Daily news summary News

20-05-2004

Government to halt export of radar system to China

The government has decided to revoke the licences of Czech companies selling an advanced radar system to China. At a meeting on Thursday the cabinet said selling the Czech-made Vera radar system to China was not in the Czech Republic's foreign policy interests. A decision earlier this year to grant licences to export the radar system to China met with criticism from the United States and some Czech politicians; Vera is a passive surveillance system and the successor to the Tamara system, which is said to be able to detect US stealth aircraft.

Cabinet approves anti-corruption measures

The cabinet has approved a package of measures aimed at fighting corruption. They include a tougher conflict of interest law, allowing undercover agents to offer bribes and greater transparency in banking transactions. The measures - agreed on Wednesday evening - must now be approved in parliament. Meanwhile, the opposition Civic Democrats have described the measures as inadequate.

Civic Democrats ahead in European Parliament polls

The results of two opinion polls released on Thursday suggest the Civic Democrats would get the most votes in the Czech Republic's first ever elections to the European Parliament in the middle of June. The Communists would come second, according to the polls by the STEM and TNS Factum agencies. The largest party in the governing coalition, the Social Democrats, would finish third, the polls found.

Senator quits ailing Freedom Union

Meanwhile, the Freedom Union, which one of the polls suggested would receive only 1.1 percent of the vote, suffered another blow on Thursday with the resignation of Senator Robert Kolar from the party. Mr Kolar, who had been a critic of the Freedom Union for some time, said he would join either the Civic Democrats' or the Christian Democrats' group in the upper house.

Police treating attack on Romany family as racially motivated

A group of youths who are alleged to have attacked a Romany family in the north Moravian town of Krnov almost two weeks ago were arrested on Thursday. Police are treating the incident, in which the youths wore masks and attacked a young woman and a 16-year-old boy, as racially motivated.

Thousands die needlessly through misuse of medicines, says expert

Around 4,000 people die in the Czech Republic every year due to combining inappropriate medicines, a spokesman for the Czech Medical Chamber said on Thursday. Lubomir Chudoby said that only around a half of people suffering from chronic illnesses use medicines correctly, adding that the consumption of medicines in general was on the increase in this country.

Second Prague tram in two days burns out

A Prague tram burnt out on Wednesday evening, the second tram in the city to go on fire in the space of just two days. Nobody was injured in the latest fire, which broke out on the number 8 tram on Milada Horakova Street in Prague 7. An investigator said the fires might have something to do reconstruction work on the capital's tram system.

Weather

Friday should be a cloudy day, with rain or even storms in places. The maximum temperature is expected to be 24 degrees Celsius.

20-05-2004