News of Radio Prague

Civic Democrats hold annual conference

The leader of the opposition Civic Democratic Party Vaclav Klaus said at the party's annual conference on Saturday that the party was ready to return to power. "After four years in opposition we are ready to accept responsibility for the country's future and lead it on the road to prosperity," Mr. Klaus said. In a rousing hour-long address to the conference the leader of the centre-right Civic Democrats called for the party to undergo "an internal pre-election cleansing" which would ensure that the party's candidates were not only competent but morally sound.

Mr. Klaus devoted a considerable part of his address to the country's future in the EU saying that if his party won the elections one of its top priorities would be to negotiate an equal partnership for Czechs within the future EU . "If the Czech Republic joins the EU during our term in office they will never regret making the decision," Mr Klaus said.

Assessing the past four years, he slammed the governing Social Democrats for allegedly miring the country deep in debt and waging an aggressive campaign against entrepreneurs.

Czech battalion awaits orders

A three hundred strong Czech battalion, including a highly professional chemical warfare detection unit, is waiting to receive orders regarding its mission in the war against terrorist forces in Afghanistan. The Czech Defense Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik told journalists on Friday that information about time, place and the form of cooperation was classified but that the public would be informed later. According to the US ambassador to the Czech Rapublic Craig Stapleton the Czech battalion is likely to be made operational in the region of conflict –either directly in Afghanistan or in Pakistan or Uzbekistan.

Police crack down on illegal trafficking in women

The police has cracked down on an international ring involved in prostitution and trafficking in women. 24 people were arrested of which 14 have been charged with illegal trafficking in women and forcing them into prostitution. During the crackdown on 6 night-clubs the police detained over 70 prostitutes, predominantly from the Ukraine, Moldavia and Russia . Some of them were reportedly under age and the majority said they had been promised factory work in the Czech Republic. Those who refused to prostitute themselves were allegedly physically and psychologically abused until they agreed to cooperate. In Friday's raid the police confiscated a number of illegally held weapons, an unspecified amount of cash and ordered the freezing of up to 30 bank accounts. Fridays' successful crack-down was a team effort involving police from the Czech Republic, Germany, Moldavia and the Ukraine.

And finally, a quick look at the weather:

We can expect a fairly cold night with temps between 4 and 1 degs C, some drizzle, with sleet or snow showers in the higher altitudes. On Sunday morning fog should give way to partly cloudy skies with temps between 8 and 12 degs C.