Daily news summary News

23-06-2004

Government crisis continues

Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has said he will not ask Parliament for a vote of confidence in the Cabinet this Thursday. The future of the coalition government will thus be decided at a crucial meeting of the Social Democrats' executive committee this Saturday. The Prime Minister has said that if he fails to defend his position as party leader he would step down as head of government. His resignation would signal the end of the three-party governing coalition. The government crisis was precipitated by the governing parties' humiliating defeat in the recent Euro elections.

Police uncover internet-based prostitution ring

Czech and Slovak police have charged 25 people with running an internet-based global prostitution ring using 230 women, many of whom were forced into selling their bodies for sex, officials said on Wednesday. The group posed as the Eli modelling agency, luring girls with promises of work as hostesses at events round the world, but then forcing them into prostitution, Slovak Police First Vice-President Jaroslav Spisiak told Reuters news agency. "They were invited to castings, where they had pictures taken, mostly in underwear or naked -- then they were gradually told that they will have to offer sex if the client wants," he said. The girls were offered over the internet and spent up to a week with clients wherever they requested them, including Japan, western Europe, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

Poland interested in Areo Vodochody's L-159s

Poland has expressed interest in several dozen L-159 fighter jets from the Czech aircraft manufacturer Aero Vodochody, the company's spokesman told Czech Radio on Wednesday. A Polish Air Force official confirmed a proposal to purchase the jets has been put forward to the Defence Ministry but noted that a decision has not yet been made. L-159 jet cockpits are similar to F-16s that Poland is adding to its fleet. Poland can use the L-159s to train its pilots at a new training base that it plans to build within the next two years, for pilots of the four Visegrad countries - the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland.

CSA allows passengers to check-in one day before flight

The leading Czech airline, CSA, is the first airline at Prague's Ruzyne airport to allow passengers check-in one day before their flights. The Czech Airport Authority has welcomed the move as the country's main international airport has been overwhelmed by growing numbers of passengers. In the first five months of this year, CSA recorded over 30% more passengers than in the same period last year.

Weather

Thursday is expected to have partially clear skies with occasional showers and day-time temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.

23-06-2004