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Cardinal Vlk stabilized, but in serious condition

Cardinal Miloslav Vlk who was taken to hospital on Friday in grave condition, is reported to have been stabilized. In a message he dictated from his hospital bed the cardinal said he was not in pain and thanked people for their prayers and messages of support. The cardinal remains in serious condition. He was diagnosed with lung cancer late last year and had been undergoing chemotherapy which had to be interrupted due to his weakened condition.

Social Democrats divided over possible coalition with Communist Party

Social Democratic Party members have reservations to party leader Bohuslav Sobotka’s statement regarding the possibility of entering into a coalition with the Communist Party following the autumn general election. According to a flash poll conducted by Czech Radio some party members feel that the party has not sufficiently distanced itself from the atrocities committed in the 1950s, such as the judicial murder of politician Milada Horáková. Others have a problem with its negative stance to NATO and the EU. Labour Minister Michaela Marksová said that while cooperation with the Communist Party at regional level had proved successful, she would be more cautious about forming a coalition government with them. In 1995 the party approved the so called Bohumín resolution which bans cooperation with the Communists at government level. The issue is expected to be discussed at the party’s election conference in March.

Electronic prescriptions will come into force next year despite protests

Health Minister Miloslav Ludvik has said the introduction of electronic prescriptions will go into effect next year despite protests from the Czech Medical Chamber. The introduction of electronic prescriptions in part of a broader shift to services online and more data-sharing between doctors regarding the state of a patient’s health. Many doctors, particularly in rural areas, say they are not ready for the change and the Medical Chamber has expressed doubts regarding the safety of patients’ data, saying the system needs to be better prepared. Minister Ludvik told Czech Television the change to electronic prescriptions had proved smooth and effective at Prague’s Bulovka hospital and there was no reason to further postpone it.

Slovak-Czech film Little Harbour wins Crystal Globe at Berlinale

The Slovak-Czech film Little Harbour directed by Iveta Grófová has won a Crystal Globe in the Generation Kplus category of the Berlinale Film Festival. The movie tells the story tells the story of two children whose innocent play will change their lives forever. Ten years-old and living with a mother who is not yet ready to be a Mum, Jarka is pushed by her desire to love and form a family to the point where she finds herself giving shelter to two abandoned twin babies.

Kateřina Smutná and Norten Eide Pedersen winners of annual Jizerská 50

The Czech Republic’s Kateřina Smutná has won the women’s annual Jizerská 50, a gruelling 50 kilometre cross-country skiing race held in the Jizerská mountains near Liberec, north of Prague. She came in 10.5 seconds ahead of Sweden’s Britta Johansson Norgren. The men’s race was won by Norway’s Norten Eide Pedersen.

Koukalová fourth at Biathlon World Championships

Gabriela Koukalová failed to secure a fourth medal at the Biathlon World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria at the weekend. The Czech biathlete dropped to fourth place behind Finland’s Kaisa-Leena Mäkäräinen in the final fifth round of the race on Sunday. Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier won her fifth gold medal.

Weather forecast

Monday should be partly cloudy to overcast with scattered showers, a strong wind in places, and day temperatures between 5 and 9 degrees Celsius.