Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

02-10-2003

Spidla: Czech Republic supports Turkish EU bid

Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has said the Czech Republic supports Turkey's bid to join the European Union. Mr Spidla made the comments at a joint press conference in Ankara with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Czech prime minister is on an official visit to Turkey, aimed at boosting political and economic ties between the two countries. The Czech Republic joins the European Union in May 2004.

Report: water levels reach dangerous lows

A new report has said rivers, lakes and reservoirs across the Czech Republic have reached seriously low levels just 13 months after devastating floods swept the country. Experts from the Czech Meteorological Office blamed the falling water levels on a continuing dry spell that began in central Europe in May. One expert estimated that water levels had fallen to half the normal readings. The experts said the drought hadn't affected public water supplies, but low rivers were slowing navigation and threatening wildlife.

Police in Prague arrest "leading European counterfeiter"

Police in Prague have said they have arrested one of Europe's biggest counterfeiters of visa and travel documents. Police said the 51-year-old man, from the Pacific island of Tonga, specialised in helping illegal immigrants from China. The suspect was arrested during a raid on a Prague house. Police found weapons, counterfeit rubber stamps and documents purportedly from several embassies. The man was under surveillance for months and apparently has ties to organised crime.

Klaus blasts "pointless" Ombudsman

President Vaclav Klaus has attacked the Office of the Ombudsman, saying it was little more than a cushy job for retired politicians. Speaking on Czech Radio Mr Klaus said the Ombudsman, which defends civil and legal rights in the Czech Republic, had done almost nothing in the three years since it was established. The Ombudsman himself, former justice minister Otakar Motejl, has declined to comment on the president's outburst.

Former president Havel awarded Gandhi peace prize

An Indian newspaper has reported that former president Vaclav Havel will receive the 10 million rupee Gandhi Peace Prize. The Asian Age newspaper reported that Mr Havel was chosen for "his outstanding contribution towards world peace and upholding human rights in the most difficult situations". The prize is awarded each year for outstanding work and contribution to social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other methods advocated by Mahatma Gandhi.

Schoolboy mauled by tiger at Ostrava Zoo

The headmistress of a school in the north Moravian city of Karvina has said one of her pupils was mauled by a tiger during a recent visit to a nearby zoo in Ostrava. The headmistress said the 13-year-old boy received cuts to the head, back, chest and arms after he ignored warnings and crossed a barrier to reach the tiger's cage. Eyewitnesses say the boy was taunting the animal when it swiped at him through the bars. The boy was not seriously hurt and is recovering at home. One of the zoo's curators said members of the public had to learn that tigers were not "fluffy toys to be played with".

Weather

Friday be another unseasonably warm day, with temperatures reaching highs of 23 degrees Celsius in places. Cloudy weather is forecast for most of the country, with rain and showers in places.

02-10-2003