News of Radio Prague

Havel's health stable, no longer has temperature

Doctors said on Friday that President Vaclav Havel's health was stable, two days after he was rushed from southern France to a Prague military hospital. They said the president was no longer suffering from a temperature, and was feeling well. A team of doctors will meet on Monday to decide when he can be released from hospital. Mr Havel, who is 65, has suffered from chronic bronchitis since an operation in 1996 to remove a malignant tumour from his right lung. He was forced to cut short a visit to France on Wednesday after complaining of breathing difficulties.

Prague's "Green Island" ice hockey arena gets green light

Investors said on Friday they had received approval from the local authorities to build a hockey arena and sports complex in Prague, that will host the 2004 World Cup ice hockey championships. Bestsport, a subsidiary of the largest Czech lottery company Sazka, said it received the go-ahead to build the "Green Island" complex on the site of a vacant train carriage factory in the city's Vysocany district. The project, which was delayed by several months, will cost at least 2.3 billion crowns, or around 70 million dollars. Construction is due to start in September.

New poll suggests fall in support for death penalty

A new poll carried out by the Central European Opinion Research Group (CEORG) suggests a decline in public support for the reintroduction of the death penalty. The Brussels-based research agency said 56 percent of Czechs were in favour of re-introducing capital punishment, compared to 75 percent ten years ago. The death penalty was abolished in Czechoslovakia shortly after the overthrow of Communism in 1989. The agency said support for capital punishment was much higher in other former Communist countries, with 68 percent of Bulgarians, 74 percent of Poles, and 79 percent of Russians in favour of reintroducing the death penalty for serious crimes.

Police arrest three youths over death of German man

Police in Prague have arrested three men accused of murdering an eighteen-year-old German, whose body was discovered in fields in South Bohemia on Thursday. The man, who went missing shortly after arriving in the Czech Republic in mid-June, was found dead near the village of Bavorov. He was discovered with bullet wounds to the chest and head.

Youths charged over "Sudetenland" stickers

Two youths from the northern town of Chomutov have been charged with stirring up ethnic hatred after they distributed stickers calling for the former Sudetenland border areas to be returned to Germany. Police said the youths, who are both members of neo-Nazi skinhead groups, hoped local people would believe the stickers were the work of ethnic Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia after the Second World War, in a bid to worsen relations between Germans and Czechs. The stickers first appeared in former Sudeten towns shortly before the elections.


And finally a look at the weather. Friday night will be mild, with temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius. There'll be a cloudy start to Saturday, with isolated showers in western parts of the country. Temperatures in the daytime will reach a maximum of 25 degrees Celsius.