News

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Lower house passes bill reducing immunity for MPs, senators

The lower house has passed a bill reducing the immunity of deputies and senators. Under the new legislation, they would be granted immunity only during their terms. Currently, if parliament does not agree to hand over its members for prosecution, they can never again be prosecuted in the same matter. The amendment is now going to the Senate which needs to approve it in order for it to become law. 125 deputies out of the 140 present voted for the bill on Tuesday.

First officer faces disciplinary punishment for Jacques incident

One police officer has received disciplinary punishment in connection with the police action on May 1 against the head of the government's human rights section, Katerina Jacques. His salary will be lowered by 10 percent next month for not having prevented officer Tomas Cermak from attacking and beating up Ms Jacques who was protesting against a Neo-nazi demonstration in Prague which the police accompanied to prevent violence. Police President Vladislav Husak has said he will ask the Interior Ministry Inspection to investigate into the actions of another ten police officers, who he says, are suspected of abuse of power and negligence.

Police chief not promoted over Jacques incident

Police chief Vladislav Husak had been among those selected to be promoted to the rank of general on Monday, the 61st anniversary of the end of WWII. But at the recommendation of Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, President Vaclav Klaus did not promote him following the recent incident in which a government official was beaten up by a police officer at a demonstration. Eight Czech Army officers were promoted to the rank of general on Monday at Prague Castle where earlier over 200 new professional soldiers made their pledge of allegiance.

Economic transformation costs estimated at 23 billion dollars

The Finance Ministry has calculated the costs of the Czech economic transformation between 1991 and 2005 at 546 billion crowns (23 billion dollars). Related costs, such as interests, amounted to another 130 billion. The ministry carried out the analysis based on data from the Czech National Bank, the Czech Consolidation Agency, the National Property Fund and the Land Fund.

Next month's election in numbers

Over 5,000 candidates are going to contest for the 200 seats in the lower house of the Czech Parliament in next month's general elections, the Czech Statistics Office said on Tuesday. Out of the total, some 1,400 are women, which is just under 28 percent. Altogether, 26 political parties and groupings will be taking part in the polls but almost 40 percent of the candidates are not members of any political party. The average age is 46 years; dozens of the candidates have just reached 21 years of age, the legal minimum to be able to run for a seat. The oldest candidate is 87.

Poll: Klaus regarded best Czech prime minister

A poll conducted by the SC&C agency for the Mlada fronta Dnes daily suggests that Czechs consider current President Vaclav Klaus to have been the best prime minister of the independent Czech Republic established in 1993 after the split of Czechoslovakia. A total of 39 percent of respondents say that Mr Klaus, who was prime minister between 1992 and 1998, has been the best head of government. He is followed by former Social Democrat leader Milos Zeman (in office 1998-2002) with 20 percent. Current PM Jiri Paroubek as well as Josef Tosovsky, who headed a caretaker cabinet in 1998, ended up third with 14-percent support each. Eight percent of respondents said they preferred Stanislav Gross as Czech PM and 6 percent view current EU Commissioner Vladimir Spidla as the best head of government after 1993.

Boy dies from electrical burns

A fifteen-year old boy who was badly burnt on Saturday after receiving electric shock has died in a Prague hospital. He suffered burns on 95 percent of the body after he was hit by electric current at Zdice train station southwest of Prague. According to regional emergency unit spokeswoman, the boy sustained his injuries when he accidentally touched electric wires when climbing over train carriages.

Jagr undergoes shoulder surgery

Czech ice-hockey star Jaromir Jagr underwent surgery to repair his dislocated left shoulder on Monday, the AFP agency wrote. Jagr, who plays right wing for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, will begin rehabilitation this week and is expected to make a full recovery. The surgery was performed at St. Vincent's Hospital. Jagr, 34, suffered the injury in the third period of game one in the Rangers' Stanley Cup playoff series against the New Jersey Devils when he lunged to check Scott Gomez.

Weather

The coming days should be mostly sunny with daytime temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius.