News

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Civic Democrats and Social Democrats hold government talks live on TV

In a live televised discussion with representatives of the three parties in the new government, Social Democrat leader Jiri Paroubek said his party would neither tolerate nor support the coalition with a confidence vote. The government of the Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Green Party, which was appointed on Tuesday, has to gain a vote of confidence within the next month. But it holds only half of the 200 seats in the lower house of Parliament and needs at least one vote from a Communist or a Social Democrat deputy.

Though the leaders of both parties have said they would not support the coalition, two Social Democrat MPs - Milos Melcak and Michal Pohanka - have not made it clear whether they share their party's official stance.

Collapsed roof of storage house traps three men

A collapsed roof at a former storage house in the northern town of Ceska Kamenice has trapped three men; two of them have been found dead. The third victim, a fifteen year old boy, was freed two hours after the accident. Locals have been stealing beams and other parts of the dilapidated building and the men are believed to have been doing the same when the roof and ceilings of two floors gave way and buried them in the rubble.

Police to stage protest in Prague

Police officers from around the country are planning to stage a large demonstration in Prague at the end of the month. The officers are concerned about a new salary system that has been in effect since the start of the year. While Interior Minister Ivan Langer and Czech Police Chief Vladislav Husak say no-one in the police force will be at a financial loss with the new system, trade union estimates expect over 5,000 officers to end up with lower salaries.

New institution to avoid development of ghettos

The newly appointed minister without portfolio hopes a new institution will help prevent the formation of ghettos. Dzamila Stehlikova of the Green Party, who is also responsible for minority and human rights issues, says the creation of such an institution and the introduction of an antidiscrimination law would be her priorities. It is estimated that up to 80,000 of the country's population of ten million live in ghettos or under poor social conditions.

Russian to face Czech court over forced plane landing

A Russian man who forced a plane to make an emergency landing in Prague is to be tried in a court in the Czech Republic, Pravo reported. The defence lawyer for Yevgenii Dogayev told the daily he was trying to have his client's charge changed from breaching aviation safety to giving false information, which carries a lesser sentence. Mr Dogayev, who was drunk when he tried to force the plane to land in Cairo, says he remembers nothing of the incident. He has paid Czech Airlines for the costs incurred by the emergency landing.

Former defence minister to become ambassador

Former defence minister Karel Kuhnl of the Freedom Union is to become ambassador to Croatia. According to the internet server Euro OnLine, he is to replace Petr Burianek who has been stationed in Zagreb since 2003.

Tourist numbers up slightly

Some 6.64 million foreign tourists visited the Czech Republic in 2006, according to the association of Czech travel agents. That number represents an increase of 4 percent on the previous year. Of last year's total, 57 percent visited Prague.

UK surgeons protest lottery for cosmetic surgery in Czech Republic

Plastic surgeons in the United Kingdom have protested against a lottery, organised by a British firm, in which first prize is cosmetic surgery in the Czech Republic. Plastic surgery costs up to a third less at Czech clinics than in the UK, and hundreds of British people undergo such operations in the Czech Republic every year.

Glitzy premiere for new Menzel film I Served the King of England

I Served the King of England, the new film by Czech director Jiri Menzel, is to receive a glitzy red-carpet premiere in Prague on Wednesday evening. The movie, based on the novel of the same name by Bohumil Hrabal, goes on general release in the Czech Republic on Thursday.

Jagr returns to ice, scoring ways

Czech ice hockey star Jaromir Jagr has ended an eight-game goal drought, scoring for his New York Rangers against local rivals New York Islanders on Tuesday. Jagr, who had missed his club's previous game through injury, also notched up two assists.

Weather

Several towns in Moravia, including Olomouc and Zlin, posted record temperatures of around 15 degrees Celsius on Wednesday with the unusually warm weather expected to continue until the end of next week.

The next few days will have partly cloudy skies and scattered showers. Meteorologists warn of strong winds in higher altitudes. Day temperatures should reach up to 14 degrees Celsius.