Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

26-10-2003

Police detain man believed to have caused fire at disco

The police have taken into custody a thirty year old man who is believed to have caused a deadly fire at a discotheque in Karvine, eastern Moravia, which killed a teenager and injured sixty one young people early on Saturday morning. The CTK press agency has quoted witnesses as saying that the man set off fireworks on the dance floor causing a fire that raced through the building. There was allegedly a huge panic as the 150 people crowding the disco all made a dash for the only exit. Many people suffered extensive burns as hot plastic, melting from the fire, dripped from the ceiling. Others suffered broken bones or were trampled in the panic. Many were brought out unconscious after fire-fighters broke down a locked side door to get to the victims. 24 young people remain in serious condition.

Rebel deputy may re-join the fold

Rebel Social Democrat deputy Josef Hojdar may re-join the deputies group in Parliament. Mr. Hojdar left the group in the early summer in protest of planned reforms and alleged poor communication within the party and kept the ruling coalition on tenterhooks during a number of crucial votes in Parliament. He told a weekend regional party conference that the rebellion had served its purpose and that he was ready to rejoin the fold, if that were the will of the majority of party delegates. The conference overwhelmingly approved his decision. Although many Social Democrats are not ready to forgive and forget Mr. Hojdar's excesses, party leader and Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has said that his return to the deputies group would bring stability to the party. The ruling coalition has a razor thin one vote majority in the Lower House and needs the support of all its deputies.

Czech citizen charged with reptile smuggling

A twenty six year old Czech has been charged with reptile smuggling and put on trial in Australia. If convicted he faces up to ten years in prison. The man was detained at Sydney airport on Friday after customs officials discovered 47 reptiles in his possession. According to the Australian press there were geckos, lizards, skinks and one snake, three of the reptiles belonging on the list of endangered species. The reptiles were places inside computer hardware that was to be transported to the Czech Republic, but were detected in a regular X-ray check.

Weather:

Monday is expected to be windy and overcast with day temperatures between 2 and 6 degrees Celsius. Night temperatures may drop to minus 5 degrees.

26-10-2003