The Social Democratic Party, the senior partner in the ruling coalition, makes the front pages of all main dailies today. While disagreement within the party over rent and another VAT hike sees Mlada Fronta Dnes lead with a headline reading "Social Democrats in serious crisis," Lidove Noviny and Pravo choose to celebrate the fact that this disagreement will most likely result in the prices of water, sewage collection and tickets to cultural events not being raised.
Among the domestic topics in today's dailies the one that dominates is the likely candidacy of former Environment Minister and current Social Democrat MP Milos Kuzvart for the post of Czech European Commissioner. The papers also pay a good deal of attention to a new clause in the labour code which defines sexual harassment as a criminal offence.
Will a dispute over rights prevent television coverage of the Czech-held 2004 World Ice Hockey Championships? There has been no change at the top of the Czech Extraliga. In football, wonderboy Vaclav Sverkos has made the headlines by getting three goals against the best defence in Germany, while another young Czech sportsman has described his first taste of Formula 1 as "fantastic".
All kinds of different stories make the headlines today: shows an uncompromising Kofi Annan, the U.N. Secretary General, responding strongly to Tuesday apparent suicide attack in Baghdad that killed at least twenty-four and injured over a hundred. Meanwhile, highlights the return of weather-worn German tourists, kidnapped and held for five months by Islamic fundamentalists in Algeria. Reportedly 4.6 million euros were paid out to ensure their safe release.
It seems that once or twice a year a lottery jackpot so high comes along that it sways the country completely with jackpot fever, and now is such a time once again in the Czech Republic. As Radio Prague reports, Czechs will have till Wednesday to stock up on tickets. All it will take are six very lucky numbers to win, for someone to become very, very rich.
The lottery fever gripping the nation makes headlines today, as does news that teachers might strike for just one day instead of three, or perhaps not strike at all. Also on the front pages today, two high-profile murder cases - the killing of a priest by a seemingly unrepentant 29-year-old, and news that a young married couple from Kutna Hora have admitted to murdering eight elderly people for their money - the worst case of serial murder in Czech criminal history.