- A dispute has arisen between the prime minister and the president over the protocol of a visit to Prague by Vladimir Putin.
- A Czech farmers group has called for a ban on the transport of poultry within the European Union.
- Czech ice hockey star Jaromir Jagr has set a record for the most NHL points by a European player.
Paroubek, Klaus clash over protocol of Putin visit
A dispute has arisen between Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek and President Vaclav Klaus over the protocol of a visit to Prague by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Just before Mr Putin arrived this week, Mr Paroubek said cabinet ministers would not sign a treaty with Russia at the president's office at Prague Castle; he insisted that the ceremony take place at the Office of the Government a day later. In the end, however, the prime minister backed down and the signing took place at the Castle. The president's office has accused Mr Paroubek of attempting blackmail, while he said it had behaved incorrectly.
Trust in public institutions up, suggests poll
Meanwhile, trust in public institutions has increased, suggests a poll carried out by the CVVM agency last month. Three-quarters of respondents said they trusted the president, up five percent on the beginning of the year. Some 44 percent said they had faith in the government, an increase of three percent.
Farmers group call for ban on transport of poultry within EU
A Czech farmers group has called for a ban on the transport of poultry within the European Union. The South Moravian Agrarian Chamber also wants the state to make so-called "intervention purchases" of Czech poultry, and says the importing of cheap poultry into the Czech Republic could pose a health risk. A spokesperson for the ministry of agriculture said its priority was to support sales by reassuring customers that Czech poultry was safe. No cases of bird flu have been recorded in the Czech Republic, but it has been detected in some neighbouring states.
Czech Olympic Committee suing three companies over copyright
The Czech Olympic Committee is suing three companies for alleged copyright infringement. It says energy drink maker Tecfood broke the law by featuring the Olympic rings on its cans without authorisation. The Czech Olympic Committee is also taking the brewery Litovel to court for breach of copyright, and is planning to sue another brewery, Budejovicky Budvar, in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee.
Czech scientists develop vaccine against middle ear infection
Czech scientists have developed a vaccine which could reduce middle ear infection. Researchers from the University of Defence in Hradec Kralove said the vaccine they tested against middle ear infection reduced cases of illness by about 30 percent in babies who had been vaccinated in the first six months of life. The university has developed the drug for the company GlaxoSmithKline.
Jagr reaches 1,400 points in NHL career
Czech ice hockey star Jaromir Jagr has now notched up 1,400 points in the NHL, the highest number ever for a European player. He made one assist and scored two goals in the New York Rangers 6:1 defeat of Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. Meanwhile, Jagr has questioned the Czech team's preparations for the Turin Winter Olympics; he said insufficient back-up for the players was one reason he had quit international hockey.
Weather forecasters have warned of strong winds over the next few days: they could reach up to 90 km an hour in the mountains. Otherwise it should be cloudy with some sunny spells and temperatures of up to 4 degrees Celsius.