News

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Macek asked to leave party ranks

Miroslav Macek, who physically attacked Health Minister David Rath at a meeting of Czech dentists on Saturday has been asked to leave the Civic Democratic Party. Mr. Macek, a former deputy prime minister in the 1990s and long-time adviser to President Vaclav Klaus, was chairing the meeting of dentists when he walked over to the minister and without warning hit him on the back of the head. He said later he had been settling "a personal account".

The attack was severely condemned by Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek who said at an impromptu press conference that he viewed the attack as a political affair and called on President Klaus to reprimand his advisor. Mr. Paroubek said the Civic Democrats were creating an atmosphere conductive to violence against left wing parties. The President's Office has not commented on the incident. The Civic Democratic Party has distanced itself from Macek's action and asked him to leave party ranks. Mr. Macek told the CTK news agency he had no intention of doing so.

Doctors launch week of protests against health minister

The incident came at the start of a week of protest actions against the policy of health minister David Rath. Doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are taking part say that the planned events will be largely symbolic and will not restrict care or in any way damage patients. The week-long protests against the minister's reforms will involve demonstrations in the three largest cities Prague, Brno and Ostrava, the distribution of leaflets and debates with the public. The protesters say that the minister's reforms are harming both medical staff and patients and have worsened the quality of health care afforded in many areas.

Gale force winds sweeps across Czech Republic

A gale force wind swept across the Czech Republic in the night and early morning hours uprooting trees and damaging roofs and cars in many parts of the country. Firemen in the western part of the country responded to close to 200 emergency calls overnight and several villages in the north and eastern part of the country suffered power blackouts. No injuries are reported.

Police charge 11 people involved in street fighting

The police have charged 11 people involved in a clash between neo-Nazis and anarchists in Most, north Bohemia on Saturday. The neo-Nazi group was on its way to Litvinov to honour the memory a former member of the group who was killed in 1991. The anarchists attacked them at the railway station and started a fight, throwing stones and bottles. No one was reported injured.

Police detain man believed to be behind anonymous threats to companies

The police have detained a man who is alleged to have sent anonymous letters to several Czech firms threatening to poison their food products. One of the letters was sent to the Opavia biscuit company warning that their products would be contaminated with a toxic substance that is extremely hard to detect. The suspect is a 28 year old from the town of Opocno and he appears to have been motivated by the desire for revenge. He has been charged with scaremongering and may be sentenced to three years in prison.

Czechs to play in the final of the World Ice Hockey Championships

The Czech ice hockey team will play Sweden for the gold in the World Championship in Riga on Sunday night after beating Finland 3:1in the semi-finals. It is expected to be a dramatic match with the Czechs out to defend their 2005 title, and the Swedes striving to become the first nation to claim Olympic and world championship titles in the same year.

Weather:

Monday is expected to be an exceptionally warm day with partly cloudy skies and day temperatures between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius.