Wintry weather on Monday morning forced Czech Republic and Slovak officials to cancel plans for Christmas meetings with their respective troops in Kosovo. Inclement conditions in the Balkans prevented a plane carrying Czech Defence Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik and Czech Army chief of staff Pavel Stefka from landing at the airport in Pristina in Kosovo. The Slovak Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda and Defence Minister Ivan Simko were also deterred by the bad weather. The officials had planned to deliver gifts and boost the morale of soldiers spending their first Christmas away from home. About 500 Czech and Slovak troops are stationed in Kosovo as part of NATO's KFOR international peacekeeping contingent.
Four teenagers have been arrested for robbing a security van on Friday in the city of Olomouc, North Moravia, a robbery that mimicked the country's largest theft, which was committed in Prague three months ago. The four youths, aged between 15 and 18 will be charged with attacking a security-van driver with a blunt object and stealing almost 750,000 crowns outside an Olomouc bank. The robbery was similar to a security-van theft in September outside a Prague bank in which three suspects escaped with a record 100 million crowns. Those suspects remain at large.
Mobile phone operators attracted between 1.4 and 1.5 million new customers in 2002, and estimate that by the end of the year they will 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.
District authorities around the Czech Republic will issue citizens with documents and personal ID for the last time on Monday. From January 2 the district authorities will cease to exist and their powers will be transferred to either lower-level municipal authorities or to the new regional authorities. The measures will not affect Prague.
Tuesday should be cloudy to overcast with isolated snow showers or rain, daytime temperatures should hover around zero degrees Celsius. Wednesday and Thursday are expected to be overcast, too, with snow in places and rain in the West of the country. Daytime temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday should stay close to zero, but night time temperatures are expected to drop to lows of minus ten degrees Celsius.
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