55 000 Czech victims of the Nazi regime have already received compensation for being forced to work and being imprisoned during the Second World War, according to the Foreign Ministry's special negotiator for compensation, Jan Sechter. More than 100 thousand Czechs have applied for compensation. Germany and Austria set aside more than 400 million German marks and over 500 million Austrian schillings for Czech forced labourers and compensation payments began in the summer. Applications for compensation from the Czech-German Fund for the Future must be in by the 31st of December.
The Foreign Police detained 63 refugees last night hiding in a rented flat in Prague. Police said the group of Indians had intended to cross the Czech-German border. The refugees will be handed over to the Slovak authorities by the end of the year. 26 members of the group have already been detained in the past by the Czech police and escorted back to Slovakia.
The Charter 77 human rights declaration was made 25 years ago on Tuesday - on the 1st of January 1977. The document was prepared by a group of Czech dissidents, among them the current Czech president Vaclav Havel. In the beginning some 200 people signed the document calling on the Communist regime to observe the Helsinki human rights agreements, which Czechoslovakia signed in 1975. By the end of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia almost 2,000 people had signed Charter 77. Many signatories suffered the consequences - police interrogation and violence, unemployment, prison sentences or expulsion from the country.
A group of Czechs and Slovaks are going to climb to the highest peak of the White Carpathian Mountains on the Czech-Slovak border to celebrate the New Year together. The idea is to support good relations between Czechs and Slovaks and their respective countries. The tradition started in 1992 before the split of Czechoslovakia on the 1st of January 1993.
Following the heavy snow showers of recent days, only northern regions of the country remain afflicted. In some parts of north Moravia road traffic has been halted. Road crews have had problems with their equipment, which cannot deal with thick ice. The number of people driving to skiing resorts in mountainous areas has led to very slow traffic on some roads.
And finally a look at the weather: the night will be cloudy with scattered snow showers and temperatures between minus 2 and minus 6 degrees Celsius. Sunday should be brighter with snow and cloudy skies in places. Daytime highs will be between minus 3 and plus 1 degrees Celsius. New Year's Eve should be bright and frosty with the temperatures dropping to minus 8 degrees Celsius.
Karel Gott to get funeral with state honours as singer’s death is mourned at home and abroad
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Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott