Daily news summary News

27-05-2005

Justice Ministry forwards Qatari extradition request to Prague court

The Czech Justice Ministry has forwarded - to a Prague court - a Qatari request for the extradition of Prince Hamid bin Abdal Sani, standing trial in the Czech Republic for the alleged sexual abuse of underage girls. The Justice Ministry has vetted the document and said that by law the court should hand the case over to the judiciary in Mr Sani's home country. A verdict by the Prague court is expected Monday. Mr Sani is accused of having abused 16 girls all under the age of fifteen in his flat in the Czech capital.

PM suggests President Klaus attend cabinet foreign policy session

Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has suggested President Vaclav Klaus should attend the next time the cabinet meets to discuss foreign policy. The prime minister and the president have been at odds recently over who legally has the right to present the country's foreign policy abroad, with Mr Paroubek saying it is clearly the responsibility of government. On Thursday the prime minister threatened to ban President Vaclav Klaus from travelling abroad if the president contradicted the government's foreign policy. Mr Klaus is well-known for his opposition, for example, to the EU constitution. On Friday the prime minister tempered his words somewhat by saying that trips would not be banned, just carefully weighed. The government approves all official trips by the president.

46 companies register in tender on armoured carriers

Forty-six companies, including Austria's Steyr-Daimler-Puch and Finland's Patria, have applied to take part in a tender to produce 8-wheel armoured carriers for the Czech Army. The deal has been slated as worth 25 billion crowns, or more than 1 billion US dollars. Friday was the final deadline for registration. The tender - the most expensive order by the Czech Army since the fall of communism in 1989 - was approved by the government in April and will see the replacement of the old OT-64s with 200 new vehicles. The OTs have been in use since the 1960s.

The Defence Ministry will then decide during the summer on who will make the tender's 2nd round. The winner is expected to be known by the end of 2005 or early 2006.

Customs officials: Netherlands key departure site for illegal drug smuggling to Czech Rep

Customs officials have stated that in recent years a greater abundance of illegal drugs smuggled into the Czech Republic have come from the Netherlands. Illegal substances have included the drug pervetin, a methamphetamine. This year successful recoveries by customs officials included uncovering more than 2 kilograms of ecstasy as well as a quarter kilogram of heroin found on a bus from Amsterdam headed for the city of Brno. In 2004 customs officials uncovered 59 cases of drugs smuggling by car, and 37 by bus including a discovery of 25 kilograms of 100 percent pure heroin.

Saturday will see first-ever "Chubbies' day"

This Saturday 12 areas in the Czech Republic will mark the so-called Den Boubelky - the country's first-ever "Chubbies' Day" - aimed at increasing weight awareness and related health problems. The day has been organised by a club wishing to help overweight Czechs shed extra pounds. According to some experts between 22 percent of Czech men and 25 percent Czech women suffer from obesity and some studies show that Czechs rate the third highest in obesity in Europe.

Weather

The weekend should see very hot weather of up to 32 degrees Celsius with sunshine on both days.

27-05-2005