News of Radio Prague
Appeals court orders retrial in racist attack
An appeals court in the North Moravian town of Bruntal has ordered a retrial of a case in which three youths carried out a racially-motivated attack against a Romany couple. The three were given suspended sentences for the attack, a verdict which outraged human rights groups and Romany activists. The three youths, masquerading as policemen, burst into the couple's flat in Jesenik last June. The woman, who was pregnant at the time, was hit in the eye with a cobblestone, leaving her with permanent injuries. The state prosecutor failed to appeal against the original verdict, and has since complained of political interference.
Chechen supporters erect "refugee camp" outside Interior Ministry
Members of organisations trying to help about 60 asylum seekers from Chechnya erected a symbolic refugee camp outside the Interior Ministry in Prague on Monday. The camp was erected in protest at a decision to deny the refugees - including pregnant women and children - asylum in the Czech Republic. They now face deportation to Chechnya. Supporters will submit a petition bearing 1,400 signatures to Interior Minister Stanislav Gross.
Bill Gates to visit Prague on Tuesday
Bill Gates, head of the U.S. software giant Microsoft, arrives in Prague on Tuesday for a one-day visit. Mr Gates, the world's richest man, will meet Prague mayor Pavel Bem on Tuesday morning, before attending the 2004 Microsoft Security Summit. The Microsoft chief will meet other politicians and business leaders during his one-day visit, although a reception by President Vaclav Klaus has been cancelled due to ill health.
MP: minimum wage not enough to live "dignified life"
Stanislav Krecek, an MP for the senior coalition Social Democrats, has been speaking to reporters after trying for one month to live on the minimum wage. Mr Krecek said he did not regret taking part in the experiment, which he said had helped him realise that the minimum monthly wage of 6,700 crowns - around 250 US dollars - was not enough to life a dignified life. An MP's salary starts at 46,000 crowns, or around 1,800 dollars, not counting extra payments for committee work as well as housing and travel expenses.
Chinese chef on attempted murder charge
A chef in a Chinese restaurant appeared in court on Monday charged with attempted murder. Chang Tien Siung, 32, is accused of trying to kill a waiter working at the Prague restaurant with a meat cleaver. The waiter, who is also Chinese, sustained serious injuries to the hand, and surgeons were later forced to amputate his little finger. Eye-witnesses say the incident happened when the two men started arguing over who should count the day's luncheon vouchers.
Tuesday will be a cold and cloudy day, with the thermometer again falling below zero. More snow showers are forecast throughout the country. Daytime temperatures will range from -5 to -1 degrees Celsius, falling at night to lows of -8 degrees.