The Czech team has been defeated 2:3 by France at the Fed Cup World
Group play-offs in Cagnes-Sur-Mer. Though Czech tennis star Nicole
Vaidisova defeated France's Nathalie Dechy, Czech player Lucie Safarova
was beaten by Tatiana Golovin and France also beat the Czechs in the
Nicole Vaidisova was a semi-finalist at last month's French Open where she beat Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo, whose absence from this weekend's tie due to injury has weakened the French team.
Six people were killed and several injured in a bus accident on the D8
motorway near the town of Zdiby close to Prague on Sunday morning. The
police are still investigating the cause of the accident but fire
fighters suspect the bus driver fell asleep behind the wheel. The
vehicle drove through a crash barrier, hit a bridge, and rolled over
into a pitch.
In a separate coach accident in Upper Austria, fourteen people were injured; luckily no-one was killed. The coach carrying Czech tourists returning from a trip to Italy crashed in the town of Freistadt on Saturday night.
Part of a building that was under renovation in the centre of Prague collapsed on Sunday morning but no-one was hurt. The cubist building used to house the popular U Mysaka café and is located on Prague's Vodickova street, just a hundred metres from Wenceslas Square and the frequented Mustek metro station. Emergency workers looked through the rubble with the help of search dogs and it appears no-one was at the site when the building collapsed.
The Foreign Ministry has announced that a convoy for Czech citizens who want to leave Lebanon amid escalating clashes between the Hezbollah movement and Israeli forces will be leaving for Syria on Monday morning. Of the 200 estimated Czechs in Lebanon, some 150 are permanent residents of the country. The ministry recommends that all Czech citizens, who want to leave the country, contact the Czech Embassy in Beirut as soon as possible as the security situation is worsening and similar convoys may soon no longer be possible. A group of Czechs and Lebanese have already fled to safety and arrived in Prague on Sunday morning.
Slovakia's newly elected Robert Fico was in Prague on his first
official foreign visit since becoming prime minister. During talks with
his Czech counterpart Jiri Paroubek, both politicians agreed that
younger generation Czechs and Slovaks are finding it hard to understand
each other's language, even though they lived together as one nation
until 1993. In an effort to change that, more cultural exchanges and TV
programmes in the neighbours' languages are to be introduced.
Mr Fico also met with Czech President Vaclav Klaus at Prague Castle. Among the topics discussed were Czech-Slovak relations and closer cooperation in approaching the traditional foreign markets of the former Czechoslovakia.
Czech authorities have handed over a top ranking Sicilian Mafia member to their Italian counterparts, a Czech police spokesman said on Friday. Forty-four-year old Luigi Putrone was given a life sentence in Italy by a Palermo appeals court in 2003 and according to Italian police was implicated in about 10 murders. Czech police swooped on Mr Putrone, one of 30 most wanted criminals in Italy, in the northern town of Usti nad Labem in August last year. He had been living in the Czech Republic for five years without people being aware of his past. The Italian authorities demanded Mr Putrone's extradition a month later with the Czech ministry of justice approving the application last month.
President Vaclav Klaus said on Friday he expected Civic Democrat chairman Mirek Topolanek to report to him on the state of the coalition talks by the first week of August. On Thursday and Friday President Klaus held separate meetings with the heads of all parties in parliament. Last month President Klaus authorised Mr Topolanek, whose party received the largest share of the votes, to launch talks on a new governing coalition. However, the negotiations have produced no concrete result as both the right and the left have 100 deputies in the 200-member lower house after the June parliamentary elections.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has joined the EU's criticism of the court verdict that sent Belarusian opposition leader Alyaksandr Kozulin, a presidential candidate in this year's election, to prison, the Ministry said in a statement on Friday. Mr Kozulin was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison on Thursday for organising protest rallies against the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko as Belarusian president. The Czech Foreign Ministry said the decision could be viewed as another step in a series of politically motivated repressions against the opponents of the current Belarusian regime.
The outgoing Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has said his Social Democrats
will take a tougher stance in the negotiations with the emerging
centre-right coalition of the Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats and
the Greens. He labelled the three-party coalition as an unviable project
and again called for the establishment of a caretaker government as a way
out of the post-election deadlock.
On Friday, the leader of the Civic Democrats Mirek Topolanek rejected Mr Paroubek's proposal to meet along with President Vaclav Klaus in order to try and find a solution to the stalemate.
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