Daily news summary News

19-12-2005

Paroubek cancels Israel trip

The Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, was forced to cancel a two-day official visit to Israel when his Israeli counterpart, Ariel Sharon, was taken to hospital after suffering a minor stroke. Mr Paroubek, who was due to leave early on Monday morning, had also planned to meet Israel's president, Moshe Katsav, and present the latest Czech made Skoda car on the local market. The visit will be rescheduled, the prime minister's spokesperson said.

Czech Republic grants asylum to 15 from Uzbekistan

The Czech Republic has granted asylum to 15 people from Uzbekistan at the request of the United Nations refugee agency, the UNHCR. The 15 had to leave Uzbekistan after taking part in an anti-government demonstration in the country in May.

Meanwhile, the Czech foreign minister, Cyril Svoboda, has opened a new embassy in the capital of Moldova, Chisenau. Previously, the Czech Embassy in the neighbouring state of Romania was responsible for Czech diplomatic relations in the former Soviet state.

Former bodyguards of fugitive businessman charged

Two boxers who acted as bodyguards for fugitive businessman Radovan Krejcir have been remanded in custody on charges of criminal conspiracy. Roman Kracik and Dan Machacek recently visited Mr Krejcir in the Seychelles, where he fled after escaping from the Czech police. Radovan Krejcir is wanted on charges of plotting the murder of a customs officer and large scale fraud.

Civic Democrats still ahead in polls

The Civic Democrats remain the most popular political party, suggests an opinion poll released on Monday by the STEM agency. The right-of-centre would take 31 percent if elections were held now, followed by the governing Social Democrats on 26 percent. Fourteen percent of those polled said they would vote for the Communist Party. Fifty-one percent said they would cast their ballots.

One year after birth, tests prove first gorilla born in Czech Republic is male

It's a boy! DNA tests have proven that the first gorilla born in the Czech Republic is male. When the gorilla, named Moja, was born in December last year keepers at Prague Zoo believed it was female, but doubts later arose over the primate's gender. Moja and four other gorillas are currently to be seen around the clock on the internet in a gentle parody of "reality" TV programmes.

Czechs return to second in football world rankings

The Czech Republic remain in second place in the rankings of world football's governing body, FIFA. The standings for December were released on Monday, showing Brazil in first place and Holland in third. The Czech team are currently looking forward to next year's World Cup in Germany, the first time the country has reached the competition in 16 years.

Weather

It should continue to snow in many parts of the country, while temperatures in the coming days will reach up to 3 degrees Celsius.

19-12-2005