The 16th Meeting of the Parties of the Montreal Protocol on the ozone layer has ended in Prague with a compromise agreement on the use of the chemical methyl bromide. The substance which is used to treat fruits and vegetables is believed to damage the ozone layer sixty times faster than the banned CFCs. The participants of the conference agreed that their countries would lower their consumption of the chemical in 2005. The limits for 2006 will be agreed on next year in June. The world's annual consumption of methyl bromide has declined from 64,000 tonnes in 1991 to about 26,000 tonnes. Apart from protecting crops, methyl bromide is also used as a solvent and disinfectant.
The Czech immigration and border police carried out another nationwide operation to crack down on illegal immigrants on Friday night. Only in Prague and Central Bohemia, the police checked about 1,000 people. Around 40 people were arrested and 20 expelled from the country. Police also found two wanted persons during the overnight raid. The officers focused on dormitories, marketplaces, restaurants, bus and train stations, night clubs and roads connecting the state borders with large cities.
The director and choirmaster of the world-renowned children's choir Bambini di Praga, Bohumil Kulinsky, has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing underage girls, the members of his choir. A court has to decide now whether Mr Kulinsky will be taken into custody. The CTK news agency says that if found guilty he faces up to 10 years in prison. Mr Kulinsky's mother is now in charge of Bambini di Praga as the choir is leaving for a Japanese tour on Sunday. Bambini di Praga was founded in 1973 by Bohumil Kulinsky Sr. and his wife Blanka.
Eight thousand spectators watched as 850 military history enthusiasts in period costumes and gear re-enacted the famous Battle of Austerlitz on Saturday, in which Napoleon's troops clashed with Austrian and Russian armies on December 2nd, 1805. The fields near the village of Slavkov, or Austerlitz, outside Brno in Moravia, were the scene of Napoleon's greatest victory 199 years ago, also known as the Battle of Three Emperors.
The ski season has begun in many ski resorts around the Czech Republic. Despite a cold and foggy weather, thousands of skiers flooded the mountain resorts in Bohemia and Moravia on Saturday. However, only some ski lifts are in operation and in lower altitudes the slopes have to be supplied with technical snow. Ski lift operators agree that the number of skiers is good for this time of the year but say that the proper ski season does not start until Christmas.
While it is snowing in the mountains the rest of the country can expect rain in the coming days and daytime temperatures around 5 degrees Celsius.
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