Czech rescue workers are ready to leave for earthquake-stricken regions in Asia as soon as the local authorities specify their needs. Czech fire-fighters as well as special rescue teams are ready to leave within 24 hours, spokespersons said. A number of Czech charities have said they are going to open special accounts for public donations towards the renewal of the damaged areas.
According to Czech embassies in the afflicted countries there are no reports of Czech casualties. The Defence Ministry has said the Czech military contingent in Afghanistan has not been affected. The Czech humanitarian workers in the country are also reported to be safe.
According to Saturday's edition of The Times, British financial investigators believe that the property empire built up by the IRA's chief of staff Thomas Murphy extends from Britain and Ireland into the economies of Eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic. Mr Murphy who has amassed a personal fortune estimated at 40 million pounds mainly from cross-border smuggling, is alleged to have begun laundering his money by investing in property and legitimate businesses in Bulgaria, Spain, Slovenia and also the Czech capital Prague.
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has said he would like to make use of the good name and image of the former Czechoslovakia in the Czech Republic's foreign policy. Mr Paroubek said many people in abroad still refer to the Czech Republic as Czechoslovakia, even 12 years after the country ceased to exist. He also said that both the Czech Republic and Slovakia could benefit from the use of the trade mark. According to the prime minister, the name Czechoslovakia could be used in the same way as the "Made in the USSR" mark sometimes appears on the products of certain Baltic states.
A special jury has selected five designs out of over 400 entries in a competition intended to find a new logo for the Czech Republic. The jury will make the final selection from the shortlist in late November or early December. The new logo is not meant to replace the Czech Republic's state symbols but to represent the country at trade fairs, exhibitions and media presentations as a modern EU member state, with world-competitive services, a rich past and interesting present.
We can expect partly cloudy skies and daytime temperatures between 16 and 19 degrees Celsius.
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