Daily news summary News

19-06-2006

Coalition support talks: Topolanek rejects Paroubek's conditions

The leader of the right-of-centre Civic Democrats, Mirek Topolanek has said he rejected the conditions set by Social Democrat leader Jiri Paroubek for his party's support. The Civic Democrats are trying to form a coalition with two smaller parties, but the three would be one seat short of a majority in the lower house and would need the Social Democrats' support to win a vote of confidence in Parliament. Jiri Paroubek, whose Social Democrats came second in recent elections, has said he would not rule out supporting a government led by the election's winners if they reconsidered their plans for a flat tax and the privatisation of public services.

Mr Toplanek and Mr Paroubek are scheduled to hold further talks at the end of the week.

Independent Democrats file complaint against elections with Supreme Court

The Independent Democrats, led by TV magnate turned politician Vladimir Zelezny, have filed a complaint with the Supreme Court in Brno against Czech TV's pre-election coverage. In the weeks prior to the elections, Czech Television aired a series of debates with leaders of the parties taking part in the election. The Independent Democrats, a smaller party, say they were not given the same amount of opportunity to promote their agenda as representatives of larger parties.

Vaclav Havel and Desmond Tutu urge UN to pass resolution against Burmese dictatorship

Former Czech president Vaclav Havel and South African Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu have urged the United Nations to pass a resolution against Burma's human rights violations. Burma has been under a military dictatorship since 1962. In a letter sent to the UN, the two peace activists say that the lack of international action gives regimes like the military regime in Burma a "sense of impunity". The letter was sent on the occasion of the 61 birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese pro-democracy activist and Nobel Peace Laureate who has been under house arrest or similar forms of detention for over a decade.

Police find body of missing 5-year old boy

Police say they have found the body of a little boy, who had been missing since last week. An extensive search operation was launched after five-year old Matej disappeared without a trace on board a train. The little boy was travelling with his mother. He walked off to the restroom by himself and never returned. The police found his body close to the railway tracks near the Moravian city Olomouc and suspect he had fallen out of the train.

July 19 designated as Equal Opportunities for Women and Men Day

Czech NGOs have joined their counterparts from Poland, Austria, Denmark, and Spain to mark July 19 as a day promoting equal opportunities for women and men. The day is marked for the first time this year and was designated by the Czech Gender Studies organisation. With various events and information campaigns, attention is brought to the different roles that men and women play at the work place and in the family.

Czech President celebrates 65th birthday

Czech President Vaclav Klaus is celebrating his 65th birthday on Monday. Mr Klaus will be spending the day with friends and family at Prague Castle. His spokesman Petr Hajek has not revealed further details of the President's birthday plans.

Investigation of assault on Communist MP postponed

The police have postponed an investigation into an assault on a Communist Party representative. In Late April, several attackers beat Jiri Dolejs to the ground and kicked him in the head, while chanting anti-Communist slogans. Mr Dolejs suffered an injury to his eye and bruises to his face and ribs and he is scheduled to undergo a second operation on his retina in the summer. The police have not been able to identify Mr Dolejs' assailants.

Thailand's King Rama shortens prison sentences for two Czech convicted drug traffickers

Two Czech prisoners, who were found guilty of drug trafficking in Thailand in 1996, have been granted amnesty by King Rama IX and will be serving less time. The 42-year sentence for thirty year-old Emil Novotny has been reduced by six years and Radek Hanykovics' 25-year sentence by 3.5 years. Both men were transferred to Czech prisons in 2003 but Mr Hanykovics has not served his time for reasons of ill health.

Man survives lightning strike

A young man in west Bohemia has miraculously survived a lightning strike. The 20 year old man was at a swimming pool when the sky suddenly turned black and the young man was struck by lightning, witnesses have reported. He complained of pains in his legs and was rushed to a local hospital, where he is still in care.

Weather

The next few days will be warm but heavy rain and occasional thunder storms are expected to sweep across the country at the beginning of the week. Day temperatures should reach up to 29 degrees Celsius.

19-06-2006