A man who drove through a red light and hit five people at a pedestrian crossing in the east Bohemian town of Pardubice on Tuesday was found to be driving without a license. He is being questioned by the police. The injuries inflicted were serious: an elderly woman died, while the other four pedestrians - including a three-year-old child - have been hospitalised. Minutes before the accident the man had been involved in a minor traffic collision - he was fleeing the scene when he broke the red light.
Czech customs officers say they have confiscated twenty tons of potentially cancer-causing nuts from Turkey. A test of random samples found that they far exceeded the set limits of potentially dangerous substances. The delivery was bound for European markets. In 2004 a load of over 120 tons of nuts from China and Iran was confiscated for the same reason. Experts say the high level of carcinogenic substances found in them is due to certain types of mould which are most likely caused by inadequate storage conditions.
An Interior Ministry inspection team has started interrogating the police officers who were recorded beating and kicking young people at the CzechTek music festival at the end of July. All four officers who are suspected of having broken regulations have been suspended, pending the outcome of the investigation which is expected to take several weeks. A parallel investigation is being conducted by the Ombudsman's Office. The government has been severely criticised for its handling of the open air techno party. Over a hundred people were injured on both sides after riot police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse a crowd of around 5,000 participants, on the grounds that they were trespassing on private property.
One fourth of Czechs, mainly women, say they have encountered sexual harassment at the work place. According to the results of a poll conducted by the Czech Academy of Sciences, thirteen percent said they had experienced it personally, fifteen percent said they had seen it going on or had heard colleagues complain about it. Although sexual harassment was qualified as a crime by an amendment to the labor code in 2004, few cases get to court. The poll indicates that the victims of harassment usually resolve the problem by seeking a job elsewhere.
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has held meetings with the two men in the running to replace the late Pavel Dostal as culture minister. Mr Paroubek said both actor Viteslav Jandak and Vladimir Darjanin, head of the Czech pavilion at Expo 2005, were qualified for the job in different ways. Mr Jandak's name emerged after many in the Czech arts world questioned the suitability of Mr Darjanin.
The Petrin Observation Tower was the most visited sight in Prague last month, according to figures released by the Prague Information Service. Almost 50,000 climbed the city's "little Eiffel Tower" last month. The second most popular sight was the Old Town Hall, which was visited by 37,000 tourists.
The police in Croatia have called for Czech tourists in the country to be better informed about the dangers of holidaying by the Adriatic Sea; 14 Czechs have died in Croatia so far this summer, including a 16-year-old boy who was killed when his rubber boat was struck by lightning on Sunday. Croatia is the most popular foreign holiday destination for Czechs, with an estimated 800,000 due to visit the country this year.
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek on Monday met with two hot candidates for the post of culture minister. They are actor Viteslav Jandak and the general commissioner of the Czech Republic to the World Expo 2005 in Japan Vladimir Darjanin. The prime minister's office said he would take another week or so to make up his mind who would be the best man for the job. The post was left vacant following the death of the late culture minister Pavel Dostal in July.