After being denied their traditional venue, the Communists - who are currently in opposition - held their rally in Prague's 19th century Vystaviste exhibition grounds. An estimated 8,000 mostly elderly Communist supporters gathered at the venue, to hear speeches from leading Communist officials, including party leader Vojtech Filip. Also attending was Milos Jakes, leader of the totalitarian Communist Party until 1989, and Jiri Dolejs, the party's deputy leader who was beaten up last week in what he said was a politically-motivated attack.
Meanwhile a senior official from the government's human rights section says she was beaten and arrested by police during the demonstration. Katerina Jacques, a candidate for the opposition Green Party in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, had to be treated in hospital after the incident. Mrs Jacques, who was with her two young children, says she was thrown to the ground, kicked and beaten with a truncheon before being handcuffed and taken away for questioning. Police have refused to comment.
People of all different political persuasions have been attending a series of May Day rallies in towns and cities across the country. In Prague's Letna Plain, a large open-air space where the Communist Party have traditionally held their rallies, several thousand people attended a large anti-Communist gathering. The rally was organised by a group called the Confederation of Political Prisoners, and politicians from several right-of-centre parties spoke to the crowds.
A centuries-old May Day tradition ended in tragedy on Monday when a 20-year-old man was killed by a falling maypole after he and other youths from a neighbouring village cut it down. The tragedy took place in the village of Volduchy, West Bohemia, at around 7am. So far it is unclear whether anyone will be charged with the young man's death.
In other news, the Czech Trade and Industry ministry says the South Korean car-maker Hyundai still intends to go ahead with a new assembly plant in North Moravia despite the arrest last week of the company's chairman Chung Mong-Koo on embezzlement charges. Minister Milan Urban said the signing ceremony would now be held in Seoul, and not the town of Nosovice, where the one-billion-plant will be built. Mr Chung and Hyundai are accused of creating slush funds to pay politicians and officials for business favours.
The forced administration that was put in place last November at the country's biggest state-owned health insurer, VZP, will be terminated on Tuesday, says Health Minister David Rath. In a televised debate on Sunday, Mr Rath said VZP's close to 14 billion crown debt has now been reduced to under 7 billion crowns. The insurer will also have a new director, Pavel Horak, as of Tuesday May 2.
Sixty-six year old singer Karel Gott is the proud father of a healthy newborn baby girl. Charlotte Ella was born early on Sunday morning. The Czech pop icon, who has never been married, already has two daughters from previous relationships. Mr Gott's 30-year old partner, Ivana Machackova, is two years younger than his oldest daughter.
Two coaches with Polish tourists on board had accidents independent from each other in the Czech Republic on Saturday. Six people were injured - the driver seriously - when one coach crashed into a stationary lorry on the D5 motorway near Rokycany, western Bohemia. The cause of the accident has yet to be determined. In the second accident in eastern Bohemia, the coach driver fell asleep and the vehicle overturned into a ditch. Seven passengers were injured; two of them are still in hospital.
Water levels of some rivers in Moravia have risen extensively following heavy rain on Saturday. Some areas in southern Moravia were put on the highest degree of flood alert. Meteorologists say the worst is over in most parts of the country, where only light showers are expected in the next few days. The Czech Republic is still recovering from a week of heavy flooding, which paralysed many regions earlier this month.
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