The deputy chairman of the junior coalition party, the Freedom Union-DEU Ratibor Majzlik said on Saturday that the DEU or Democratic Union platform was leaving the party. Mr Majzlik made his announcement at this weekend's party conference, which was to complete the integration of the Freedom Union and the DEU. To explain the move, Mr Majzlik said a 300-member faction disapproved of the participation of the Freedom Union-DEU in the Social-Democrat-led government. Mr Majzlik announced the departure after failing to push through his proposal that a new leadership of the Freedom Union-DEU be elected. Freedom Union leaders say that in the long run, the departure of Mr Majzlik's faction is not going to have any negative effects on the party as a whole.
Reports from the United States say although the US respects the decision of an expert commission recommending to the Czech government to lease the Swedish-British Gripen military aircraft, it has not given up its efforts to supply US F-16s or F-18s to the Czech Republic. Lack of transparency was reportedly the reason why the United States and other participants in the first tender called by the previous government led by Milos Zeman eventually pulled out. The government then decided that the Czech Republic would buy the Gripen aircraft but last year's floods thwarted the plan. The Americans are now waiting for the Czech cabinet's decision that should be made by the end of this year.
A 30-metre tall Christmas tree crashed to the ground during high winds at an open-air Christmas market filled with tourists and shoppers in Prague's historic Old Town Square on Saturday morning, injuring four people, two of them foreign tourists. Prague rescue officials said a 100 km/h gust of wind snapped the tree, sending it plunging down into the stalls of several vendors at the market. A spokesman for the Prague rescue department said two people suffered broken bones when the tree landed on them, while two others, including a child, had cuts and bruises. Strong winds also hit East Bohemia and North Moravia on Saturday.
Two people were injured on Saturday when a car taking part in the 9th Prague Rallyesprint skidded and ran into the crowd. The accident happened near the Strahov Sports Stadium in Prague. Police say the injured suffered open limb fractures. According to the organiser of the race the accident was caused by racing driver David Komarek who drove to fast on a wet road.
A German couple have received probation of eight and six months respectively for providing videos of underage girls stripping over the internet. Their firm would hire girls to strip and provide sexual services to customers in a studio in Kraslice, west Bohemia which would then be offered through live feeds over the internet to customers in Germany. At least six of the girls had not yet reached the age of 18. The couple defended themselves saying that the girls acted on their own will. Both the man and the woman faced three years in prison for threatening the morals of minors and threatening public morality. The court ordered them to pay a fine of 130,000 crowns.
Sunday is going to be a cloudy day with snow in places, mainly in mountainous areas. Daytime temperatures are expected to range from -4 to 0 degrees Celsius.
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