Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman has concluded his seven-day visit to the United States. Zeman held talks with top US representatives, including president George W. Bush, vice-president Richard Cheney and secretary of state Colin Powell, mainly about the global fight against terrorism and the upcoming NATO summit due to take place in Prague in 2002. One of the main goals of Mr Zeman's journey was to attract American investors to the Czech Republic.
The Czech weekly Respekt has filed a lawsuit against Mr Zeman for his threats to put the periodical out of business. Respekt recently published an article criticising the Czech government for corrupt behaviour. Mr Zeman then said government ministers would sue Respekt for libel and claim such high financial compensation that it would force Respekt to go bankrupt. The cabinet's approach has been criticised by both local and foreign journalists as well as opposition politicians as an attempt to limit the freedom of speech in the Czech Republic.
The Czech national football team lost 1-0 to Belgium in the first leg of a playoff match for the 2002 World Cup on Saturday night. Captain Gert Verheyen scored the winning goal in the 29th minute. The Czechs were reduced to 10 men in the 41st minute when defender Tomas Repka was sent off for elbowing Bart Goor. The Czech Republic now has to beat Belgium by more than one goal at home to be able to qualify for next year's finals in Japan and South Korea. Belgium are bidding for the sixth straight finals, the Czechs last qualified as the then Czechoslovakia in 1990.
The head of the Czech public service television, Jiri Balvin, has been taken to hospital with an eye injury. Balvin reportedly injured himself while working with a circular saw at his weekend cottage. The 48-year old Balvin was elected the general manager of Czech TV on October 31, after he had worked as an acting head of the station for 8 months. He term in office expires in six years.
We are expecting a mostly cloudy day with scattered showers, the highest daytime temperatures should range from 2 to 6 degrees Celsius. Tuesday should be much the same, cloudy with occasional showers, with afternoon highs up to 6 degrees Celsius. Wednesday should be partially cloudy with snow showers and daytime temperatures between zero and 4 degrees Celsius.
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