Fifteen people were injured on Friday when a passenger train collided with a lorry carring timber at an unguarded railway crossing near Olomouc. Most of the injured were treated at the scene for minor cuts, but three people were airlifted to hospital by helicopter with serious injuries. One remains in critical condition. A Czech Railways spokesman said the accident occurred at an unsignalled crossing between the towns of Ptensky Dvorek and Strazisko. Police are now investigating the cause of the accident.
Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has nominated Karel Cermak, a 68 year old lawyer to the post of justice minister, ending a three month search to fill the post. Mr. Cerman's nomination is expected to be confirmed by Parliament and accepted by president Vaclav Klaus next month. Karel Cermak, a former head of the Czech Bar Association, is independent and politically unaffiliated. As the country's new finance minister he will be expected to follow through with sweeping reforms drafted but not fully implemented by his predecessor Pavel Rychetsky. Mr. Rychetsky resigned from the post three months ago in order to become chief justice of the Constitutional court.
Regional governors have signed a petition demanding the dismissal from office of health minister Marie Souckova. The Chairman of the Governors' Association Evzen Tosenovsky said regional hospitals were mired in a severe financial crisis and nine months of negotiations with the health minister had not produced a solution to the problem. Governor Tosenovsky called for immediate corrective action, saying that the level of health care was fast deteriorating in the regions. The Association of Governors say that the ministry's attempt to wash its hands of the problem and let it rest with regional administrations is irresponsible.
A cold front is expected to bring significantly lower day temperatures and rain showers across the country over the weekend. Saturday should be partly cloudy to overcast with day temperatures between 19 and 22 degrees Celsius.
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