The Czech government has distanced itself from Russia's nomination of former Czech prime minister Josef Tosovsky for the post of managing director of the International Monetary Fund. The Czech Republic has already 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.
The Czech Republic's footballers drew 1:1 with Austria in a friendly game in Vienna on Wednesday night. Their only goal came from Jan Koller, who extended his Czech record goals tally to 49. In September the Czech Republic take on San Marino and Ireland in qualifying matches for next year's European Championships.
The Czech distillers Rudolf Jelinek - famous for the plum-based Slivovice and other types of fruit brandy - have launched their own production of whisky, which should first appear on the market in three years' time. Jelinek distillers have been producing its own whisky, which has the English-language name Gold Cock, for some time. From now on, however, they will also produce the raw-materials by themselves.
Despite having voted for a package of reforms approved in the lower house on Tuesday, Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek has now split with the government on how these reforms should be implemented. Mr. Kalousek proposes a further taxation of employees from 2009 by increasing tax-exemptions; however, the biggest party in the coalition, the Civic Democrats, wants to reduce personal income tax from 15% next year to 12.5% in 2009. The Civic Democrats have rejected Mr Kalousek's proposal, calling it a provocation and violation of the coalition agreement.
Experts from UNESCO have expressed their concern about the planned construction of high-rise buildings on Prague's Pankrac Plain. The committee has recommended Prague to reconsider the building of new skyscrapers, which, according to some conservationists, could harm the city's horizon. The Czech Republic should submit a report on the protection of Prague's historical centre, which was included on the UNESCO world heritage list in 1992, and a plan of building activities at Pankrac district, by the end of January 2008.
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.
Demonstrations held in 11 cities over election of Communist MP Ondráček to chairman post
National Museum discovers fake gems in its collection
Czech Republic caught up in plastic waste disposal crisis in Europe
President Zeman’s Chinese advisor arrested
Growing concern over plight of leading Chinese investor in the Czech Republic