Hello and welcome to the programme. I'm AS and we start with the headlines:
Havel - tracheotomy
After intestinal surgery carried out a week ago, president Vaclav Havel is already able to speak and accept liquid food by mouth. On Monday morning, the president underwent a tracheotomy, a surgical opening of his windpipe that will help him to overcome his breathing problems.
Environment minister Milos Kuzvart will ask for 500 million crowns from the state budget - that's twice the original estimate - for repair of damages caused by the floods that struck Eastern Bohemia 11 days ago. The minister made this announcement in the wake of his visit to the flooded regions on Saturday. According to the latest calculations, the floods caused damage amounting to some 1 and a half billion crowns. The greatest damage was caused to community and private property - some 720 million crowns worth, while local factories and businesses suffered losses estimated at 250 million. Minister Kuzvart is prepared to support a bill on new territorial planning in the Czech republic, which would allow, for example, a stream to flow in its natural course instead of altering it. The governmental flood committee is meeting on Monday to deal with making a comprehensive list of the damage that was done, and the distribution of financial means needed for repair.
The Social democratic party will endorse a Christian democratic proposal which should change regulations on the immunity of deputies and senators. Social democrat premier Milos Zeman said this on Sunday, in a televised debate on the private TV channel NOVA. The proposal will be submitted to the House of deputies on Monday by chairman of the Mandate and Immunity committee, Miloslav Vyborny. "We'll support Mr.Vyborny's proposal because we also think that it is necessary to limit the deputies' immunity," Zeman said, adding he hoped that the Christian democrats would return the favor by showing support for his party's bill on introducing the institution of ombudsman as a public protector of human rights. In the debate, Zeman also said his government is unlikely to present a balanced state budget for next year, when this year, the budget deficit may amount up to 40 billion crowns.
Representatives from a number of European countries gathered on Sunday in the former concentration camp of Auschwitz in Poland, to commemorate some 500 thousand Romanies who died here during World War II. Chairman of the Council of German Romanies, Romani Rose, has called on the Czech republic and Slovakia to take concrete steps to protect Romanies against racially motivated crimes and murders. The DPA news agency points out in this context that since the year 1990 some 800 crimes have been committed against Romanies in the Czech Republic, in which 18 people died.
German frontier guards have detained two groups of refugees from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Vietnam, who crossed illegally the Czech-German borderline. All 68 refugees have been handed over to the Czech police. While the first group was detained on the German territory near the Bohemian town of As, the second group was hiding in a Czech truck, controlled by the police in the German town of Wurtzburg. The Czech truck drivers have been placed in cell in Germany.
And finally a quick look at the weather: it will be cloudy to overcast in the Czech republic on Monday, with rain and thunder storms. Daytime highs between 24 and 29 degrees Celsius.
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