News Friday, AUGUST 25th, 2000

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Hello and welcome to Radio Prague. I am Libor Kubik, and we start the program with a brief news bulletin. First the headlines:

Those were the headlines, now the news in more detail.

Protests against IMF/World Bank session in Prague

Two leftist Czech groups have gone on hunger strike in Prague's central Wenceslas Square this morning, ostensibly to alert the public about spreading hunger and malnutrition in various parts of the world.

Activists from the Food Not Bombs initiative and the Czechoslovak Anarchist Association blame the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for the situation. They believe that it is capitalism, and not food shortages, which is responsible.

Meanwhile, the World Bank's Vice President Mats Karlsson has said preparations for the joint annual session of both institutions in Prague are progressing well one month ahead of the summit's start.

Czech nuclear plant starts testing

Operators at the controversial Temelin nuclear power plant in South Bohemia have switched on two of the station's four circulation pumps to start heating up the system's primary circuit.

Temelin's spokesman Milan Nebesar told the Czech news agency CTK that further testing was necessary before the plant would be launched.

There are strong indications that Temelin will be launched without a public referendum being held in advance of the act. Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Rychetsky, who is in charge of the government's legislative affairs, says that although the cabinet on Wednesday endorsed a bill on the referendum, it may not be debated in both houses of parliament in time for launching date.

Govt lays out compensation money for war veterans

The Czech government has decided to release almost 380 million crowns or about ten million dollars this year in one-off compensation to Czech soldiers who fought abroad during World War Two.

Government spokesman Libor Roucek says that almost four and a half thousand applications have been filed and more than three and a half thousand of them have been processed.

East Bohemia works to remove havoc wreaked by storm

Utility companies in Eastern Bohemia say they have now restored power supplies knocked out on Tuesday by gale-force winds, torrential rain and heavy hailstorms.

The utility company Vychodoceska Energetika said on Thursday that damage ran into millions of crowns and that it would take three to four months to fully restore damaged power-grid systems.

The bad weather caused heavy damage to roads, forests and property. One person was killed by a falling tree.

Soccer: Coach gives second chance to legend

Football -- and in-form striker Josef Obajdin was called into the Czech squad after five years of absence for their opening 2002 World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia on September 2.

The Sparta Prague player has scored in all seven club appearances this season.

Coach Jozef Chovanec, considering switching to a flat back four, also recalled left wingback Pavel Novotny, capped only twice.

Chovanec said the Sparta defender had been nominated because of his performance in Wednesday's Champions League qualifier against Moldova's Zimbru Chisinau. He came in for the injured Petr Gabriel of Kaiserslauten.

Czech weather

Talking about the weather, here's a brief forecast for the next few days.

Friday will be a partly wet day with morning lows between eight and 12 degrees Celsius and daytime highs between 19 and 23 degrees, dropping to between six and ten Celsius at night.

Saturday will be mostly clear although some mists are expected to form in the morning hours. We expect maximum daytime temperatures between 19 and 23 degrees, and up to 25 degrees in the western and south-western parts of the Czech Republic.

On Sunday, the skies will be half overcast, afternoon highs between 25 and 29 Celsius in Bohemia, and between 22 and 26 degrees in Moravia and Silesia. Nighttime lows between six and ten degrees Celsius.

I'm Libor Kubik and that's the end of the news.