Former President Vaclav Havel is being tipped as one of the favourites to win this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Mr Havel, nominated for the eighth time, is among three leading candidates for the prize along with Pope John Paul II and the Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Most observers believe the ailing Pope will win; however some believe the pontiff's views on abortion and the use of condoms against AIDS make him too controversial. There are a record 165 nominees this year: the winner will be announced at 9:00 GMT on Friday.
Franz Ulrich Kinsky, a descendant of the Kinsky noble family, has lost two further court cases involving property confiscated after the Second World War. A court in the northern town of Decin rejected Mr Kinsky's claim that he was the rightful owner of a hunting lodge and a restaurant. Franz Kinsky has filed a total of 157 lawsuits against the Czech state, asking the courts to declare him the legal owner of property including country homes and woodland. Most of the property was confiscated after 1945 from Mr Kinsky's late father, an alleged Nazi sympathiser who died before the war. However Mr Kinsky says the property belonged to him, not his father, and the confiscation was therefore illegal.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic has risen to its highest level in seven months, reflecting the slow rate of growth in the nation's economy. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs said the registered jobless rate rose to 10.1 percent in September from 10.0 percent in August and was up from 9.4 percent in September 2002. This was the highest level since February 2003, when the registered jobless rate stood at 10.2 percent.
Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has begun a two-day official visit to Bulgaria with talks with his Bulgarian counterpart Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the country's former king. Mr Spidla is in Bulgaria to boost trade and bilateral relations. A government spokesman said the Czech Republic saw Bulgaria as a stabilising factor in the Balkans, and supported the country's bid to join NATO and the European Union. Mr Spidla is being accompanied by Trade and Industry Minister Milan Urban and Agriculture Minister Jaroslav Palas, as well as a large delegation of Czech businessmen. Meanwhile President Vaclav Klaus has ended his three-day state visit to neighbouring Hungary.
The second of three policemen killed in a car accident at the weekend has been buried a few kilometres from where the accident happened, in the eastern town of Cesky Tesin. Hundreds of people, including Interior Minister Stanislav Gross and Police President Jiri Kolar, attended the funeral of 42-year-old Tadeas Matuszek, the senior officer on duty at the time of the crash. The accident, caused by a drunk businessman apparently racing his friend, happened at the end of a week-long crackdown on bad driving. Police later announced that the driver had 34 previous convictions for driving offences, including speeding and drink-driving.
Friday will be another cold and overcast day, with rain and showers in places. Western parts of the country will see brief sunny periods. Temperatures in the daytime will reach highs of 15 degrees Celsius, falling at night to lows of 7 degrees.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”