A new Arabic-Czech dictionary has been launched. Four authors spent a decade preparing the dictionary, which is based on the literary Arabic of the last 20 years. Around 40 students are admitted to study Arabic at Prague's Charles University every two years. It is also taught at the University of West Bohemia in Plzen and at language schools around the Czech Republic.
The plug has been pulled on a project to increase internet access in Czech schools, Czech Television reported. The Education Ministry was due to receive a billion crowns a year for this purpose until 2010, but deputies refused to approve it in the 2007 budget. The Association of School IT Experts condemned the move; a spokesperson said Greece was the only state in the EU with worse school internet provision.
Police seized personal computers in raids on private homes in Kadan and Klasterec in north Bohemia, TV Nova reported on Friday. Fourteen PCs were impounded because their owners had pirated software or had illegally downloaded films from the internet. The raids were the first of their kind in the Czech Republic, said a police spokesperson.
Charges have been dropped against an Ostrava man who advocated a weight-loss diet based on taking the meta-amphetamine pervitine. Dalimil Dobrota said on his website that slimmers were guaranteed to shed pounds if they took the drug and did not eat at all, and offered to send instructions on how to make pervitine at home. Police said they decided not to prosecute Mr Dobrota after coming to the conclusion that he was a "madman".
Operatives of a security firm which guards the Radio Free Europe building in Prague film and take photographs of "suspicious" pedestrians, Pravo reported on Saturday. While the RFE/Radio Liberty building is just off the top of Wenceslas Square, the plain-clothes security guards operate as far away as Mustek, at the very bottom of the square, said the paper, quoting a source close to the station. Pravo said the film and photographs are sent to secret services in the USA.
The executive council of the Civic Democratic Party unanimously agreed on
Friday to begin talks on forming a government with the Christian Democrats
and the Greens. A previous attempt to form such a coalition failed as the
alliance was one vote short of a majority. The Civic Democrats, who came
first in elections in June, say this time they hope to win the support of
deputies from other parties.
However, the Christian Democrats could scupper this plan: they say they will not take part in a coalition elected with the support of turn-coat deputies.
Meanwhile, the leftist Social Democrats have issued a call on two rebel MPs to return to the party's deputies group.
President Vaclav Klaus has signed a bill increasing the 2006 state budget deficit by about ten billion crowns that are needed to pay out pensions, and a bill postponing new sick leave benefits validity until 2008. The lower house passed the bill on the increase in this year's budget deficit on December 12th. Labour and Social Affairs Minister Petr Necas and Finance Minister Vlastimil Tlusty said that the pension system would have been otherwise short of some 10 billion crowns this month. The 2006 budget deficit will increase to almost 84 billion crowns from the originally planned 74 billion.