Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

24-08-2003

Dispute between president and Senate over court appointments continues

The dispute between President Vaclav Klaus and the Senate over filling vacant posts on the Constitutional Court has continued, with the head of the president's press office saying the court might never be complete. Spokesman Petr Hajek made the statement on Saturday in reaction to an alleged comment by Senator Edvard Outrata that none of Mr Klaus's candidates would have a chance of being accepted if he did not discuss them with the Senate first. The Senate has so far only approved five of nine candidates put forward by the president, leading Mr Klaus to describe its behaviour as "scandalous". Eight of the Constitutional Court's 15 judges retired in July.

Rebel Social Democrat MP may bring down government in reforms vote

Rebel Social Democrat MP Josef Hojdar has said he will vote against the government if his proposed amendments to a law reforming the public finances are not accepted before a crucial vote on the issue in September. Mr Hojdar, who left the Social Democrat deputies group last month, told Saturday's edition of Pravo the planned reforms went against Social Democrat principles. The governing coalition has a majority of just one in the Chamber of Deputies, a majority they would lose if Mr Hojdar voted against them. The Czech Republic currently has a record budget deficit.

Important rail line closed for four hours due to fire

An important railway route just north of Prague was closed for four hours on Saturday after a fire spread along the area around the line. Eighteen fire units fought the blaze, which broke out between Stara Boleslav and Lhota in the early afternoon. A spokesman for the fire service said the fire may have been caused by a spark from the rail tracks. The stretch of line in question connects north Bohemia to the rest of the country and is on the route between Germany and Austria and Hungary.

Prague Town Hall prepares law against street prostitution

The Prague Town Hall is proposing a new law which would ban street prostitution in the city, deputy mayor Rudolf Blazek said on Saturday. Under the proposed law prostitutes would be restricted to brothels, which would have to attain permission from local authorities. Prostitutes would be required to undergo regular medical check-ups and pay tax and social and health insurance. However similar proposals, put forward by the Interior Ministry, have already been rejected twice by the cabinet.

Leading Czech groups appear at Czech, Slovak rock festival near Chicago

A Czech and Slovak rock festival is taking place this weekend in the town of Yorkville, which is just outside Chicago. Among the groups taking part are Kabat, Chinaski and Krystof, all of whom are very popular here in the Czech Republic. Chicago has one of the largest Czech communities in the United States.

Havel watches former dissident bands at Trutnov rock festival

Meanwhile, former president Vaclav Havel attended one of the Czech Republic's biggest music festivals near the east Bohemian town of Trutnov on Saturday. Mr Havel, who has a cottage near the town and has attended the festival many times, watched performances by former dissident groups the Plastic People of the Universe and DG 307.

Weather

Monday is expected to be partly cloudy, with the chance of rain in some places. The maximum temperature should be 24 degrees Celsius.

24-08-2003