News

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Foreign Ministry set to retaliate after Cuba expels Czech diplomat over subversion claims

The first secretary of the Czech Embassy in Havana, Stanislav Kazecky, has been given three days to leave Cuba after local authorities refused to renew his visa, accusing him of subversive actions and working for the United States. The Czech Foreign Ministry has called on Cuba's charge d'affaires in Prague to explain the decision, which it regards as tantamount to expulsion. It said the move was clearly in response to the Czech Republic's policy of criticizing human rights abuses in Cuba and supporting the island state's opposition. Reuters reported that Mr Kazecky had close contacts with dissidents in Cuba.

A Czech Foreign Ministry spokesperson said it would respond in kind by not renewing the visa of a Cuban diplomat in Prague next week. Tensions have been high between the two countries for some years.

Towns put on higher flood alert following continued rainfall

Flood alerts have reached their third and highest level in Hradek u Rokycan in western Bohemia, after morning rainfall raised water levels in the Klabava river, which rose above the 2 metre threshold for increasing the alert.

Meteorologists have issued a warning that further towns in Southern parts of the Czech Republic could also still be at risk of flooding. They said that continued rainfall and snow from the mountains could further increase levels in the Vltava and Lužnice rivers over the weekend, but do not believe it will be sufficient to raise the flood alert to its highest stage in these regions.

President Klaus signs new insolvency bill

Czech President Vaclav Klaus today signed a bill to facilitate bankruptcy proceedings, strengthen creditors and provide aid to companies in financial trouble. It should prevent commercial bankruptcies from leading to automatic liquidation, which could save jobs. The law has also introduced personal bankruptcies for individuals and allows insolvent people to clear debts without the necessity of property seizure. The authors of the bill say it is intended to alter how the country's previously inadequate bankruptcy laws are viewed in Europe.

Opposition questioned by police over flat funding

The funding for opposition Civic Democrat chairman Mirek Topolanek's luxurious Prague flat is being investigated by police after an anonymous report to the district state attorney's office. The complaint suggested that the purchase of Topolanek's 350,000-dollar flat was sponsored by the CEZ power utility company. Financial police are continuing the investigation.

Scottish bakery to build new Czech production hall

The Scottish bakery Lightbody has revealed plans to build a new production hall in the Louny area of north western Bohemia. The company, which supplies goods to international retail chains such as Tesco and Carrefour, wants to begin production at the plant in March of next year. The venture is expected to create around 600 jobs in the region.

Czechs to face Holland in Davis Cup play-offs

The Czech Republic have drawn Holland in the play-offs for a place in the elite world group in tennis's Davis Cup. Czech number one Radek Stepanek is unlikely to return to the Czech team for September's tie: he has had a falling out with team manager Cyril Suk, and says he will not represent the Czech Republic as long as Suk remains in charge.

Dlouhy and Vizner emerge victorious in all-Czech ATP semi-final

The all-Czech semi final of the ATP tennis tournament in Valencia has seen Cyril Suk and his doubles team-mate Petr Pala, who entered the competition as second seeds, knocked out by fourth seeds Lukas Dlouhy and Pavel Vizner. The match, which ended 6:3, 5:7, 10:5, means Dlouhy and Vizner will play either Spain's Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco or David Skoch and Tomas Zib of Ukraine in the final.

Weather

It's going to be mainly cloudy with some sunny spells over the weekend, with temperatures expected to reach around 18 degrees Celsius in some parts.