Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

01-06-2003

Presidents Klaus and Bush meet in "friendly atmosphere"

Czech President Vaclav Klaus met briefly with US president George W. Bush on Sunday to discus mutual relations between their countries. They met in St. Petersburg where they attended official celebrations marking the 300th anniversary of the city. Czech press has speculated lately that relations between the White House and the Prague Castle cooled down due to the Mr. Klaus's reserved stance on the US-led invasion of Iraq. However, Czech presidential spokesman Tomas Klvana said the meeting between Mr. Klaus and Mr Bush was in a very friendly atmosphere. President Klaus is planning to visit the United States in the near future.

Jihlava district hit by local floods

Local floods caused by thunderstorms and torrential rains hit the district of Jihlava on Saturday night. In the town of Jihlava and a number of other towns and villages, water and mud flooded cellars and ground floors of houses, and blocked roads. Firemen and volunteers have been helping in the affected areas. Damage caused by the floods has not yet been established. A few days ago, local-scale floods hit the central-Moravian district of Blansko.

Government pro-EU campaign enters final stage

The government's pro-EU campaign enters the final stage. This week, all Czechs eligible to vote will receive information about the upcoming historic referendum on the country's accession to the EU. Information about various aspects of EU membership will be distributed to all mailboxes throughout the country. The first referendum in Czech history will take place on June 13 and 14. Turnout in Czech elections has been very low in the recent years but the government believes its campaign will attract people to vote in the referendum.

Number of prisoners decreases

The number of prisoners in the Czech Republic has decreased over the past three years. While in the year 2000, the Czech Republic had 24000 prisoners, this year it is 7000 less. The change is due to an amendment to the penal code in 2002 which introduced various alternative punishments. Czech prisons have been suffering from overcrowding for years. While the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture recommends 6 square metres of floor space for every prisoner, in the Czech Republic, it was just over half the area before 2002.

Czech Catholic Church joins Central European Catholic Days

The Catholic Church in Czech Republic has joined eight other nations in what is called the Central European Catholic Days. This will be a series of events running until May 2004, when the participating countries are expected to join the EU. The Church believes that the message of Gospel can help improve the common Europe, to make the economy benefit all and help political decision-making be wise and responsible.

Newborn baby found left outside Sokolov hospital

The police in the West Bohemian town of Sokolov have been searching for a woman who left her newborn baby on the premises of a local hospital on Saturday night. The baby was found outside one of the buildings, wrapped in a white blanket. Doctors say it was probably born on Saturday morning.

Czech weather forecast

We are expecting a mostly clear day, but with a chance of rain showers in the southeastern parts of the country. The highest daytime temperatures should range from 24 to 28 degrees Celsius.

01-06-2003