News of Radio Prague

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Czech Foreign Minister Kavan in USA

The Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan, who is currently in the United States on a seven-day official visit, has been hospitalised after experiencing heart trouble shortly after his arrival in Washington on Sunday night. Mr. Kavan was forced to re-schedule a meeting, planned for Monday, with the U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and the U.S. National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice. His spokesman, Ales Pospisil, said that Mr Kavan is expected to be released from hospital sometime on Tuesday to resume his programme. The visit to the United States takes place less than a month after Czech-US relations became somewhat strained over the wording of a UN resolution on human rights violations in Cuba. Washington criticised Prague over a passage in the resolution describing U.S. sanctions against Cuba as 'counter-productive.' The Czech Republic eventually removed the passage.

Cabinet approves nuclear safety bill

The Czech Cabinet has approved a bill on nuclear safety. If passed, the new law will harmonise Czech legislation with EU laws on nuclear safety and radiation security. Among other things, the new legislation deals with the country's preparedness for a nuclear accident and the international transport of radioactive material. The Cabinet's aim was also to adopt some of the commitments arising from international agreements on the general ban on nuclear testing.

Anti-globalisation protesters found guilty of vandalism

Four Hungarian citizens have been banned from the Czech Republic for the next five years after being found guilty of vandalism by a Prague court. They are alleged to have thrown cobblestones at policemen during the IMF and World Bank meeting in Prague in September last year. The four Hungarians were in Prague at the time, protesting against globalisation and are said to have joined other protesters in vandalising the city during the annual meeting.

Cabinet approves public assembly bill

On a related note, the Czech government has approved a public assembly bill, which sets stricter conditions for the holding of demonstrations. The new law lists points that should be taken into account by local authorities when approving a demonstration, and also focuses on how permission for a demonstration should be applied for. It also covers reasons for restricting the freedom of public assembly, one of them being the risk to traffic. The government spokesman, Libor Roucek, said on Monday that the old law needed to be replaced as it was not sufficiently clear.

Missing German girl believed to be in Czech Republic

Czech and German police are looking for a nine-year old girl from the Bavarian village of Lichtenberg, who has been missing for a week. Two witnesses say they saw the girl get into a red Mercedes which they say may have had Czech license plates. Another witness has also come forward, saying that she had seen the girl in the Czech Republic. According to one of the police officers, there is strong speculation that she is currently in the region close to the West Bohemian town of Cheb. The police are now searching the area with the help of police dogs and helicopters.

Sport And now, a quick look at the sport. Some 16,000 citizens of Prague gathered in the city's Old Town Square to welcome the return of the Czech Republic's ice hockey team. The Czechs won their third consecutive gold medal in the world championships after beating Finland 3-2 in Germany on Sunday. The Czechs, who are also the reigning Olympic champions, have become the first country to claim three successive world champion titles in more than 20 years. With a total of 41 medals from the world championships, the Czechs are now the most successful ice-hockey nation of all time.

Weather

And finally, a quick look at the weather forecast. Tuesday shall see partially cloudy skies with occasional showers. Temperatures shall range between 19 and 23 degrees Celsius which will drop to 8 degrees Celsius at night. Wednesday won't differ much from Tuesday with temperatures in Bohemia between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius and a little warmer in Moravia and Silesia, between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius.