The driver of a bus that plunged off a main road on Saturday evening, killing 19 people and injuring 34, has been charged with endangering the public. Forty-eight-year-old Pavel Krbec could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty. He was charged after police investigators ruled out mechanical problems as the cause of the crash, which happened near the southern town of Ceske Budejovice. The double-decker bus was carrying a group of Czech skiers on their way home from the Austrian Alps. The crash was the country's worst road accident in more than 30 years.
Police have confirmed that a 52-year-old man shot dead in the centre of Prague on Wednesday morning was a doctor at the city's Bulovka hospital. A police spokesman said he was shot by a patient apparently dissatisfied with the results of a hip operation. After killing the doctor the 33-year-old man turned the gun on himself. He is now in hospital with serious head injuries.
A new poll released by the CVVM agency suggests the overwhelming majority of Czechs are against a war in Iraq, with or without a UN resolution. The poll claimed just 12 percent of people would support a war without the backing of the UN Security Council, and just 22 percent would support a war even with UN support. The agency said public support for a U.S.-led war against Iraq had fallen steadily over the last 12 months. The Czech Republic has sent its elite anti-chemical unit to Kuwait as part of preparations for the war. However the Czech government has said their involvement is conditional on the support of the UN.
Defence Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik has called for compulsory military service to be phased out by the end of 2004, two years earlier than originally planned. Mr Tvrdik said he would put forward the suggestion to the cabinet. He said ending military service as soon as possible was the best way to create a fully professional army.
The Irish authorities have said a Czech Romany family who failed to turn up to a court deportation hearing on Friday have apparently left the country. David Lobe and his family had previously been refused asylum in Great Britain before applying in Ireland, where they had another child, something which until recently would have guaranteed them the right to stay in the country.
The Constitutional Court has ruled that investors buying majority stakes in Czech state-owned companies must make a buyout offer to minority shareholders. The ruling scraps an exception in the law that allowed investors buying majority stakes in state-held companies to avoid making obligatory buyout offers to minority shareholders. The decision comes as the government prepares to sell a 63 percent stake in the leading chemical group Unipetrol.
A monkey found hiding in a metro tunnel on Tuesday has been put down. Officials at Prague Zoo - where the monkey was taken for medical treatment - said the animal was too badly injured to survive an operation. The one-year-old macaque monkey was found in a tunnel at Prague's Skalka metro station. So far no-one has come forward to claim the animal, which is believed to have been a pet.
Thursday will be a mostly cloudy day, with rain in many parts of the country. Temperatures in the daytime will range between -1 and 3 degrees Celsius.
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