Austrian opponents of the Temelin nuclear power plant are staging a blockade of the Czech-Austrian border crossing Wullowitz-Dolni Dvoriste. The activists, blocking traffic with the help of twelve tractors, are calling onto the Austrian government to oppose the operation of the Temelin plant in southern Bohemia, some 50 km from the border. Austria is a nuclear-free country.
A man has confessed to the murder of several patients at a hospital in the east Bohemian town of Havlickuv Brod. The former hospital employee injected seven patients in intensive care with heparin, a drug used to decrease the clotting ability of the blood. The man has been charged with murder as well as the attempted murder of ten more people.
The organisers of a conference on Iraq that is to be held in Prague next weekend have filed a criminal complaint against a Czech TV reporter. The organisers say claims by the reporter that supporters of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein would be attending the conference are false. The conference called Prague Appeal for Iraq is to be held at the Czech Chamber of Deputies. It is organised by the Czech Peace Fund and Czech-Iraqi Association.
A work by the acclaimed Czech painter Jan Zrzavy has sold for 5.5 million crowns. It is the only work by the great early twentieth century protagonist of the Czech avantgarde that has sold for a price exceeding 2 million crowns. The painting entitled "Studne Locronan III" was auctioned off in Prague on Sunday and dates to 1938. It is the last work made by Jan Zrzavy before he moved to France.
Foreign Minister Alexandr Vondra wants an official explanation from Turkmenistan why a Czech plane was grounded in the capital Ashgabat. Turkmen authorities say the plane was not authorised to enter Turkmen airspace. The aircraft was carrying a delegation returning from Afghanistan where Czechs officially took over command at the international airport in Kabul. The delegation, including chief-of-staff General Pavel Stefka and deputy defence minister Martin Bartak, were forced to spend the night in the plane. The President of Turkmenistan allowed the plane to return to Prague on Sunday morning.
The Social Democrats are divided over whether or not to take part in a
new coalition government that is being proposed by the Civic Democrats.
Social Democrat leader Jiri Paroubek says some deputies would prefer
the party go into opposition - a move he strongly rejects.
The Civic Democratic Party hopes to complete its draft government programme by next Wednesday. Representatives from the parties involved in government talks, also including the Christian Democrats and the Greens, will then be given the document for assessment.
A referendum held in the northern town of Litvinov on the extension of brown coal mining limits is invalid due to a low voter turnout. Only 38 percent of the electorate came to vote on Friday. An almost absolute majority (95 percent), though, voted against the extension. The geographical limits of North Bohemia's opencast mines were set by the state in 1991. The local opencast mining company Mostecka Uhelna argues that the country has no choice but to extend the limits if it wants to depend on locally produced energy.
Turkmen authorities have grounded a plane with Czech Army representatives, saying it was not authorised to fly over its airspace. The military delegation was returning from Afghanistan where Czech military personnel officially took over command at the international airport in Kabul. Among those on board were chief-of-staff General Pavel Stefka and deputy defence minister Martin Bartak. Turkmenistan lies between Afghanistan and the Caspian Sea.
The Social Democrats have called on to President Vaclav Klaus not to pardon two men accused of breaking business confidentiality laws. The President has been asked to grant the pardon by the Finance Ministry as the two men are senior managers at the Nomura investment group, a bank with which cabinet settled a long running dispute that could have cost the state billions of crowns on Thursday.
Two Czech soldiers from a Prostejov Special Forces unit, who recently served in Afghanistan, have been awarded with the United States Armed Forces Bronze Star Medal. The soldiers received the military decoration for their heroic fight against the Taliban. This is the first time in modern Czech history that such a US decoration is awarded to a Czech soldier.