News of Radio Prague

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Czech, Polish prime ministers call for coordinated referendums on EU

The Czech Prime Minister, Vladimir Spidla, and his Polish counterpart, Leszek Miller, have said referendums in both countries on accession to the European Union should be coordinated. The two men were speaking in Warsaw on Wednesday, on what was Mr Spidla's first official trip abroad since winning elections in June. They stressed that no concrete dates for such referendums had been agreed on. At a recent meeting of the presidents of the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary the idea of 'cascading referendums' was put forward; meaning that votes on joining the EU should be first held in countries where support for such a move is higher, starting with Hungary. Of the four country's, support for EU accession is lowest in the Czech Republic, with around half the electorate in favour.

Message from Havel read at close of World Summit

A message from the Czech President, Vaclav Havel, was read out at the closing ceremony at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in the South African city of Johannesburg on Wednesday. Mr Havel's message stressed global responsibility and called for a restructuralisation of values as well as the restructuralisation of the economy. It was read out by Deputy Prime Minister Petr Mares, the head of the Czech delegation at the summit.

Acid spills onto road in Prague suburb

Around 600 litres of sulphuric acid spilled onto the road in the Prague suburb of Malesice on Wednesday morning, when a container full of the liquid fell off the back of a lorry during a turn. Officials said fire fighters had succeeded in preventing the sulphuric acid from getting into the sewer system; it would have flowed on into the river Vltava, due to the fact that water treatment facilities in Prague have not been functioning since the recent floods.

Svoboda thanks Slovaks for help during floods

The Czech Foreign Minister, Cyril Svoboda, has thanked the people of Slovakia for the help they gave the Czech Republic during the recent floods, saying Slovakia was one of the first countries to offer assistance. Mr Svoboda was speaking after talks in Bratislava on Wednesday with senior Slovak politicians, including President Rudolf Schuster and Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda. Czechoslovakia split in two in January 1993.

Pensioner gets increased sentence for stabbing brother

An old age pensioner who tried to kill her own brother has had her sentence increased to eight years in prison, in appeal proceedings at the high court in the Moravian city of Olomouc. Vera Sevcikova, who is 71, was found guilty of stabbing her 74-year-old brother in the chest twice with a kitchen knife. Mrs Sevcikova told the court she had no recollection of the incident.

Prague Zoo director hopes to reopen upper part at weekend

The director of Prague Zoo, Petr Fejk, has said he hopes to reopen the upper part of the zoo to the public this coming weekend. Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Fejk said the lower part of the zoo, which was completely underwater during the recent floods, would be opened in stages, but not before next year. Around a dozen large mammals and 80 exotic birds were lost during the floods.

Weather

And finally a look at the weather forecast. Thursday should be partially cloudy with showers or possibly storms in places. Temperatures in the west of the country should reach up to 25 degrees Celsius, while the east will be warmer, with temperatures of up to 27 degrees Celsius.