President Vaclav Havel was released from hospital on December 25. Mr. Havel had been in hospital for over a week suffering from pneumonia - he is now recuperating at the presidential chateau at Lany, central Bohemia and is said to be doing well. 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 was also imprisoned several times during the Communist era. His final year in office begins next week.
Heavy snowfalls and strong winds led to traffic chaos around the Czech Republic over the Christmas period. Many roads around the country were impassable although by Thursday morning they had all been cleared. North Moravia was particularly badly hit but many other regions of the country also suffered serious problems. Some areas found themselves completely cut off from the outside world.
Eleven Austrian opponents of the Temelin nuclear power station in south Bohemia put up a Christmas tree outside the plant on Christmas Eve. The activists erected the tree after having made a 200 kilometre protest walk from the Austrian town of Zwentendorf. The protesters also ate Christmas dinner outside Temelin and said they wished to show that they were friends of the Czech nation. Meanwhile, output at the power station has been increased to 90%. Critics of the plant say it is dangerous as it combines Soviet design and western technology.
Police in the south Bohemian town of Kaplice shot a 44-year-old man dead on Tuesday. They said he had attacked them with knives. Police were called to the scene when the man threatened to kill his partner and another woman.
One man died and another was seriously injured in a fire at the premises of a company in Brno on Monday night. The injured man was a security guard at the company - the man who died had been visiting him.
Thirty million mobile phone text messages were sent in the Czech Republic on Christmas Eve, according to figures released by the country's three mobile phone operators on Wednesday. The Czech Republic has a population of 10 million. Some 7 million Czechs are expected to have mobiles by the end of 2001, compared to 4.3 million at the beginning of the year.
And finally a look at the weather forecast for the Czech Republic. Thursday should be cloudy with occasional bright spells and temperatures should range between minus three and plus one Celsius.
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