Doctors in Hradec Kralove say a 46-year-old woman who died in mid-June was apparently suffering from new variant Creutzfeld Jakobs disease (vCJD), the human form of BSE. The woman was first admitted to hospital in April suffering from mental disorders and motion problems. Tests are now underway to establish whether she was infected with vCJD.
The European Court of Human Rights has ordered the Czech Republic to pay compensation over a court case which has dragged on for almost ten years. The country was ordered to pay 10,000 euros to two brothers whose property was confiscated by the Communist regime. The brothers, who emigrated from Czechoslovakia in 1948, applied for the return of the property in the early 1990s. The case has dragged on for so long that one of the brothers has since died. The Court found the Czech Republic guilty on two counts of violating the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights. The country is frequently criticised for the slowness of its courts.
Defence Minister Miroslav Kostelka has revealed more details of planned reform of the armed forces. Mr Kostelka said there would be a substantial reduction in the amount of military equipment. The Czech Army would have just one tank battalion, comprising 31 modernised T-72 tanks. Meanwhile, the number of sub-sonic L-159 fighter aircraft would be reduced from the present 71 to 18. The country plans to borrow another 14 supersonic jets to replace its fleet of aging MiG aircraft. The reform package also envisages a sharp reduction in the number of army personnel.
The leader of Britain's opposition Conservatives has unveiled his party's vision of Europe during a visit to Prague. Conservative leader Ian Duncan Smith signed a declaration in the Czech capital on Thursday calling for the strengthening of national democracies to resist the formation of what he called a European superstate. Mr Duncan Smith, speaking to reporters after meeting President Vaclav Klaus, said his party supported European integration, but opposed unification and excessive bureaucracy. The declaration was also signed by the party Mr Klaus led until last year - the opposition Civic Democrats. The Czech Republic will be one of 10 new countries to join the EU next year.
Police have warned e-mail users to beware of messages apparently sent by Saddam Hussein's son Uday. The e-mails are the latest permutation of the so-called "West African advance fee fraud", in which victims are duped into giving their bank details on the promise of receiving huge sums of money in return. In February a retired doctor shot dead the Nigerian consul in Prague after losing his life savings in a similar scam.
A 44-year-old businessman from Prague has been charged with murder after shooting dead his rival. The shooting happened outside a supermarket in the town of Tabor on Wednesday morning in full view of the public. Sources say the two men were quarrelling over a woman when shots were fired. The businessman, reportedly the owner of a local ostrich farm, faces up to 12 years in prison if found guilty.
Friday will be mostly clear with the chance of showers in places. Temperatures in the daytime will range from 23 to 27 degrees Celsius, falling at night to lows of 12 degrees.
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