Klaus rejects Ukrainian parliament vote of no-confidence in Yanukovych
The Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, has rejected a vote of no-confidence in Ukraine's prime minister, Viktor Yanukovych, passed by the country's parliament. Mr Yanukovych came first in Ukraine's presidential elections amid widespread allegations of voting irregularities. Mr Klaus said, however, the no-confidence vote would lead to increased instability in the country. He said he was worried about steps being taken which could lead to a "point of no return" in Ukraine. The Czech president has also called for a re-run of the disputed presidential election.
Cesky Telecom shares rise in value ahead of cabinet sell-off decision
Shares in Cesky Telecom rose by 2 percent on Wednesday, as the cabinet met to decide on the privatisation of the telecommunications company. It is expected to choose between selling the state's stake in Telecom via the capital markets and selling it to a strategic investor.
Government approves plan to help young Czechs buy their own homes
The government has approved a bill to help young people buy their own homes. Under the plan, home buyers under the age of 36 would be able to borrow from the state 300,000 crowns (around 10,000 euros) at a special low interest rate. But the local development minister, Jiri Paroubek, said only 1,000 people could take advantage of the programme this year, because more money had not been earmarked for the loans. Next year there should be enough for 5,000 applicants.
Hard-line Communist Party of Czechoslovakia to run for parliament for first time
The hard-line Communist Party of Czechoslovakia is planning to stand in general elections for the first time in 2006, leader Miroslav Stepan said on Wednesday. Mr Stepan, the Communist Party chief in Prague before 1989, spent two and a half years in prison in the early 1990s for trying to crush the Velvet Revolution. He said his party were growing in strength and attracting disaffected members of the more mainstream Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, which is the second biggest opposition group in the Czech parliament.
Seventy Beslan children coming to Czech Republic
A group of around 70 children from the Russian town of Beslan was due to arrive in the Czech Republic on Wednesday evening to undergo medical treatment and rehabilitation. A hostage crisis at their school in September ended in the deaths of more than 300 people. The children, accompanied by parents and teachers, as well as psychologists, will be staying in the west Bohemian spa town of Karlovy Vary, where there is a sizable Russian community.
Czech Airlines to open fourth direct route to Slovakia
Czech Airlines is planning to introduce a fourth direct route to Slovakia, a spokesperson said on Wednesday. Along with established destinations Bratislava, Kosice and Sliac, CSA is going to fly to the western town of Zilina from March next year.
Man dies after drinking contest with girlfriend
A man has died of alcohol poisoning after a drinking contest with his girlfriend in the south Moravian town of Kyjov, the daily Mlada fronta Dnes reported on Wednesday. The man, who was 57, died after drinking half a litre of rum at the local bus station, while his girlfriend, 37, drank so much she lost consciousness and had to be taken to hospital.
Czech Sportsperson of Year shortlist announced
The shortlist of ten candidates for the Czech Sportsperson of the Year award has been released. The contenders are Milan Baros, Pavel Nedved and Petr Cech from the world of football, ice hockey star Jaromir Jagr, modern pentathlete Libor Capalini, high-jumper Jaroslav Baba, skier Katerina Neumannova, sailor Lenka Smidova, shooter Lenka Hykova and - the favourite - decathlete and Olympic gold medalist Roman Sebrle. The winner is due to be announced in Prague on December 18.
Temperatures should drop to between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius over the next couple of days, with sunny spells expected in many parts of the country. Meanwhile, a weather forecaster told the daily Pravo Czechs could likely expect frost and snow at Christmas, and a cold December in general.