A group of activists plan to hold a demonstration outside the Iranian embassy in Prague on Friday. The group says it will be protesting, in the name of free speech, against the diplomatic note sent by the Iranian government to the Czech foreign ministry after one of the prophet Mohammed caricatures was re-printed - for illustration purposes - in two Czech newspapers.
President Vaclav Klaus has vetoed a bill on same-sex registered partnerships. The bill was approved, after four failed attempts, by 86 of the 200 deputies in the Lower House of Parliament in December. At a press briefing on Thursday, Mr Klaus stressed that a law that so strongly interferes with human relations ought to be supported by the majority of members of parliament. The President also believes that the bill undermines traditional values and the institution of marriage. His veto can only be overridden if it is supported by at least 101 deputies.
Czech customs officials seized 35 million US dollars in counterfeit banknotes in a container from Vietnam last April, a customs spokesperson said on Wednesday. The Czech National Bank this week said the counterfeit notes were of an extremely poor quality. The consignment was addressed to a Vietnamese citizen - he described it as paper for religious purposes. It has not yet been decided whether the police will investigate the matter.
The Czech film director Jiri Menzel has announced plans to begin filming an adaptation of Bohumil Hrabal's novel I Served the King of England next month. He has been working on a screenplay for the film for several years. Forty years ago Mr Menzel filmed Hrabal's Closely Observed Trains, for which he won an Academy Award in 1967.
The government has asked Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda to propose a meeting of European Union foreign ministers to formulate a common position on the controversy surrounding cartoons of Mohammad. The cabinet also expressed solidarity with Denmark, which has come under pressure from some Islamic countries over the caricatures, which first appeared in a Danish newspaper.
The minister of finance, Bohuslav Sobotka, has said he will file slander charges against Vlastimil Tlusty, finance spokesman for the opposition Civic Democrats. Mr Tlusty had earlier filed charges against the minister, who he accused of putting the interests of the bank CSOB before those of the state.
President Vaclav Klaus has opened an extensive exhibition of Czech Gothic art from the 14th and 15th centuries at Prague Castle. Organisers are expecting large numbers of visitors, and have limited viewing times to 90 minutes per person. Around 170,000 people visited the exhibition at its previous venue, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Czech authorities are stepping up measures to prevent the possible spread of bird flu into the Czech Republic. From Thursday commercial farmers will be banned from allowing birds to move freely outside, while poultry trade fairs and markets will be prohibited from the beginning of next month. The Ministry of Agriculture says there are around 700 large poultry farms in this country.
Meanwhile, the Czech charge d'affaires in Iran Michal Cerny who was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday denies having apologized for a re-print of one of the satirical cartoons in the Czech press. The Czech official said he had merely received an official note of protest from the Iranian Foreign Ministry, but had not extended any apologies. The Iranian newsagency IRNA said on Monday the Czech charge d'affaires had apologized for the conduct of the Czech press. The Czech Foreign Ministry has said it sees no reason to apologize, citing freedom of the press in a democratic country.
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