The Czech Republic will see an additional increase in security measures following terrorist attacks in Egypt at the weekend. Speaking at a press conference on Monday the Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan said measures would include an increase in so-called sniffer dogs used to root out bombs, as well as a greater reliance on security cameras in public areas. Intelligence services will be more active, controls over the transport of explosives will be heightened, and for example, more Czech flights will make use of on-board police guards. Although, according to the prime minister, the Czech Republic is not under immediate threat, experts, as well as the prime minister, have said a terrorist attack was impossible to rule out.
7 million British pounds - that is the price that British daily The Guardian has reported football club Liverpool is asking for striker Milan Baros, almost doubling the price the club paid for the Czech player in 2001. Teams that have expressed an interest in acquiring Baros - who excelled in last year's European Championship - include Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna, English club West Ham United, and English side Aston Villa. According to The Guardian Aston Villa are especially interested in the Czech forward and may consider upping their official offer - until now - of 5 million pounds. Meanwhile, Baros has been on the ball, scoring two goals against Olympiakos Piraeus on Sunday.
A Czech Airlines special has returned from Egypt bringing back 176 Czech and Slovak holidaymakers who decided to cut short their vacations following Saturday's terrorist attacks. The plane, an Airbus A-310, is the third flight since Saturday to bring Czechs home from the Sharm el-Sheikh Red Sea Resort. A fourth is expected to return an additional 200 people late Monday. The Foreign Ministry has estimated there were between 1,500 and 2,000 Czech holidaymakers staying in the Sharm el-Sheik area, in about 40 different hotels, at the time of Saturday's attacks. Ministry spokesman Vit Kolar has said that it was a matter of luck that more Czechs weren't hurt or killed: one Czech man was among the more than 80 people who died.
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has said he has no plans at this time to look for anyone to succeed the Culture Minister Pavel Dostal, who died on Sunday. Mr Paroubek has said that such considerations would not be ethical coming immediately after the minister's death, but he did indicate he would begin considering the matter later in August. The Culture Minister Pavel Dostal died on Sunday at the age of 62, after a year-long fight with cancer. A former playwright and dissident, Mr Dostal was one the Czech Republic's most respected politicians. A memorial event in his honour has been planned for Thursday at the National Theatre in Prague.
President Vaclav Klaus has condemned the terrorist attack in Egypt which killed at least 88 people including one Czech. In a telegram sent to the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, President Klaus said this bloody and cowardly act proves that terrorism is one of the most dangerous phenomena our civilisation is facing. Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda has called on Czech citizens to avoid travelling to Egypt in the immediate future.
The Czech Culture Minister Pavel Dostal, an anti-communist dissident playwright turned politician, has died after a year-long battle with cancer, at the age of 62. Pavel Dostal died on Sunday morning at the Masaryk Oncology Institute in Brno where had been receiving cancer treatment after he had a tumour removed from his pancreas last autumn. Pavel Dostal was the longest-serving minister in the Czech cabinet. He served as culture minister since 1998 under four prime ministers. Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said that "Pavel Dostal was an excellent minister, a real servant of the state. He led Czech culture through a difficult transformation period. He had an extraordinary influence over the artistic community. He was a tireless political personality, but also a good husband and father."
The Czech Airlines special that was sent to Egypt on Saturday with medical personnel and a psychologist onboard has returned to Prague and brought back a hundred Czech tourists who decided to cut short their stay in Egypt. Among them was also the man who sustained light injuries in the blasts. According to estimates, there are between 1,500 and 2,000 Czech holidaymakers in the area, staying in about 40 different hotels.
Prague Mayor Pavel Bem has said that the weekend's anti-flood exercise
showed that the city can be ready to cope with flooding in half a day.
It took rescuers precisely half a day to erect barriers along the
Vltava River to protect the city, Mr Bem said. Some 500 fire fighters
and police officers raised 2.5 kilometres of portable aluminium walls
which are designed to protect the city against an 11-metre flood wave,
the level which the Vltava River reached during the 2002 floods that
cost the city 26 billion crowns (over a billion dollars). The massive
exercise, at an overall cost of 2 million crowns (80,000 dollars),
started on Friday evening and ended on Sunday afternoon.
The weather should continue to be partly cloudy in the coming days, with occasional showers. Heavier rain can be expected in the west of the country. Daytime temperatures should range from 23 to 15 degrees Celsius.
Czech diplomats in Egypt are still searching for potential injured Czech citizens in local hospitals but Czech travel agencies have not reported any missing people following Saturday's blasts in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh that killed at least 88 people. One Czech national, a 23-year old man, died and one other was injured in the explosions.
La Strada, an international organisation which helps victims of trafficking, has said that a bill regulating prostitution, approved by the Czech government on Wednesday, will not reduce trafficking in people. The organisation says the proposed bill will complicate the situation of many female and male prostitutes and expose them to a higher risk of exploitation. Under the bill, people from EU countries would be able to obtain licences for offering sexual services for money without problems while citizens of other countries would have to have a visa or a residence permit. The bill has yet to be approved by parliament and signed by the president.
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