Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

22-08-2003

Czech prisoners to be released from Thai jail

The authorities in Thailand have said they will release two Czech men serving long prison sentences for smuggling heroin. The two will be handed over to the Czech authorities and transferred to a Czech prison. Emil Novoty, who is 27, was sentenced to 42 years in prison. Radek Hanykovisc was sentenced to 25 years. The maximum sentence for drug offences under Czech law is fifteen years, and Czech officials say ways will be found to shorten their sentences.

Tighter security for Czechs in Iraq

Czech military and diplomatic commitments to the coalition in Iraq will not be altered in the wake of the terrorist attack against the UN office in Baghdad. The Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda told reporters that security measures had been tightened for the Czech team in Iraq, but that work would continue as planned. Svoboda said the correct response to threats from global terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism was to confront it. The Czech Republic recently reopened its embassy in Baghdad and operates an army field hospital with about 320 staff. In addition the United States has asked Prague to consider deploying military police in Iraq.

Teachers to strike on first day of school

Trade unions in the education sector have announced that teachers across the country will go on a one day token strike on September 1st, the start of the new school year, in protest of low wages. About half of all state elementary and secondary schools have said they are ready to join the protest. The pay demands of teachers have recently been supported by unions from tax offices, social security offices as well as land registries.

Ammonia leak

An ammonia leak from a meat processing plant in Hroznetin has killed hundreds of fish in the river Bystrice. The leak reportedly occurred during the night contaminating a two kilometre stretch of the river before an emergency clean up operation could be launched. The situation is now said to be under control. An inspection team has visited the meat processing plant to ascertain how the accident happened. The plant reportedly has around six tons of ammonia on its premises and a bigger leak could have been a serious threat to the town's inhabitants.

Weather:

The weekend should be warm with partly cloudy skies and occasional showers. Saturday's day temperatures: between 25 and 27 degrees Celsius, Sunday's between 21 and 23 degrees Celsius.

22-08-2003