Three-party coalition would introduce direct vote for president

A proposed coalition of the Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Greens would introduce a direct vote for the position of president, Mlada fronta Dnes reported on Saturday. The paper said the move could help appease President Vaclav Klaus, who enjoys considerable popularity and is expected to seek a second term.

Mr Klaus has expressed reluctance about appointing the three-party coalition, which is one vote short of a majority; it would need the support of at least one rebel left-wing deputy to win a vote of confidence.

The Czech Republic has been without a stable government since elections in June ended in stalemate.

PE teacher beaten up after rebuking pupil

Two men beat up a physical education teacher in Hradec Kralove after he had rebuked one of the men's sons, TV Nova reported. Teacher Miroslav Jerie, who is 57, had his nose broken and sustained other injuries in the attack, which took place during a lesson. Mr Jerie has begun criminal proceedings against his assailants. Meanwhile, the boy's mother says the teacher beat her son and has herself filed a complaint against Mr Jerie.

Health officials halt production at three firms over listeria

Public health officials have stopped three companies from producing foodstuffs, after traces of the bacteria listeria were found in their products. The firms, all based in Moravia, will not be able to resume production until they prove their products are safe and recall their foods from distribution.

Traces of listeria were found in three adults and a baby who died in November. Seventeen people were also reported ill with the bacteria, which officials said was a high number for the time of year.

No return to Czech Republic Davis Cup team for Stepanek

The Czech tennis player Radek Stepanek has said he will not be making a return to the national team for a Davis Cup tie against the USA in February. Stepanek refused to play in the Czech team under previous coach Cyril Suk, but had been expected to play under current boss Jaroslav Navratil. On Friday, however, the world number 19 issued a statement saying he had decided not to return.


It should be cloudy with rain in places over the next couple of days. Temperatures of between 0 and 4 degrees Celsius are expected.