News of Radio Prague
Former football boss released on bail
The former chairman of the Czech football association, Frantisek Chvalovsky, has been released from custody on bail of 15 million crowns. Mr. Chvalovsky had been in custody for nearly 10 months. The state attorney Frantisek Fila said bail of 15 million crowns was a sufficient guarantee that Mr. Chvalovsky would not flee the country. Mr. Chvalovsky and five members of his company are facing charges of fraud, after they had allegedly stripped the Komercni bank of 1,5 billion crowns. They used the money for different purposes then than they told the bank and never paid it back. Due to growing interest and fines, the damage done to the bank now exceeds 2 billion crowns.
Czech soldiers will not be among the first to be deployed in Afghanistan
Deputy Defence Minister Stefan Fule said the Czech Republic was not attending a meeting of countries which will participate in a peace-keeping mission in Afghanistan because Friday's meeting in London dealt with problems specific to the first phase of deployment. The Czech Republic will not participate in that stage of the mission, as confirmed on Friday by the Czech Defence Ministry. Mr. Fule told journalists this did not mean that the Czech Republic would not be part in the peace-keeping mission. It was one of the first countries to offer help, he said.
Christmas market visitors contribute to children's transplant unit
Visitors to the Christmas market on the Old Town Square in Prague so far contributed over 400,000 crowns for the construction of a new bone marrow transplant unit for children, which will be located at Prague's biggest hospital - Motol. It will replace the interim unit that has been in operation for more then 12 years. The new unit's head, Petr Sedlacek estimates the construction will cost some 120 million crowns. Mr Sedlacek said that Motol hospital had already received 80 million from the state. The Christmas market in the centre of Prague will remain open till January 6th.
Snow is complicating traffic
Heavy snow showers and strong winds in many Czech and Moravian regions are making life difficult for road crews. Many roads are under banks of snow, and some minor roads are completely impassable. Not only mountain areas are afflicted - regions in western and central Bohemia are also having problems. In many places a state of emergency has been declared.
Children's choir from Prague singing in Carnegie Hall
The Kuehn Children's Choir will give its debut concert in New York's Carnegie Hall this coming Sunday. On Friday, the first day of their stay in New York, the choir will sing in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Under the baton of Jiri Chvala the choir will be singing mostly Christmas music by Czech 18th and 19th century composers and Czech Christmas carols. The choir has 600 members and has been around for nearly 70 years. It sang in the United States in 1994, 1995 and 1998, and has also given concerts in Japan, Canada, Singapore and Malaysia.
And finally a quick look at the weather: we expect cloudy skies and snow showers at the weekend. Daytime highs on Saturday will be between zero and three degrees Celsius, and between minus 4 and zero on Saturday. New Year's Eve is to be bright and frosty with highest daytime temperatures between minus 5 and zero Celsius.