Daily news summary News

13-10-2005

Czech Republic bans poultry imports from Romania

The Czech Republic has banned all imports of live poultry, birds and related commodities from Romania where tests have confirmed the bird flu virus in farm poultry. The Czech State Veterinary Office says it is stepping up preventative measures. The Health Ministry has held talks with pharmaceutical companies about the supply of some 2 million vaccines against bird flu, which will be developed once a human-to-human transmittable virus emerges.

Government approves family policy to boost EU's lowest birth rate

The government has approved measures aimed at boosting the country's record-low birth rate by allowing maternity leave for up to eight years after a child's birth and boosting fathers' roles, the Labour Ministry has announced. Under the new plan, mothers would be able to take their three-year maternity leave not only during the first 36 months of their child's life, as now, but at any time until the child is eight years old. The national family concept agreed by the government late on Wednesday also entitles fathers to receive financial support if they decide to care for the child at home or take time off work if their child is ill.

EP strips MEP Zelezny of immunity

The European Parliament has decided to strip Czech MEP Vladimir Zelezny, the former director of the Czech commercial television station Nova, of immunity. The Czech judiciary has asked for Mr Zelezny's parliamentary immunity to be removed as he is under investigation for tax evasion and damaging a creditor.

Polish prosecutors, Czech colleagues discuss Unipetrol case

Representatives of a Polish prosecutor's office have met their Czech colleagues in Prague to discuss cooperation in the investigation into alleged corruption in the privatisation of the Czech petrochemical company Unipetrol, the Prague City State Attorney's Office said. According to unofficial information, the Polish prosecutors will also want to interrogate leading Czech politicians, including Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and ex-prime minister Stanislav Gross, both from the ruling Social Democrats.

Police shelves case of flooding of Prague metro

Police has once again shelved the case of the flooding of Prague metro in August 2002. No one will be prosecuted for the 7-billion-crown damage caused by the flood even though investigation revealed construction faults in several stations. The investigators were unable to determine who was responsible for the construction of the stations back in the 1970s.

Post office on highest mountain to open next year

The construction of a new post office building at the peak of the Czech Republic's highest mountain Snezka should be finished by August next year. The new post office will be built on the foundations of the Ceska bouda chalet that was recently demolished. The wood and glass construction will also have a lookout terrace and sell refreshments to tourists.

Weather

We can expect partly cloudy skies with a chance of rain and daytime temperatures ranging from 14 to 16 degrees Celsius.

13-10-2005