There was a fall in the amount of money collected from an electronic tolling system for heavy trucks on Czech motorways in 2009, a spokesperson for the system’s operators told the Czech News Agency. The total raised last year was around CZK 5.5 billion, some 600 million less than in 2008. The decrease has been attributed to the economic downturn. The toll, which was introduced in 2007, is levied on all lorries weighing 12 tonnes or more.
A motorist was killed at Březov in west Bohemia on New Year’s Day after his car fell into the River Teplá. The driver died in the car which had turned upside down and was completely submerged. Police said it was as yet unclear as to whether he drowned or succumbed to other injuries. The cause of the accident is also being investigated.
Around 300 people took part in a demonstration on Saturday against plans to build a nuclear waste disposal site in the Šumava region of south Bohemia. Protestors from 19 municipalities in the foothills of the Šumava Mountains marched for 10 kilometres along the boundary of a 300-hectare site where the dump may be built. Under a long-term state energy plan, a list of potential locations in Šumava is to be shortened to two in 2015, with one being selected a decade later. Opponents say such a repository would devastate a large area.
The popular singer-songwriter Jaromír Nohavica performed in a new production entitled Czech Mozart at Ostrava’s Antonín Dvořák Theatre on Friday night. Nohavica, who has recast in verse form librettos from three of Mozart’s operas, presented excerpts from a number of the composer’s best known works. A repeat performance is being held on Sunday, though like Friday’s premiere it is completely sold out.
The Czech Republic’s chief hygiene officer says he expects two waves of the swine flu pandemic to hit the Czech Republic. In an interview for Právo, Michal Vít said the next wave of infection with the H1N1 virus could occur once pupils return to Czech schools after the Christmas break. However, it might not come until the start of March and could last until May, he told the newspaper. Mr Vít said the swine flu pandemic could last for a year or even longer.
Police in Prague have launched a murder investigation after a 43-year-old patient at a psychiatric unit in the city was evidently killed by another patient in the early hours of Saturday. The alleged killer had been taken to the Klarov teaching hospital by police after becoming aggressive and threatening members of his own family, the website of TV Nova reported. The man, who is 36, is being held at a medical facility in Prague 8 and is currently not in a condition to answer questions, the police said.
The soccer player Radoslav Kováč says he will not appear for the Czech national team again. Kováč made the announcement in an interview for Saturday’s edition of the newspaper Sport. The 30-year-old, who can play as either a centre back or a defensive midfielder, is currently at the English Premier League club West Ham, after spells at Sigma Olomouc, Sparta Prague and Spartak Moscow. Kováč made 30 appearances for the Czech Republic, scoring two goals.
The funeral has taken place in Prague of the popular actress Milena Dvorská, who died at the age of 71. Dvorská was discovered by the great Czech actor Jan Werich when she asked him for an autograph, and stayed at his house on Prague’s Kampa during the shooting of perhaps her best known film, 1954’s Byl jednou jeden král (Once Upon a Time, There was a King). She also appeared in the television serials Pan Tau and Ulice.
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