Russia has nominated a former Czech prime minister, Josef Tosovsky, for the post of managing director of the International Monetary Fund. But the current Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolanek, says the Czech Republic does not support Mr Tosovsky; the country has given its backing to a French candidate supported by the EU. The senior IMF post is usually filled by somebody from a large western European state.
Amnesty International says some weapons produced in the Czech Republic are being exported to states which do not respect human rights. The NGO pointed in particular to arms exports last year to Ethiopia, Nigeria, Columbia, Venezuela, Vietnam and Yemen. Amnesty International said what it described as a disquieting situation was not helped by inadequate legislation in the Czech Republic.
In the first half of this year Czech Airlines succeeded in having more of its flights take off on time than any other major airline, a spokesperson for the national carrier said, quoting a report by the Association of European Airlines. CSA finished sixth in annual surveys carried out in 2005 and 2006.
The Czech government has approved the sending of a Czech provincial reconstruction team to Logar in south-eastern Afghanistan. The Czech defence minister, Vlasta Parkanova, said military personnel in the province could work in conjunction with civilian specialists sent by the Czech ministries of foreign affairs, industry and transport. The plan now has to go before parliament.
Masaryk University in the Czech Republic's second city Brno has offered special anti-plagiarism software it developed to other universities in the country, according to press reports Wednesday. In the programme's first year, academics in Brno uncovered 150,000 examples of what may have been copying in written work submitted by students. One student has been expelled from Masaryk University for plagiarism, while four others are being investigated. A number of other Czech universities are considering introducing the system.
Police in the German city of Stuttgart are investigating two men accused of taking part in a massacre of Czech citizens at the end of World War II, TV Nova reported. The two are alleged to have been members of the Hitler Youth when they participated in the killing of 63 Czechs in Velke Mezirici, just one day before the war in Europe was officially ended. Both men are now aged 77.
The Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolanek, says he is against the setting of a concrete target date for adoption of the euro. In an interview for Reuters, Mr Topolanek said if the Czech Republic set a date for adoption this year it might not be able to meet it. The prime minister's position contrasts with that previously stated by the Czech finance minister, Miroslav Kalousek: he had been pushing the cabinet to set 2012 as a target date. However, Mr Kalousek now says he may drop that proposal. The previous Czech government had at one point hoped to introduce the single European currency in 2009.
Petr Cech is to captain the Czech national football team for the first time on Wednesday night, when he and his team-mates take on Austria in a friendly in Vienna. The Chelsea goalkeeper wears the captain's armband in place of Tomas Rosicky, who is injured. On Monday Cech, who is 25, received the "Golden Ball" award for Czech player of the year for the third time.
Forty percent of tourists who visit the Czech Republic have been to the country before, suggests a fresh survey conducted by CzechTourism. The state agency's director Rostislav Vondruska said tourists from neighbouring states made repeated visits more often - and stayed for much longer - than those from further away. One-day visits were not included in the survey.
The centre-right coalition government has blocked a move by Social Democrat and Communist MPs to hold a debate in the lower house on the conduct of state attorneys in a recent corruption case involving Deputy Prime Minister Jiri Cunek. Mr Cunek had been accused of accepting a bribe while he was mayor of the town of Vsetin five years ago, but all charges were subsequently dropped. This was heavily criticised in some quarters with critics alleging that the case had been subject to political interference. The government also blocked a debate on the proposed construction of a US radar base in this country. Parliament is not expected to sit again until the end of September.
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