News of Radio Prague

Autopsy: missing girl died of natural causes

Police say an 11-year-old girl whose body was found in woods in South Bohemia on Tuesday died of natural causes. A spokesman said an autopsy revealed that schoolgirl Vladimira Vondraskova had died of a brain haemorrhage. The autopsy showed the girl had a brain tumour. Vladimira had gone missing from a campsite during a school trip to the Hluboka nad Vltavou area of South Bohemia. Police officers and volunteers had been searching the area since she went missing on Sunday night.

Srejbr set free by Supreme Court

The Czech Supreme Court has set free Milan Srejbr, a former Czech tennis player turned successful businessman, who was sentenced to five and a half years in prison last September for insider dealing. An appeal against the sentence had been filed by the Justice Minister, Jaroslav Bures. Mr Srejbr had been accused of selling shares in one of his companies to his own investment company, and buying them back later at cut price. Mr Srejbr was the secret donor in a financial scandal that swept through Vaclav Klaus's Civic Democratic Party, a scandal which brought down Mr Klaus's government in late 1997.

Christian Democrats: Klaus has little chance of remaining speaker

And members of the centrist Christian Democrats indicated on Wednesday that Mr Klaus had little chance of holding onto his post as speaker of the lower house when a new parliament convenes in the summer. Christian Democrat officials, speaking to reporters during a break in talks on forming a new centre-left government, said the next speaker would be a member of the ruling Social Democrats. They said there would be five deputy speakers, to represent the five parties in the lower house. Mr Klaus, whose party suffered a heavy defeat in the elections, has been lower house speaker since 1998.

Dostal returns 17th century painting to France

The Czech Culture Minister Pavel Dostal has formally presented his French counterpart with a painting looted by the Nazis during the Second World War. The 17th century painting - "Man in a Fur Cap" - was stolen by the Nazis during the occupation of France, and later taken to Prague where it fell into the hands of the Czechoslovak authorities after 1945. A joint commission set up to examine the dispute decided the rightful owner was France's Schloss family, descendants of Alfred Schloss, a Jewish businessman and art collector. A spokeswoman for the Czech Culture Ministry said the matter was now closed.

Guenter Grass: Benes decrees should not be abolished

And Germany's Nobel prize-winning author Guenter Grass has spoken out against the abolition of controversial decrees which sanctioned the expulsion of Czechoslovakia's large German population after the Second World War. Mr Grass said the decrees belonged to the past, and should not be touched. However the writer said Czechs should find the courage to discuss the post-war period openly. Politicians in Austria and Germany have called for the abolition of the post-war Benes decrees before the Czech Republic is allowed to join the European Union.


And finally a look at the weather. Thursday will be another hot and sunny day, with temperatures in the daytime reaching highs of 29 degrees Celsius. And the hot and sunny weather is expected to give way at the weekend to cooler and cloudy conditions, with storms and rain in places.