News of Radio Prague

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Fatal hotel collapse probably caused by explosion - police

Police investigating the collapse of part of a hotel in Louny, northwest Bohemia, say that the most likely cause was an explosion. Six Polish citizens from the same family died when part of the four-storey hotel collapsed in the early hours of Monday morning. The prefabricated hotel building was completed 12 years ago. Monday's disaster has been described as one of the Czech Republic's worst building accidents.

16th century wooden church burns to the ground in Ostrava

A 16th century wooden church in the north Moravian city of Ostrava was completely destroyed by fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Investigators are trying to establish what caused the fire at the church of St Catherine. A spokesperson said that the bishopric of Ostrava and Opava were considering building a replica of the gothic church, which was completed in 1564 and was one of the oldest wooden churches in Moravia.

Defence Minister for replacing Castle Guard with soldiers from Czech Army

Using soldiers from the Czech Army to guard Prague Castle, the seat of the Czech president, would save up to half a billion crowns a year, the defence minister, Jaroslav Tvrdik, said after meeting Civic Democrats defence spokesman Petr Necas on Tuesday. Mr Necas had previously proposed that the current Castle Guard, which is under the president's office, be replaced by soldiers from the army. Defence minister Tvrdik said it would be an honour for Czech soldiers to guard Prague Castle.

Court criticies police for failing to arrest skinheads shouting racial abuse

The District Court in the east Bohemian city of Hradec Kralove has criticised the approach taken by police during an incident which took place outside the court on Friday. Following the sentencing of a 22-year-old neo-nazi skinhead for the racially motivated murder of a Romany man, a group of skinheads shouted racial abuse at Romanies leaving the court. The police made no arrests, despite the fact that racial abuse is illegal in the Czech Republic. A spokesperson for the court said the police should have intervened.

Zeman tips Fico's Smer party to win elections in Slovakia

Prime Minister Milos Zeman has said he believes Robert Fico's Smer party would come first in Slovakia's parliamentary elections in September. Mr Zeman made the comment after a lecture he delivered at Chicago's DePaul University on Monday. Mr Zeman is currently on an official visit to the United States and Mexico.

Wednesday's weather

And we end the news with a look at the weather. Wednesday should be another glorious day throughout the Czech Republic; it should be sunny with temperatures between 13 and 17 degrees Celsius.