News

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Belarus must be pressured to negotiate with opposition, says Svoboda

The Czech foreign minister, Cyril Svoboda, says it is necessary to maintain continuous political pressure on Belarus to negotiate with the country's opposition. Mr Svoboda said Sunday's presidential elections in Belarus, which President Alexander Lukashenko is widely predicted to win, were not democratic.

The Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, said he was not enthusiastic about Mr Lukashenko's expected victory, but said it was very much an internal matter for Belarus.

Paroubek: compensation to Nomura could be nominal amount

Speaking on a TV debate programme on Sunday, Prime Minister Paroubek also said the Czech Republic may just have to pay token compensation to Japan's Nomura bank. An international arbitration court ruled that the Czech state had failed to protect Nomura's investment in the Czech bank IPB, and it is now seeking over one and a half billion US dollars in compensation. The actual amount Nomura will receive is to be set by a second arbitration hearing.

Social Democrats expel second member over corruption arrests

A Social Democrat politician has been kicked out of the party after being accused of corruption. The local branch of the party in Velke Mezirici expelled Josef Laznicka just over a week after he and six other people were arrested on charges of bribe giving and receiving. The head of the Velke Mezirici Social Democrats said the case could have harmed the party in general elections due to take place in June.

Mr Laznicka, who worked at the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure, is the second person to have lost his party membership over the affair: last week lobbyist Frantisek Vybiral was expelled by the Olomouc branch.

Czech troops to monitor Kabul airport from December

Czech troops are to monitor the airport in the Afghan capital Kabul for four months starting in December, the Czech Army chief of staff Pavel Stefka said after a meeting with a senior NATO official. He said a team of 50 Czech soldiers - including de-mining experts and meteorologists - would be in charge of both civilian and military flights in Afghanistan.

Janda pulls out of last competition of season after taking World Cup

After on Saturday becoming the first ever Czech to win the ski jumping World Cup, Jakub Janda pulled out of the final competition of the season in the Slovenian resort of Planica. Janda said he didn't want to take an unnecessary risk by jumping on Sunday when it was very windy.

Jagr back on top of NHL's points table

Czech ice hockey star Jaromir Jagr has returned to the top of the NHL points table with one goal and three assists in the New York Rangers 5:2 defeat of Toronto. But Jagr said after Saturday's game that he was uninterested in statistics, and his only aim was to help Rangers reach the play-offs.

Weather

It should be cloudy with some sunny spells over the next few days. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 10 degrees Celsius.