Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

29-09-2003

Thai fax confirms release of Czech prisoners

The Czech Embassy in Thailand has received a fax from the Thai government confirming it would release two Czech prisoners to the Czech authorities, to allow them serve the rest of their sentences in a Czech prison. The prisoners, Emil Novotny and Radek Hanykovics are currently in a Thai prison for attempting to smuggle heroin. Twenty-seven year old Novotny was sentenced to 42 years, out of which he has served eight years so far. Radek Hanykovics was sentenced to 25 years. Czech Ambassador to Thailand Jiri Sitler has said he was expecting an official confirmation within the next few days.

President Klaus criticises European draft constitution

Czech President Vaclav Klaus has criticised the European constitution, as put forward by the EU Convention on the Future of Europe, saying it supported the rise of a superstate, in which the Czech Republic would have little influence. The draft constitution was designed to allow the EU function more effectively after it expands from 15 to 25 member states next May but Mr Klaus warned it would rather deepen the gap between people and decision-makers. Its approval, he added, would be a big step towards the creation of a federal or even supra-national state. The Czech President is not the only one to criticise the draft. Smaller current and future EU member states have all expressed concern that the European constitution, in its current form, only benefited the bigger states.

Belgium to offer F-16 fighter jets to Czech Army

Belgian Defence Ministry spokesman Nick Van Haver has confirmed that the Czech Republic will be able to purchase 14 multi-purpose F-16 fighter jets to update its air defence. The supersonic jets are halfway through their expected lifespan and have been modernised as part of the mid-life update, MLU, programme. According to Mr Haver, the Belgian defence ministry is currently working on the details of its offer, which will be forwarded to the Czechs before the end of next month.

Extreme sport: one dead, another injured

One woman died and another was seriously injured this weekend after their attempts at doing extreme sports failed, Czech police said on Monday. A 52-year-old skydiver died after her parachute failed to open near the town of Kolin, east of Prague. In nearby Jaromer, a 36-year-old woman suffered serious brain injuries at a fair's bungee jump attraction. Police say they are investigating the incidents to determine whether either involved foul play.

Fire put out near Brno following 24-hour struggle

Fire fighters and military rescue workers managed to put out a fire near the Moravian capital of Brno on Monday morning after fighting for almost 24 hours to save some 30 hectares of woods. An eight-hectare stretch of land with mostly two-to-ten year conifers was completely razed to the ground. The cause of the fire is yet to be established.

Weather

Tuesday is expected to have partially clear skies and scattered showers throughout the country. Temperatures will reach a maximum of 18 degrees Celsius.

29-09-2003