News of Radio Prague
New law on domestic violence
The Senate approved a bill on domestic violence on Wednesday that hopes to see offenders much more severely punished in the future. According to the new law, which should come into effect some time next year, offenders can receive prison sentences of up to eight years. The government and NGOs have made a concerted effort in past months to address the problem of domestic violence, helping victims to recognise the first signs and seek professional help as well as training police offers how to deal with the problem when they are called to the scene.
Trade Unions criticise coal mine privatisation
The Czech Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS) has called onto the government to stop the privatisation process of the Severoceske Doli coal mining company in North Bohemia. Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, the confederation's President Milan Stech said trade unions opposed the way the government had been conduction the public tender for the privatisation and view the process as damaging to future regional development and stable employment. He added that the country's biggest power utility CEZ should also not have been excluded from the sale. The government's privatisation of coal mines was criticised by the European Commission for similar reasons last month.
Police break up prostitution gang
Czech police say they have broken up a gang responsible for forcing Czech females into prostitution abroad. During a five-day operation named Espana, the police arrested several men who lured over twenty girls abroad under the pretence that they would make a fortune as dancers and singers in bars and clubs in Germany, Austria, and Spain. Upon their arrival in the foreign country, the girls were forced to sell their bodies and pose for pornographic photographs.
Ethnic Germans to be sent to spa as "symbolic" compensation
Some eighty ethnic Germans who have been living in the country all their lives and were not among those expelled from Czechoslovakia after the Second World War, will be spending three weeks in a spa as symbolic compensation for the repression they faced after the war. According to Alena Einhornova from the Czech-German Fund for the Future, thanks to which the 1.8 million crown spa project will come to being, the ethnic Germans suffered much discrimination despite them being Czech citizens who never had a fascist history.
New ambassadors to be sent to Canada and Australia
The Czech Embassies in Australia and Canada are going to have new ambassadors, the CTK news agency reported on Tuesday. Karel Pazourek, who has been working closely with Czech Interior Minister Stanislav Gross, will be sent to Australia. Deputy Interior Minister Pavel Vosalik, will be sent to Canada. The goals of both representatives will be to convince the two countries to drop the visa requirements for Czech citizens.
Sumo World Champion in Prague
World Sumo Wrestling Champion Emanuel Yarbrough arrived in Prague on Tuesday to attend the opening ceremony of the second official Sumo Centre in Europe next week. Upon his arrival, the over 300kg heavy man was taken to the town of Jilemnice na Semilsku, where a six-metre-high statue was erected - the only statue of a sumo wrestler in the country.
Champions League action: Sparta Prague advances after dramatic finish over Lazio Rome
Czech football side Sparta Prague pulled off a stunning upset against Lazio Rome on Tuesday evening when second-half substitute Marek Kincl managed to score in the dying seconds of the game. The goal came in the 93rd minute off a Karel Poborsky free-kick, with Kincl just edging goaltender Angelo Peruzzi, sending a headed ball to the back of the net. It was the last play of a dramatic game in which Lazio was the more technical side, but both teams had chances. Sparta's win over Lazio, together with Turkish side Besiktas' 2-0 loss to Chelsea, also Tuesday night, means Sparta finish second in Group G, advancing to the knock-out round of the Champions League in the spring for just the third time in club history.
Wednesday will be another cold but sunny day with temperatures reaching a maximum of zero degrees Celsius.