The number of Czechs unaccounted for in the wake of the Indian Ocean
disaster has dropped to thirteen, eight of the missing are feared dead.
The Czech Republic has only one confirmed casualty so far - a 24 year old
News of an alleged second Czech casualty have not been confirmed. The
Czech ambassador to Bangkok Jiri Sitler said on Saturday that attempts to
identify the body had failed and that a DNA test would be necessary.
Meanwhile, experts have been taking DNA samples from relatives of the eight Czechs believed to have died. They will be sent to the affected region in order to aid the identification process. The Czech Foreign Ministry has now openly acknowledged the possibility that the bodies of some Czech victims may already have been buried in mass graves.
The Czech retail watchdog intends to slap the French supermarket giant Carrefour with a heavy fine for misleading shoppers in a major post-Christmas sale campaign. The director of the Czech Trade Inspectorate Jiri Pekny said Carrefour was guilty of breaking the consumers law by announcing price cuts from inflated initial prices and charging customers more than the advertised sale prices at check-outs. Trade inspectors visited the company's ten stores in the Czech Republic after receiving hundreds of complaints from customers in a single day. Carrefour denies the allegations.
The Czech public has donated 160 million crowns in aid to south-east Asia, the biggest collection to help overseas disaster victims in the history of the Czech Republic. The Czech government has contributed 15 million crowns in aid and pledged another 200 million for reconstruction of the stricken region.
The child sexual abuse charges against choirmaster Bohumil Kulinsky have been extended to include the testimonies of several more girls. According to the Mlada Fronta Dnes daily the new witnesses include a girl who earlier told the media that she had had sex with Kulinsky when she was only twelve. The police have questioned hundred of girls who passed through the prestigious Bambini di Praga choir and say they have serious evidence against Kulinsky. The choirmaster, who has been in custody since late November, denies the charges. The choir which Kulinsky has headed since 1976 is made up of girls and boys aged 12 to 19. It performs with leading Czech and international orchestras and performs abroad several times a year.
Telephone surveillance is not more common in the Czech Republic than in other European countries, according to a new report presented by police chief Jiri Kolar and Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan on Friday. It was commissioned on the instigation of President Vaclav Klaus, after a number of high profile cases of alleged phone tapping. Civic Democrat MP Jiri Bily says the study is not objective or independent because it was carried out by the police themselves; he has called on the Justice Ministry to begin a fresh inquiry.
The number of Czech citizens still unaccounted for in the wake of the
Indian Ocean disaster fell to 13 on Friday. Seven of those who are
missing are believed dead, though only one Czech fatality - a
24-year-old woman - has been confirmed so far.
Meanwhile, experts from the Prague police have been taking DNA samples from relatives of the seven Czechs believed to have died, the daily Pravo reported on Friday. The results of the DNA tests will be sent to the affected region, where they will be compared with tests carried out on victims of the disaster.
The Czech public has donated almost 150 million crowns (around 5 million euros) to relief in Southeast Asia. A spokesperson for aid agency People in Need said it was the biggest collection to help overseas disaster victims in the history of the Czech Republic. The Czech government has sent 15 million crowns in aid, and pledged another 200 million for redevelopment in the region.
The Czech supermodel, Petra Nemcova, who survived the tsunami disaster in Thailand with serious injuries, will arrive in Prague on Thursday night. The 25-year-old swimsuit model held onto a palm tree for eight hours before she could be rescued and taken to hospital with a pelvic fracture and internal injuries. Petra Nemcova will continue her recovery in the Czech Republic. Her boyfriend, British photographer Simon Atlee, is still missing.
A second group of children who survived the three-day hostage crisis at a school in Beslan, southern Russia, last week will arrive in the Czech Republic next week for a recuperative visit. The children will be staying at a sanatorium for four weeks to help them recover from shock. They were supposed to have arrived on Wednesday but the Russian Red Cross refused to pay for their airline tickets. The national air carrier Czech Airlines will send a special plane for them next week.