News A policeman stands in front of the residence of Palestine ambassador, Jamal al-Jamal on January 1, 2014 in Prague

The mystery surrounding a New Year’s Day blast that killed the Palestinian ambassador to Prague as he opened a safe at his residence deepened on Thursday as police confirmed they had found weapons at his embassy and staff denied reports that the safe had an explosive anti-burglar device, which had been mistakenly detonated.

First Night: George Michael - Symphonica Tour, State Opera House, Prague

Holding back the tears, Michael restores faith in a magical voice

A Day That Shook The World: Soviets put down Prague Spring

On 21 August 1968, Soviet tanks ended the so-called 'Prague Spring' when they rolled into the Czechoslovakian capital and reasserted Moscow's power.

Josef Suk: Dvorak’s great-grandson who was regarded as one of the finest violin virtuosi of the 20th century

Josef Suk was one of the world's great violinists, perhaps the supreme lyricist among the major virtuosos of the 20th century, and one of the kindest and most considerate of men. He was also a member of one of music's major dynasties: his great-grandfather was Antoní* Dvorák and his grandfather another composer and violinist, also called Josef Suk.

Four missing after Czech explosives plant blast

An official says a huge nitroglycerine explosion has occurred at a factory in the Czech Republic and that four people are missing.

Heda Kovaly: Writer who chronicled her Holocaust survival and Communist persecution

Heda Kovály was a Czech author and translator who wrote the acclaimed memoir Under a Cruel Star describing her imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps and her persecution under Czechoslovakia's communist rule during the 1950s and '60s.

Arnost Lustig: Survivor of three Nazi concentration camps who became an award-winning author and academic

It is no surprise that Arnost Lustig made the Holocaust the main theme of his works, as many members of his family were among the millions of victims.

Dirk Kuyt confident of Liverpool progress

Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt is confident they can overcome a difficult Sparta Prague side at Anfield next week.

Liverpool draw a blank in Prague

Sparta Prague 0 Liverpool 0

Jirí Dienstbier: Czech politician who supported the ‘Prague Spring’ and served in his country’s first post-Communist government

Jirí Dienstbier was Czechoslovakia's first post-Communist foreign minister, who secured his place in history for his prominent part in the dissident movement, led by Václav Havel, that played a decisive role in the "velvet revolution" that peacefully overthrew the Prague Communist regime in 1989. From 1998 to 2001 he served as special rapporteur for the UN Human Rights Commission in the former Yugoslavia.

Pierre Guffroy: Oscar-winning set designer who worked with Godard, Truffaut and Polanski

Oscar-winning art designer Pierre Guffroy worked with many of Europe's best-known directors. Equally suited to Bresson's austerity, Buñuel's surrealism and Polanski's absurdism, his designs also helped define some of the best-known films by directors including Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and Marcel Camus.

Jiri Novak: Violinist who eschewed a solo virtuoso career to lead the Smetana Quartet for more than 30 years

Jiri Novak, the leader of the celebrated Smetana Quartet, was considered to bethe foremost string-quartet leader of his time, and was one whose modesty concealed an enormous talent and profound musicianship.

Album: Smetana, Má Vlast / Prague Philharmonia (Supraphon)

Beloved the world over for the sweeping minor-major melody of "Vltava", Smetana's cycle of symphonic poems, Má Vlast, has been a monument to Czech independence since its completion in 1879.

Sam Lesser

A sentence in Jim Jump's obituary of Sam Lesser (1 November) regarding the show trial of Rudolf Slansky and others in Prague, is ambiguous, writes Philip Petchey: "Lesser's reports followed the official party line, though many years afterwards he would admit that his apparent credulity at the time still troubled his conscience." This implies, without saying so, that his credulity was assumed; he knew or guessed the truth, and followed the party line, for the perceived greater good. If so, an interesting position; latterly, presumably, his conscience was troubled because he came to see that truth should not have been compromised for the perceived greater good in circumstances like these.

Levein's strikerless formation was right, says Houston

Scotland assistant manager Peter Houston offered a robust defence of the 4-6-0 formation used by Craig Levein in Friday's 1-0 defeat to the Czech Republic claiming it was a "great strategy" which could be repeated.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there