News of Radio Prague

Czech firefighters visit the site of the World Trade Centre in New York

Czech firefighters and senior police officers have visited the site of the World Trade Centre in New York. Officials from the Czech Interior Ministry also visited the site on Friday, as did Daniel Herman of the Czech Bishops Conference, who held an improvised mass for all those who lost their lives on September 11 last year. The Czech firefighters gave their New York counterparts gifts, including specially-made puppets of firemen.

Government to consider total ban on tobacco advertising

A proposal put forward by two Christian Democrat MPs for a complete ban on tobacco advertising is to be debated by the Social Democrat government when it holds a session in the north Moravian city of Ostrava on Monday. A bill restricting tobacco advertising was passed by the Senate last week, though MP Vilem Holan of the Christian Democrats said it was necessary to push once again for a total ban, as the issue was connected with children's health. The government's session in Ostrava is one of a series of such meetings being held ahead of June's general elections.

Lower house passes bill giving tax breaks to people who do voluntary work

The lower house of parliament has passed a bill under which people who do voluntary community work would get tax breaks and health-care benefits. Those who would benefit include volunteers who are part of clear-up operations after natural, environmental and humanitarian disasters, and people who help the socially excluded, the sick and the elderly. The bill will come into effect at the beginning of next year if it is approved by the Senate and the president.

British historian to present proposed lyrics to European anthem in Prague

The British historian Timothy Garton Ash is to present his proposed lyrics to accompany the European anthem - Beethoven's 9th Symphony - in Prague in September, the chairman of the European Parliament, Pat Cox, said on Friday. Mr Garton Ash, who has written several books on modern Central and Eastern European history, has been invited to make the presentation in Prague by the Czech president, Vaclav Havel.

Children spend night in libraries around the country

Hundreds of children spent Friday night at 71 public libraries around the Czech Republic as part of an event entitled A Night With Andersen, in which readings were made of the fairytales of the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. It is the fourth year that the event has been held in the Czech Republic's libraries.

Sunday's Weather

And finally a look at the weather forecast for Sunday. It should be cloudy with snow or sleet showers in places. The maximum daytime temperature should be six degrees Celsius.