News of Radio Prague

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Woman killed as severe floods hit South Bohemia

A young woman was killed and around 2,000 people evacuated from their homes on Thursday after severe flooding hit South Bohemia. Police said a tree uprooted and fell on a hut, killing a 21-year-old woman staying at a summer camp in the village of Varvazov. The flooding began after heavy rains swelled rivers in the region. Rising water on the Malse and Blanice rivers forced around 2,000 people to leave their homes in southern towns and villages, including the regional capital Ceske Budejovice. Water levels are also rising steadily on the River Vltava, which flows through Prague. Mayor Igor Nemec says officials are ready for the situation and there is no danger to the public.

Government to sell Cesky Telecom stake for $1.8 billion

The government has agreed to sell its majority stake in the country's largest phone company Cesky Telecom to a German-Danish consortium for 1.8 billion dollars. The consortium of Deutsche Bank and TDC (Tele Danmark) outbid a group led by Switzerland's Swisscom in a two-year privatisation process marked by numerous delays. Earlier this year the government had sought about 2.6 billion dollars for its 51 per cent stake in Cesky Telecom, which controls most of the country's telephone lines and the mobile operator Eurotel.

Coalition strained as Marvanova shut out of media committee

The governing centre-left coalition appears to be facing its first serious difficulties, just one day after it won a vote of confidence in parliament. Karel Kuenhl, a senior member of the right-of-centre Freedom Union, has called for talks with coalition partners after party colleague Hana Marvanova failed to become elected as the head of the parliamentary media committee. Mr Kuenhl said Mrs Marvanova's election to the post was part of the coalition agreement. Mrs Marvanova plays a key role in supporting the centre-left government. The coalition enjoys a majority of just one seat in the lower house, and she says her support cannot be taken for granted.

Unemployment up, inflation down

Unemployment rose to 9.2 percent in July, up from 8.7 percent in June. Some 480,000 people in the Czech Republic are now out of work, according to figures released on Thursday by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Meanwhile inflation fell to a record low of 0.6 percent in July.

Zelezny to make bid for elusive European gold

The Czech javelin thrower Jan Zelezny will try and complete his collection of major titles on Friday at the European championships in Munich. The 36-year-old athlete has racked up three consecutive Olympic gold medals in the javelin as well as three world championship titles, but has never won a gold at European level. The world record holder didn't qualify for the final in 1986 and 1990, had to settle for bronze in 1994 and couldn't compete at all in 1998 due to injury. Zelezny says this European championships will be his last.

Weather

And finally a look at the weather. Friday will be mostly cloudy and cool, with scattered showers and storms in places. Temperatures in the daytime will reach a maximum of 24 degrees Celsius, falling at night to lows of 11 degrees.