Following Sunday's tsunami disaster, the number of Czechs unaccounted for in Southeast Asia has fallen from a previous 381 to 263, according to information from the Czech foreign ministry. The number is still likely to change. As many as 1,000 Czechs were vacationing or travelling in parts of Southeast Asia when the deadly tsunamis struck.
Foreign ministry officials believe the majority of those still unaccounted for are safe but unable to contact relatives due to damaged telephone lines and infrastructure. At the same time accidental death can not be ruled out.
Though no Czechs have been reported as having died as a result of Sunday's disaster, the foreign ministry has said it is considering the circumstances of at least eight missing persons' cases as "grave".
The Czech government has agreed to send a military plane to provide humanitarian aid to Thailand, one of the countries badly hit by Sunday's tsunamis. The plane is scheduled to leave within hours. After delivering aid, the plane will help Czechs who were vacationing in Thailand return home.
Meanwhile the Czech carrier CSA is continuing to send daily flights with humanitarian aid to the area, primarily drinking water, packages of medicine and water purification tablets are also to be sent. Experts such as Czech doctors and psychological councillors are also expected to arrive.
Two Czechs who suffered injury have been transferred to hospital in Bangkok following Sunday's tragedy. A third, supermodel Petra Nemcova, could not be transferred Wednesday due to the nature of her injures. The 25-year-old suffered a broken pelvis when the waves hit in Thailand, and was only rescued after an eight-hour ordeal. She remains in hospital in Hat Yai and her condition is stable.
Her partner, British photographer Simon Atlee, 33, remains missing.
A 33-year-old man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the strangling of a 16-year-old girl in the south Bohemian region of Ceske Budejovice. The court also ordered the defendant to undergo psychiatric treatment for sexual deviancy, namely sadistic tendencies. The accused could have received a sentence of up to 20 years. Both the prosecution and the defence may appeal.
An 84-year-old man suffered injury on Tuesday while producing home-made fireworks ahead of celebrations on New Year's Eve. The item exploded inside the man's home in Trutnov, Northeast Bohemia, injuring the man's hands and face. The force of the explosion also blew out one of the home's windows. Police are investigating an unidentified substance used in the explosive. The accident is the 2nd in recent days related to the manufacture of home-made pyrotechnics.
Czech-Korean lorry maker Daewoo Avia has announced plans to lay-off between 180 to 200 factory workers following a decision to stop production of its own engines, in favour of a British-made product. Currently some 800 are employed at the Letnany factory in Prague. Daewoo Avia posted a loss of 9 million euros from January to June, down by approximately 800, 000 euros year-on-year. The firm's majority owner Korea's Daewoo Motor has been trying to negotiate the entry of a strategic partner to save the firm.
Czech striker Jiri Jarosik, who plays for football side CSKA Moscow, has reportedly attracted attention from four leading English clubs, among them London's Chelsea, home to Czech goal keeper Petr Cech. According to reports a transfer from Moscow to London would cost Chelsea up to 8 million euros.
The coming days are expected to see some sunny weather with a daytime temperature of around 2 to 4 degrees Celsius.
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