News of Radio Prague

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Freedom Party and Christian Democrats to run under name Coalition

Following the collapse of the opposition Four Party Coalition, its two biggest members the Freedom Union-DEU and the Christian Democrats have announced they will contest June's elections under the name Coalition. The leaders of the two parties, Hana Marvanova and Cyril Svoboda unveiled Coalition's logo on Friday - it closely resembles the logo of the Four Party Coalition. Coalition's ticket will also include several independent candidates. The Four Party Coalition collapsed last week due to a dispute over the debts of its smallest member, the Civic Democratic Alliance.

Lower house passes bill on access to StB secret police files

The lower house of the Czech parliament passed a bill on Friday allowing for almost complete public access to the files of the Communist era secret police the StB. The bill had been proposed by the Senate. As well as individual files, the names of StB collaborators and agents would also be released under the bill. Only the Communist Party and some Social Democrat MPs voted against the bill, which has to be discussed by the Senate again. While most former dissidents welcome the idea of the files being made available, some have warned that they might contain lies and fabrications. Currently people can only see their own StB files.

Unemployment has risen to 9.4 percent

Figures for January show that unemployment in the Czech Republic has risen to 9.4 percent - that is, almost half a million people. The figure is up from 8.9 percent at the end of last year.

Man accused of murdering wife gets one year for failing to provide help

A man accused of murdering his wife was given one year in prison for failing to provide help by a Prague court on Friday. The woman - Dana Synkova - died when her wrists were slit, something the court heard she could have done herself. Mrs Synkova's relatives claimed that her husband Frantisek Synek cut her wrists in a dispute over a robbery. Mr Synek was found guilty of letting his wife bleed to death.

Bishop proposes charity to help prostitutes

Roman Catholic bishop Vaclav Maly has called for the Czech Catholic Charity to help prostitutes. Bishop Maly said outlawing prostitution completely was impossible and it was a lesser evil to regulate the profession and improve life for the women and girls involved. Prostitution is a bad thing, but prostitutes ought not to be condemned, said Bishop Maly.

Czech team wins opening Davis Cup game against Brazil

The Czech Republic has won the opening game of the Davis Cup first round competition against Brazil in Ostrava, north Moravia . Jiri Novak lost the first set to Andre Sa 6:7, but took the next three sets 6:1 6:1 6:4 to give the Czechs their first point.

Weather

And finally a look at the weather forecast. Saturday is expected to be cloudy with rain or showers in places and up to 12 degrees Celsius. Sunday should also be cloudy with rain in places and snow in mountainous regions. Temperatures are expected to range between five and nine degrees Celsius.