatt-hours of power for this October, which the local power company ČEZ bought from itself for 3.9 million crowns.

The Orient Express passed through Prague's main train station again. The Czech Anti-Piracy Union announced that 14 university students had been arrested in northern Moravia and charged with illegally distributing films via the internet. Hops prices shot up.

A memorial plaque was unveiled on the London house where renowned etcher Václav Hollar (1607–1677) lived and worked, at a ceremony attended by Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg. „Unfortunately not – by the time I came around, they were hard to find, and whatever was collected by former generations somehow made its way to other estates in the 20th century, as it were,“ replied Minister Schwarzenberg when asked by the Czech press, „Have you got any Hollar etchings at home?“

The price of a quarter-liter bottle of water at Prague's Ruzyně Airport leapt above 100 crowns.

Mostecká uhelná and E.ON entered into an agreement to build a new brown-coal power plant in the Czech Republic. Citizens gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy in Dejvice to appeal to the Communist country's government to stop prosecuting, torturing, and killing members of the Fulan Gong religious cult. Listeria returned to locally produced fish and egg salads.

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