Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

09-12-2003

Student charged after brutal assault on professor

A twenty year old student who attacked and seriously injured a university professor on Monday has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm. The incident happened at the Hradec Kralove University where Jan Lasek, head of the university's psychology department, suffered wounds to the head and numerous bruises all over his body after a student attacked him with a baseball bat in his office. The student was arrested just minutes after the attack. It is not clear what led to the assault. The student will be expelled from school and faces up to eight years in prison. Following his release from custody on Tuesday he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for tests.

Suspended sentence for attack on Gambian national

A twenty eight year old Czech who stabbed and seriously injured a Gambian national in Prague has received a two year suspended sentence. A Prague court found Richard Pittl guilty of inflicting bodily harm but the judge said there was no evidence of a racial motivation. The state attorney appealed the verdict immediately. The forty two year old Gambian national claims that the attacker yelled verbal insults at him as they fought. Apparently no one saw what started the brawl. The Gambian man has sustained permanent injuries -one side of his face is paralyzed and he cannot close one eye.

Czech government wants to continue helping Iraqi children

The Czech Republic hopes to continue providing health care to Iraqis after its army field hospital pulls out of Basra. According to interior ministry spokeswoman Marie Masarikova future assistance would probably be limited to treating seriously ill Iraqi children at Prague hospitals. In recent months the government paid to have 18 Iraqi children flown to Prague and treated for heart disease and other ailments. The seven million crowns earmarked for the project by the interior ministry have almost run out but the authorities are now looking for a way to continue bringing seriously ill Iraqi children to the Czech Republic for treatment.

Czech Republic sends water pumps to flooded France

A fifteen member team of rescue workers is leaving for southern France on Tuesday to help emergency workers deal with devastating floods. The team is expected to arrive in the town of Arles, equipped with two high-volume water pumps that each has a draining capacity of 40,000 litres per minute. Arles, which is the most affected area in France is already being aided by fire-fighters from Germany, Italy, and Belgium.

President Klaus rejects EU constitution

Czech President Vaclav Klaus said on Monday he hoped the proposed European Union constitution would not be accepted. Mr Klaus was speaking to journalists after a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla who was at Prague castle to inform Mr Klaus about the government's position on the matter. Mr Klaus reiterated that the constitution could threaten the sovereignty of the Czech Republic, which will join the EU with nine other countries in May. A Czech delegation is leaving for Brussels this week to take part in an EU summit aimed at finishing talks on the EU document.

GDP rises by over three percent

The Czech gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 3.4 percent in the third quarter of this year, the Czech Statistics Office said on Tuesday. The figures are higher than economist's expectations who predicted a rise would not exceed three percent. The lift can mainly be attributed to strong consumer spending, which accelerated economic growth.

Weather:

Wednesday is expected to be partly cloudy to overcast with day temperatures from minus 2 to plus 2 degrees Celsius.

09-12-2003