Daily news summary News

21-10-2005

Rath re-nominated for the post of health minister

The clash of wills between the Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek and President Vaclav Klaus over who should head the Czech Health Ministry continues. President Klaus refused to appoint the Prime Minister's nominee David Rath on Thursday, citing conflict of interest since Mr. Rath heads of the main doctors' association, the Czech Medical Chamber. The Prime Minister first sought a way around the rejection, appointing Mr. Rath deputy health minister. On Friday he re-nominated him for the post of health minister, threatening legal action to push the appointment through.

Meanwhile, the Czech Medical Chamber has said it will amend its statutes to allow Mr. Rath to suspend his chairmanship temporarily.

People destroy nests for fear of bird flu

Some Czechs have started destroying the nests of migrating birds such as swallows and house martins for fear that they could spread the lethal strain of bird flu. The Czech Ornithology Society has attempted to curb the panic saying that these birds do not present a significant risk in transmitting the disease. Like other European states the Czech Republic has taken a series of preventive measures including a ban on imports of poultry from high risk countries, a ban on outdoor breeding for breeding farms and small breeders, as well as a ban on all exhibitions and sales fairs of birds and poultry.

Digital broadcasting

After a five year trial period, Czech public television, commercial TV Nova and Czech public radio have launched digital broadcasts. In the first phase of going digital, digital broadcasts should be accessible to an estimated 19 percent of Czechs, that's over one million people, on 13 percent of Czech territory. By next spring digital broadcasts should be available to viewers and listeners in Brno and Ostrava.

Fire kills sixteen black antelopes

Sixteen black buck antelopes died in a fire that broke out overnight at a zoo in the west Bohemian town of Pilsen. The fire killed the whole breeding herd, apart from one animal that had been kept in a separate sty. It was the biggest herd of black antelopes in the country. A spokesman for the zoo said the fire may have been caused by a fault in the heating system. Police are still investigating the cause.

Weather:

Saturday is expected to be partly cloudy to overcast with day temperatures between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius.

21-10-2005