Pozadí astronaut Brázda
Pozadí astronaut Brázda

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Last week

Last Week 42/2007

Morning frosts arrived and snow fell on the mountain tops. The price of butter went up. Retail chain stores announced “early Christmas.” Egyptian company Czech Spa Group began building a spa on the banks of the Suez Canal with Karlovy Vary as its paradigm.

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

Morning frosts arrived and snow fell on the mountain tops. The price of butter went up. Retail chain stores announced “early Christmas.” “We’re going to place emphasis on deep repentance, regret, and yearning for renewal of life with God,” Husite Church clergywoman Jana Šilerová shared the circumstances under which her church and she herself will bless the new marriage of former premier and Social Democratic party chairman Jiří Paroubek, who recently divorced his wife and is planning to marry another woman. Jan Švejnar entered the fight over Prague Castle with the current president. Social Democratic deputies accused the Civic Democrats of starting to probe the Communist parliamentary club if and in exchange for what they would be willing to support Václav Klaus in the presidential election; the Civic Democratic leadership denied any behind-the-scenes contacts with the Communists as untrue. Swiss mystery solver Erich von Däniken set out on a tour of the Czech Republic. Newspapers reported that scientists had constructed glasses that can see through clothing. The police proposed that the state prosecutor’s office should prosecute known capital market saboteur Pavel Tykač for his involvement in the stripping of CS Funds, whereby one billion crowns disappeared from the assets of Czech small shareholders in 1997 through a white horse and opaque foreign firm. Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said on television that Czech troops should start withdrawing from Iraq, but that the “deadline for that operation has not been agreed on with the allies.” The Czech Postal Service announced it would raise the prices of its services significantly next year. Publisher Vlastimil Svoboda was given a 1-year conditional sentence and a 200,000-crown fine in Prague for illegally publishing ten thousand copies of the book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. “At a meeting with my source, I noticed a man watching me; I managed to stop him and force him to present his ID,” said Czech Television reporter Dalibor Bártík, describing to the media how he figured out he was being monitored by State Security Service (BIS) agents; the secret service then indicated that Bártík was being followed due to a four-year-old case in which “sensitive materials” were leaked to the public from BIS’s vault; Bártík denied having any link with the leaked materials, and called the justification an “intelligence game.” Sony dropped the price of Playstation 3. Three people were charged in a case in which two baby girls were mixed up in the maternity ward at Třebíč hopsital ten months ago and their true identities were only recently discovered by chance through DNA testing; psychologists cited in the press had varying opinions of whether the mix-up would leave any negative consequences on the little girls; at any rate, after hearing that they would have to “swap” the girls, the parents of both children were overcome by psychological trouble and one of the grandmothers had a nervous breakdown. Oak barrels were pitched at the Pilsen Brewery. The Czech-Egyptian company Czech Spa Group began building a spa on the banks of the Suez Canal with Karlovy Vary as its paradigm. LST Trhanov has been the most successful contender so far in the tenders of Lesy České republiky, a state-owned forestry company; according to reports in the press, Václav Junek, once an agent of the communist-era secret police and subsequently the director of Chemapol, whose business legacy amounted to some 18 billion crowns in unrepaid loans at Czech banks that had to paid off by taxpayers, is behind LST.

“Terror is not the way to paradise,” pronounced Shirin Ebadi, Iranian lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize holder, at this year’s Forum 2000 Conference, an annual gathering of leading thinkers in Prague organized by Václav Havel. The Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Peter Grünberg, a scientist born in Pilsen, who was forcibly expelled to Germany with his family as a six-year-old during the forced collective expulsion of Sudetan German inhabitants and citizens of Czechoslovakia in 1946. The TIMUC international music center organized a special concert in Prague to commemorate the Jewish musicians who were transported from the Terezín ghetto to the gas chambers of Auschwitz 63 years ago. News agencies cited scientists’ warnings that a mutated strain of bird flu which is easily transmitted to humans had reached Europe. An anonymous art collector bought František Kupka’s painting “Elevation IV” for 22,000 crowns at an auction in Prague. The winning three-member team of a traditional race following the footsteps of cooper and wheelwright Jan Birk managed to roll a large wooden-rung wheel some 67 kilometers from Brno to Lednice in four hours and 45 minutes. The fishing industry warned the public that Christmas carp would be more expensive this year due to rising oil and grain prices.

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