In an attempt to improve security and prevent eventual terrorist attacks, airlines imposed an immediate ban on carrying bottles filled with any liquid on board. Media reported that an Iraqi court had sentenced Saddam Hussein to death.
The Czech Republic decided to open an embassy in Afghanistan. “This act is an insult and a breach of our bilateral agreements,” said Austrian Green Party spokeswoman Eva Glawischnig, commenting on the Czech authorities’ decision to give final approval to Temelín nuclear plant irrespective of domestic and foreign experts’ safety concerns and irrespective of the fact that in six-year-old intergovernmental agreements Czech Prime Minister Miloš Zeman promised the Austrians that Prague would not allow the nuclear power plant to be launched into commercial production as long as there were professional doubts about its safety. Newspapers reported that Australia had been struck by the worst draught in a thousand years. Torrential rains raised the water level in rivers. At its climate change conference in Nairobi, the U.N. Environment Programme concluded that the 2002 floods, which destroyed a number of historical buildings and monuments in the Czech Republic and left behind 75-billion-crowns worth of damage, were caused by global warming. “Priceless treasures are at risk of disappearing by rising ocean levels, floods, and storms,” the U.N. agency conveyed to the public in its report. The Social Democrats proposed switching firewood to the lower, five-percent VAT category. Czech President Václav Klaus entrusted Civic Democratic Party (ODS) chair Mirek Topolánek with a second chance to establish a government, thereby bringing the negotiations on the government back to square one after four months of fruitless endeavors. Zdeňek Sykora’s painting Line no. 100 was sold at a modern art auction in Prague for a record 2.7 million crowns. Prostějov clothing manufacturer closed its factories in Konice and Brodek. In an attempt to assist women in difficult situations, the Czech-German association JANA bought an ambulance and began sending it out to provide regular gynecological exams to women and girls working in nightclubs near the country’s western border. After five years of seeking financial aid, a group of enthusiasts managed to save the dilapidating Augustine monastery in Pivoň near Domažlice. “Well, I wouldn’t formulate it quite so directly,” replied Brno’s new mayor Roman Onderka (Social Democrats – ČSSD) to a question posed by Mladá fronta DNES’ after it surfaced that the incoming head of Brno City Hall doesn’t know any world languages: “So you’ll start learning?” A memorial to car accident victims was erected on the one-hundredth kilometer of the D1 highway in the direction of Brno. A major storm struck the crest of the Krkonoše (Giant) Mountains. Amateur Cave in the Moravian Beauty area, which is otherwise closed to the public and considered the longest underground cavern system in the Czech Republic, was open to the public for two days. James Brown got the crowd dancing in Prague’s T-Mobile Arena. By striking hard blows, a 55-year-old woman drove off two young muggers who attacked her and attempted to beat and rob her in Brno. Phenomenal pianist Lang Lang played in Rudolfínum. Director Břetislav Rychlík and his association Romea filed suit against Christian Democrat senator and Vsetín mayor Jiří Čunek for moving several dozen poor Roma families from the town under false pretenses and by using coercion or threats – in part to “homes” made of metal containers outside of Vsetín, in part to buildings bought by the city of Vsetín in various villages in northern Moravia. The management of the supermarket chain Ahold notified consumers that in light of local grocers’ obligation to sell only unspoiled meat and in light of local producers’ inability to supply such goods, Ahold will begin buying all its meat products abroad. “Only supplementary items such as rabbit or offal will come from local suppliers,” said Ahold spokeswoman Kateřina Pecinová. Cocoa king Michal Kraus returned to politics by being elected a member of the ČSSD central committee. Police arrested a drug courier with eight kilograms of heroin at a parking lot near Lovosice. International Women’s Weekend, a music show aimed at discovering the female voice, was held in Prague. Sixty-three new professors received the president’s blessing at the Prague Castle. “Not dying young,” replied film director Miloš Forman to Lidové noviny’s question, “You’ve achieved everything an artist could want. What do you think the virtue of maturity is for an artist?” Meteorologists announced that the current warm weather will continue.