The Czech prime minister, Vladimir Spidla, has held talks with his Slovak counterpart, Mikulas Dzurinda, at the start of a two-day official visit to Bratislava. Among the issues the two leaders discussed was the building of barriers on the border between their countries. Some local people are opposed to the barriers, which are intended as a deterrent to illegal migrants. Mr Spidla said locals could receive keys to the barriers, which would be opened completely "if the refugee situation improved". Mr Spidla's visit began on the eve of the 85th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and Mr Dzurinda said October 28th could be made a state holiday in Slovakia, as it is in the Czech Republic.
President Vaclav Klaus has joined the prime minister, Vladimir Spidla, in expressing opposition to the Czech Republic's first televised court trial. Mr Klaus told the daily Mlada Fronta Dnes on Monday the last public court hearings were in the communist era and were one of the most terrible experiences of the country and his generation. On Thursday public station Czech Television is to start live broadcasting of the trial of Karel Srba, a former foreign ministry official who is appealing a conviction for plotting to kill a journalist.
A 30-year-old man has been charged in connection with a fire at a disco in north Moravia on Saturday in which a teenage girl was killed and 61 people injured. Karvina District Court on Monday remanded Alexandr Bosnay in custody on charges of endangering the public, after he allegedly lit fireworks inside the U Vlka (At the Wolf) disco in the town. Witnesses said sparks from a Roman candle firework ignited the ceiling over the dance floor, where about 150 people were gathered. At least 20 of the injured are reported to still be in hospital receiving treatment for severe burns.
Staff at a farm near Semily in northeast Bohemia say they do not know how one of their cows contracted BSE, or mad cow disease. On Monday tests confirmed the three-year-old animal had BSE, bringing to seven the number of cases of the disease found in the Czech Republic. The sixth case was recorded only last week. The latest discovery is an exceptional case, in that all previous cases of the disease were in animals born between 1995 and 1997.
Contrary to earlier reports, there were no Czechs among the injured in Sunday's rocket attack on the Rashid hotel in Baghdad, said Czech official Martin Dvorak, who is based in the city. On Sunday morning the hotel was hit by rockets, in one of a series of attacks on western targets in the city. Around 20 Czech officials are based in the Iraqi capital.
Masarykova Street in the centre of the Czech Republic's second city, Brno, has been reopened after a gas explosion on Sunday. Residents were allowed to return on Monday after being evacuated in the wake of the explosion, which occurred in a clothing shop.
Tuesday should be partially cloudy with a maximum temperature of 7 degrees Celsius.
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