President Vaclav Klaus, on a visit to the US, has met with US Vice-President Dick Cheney at the White House. After talks on Thursday Mr Klaus told reporters the United States had attentively followed the situation in Europe concerning recent German elections. Mr Klaus also said he and the US vice-president discussed Czech aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, as well as such issues as the Middle East, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Earlier, on Wednesday, Mr Klaus met US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The cabinet has approved a controversial new Labour Code draft submitted by Social Democrat Labour and Social Affairs Minister Zdenek Skromach. The coalition Christian Democrats came out against the bill, while the smallest coalition party, the Freedom Union, abstained from the vote. The Christian Democrats said they would vote for the draft if sections regarding powers of trade unions were removed. The draft will now go to the Lower House, where the Social Democrats are likely to appeal to the Communist Party for support. T he current Labour Code has been in force since 1966. In the last fifteen years there have been dozens of amendments added, with experts say the code has become too complicated and unclear. If the draft passes in Parliament and is signed by the President, it will be the biggest change in labour legislation since 1990.
Police have revealed that DNA analysis has confirmed suspect David Lubina's involvement in the murder of a TV technician. Last week TV Nova editor Michal Velisek was shot and killed in Prague after intervening on a woman's behalf. The woman was being threatened by Mr Lubina near Prague's Charles Square. Lubina, who has a history of psychological problems, shot Mr Velisek twice without warning, before escaping the scene. Police have been unable to track him down so far.
The government appointed Vladislav Husak as the new president of Czech police on Thursday. Mr Husak had been acting head of the police since mid-August. The two smaller coalition parties, the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union, expressed reservations over his appointment. Mr Husak, who turns 40 next week, replaces Jiri Kolar who resigned in late June. The former police president stepped down after Czech businessman Radovan Krejcir escaped during a police search of his family villa near Prague.
In related news, Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan has addressed the case of fugitive millionaire Radovan Krejcir, saying on Thursday that it was "99 percent certain" Mr Krejcir was no longer a Czech citizen. The news comes after the ministry studied new documents at its disposal. Mr Krejcir, who is wanted for tax fraud and conspiracy to murder in the Czech Republic, escaped to the Seychelles in mid-summer, but obtained citizenship earlier, in 1996. The Czech Republic has been looking into possibilities for Krejcir's extradition.
Food inspectors have ordered a Czech hypermarket - run by the Dutch chain Ahold - to close its doors immediately after finding the store infested with mice. A spokeswoman for the Agriculture and Food Inspectorate has said the store in the South Bohemian town of Jindrichuv Hradec was ordered to close over concerns over health risks.
Inspectors discovered not only mouse droppings on site, but chewed groceries, and live and dead mice within the entire vicinity. The Dutch chain now faces a possible fine of up to several hundred thousand crowns (the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars).
Ahold Czech Republic, a 99-percent-owned subsidiary of Ahold, has been operating in the Czech Republic since 1991.
Czech footballer Karel Poborsky - until recently captain of the first division's Sparta Prague - has been officially struck from the club's "A-team" list. Sparta's management reached the decision after the star midfielder publicly criticised the team's coach Jaroslav Hrebik. The club said it respected Mr Poborsky's talents, but made clear it would not tolerate such behaviour. The 33-year-old Poborsky is now set to train individually.
Friday should see sunny weather with a daytime temperature of around 22 degrees Celsius.
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