Daily news summary News

20-09-2005

Vera radar to be loaned to Pakistan

The Czech Industry and Trade Ministry has approved a loan of the Vera radar system to Pakistan. The Vera radar is a sophisticated device which can, for example, pick-up U.S. stealth aircraft without being detected itself. A spokesman for the ministry said the equipment was being loaned not sold. Earlier this year the Unites States showed interest in buying the radar system and the Czech Republic plans to put it at NATOs disposal next year.

Doctors threaten to go on strike

Private physicians are threatening to go on strike in protest of the poor payment morale of some insurance companies, in particular the leading Czech insurance company VZP. Physicians say the situation has become untenable and is endangering their livelihood. They are considering closing their offices for three days during which time emergency medical care should be provided by hospital wards. The president of the Czech Doctors Association David Rath has offered to meet with the head of the VZP insurance company to discuss a way out of the company's dire financial situation.

Ex-president Havel appeals for UN initiative to bring reforms to Burma

Ex president Vaclav Havel and retired South African bishop Desmond Tutu have called for a UN initiative to bring reforms to military-ruled Burma or Myanmar. They say that the situation there is far more serious that in other countries where the Security Council had previously intervened, such as Afghanistan or Rwanda. Mr. Havel and Bishop Desmond Tutu commissioned a special report showing how far the situation in Burma had deteriorated under the present regime and they appealed to the Security Council for immediate multilateral action.

Bublan wants Husak to be appointed police president

Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan will once again ask the Cabinet to officially appoint Vladislav Husak police president. The minister failed to push through Mr. Husak's appointment earlier this summer due to opposition from the Christian Democrats who only agreed to let him serve in the post on a temporary basis. Mr. Husak is considered a controversial choice since he was the officer directly responsible for the police action to end the techno party CzechTek, which left scores of people injured on both sides.

The police has been severely criticized not only in connection with the crack down on CzechTek, but more recently for failing to intervene during a neo-Nazi concert at which participants did the Nazi salute and chanted racist slogans. The acting police president Vladislav Husak said on Tuesday the police had been inadequately prepared to deal with the situation at the neo-Nazi gathering.

Road safety operation underway

The police have launched another large-scale police operation aimed at improving road safety. The operation, code-named Krystof or Christopher, after the patron saint of travellers, is to last for several days and traffic police expect to check over 4,000 vehicles. The emphasis is on speeding and drinking and driving. Statistics show that the number of road accidents has dropped significantly since the police launched these road safety operations.

Weather:

Wednesday is expected to be partly cloudy with day temperatures between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius.

20-09-2005