Daily news summary News

20-12-2004

Svoboda, Shalom discuss EU-Israeli relations

The Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda who is on a three-day official visit to Israel has met his Israeli counterpart Silvan Shalom for talks on the relations between the EU and Israel. After the meeting Mr Svoboda said that every country has a right to defend its territory and its citizens. He also said that the Czech Republic supports the Israeli proposal to add the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah to the European Union's list of terrorist organisations. Mr Svoboda also spoke in favour of an increased participation of the EU and NATO in the Middle East peace process.

Two Pakistanis sentenced for murdering Czech tourists

A court in northern Pakistan has sentenced two men to life imprisonment for murdering two Czech tourists in 2001, a state attorney said on Monday. Czech national Peter Polasek and his girlfriend, Gabriela Gubicova, were murdered in Gupis town, 126 kilometres west of Gilgit on April 26, 2001. The court sentenced Aqeel Khan to 25 years' rigorous imprisonment - a legal term which means the convict must do hard labour while in jail - for murder and 10 years for robbery. The other defendant, Daulat Shah, is still at large and received the same sentences in absentia. According to a district attorney officer the government will appeal against the decision of the district court and press for capital punishment for the convicts.

Palas to run for Social Democrat chairman at March congress

The Agriculture Minister Jaroslav Palas has said he will run for the post of deputy chairman of the Social Democrats at the party's congress in March. The two candidates for the post of chairman are the acting head of the party, Prime Minister Stanislav Gross and the Labour and Social Affairs Minister Zdenek Skromach. After a series of election defeats, the ruling coalition party's leadership says it needs to find strong personalities who would come up with a new programme and present it to the voters.

Czech police detain 19 illegal refugees from China

Czech police say they have detained 19 illegal immigrants from China together with two smugglers at the Bila-Konecna border crossing between the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The 18 men and one woman were found hiding in the boot of a van by police who were checking the vehicle, a police spokeswoman said. A week ago police in the region detained 10 illegal immigrants from Asia.

"Pendolino" express train to carry first passengers

Czech Railways' new express train, the "Pendolino", will carry its first passengers during a test ride on Thursday. A spokesman for Czech Railways said the company will test the train on several regular express routes in the coming months to complete its trial operation. As of next December, the Italian-made Pendolino is expected to be used on international lines. The train's speed record in the Czech Republic is 237 kilometres per hour.

Plzen midfielder Limbersky on loan to Spurs

Plzen midfielder David Limbersky has been loaned to English Premier League side Tottenham, the player confirmed on Monday. The 21-year-old Limbersky will join the London based club on December 28 from second division Plzen. Limbersky is the sixth Czech player to play in the English Premier League after Liverpool striker Milan Baros and midfielder Vladimir Smicer, Chelsea goal-keeper Petr Cech and Portsmouth midfielder Patrik Berger. Defender Vaclav Drobny also features in Aston Villa's reserve team.

Weather

The weather should remain partly cloudy with snow expected in the mountains in the West of the country. Daytime temperatures should stay slightly below zero degrees Celsius.

20-12-2004