News of Radio Prague

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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 yet to be approved by the Senate. 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.

Freedom Union and Christian Democrats to run together

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 run together in the June elections under the name Coalition. The leaders of the two parties, Hana Marvanova and Cyril Svoboda unveiled Coalition's logo on Friday, which closely resembles the logo of the Four Party Coalition. Coalition's ticket will also include several independent candidates who are to replace candidates from the Civic Democratic Alliance, a former member of the Four Party Coalition. The serious debts of the Civic Democratic Alliance were the source of disputes within the Four Party Coalition, and finally led to its collapse last week.

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.

Ceremonial opening of Czech Olympic House on Friday

The Czech Olympic House was opened on Friday in Salt Lake City, a few hours before the 19th Winter Olympics were declared open. The House, located close to the Olympic Hockey Arena, is a meeting place for Czech athletes and reporters. The chairman of the Czech Olympic Committee, Milan Jirasek said he hoped that there would be many opportunities to celebrate Czech Olympic victories there.

Czech team lead Brazil 3:0 in Davis Cup tie

The Czech Republic leads Brazil by an unbeatable 3:0 in their Davis Cup world group first round tie after Saturday's doubles in Ostrava, north Moravia. Jiri Novak and David Rikl beat Andre Sa and Alexandre Simoni 6:4 6:3 7:5.

Weather

And finally a look at the weather forecast for the rest of the weekend. Saturday night is expected to be cloudy with rain in places. Nighttime temperatures will range between 2 and 6 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.