Jakub Janda has become the first Czech ever to win the ski jumping World Cup. He finished just 29th in a competition in the Slovenian resort of Planica on Saturday, but a poor placing by his closest rival meant the Czech could not be overtaken on points. Janda came first in five World Cup competitions during the season, and was joint winner of the prestigious Four Hills event.
The South Korean company Hyundai is actively looking for high-quality accommodation for its managers, despite the fact a deal to open a huge car plant in north Moravia has not yet been finalised, Pravo reported on Saturday. Industry and Trade Minister Milan Urban says he expects a decision on whether the factory will be built in the Czech Republic to be made in April, several months after originally expected.
Dagmar Havlova, the actress wife of former Czech president Vaclav Havel, made her first stage appearance in almost a decade on Friday evening when she appeared in a production of Moment of Truth by US playwright Israel Horovitz. Critics have described the performance at Prague's Vinohradske Divadlo as a resounding success, while Mr Havel said he was very glad his wife had returned to her profession.
The Czech Republic may have to make a huge pay-out after losing an
international arbitration case taken by the Japanese bank Nomura over the
sale of IPB bank. The Czech government put IPB under forced administration
when it collapsed in the year 2000 before selling it to another Czech bank,
CSOB. Nomura, which owned almost half of IPB, said the Czech state had
failed to protect its investment; it is now demanding over one and a half
billion US dollars in compensation. The actual amount it receives will be
set by a second arbitration hearing.
But Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, whose Social Democrats were in power at the time of the sale, said there was no immediate threat of the country having to pay the compensation; he said negotiations would continue and it could take years for the matter to be resolved.
Jiri Vyvadil, who stepped down from his post as judge of the Supreme Court, after being suspended by the justice minister, has been named an honorary advisor by the Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek. Cabinet spokeswoman Lucie Orgonikova said on Friday that Mr Vyvadil would advise the prime minister on issues of law, justice, and the court system, but would not receive a salary. The move came just hours after Mr Vyvadil was suspended, following a recommendation by court chairman Josef Baxa, who has said that Mr Vyvadil had threatened the independence of the judiciary by involving himself in political affairs and meeting secretly with controversial businessman Tomas Pitr - appealing an eight-year prison sentence for tax fraud.
Pharmacy owners meeting with Health Minister David Rath and Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on Friday reached agreement on a changing the profit margin system for medicines along two-tier lines. Until now, pharmacies and distributors have enjoyed a 29-percent margin profit on all medicines. Under the proposed system, the margin for cheaper medicines would be raised to 33 percent, but more expensive medicines would see a drop to just 6 - 10 percent. The health minister has indicated that specialists will meet to further discuss the issue next week.
Tottenham have won a three-way race to sign highly-rated Czech teenager Tomas Pekhart from Slavia Prague. The 16-year-old striker will move to London in July after signing a three-year contract with a further option of two years. Spurs sporting director Damien Comolli told the club's website that two other Premiership clubs had been interested in signing the player.
A new poll released by the STEM polling agency has suggested the Green
Party - not in Parliament - has continued to gain ground ahead of
general elections this year. The survey suggests that if elections were
held tomorrow the Greens would get 9.4 percent of the vote - a marked
jump from earlier polls which showed the party at around 5 or 6
percent. The right-of-centre Civic Democrats continue to top the poll
at 26.7, followed by the left-of-centre Social Democrats at 21.8, and
the Communists at 12.4.
According to the STEM poll the last party to cross Parliament's 5 percent threshold would be the Christian Democrats at 6.1 percent.
The Chamber of Deputies has included provisions in a bill that should further deter the illegal importing of waste to the Czech Republic, raising the upper on fines to up to 50 million crowns - the equivalent of more than 2 million US dollars. The provisions will also allow police to check incoming transport trucks more effectively. The bill will now be discussed by the Senate and assessed by President Vaclav Klaus. According to Czech Environmental Inspection estimates, some 15,000 tonnes of waste were illegally imported from Germany into the Czech Republic in recent months.
The Senate has lifted a previous age restriction for artificial fertilisation in the case of married or common law couples wishing to have children. But, age restrictions will apply for example for anonymous egg or sperm donors, 35 and 40 years of age, respectively. The changes are part of the provision on artificial reproduction in legislation on embryonic cell research. Senators also decided that married couples would not have to undergo an expensive genetic examination procedure that would have complicated efforts in having a child, besides leading to additional expenses. The bill will now go back to the chamber of deputies for reconsideration.
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