The Czech government is to release another half a million US dollars in immediate aid for Southeast Asia, on top of the 650,000 dollars already approved. It made the announcement at a United Nations donor conference in Geneva on Tuesday.
Almost nine million dollars has also been earmarked for long-term reconstruction projects. Meanwhile, the Czech public has donated nearly 9.5 million US dollars towards relief in the devastated region.
The number of Czechs still missing in Southeast Asia now stands at 11, with seven of them believed to have died. Only one Czech casualty has been confirmed so far.
The government is discussing extending the stay of Czech military police in Iraq by one more year. The Defence Ministry says the Czech contingent would continue to train Iraqi police, and would remain at its present size of around 90 officers. Under their current mandate, the Czech soldiers would return home at the end of February.
Czechs are to be given new identification numbers to replace the currently used 'rodne cislo' (birth number), under a new plan put forward by the Information Technology Ministry, the daily Hospodarske noviny reported on Wednesday. Unlike the birth number, the new ID - which will be introduced in around ten years' time - will not reflect the bearer's age or gender.
Four years after the introduction of the institution of ombudsman in the Czech Republic, two thirds of Czechs can say who the ombudsman is, while half the population trusts the institution, according to a poll by the CVVM agency just released. Otakar Motejl, who has occupied the post since it was created, said he was pleased by the poll results.
Milan Jirasek has been re-elected chairman of the Czech Olympic Committee, defeating athlete Jan Zelezny 58:33 in a vote on Tuesday evening. Mr Jirasek said he was glad to have won a strong mandate, after campaigning had been marked by recriminations on both sides.
Czech football star Milan Baros made a successful comeback from injury on Tuesday, when he played a large part in Liverpool's winning goal against Watford in a cup competition. Baros, who has been dogged by hamstring problems in recent months, came on as a second-half substitute. He says he hopes to start an important league game against Manchester United on Saturday.
Temperatures are expected to fall somewhat over the next few days, and should range between minus 2 and plus 2 degrees Celsius. Some sunny spells are expected, though there is also the chance of rain or snow in some parts of the country.
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