A Visegrad Four conference on sustainable development began in Prague on Friday, to discuss consolidation of environmental protection in Central Europe. Experts from government, universities and non-profit groups came together for the Visegrad Agenda 21 conference, designed as a prelude to a United Nations environment summit planned for the end of August in Johannesburg. The anti-environmental attitudes of some politicians were singled out as one of the challenges facing the Czech Republic, while one speaker said the country's strong push for new business growth posed a threat to the environment.
The dispute between Prague and Vienna over the Czech Republic's Temelin nuclear power plant has been discussed in an Austrian court for the first time. The province of Upper Austria has filed a lawsuit against Temelin's operators CEZ, in a bid to prevent the plant from going into full operation. Lawyers for Upper Austria said the province owned a strip of land close to the Czech border, and as such had the right to file suit against the possible "effects" of a nuclear accident at Temelin. If Upper Austria wins the suit, CEZ must either refrain from putting Temelin into full operation, or face a massive fine. An Austrian lawyer acting for CEZ said the case was incompatible with international law.
The first comprehensive study of the Czech Republic's flourishing sex industry says the country has about 6,300 prostitutes who together receive more than 163 million dollars a year for their services. The government study said about two-thirds of the revenues came from foreign sex tourists, mainly Europeans who pick up women lining streets in towns just across the Czech borders with Germany, Austria and Poland. The study by the Czech Statistical Office noted that if the services were taxed, the government could collect hundreds of millions of crowns each year.
The Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman continued his official visit to Mexico on Friday, meeting Mexican business representatives and laying a wreath at the statue of Czechoslovakia's first president Tomas Garrigue Masaryk in Mexico City.
A new survey released on Friday said that only one in two Czechs use deodorant every day. The survey, conducted by the Aisa agency, said 29 percent of men and 16 percent of women never use deodorant.
Finally a look at the weather. Saturday will see the band of cold weather continue to move in from the east, with clouds over much of the country and daytime temperatures not rising over seven degrees Celsius. Sunday will remain cool and cloudy.