News of Radio Prague

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Farmers protest in Prague against current economic conditions

Some three thousand dissatisfied farmers and agriculture representatives gathered in Prague Wednesday to demonstrate against what they see as an imminent financial crisis in the agriculture sector. Farmers also protested agriculture accession terms proposed by the European Union, and called for more government support in areas of the country damaged by mid-August floods. The protest demonstration concluded at the Office of the government and the houses of parliament, where farmers blocked traffic and chanted slogans before presenting government and parliament members with a petition signed by more than 100, 000.

Police arrest members of child pornography ring

Police have arrested members of an international gang involved in the production and distribution of child pornography in Nachod, in the north-eastern region of the Czech Republic. Four people have been taken into custody: three Czechs, and one Swede. According to available information police found dozens of pornographic compact disks, videocassettes, and photographs at gang headquarters, revealing that the gang had abused girls between the ages of six and fifteen, while pretending to run a regular modelling agency. Police had the gang under surveillance for half a year before moving in; if found guilty all four gang members could face up to ten years in prison.

Vaclav Havel's health has improved

President Vaclav Havel's health has improved markedly after a recent bout of bronchitis and the president's spokesman has stated Mr Havel should return to his regular work schedule on Thursday. Mr Havel will receive Czech rescuers at the presidential office, who helped during mid-August's devastating floods. Mr Havel's health worsened exactly one week ago after he came down with bronchitis; he spent the last seven days recovering at the presidential summer residence in Lany. Mr Havel has had numerous health problems in past years, and has been especially susceptible to respiratory tract infections after a surgical operation in 1996 removed a part of his right lung.

South Korean man's complaint against inspections team rejected

A complaint against an Interior Ministry inspections team investigating an accusation of police brutality put forward by a South Korean national, Pchyong Chong, has been rejected, says a state representative. Mr Chong has contended that he was beaten by Czech police during protests during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Meetings held in Prague in the year 2000. The inspections team, formed two years ago to investigate police behaviour in quelling demonstrations in Prague during the IMF summit, failed to find any wrong-doing on the part of the police in the South Korean's case. Mr Chong's lawyer has said in the past his client was considering sending his complaint to the European Court for Human Rights.

Damages from weekend gales extensive to Czech Rail

The spokeswoman for Czech Rail has revealed that fierce gales that hit the Czech Republic over the weekend caused more than 18 million crowns in damages to the country's roads and railways. Damaged were railway tracks covered by fallen trees, rail communications systems, and trolley-bus lines. Vehicles were also damaged, and in all two-hundred and seventy-nine trains showed late arrivals during the storms. Thirty-six trains did not pull out all and another ninety-eight were by covered replacement busses.

Weather

Thursday will be mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Day-time temperatures should reach between 8 and 12 degrees Celsius.