Roads were blocked and many flights were cancelled on Wednesday amid heavy snowfall in the Czech Republic. Most of the country's motorways were cleared by mid-morning, but mountain roads especially in the north and northwest of the country remain blocked. Morning commuters had tough journeys in Prague, where slippery conditions were blamed for a number of accidents. More than 20 flights were cancelled and many others delayed at Prague's Ruzyne Airport. Among the cancellations were regular flights to Paris, Brussels and Vienna. Meteorologists said much of the snow would melt by the weekend as temperatures gradually rise above freezing.
Police say there were more than 175,000 traffic accidents in the first eleven months of last year, an increase on the same period in 2002. A total of 1,224 people died, and almost 5,000 people were seriously injured. Police say the biggest problem is that police officers do not have the power to confiscate licenses on the spot. The Transport Ministry is to submit a new law to address the problem.
The government has said it managed to attract more than a billion dollars in new investment for the second year in a row. The government's CzechInvest agency said it mediated in 60 projects involving domestic and foreign firms last year, laying the groundwork for at least 10,000 new jobs in the car industry, electrical goods and other sectors. The investment projects, about half of which involved government incentives, rose to 1.2 billion dollars last year from the previous record of one billion dollars in 2002. German and Japanese companies are the largest foreign investors in the Czech Republic, which for the past several years has attracted more foreign-direct investment on a per-capita basis than any country in Central and Eastern Europe.
The National Security Council has approved a new security system for Czech aeroplanes and airports which includes the possibility of armed guards on board planes. Speaking after a meeting of the Security Council, the transport minister, Milan Simonovksy, said passengers should not notice any changes. Mr Simonovsky said armed police officers were already used on Czech Airlines flights to Israel and may be used on flights to other countries.
A court in Litomerice has rejected a claim by Franz Ulrich Kinsky, a descendant of the Kinsky noble family, to local property confiscated after World War II. It is the fourth time courts in the Usti nad Labem region have ruled against him. Franz Kinsky has filed a total of 157 lawsuits against the Czech state, asking the courts to declare him the legal owner of property including country homes and woodland. Most of the property was confiscated after 1945 from Mr Kinsky's late father, an alleged Nazi sympathiser who died before the war. However Mr Kinsky says the property belonged to him, not his father, and the confiscation was therefore illegal.
Thursday will be another cold and mostly cloudy day, with daytime temperatures ranging from -3 to +1 degrees Celsius.
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Czech teenager builds second-largest ever Millennium Falcon LEGO model
Gunman kills six patients in Ostrava hospital, two more fighting for their lives
HN: Developers aiming to sell co-living concept in Prague
Press: Era of 100-crown lunch special is over, as food prices rocket