Three people died on Saturday morning when their small plane crashed near the village of Sokolnice soon after takeoff from Turany airport, Brno. All three people on board were Germans, and their plane was bound for Germany. The cause of the accident is not yet known.
Mobile phone operators attracted between 1.4 and 1.5 million new customers in 2002, and estimate that they now have 8.4 million clients. Operators say more exact figures will be available after Christmas, when sales of mobile phones reach a peak. A spokesman for one of the Czech Republic's three mobile operators said that 83 percent of the population now have mobiles.
Beer consumption has risen by an estimated 2.5 percent this year, according to the Czech Brewers' Association. Some 18.3 million hectolitres of beer have been sold in 2002. The average Czech has drunk 159 litres of beer this year, three more than in 2001, brewers believe. The increase this year is being attributed to a drop in 2001. The average since 1992 has been around 160 litres a year, Jan Vesely of the brewers' association told journalists. Czechs consume more beer per head than any other nation.
Police at the Rozvadov border crossing in west Bohemia have foiled an attempt by a French citizen to kidnap a 21-year-old Czech woman and carry her across the border and on to Luxembourg. On Thursday night the Frenchman forced the woman into his car in Rychnov nad Kneznou, and near the border made her get into the boot, where border police found her during a routine search.
The Czech ice hockey team have won the Baltic Cup in Moscow, after securing a 3:3 draw in normal time against hosts Russia on Sunday. Though the Czechs lost 4:3 in overtime they retained the point to take the tournament ahead of Finland on goal difference. Coach Slavomir Lener said the Czech victory had been built on fighting spirit and heart.
Ales Valenta was named Czech Sportsperson of the Year at a ceremony in Prague on Saturday evening. Mr Valenta shot to fame in the Czech Republic when he won gold at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in free-style aerial skiing by performing a series of aerial turns never previously achieved. Decathlete Roman Sebrle came second in the poll, followed by cross-country skier Katerina Neumannova.
Meteorologists have warned of black ice on roads in many regions of the Czech Republic between Sunday afternoon and Monday evening and freezing rain is also expected to cause difficulties for motorists. It will be cloudy on Monday with a maximum temperature of plus one degree Celsius.
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