The summer holidays ended and rain arrived. Photographer Jan Lukas died in New York. The number of first-graders dwindled. Jiří Paroubek’s cabinet met for the last time. An exclusive survey by Handelsblatt Business Monitor showed that German managers see the future positively, reported the business daily Hospodářské noviny. The European Union decided to declare a war on alcohol. The price of gas dropped. A Hradec Kralové court ruled that Bambini de Praga children’s choir director Bohumil Kulinský did not commit sexual abuse, which two choir members accused him of, and that he was not guilty;
Kulinský will now face another indictment in Prague in which 47 other choir members have charged him of the same crime. Police officers arrested a gang of criminals who had counterfeited tickets to the Madonna concert. In the hope of attracting travelers to its luxury train Pendolino, Czech Railways reduced the price of a ticket from Ostrava to Prague for families with three young children by one thousand crowns – to 1750 crowns. The Economic Chamber opened an office in Seoul, South Korea. Members of the neo-Nazi organization National Resistance turned to President Václav Klaus with a request to allow Czechs to join foreign military forces, which is otherwise illegal, because they want to enroll in the Iranian Army and fight against Israel; on their web site, the neo-Nazis stated that if their request was not granted by the president, the group would launch terrorist attacks against targets in the Czech Republic. News agencies reported that the first snow of the year had fallen in the Alps. As part of its new advertising strategy, Česká spořitelna replaced ING Bank as the sponsor of Czech football. Christmas arrived in shops. British media introduced to their readers scholarship recipient Jan Šrámek (19) from Dřevohostice, who ended his high school career at the prestigious Bootham School in York by completing his final exam without errors; with another scholarship in his pocket, he is heading for Cambridge University. Prague Stock Exchange was hit by a slump. It emerged that in an attempt to unravel Colonel Jan Kubic’s successful anti-corruption unit, whose investigations are threatening the echelon of the Social Deomcratic party, outgoing Interior Minister František Bublan launched a “reorganization” after which just four of the current seven departments of Kubic’s Organized Crime Detection Unit will remain. A female wolf cub escaped from the Pilsen Zoo, but was spotted in a meadow eight hours later by the search team, which shot it with a tranquilizer gun and returned it to its cage. The third annual Dalešice Woodcarver Symposium was dedicated to the theme of crosses and little crosses. After the resignation of Christian Democratic Party Chairman Miroslav Kalousek, the party’s vice chairmen Milan Šimonovský and Cyril Svoboda stepped down as well; the party leaders had to leave after the party’s membership base rejected their plan to participate in a minority government supported by political concessions to the Communist Party. Chan-wook Park’s film Sympathy for Lady Vengeance hit the cinemas. Several hundred liters of nitric acid leaked on the grounds of Temelín nuclear power plant as it was being repumped. Former Security Information Service (BIS) officer Vladimír Hučín awaits full rehabilitation for his armed resistance to the pre-Velvet Revolution regime. Real estate brokers reported a rise in demand for city-boxes. “We chose English pronunciation. Why? No comment,” replied Telefónica 02 spokesperson Martin Žabka when asked why Czech Telecom decided to enter the Czech market as “telefonica zero two” and not “telefonitsa oh dvah,” as the company might have logically chosen in light of the prevalence of Czech here. Police statistics revealed that Czech women drive better than Czech men: since the new traffic law came into force in July, women caused 1,600 accidents and men 7,200. The U.N. Committee for Combating Discrimination recommended that the Czech Republic find a way to increase the number of women appointed and elected to offices as soon as possible. Documentary film director Jan Špáta’s funeral was held in a Prague crematorium. After several internet accounts in Komerční banka were stolen, domestic financial institutions beefed up their conditions for paying via the internet. During the opening of the Earth Provider trade fair, President Václav Klaus received shots of plum brandy and nut liqueur from farmers attending the exhibition. “Czech entertainment has found itself in crisis,” Petr Dvořák, Nova TV’s director and one of the chief brains behind Czech amusement in recent years, told the daily Mladá fronta DNES. In Mladá fronta DNES, film director Jan Hřebejk promised his fans he wouldn’t become an actor.