Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

23-12-2001

Havel to spend Christmas in hospital

There has been no improvement in the health of Czech President Vaclav Havel who was hospitalised with pneumonia on Monday. Mr. Havel will therefore not be released from hospital until after Christmas. His spokesman Ladislav Spacek told journalists on Saturday that, although President Havel does not have a fever, he is still on antibiotics. President Havel has been very ill on several occasions since an operation on a cancerous tumour in his right lung five years ago. Mr. Havel who is 65 was a chain smoker for many years and also spent time in prison under Communist Czechoslovakia.

President Havel signs controversial amendment

Despite his illness, President Havel signed an amendment to the business law on Friday. However, in a letter to the Speaker of the lower house, Vaclav Klaus, he expressed his reservations about the amendment, which he said was not in line with the constitution. Mr. Havel said he had only signed the law so that it would come before the Constitutional Court. The amendment has proved controversial because it was revoked by Mr. Klaus before the Senate had a chance to debate it.

Police arrest eight people suspected of manufacturing drugs

According to a police spokesperson eight people have been arrested in connection with the manufacture of drugs. During a raid in Prague as part of an operation, which has been ongoing since August, the police found three laboratories, which they said had been used to manufacture the meta-amphetamine, Pervitin. They also found two kilograms of Modafen tablets and other chemicals necessary to produce the drug. The eight people arrested were between the ages of 25 and 30 years and are accused of not only the manufacture but also the distribution of the drug. If found guilty, they could face up to ten years in prison.

Zelezny voted sportsman of the year

Some sports news now and the Club of Sports Journalists has voted the Czech javelin thrower, and three-time Olympic gold winner, Jan Zelezny, as Czech sportsman of the year. This is the fourth time that the thirty-five year old Zelezny has won the title. This equals the record of the Czech gymnast, and seven-time Olympic winner, Vera Caslavska, who was voted sportsperson of the year four times in the 1960s. Second in the poll was the decathlete and world record holder, Roman Sebrle. Another Czech decathlete, Tomas Dvorak, came in third.

And the Czech ice hockey team have won the Baltic Cup in Moscow, their last competition before the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The Czech Republic clinched the trophy after beating hosts Russia 4:0 on Saturday.

Weather

And finally a quick look at the weather forecast. It looks like the icy conditions and strong winds throughout the Czech Republic are to prevail for a few more days at least. Saturday night will be cloudy with snow showers in some areas. Night-time temperatures will range between minus three and minus eight degrees Celsius. Sunday will remain cloudy with snow showers and temperatures between minus three and minus seven degrees Celsius.

23-12-2001