Daily news summary News

30-08-2004

Prague court confirms prison sentence for former secret police members

A Prague court has confirmed a three-year prison sentence for two former members of the communist political police, Jiri Simak and Zbynek Dudek. The two men were found guilty of torturing political prisoners in 1981 during a secret operation that was devised to force members of the anti-communist opposition to leave Czechoslovakia. The two men had already been sentenced two years ago but the Supreme Court annulled the verdict due to technicalities.

Gross wants referendum on EU Constitution in June 2006

Czech citizens should decide on the European Constitution in a referendum in June 2006, to be held simultaneously with the next regular general elections, the Prime Minister and Social Democrat acting chairman Stanislav Gross said on Monday. Mr Gross said he expected the ratification procedure to be complicated, but he said he believed that Czech voters would have enough information to approve the constitution in the end.

US to buy Czech radar system it did not want China to attain

The United States is to buy a Czech radar system which it had reportedly asked the Czech authorities not to supply to China. The Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda told Czech TV on Sunday the US was buying one device now, and would consider a larger contract in the future. The "Vera" system does not emit any waves and can discover other radar systems without itself being detected; it is said to be able to detect US Stealth aircraft.

New bill would see Czech pupils learn two languages at elementary school

Czech elementary school pupils should be taught not one but two foreign languages, the Education Minister Petra Buzkova told Monday's edition of the newspaper Pravo. Under a new education bill to be discussed by parliament in the autumn, children would begin learning a first foreign language at 9, a year earlier than now, and a second language at 14 at the latest.

Zelezny quits top-class competition

The Czech javelin thrower Jan Zelezny announced on Sunday an end to his sparkling career after a disappointing ninth place in Athens, his fifth Olympic Games. Zelezny, 38, said that he may take part in several exhibitions or smaller events but the world championship or even the Olympic Games are no longer for him. In Athens, Zelezny was seeking a fourth successive Olympic gold and a fifth successive Olympic medal, but finished ninth with 80.59 metres, lagging well behind his season best of 86.12. Three days ago Jan Zelezny was re-elected to the International Olympic Committee's Athletes' Commission.

Fourteenth suspected case of BSE reported in Czech Republic

Another suspected case of BSE or mad cow disease has been reported at a farm in Hrejkovice, South Bohemia. The animal suspected of suffering from the condition is an eight-year-old cow. The State Veterinary Office says the results of the control tests will be available later this week. If confirmed, it would be the Czech Republic's eleventh case of the disease since 2001.

Weather

Tuesday should be a partly cloudy day with daytime temperatures hovering around 20 degrees Celsius.

30-08-2004