The Czech Muslim community has distanced itself from the violent protests taking place around the world against the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in western newspapers. The protests were among the topics discussed on Monday by Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan and representatives of Muslim organisations in the Czech Republic. The Czech Muslim community amounts to a few thousand, several hundred of those being Czech converts.
The Agriculture Minister Jan Mladek has called the Central Infection Commission to meet on Tuesday in response to the growing number of cases of bird flu in Europe. The body should discuss possible measures of prevention of an outbreak of the infection. The deadly H5N1 bird flu virus has recently been detected in birds in Italy, Greece, Slovenia and Bulgaria.
The Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek who is visiting North Africa, has met his Tunisian counterpart Mohamed Ghannouchi to discuss mutual trade, cultural exchange and the Czech experience of EU membership. Prime Minister Paroubek told reporters that areas potentially interesting for Czech companies are mainly the Tunisian infrastructure, the pharmaceutical industry and tourism. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Paroubek is scheduled to meet Moroccan officials.
Fire fighters evacuated a primary school in east Bohemia on Monday morning after its roof had shifted under a weight of snow. The layer of snow was up to 2 metres thick. Also on Monday morning, fire fighters in north Moravia evacuated part of a warehouse after its roof buckled under a weight of snow. No one was hurt in either case. In the course of this winter a number of roofs have collapsed in the Czech Republic because of continuous heavy snowfall and insufficient maintenance.
As he marks a hundred days in office, Health Minister David Rath has told reporters he believes the time has been well-spent. Among his achievements Mr Rath listed the fact that the debt of the General Health Insurance Company (VZP) has been reduced, the flow of money in the health insurance system has improved and standards for the assessment of quality of health care have been introduced. On the other hand, Minister Rath has been repeatedly criticised by a number of professional associations over his policies.
The weather should be partly cloudy to overcast in the next couple of days, with a chance of sleet or rain. Daytime temperatures are expected to range from plus 1 to plus 6 degrees Celsius.
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