News

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Schengen zone enlargement put back at least a year

The Czech Republic and the other nine countries which joined the European Union in 2004 face a delay of at least a year before borders with the EU's 15 other states are opened, according to a European Commission report quoted by Reuters. The EU had previously planned to let the 10 states into its border-free Schengen area in October 2007 - the European Commission now says technical and legal problems will probably mean that Schengen will not be expanded until October 2008.

The Czech Republic and a number of other countries had called earlier in the week for the original timetable to be respected.

Participation in anti-missile system better as part of NATO, says minister

The minister of defence, Jiri Sedivy, believes it would be better for the Czech Republic to take part in a United States anti-missile defence system as part of NATO, rather than with the US alone. Speaking in Saturday's Pravo, Mr Sedivy said if the system was developed through NATO it could increase the cohesion of the alliance in the long term.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic's ambassador to NATO, Stefan Fule, said the US was apparently going to decide on the most suitable location for a proposed base in central Europe after a NATO summit in November. US military experts have visited potential sites in the Czech Republic, though Poland is also in the running to host the base.

Czech man gets life in US for brutal killing of girlfriend

A Czech man has been sentenced to life in prison in the United States for the brutal murder of his Brazilian girlfriend last year. A court in Denver ruled that 23-year-old Martin Novotny, who gave himself up to police hours after the killing, must serve the whole term. Czech consul Tomas Kadlec said he was surprised by the severity of the sentence.

Paroubek calls on Topolanek to quit after police launch fraud investigation

The head of the Social Democrats, Jiri Paroubek, has called on Civic Democrat prime minister Mirek Topolanek to resign, following the launching of an investigation into alleged fraud at a company formerly co-owned by Mr Topolanek. It was reported on Friday that the police were looking into allegations the prime minister and his then partners in the firm VAE obtained a 67-million-crown loan (3 million USD) from a bank but did not repay it in its entirety. Mr Topolanek says the investigation does not concern him directly.

Pregnant women hit by vintage car during race

A pregnant women was seriously injured when she was struck by a car which went off the road during a race of vintage cars in Zbraslav, near Prague. The driver blamed a fault in the vehicle for the accident - police are investigating whether that was the case.

Slavia football club finally to get new stadium

Work is due to begin this month on a new stadium for Slavia Prague football club, the club has announced. The new arena should have a capacity of 21,000, and could be used for Czech national team games, a Slavia official said. The long-awaited project should be completed in March 2008.

Spotakova sets new Czech women's record in javelin

Barbora Spotakova has set a new Czech women's record in the javelin. Her throw of 66.21m was also enough to give Spotakova gold at the World Athletics Final in Stuttgart. She has now broken the Czech record three times this year.

Weather

It should be sunny over the next few days, with temperatures rising to around 25 degrees Celsius in the middle of the week.