One Czech national, a 23-year old man, has died as a result of the blasts in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh that killed at least 88 people on Saturday. According to the Czech Foreign Ministry, at least one other Czech citizen has been injured in the explosions. A Czech Airlines special has been sent to Egypt with medical personnel and a psychologist onboard. The plane is due to return to Prague on Saturday night and can bring back up to 160 Czech tourists who decide to cut short their stay in Egypt. According to estimates, there are between 1,500 and 2,000 Czech holidaymakers in the area, staying in about 40 different hotels.
President Vaclav Klaus has condemned the terrorist attack in Egypt which killed at least 88 people including one Czech. In a telegram sent to the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, President Klaus said this bloody and cowardly act proves that terrorism is one the most dangerous phenomena our civilisation is facing. Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda has called on Czech citizens to avoid travelling to Egypt in the immediate future.
Prague Mayor Pavel Bem has said that the anti-flood exercise underway in Prague this weekend has shown that the city can be ready to cope with flooding in half a day. It took rescuers precisely half a day to erect barriers along the Vltava River to protect the city, Mr Bem said. Some 500 fire fighters and police officers raised 2.5 kilometres of portable aluminium walls which are designed to protect the city against a 11-metre flood wave, the level which the Vltava River reached during the 2002 floods that cost the city 26 billion crowns (over a billion dollars). The massive exercise, at an overall cost of 2 million crowns (80,000 dollars), will end on Sunday.
La Strada, an international organisation which helps victims of trafficking, has said that a bill regulating prostitution, approved by the Czech government on Wednesday, will not reduce trafficking in people. The organisation says the proposed bill will complicate the situation of many female and male prostitutes and expose them to a higher risk of exploitation. Under the bill, people from EU countries would be able to obtain licences for offering sexual services for money without problems while citizens of other countries would have to have a visa or a residence permit. The bill has yet to be approved by parliament and signed by the president.
The Novinky.cz news server has reported that the Culture Minister Pavel Dostal's condition has worsened overnight, and described it as critical. Mr Dostal is undergoing intensive cancer treatment at the Masaryk Oncology Institute in Brno. Mr Dostal has been receiving treatment since last December after he had a tumour removed from his pancreas last autumn. Pavel Dostal, who is 62, is the longest-serving minister in the Czech cabinet. He has served as culture minister since 1998 under four prime ministers.
The rest of the weekend should be partly cloudy with occasional rain and daytime temperatures ranging from 23 to 29 degrees Celsius.
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