Daily news summary News

04-09-2005

Civic Democrats to call for parliamentary investigation into Unipetrol privatisation

The opposition centre-right Civic Democrats will most likely ask parliament to set up a special commission that would investigate the privatisation of Unipetrol. Such a commission has already been set up in the lower house of the Polish Parliament on suspicion that Poland's PKN Orlen acquired the controlling stake in the Czech Unipetrol oil and gas company, only after Czech government officials received bribes.

Chemical leak at Synthesia

Residents of towns and villages around the Synthesia chemical plant were given quite a scare on Sunday morning when a colourful cloud of evaporated chemicals hung over part of the region. A Synthesia spokesperson said some nitric acid evaporated into the sky in a minor accident but no one was in danger as the situation was quickly brought under control.

Residents in the region question how safe they would have been if the accident were serious as only a local radio station gave a timely warning. The Synthesia chemical plant is one of the largest private producers of chemical products in the Czech Republic. It is also the manufacturer of the infamous plastic explosive Semtex.

Nedelni Blesk: police break-up fight between Roma and town officials

The country's only nationwide Sunday paper, Nedelni Blesk, has reported that police had to break up a fight between a group of Roma men and local town officials. The fight broke out during a football game that was held in the Moravian town of Olomouc as part of a project called We Can Get Along, aimed at bringing minority groups closer to the rest of society.

The re-enactment of the Battle of the Three Emperors

Hundreds flocked to the north-eastern town of Holesov to see the re-enactment of the Battle of the Three Emperors - Napoleon's famous victory over the Austrian and Russian armies on December 2nd, 1805. Some 40,000 people lost their lives during the battle, which was fought in the nearby town of Slavkov. Before the re-enactment, a memorial ceremony was held at a burial mound, which was unveiled one hundred years ago to commemorate the death of 1,000 soldiers who died in a military field hospital after the battle.

Czechs recovering from disappointing 2:0 defeat

The Czech national football team is still recovering from a disappointing 2-0 defeat by Romania. The World Cup Qualifying UEFA match, which was held in Bucharest on Saturday, was a major blow to the Czech Republic's chances of automatic qualification from Group One. After the game, coach Karel Bruckner said the team's chances of automatic qualification are seriously compromised now. The Czechs, who have 21 points from nine matches, last reached the World Cup in 1980. They will be facing Armenia on Wednesday without goalkeeper Petr Cech, who has an injured shoulder.

Weather

The next few days are expected to have partially clear skies and occasional rain with day-time highs of 26 degrees Celsius.

04-09-2005