Daily news summary News

02-11-2004

Health minister issues warning of bio-chemical attack

The Health Minister Milada Emmerova has warned local administrations to heighten security measures in and around hospitals in view of a possible bio-chemical attack. According to the CTK news agency, the minister has contacted all regional governors, asking them to take preventative and security measures and to pay particular attention to hospitals in their region. The country's intelligence service has confirmed that it is investigating a certain threat to hospitals.

Public wants to know the identity of juvenile killers

There is growing pressure on judges to make public the names of juvenile killers. There have been a series of murders committed by juveniles in recent months but the police and judges have refused to disclose their names since underage delinquents are protected by law. Justice Minister Pavel Nemec has said in response to growing public concern that the law actually allows judges to make an exception in cases of serious crimes - murder or assault - and that he would encourage them to do so.

Attacker gets suspended sentence

A Czech man who attacked and seriously injured a Gambian national in Prague has received a two year suspended sentence. The court said it had no evidence that the assault was racially motivated. The state attorney has said he is considering an appeal. The Gambian national told the court that the Czech had attacked him with the words "I'm going to kill you nigger -you are a dead man". A witness who arrived at the scene later said that the Czech attacker claimed he was beating up a thief. The Gambian sustained serious injuries in the attack, half of his face remains paralyzed.

Czech ministries fail to offer guarantees on EU funds

An audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers has shown that Czech ministries often fail to offer guarantees that money from EU funds would not go astray, according to the economics daily Hospodarske Noviny. The failing complicates the process of drawing on EU funds and thus damages the country's interests. Although the Finance Ministry ordered the audit on the understanding that its outcome would be made public, it is now keeping the results secret. An unnamed ministry source told the paper that the audit would not be made public until after the elections and after the shortcomings had been removed.

CEZ preparing lay-off

The power giant CEZ, which employs some 7,000 people, is planning a big lay off in the coming months. CEZ spokesman said there would be large-scale changes ahead but he would not disclose how many people would be laid off, saying only that it would be "thousands rather than hundreds". The conglomerate is to be transformed into a holding company, comprising the parent and ten subsidiaries. The aim is to make the company's structure clearer, its management more effective and its services better, the spokesman said.

Baby girl survives bad fall

An 18 months old baby girl on Tuesday survived a fall from a second storey window. The baby is in intensive care with serious facial injuries but her condition is stable and doctors predict a full recovery. Police are questioning the child's mother who was in the flat with her at the time of the fall. She may be charged with negligence resulting in bodily harm.

Weather:

Wednesday should be partly cloudy to overcast with some scattered showers and day temperatures between 12 and 16 degrees Celsius.

02-11-2004