A vote to choose the next president of the Czech Republic should begin on February 7 or 8 next year, the chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, Miloslav Vlcek, said on Wednesday. Those dates are at the start of the period set for the vote by the Czech constitution. Speaking after talks with the present president, Vaclav Klaus, Mr Vlcek said, however, that a concrete date had not yet been agreed. President Klaus, who is 66, plans to stand for re-election; no other candidates have yet been declared.
A prosecutor in the 1950 show trial of Milada Horakova has spoken out against her own prosecution on charges of judicial murder. Ludmila Brozova-Polednova told Lidove noviny that she had done no wrong by pressing charges against Horakova, who was falsely charged with treason and espionage. The woman insisted that Milada Horakova, who was exonerated after the fall of communism, had in fact been guilty. Ms Brozova-Polednova, who is 86, is one of only two surviving actors in what was one of Czechoslovakia's most notorious show-trials; Milada Horakova was the only woman to be executed for political reasons under the Communists.
The Czech Republic's second city Brno is planning to hold regular festivals dedicated to the composer Leos Janacek, starting in 2008. The city's National Theatre will organise the new bi-annual festival. However, it is not the first Janacek's Brno; that was held in 2004 to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of the composer, who spent much of his life in the Moravian capital.
A 40-year-old man faces charges of attempted murder after trying to arrange the contract killing of a workmate on the internet. Police said the man, a researcher from Nymburk, used a woman's name and internet cafes as he tried to set up the killing of a 52-year-old colleague with a Prague company. The firm alerted the police, who managed to identify the man.
The authorities in Prague have launched a system aimed at stopping taxi drivers overcharging passengers. Signs bearing the English words Fair Place appear at taxi ranks where special officials are meant to guarantee that drivers do not charge more than the set fare of CZK 28 (USD 1.40) a kilometre. Almost half of the city's 121 taxi ranks already have so-called administrators. One exception is a rank on Old Town Square, where the administrator is in a legal dispute with Prague Town Hall after being fired for failing to prevent overcharging.
Hundreds of scouts around the Czech Republic have been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the scouting movement. One event involved 60 Czech scouts meeting 40 from Poland on the highest mountain in the Czech Republic, Snezka. There have also been scouts' gatherings on other Czech mountains, including Praded, Bezdez and Blanik.
Prague's Grobe Villa is set to reopen to the public after renovation with a vinobrani wine festival next month. The Prague 2 villa is surrounded by some of the only vineyards in the Czech capital. The beautiful building, which was completed in 1888, will mainly serve as a training centre for judges and lawyers, though it also contains a concert hall run by the Prague 2 local authority.
The group of last 70 members of the 10th Czech contingent deployed within
the peacekeeping mission in Kosovo have landed at Prague's Ruzyne Airport.
The soldiers have been replaced with a new contingent that is to operate
there until next January.
The Czech Republic has been participating in the Kosovo mission since 1999. The main task of the Czech troops is to maintain stability and democracy and pass greater responsibility to the local authorities. Some 440 soldiers take part in the mission, including 28 women.