News

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Monday could see temperatures of up to 39 Celsius

Weather forecasters say temperatures in the Czech Republic could reach up to 39 degrees Celsius on Monday, possibly setting new records. In most of the country temperatures will range between 34 and 38 Celsius. Clear skies are also expected and officials have warned people against going out in the mid-day and afternoon sun.

On Sunday a record dating from 1928 was broken at Prague's Clementinum weather station, when a temperature of 34.6 degrees Celsius was registered.

Possible presidential candidate Dientsbier takes aim at incumbent Klaus

Jiri Dienstbier, a possible candidate for the Czech presidency, has criticised the incumbent, Vaclav Klaus. Mr Dientsbier, Czechoslovakia's first post-communist foreign minister, accused Mr Klaus of spreading negative feeling towards civil society and the European Union; he said a pro-European position would be more appropriate during the Czech Republic's presidency of the EU in 2009. Speaking on a TV debate programme, Mr Dientsbier also accused the president of being a "know-all" who comments on everything from architecture to global warming.

Jiri Dientsbier appears to have the support of some Social Democrats ahead of presidential elections due next year. His backers are hoping the former dissident can unite cross-party opposition to Vaclav Klaus, who plans to seek a second term.

Poultry farms being disinfected in wake of further bird flu outbreak

Firefighters and soldiers have begun disinfecting five poultry farms in east Bohemia after putting down almost 70,000 birds in the wake of an outbreak of bird flu. Several cases of the dangerous H5N1 strain of avian flu have been found on poultry farms in the area in the last month. Previously the disease had only been detected in wild swans in the Czech Republic.

State forests body says hurricane caused it significant losses

Forests Czech Republic estimates that it suffered losses of almost CZK two billion (USD 98m) due to January's Hurricane Kyrill. The main cause of the losses has been a fall in the price of wood due to excessive supply and the hurricane's negative impact on the quality of wood sold, said a spokesperson for the state company.

Swimmers say Labe clean

Around two dozen swimmers took part in an event at the weekend aimed at showing that the Czech Republic's longest river the Labe is clean enough to bathe in. The event, near the spot where the Labe meets the Vltava, was being held for the fifth time. Some of the participants in the swim came from neighbouring Germany, where the river is known as the Elbe.

Marianne Faithful closes Colours of Ostrava music festival

A set by the English singer Marianne Faithful ended the Colours of Ostrava music festival on Saturday night. The three-day festival was taking place in the north Moravian city for the sixth time; it also saw performances by artists such as Gipsy Kings, Coco Rosie and Goran Bregovic's Wedding and Funeral Band.

Czechs in semi-finals at Under 20s World Cup

The Czech Republic's footballers have reached the semi-finals at the Under 20s World Cup in Canada, the furthest the country has ever gone in the tournament. The Czechs made the last four by beating Spain on penalties after a scoreless match on Saturday. They face Austria on Wednesday for a place in the final.

Czech women fail to reach World Group in tennis's Fed Cup

The Czech women's tennis team have failed to qualify for the Fed Cup's elite World Group, after being beaten 4:1 by home side Spain in a play-off. The Czech team were without world number nine Nicole Vaidisova, who has glandular fever.

Weather

It should gradually get a little cooler towards the middle of the week, with temperatures of about 30 degrees Celsius. Storms and rain are expected from around Wednesday.