News

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Government to ask for confidence on Tuesday

The minority cabinet of Civic Democrat Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek will ask the lower house of parliament for confidence on Tuesday, three months after the June general elections which produced a perfect split between the rightist and leftist blocs in the lower chamber. Both former PM Jiri Paroubek's Social Democrats and the Communists have pledged to reject the government in the vote. Owing to that the chances of Mirek Topolanek's cabinet receiving confidence from the chamber are slim. If it loses the vote, the cabinet will have to resign. In such a case, a new prime minister appointed by President Vaclav Klaus would put together a new cabinet which would again need to seek a majority support in the lower house.

Social Democrat deputy may not be present at confidence vote over illness

Former Health Minister David Rath has said that one deputy for the Social Democrats may not be present for health reasons at Tuesday's crucial confidence vote in the minority government of Civic Democrat Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek. Her absence could seriously affect the vote as the opposition leftist bloc has exactly the same number of MPs in the chamber as the centre-right parties. However, Prime Minister Topolanek said on Monday he himself would not take part in the vote if an opposition MP should be absent for reasons of ill health.

Last weekend most tragic on Czech roads this year

Police statistics state that the past weekend was thus far the most tragic one on Czech roads this year. A total of 16 people died in car accidents across the country on Saturday and Sunday. The month of September saw 90 people killed in automobile accidents; thus far September and June share the record for the most tragic months of the year. A total of 672 people were killed on Czech roads during the first nine months of the year. A marked drop in the number of fatal accident was recorded in July after a new and stricter traffic law came into force, however the figures started rising again in August.

Vaclav Havel to receive Gandhi Peace Prize

Former Czech President Vaclav Havel has been selected for this year's Gandhi Peace Prize for upholding human rights and world peace, the Indian Catholic wrote on Monday. The decision was taken by a five-member jury chaired by India's Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and including the opposition leader Sonia Gandhi, the Chief Justice of India, a former president and former prime minister. The prize is awarded every year for outstanding work and contribution to social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods. The former Czech president, playwright, and human rights activist will celebrate his 70th birthday on Thursday.

Czech Airlines catering and cargo terminal in Prague for sale

The Czech state-run carrier Czech Airlines has said it will sell its catering service and a cargo terminal at the Prague Ruzyne international airport. The move is part of recently launched cost-cutting measures, the airline said in a statement. The company said it hopes to receive offers from possible buyers this year and to choose the winning bidder in February 2007. Czech Airlines posted a net loss of 773 million crowns (34.54 million USD; 27.28 million euros) in the first half of the year. Last month the struggling state-controlled carrier asked its main shareholder, the finance ministry, for a cash injection of about 2 billion crowns but denied speculation of impending bankruptcy.

Berdych loses Mumbai final

Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych was beaten 13 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5) by Russia's Dmitry Tursunov in a rain-hit final at the Cricket Club of India courts at the Mumbai Open on Monday. The Mumbai final, which was put off on Sunday due to heavy rain, was twice interrupted by rain, the first time at 1-1 in the second set and then again at 5-5 in the third set. When play resumed the second time, Tursunov broke Berdych to lead 6-5 but the third-seeded Czech broke back immediately to force the match into the tie-breaker. Berdych, still looking for his first title this year after five appearances in the final, had won 15 of his last 19 matches but failed to deliver when it mattered most.

Weather

The coming days will see mostly cloudy skies with scattered showers. Daytime temperatures are expected to hover around 22 degrees Celsius.