Next Czech contingent prepared for Kosovo tensions, says Minister Kuhnl

Defence Minister Karel Kuhnl has said the next Czech Army contingent sent to Kosovo will be better trained and equipped to deal with ethnic tensions in the province. Mr Kuhnl, on a visit to a Czech base in Pristina, said the troops being sent there next month would be ready for the kind of violence that left dozens dead after clashes between Kosovo Albanians and Serbs earlier this year.

Early elections best answer, says Civic Democrat MP Tlusty

The opposition Civic Democrats believe early elections are the best possible solution to the current political situation, senior party figure Vlastimil Tlusty said on Czech Television on Sunday. Mr Tlusty said, however, the Civic Democrats would not submit a bill to force early elections until it became clear the move would win sufficient support. While the government has been weakened following regional and Senate elections, the next general elections are due in mid-2006.

Former Czech PM Spidla finally takes up European Commission post Monday

Former Czech prime minister Vladimir Spidla is finally taking up his post as European commissioner for labour and social affairs on Monday, after a delay of three weeks caused by a standoff with EU lawmakers over the makeup of the Commission. Mr Spidla replaces Pavel Telicka, who was appointed the Czech Republic's first commissioner after the country joined the EU in May.

Verdicts should be simple enough for children to understand, says judges' leader

The president of the Czech Union of Judges has said court verdicts should be simple enough for even a child to understand. Addressing a meeting of judges on Saturday, Jaromir Jirsa said a judgment a child could not comprehend was not a good verdict. He also said judges should be more open to public scrutiny and that verdicts should be published on the internet.

Athens gold winner Sebrle named Czech Athlete of the Year

Roman Sebrle was named Czech Athlete of the Year for the third time at a ceremony in Prague on Saturday night. He had been widely expected to win the award after taking gold in the decathlon at the Olympic Games in Athens. High jumper Jaroslav Baba was second in the poll, with discus thrower Vera Cechlova-Pospisilova coming third.

Over 200 nativity scenes from around country assembled in Olomouc...

Over 200 nativity scenes from around the Czech Republic have been assembled in the Moravian town of Olomouc. Organisers said that two years ago the same exhibition included almost 450 nativity scenes, which was a Czech record.

...while south Moravian town again has biggest Advent wreath in Czech Republic

Meanwhile, the main square in the south Moravian town of Miroslav has been adorned for the fifth year in a row with the biggest Advent wreath in the country. The wreath, which is almost seven metres in diameter, will be decorated over the next week, said a local official.


Monday should be cloudy with rain or snow showers in places. Temperatures are expected to range from 2 to 6 degrees Celsius.