The number of road deaths has decreased by half compared to last year, preliminary figures for the month of July suggest. While 52 people died in road accidents in the first 26 days of the month, there were 104 road deaths in the same period in 2005. The sharp fall is attributed to the new points system for driving offences that was introduced on July 1. Police say the number of road accidents has also dropped by 30 percent.
In related news, the Civic Democratic Party, which won the parliamentary election and is in the process of forming a new government, says it would be in favour of raising the number of points drivers have to collect before they lose their license. Under the current points system, a driver loses his license with 12 collected points. The Civic Democrats, who say the system is too strict and leaves too much room for corruption, would like to raise the limit to 18 points.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of counterfeit brand-name goods seized in the Czech Republic. In the first half of this year the Czech Business Inspectorate confiscated over 600,000 counterfeit items, around the same figure for the whole of 2005, the Pravo newspaper reported on Monday. The most common fake goods are clothing, footwear, cigarettes, alcohol, CDs and DVDs. Experts say that while in the past most counterfeit goods were imported from East Asia, production in illegal factories in the Czech Republic is now on the increase.
A Czech soldier, who was found dead in Kosovo, most probably committed suicide. The 34-year-old military policeman was serving with the international KFOR mission. His body was discovered by a colleague at the Sajkovac military base on Sunday morning. So far, the Czech Army's investigation into the cause of his death suggests the soldier had shot himself.
Pharmacists in the Czech Republic are busy re-labelling drugs as a new health ministry directive that changes the pricing system comes into effect on August 1. The new regulation affects some 10,000 products; of which 6,700 are partly covered by insurers. Under the directive, health insurers will have to cover a much smaller share of medicine prices. Health Minister David Rath hopes pharmaceutical companies will be forced to lower their prices. But, according to the Czech Chamber of Pharmacists, patients will be at a disadvantage as they will have to pay up to forty percent more for their medicine.
The record jackpot in the Czech Republic's biggest lottery Sportka was won on Sunday. Two winners share in the jackpot of 127.1 million CZK (over 5.7 million USD).
Meteorologists have forecast partially cloudy skies and scattered showers over the next few days. In some parts of the country heavy rain and thunderstorms on Monday night could result in flooding. Despite the rain, temperatures will reach up to 30 degrees Celsius.
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