The Czech Republic has reopened its embassy to North Korea. The mission is headed by charge d'affairs Miroslav Podhajsky. On Wednesday, the embassy started distributing humanitarian aid that the Czech Republic had sent following the tragic railway accident in North Korea earlier this year that killed 170 people. North Korean authorities first expressed interest in the reopening of the Czech embassy last year. The Czechoslovak embassy to Pyongyang was closed in the early 1990s.
Another suspected case of BSE or mad cow disease has been reported on a farm near the east Bohemian town of Trutnov. The four-year old cow first showed symptoms of BSE in May. Further tests have yet to confirm whether the animal really suffered from mad cow disease. So far, eleven cases of BSE have been confirmed in the Czech Republic, the first one in 2001.
A tornado hit the Moravian district of Olomouc on Wednesday afternoon, killing one man and causing damage worth tens of millions of crowns. The man was killed when a tree fell on his car. The tornado tore away roofs and knocked down dozens of trees. Also many houses were flooded after intensive rain in the region. Meteorologists say that several tornadoes occur every year in the Czech Republic.
The High Court in Prague has sentenced 28-year old Karel Hajek to three years and four months in prison for making a series of hoax bomb threats to the public transport system, as well as against a private company in the west Bohemian city of Plzen, in August and September last year. Karel Hajek had demanded to be paid over 15 million crowns. No bombs were ever found.
Police in Austria say they have found a number of baroque statues that were stolen from churches and town squares in South Moravia in recent years. The value of the statues is estimated at 2 million crowns (65,000 euros); some of them have been returned to their owners. Around 50 sandstone sculptures were stolen in South Moravia between 2000 and 2003 to be sold on the Austrian antiques market. Police are now investigating who stole the statues and how they got across the border undetected.
Friday should be slightly cooler than the last few days, with daytime temperatures hovering around 20 degrees Celsius. Occasional rain is forecast for most parts of the country.
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