• 11/26/2003

    The Environment Ministry has refused permission to the Transport Ministry to build two weirs on the Elbe River in north Bohemia, saying both proposed weirs were in protected areas. However, the ministry's decision could be overruled in a vote in the Chamber of Deputies this week. Under a bill put forward by the former transport minister, Jaromir Schling, the law on the environment would make exceptions for the modernisation of waterways of international importance, meaning the Elbe, the Oder and the Danube. Environmental groups say, however, that the bill would allow for unprecedented devastation of the landscape.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 11/26/2003

    Police in the north Moravian city of Ostrava have arrested a group of seven people accused of smuggling drugs into a local prison. A prisoner serving a seven-year sentence for producing the amphetamine pervitine is accused of selling the drug to other inmates.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 11/24/2003

    Three police officers have been accused of assaulting a group of Romany men in the East Bohemian town of Dobruska at the weekend. The accusations were made by witnesses to the incident, which took place in a local gambling bar. The witnesses said the officers had attacked the men without the reason. However a police spokesman said the officers themselves were assaulted and that coercive means were only used after the men became aggressive. He said one of the men broke several panes of glass with his head while being restrained at the local police station. The men face charges of assaulting a police officer and hooliganism.

    Author: Rob Cameron
  • 11/21/2003

    President Vaclav Klaus, who is on a four-day working visit to the United States, has held talks with the US vice president, Dick Cheney. During Thursday's meeting Mr Klaus told Mr Cheney that the Czech Republic, like the US, was not a "strong supporter" of the development of common European defence forces. The two men also discussed the situation in Iraq and the latest terrorist attacks. Mr Klaus has met several senior officials in the US, including the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, and the president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn. Before returning to Prague, Mr Klaus was also due to meet members of the Czech community in the US and to visit a monument to the first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 11/21/2003

    Meanwhile, the Association of Independent Trade Unions has called on President Klaus to veto parts of a government financial reform package. Officials said on Friday that over 100,000 union members had signed the letter, which demands amendments to legislation designed to combat the Czech Republic's record budget deficit.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 11/20/2003

    President Vaclav Klaus, who is on a visit to the United States, is going to meet the US Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday to discuss global issues, including the situation in Iraq. On Wednesday, President Klaus gave a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington and in the afternoon met with Senator Richard Lugar for talks about bilateral and international relations.

  • 11/19/2003

    The Czech field hospital in Basra is to leave the country before the end of the year, having completed an eight month long mission in the southern Iraqi city. The hospital treated both civilians and soldiers, conducting over 200 operations and treating over 10,000 people. Making the announcement in Prague on Wednesday, Czech Defence Minister Miroslav Kostelka said the hospital staff had done a great job and its work was much appreciated both by the allies and the locals. The field hospital is to be replaced by a Czech military police unit to be deployed 25 kilometres from Basra. The unit is to help train local police officers.

  • 11/19/2003

    The police is investigating an anonymous bomb threat which prompted a Czech airliner bound for the US to make an emergency landing in Iceland on Tuesday evening. The CSA flight, carrying 174 passengers, was forced to land in Keflavik after the US embassy in Prague received a hoax threat claiming there was a bomb on board. A search of the plane revealed no explosive. The flight's passengers and crew were housed in Iceland overnight and continued the flight to New York on another CSA plane on Wednesday afternoon.

  • 11/19/2003

    The Czech Veterinary Office has confirmed an eighth positive case of BSE or mad cow disease in the Czech Republic. The animal was from a farm in southern Moravia and vets are now debating the number of animals which will have to be put down and tested. The number is expected to be at around 200.

  • 11/19/2003

    An amateur palaeontologist has uncovered the first dinosaur bone ever in the Czech Republic, found within the vicinity of a quarry in Kutna Hora. Michal Moucka, a doctor, was walking with his children when he spotted a bone in the ground that brought to mind it might be a dinosaur's, later confirmed by professionals. The bone comes from a specimen known as Inguanodontide, a herbivore that lived around 95 million years ago. It was between 2.5 to 3 metres tall and 4 to 5 metres long. Experts are speculating the specimen may have been about twenty years old when it died. Interestingly, the bone has revealed tooth markings left by a primitive shark. Palaeontologists are now hoping to research the bone fully to construct a model of the specimen that would be displayed at Prague's National Museum.

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