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Health minister says heads will roll

The health minister Josef Kubinyi has dismissed the head of the Czech Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine Karel Filip. Minister Kubinyi said he was being dismissed for bad management and warned of possible personnel changes at other managerial posts. The health minister who was appointed to the post recently is expected to draft a viable reform for the ailing health sector. At a Parliament session on Friday Minister Kubinyi verbally attacked the head of the country's largest health insurance company, demanding her resignation, and warned of a series of audits at all top managerial posts. Leading specialists at the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine have expressed amazement at the minister's decision to sack the institute's director, calling the move unjustified and saying it would destabilize the institute.

Czech forests plagued by bark beetle

Agriculture minister Jaroslav Palas has warned against a possible bark beetle calamity in Czech forests, urging owners to take action. The hot dry summer of 2003 has allegedly led to a dramatic increase of infested forests - an estimated 41,000 square metres of forest land. The worst affected regions are south Bohemia and south Moravia. The minister has urged forest owners to take corrective action, saying that all the information is available on the ministry's web site. Those who fail to take the stated measures, risk a steep fine.

Boy's suicide leaves unanswered questions

Local authorities are considering sending an inspection to a school where a thirteen year old boy committed suicide this week. The mayor of Hrusovany, near Brno, where the tragedy occurred, said he'd scheduled a meeting of town hall representatives which would debate the matter. The town's inhabitants were devastated by news of the suicide and shocked by rumours that the boy had killed himself because he'd been bullied in school. Neither the police nor the school authorities have confirmed this but the headmistress admitted that bullying was a problem, as in most schools across the country.

Repair work at Temelin

The Temelin nuclear power plant in south Bohemia will not supply power to the grid at the weekend, due to technical problems in the second unit. Its spokesman Milan Nebesar said the unit had problems with turbine vibrations and oil leaks from the turbine. The first unit is undergoing a planned shutdown.


Saturday is expected to be overcast with rain showers and day temperatures between 12 and 16 degrees Celsius.