News of Radio Prague

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Three railway employees charged with endangering lives in train collision in May

Three employees from the state-run Czech Railways have been charged in connection with a deadly collision between a U.S. army train and a Czech freight train in May. The accident, which occurred in the Karlovy Vary region in west Bohemia, killed one train engineer and injured 14 American soldiers on their way to training at a Czech army base. Police say the employees charged include a rail controller and two dispatchers whose erroneous signals led to the head-on collision. Each of the workers has been charged with endangering lives and if found guilty could face up to five years in prison.

Coalition agreement likely to bind Social Democrats, Christian Democrats and Freedom Union on key issues.

Christian Democrat leader Cyril Svoboda has confirmed that any coalition agreement between the Social Democrats, the party that won more than 30 percent of the vote in last weekend's parliamentary elections, and the centrist Christian Democrats and liberal Freedom Union, will be likely to bind all three parties on several key issues. As of Tuesday some voices within the Social Democrat camp had begun questioning the steadfastness of the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union within a Social Democrat-led government, a cabinet that would only enjoy a one-member majority in parliament. Social-Democrat leader Vladimir Spidla has indicated he would like to form the next government within a month.

Private company releases data: 25,000 cars a year stolen in Czech Republic

A private company, Cebia, specializing in monitoring car theft in the Czech Republic, has released information saying that 25, 000 cars, worth a total of 5 billion crowns, are stolen in the country each year. The company says that amounts to a car being stolen every 25 minutes. According to the private firm more than half of those vehicles make it back onto the road after being resold with tampered papers to unsuspecting customers. Cebia, which has operated in the Czech Republic for the last ten years, claims that as many as 500, 000 stolen cars overall are currently being driven on Czech roads.

1 person killed in glassworks explosion

An explosion shortly before noon at a glassworks in the town of Zelezny Brod in the northern Moravian region of Jablonec killed 1 employee and seriously injured 3 others on Wednesday, who suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns. An ensuing fire at the glassworks took two hours to be put out. The cause of the explosion is still unknown, and is being investigated by police.

Finance Ministry evacuated Wednesday because of fire

Smoke from a fire in an upper-floor office at the Finance Ministry in Prague led to employees from the ministry being evacuated around 1 pm Wednesday. Fire-fighters put out the fire, which started in an office computer, in a matter of minutes.

Czech crown has broken three-year-old record to U.S. dollar

The Czech crown has broken three-year-old record to the U.S. dollar, strengthening to 31 crowns 90 hellers to the dollar. The reason behind the crown's strengthening is related to the U.S. dollar's weakening to the Euro, as well as to other world currencies.

Weather

Finally a look at the weather - the heat wave that has hit Central Europe continues to affect the Czech Republic: temperatures on Wednesday reached record heights at just under 32 degrees Celsius. Thursday is expected to be equally balmy with temperatures reaching highs between 30 and 34 degrees. Expect partially clear skies on Thursday with a small chance of clouding over and isolated showers, and even hail, in places.