The Czech rail system will grind to a halt for half an hour on Thursday; the Federation of Train Drivers is calling a strike between noon and 12:30 in protest against a new labour code. The high-speed Pendolino will be the only train running during the strike; rail workers will read a statement detailing their grievances to its passengers.
Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych has reached the quarter-finals in the Indian Wells Masters Series, after beating two-time winner Lleyton Hewitt 7-5 6-3. The 20-year-old Czech faces Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in the next round. Last year Berdych caused an upset by winning the Paris Masters, the biggest Czech success in tennis in some years.
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek says he would like to become president of the Czech Republic in the future. In an interview in Wednesday's Mlada fronta Dnes Mr Paroubek also said he was in favour of the public being allowed to vote directly for president, instead of the current system in which the post is decided by both houses of parliament.
The Czech Republic is to introduce registered partnerships for gay and lesbian couples, after the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday overturned a previous veto by President Vaclav Klaus. One hundred and one of 177 deputies present - the bare minimum - voted to overturn the president's veto. The Czech Republic becomes the first former Eastern Bloc state to fully legalise registered partnerships for homosexuals.
The Czech-language radio station Radio Cesko has begun broadcasting on the FM frequency of the BBC World Service in the Czech Republic. Radio Cesko, part of public broadcaster Czech Radio, can be heard on the BBC frequency between 8 and 11 am and 1 and 4 pm seven days a week. The change follows the complete closing down of the Czech BBC at the end of last month after over 65 years on the air.
The lower house of Parliament has also postponed a vote on the same-sex
registered partnership bill until Wednesday. The bill already passed
through both houses of Parliament but was vetoed by President Vaclav
Klaus and sent back to the lower house. A majority of 101 votes is
needed to override the president's veto. The Social Democrats pushed
through a proposal to postpone the vote as two of their deputies, who
support the bill, were unable to attend Tuesday's vote.
If approved, gays and lesbians would - among other things - have the right to enquire about their partner's state of health and inherit property from their partners.
Three people were killed and two other injured in a fire which broke out early on Tuesday morning in a workers' hostel in the Prague district of Zlicin. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined. Another person died in a separate accident in the northern town of Liberec when the storage room of a petrol station caught fire on Tuesday morning.