Foreigners seeking asylum in the Czech Republic will no longer be able to move freely around the country, pending a decision on their application. A bill approved by the Lower House of Parliament seeks to prevent asylum seekers from filing applications and then attempting to cross the country's western borders illegally. The bill stipulates that while asylum proceedings are underway, applicants will be required to remain within the boundaries of their refugee centre and will only be given permission to leave under strictly set conditions, for instance if they should require medical care.
The police have retrieved a valuable Alfons Mucha painting that was stolen from a Slovak spa resort in 2002. The police found the painting in the possession of two men who were trying to sell it to Austrians in a Brno shopping centre for 95,000 Euros. They face prison sentences of up to five years for harbouring stolen property. Experts who examined the work of art said it was badly damaged.
The number of plaintiffs in the case against Bohumil Kulinsky, the director of the prestigious Bambini di Praga girls choir accused of sexual abuse, is growing. Kulinsky is accused of sexually abusing underage girls in the choir, something that allegedly went on for many years, and the police say that there have been over 100 complaints made against him so far. The police are questioning hundreds of girls, including those who left the choir years ago. One of the girls said Kulinsky has sex with her when she was only twelve. Kulinsky, who has been in detention for three weeks now, denies the charges. The Bambini di Praga girls choir is made up of girls aged 12 to 19. It performs with leading Czech and international orchestras and gives performances abroad several times a year.
The programming director of the commercial TV station Nova, Libuse Smuclerova, has resigned from her post in what is the first major personnel change at Nova after it was taken over again by the US company Central European Media Enterprises (CME). Ms Smuclerova declined to comment on the reason for her departure. She announced her decision at the company's Christmas party on Thursday. Ms Smuclerova was the right hand of former TV Nova CEO Vladimir Zelezny. She started working for TV Nova in 1993 and served as programming director since 1997.
Saturday is expected to be partly cloudy with day temperatures between 0 and 4 degrees Celsius.
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