The centrist Christian Democratic Party, a junior member of the Czech ruling coalition, has elected the party's main economic expert Miroslav Kalousek a new leader at its congress this weekend. The previous chairman, foreign minister Cyril Svoboda, who led the party for more than two years, has become a deputy chairman. The new party leader is not a member of the cabinet but said he did not intend to initiate any changes in this respect. He would like to push his party's priorities harder in the ruling coalition with the Social Democrats and Freedom Union. While the former Christian Democrat leader Cyril Svoboda was close to the ideas of the ruling Social Democrats, his successor Miroslav Kalousek openly admits his inclination to the main opposition right-of-centre Civic Democrats.
Czech police and child-oriented non-governmental organisations have rejected a recent report by the German branch of UNICEF and the no-governmental organisation KARO on child prostitution as unsubstantiated. The report alleged that child prostitution is a widespread phenomenon in the Czech Republic, especially in North-Western Bohemia along the Czech-German border where thousands of girls and boys offer themselves mainly to German sex tourists. Czech police in the affected regions said they are several cases each year but certainly not dozens or hundreds of them. Both the police and Czech NGOs deemed the report as untrustworthy and based on unverified, second-hand information, and motivated by KARO's effort to raise more money for its activities. Czech streetworkers who work with young prostitutes said the report only made things worse, because their clients started to hide and refuse any help.
Czech customs officers have seized over 20 tonnes of apparently fake brand products at a open-air market at the Hate border crossing in South Moravia. The goods included clothing and shoes as well as pirated CDs and DVDs, worth an estimated 25 million crowns. This was another in a series of raids on border markets aimed at stemming out trade with smuggled and fake brand products.
The Czech Medical Chamber has for the first time expelled its member, gynaecologist Vaclav Jordan from the city of Brno. The man treated colon cancer in one of his patients although he did not have the required special post-graduate education for oncology. Besides wrongly diagnosing the diseases as more serious than it actually was, he kept invoicing a health insurance company for the expensive treatment even after the patient joined another doctor. He will not be allowed to pursue his profession and will only be able to join the Medical Chamber again in five years. He can challenge the verdict at the court. The police have charged Doctor Jordan with serious bodily harm and fraud.
The Czechs ended second at the Karyala cup tournament when they beat Russia 3-2 on Sunday. The Czechs managed to defend the silver medal from last year. Russia ended third.
Monday should be mostly clear, with occasional morning fogs. The highest daytime temperatures should range from 3 to 7 degrees Celsius.
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