Daily news summary News

17-08-2004

Gross will dismiss Pribyl only if proof emerges he beat up protesters

Prime Minister Stanislav Gross has said he will dismiss Pavel Pribyl, his controversial choice as head of the Office of the Government, if it is proven that Mr Pribyl beat up demonstrators while a member of a communist police unit in January 1989. Mr Gross made the pledge to film director Bretislav Rychlik, one of a group of artists and former dissidents who called for Mr Pribyl's sacking outside the Office of the Government on Tuesday morning. Speaking in the daily Mlada fronta Dnes Pavel Pribyl admitted leading the riot unit, but said he himself had not been on the front lines.

Gross, Kalousek disagree over children's allowance

As talks continue on the policy programme of the new government, the leader of the Christian Democrats, Miroslav Kalousek, said the introduction of state allowances for all children was extremely unlikely. His statement contradicts Prime Minister Gross, who said on Monday that children's allowances for all had been agreed on. The coalition is expected to publish its joint programme on Thursday.

Well-known lawyer gets suspended sentence for blackmail

Well-known lawyer Kolja Kubicek has been given a two-year sentence suspended for four years, after being found guilty of blackmail. The Prague 6 District Court heard that he had told a plaintiff that if he did not withdraw a charge against a client of Mr Kubicek's he would be involved in a car crash, or would be accused of drug dealing. The lawyer, who has defended contract killer Jiri Kajinek and former Communist politician Karel Hoffmann, immediately appealed the verdict.

Berdych win brightens disappointing day for Czech competitors in Athens

An unseeded Czech tennis player, Tomas Berdych, age 18, has upset world number one Roger Federer in three sets, beating the Wimbledon champion 6-4 5-7 5-7 in the second round match on Tuesday. Berdych will now play Spain's 15th seed, Tommy Robredo, in the next round. Meanwhile, Czech tennis number one Jiri Novak has been knocked out in the second round at the Olympic Games in Athens; Novak was beaten 4-6 3-6 by Mikhail Youzhny of Russia on Tuesday. Meanwhile, shooter Martin Tenk, who took bronze at the Sydney Olympics, failed to reach the final in the 50 metres free pistol event. And the last Czech table tennis player in Athens, Petr Korbel, was knocked out in the third round.

Ruzicka to manage Czech hockey team after tragic death of Hlinka

Vladimir Ruzicka will coach the Czech ice hockey team at the forthcoming World Cup, following the tragic death of Ivan Hlinka on Monday. The 1998 Olympic winning Czech team coached by Hlinka was captained by Ruzicka, and the two men were good friends. The Czech Extraliga is expected to start a week later than planned, to accommodate Ruzicka, who coaches the club Slavia Prague.

Weather

Wednesday is expected to be a bright day with the chance of rain or even storms in places. Temperatures should range from 28 to 32 degrees Celsius.

17-08-2004