Mirek Topolanek not entrusted with forming of new government

Czech President Vaclav Klaus has neither named Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolanek prime minister nor entrusted him with the forming of a new minority government. Mr Topolanek, whose party won the elections in June, held a meeting with the president on Friday. Mr Toplanek plans to form a minority Civic Democrat government after hopes of a ruling coalition with the Christian Democrats and the Greens were crushed by the Social Democrats and the Communists. So far, no parliamentary party has expressed its support for a minority Civic Democrat government. Should his plans fail, Mr Topolanek favours early elections.

Marie Klausova has passed away

Marie Klausova, the mother of President Vaclav Klaus, passed away on Saturday morning, the Presidential Office has announced. Mrs Klausova was 91 years old and was admitted to hospital with a serious illness in June. No further details have been released.

Jiri Paroubek: Social Democrats could support re-election of President Klaus

Social Democrat leader Jiri Paroubek does not rule out his party's support for a second term for President Vaclav Klaus. In an interview for Saturday's issue of Mlada Fronta Dnes, Mr Paroubek says the president's re-election is not in the interest of his party but one of the things that could be discussed in order to uphold the country's political stability. The next presidential elections will be held in two years' time.

Spidla: Europe-wide employment law allows discrimination against smokers

European employers are free to say 'Smokers need not apply' when they advertise for jobs, a European Commission spokeswoman said on Saturday. Katharina Von Schnurbein was reacting to an article in the Financial Times in which former Czech prime minister and current Social Affairs Commissioner Vladimir Spidla says European laws prohibiting discrimination in employment do not cover smoking. A person cannot be rejected employment on the basis of his race, age, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, but he can be rejected if he is a smoker.

Baby wanders off and covers 2.5 kilometre stretch overnight

Police say an eighteen-month old baby, whose parents and police had been looking for since Thursday evening, has been found and is unharmed. The little boy was found on Friday morning, soaking wet and crying. He apparently wandered off from home and walked a 2.5 kilometre stretch into the neighbouring village overnight. The baby was taken to hospital and released on Saturday. The police are now determining whether the parents are guilty of neglect.

Swimming: Hlavacova sets English Channel world record

Long-distance swimmer Yvetta Hlavacova has set a new world record for swimming the English Channel. Hlavacova completed the 21-mile swim in seven hours 25 minutes.


The next few days will remain cloudy with scattered showers throughout the country. Daytime temperatures will not exceed 20 degrees Celsius.