News of Radio Prague

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Train driver dead, 14 U.S. soldiers injured in crash

A Czech train driver was killed and 14 U.S. soldiers were injured on Friday when a military train transporting equipment collided with a local freight train near the town of Karlovy Vary. A spokesman for Czech Railways said the accident occurred just before 4am. The U.S. army 1st Infantry Division in the German town of Wuerzburg said three soldiers had been airlifted to a Prague hospital, although none of the injuries are said to be life threatening. Czech Railways says the crash was probably caused by human error. Some 2,000 U.S. soldiers are due to take part in training exercises with Czech forces next week. Earlier this week an American soldier was killed when the fuel tanker lorry he was driving crashed and exploded on its way to the exercises.

Far-right youths to appear in court for vandalising Jewish cemetery

The state prosecutor's office has said two of the seven far-right youths accused of vandalising a Jewish cemetery in Prague last October will be tried in court. A spokesman said the two 16-year-old youths were being prosecuted for race offences, hooliganism and destruction of private property, and could face up to two and a half years in prison. The remaining five boys are too young to face trial. Police say the attack, in which 52 tombstones were destroyed, was pre-meditated and well-prepared. The youths filmed the entire attack on video, a copy of which was seized by police and will be used as evidence.

Orlova town square closed off after methane leak

The main square in the north Moravian town of Orlova was closed off for several hours on Friday after methane was found to be leaking from the town's sewer system. The square was reopened at 2.30 p.m. The authorities have been forced to close off public places in Orlova several times over the last few months, after the highly explosive gas was found to be leaking from old coal mines located under the town. The last major explosion occurred three years ago, in the neighbouring city of Ostrava. An elderly woman was seriously hurt in the explosion.

Kavan to visit Egypt, Israel in late May

Foreign Minister Jan Kavan will visit Egypt and Israel at the end of May, three months after Czech-Egyptian relations suffered tension over remarks by the Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman about the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Mr Zeman compared Mr Arafat to Adolf Hitler in an interview with the Israeli daily Haaretz, and said the Palestinians should be expelled from Israel if they refused to accept Israeli peace conditions. The Czech Prime Minister later claimed his remarks were misinterpreted, but the Egyptian government asked Mr Zeman to postpone a planned visit to the country.

Novak battles past Blake into Rome Masters semi-finals

The Czech tennis player Jiri Novak defeated America's James Blake on Friday to seal his place in the semi-finals of the Rome Masters. The 27-year-old player, who reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January, will play in only his second Masters Series semi-final and his first in Rome.

Weather

Finally a look at the weather. There's hot and humid weather forecast for this weekend, with thunderstorms in places. Temperatures in the daytime will range from 20 to 24 degrees Celsius, falling at night to lows of 14 degrees.