The district director of the Karlovy Vary police, Vlastimil Sliz, has resigned from his post over a number of scandals involving subordinates that came to light. In recent days a total of twelve police officers were suspended in Karlovy Vary for a number of offences including the abuse of public office. Another controversial case still on the table is that of five officers who allegedly brutally beat a Romany man in the Karlovy Vary region. Mr Sliz's resignation, following a meeting with police president Jiri Kolar, has yet to be made official - however there has already been information a special team led by deputy director Jan Brazda will head the local police for the time being.
The opposition Civic Democrats have expelled MP Petr Kott from their ranks after the deputy missed a recent important vote in the Chamber of Deputies, allegedly because he had been drinking. He is to remain in the Chamber as an independent, though he has said he may join the junior government party, the Freedom Union, in the future. That would be good news for the ruling coalition which currently has a majority of just one in the lower house.
A Prague court has adjourned the trial of several former communist secret police until December 1st. Judge Katerina Kohoutova made the announcement Wednesday saying the verdict could follow as early as three days later. In all, three officers are standing trial, suspected of participating in the notorious Asanace campaign, which targeted dissidents in the late 1970s and early 80s. The campaign used threats and violence to force dissidents to leave Czechoslovakia. A total of 21 people, all signatories of the Charta 77 pro-democracy charter were victimised. Some, but not all, succumbed to the pressure and left communist Czechoslovakia in order to escape further persecution.
Two Polish miners, aged 48 and 36, were killed on Tuesday while at work in a mine in the Karvina region of north-east Moravia. The two men died after the mine was hit by sudden seismic tremors underground. A third survived with light injuries and was taken to hospital. Tuesday's deaths bring the number of fatal mining accidents in the Karvina region to eleven this year.
The registered unemployment rate has risen in the Czech Republic to its highest level in seven months, reflecting a slow growth rate in the nation's economy. The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry revealed Wednesday that the registered jobless rate rose to 10.1 percent in September, up from 10 percent in August, and 9.4 percent a year ago. The rise was slightly higher than economists' forecasts which predicted the jobless rate in September would remain at a flat 10 percent. Some economists had noted that industrial production in manufacturing showed signs of weakening in recent months. The volume of domestic and foreign orders in July fell after June, indicating that businesses had little need to hire new workers to meet orders. The Labour ministry said the number of registered jobless rose in September by some four and a half thousand to a total of more than 529, 000 in all.
Thursday is expected to see rather poor weather conditions: rain throughout the day and daytime temperatures of just 10 degrees Celsius.
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