News

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Social Democrat leader confident MPs will not back coalition

Social Democrat leader Jiri Paroubek has expressed the conviction that none of his party's MPs will back the country's newly-appointed government in an upcoming confidence vote. In his view, even MP Milos Melcak, who has remained "undecided", will in the end choose not to back or tolerate the centre-right coalition. On Saturday Mr Melcak indicated he might abstain from voting. Prime Minister Topolanek's centre-right government needs support from at least one opposition MP in order to remain in power, and some Civic Democrats have speculated that as many as seven opposition MPs could back the government. But, such claims have been rejected by Jiri Paroubek and others. At the weekend Mr Paroubek recommended that if any of his party's MPs did break ranks during Friday's vote, they should leave the party or risk expulsion.

Topolankova: office of government suggested she keep low profile, not attend official events

Pavla Topolankova, the estranged wife of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, has claimed that the office of the government recommended that she keep a low-profile and not take part in official events. Mrs Topolankova made the comments while appearing on a well-known TV discussion programme on Sunday. Afterwards, a government spokesman declined to comment. Mrs Topolankova did not say whether she would take the alleged recommendation seriously. Two days earlier, she stated publicly that she intended to continue on in her official role. Her husband, Mirek Topolanek, admitted last week that he had separated from his wife and was living with Lucie Talmanova, his girlfriend and fellow Civic Democrat. Pavla Topolankova has said she is not planning to file for divorce.

One World film festival to present 120 films from 40 countries

Organisers have revealed that the One World 2007 International Documentary Film Festival focused on human rights, will present some 120 documentaries from 40 countries in Prague in late February, early March. The festival was given a UNESCO special mention in early January. Each year the event is traditionally held under the auspices of former president Vaclav Havel, as well as Prague Mayor Pavel Bem, as well as regional governors and mayors of towns where the festival will continue. After Prague, the 9th annual One World festival will move to an additional sixteen towns in the Czech Republic, including Karlovy Vary and Zlin.

Sablikova sets world record in 5,000 metre event, clinches title

At 19, Martina Sablikova has become the youngest competitor to ever win the European Speed Skating Championship combined events title. On Sunday the nineteen-year old skater set a new world record in the 5,000 metres, earning a time of 6:58:45 which helped her cut a lead by the Netherlands' Ireen Wust. Sablikova has proven to be a specialist in longer formats: in the 500 metre event earlier on she finished ninth; on Saturday she also won the 3,000 metre event in which she also set a new world record.

Czech bobsledders Danilevic & Gomola European champs

The duo of Czech bobsledders Ivo Danilevic and Roman Gomola were crowned European Champions in their event on Saturday, when they beat their closest competitors by one 100th of a second. A third place finish at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, one of two results, was enough to push them past the Swiss duo of Ivo Ruegge and Cedric Grande in the overall championship standings. Germany's Lange & Kuske, the title favourites, finished third. Winning the European title is an historic achievement for Czech bobsledding.

Weather

The next few days are expected to see overcast periods with some sunshine. Daytime temperatures should reach highs of around 7 degrees Celsius.