Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

05-12-2003

Ten sentences, nine suspended, for former communist secret police

A court in Prague has handed down nine suspended sentences and one three-year jail term to former officers of the communist-era secret police, the StB. The ten were found guilty of taking part in an operation entitled "asanace", or clearance, in which pressure was put on people who had signed the opposition document Charter 77 to emigrate from Czechoslovakia. Speaking after the judgement was read out, one former dissident said the sentences were inadequate because he and other victims had had their lives destroyed for twenty years.

Chamber rejects call to scrap privatisation of two large coal mines

The Chamber of Deputies has rejected a proposal from the opposition Civic Democrats to cancel the privatisation of two large state-owned coal mines, which they said was not transparent. Trade unions at the mines have also expressed dissatisfaction with how the sell-off is proceeding, including the fact that the Czech Republic's largest energy company, CEZ, has been excluded from the tender process.

Czech, US officials in talks over data on air passengers

Czech and United States officials have begun talks on the exchange of information about passengers flying from Prague to the US, a spokesperson for the Czech Office for the Protection of Personal Data said Friday. The Czech national carrier, CSA, currently only supplies the US with information such as birth date and nationality, not - as the US would like - information about passengers' religion.

Authorities to investigate legality of renovations historical buildings in Prague

The Prague Town Council and the National Monuments Office are to launch a joint investigation into whether the renovation of around 800 historical buildings in the capital was legal. The investigation follows the revelation that a building on the quays in Prague 5 was renovated on the basis of false planning permission. An official said on Friday that he did not expect many more such cases would be discovered.

Introduction of third generation mobile phones delayed until 2006

The two Czech mobile phone operators who are planning to introduce third generation mobile technology have concluded an agreement with the Czech Telecoms Office to postpone the introduction for a year, the Information Technology Ministry said on Friday. The third generation UMTS network will now arrive in the Czech Republic in January 2006.

Lack of snow forces cancellation of skiing events

Unseasonally mild weather has lead to the cancellation of World Cup women's slalom and giant slalom skiing competitions in the Czech resort of Spindleruv Mlyn. The races were due to take place on December 13 and 14. Warm temperatures and a lack of snow in other parts of Europe have already forced the cancellation of several other races.

St Nicholas, angel, devil visit children around Czech Republic

Children around the Czech Republic were due to be visited on Friday evening by St Nicholas, an angel and a devil. December 6 is actually St Nicholas's Day, but it is observed the evening before. Children are given sweets if they have been good and coal or potatoes if they have been naughty.

Weather

Saturday is expected to be cloudy with rain or even snow in some places. Temperatures should range between 2 and 6 degrees Celsius.

05-12-2003