News of Radio Prague

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One dead, tens injured in Moravian mine collapse

A cave-in inside the Lazy coal mine in the North Moravian Karvina region, left tens of miners injured and one dead early on Tuesday morning. The rescue team at the scene of the accident spent several hours pulling miners from underneath the rubble. Close to thirty miners survived the accident. Whilst most of them got away with just scratches and bruises, two miners suffered serious injuries and had to be flown to a hospital in the nearby city of Ostrava. Although the number of deaths and injuries in Czech mines has decreased significantly to a fifth of that recorded in 1990, last year saw five deaths more than in 2000. According to the mining company's safety investigators, the tremor that caused the Tuesday morning cave-in was impossible to predict.

Spidla presents 50-page policy statement to parliament

Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla presented the new centre-left government's policy statement to parliament on Tuesday. A vote of confidence, however, was postponed by the MP's who spent much of the afternoon listening to Mr Spidla reading from the 50-page document that pledges to boost the welfare state and secure the Czech Republic's membership of the European Union. The statement is expected to get a vote of confidence on Wednesday, although the Civic Democrat and Communist opposition who hold 99 of the 200 seats in parliament say they will not support the programme. The government, a coalition of the Social Democrats and two centre-right parties, has a one-vote majority in the lower house.

Man who stabbed policeman identified

Prague police have identified the man who stabbed a policeman to death and seriously injured a 74-year old civilian on Friday. Although his name has not been disclosed, police have revealed that the offender is a 53 year-old Russian citizen who has been living and working in the Czech Republic legally from 1994 to 2000 and illegally since then. A raid of his flat in the Prague 4 district confirmed his identity but failed to bring further clues to the motive for the killing.

Poll - Austria: Czech Republic least favourable future EU member

A poll conducted in neighbouring Austria by the Austrian Society for European Policy showed that the Czech Republic is the least popular post-Communist candidate for EU enlargement. Whilst 61% of respondents supported Hungary's accession to the EU, only 41% accepted the Czech Republic and Poland as future EU member states. According to the Austrian Society for European Policy, the main reason stated for the low support was the lack of contact in the past. Prague was also not forgiven for supporting EU sanctions against Vienna after the far-right Freedom Party joined the Austrian cabinet in 2000.

Archaeologists find coins dating to Roman times

Czech archaeologists have made a unique discovery this week. Whilst digging in the foundations of a church in the Bruntal region in Moravia, they found nine coins from the Roman Empire, dating from the 3rd and the 4th centuries. Although the archaeologists expect the church foundations to come from the beginning of the 13th century, they are hoping to discover that the original foundation dates back to Roman times. If that is the case, it would be the first preserved building from Roman times discovered so far north.

Weather

And finally a quick look at the weather forecast. Wednesday is expected to have cloudy skies with occasional showers and scattered thunder storms. Temperatures have been forecast between 19 and 23 degrees Celsius.