Health Minister Marie Souckova has indicated she is less than enthusiastic over weekend results from the Czech Medical Chamber's conference, held in Brno. That meeting saw David Rath, the body's president, earn a confidence vote and retain his post, with Mr Rath receiving 156 votes in his favour and 72 against. All the same the conference was not without controversy: many delegates refused to take part in the vote on the grounds the conference had been manipulated. Meanwhile, speaking on Sunday the health minister said she respected Mr Rath's reconfirmation, but stressed she was unsettled by what she called "unresolved issues". One of Mrs Souckova's concerns, for example, is inappropriate finance management by the chamber's executive body. She cited the example of an outstanding 1.2 million crowns the chamber owes the country's tax bureau, a discrepancy that came to light after auditors began investigating the chamber's books. The case is currently being continued by a special commission as well as by the police.
President Vaclav Klaus has ended a three-day official visit to Russia, during which he met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and was awarded an honorary degree. On Saturday both men agreed their meeting, the first of its kind in ten years, was the start of a new direction in Czech-Russian relations. The Russian president said that relations between the countries had improved and had a more solid character, saying questions over the Russian Federation's outstanding debt to the Czech Republic had been resolved. Also discussed were future visa requirements for visitors of both countries once the Czech Republic joins the European Union next year.
Five countries have offered to sell the Czech Republic a used fleet of 14 supersonic fighter jets from their air force stocks. Sweden, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands and the U.S. submitted offers Friday ahead of a deadline set by a Prague government commission. The Czech government decided to seek 14 used fighters from a fellow member of the NATO military alliance to replace the Czech Air Force's Russian-made MiG-21 jets, to be retired in 2005. The used jets will be meant to protect Czech air space until an all-new fleet can be bought over the next five to ten years. Meanwhile, under the current bids, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the United States each offered to sell older F-16s, while Canada offered its FA-18 Hornets and Sweden Gripen jets. The government's negotiating commission will study the offers and could make a recommendation by the end of November.
Three women were killed and three seriously injured when a minibus they were travelling in lost control and went off the Czech D 1 highway early Sunday morning. The accident took place in the region of Jihlava, some 120 kilometres from Prague. The vehicle, a Ford Transit, was carrying fourteen passengers, all women from Ukraine on their way to the Czech capital. The driver, a man, escaped uninjured. Rescue crews at the scene, attempted to resuscitate one of the women but she succumbed to her injuries. Three of the survivors have been taken to hospital. A fourth woman suffered only minor injuries.
An unknown assailant first pick-pocketed than shot an 18-year-old man in Prague on Saturday after the victim noticed he was being robbed. The 18-year-old pursued the pickpocket through one of Prague's subway stations and out onto a city street, where his assailant pulled his gun and the trigger. The youth had to immediately undergo operation and remains in hospital. Police, meanwhile, are searching for the suspect.
Monday is expected to be mostly cloudy with a maximum daytime temperature of 12 degrees Celsius.
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