On the eve of Thursday's scheduled doctors' strike, Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek called on the private practitioners to cancel their strike. After Wednesday's negotiations with health insurance companies, Mr Paroubek said he expected some accommodating steps from them, too. Private doctors in the Czech Republic are going to strike on Thursday over chronically late payments from the state-run insurance company VZP.
The Radio and Television Broadcasting Council has decided to fine the commercial TV stations Prima and Nova for the content of their respective reality shows, VyVoleni and Big Brother. TV Prima was fined 5 million crowns (200,000 dollars) and TV Nova will have to pay 4 million. According to council chairman Petr Pospichal, both channels broke the law by broadcasting scenes potentially threatening the moral development of juveniles before 10 pm.
The chairman of the opposition right-of-centre Civic Democrats, Mirek Topolanek, has said his party will support a Senate-proposed amendment to the criminal code banning all promotion of the communist ideology. The amendment was initiated by a group of opposition Senators and a movement called "Let's Ban the Communists". Mr Topolanek said he didn't wish the Communists to return to power after next year's elections. He said however that the amendment would probably be refused by the lower house where the leftist parties, the Communists and the Social Democrats, have a majority of 11 seats. The Communist Party currently enjoys some 13.5 percent of voter support.
The government has decided to award the Czech Brain prize to Armin Delong, the founder of electron miscroscopy and initiator of the production of world-competitive electron microscopes. Together with the award Professor Delong will receive one million crowns (over 40,000 dollars). Armin Delong, 80, is best-known for his pioneering work in holography, emission electron microscopy and slow electron microscopy. Most recently he has focused on low-voltage scanning microscopy which is used in biology.
According to a report by the UN Children's Fund released on Wednesday disabled children in Eastern Europe continue to be confined in segregated facilities and special schools, suffering from stigma and discrimination. The report says that although the approach to disabled children in the region has been improving, there is not enough state support. Experts say that the fact that so many children are placed in institutions reflects economic desperation which leads struggling families to put their children in care for want of alternatives, as well as a traditional communist-era attitude that institutionalisation is the best solution.
Police detained the suspected murderer of TV Nova technician Michal Velisek on Tuesday night. David Lubina, 31, confessed to the murder in Prague's central Karlovo namesti square on September 13. Lubina was charged with murder and extortion. According to police, Lubina harassed a young woman in the square. When Velisek came forward to assist the woman, the attacker shot him in the arm, and continued shooting after Velisek fell to the ground. Michal Velisek, a father of a one-year-old daughter, did not survive the attack.
We can expect partly cloudy skies and daytime temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius.
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