News of Radio Prague

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Czechs recover from floods

People in eastern parts of the country are repairing flood damage to their homes caused by the recent storms and heavy rains. The rapid rise of river levels mainly in Moravia and Silesia is estimated to have caused damage worth million of crowns to homes across the region. Around 700 people are expected to file insurance claims to recover losses, caused mainly by flooded basements. Several rivers were placed on high flood alert last week, while storms in the Olomouc region brought down trees and power lines. There were no reports of any injuries. The Czech Meteorological Office has said there should be no repeat of the catastrophic floods that struck the area in 1997, and left a number of people dead and thousands homeless.

Payne: Olympics will improve human rights in China

The deputy chairman of parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Jiri Payne, has said that he is certain that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will help to improve human rights in China. Mr. Payne said that a boycott of the games would not produce any positive outcome, saying only communication with the outside world will force China into improving its human rights record. Mr. Payne - along with three other MPs - returned from a ten-day trip to China and North Korea on Saturday. They were there to discuss human rights issues as well as Sino-Czech business relations. The delegation was in China when the International Olympic Committee announced that the 2008 summer Olympics would be held in Beijing. Some Czech politicians reacted angrily to the news, with Senators Jan Ruml and Michael Zantovsky said on Thursday that they planned to set up an international committee to monitor human rights in China. If, by the year 2005, the committee should come to the conclusion that there has not been any improvement, the games should be held elsewhere, the two Senators suggested.

Czechs continue to fear beef

More than two thirds of Czech citizens still have serious reservations about eating beef and any meat from animals that have been treated with antibiotics. A study produced for the Czech News Agency this month shows that two fifths of people in the country are seriously afraid of eating any kind of meat that can carry diseases which can be transferred to humans. The study also showed that a growing number of people do not trust genetically modified foods such as corn and soya beans. Less than a quarter of the Czech population, most of them male, said they had total confidence in Czech beef.

Czech waterworks receive EU grant

A grant of 435 million Czech crowns from an EU programme has been given to the North Bohemian Waterworks for the development of infrastructure. This covers 65% of the expenses necessary to modernise five water purification plants and complete reconstruction of the sewerage system in the North Bohemian town of Usti nad Labem. The project is expected to start at the beginning of next year and is to be fully completed by 2005. It is the only project in the country to receive funding from the EU's programme so far. The Ministry of Environment, however, hopes to receive financial support for at least three more such projects.

Kuhnl undergoes operation

The Leader of the opposition Four-Party Coalition, Karel Kuhnl, underwent an operation on his throat on Friday when doctors surgically removed an impediment on his vocal chords. According to the Freedom Union's spokesman, Mr. Kuhnl will not be able to speak for a few days and will therefore put all his necessary communication in writing. Mr. Kuhnl's condition will not interfere with his political responsibilities as MPs began their summer break in mid-July and will not reconvene until September 18th.

Weather

And finally a quick look at the weather forecast. Tuesday will be rather cloudy, with showers and storms in eastern parts of the country. Daytime temperatures will reach a maximum of 25 degrees Celsius in Bohemia, and 22 degrees in Moravia. Night-time temperatures will fall to lows of 13 degrees.