Two new cases of bird flu have been discovered in the Czech Republic. Two dead swans were found near Breclav in south Moravia; at least one of them had the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, said a spokesperson for the state veterinary authority. Previously 12 cases of bird flu were detected in south Bohemia.
Czech government announces record Q1 economic growth figures. Czech industrial production rises 3.0 percent in March. Low-key ceremony marks signing for Hyundai's Czech plant. Czech power company CEZ selects Russian nuclear fuel supplier. Sales at Czech internet portals top 1 billion crowns in 2005. Investors buy flats with regulated rents.
Those of you, who are familiar with the internet, will probably have come across the global interactive encyclopaedia called Wikipedia. It is written by volunteers and anyone with an internet connection can contribute to it. It all started five years ago and now there are almost 4 million articles in over 100 language versions, including a Czech one.
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has backed fellow Social Democrat and
Agriculture Minister Jan Mladek, saying Mr Maldek posed no threat to
state security following information released by a Czech daily saying
that the minister had been refused a clearance certificate by the
National Security Authority five years ago, allowing him, for example,
to access secret documents. The prime minister has said that he has no
information at his disposal that Mr Mladek - as agriculture minister -
posed any kind of danger. At the same time, he said that he expected
the minister to undergo vetting to dispel any doubts about his security
suitability - even if not required by the law.
The daily Mlada fronta Dnes wrote earlier this week that the National Security Authority had refused to grant Mr Mladek security vetting in 2001 when he was deputy finance minister. According to the paper, Mr Mladek had connections to a number of Russian business figures suspected of having links to Russian intelligence services. The minister has denied any such contacts, and dismissed the claim as mere allegation.
The minister of agriculture, Jan Mladek, does not have a "confidential" category security clearance, after having an application refused by the National Security Office five years ago, Mlada fronta Dnes reported on Thursday. No official reason has been given, but the daily suggests Mr Mladek, a deputy finance minister in 2001, had contacts with Russian businessmen who Czech intelligence had under surveillance. He resigned from the post after the vetting rejection and kept it secret, the paper said.
The Czech Republic is spending big bucks to keep pace on the information superhighway. The latest example: Plans announced by Cesky Telecom last week to invest .5 million dollars to expand its high-speed ADSL Internet service to 98 percent of the country. Here in Prague, technology is in the air - literally. More and more hotels, cafes and restaurants now offer wireless Internet connections, and plans for a city-wide network have been discussed.
The Czech Veterinary Office has called off special measures aimed at preventing the spread of bird flu in two of the five areas where infected birds were found. They include a ban on outdoor breeding and a ban on the transport of live birds and poultry products. The last infected bird was found on Czech territory three weeks ago and if no further cases appear the measures will gradually be modified and lifted in all affected areas of southern Bohemia. Altogether twelve birds were found to be infected with the lethal H5N1 virus, all of them in southern Bohemia.
European Union agriculture ministers have agreed to give farmers, who have been wrestling with a decrease in poultry and egg sales, extra aid. With the rising number of bird flu cases around Europe, the consumption of eggs and poultry has fallen dramatically in some EU states. Czech Agriculture Minister Jan Mladek hopes with the aid, foreign poultry suppliers affected by slumped sales will no longer be forced to sell their products at dumping prices in countries like the Czech Republic.
It took years to convince the Czech health ministry to allow the setting up of a baby box which would enable mothers to give up their unwanted child anonymously. After lengthy negotiations the first baby box appeared in Prague just a year ago and a second opened in Brno last November. Three children were placed in the Prague baby box in the past year and although time has shown that they are not being abused, there is still plenty of controversy surrounding the project.