Foreign Ministry issues warning for Czechs in Lebanon and Syria
In light of the escalating conflict between Israeli forces and Hezbollah, the Czech Foreign Ministry is warning people against traveling to southwest Syria. During the weekend the ministry called on Czechs to leave Lebanon as soon as possible, and that call has now been extended to southern Syria.
The first group of Czechs returned to Prague on Sunday, and another 100 or so Czechs and Slovaks are expected to arrive in Prague late on Monday, directly from Syria. Of the 200 estimated Czechs in Lebanon, some 150 are permanent residents of the country. The ministry recommends that all Czech citizens who want to leave the country, contact the Czech Embassy in Beirut as soon as possible as the security situation is worsening and convoy evacuations may soon no longer be possible.
The six-day conflict between Israel and Lebanon has already killed over 160 people, mostly civilians.
Building collapses in the centre of Prague
Construction workers have begun to tear-down the remainder of a roof on a building that collapsed in the centre of Prague on Sunday morning. No one was hurt in Sunday's accident, but building crews are now at work to secure the site. Experts say that the building's façade is safe, and construction on the building will continue once the rubble is cleared and inspectors have completed their investigation. The cubist building used to house the popular U Mysaka café and is located on Prague's Vodickova Street, just a hundred meters from Wenceslas Square and the frequented Mustek metro station.
Maternity wards full across Czech Republic
Hospital records show that the number of baby births this summer is already breaking records set last year. Maternity wards across the country are filled with new mothers and babies, and some hospitals are having to reject women set to give birth because of a lack of space. The director of one of Prague's maternity wards where over 400 women are registered to give birth in July and August says that the increase in babies is the result of high birthrates in the 1970s—these people are now starting families of their own. Experts say that the higher number of babies will last another two to three years, and then level-off again.
Japanese companies to invest in Moravia
Three more Japanese companies will set-up shop in Moravia, the eastern region of the Czech Republic. The announcement was made on Monday by CzechInvest, an agency which coordinates investment in the Czech Republic. A spokesman for CzechInvest said that the Japanese companies figure in the automobile and electronics spheres, but the names of the companies involved and their intended locations in the Czech Republic have not yet been revealed.
Former Bambini di Praga director in court
Bohumil Kulinsky, 47, the former director of a famous children's choir, Bambini di Praga, faced his first day at trial for sexual abuse on Monday. Mr. Kulinsky is charged with sexual abuse of two underage girls, both former choir members. He denies the accusations. Mr. Kulinsky has already spent 219 days behind bars in 2005, for what police termed "threatening the moral education of youth and sexual abuse." If found guilty of the current charges, Mr. Kulinsky faces a maximum of 12 years in prison.
Highway crash kills three
Following a weekend of serious accidents on Czech roadways, another major collision blocked the D1 highway between Brno and Prague on Monday morning. Two semi-trailer trucks and two cars were involved in the collision that killed three people and sent two to hospital in serious condition. Two helicopters were also called to the scene and transported the injured to hospital in Brno.
The next few days will be partly cloudy with daytime temperatures hovering around 24 degrees Celsius.