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Czech dentists threaten to become independent from insurance companies

Czech Dentists are threatening to leave health insurance companies and plan to ask patients to pay for every service directly by the middle of next year. The president of the Czech Dentists' Association, which held a general meeting on Saturday, said the dentists' contracts with insurers expire in mid-2006. If the government fails to introduce changes to its health insurance policy that would set more favourable conditions, the country's dentists, who are every year decreasing in number, will stop co-operating and will take direct payments from patients instead.

TV Nova: retired police officers paid less than they are entitled to

The country's leading commercial station, TV Nova has reported that police officers are on substantially lower pensions than they are entitled to. The Supreme Court has recently ruled that, for the past thirteen years, the Interior Ministry has been using an existing loophole in the law to pay its retired police officers some 4,000 crowns (around 170 US dollars) less a month. TV Nova reports that last year alone, the ministry managed to save close to 9 million crowns (around 375,000 US dollars).

People in Need accused of violating Russian law

The People in Need branch in the northern Caucasus town of Nazran, Ingushetia, has been accused of violating Russian law. The ITAR-TASS news agency reported on Saturday that the Czech humanitarian organisation was employing people who are in close contact with armed militant groups. People in Need rejects the allegations, saying it is all part of a campaign in the region to oust humanitarian organisations.

Deputy Prime Minister for Economics to boost business relations with Moldova

The Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Martin Jahn is visiting Moldova on Monday to enhance business relations. Mr Jahn will be accompanied by representatives of Czech firms, looking for business partners and investment opportunities. Mr Jahn is scheduled to meet the Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin, the government chairman and several other ministers. Exports to Moldova in 2003 totalled 14 million US dollars; imports reached a mere two million US dollars.

Opera 2005 comes to an end

Sunday is the last day of Prague's seventh Czech music theatre festival, Opera 2005. Due to illness, the festival will not be closing with a performance of Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades but with Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, at Prague's State Opera. Since January 7, visitors were able to see opera groups from around the country perform at various venues in Prague. The festival will officially come to a close on Saturday with an award ceremony for best performance and best performers at a gala concert at Prague's Estates Theatre.

Czech student crowned Miss Tourism World 2005

A Czech student won the Miss Tourism World 2005 title at a ceremony in the Zimbabwean capital Harare on Saturday. Zuzana Putnarova, who turns nineteen on Monday, beat 93 contestants from 82 countries. The pageant, organised by the Britain-based Miss Tourism World Organisation, aims at promoting tourism in parts of the world in dire need of promotion. The ceremony, which was held at the Harare International Conference Centre, was attended by some 2,000 people, including Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe.


Meteorologists are forecasting heavy snowfall over the next few days with day-time temperatures ranging from -3 to -7 degrees Celsius.