Prague Mayor Pavel Bem, who climbed Mt Everest ten days ago, is due to take part in a regular city council meeting on Tuesday after two months spent in the Himalayas, his deputy told reporters. Mr Bem left the country at the end of March along with a group of alpinists. He reached the summit of Mt Everest on May 18th, only the tenth Czech to climb the world's tallest peak. Although Mr Bem was criticised both inside and outside his party for taking two months leave from his post as mayor of Prague, the city hall leadership as well as part of the opposition say his absence did not affect the operation of the office.
The Water Supply and Sewerage Association of the Czech Republic says that daily water consumption in the Czech Republic has decreased in the past two decades from 150 litres per capita to 100 litres. The association says that households have started using appliances with lower consumption and fewer people drink tap water. Also a sharp increase in formerly subsidised water prices in the 1990s contributed to the trend. Czech per capita water consumption is still about one third of that of some of the countries in the region.
Police say DNA tests have confirmed that the person who was taken to a
Brno children's home along with a severely abused boy and his brother
earlier this month was not a 13-year old girl called Anna but actually
32-year old Barbora Skrlova who was posing as an adopted daughter of Klara
Mauerova, now charged with two crimes. Police still have not ruled out
the real Anna might exist and are still searching both for her and
who escaped from the children's home and has gone missing.
According to latest information, the adult members of the family are involved in a religious sect which tried to create "a new deity" by giving 32-year-old Barbora Skrlova a new identity.
The Inspection of the Interior Minister has found out that eight senior officials of the Czech Prison Service have made mistakes in placing an order for mobile telephone jammers in prisons. Justice Minister Jiri Pospisil said the inspection suspects three officials of having committed a criminal offence. The anti-corruption and financial police are also investigating the purchase of mobile signal jammers and metal detectors for Czech prisons after speculation appeared in the press that corruption may have been involved in the purchase.
The regional court in Hradec Kralove has acquitted former choirmaster Bohumil Kulinsky who was accused of sexually abusing two underage female members of the Bambini di Praga children's choir. Mr Kulinsky faces prosecution in another 47 cases of alleged sexual abuse of choir members. Bohumil Kulinsky says he is innocent. He had been acquitted by the Hradec Kralove court last year for lack of evidence but an appeals court annulled the verdict and returned the case to the regional court.
The Czech power utility CEZ has agreed to invest 100 million crowns by 2013 in technical measures which would prevent wild birds being killed by high voltage cables. This measure will concern some 2,500 kilometres of cables across the Czech Republic. In recent years, CEZ has made safe around 783 kilometres of cables at a cost of over 23 million crowns.
A new poll by the CVVM agency suggests that every second Czech believes the number of foreigners living in the Czech Republic is high. Most respondents think these foreigners should assimilate in Czech society as much as possible. According to last year's data, around 2.5 percent of the country's population have a foreign nationality. Most foreigners live in the capital Prague. In neighbouring Austria, foreigners make up around 10 percent of the population.
The chairman of the opposition Social Democrats, Jiri Paroubek, has said his party would initiate a parliamentary vote of no-confidence in the government of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek if it happens that Deputy Prime Minister Jiri Cunek is indicted but remains in government. Police suspect Mr Cunek of having taken a bribe of half a million crowns in 2002 when he was mayor of the eastern town of Vsetin. The opposition parties say that Mr Cunek's remaining in government is untenable.
The CEO of the Czech power giant CEZ, Martin Roman, will donate 100 million crowns to a new school in Prague, Mlada fronta Dnes writes. For the donation, he is to use one fifth of the 750,000 CEZ shares he is entitled to as company head. The daily writes that the value of this incentive bonus is 700 million crowns before tax. According to the paper, Mr Roman's donation is to support a new private school whose headmaster is President Vaclav Klaus's elder son Vaclav.
Migrants who have entered the country illegally might in future be allowed to stay if they cooperate with the authorities and disclose the name of their smuggler. That is the main idea behind an interior ministry project aimed at reducing illegal migration. Ever since borders opened in 1989 the Czech Republic has become a transit state for illegal migrants from the east seeking a better life in Western Europe. The Czech authorities have been under growing pressure from Austria and Germany to take more effective measures against people smuggling.
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