For those who want to know some news from the Czech Republic, here they are:
- The Czech Republic has become the leading donor to the victims of the tsunami in Asia among the countries of the former Eastern bloc. The government will give 200 million crowns - about 9 million USD - and the public donations add about 10 million USD. The total is about 2 dollars per capita - well, it's still less than those 7,000 dollars per capita from the Vatican City. Millions of dollars were collected using an original Czech technology: sending expensive SMS messages via cell phones. The Czechs are the #1 nation in the number of SMS messages per capita. Those 19 million dollars is more than the total of the rest of the Eastern bloc's donations, as far as I can say. Only 10 people are missing; one confirmed casualty.
- The Czech military is becoming a professional army.
- The Czech Parliament has approved a new law that will allow the government to draft the women. They will have to participate in the future wars, which is an attempt to guarantee the equal right of genders. The Czech women have had a long tradition as warriors: according to the classical, ancient Czech legends, the girls revolted against the males sometime at the end of the first millenium. The so-called Girls' War started soon after the death of Libuše, the Queen of the Czech nation. You can see that the women's effort towards their emancipation is no modern event. These insurgents, led by Ms. Vlasta, were torturing the men. Obviously, Abu-Ghraib is no modern invention either. Most Czech legends end up with some kind of happy end, and the Girls' War is no exception. Vlasta has made a critical strategic error near Vyšehrad and a large male army killed her as well as the other female insurgents. Well, except for Ms. Šárka who was eaten up by a rock. Legend has it, that when it will be the worst for the women under male rule, the rock will open and Šárka, together with her army, will save the women.
- Ronald S. Lauder, the cosmetic heir and the son of Estee Lauder, bought the Czech TV NOVA once again. TV NOVA is the TV with the highest share of the national market in whole Europe. Several years ago, Lauder published adds in the New York Times and the Washington Post that said "Think twice before you invest in the Czech Republic". Meanwhile, however, he was successful in one important arbitration against the Czech Republic he initiated. The Czech government lost 300 million dollars or so mostly because it was a government of simpletons. Lauder has now paid 600 million dollars to re-gain the full control over the TV station and he praises the Czech Republic for being the most civilized country in the region. Well, now it's definitely the country that contributes most to his TV profits. ;-)
- The mayor of Prague, Mr. Pavel Bém (ODS, Civic Democratic Party), masked himself and pretended that he was an English-speaking tourist that needs a yellow cab. Of course, the taxi driver has robbed him easily.
- In the suburbs of Pilsen, a bull has killed a 50-year-old doctor.
- Tomáš Savka, a finalist of the "Czechs search for a Superstar" (American Idol), was beaten up in the street.
- Stanislav Gross, the 35-year-old prime minister, plans to promote the European constitution as much as he promoted the membership in the EU. Václav Klaus, the Czech president, opposes the constitution as well as other further attempts to unify the European Union.
- The Czech car "Škoda Octavia", produced in Bohemia under the supervision of Volkswagen, became the car of the year 2005 in Finnland. In 2004, it became the most beautiful car in Italy and the best car in Serbia, Montenegro, and the winner of "The Golden Wheel" in Germany. The Germans plan to produce the car in China, too.