News

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Minister says bird flu now likely in Czech Republic - though no cases uncovered yet

Agriculture Minister Jan Mladek has said that bird flu - the deadly H5N1 virus - has likely already reached the Czech Republic, although no cases have been uncovered yet. The minister made the comment on Sunday during a discussion programme on the commercial broadcaster TV Nova. On Sunday the spokesman for the Czech State Veterinary Authority, Josef Duben, also confirmed no cases of the virus had been found - with more than 500 wild and more than 100 domestic specimens all testing negative. All of the Czech Republic's neighbours - Poland the latest on Sunday - have now confirmed cases of the virus.

Heavy snowfall continues to worsen conditions on country's roads

Heavy snowfall in parts of the Czech Republic has continued to worsen conditions on some roads, especially in parts of Southern Bohemia and Moravia. The Czech Republic, like other parts of Central and Eastern Europe, has experienced one of its harsher winters in recent memory. On Sunday, snow fall played a role in delays on roads for example in the Prachitice region of Southern Bohemia, which saw 20 centimetres of new snow overnight. Drivers have been warned to proceed with caution. Road clearing crews spent much of Saturday night clearing extensive snowdrifts.

Grebenicek softens previous criticism of Communist Party's approach to Social Democrats

Former head of the Communist Party Miroslav Grebenicek has softened recent criticism in which he indicated his party was "too soft" on the government ruling Social Democrats. Speaking on a Sunday TV debate programme, Mr Grebenicek backtracked on the statement made during the week, saying that was no longer the case. He also praised his successor Vojtech Filip. During the week Mr Grebenick threatened to give up his candidacy to Parliament in upcoming national elections, if the Communist Party did not take a stronger stance on the Social Democrats - completing their 2nd successive term in government.

A number of polls have suggested that if elections were held today the Social Democrats would finish 2nd behind the right-of-centre Civic Democratic Party, with the Communists finishing third.

President marks upcoming T.G. Masayrk Day with ride in historic train

Czech President Vaclav Klaus and his wife Livia Klausova marked the upcoming T.G. Masaryk Day (March 7th) by taking a 20 minute train ride in the region of Kladno, near Prague, in a historic steam-powered train once used by Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, Czechoslovakia's first president. Masaryk was born on March 7th, 1850 - that is, 156 years ago. Mr Klaus, his wife, and four grandchildren took part in Sunday's ride, looking out from Masaryk's original salon car - before meeting members of the public in Kladno. Later on Sunday: the president, his wife, and some 200 others took part in a special memorial ceremony at Lany Chateau honouring Masaryk's memory. Czechoslovakia's first president died at Lany in September 1937 at the age of 87, and is buried there along with his wife Charlotte, and son Jan and daughter Alice.

Foreign Ministry commission to weighs on proposals in documentary tender

The Foreign Ministry has revealed that a ministry commission is currently weighing three proposals in a public tender on a project which will extensively map anti-Nazi activities in Czechoslovakia during World War II. The project is especially aimed at examining contributions by those members of Czechoslovakia's ethnic German minority who fought against the Nazis but suffered reprisals or injustice after the war.

Weather

The beginning of the week will likely see some cloudy periods with sunny intervals. Daytime temperatures on Monday are expected to go up to 4 degrees Celsius.