News

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Man accused of hospital patients' murders taken into custody

A 30-year-old former employee of a hospital in the east Bohemian town of Havlickuv Brod, who has been accused of the murder of seven patients and attempted murders of another 10 people, has been taken into custody. The man is suspected of committing the crimes at the emergency department of the hospital from May to September this year. He is suspected of administering a blood anticoagulant to the patients who consequently died of massive bleeding. If found guilty, the man faces a life prison sentence.

President not to comply with govt's request to grant pardons

President Vaclav Klaus has said he will not comply with the government's request to grant pardons to managers investigated in connection with the case of the Czech bank IPB part owned by the Japanese investment bank Nomura. As part of the agreement with Nomura signed last week, the government of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek authorised Finance Minister Vlastimil Tlusty to ask President Klaus on its behalf to grant pardons to the people who are being investigated in connection with the IPB case. In the agreement signed on Thursday Nomura has pledged to give up all claims to the Czech Republic and halt all the disputes led against the Czech state. The Czech Republic will in turn withdraw a lawsuit over protection of investment and put an end to all disputes with Nomura.

Czech diplomacy expresses concern over Czech-Austrian border crossing blockade

The Foreign Ministry has expressed concern over the Sunday blockade of the Czech-Austrian border crossing Wullowitz/Dolni Dvoriste in connection with the Temelin nuclear power plant. Deputy Foreign Minister Tomas Pojar met the Austrian Ambassador to the country, Margot Klestil-Loeffler, to discuss the issue on Monday. Austrian anti-nuclear activists blocked the border using tractors for six hours. This has been the longest blockade in the last six years. Protesters also sealed the Gmuend/Ceske Velenice border crossing for an hour. The Czech ministry is against the blockades as it says that they violate fundamental European freedoms of free movement of people and goods.

Klaus takes over report on end of military reform's first part

President Vaclav Klaus has received a report on the completion of the first part of the Czech armed forces' reform from chief of staff Pavel Stefka. President Klaus called the reform "an important milestone" and said that the Czech military was changing over the past few years along with the security situation in the world. He praised the military for having expanded its participation in peace-keeping missions and for fulfilling commitments towards NATO and the EU.

Foreign Minister: Czech plane grounded in Turkmenistan because of misunderstanding

Foreign Minister Alexandr Vondra has said a misunderstanding was the reason why a Czech plane was grounded in Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat for 14 hours during the weekend. Mr Vondra made the statement after meeting the head of the Turkmen delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Brussels, adding the Turkmen representative had emphasised his country's interest in friendly relations with the Czech Republic. Minister Vondra pointed out Czechs had officially taken over command at the international airport in the Afghan capital Kabul and friendly relations with Turkmenistan are in the Czech Republic's interest as well.

The Czech aircraft carried a delegation, including chief-of-staff General Pavel Stefka and deputy defence minister Martin Bartak. The President of Turkmenistan allowed the plane to return to Prague on Sunday morning.

Suspected Mayor Peta to be released from custody

The former mayor of the Moravian town of Budisov, Ladislav Peta, who is among several officials suspected of illegal drawing of money from EU funds, will be released from custody, Czech Television reported on Monday, citing the state attorney's office. The state attorney has come to the conclusion that the reasons for Mr Peta's remaining in custody no longer exist. The police suspect Mr Peta and his accomplices of overvaluing the planned Budisov chateau reconstruction and applying for EU subsidies for the project. If they drew the subsidy, they could illegally enrich themselves with some 30 million crowns altogether.

Prague stock exchange sets new closing high

The Prague Stock exchange's key PX index set a record closing high of 1585.9 points on Monday, bettering its previous record of 1,584.4 set on February 27 this year. Most shares rose on Monday, with the property group Orco one of the biggest climbers with an advance of 3.57 percent during the day. Only Komercni Banka bucked the trend among major blue chips.

Weather

The weather should be mostly cloudy in the coming days with a chance of rain and temperatures in the daytime between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius.