Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

25-02-2003

Ruling coalition nominate Jan Sokol as official presidential candidate

The ruling coalition has officially nominated university professor Jan Sokol as the government's candidate for president. A total of 97 of the 101 coalition deputies in the lower house signed Mr Sokol's nomination. The two houses of parliament meet in a joint session on Friday in a third attempt to elect a successor to Vaclav Havel, who stepped down as president three weeks ago. Mr Sokol faces former prime minister Vaclav Klaus, nominated by the opposition Civic Democrats. Every vote will be crucial if he is to defeat Mr Klaus on Friday, and he spent Tuesday lobbying for support among Social Democrat MPs, several of whom have refused to back him.

Investigators recover black box of crashed military plane

Investigators have recovered the black box from the military jet which crashed on Monday, killing a 30 year-old air force pilot. The flight recorder is now being examined for clues to the crash, which happened in clear weather in a military area southwest of Prague. The single seat L 159 training jet came down in a field shortly after 11 am on Monday, near the town of Pribram. The wreckage was not on fire when emergency crews and the police arrived and it is not clear what caused the accident. Around two dozen pilots have been killed in military air crashes in the last decade.

Britain returns 88 Czech Roma after unsuccessful asylum requests

Britain has returned a further 88 Czech citizens - almost all of whom believed to be members of the Roma minority - after they were denied asylum in the UK. It was the latest in a series of forcible repatriations of Czech Roma by the British authorities. British officials recently resumed screening all passengers flying to the United Kingdom from Prague's Ruzyne airport. Britain first launched the controls in June 2001, in an effort to prevent Czech Roma from applying for asylum in the UK.

Man sent to prison for hoax bomb alert calls

A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to three years in prison for making a series of hoax telephone calls claiming there were bombs at Ruzyne airport. The man made four hoax calls last summer, forcing airport authorities to evacuate the building and cancel several flights.

Interior Minister promises to investigate parliament bugging allegations

Interior Minister Stanislav Gross has promised to investigate claims that several members of parliament, including a key opposition leader, had their offices bugged. Mr Gross told a parliamentary committee that the investigation would last about two months. He was speaking after four MPs - mostly from the opposition Civic Democrats - complained of receiving unusual messages in their mobile phone voicemail. They said the messages were recordings of their own conversations, apparently recorded in their offices.

Man who killed Nigerian diplomat receives psychiatric treatment

A 72-year-old man who shot dead a senior Nigerian diplomat in Prague last week is being given psychiatric treatment in a prison hospital. The elderly man, who reportedly lost his life savings in an oil investment scam, has been charged with murder and faces up to 15 years in prison. He is said to be severely traumatized and prison officials say he might try to commit suicide if left unattended.

Weather forecast

Wednesday will be another sunny and mild day, with daytime temperatures expected to peak at 8 degrees Celsius.

25-02-2003