News

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Czech prime minister on official visit to Brazil

The Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, on an official visit to Brazil, has met with the country's president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Mr Paroubek and President Lula met on Friday, discussing economic issues as well as domestic and foreign policy - with Mr Paroubek revealing plans for the Brazilian president to visit Prague in the coming months. The Czech prime minister stressed support for Brazil's effort to gain permanent member status in the United Nations Security Council, saying he expected that Brazil would show similar support for the Czech Republic, aspiring to become a Security Council elected member.

Oil slick on Elbe raises concerns both in Germany - and Czech Rep

Specialists on Friday were called in to lay protective floating barriers around an oil slick discovered on the Elbe River. The slick has raised environmental concerns in both the Czech Republic and neighbouring Germany. 500 litres and 15 kilometres long, the slick was discovered on Friday morning near the north Bohemian city of Usti nad Labem, near the Czech-German border. The Ministry of Environment and Agriculture in the eastern German state of Saxony said it had been informed by the Czechs' steps to contain the spill. Exact causes of the contamination are not yet known, but it is possible the leak came either from a damaged pipeline or a freighter or truck accident. It is also possible the source of the slick was a leak from any of a number of chemical plants on the Elbe River.

Communist Party launches campaign following 'top' communist clash

The Communist Party has officially launched its campaign towards this year's national election to be held in June, criticising the country's largest opposition party, the right-of-centre Civic Democrats, currently leading in opinion polls. Party head Vojtech Filip indicated that the current government coalition leaders, the left-of-centre Social Democrats, have far more in common on policy issues, and there are indications the Communist Party would be willing to support a future minority Social Democrat government following elections in June.

All the same, this week saw former Communist Party leader Miroslav Grebenicek clash with his successor Mr Filip, whom he criticised for being too soft on the Social Democratic Party - in government now for two successive terms. The Communist Party officially announced its campaign on Saturday at Prague's Congress centre but its former chairman Miroslav Grebenicek was notably absent.

NHL Hockey: Hemsky buries San Jose with 67 seconds left

In NHL action on Friday Czech player Ales Hemsky, a member of the Czechs' recent Bronze-medal team at the Turin Winter Olympics, was instrumental in helping his team, the Edmonton Oilers bury the San Jose Sharks. Hemsky scored the decisive goal with 1:07 left in the third period, cheekily sidestepping defenseman Josh Gorges and scoring artfully on San Jose's goalie, by sliding the puck between his pads. The Oilers' 3-2 win snaps a four-game losing streak, leaving the team momentarily in position to clinch an eighth and final play-off spot in the Western Conference.

Weather

Sunny weather is expected in Prague on Sunday with daytime temperatures expected to reach around 2 degrees Celsius.