Lorry carrying waste sent back to Germany
Border police in North Bohemia turned back a lorry carrying a load of communal waste from Germany in the early hours of Saturday. The driver claimed he had only crossed the border to buy diesel. The Czech Environment Inspection Authority estimates some 15,000 tonnes of rubbish have been imported from Germany in recent months and dumped illegally in the Czech Republic.
Roads in North Bohemia blocked as skiers arrive and leave
Roads around the northern town of Liberec were blocked on Saturday morning as hundreds of tourists were leaving the Jizerske Mountains and new holidaymakers were arriving at the ski resorts. Local hotel managers say the past week was one of the busiest in the season as children from the Czech Republic as well as some neighbouring countries had come to spend their school break in the mountains.
Health Minister calls on Pharmos to submit evidence of corruption
Health Minister David Rath has called on the pharmaceutical wholesaler Pharmos to submit evidence proving alleged corruption practices at the Health Ministry, otherwise the ministry will take legal action against it. Pharmos initially agreed to resume supplies of medicines to three indebted teaching hospitals after it had stopped deliveries along with three other distributors. The company has now finally decided to end supplies because of alleged corruption at the ministry.
Far-right activists gather in Bruntal
A few dozen far-right activists staged a protest against drugs, a growing influence of communism and what they called "foreign crime" in the town of Bruntal in North Moravia on Saturday afternoon. Some twenty left-wing activists also arrived in the town but police managed to keep the two groups apart.
Havel opposes sending giant neon heart to Kabul
Former Czech president Vaclav Havel opposes plans to send a giant neon heart which temporarily adorned Prague Castle to the Afghan capital Kabul, warning that it might cause religious offence, the newspaper Mlada fronta Dnes reported on Saturday. The heart, by artist Jiri David, became a highly visible landmark in the Czech capital at the end of Mr Havel's last term in 2002. The former president's secretary, Jakub Hladik, told the paper that there were indications that the heart could be viewed as a religious symbol and cause conflict. The heart had been bought by the World Development Organisation which came up with the idea of displaying it in Kabul.
A cold front is expected to bring night time temperatures down to minus 11 to minus 15 degrees Celsius. Skies are expected to remain partly cloudy in the next few days with a chance of snow in higher altitudes. Daytime temperatures should hover just below freezing.