President Vaclav Klaus has become the country's most popular politician, winning 69% of confidence votes, according to a poll conducted by the CVVM polling agency. The President's popularity ratings have soared during his first year in office, going from 35% in January of last year to the present 69%. Interior minister Stanislav Gross has placed second on the popularity ladder with a 60% confidence rating, and the country's Ombudsman Otakar Motejl has placed third with 54 %.
A ten year old boy is recovering in hospital after being attacked by a pair of stray rottweilers. The boy was riding his bike in his home town of Brandys nad Labem when the dogs attacked him. He got badly bitten on the legs and arms but managed to protect his head. He is now in intensive care and doctors are considering plastic surgery. Witnesses who ran out of a near by restaurant to help the boy said the dogs attacked him without any provocation. The animals allegedly escaped from a private yard and the police are questioning the owner.
Clean up operations are taking place in many parts of the country in the wake of a damaging snow storm. The western parts of the country were particularly badly hit as a wind of over 125 km per hour tore down roofs and uprooted trees. Many roads were impassable early on Monday, blocked by debris and fallen branches. Meteorologists say the wind should gradually subside overnight.
Deputies of the Freedom Union, one of the three parties in the ruling coalition, have announced that they are drafting their own version of a law on same-sex registered partnerships for gays and lesbians. Previous attempts to see such a bill approved by Parliament have failed and last week the government postponed indefinitely a debate on the issue, dashing gays' hopes of achieving equal rights in this respect. One of the bills strongest opponents is the Christian Democratic Party, also a member of the ruling coalition, which means that the Freedom Union must seek support for it across the political spectrum.
The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic grew to a record 10.8 percent in January, from the previous all time high of 10.3 percent last December, the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry said on Monday. Analysts said they had expected the rise, citing big end of year lay-offs as the main reason. There are 13.7 applicants per vacancy on average, with the highest figure reported in the north Moravian districts of Karvina and Jesenik.
Tuesday is expected to be partly cloudy with scattered snow showers and day temperatures between minus 2 and plus 2 degrees Celsius.
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