Documentary film maker Helena Trestikova is likely to be named culture
minister in a government currently being formed by Civic Democrat
leader Mirek Topolanek, the website Ceska media reported. Ms Trestikova
would represent the Christian Democrats in the coalition, which would
also include the Green Party. The three parties signed a coalition deal
on Thursday, although the alliance is one vote short of a majority and
would need the support of at least one rebel left-wing deputy. The
grouping already lost one confidence vote.
The Czech Republic has been without a stable government since elections in June ended in stalemate.
Final preparations are being made for a big New Year's Eve concert at the top of Prague's Wenceslas Square. Almost 200 singers and musicians, including Karel Gott, are set to take part in the event, entitled Mejdan roku (Party of the Year). Organisers say they expect around 50,000 people to attend the show, which is being broadcast live on television.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has welcomed the execution of the former dictator of Iraq Saddam Hussein. In a statement the Ministry said his death was an important historic milestone and represented at least partial satisfaction for the families of Saddam's victims. In the short term his killing could cause instability in Iraq, but in the long term the end of the era of Saddam Hussein will move the country closer to stability and democracy, it said. Though the death penalty contradicts European values his execution should be looked at from the perspective of Iraq today, said the Foreign Ministry.
A Russian man who caused a plane to make an emergency landing in Prague has been remanded in custody. Yevgenii Dogayev has been charged with threatening air space security and breaching aviation regulations. On Thursday Mr Dogayev, who witnesses said was drunk, attempted to enter the cockpit of a plane flying from Moscow to Geneva before being tackled and tied up by fellow passengers. He faces up to 15 years in prison if found guily.
Some 33,000 pupils suffered injuries at school during the last academic year, according to figures just released by the Czech schools inspectors body. Two-thirds of those injuries were sustained at primary schools. A spokesperson for the inspectors organisation told Lidove noviny it was difficult to say whether the figures are high, as the survey had been carried out for the first time.
The lawyer for a hospital orderly who killed eight patients has said a definitive ruling has not yet been made regarding his client's sanity. Media reports on Friday suggested Petr Zelenka had been deemed sane and therefore responsible for his actions. However, lawyer Jan Herout told Saturday's Pravo that the speed of the assessment suggested it was dubious, adding that his client had the right to a second opinion. Mr Zelenka admitted in early December to using a blood-thinning drug to kill eight patients at a hospital in Havlickuv Brod, east Bohemia.
Former world number one women's tennis star Martina Hingis is to marry
Czech tennis player Radek Stepanek. The 26-year-old Hingis confirmed
news of her engagement at a media conference at the Gold Coast on
Friday where she is preparing to play the Australian women's hardcourt
championships. Hingis said 28-year-old Stepanek, ranked 19 in the
world, had proposed to her in Prague last month but it was not until
she arrived in Australia that anyone noticed her diamond ring.
Hingis dominated women's tennis in the late 1990s before ankle and foot injuries forced her into early retirement in 2002. She took three years off before making a comeback last year, finishing the season ranked in the world's top 10.
Stepanek will make a comeback of his own at next week's Australian men's hardcourt championships in Adelaide. He reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon this year but has not played since after suffering injury.
Czech authorities have charged a Russian national for endangering an aircraft's safety, which forced the Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Geneva to make an emergency landing on Thursday. The Russian Airbus A-320 landed safely at Prague's international airport, with emergency crews standing by. Of the 178 people on board, including crew, no one suffered injury. The Russian man, reportedly under the influence of alcohol, allegedly tried to force his way into the flight deck, before being overpowered by passengers and members of the crew. The man is now to be held in custody. If found guilty he could face between eight to fifteen years in prison.
A Czech national wanted by police in connection with a fatal accident in the town of Kladno, near Prague, on Thursday, is reportedly no longer in the Czech Republic. According to police, 21-year-old David Skalkos left for Great Britain on Thursday evening, hours after a vehicle registered in his name was involved in a fatal hit-and-run. The accident resulted in the death of a 14-year-old girl. Czech officials have have passed on information to the British police.
On Thursday evening some twenty-four people from a total of twelve apartments were evacuated from their building by fire fighters after a fire broke out in the evening hours. Eight people suffered from smoke inhalation but there were no fatalities. Two are in serious condition. The fire caused an estimated 800,000 crowns in damages.