The state-owned air carrier Czech Airlines has denied allegations published in Saturday's issue of the popular tabloid Blesk that it had paid for a recent private stay of Labour and Social Affairs Minister Zdenek Skromach in New York. The paper writes that Minister Skromach stayed in a hotel where Czech Airlines has an open account to accommodate its crews. Mr Skromach denied the accusation and said it was smear campaign. At a news conference on Saturday afternoon, Mr Skromach produced receipts to prove he had paid for the family trip himself.
An elderly man was killed on Saturday morning after he was hit by the Pendolino high-speed train on the Prague to Ostrava route near the town of Kolin. The driver was unaware of the collision until the train arrived at a station where remnants of a human body were found on its front. Police are investigating whether the 78-year-old man was killed while crossing the tracks or whether he committed suicide.
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek is to visit Norway and Denmark next week. He is due to meet his counterparts and other officials and he will also be received by Denmark's Queen Margarethe II. Prime Minister Paroubek will meet Czech expatriates in the Norwegian capital Oslo and in the Danish capital Copenhagen he is going to hold talks with businessmen investing in the Czech Republic.
Jakub Janda has become only the second Czech ever to win the Four Hills ski jumping tournament. Janda shared victory with Finland's Janne Ahonen when both men finished equal on points on Friday; it was the first time a tie was recorded in the Four Hills competition, which this year was seen as a warm-up for the Turin Winter Olympics. The only other Czech to win the prestigious ski jumping tournament was Jiri Raska, in 1971.
Culture Minister Vitezslav Jandak has signed a contract allowing a controversial revolving theatre in the park of Cesky Krumlov's castle and chateau to remain in place for at least two more years. It had been due to be removed this year after protests from preservationists, who say it does not belong in the Baroque park.
Three teenagers at a home for problem children in Boletice, north Bohemia have been accused of planning to kill one of their supervisors and escape from the institution. The three were being held in a special section for perpetrators of murder and other violent crimes. As they are under the age of 15 the boys cannot be prosecuted.
Czech Railways is gradually decreasing the number of conductors on its trains, Mlada fronta Dnes reported. In an effort to save money, the company has increased the number of trains on which passengers stamp their own tickets in special machines. A quarter of Czech Railways routes - mostly in the regions - are now without conductors.