Daily news summary News

23-12-2005

Czech BBC broadcasts final programme

The Czech-language service of the BBC broadcast its final programme on Friday evening. After the BBC World Service announced it was axing it and several other language services, the Czech BBC failed in a bid to continue as part of BBC Worldwide with commercial backing.

The station, which had a small but influential audience, will broadcast news bulletins until the end of January.

Meanwhile the BBC World Service is hoping to win the agreement of the Czech Broadcasting Council to maintain its English broadcasting in the Czech Republic.

Birth rate up in first nine months of 2005

The number of babies born in the Czech Republic in the first nine months of this year was around 4,000 higher than in the same period in 2004. Almost 80,000 babies were born, and though the number of deaths exceeded the number of births, the gap became smaller this year, the Czech Statistical Office said.

Meanwhile, almost 30,000 more people immigrated to the Czech Republic than moved abroad. The number of marriages up to the end of September was slightly up at 41,000, while 24,000 couples got divorced, marginally less than last year.

Klaus accepts resignation of Jahn

President Vaclav Klaus on Friday accepted the resignation of Martin Jahn as deputy prime minister for the economy. Mr Jahn is to be replaced by Jiri Havel, formerly the head of the National Property Fund.

Military exports up, Czech firms doing more business with EU states

Exports of Czech arms and military equipment have increased, says a Foreign Ministry report quoted by Lidove Noviny. Since joining the European Union the Czech Republic has significantly increased arms exports to other EU states, which are regarded as more demanding markets. Its main customers are India, Slovakia and Poland, the paper says.

Carp prices down as more Czechs opt for non-traditional Christmas dinner

Prices of the traditional Czech Christmas food carp have fallen, as the fish faces competition from other foods such as salmon and poultry. Carp prices are about 5 percent lower than last year, a spokesperson for the biggest Czech carp producer, Rybarstvi Trebon, told the AFP news agency.

Many Czechs take live carp home and keep them in the bath, killing the fish themselves shortly before consumption on Christmas Eve.

Weather

It should be wet and cloudy with some bright spells over the festive season, with temperatures of up to 7 degrees Celsius.

23-12-2005