Jiri Stajner has been recalled to the Czech Republic football squad, after strikers Jan Koller and Vratislav Lokvenc were ruled out with injury. Experienced midfielder Vladimir Smicer is also out for the country's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Holland and Finland. The Czechs, who are currently second in Group 1, last reached the World Cup in 1990.
The Christian Democrats say a new Criminal Code currently being discussed by the lower house could legalise euthanasia in the Czech Republic. Deputy chairman Jan Kasal said on Friday that while it sets a maximum sentence of six years for assisted suicide, the Code does not fix a minimum sentence; he said this could be used as a roundabout way to allow euthanasia. However, the law's authors dismissed this claim, saying euthanasia will remain illegal under Czech law.
The prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, says if the Czech Republic secures a site for a mooted Hyundai car plant, the South Korean company will invest in the country. On Thursday Mr Paroubek and Hyundia's chief executive visited potential sites in north Moravia. If the plant is built it will produce around 300,000 cars a year and bring at least 3,000 jobs to the region.
Some 200 historical chairs from two imperial chateaus in Vienna will be returned to Austria, 60 years after the end of World War II, said Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda. Austria had been seeking the return of the valuable chairs for some years, after hiding them in a south Moravian chateau for safekeeping during the war.
Almost all of the banknotes found in a raid of the home of fugitive businessman Radovan Krejcir were forgeries, a Czech National Bank spokesperson said on Friday. Police had reported finding billions of crowns in various currencies, but it turns out less than 10 million crowns worth of the notes were genuine. Mr Krejcir is wanted on charges of fraud and conspiracy to murder; he fled the Czech Republic in June and is now in the Seychelles, where he has citizenship.
The Swedish company Modern Times Group has agreed to pay 115 million dollars for a 50-percent stake in Czech commercial channel TV Prima, ending weeks of speculation about the station's future. Prima, previously known as Premiera, has been broadcasting since 1993. It has recently had a big ratings hit with a Big Brother-like "reality show".
The chief executive of South Korean car-maker Hyundai, Chung Mong-Koo, toured a site in the Czech Republic on Thursday, regional governor Evzen Tosenovsky said. The Czech news agency CTK, citing the Korea Economic Daily, reported that Hyundai planned to invest about 1.9 billion dollars in the Czech Republic, building a plant with annual output of 300,000 cars. Czech officials have declined to comment on the report. Quoting an unnamed regional council source, CTK said that two sites at industrial zones in North Moravia were being considered. If Hyundai decide to locate a new plant in the Czech Republic it would be the country's third car plant after Skoda and TPCA, the joint venture between Toyota and PSA Peugeot Citroen which launched production this year.
The Czech Republic's Supreme State Attorney Marie Benesova has been dismissed from office. Ms Benesova was sacked at the request of Justice Minister Pavel Nemec with whom she had long-standing disputes. Although Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek had long backed Ms Benesova in the post, he recently conceded that the ongoing feud was paralyzing his administration. The justice minister has proposed state attorney Renata Vesecka as a suitable replacement. The outgoing Supreme State Attorney, Marie Benesova, has told the CTK news agency that she was given no chance to defend herself in her dispute with Justice Minister Pavel Nemec and that the decision on her dismissal was actually made when she was on holiday abroad.
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