A Czech mountaineer has died after his climbing party hit bad weather on a volcano in Russia's far east. Officials said the man had apparently died of head injuries. The man, who has not been named, was part of a group of 17 Czech climbers who became stranded on the Klyuchevskaya volcano. He died before a Russian team of rescuers was able to reach him. Four climbers are still trapped on the mountain, while the remaining 12 have returned safely to base camp. The party was climbing in Kamchatka, a peninsula jutting out into the Pacific Ocean and home to some of the world's most spectacular active volcanoes.
Meanwhile nine Czech mountaineers who were stranded at their base camp in Tajikistan because of bad weather are said to be safe and well. One of the climbers developed frostbite and has received medical attention. The climbers were cut off from the outside world for several days.
The upper house of the parliament, the Senate, has rejected three out of the four candidates for the Constitutional Court proposed by President Vaclav Klaus. Vaclav Pavlicek, a professor, Vladimir Balas, a legal expert, and Klara-Vesela Samkova, a human rights lawyer, all failed to win enough support in Wednesday's voting to become Constitutional Court judges. Senator Dagmar Lastovecka was the only candidate proposed by President Klaus to have won the Senate's approval on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Mr Klaus appointed the former deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Pavel Rychetsky to head the Constitutional Court.
Police are searching for the mother of a new-born baby who was found dead at the bottom of a portable toilet at a recreation area near the town of Hradek nad Nisou, on the border with Germany and Poland. Police said the mother may have given birth inside the chemical toilet. The body was found by workers who arrived on Wednesday morning to empty the waste. Police believe the mother may be German or Polish, crossing the border before giving birth in order to abandon the baby. Meanwhile, in a separate incident a baby boy was found healthy on a hallway counter inside a private health clinic in the Moravia city of Olomouc. Police are now searching for the mother.
A film company best known for producing global hits such as Triple-X and Shanghai Nights has been fined by the local authorities in Lysa nad Labem for killing a number of trees. Stillking Entertainment has paid the 500,000 crown fine to the local environment agency for killing 19 mature birch trees during a film shoot two months ago. The producers apparently wanted a gloomy setting with dead trees for the movie, so they had poison applied to force them to lose their leaves. Some of the fine will go toward planting new trees.
And police have arrested a bus driver after he was found driving a bus with more than 10 times the legal amount of alcohol in his blood. The driver was arrested in the town of Jihlava after a motorist spotted the bus weaving from side to side. The driver told police he had been drinking beer and shots until 4am before going straight out to start his early morning shift. The 54-year old driver faces up to one year in prison.
Thursday will be another hot and sultry day, with almost uninterrupted sunshine across the country. Temperatures in the daytime will reach 30 degrees Celsius, falling at night to lows of 13 degrees. And there's no sign yet of those thunderstorms promised to us earlier in the week.
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