Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

20-05-2003

Chechen asylum seekers continue to arrive from Poland

Police say Chechen asylum seekers are continuing to enter the country from Poland. Some 430 Chechens have arrived in the Czech Republic since the beginning of May, and all of them have requested asylum. Many of the asylum seekers say they are dissatisfied with conditions in Polish refugee camps, and believe winning asylum in the Czech Republic is easier than in Poland. The Czech authorities have warned that their asylum reception centres are overflowing.

Mass demonstration planned for Ostrava

Thousands of trade union members will converge on the North Moravian city of Ostrava on Thursday for what is being billed as the biggest demonstration in the region since the 1989 overthrow of Communism. One union leader said at least 10,000 people will attend the demonstration, aimed at highlighting rising unemployment in the region. North Moravia has witnessed a series of mass layoffs in recent months.

More than 600 Czech firms sign up for Iraq reconstruction

The country's trade agency Czechtrade has announced that more than 600 firms have offered their services in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq. Czechtrade director Martin Tlapa said the names of the firms had been forwarded to U.S. bodies for consideration. The Czech government says it will spend around 20 million dollars financing reconstruction projects by Czech firms in Iraq.

TV Nova has new owner

The new owners of the country's most successful commercial TV station, TV Nova, have appointed a new director general. He is Petr Dvorak from the firm PPF, one of the station's two owners. Mr Dvorak replaces long-time director Vladimir Zelezny, who was sacked last week after 9 years in the post. Mr Zelezny was seen as responsible for deteriorating relations between the station and the Czech government. The Czech Republic recently had to pay out more than 350 million dollars in compensation to Nova's former investor, the U.S. cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder. Mr Lauder's CME company was shut out of TV Nova in 1999, in a move backed by the Council for TV and Radio Broadcasting.

Czech police hunt for stolen truck loaded with acid

Police have asked the public for help in tracking down a stolen truck loaded with dangerous chemicals. The truck and its cargo of chemical barrels were stolen on Monday night in the western town of Prestice. Police said the cargo included more than 40 barrels marked "caustic". About half of the barrels contained either nitric acid or sulphuric acid. Officials are afraid the thief might dump the chemicals, posing a threat to human health and the environment.

Woman killed running across motorway

A 29-year-old woman was killed on Monday after trying to run across a motorway near Brno. Police said the woman, her husband and their 7-year-old son had stopped on the hard shoulder opposite a motorway service station. The woman had crossed the motorway to buy some food and was running back to the car when she was struck and killed.

Family of three have lucky escape in fairground accident

A family of three narrowly escaped injury on Tuesday when they were thrown off a fairground ride in Ostrava. A seat on the ride, known as the Twister, came loose and fell to the ground shortly after the ride began. The three escaped with minor grazes and torn clothing.

Weather

Wednesday will be another cool and cloudy day, with showers in most parts of the country. Temperatures in the daytime will range between 13 and 17 degrees Celsius. Weathermen say the cold front will gradually give way later in the week to warmer weather.

20-05-2003