Preliminary police statistics suggest that more people have been killed on Czech roads in September than in the same month last year and two years ago. By September 29th, 112 people died in road accidents, while in 2006 the number of casualties was 94, and 103 the year before. September has been the fourth month in a row with the number of road fatalities exceeding 100, July being the worst month with 119 dead. On Friday and Saturday, police reported 795 traffic accidents resulting in 11 fatalities. Twenty-six people sustained serious injuries and 159 were slightly injured.
Several dozen left-wing activists gathered in the town of Kladno in Central Bohemia on Sunday to protest against fascism and racism. Several dozen police officers accompanied the march to prevent any clashes with far-right activists also present in the town. Around 200 far-right demonstrators gathered in Kladno on Saturday to mark St. Wenceslas Day. Both events had been approved by the town authorities.
Meteorologists say October will be rainier than usual, with temperatures below the average. The first week of the month should be partly cloudy with daytime temperatures reaching up to 20 degrees Celsius. As of October 11th, we can expect cloudy to overcast skies, occasional rain and night time temperatures between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. Temperatures in the daytime should not exceed 15 degrees Celsius. Towards the end of the month snow can be expected in mountainous areas.
The village of Hyncice in North Moravia has opened to visitors the parental house of 19th century biologist and priest Johann Gregor Mendel, sometimes called "the father of modern genetics". Mendel was born in Hyncice in 1822 into a family of a poor German-speaking farmer and later conducted his famous experiments with pea plants in a Brno monastery. The renovated 18th-century farmhouse houses exhibitions on the scientist's life and the history of plant cultivation in Moravia. The renovation cost 30 million crowns which the village received partly from EU funds, the region and the national government.
The Green Party chapter in the Liberec Region has asked the outgoing education minister Dana Kuchtova to reconsider her decision to step down. The regional chapter says there are no genuine reasons for her leaving the post as neither the education ministry nor the education system are in crisis. They say the recent developments are a result of a power struggle motivated by "the dream of billions of crowns from EU funds". The Liberec Green Party chapter has also criticised party chairman Martin Bursik for not providing enough backing to Dana Kuchtova.
The Czech Association of Men, a men's rights pressure group, is calling on Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek to dismiss the cabinet minister responsible for minorities and human rights Dzamila Stehlikova. The association says Ms Stehlikova discriminates against organisations promoting men's and fathers' rights, namely in the Governmental Council for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men. Minister Stehlikova has denied any discriminatory practices, adding that she has been trying to increase the number of non-governmental organisations representing men.
The Czech Police anti-organised crime squad say they have detained five people suspected of committing a series of robberies causing overall damage worth around 22 million crowns. A spokeswoman said the police unit had been monitoring the gang for more than a year and arrested three of its members in January. According to the police, the gang has been active in Central and South Bohemia since 2003. All five suspects have been remanded in custody and face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.
The outgoing education minister Dana Kuchtova of the Green Party says she would like her deputy and party colleague Dusan Luzny to succeed her in the post. Speaking in a televised debate on Sunday, Ms Kuchtova said she was going to consult all potential candidates with Green Party chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Martin Bursik. Ms Kuchtova says she believes her party will agree on her successor next Sunday. Dana Kuchtova decided to resign earlier this week in connection with a poorly drafted bid for EU funding.
The Elbe River Management warned of increased danger of floods on Saturday after heavy rains in the Krkonose Mountains caused local streams to swell. As a preventative measure, water levels at two local dams have been lowered so the dams could absorb increased amounts of water. The water level in the Elbe is expected to get back to normal by Sunday and no major precipitation should occur in the area.
Former Czech president Vaclav Havel is to be awarded this year's German Dolf Sternberger prize for public addresses, the DPA news agency has reported, adding that Mr Havel will receive the award in Prague on October 23rd. The organisers said that Mr Havel has "effectively tied his speeches with his political behaviour, thus shaping political awareness not only of people in his homeland but also abroad." The prize has been presented since 1992. Among its winners are former German chancellors Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt, former east German priest and human rights campaigner Joachim Gauck and current German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.
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