The Ombudsman's office has uncovered over 50 cases of unlawful sterilisation of women. In an interview for Czech Television, Ombudsman Otakar Motejl said his office had been looking into the cases for over a year. Mr Motejl said Health Ministry documentation on the sterilisations did not contain written requests, or evidence that the women had been fully informed about the procedure. He said the cases, which mostly involve Romany women did not reflect racial discrimination.
North Moravia was the region hardest hit by heavy snowfalls and freezing temperatures on Friday; the Karvina area declared a state of disaster and Ostrava's Mosnov airport was forced to close. Many parts of the Czech Republic have experienced major problems on the roads and power blackouts in recent days. Forecasters have warned of ice and frost over the holiday weekend.
The Interior Ministry has given the Union of Communist Youth until the end of March to change its policy programme. If they do not drop a call for a worker's revolution the group face a ban, on the grounds that they are registered as a civic association not a political party. The young Communists say they have no intention of changing their policies.
The Czech Army is having trouble recruiting doctors and other health workers, and people able to operate specialist equipment, Pravo reported on Friday. The paper says relatively low salaries in the Army made recruitment more difficult, while an Army spokesperson said such skills were in short supply across the labour market.
The country's health insurers are to stop paying for such things as contraceptive pills and frames for glasses from the beginning of January. Subsidies for visits to swimming pools and saunas will also come to an end, Mlada fronta Dnes reported.
Czech ski jumper Jakub Janda came third in the first event of the Four Hills tournament in Oberstorf, Germany. Janda came fifth in last year's Four Hills but this season has been dominating the sport of ski jumping. He will have a chance to catch up with leader Janne Ahonen of Finland at the German resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen on day two, New Year's Day.
Czech international football captain Tomas Galasek looks set to stay at Ajax Amsterdam. There had been speculation that the 32-year-old midfielder would leave the club, but Ajax's sporting director said the two sides were close to agreeing on an extension to Galasek's contract.
It should be mostly cloudy with some snow in places over the next few days, with temperatures of up to 2 degrees Celsius.
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