Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

10-01-2003

Presidential candidate Bures admits to knocking down pedestrian

Social Democrat presidential candidate Jaroslav Bures admitted to Czech newspapers on Friday that he had knocked down and killed an 85-year-old pedestrian in 1983. Police at the time found Mr Bures innocent of any wrongdoing. The revelation comes only days after he was accused of lying when he claimed that as a judge and communist party member in the 1980s he had ruled in favour of a political dissident. Mr Bures is one of four candidates standing in next Wednesday's vote by both houses of parliament to find a successor to President Vaclav Havel, who steps down on February 2 after 13 years in office.

Government to discuss US troops request on Monday

The Czech government is to discuss on Monday a United States request that Czech anti-chemical warfare troops be made available to take part in a possible war against Iraq, Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla said on Friday. Mr Spidla said it was an extremely important issue, and that Monday's government meeting might not be the last on the matter. Some MPs from Mr Spidla's Social Democratic Party have said they will only support Czech participation if military action is mandated by the United Nations Security Council.

Chairman of Convention on Future of Europe visits Prague

The chairman of the Convention on the Future of Europe, Valery Giscard d‘Estaing, has said the convention is a unique chance for new European Union countries, such as the Czech Republic, to decide as equal partners on the future shape of Europe. Mr Giscard made the statement after talks with Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla in Prague on Friday. Mr Giscard praised the Czech representatives at the convention, and Mr Spidla said he was pleased they were active and visible. The Convention on the Future of Europe is to prepare a new constitution for the EU by the middle of this year. The Czech Republic and nine other countries are due to join the union in May 2004.

Military training explosives found on train tracks

Military training explosives were discovered on train tracks near Sumperk, north Moravia on Friday morning. All traffic on the line was halted for an hour, and bomb disposal experts are now examining the explosive device. It is not the first incident of its kind in recent months: in November a home-made explosive was found on a local line on the outskirts of Prague, and a few days later damage was done to tracks between Prague and Kolin.

Staromestska, Malostranska metro stations to reopen next week

The Staromestska and Malostranska stations on Prague's A, or green, metro line are to reopen next Thursday for the first time since the August floods which caused millions of euros worth of damage to large parts of the city's underground system. Repair work is still being carried out on the B, or yellow, line. The B train will being running from one end of the line to the other in the middle of February, though some stations will remain closed.

Frozen body found after another night of sub-zero temperatures

A 57-year-old man was found frozen to death at Nova Ves, north Bohemia on Friday morning. The man was last seen alive leaving a local pub for his cottage on Thursday night. Police say they are awaiting the results of a post mortem but foul play is not suspected.

Weather

Saturday should be another cold day, with temperatures of between minus seven and minus three degrees Celsius. It will be cloudy with snow showers in places.

10-01-2003