News Friday, JULY 07th, 2000

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CZECH-NUCLEAR

The management of South Bohemia's controversial Temelin nuclear power station have filed a suit against the environmental activists who have sprayed anti-nuclear symbols on access roads to the plant, about to be launched soon.

Temelin's spokesman said the sprayers had covered traffic signs with dye which would cost at least 100,000 crowns to remove. But the ecologists say the paint is water-soluble and the damage is in fact much smaller.

Anti-nuclear activists say more than 100,000 people have signed a petition demanding a referendum on the future of the Temelin plant.

Meanwhile, stoking the plant with nuclear fuel has commenced, with test-operation to be launched in a few weeks' time. Bavaria has protested against the arrival of the fuel in the plant.

GERMANY-CZECH-SLAVE

Germany's parliament has overwhelmingly approved a long-awaited bill to compensate over one million former Nazi-era slave and forced labourers.

Chief German negotiator Otto Graf Lambsdorff said final details were still being hammered out on the accords but that the signing was scheduled for July 17. He didn't say where the ceremony would take place. Those signing include Germany and the United States as well as Israel, the Czech Republic and other East and Central European countries, as well as the Jewish Claims Conference.

CZECH-REFORMER-ANNIVERSARY

A small group of activists of the ultra-nationalist Patriotic League on Thursday staged a demo outside Prague's Bethlehem Chapel, where the Czech religious reformer Jan Hus preached against the lush life of the Catholic clergy before being sentenced for heresy at the Council of Constance and burned at the stake 585 years ago.

July 6, the Hus anniversary, is a national holiday in the Czech Republic.

Patriotic League activists made speeches stressing the Czech martyr's devotion to truth and the country. Police were on standby but no incidents were reported.

The Patriotic League openly sympathises with the skinhead movement and human rights groups have accused them of spreading racist, anti-Semitic and neo-fascist views.

CZECH-FILM-WALLACH

The American actor Eli Wallach has received a special prize at the current international film festival in the West Bohemian spa of Karlovy Vary.

Mr. Wallach has been popular in this country ever since the legendary Western movie "The Magnificent Seven" made it big in Czech cinemas in the early 1960s.

CZECH-CANADA-KILLING

A Czech immigrant family of six were found dead on Thursday in Ontario, Canada, in what police were treating as a murder-suicide.

CBC Television said that the parents had recently immigrated and were living with their in-laws. The couple and their four children, who were all aged under six, were found dead in the morning.

CZECH-MOUNT-RALLY

Hundreds of Czechs from around the world marked St. Cyril and Methodius Day on Wednesday on the summit of the legendary Mount Rip north of Prague -- one of the symbols of Czech identity.

Legend has it that the mythical Forefather Cech stopped his travelling party of Slavs on this volcanic mound in prehistoric times, and ordered them to stay and pitch tents in, as he put it, "this land of milk and honey".

Most of the expatriates meeting on Mt. Rip came from the United States and Canada, but some had travelled from as far away as the distant Tasmania.

Cynics say that if Forefather Cech's party had proceeded further west, the Czech Republic wouldn't have been a land-locked country today…

CZECH-AIRPORT-ENGINES-THEFT

Police in the North Moravian city of Olomouc say they are investigating a bizarre case of burglary and theft at the local airport where two engines were stolen earlier this week from planes parked in the hangar.

The police said the thieves had stolen aero engines worth one million crowns after cutting protective grilles, breaking through armoured doors and expertly removing all the fittings and wires that held the engines attached to the light business planes. It's a mystery how the thieves could haul the engines out of the hangar's window without being noticed.

The airport guards said they hadn't seen anything unusual.

CZECH-WEATHER

And we end as usual with a quick look at the weather.

Friday will be a warm but wet day here in the Czech Republic. Daytime highs between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius, dropping to between 10 and 14 degrees at night.

The weekend will be rather cold, with scattered showers and thunderstorms and daytime temperatures between 16 and 20 Celsius on both days.

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