Daily news summary News

05-02-2006

Cardinal Vlk says Prophet Mohammed caricature

Czech Cardinal Miloslav Vlk has expressed sympathy with Muslims protesting against newspaper prints of Prophet Mohamed caricatures. Mr Vlk says Christians have also had to come to terms with several examples of what he called the "defamation" of Christian religious figures. Their objections, however, have not been heard because Christians are less sensitive and not as quick to fight for their beliefs. The Cardinal added that the media "crosses the limits of freedom of speech" when it insults religious figures with examples like the Prophet Mohammed cartoon.

Ceske Budejovice battling rising water levels on river Vltava

Fire fighters in the South Bohemian town of Ceske Budejovice battled rising water levels on the river Vltava on Sunday after part of a local hospital was flooded with sewage water. Freezing temperatures froze the river surface, forcing the water underneath to spill back into the canalisation. The river authorities have also been called to the town to lower the water levels.

Health Minister Rath in Saudi Arabia

Health Minister David Rath is currently on a state visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is expected to sign a memorandum on closer cooperation with his Saudi counterpart on Monday. Some 5,000 Saudis are treated in Czech spas every year and Mr Rath hopes to see that number rise to push more money into the ailing health sector. The Saudi government has also expressed interest in more Czech doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists, who can share their expertise on spa treatment with their Saudi colleagues.

Communist Party Deputy-Chairman dies at 60

A Deputy Chairman of the Communist Party, Frantisek Toman, passed away on Saturday evening. The 60-year old politician died of heart failure, a party spokesman said on Sunday. Mr Toman was elected into the party leadership, where he was in charge of economic affairs, in 2004.

National Gallery celebrates 210th birthday

The National Gallery in Prague celebrated the 210th anniversary of its foundation this Sunday. The gallery came to being on February 5 1796, thanks to the joint efforts of a group of intellectuals and aristocrats called the Patriotic Friends of the Arts. Besides a number of accompanying programmes, the gallery also offered free tours of most of its permanent exhibitions on Sunday.

Weather forecast

Meteorologists are warning of heavy snowfall in most parts of the country on Monday. Temperatures can reach up to - 20 degrees Celsius at night and will range between -4 and -9 degrees Celsius during the day.

With freezing temperatures expected to prevail for another two days, doctors advise the elderly, heart patients, and children to stay indoors whenever possible. Motorists have also been warned of icy roads and fog.

05-02-2006