News

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Government delegation signs agreement with Hyudayi

A Czech government delegation has signed an agreement in South Korea with Hyundai Motor on the construction of the company's new car plant in Nosovice in North Moravia. The document was signed by the Czech Trade and Industry Minister Milan Urban and the vice-president of Huyndai Motor Kim Dong-jin. Minister Urban said that he is not afraid that the current investigation into the financial scandal in the company could delay the construction. Hyundai is planning to invest some 800 million dollars in the Czech Republic.

Counter-terrorist unit leaves for Afghanistan

Around a hundred members of the Czech counter-terrorist unit have left for Afghanistan, Chief-of-Staff Pavel Stefka told reporters on Thursday. The soldiers will join the rest of the unit who had arrived in the country in April to take part in the US-led operation Enduring Freedom. The contingent is similar to one sent to Afghanistan two years ago; it had 120 members and was under United States command. Currently there are another two Czech contingents serving in Afghanistan, but they operate under NATO command.

Poll: 50 percent of Czechs want to forbid smoking in pubs

According to a poll carried out by the SC&C agency, around fifty percent of Czechs would support a total ban on smoking in public areas, including restaurants, while 41 percent are against it. The poll suggests that supporters of the ban prevail among women, senior citizens and followers of the Christian Democrat Party, whose deputy Josef Janecek has repeatedly failed to push through the ban in the lower house of the Czech parliament.

Number of asylum seekers reaches record low in April

A report by the Interior Ministry says that last month the lowest number of people applied for asylum in the Czech Republic since 1999. Asylum applications were filed by 218 foreigners in April, most of them from Ukraine and Kazakhstan, followed by Belarus, Turkey and Russia. Since 1990, more than 82,000 foreigners have applied for asylum in the Czech Republic. Asylum was granted to almost 3,000.

Late political prisoner to be fully rehabilitated after 50 years

The Supreme Court has taken the final step to fully rehabilitate late political prisoner Viktorin Heller as it annulled the last verdict imposed on him by the Communist judiciary in the 1950s, the Supreme Court informed on its website. The Supreme Court dealt with Mr Heller's case upon the proposal by the Justice Ministry. In 1955, Mr Heller was sentenced to 10 years in prison for high treason and theft of state property. As a high-ranking member of the Czechoslovak Sokol (Falcon) sport community, he was charged with subverting the communist regime and theft of state property. After the collapse of communism in 1989, the courts partially rehabilitated Mr Heller, but they did not annul the sentence for alleged property crime completely.

Poll: Culture Minister Jandak remains most popular politician

Another poll by the STEM agency suggests that Culture Minister Vitezslav Jandak remains the most popular politician in the Czech Republic, with 70 percent of public support. He is followed by three Social Democrat politicians - Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Education Minister Petra Buzkova and PM and party chairman Jiri Paroubek. Prague Mayor and opposition Civic Democrat deputy chairman Pavel Bem came fifth in the poll. President Vaclav Klaus was not included in the poll.

Czech ice-hockey team beats Russia in dramatic quarter-final

The Czech ice hockey team beat Russia 4:3 in Thursday's dramatic quarter-final match at the World Championship in Riga, Latvia. In Saturday's semi-finals the Czechs will meet the winner of the quarter-final between Finland and Belarus to be played later on Thursday.

Galasek joins Nuremburg after leaving Ajax on free transfer

The Czech international footballer Tomas Galasek has signed a new two-year contract with Germany's Nuremburg, after leaving Ajax Amsterdam on a free transfer. Galasek, who is 33, has been playing in the Dutch league since 1996. He was appointed Czech national captain after Pavel Nedved quit, though it is not clear whether he or Nedved will captain the Czech Republic at the World Cup in Germany, after the Juventus midfielder made a return to international football.

Weather

The next couple of days are expected to be overcast with some sunny spells. Daytime temperatures should reach highs of up to 23 degrees Celsius.