The Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, is to cut short a visit to Japan in order to meet the president of China, Hu Jintao. Mr Paroubek had been due to leave Japan for China on Sunday but will now set off a day earlier, after a meeting with the Chinese leader was organised at the last minute. The Czech prime minister said it would be mistake not to take the opportunity to meet Hu Jintao, who he described as the second most powerful man in the world.
While in Japan Mr Paroubek has met Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Emperor Akihito; on Friday he took part in Czech national day at the World Expo, which is being held in the city of Aichi.
A lower house deputy for the Social Democrats, Josef Hojdar, has been expelled from the party. The local branch of the Social Democrats in the northern town of Most voted to expel Mr Hojdar at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, saying rules were broken during his election as chairman earlier this year. The government has a majority of just one, but the MP has said he will continue to support it. Several Social Democrats have given their backing to Mr Hojdar, who says he says he will appeal against the expulsion.
The lower house has rejected a proposal to end free flights for MPs within the Czech Republic. The bill, which would also have seen a reduction in expenses on foreign trips, was proposed by Christian Democrat leader Miroslav Kalousek. Social Democrat MP Petr Sulak was one of those who voted down the proposal; he described it as populism.
Increasing numbers of foreigners have been coming to the Czech Republic for fertility treatments, Hospodarske noviny reported on Friday. Assisted reproduction is considerably cheaper here than in neighbouring states Germany and Austria, the paper said, adding that some Czech clinics actively promote their services abroad.
Between 30 and 35 percent of music compact discs sold in the Czech Republic are illegal pirate copies, a spokesperson for the Czech branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said on Friday, as the organisation released an international report on the counterfeiting of music.
Shakespeare's Twelfth Night has been premiered at the annual Shakespeare festival at Prague Castle. Other plays being performed at the outdoor theatre include Hamlet and the Merchant of Venice. The festival, which usually sells out, travels on to Brno and the Slovak capital Bratislava later in the summer.
The greatest Czech footballer of his generation, Pavel Nedved, has extended his contract with Juventus by another two years, meaning he will now stay with the Italian champions until 2008. Nedved, who is 32, is expected to decide during the summer whether to return to the Czech national team.
Meanwhile, Czech defender David Rozehnal has completed a move to France's Paris St Germain from Belgian club Bruges.
Temperatures are due to reach as high as 33 degrees Celsius before a cold front brings rain and some cooling. Forecasters then predict several days of partially cloudy weather with temperatures in the mid 20s.
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