News of Radio Prague

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State of alert prolonged in flood-damaged areas, government to confirm

Twenty-two municipalities in the Melnik region north of Prague are aiming to prolong a state of alert to help in the continuing clean-up of damages caused by August's catastrophic floods. The state of alert should remain in place until the third week of October. Clean-up crews are still trying to remove damaged material from post-flood areas, but new damages were recently discovered on some structures, and some areas remain dangerous for inhabitants and livestock. The issued state of alert grants local officials wider authority, including the right to call up those doing national service for the clean-up effort. Before taking effect, the state of alert must still be confirmed by the Czech government.

Polish MP orchestrates controversial arrest of Polish murder suspect on Czech soil

A Polish MP has drawn heavy criticism from the Czech Foreign Ministry after he orchestrated the arrest of a Polish murder suspect on Czech soil Sunday. Foreign Ministry spokesman Karel Boruvka has pointed out that the controversial arrest breached international laws and agreements, and Deputy Foreign Minister Rudolf Jindrak has conveyed a protest to the Polish Ambassador in Prague. The incident took place on Sunday in the northern town of Cesky Tesin, when a commando made up of employees from the Polish MP's private security agency kicked down the door of a hotel room and, using handcuffs, subdued the 23-year-old murder suspect within. The commandos then drove the suspect to a nearby border-crossing where they handed him over to Polish officials.

Prague tram slams into ambulance: medic hospitalised

A medic was seriously injured Wednesday after a tram slammed into his ambulance during Prague's morning rush-hour. The impact caused the ambulance to flip onto its roof, the medic suffered cuts and broken bones. He was hospitalised, although his partner escaped without serious injury; both men had to be pulled from the wreckage. No one on the packed tram was injured. The accident took place near the I.P. Pavlova transit stop, which, like the rest of Prague's transit system, has been severely clogged by traffic since flooding in August knocked-out much of the city's subway system.

Court reconfirms suspended sentences for five involved in firebomb attack

A court in Olomouc in the eastern part of the country has echoed an earlier court ruling, that originally handed suspended sentences to four out of five men charged in a firebomb attack on Roma citizens. One of the charged received a three year prison sentence. The decision had been appealed by the prosecution, but was dismissed Wednesday on the grounds that the attack took place more than six years ago, and on the grounds that the charged men had since abided by the law. All five admitted regretting the act of violence.

British Museum acknowledges evidence drawings come from collection looted by Nazis

The British Museum has acknowledged that there is what it calls "compelling evidence" that four drawings in its collection were stolen by the Nazis from a private collection in Brno, Czechoslovakia, at the time of the Second World War. The drawings are believed to have been part of a collection belonging to Jewish art collector, Artur Feldmann, in Brno. Mr Feldman died as a result of ill-treatment by the Nazis in 1941; his wife died at the Auschwitz concentration camp. The Commission for Looted Art in Europe representing the Feldman family has welcomed the British Museum's aim to settle the case as quickly as possible in a way that would be acceptable for both parties, following an earlier pledge that the museum would try to return any items stolen by the Nazis during the war, identified in its collections. The drawings in this case are from the 15th to the 18th centuries and include Niccolo dell'Abbate's Holy Family and Martin Johann Schmidt's Madonna and Child. The four drawings together are estimated as being worth 150, 000 pounds.

Illegal migrants crossing Czech Republic and Slovakia detained at Austrian border-crossings

On Tuesday a total of 44 illegal migrants were detained at border crossings into Austria from both the Czech and Slovak republics, the APA agency has reported. The agency did not disclose the migrants' nationalities. Long-term statistics are available only for Slovakia and Hungary, revealing that the number of illegal migrants through Slovakia and Hungary has gone down compared to 2001. So far this year just over seven thousand illegal migrants have been detained trying to make their way into Austria, down from a thousand last year.

Police searching for missing 15-year-old girl

Police are searching for a 15-year-old girl who went missing at the end of September from the south Bohemian town of Pisek. The girl, who is a student at a secondary school in the town of Pisek was last seen September 29th near her dormitory, after she had phoned her family at eight in the evening. The family has reported the girl has never gone missing before. When last seen she was wearing a black imitation leather jacket, a dark sweater, blue jeans, and white running shoes.

Car racing

Czech race-car driver Tomas Enge has accepted a decision stripping him of the International Formula 3000 title after traces of marijuana were found in his blood during a routine blood-test. Enge has been handed a conditional 12 month ban and will be able to continue racing, provided there are no more positive tests throughout next year. The decision was announced by the International Automobile Federation at a World Motor Sport Council hearing in Paris on Tuesday.

Volleyball championships

The Czech volleyball team has qualified for the final sixteen at the World Championships in Argentina, after defeating Greece 3 - 2 in a hard-fought match. Earlier, the Czech Republic lost to both Cuba and Holland, and had looked doubtful to make it to the next round.

Weather

Wednesday evening will see partly cloudy skies with a chance of fog in places, temperatures dropping to lows between 8 and 4 degrees Celsius. Thursday will also see cloudiness with a chance of showers. Day-time temperatures should reach highs between 13 and 17 degrees Celsius.