Electricity still not restored in some households in southern Bohemia

Close to ten thousand households are still without electricity in southern Bohemia, after heavy snowfall paralyzed the region as well as the eastern parts of the country this week. Strong winds continue to complicate communication as fallen trees are blocking roads and railways.

Former Defence Minister Tvrdik plans brief comeback in Czech politics

Former Defence Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik is planning a comeback in Czech politics. The current president of the state-run airline Czech Airlines (CSA) intends to give up his post to help the senior party in the ruling coalition, the Social Democratic Party, prepare for the general elections in mid-June. Mr Tvrdik says his comeback will be short, as he does not plan to stay in politics after his job as election manager is done.

The head of the Administration Division of the country's biggest power utility CEZ, Radomir Lasak, is expected to replace Mr Tvrdik as CSA president on January 18. His main task will be to prepare the airliner for privatisation.

Government approves new legislation that regulates economic competition

The Czech government has approved an amendment to the law regulating economic competition. Proposed by the lower house of the Czech Parliament, the amendment's main aim is to prevent the abuse of a dominant position on the market. It protects the rights of weaker parties in business relationships between construction firms or supermarket chains and their suppliers, for example.

New monitoring system to collect data on Roma community

The government has decided to record data on the Roma community, using a new monitoring system. The information collected is to be in the fields of employment, qualifications, salaries, accommodation, credit history, and education. Following Wednesday's government session, Justice Minister Pavel Nemec said the system, which would only collect anonymous data, is to aid the state in finding more effective ways of improving the living standards of Romanies.

Roma women to join forces and improve conditions of Roma

Around one hundred Romany women will be meeting in Prague next month to discuss the ways in which they can actively improve the living standards of themselves and their families. The conference is organised by the grouping "Manushe", which has been promoting the need for an education, independence, and self-confidence among Roma women.

Four Hills ski jump: Janda takes overall lead but beaten by Bystoel

World Cup leader Jakub Janda was beaten by Norway's Lars Bystoel, who won the third stage of the Four Hills ski jumping tournament at Innsbruck on Wednesday. But Janda was able to take the overall lead of the tournament away from Finland's Janne Ahonen after winning the opening event in Oberstdorf and coming second at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Weather forecast

The next few days will continue to have overcast skies and scattered snowfall. Day-time temperatures will range from 1 to -3 degrees Celsius.