News

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Anniversary of end of World War II celebrated in Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has been celebrating the 61st anniversary of the end of World War II. A number of ceremonies were held on Monday, including a commemoration of those who died during the war at Prague's Vitkov national memorial. President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek were among those who laid wreaths during the ceremony, which was attended by a number of Second World War veterans.

New soldiers make pledge, eight new generals sworn in

Over 200 new professional soldiers made their pledge of allegiance at Prague Castle, where later President Klaus promoted eight Czech Army officers to the rank of general.

But one man who was not given a higher rank was police chief Vladislav Husak: the prime minister had asked the president not to promote him after a recent incident in which a government official was beaten by a police officer during a demonstration.

First open day in over a decade at Prague's Cernin Palace

Victory in Europe Day, a state holiday in the Czech Republic, also saw an open day at the Cernin Palace, home to the Foreign Ministry. It was the first open day there for 12 years, and gave visitors the opportunity to see among other things the flat of post-war foreign minister Jan Masaryk, who met his death from one of its windows.

German trucks remove waste illegally imported to Czech Republic

Three German trucks on Monday began removing waste from a dump in the north Bohemian village of Libceves. The rubbish, illegally imported into the Czech Republic, will be incinerated in Saxony-Anhalt, where it originated. Firefighters were called out several times to deal with blazes at the Libceves dump, and the issue of cross-border dumping has been discussed by the Czech and German authorities.

Beavers off critical list

Beavers are now regarded as strongly endangered in the Czech Republic, as opposed to the previous, higher category of critically endangered, said a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Environment. Gamekeepers and fishermen say beavers cause damage to trees and water surfaces, though environmentalists welcome their return - they say the Czech Republic's alluvial forests are beavers' natural home.

Weather

It should remain mostly sunny, though there may be some storms in places. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 24 degrees Celsius later in the week.