News of Radio Prague
Country's ninth case of Mad Cow Disease confirmed
Scientists have confirmed the Czech Republic's ninth recorded case of Mad Cow Disease. Some 200 cattle are to be put down on the farm where the disease was discovered, near the Moravian town of Svitavy. The country's first case of BSE was recorded in June 2001. Since then 1,300 animals have been put down, with farmers receiving state compensation of around 40 million crowns.
Senate set to give green light for troops to Afghanistan
Following a recommendation from the Senate's Defence Committee on Friday, the upper house is expected to approve the sending of 150 Czech soldiers to Afghanistan. The government is planning to send the soldiers, most of them members of the Czech Army's Special Forces, in the middle of April.
Psychiatrist takes case to Strasbourg after machete attack
A psychiatrist who was attacked by a patient wielding a machete is to file a lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights over the fact his assailant has been put into psychiatric care, rather than being sent to prison. Psychiatrist Karel Hynek, who almost lost a hand in the attack, told reporters on Friday that he felt in danger because his former patient could escape from the psychiatric clinic at any time. Mr Hynek says the patient is not insane.
Foreign trade deficit lowest since 1999
The Czech Republic's foreign trade deficit was 71.2 billion crowns in 2003, a decrease of just 0.1 billion from the previous year and the lowest deficit since 1999, according to figures released by the Czech Statistical Office on Friday. Exports grew by 21.7 percent, while imports grew by 20.9 percent year-on-year.
Belarusian man gets ten years for drowning, robbery
A Belarusian man has been sentenced to ten years in prison for drowning and robbing a drunken cyclist. Pilsen Regional Court made the ruling on Friday, after hearing how Andrej Panahabja had drowned a 41 year-old man in a road-side ditch before robbing him of 1,500 crowns, a mobile phone and documents.
Grandmother campaigns against television sex, violence
A Senate committee has received a petition with over 80,000 signatures calling for a ban on some television programmes depicting sex and violence. The petition was gathered by Vera Lodrova, who is 75 and has eight grandchildren. Her campaign is aimed particularly at the commercial station TV Nova. Senator Daniel Kroupa of the Education, Culture and Petitions committee said on Friday the request would be considered by parliament as well as the Radio and TV Council.
Lowest temperature this year recorded in Sumava
The coldest temperature so far this year was felt in the mountainous Sumava region on Thursday night, with minus 31 degrees Celsius being recorded at a weather station at near Vimperk. Weather forecasters are predicting very low night time temperatures until Sunday.
Saturday should be a bright day in many parts of the country, with a maximum temperature of -5 degrees Celsius.