President Vaclav Havel - who was hospitalised on Monday with pneumonia - has made a slight recovery, his doctor Ilja Kotik said on Friday. Mr. Havel is unlikely to be released from hospital until after Christmas, said Doctor Kotik. President Havel has been very ill on several occasions since an operation on a cancerous tumour in his right lung five years ago. Mr. Havel who is 65 was a chain smoker for many years and also spent time in prison under the communists.
Despite his illness President Havel found the time to sign an amendment to the business law on Friday - he also wrote to lower house chairman Vaclav Klaus to express his reservations about the amendment, which he said was not in line with the constitution. Mr. Havel said he had only signed the law so that it would come before the Constitutional Court. The amendment has proved controversial because it was revoked by Mr. Klaus before the Senate had a chance to debate it.
Icy conditions and strong winds have led to a great number of traffic accidents around the Czech Republic. There were around 100 accidents in Prague in the space of four hours on Friday morning, police said. On a related note a bus driver has been charged over an accident in which the local bus he was driving went off the road and fell three metres into a stream in the Ceska Lipa district, east Bohemia. Eight passengers were injured.
British officials have ended the screening of all passengers bound for the UK at Prague's Ruzyne airport after a period of ten days - during that time some 85 people were refused permission to board planes to the UK. Britain has been carrying out the controls regularly since July. They were introduced in an attempt to curb the number of Czech Romanies seeking asylum in the UK.
The Czech ice hockey squad for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City has been announced. Two uncapped players have been included in the squad - Jan Hrdina from Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado's Martin Skoula. The Czech team - captained by Jaromir Jagr - is hoping to repeat the success it achieved at the last Winter Olympics in Nagano, when they won the gold.
And finally a look at the weather in the Czech Republic this weekend. Saturday will be cloudy with snow showers - the temperature will be between minus four and zero Celsius. It should snow on Sunday too but it will be colder - minus ten to minus six degrees Celcius.
We would like to inform you that due to the Christmas holidays Radio Prague will not be sending out news bulletins from December 24 to 26 and on December 31.
We would like to wish you a pleasant Christmas and all the best for the new year.
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