• 02/08/2006

    Paediatricians, sexologists, social workers and others involved in child care attended a round table discussion in Prague on Wednesday. An estimated 18,000 children in the Czech Republic have been involved in prostitution, pornography, or were victims of some other type of commercial sexual abuse. This constitutes close to one percent of the country's population under the age of 18 years. According to Eva Vanickova from Charles University's medical faculty, it is up to paediatricians to be more attentive and look out for symptoms of abuse. The health ministry also presented a new information booklet on the problem.

    Author: Dita Asiedu
  • 02/08/2006

    The United States has filed a request for the extradition of a Swedish citizen arrested at Prague airport during a stop-over in December. Oussama Kassir, who is originally from Lebanon, is accused of trying to set up an al-Qaeda terrorist camp in the US state of Oregon in 2002.

    Author: Dita Asiedu
  • 02/07/2006

    The Czech foreign minister, Cyril Svoboda, has the described a boycott of Danish goods by some Muslim countries as a complete over-reaction to the publication of cartoons of Mohammad in the Danish press. Mr Svoboda said the burning of the flags of European Union states was an attack on values important to Europeans. He made the comments after talks with the European commissioner for trade, Peter Mandelson, who visited Prague on Tuesday. Mr Mandelson called for a sensitive and moderate resolution to the controversy.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/07/2006

    Later at the Ministry of Industry and Trade the commissioner praised the performance of the Czech economy and the country's approach to the issues of free trade and internal competition. Mr Mandelson also commended the Czech Republic's low unemployment in comparison with neighbouring states and relatively low public debt.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/07/2006

    A group of Romanies who said they had suffered discrimination at the hands of the Czech education authorities have lost a case against the Czech state at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Eighteen Romanies from north Moravia said the fact they had been sent to a so-called special school constituted a violation of their human rights. Their claims had previously been dismissed by the Czech Constitutional Court.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/07/2006

    Health Minister David Rath has called on doctors leaders to meet him before a large demonstration against his policies due to take place in Prague on February 24. Private doctors, dentists and pharmacists have called to changes to the system of payments for treatment, and want a halt to bills currently being prepared. For his part Mr Rath says the doctors have no reason to protest, and says the opposition Civic Democrats are behind the dispute.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/07/2006

    The sacked chairwoman of the Supreme Court, Iva Brozova, has filed a lawsuit challenging her dismissal against the whole of the Czech government. She had previously filed suits against President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek. Mr Klaus dismissed Ms Brozova last week at the request of the minister of justice, who said the Supreme Court was not fulfilling its duties.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/07/2006

    Star ice hockey winger Patrik Elias has been called up for the Czech squad for the Winter Olympics in Turin, after Petr Prucha was ruled out after spraining his ankle. Elias, who plays for New Jersey Devils, returned from a long injury after the original squad was named by coach Alois Hadamczik. The Czech team play their first game against Germany on Wednesday week.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/06/2006

    The Czech Republic's diplomatic mission in Ramallah has heightened security measures in connection with ongoing attacks on European embassies in various Arab countries, a spokesman for the Czech Foreign Ministry has said. Western governments are stepping up security measures at their embassies in Arab countries as demonstrations continue against cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad published in a newspaper in Denmark and elsewhere in Europe.

  • 02/06/2006

    The Interior Minister, Frantisek Bublan, is planning to meet representatives of six Muslim organisations in the Czech Republic next Monday, the ministry's spokeswoman said. They are to discuss the attacks on Danish and Norwegian embassies in the Middle East provoked by the printing of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in Danish and other European papers. Czech Muslim organisations said in a joint statement on Monday that the publication of the cartoons was a sign of hatred and Islamophobia. They called on personalities from the political, religious and cultural spheres to stand up against its signs and support understanding and dialogue.

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