News Friday, SEPTEMBER 01th, 2000

Good morning and welcome to the programme. I'm Nick Carey and this is the news. First, a look at the headlines:

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

Zeman: Temelin to go on line within 14 days

According to Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman, the Temelin nuclear power plant will go on line within 14 days. Mr. Zeman said that he will not respond to calls from the Austrian government to link the Czech Republic's EU membership to safety questions at Temelin, and that the problem will be solved when Temelin goes into operation. The Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel stated earlier this week that Austria will prevent the completion of the energy chapter of legislation in Czech EU accession talks, which could effectively block Czech EU membership, if the issue of safety standards at Temelin is not resolved. Mr. Zeman responded by saying he believes that actions speak louder than words, and that the action of putting Temelin on line will be his response to the Austrian chancellor's statement.

CEZ starts libel case against Greenpeace

On a related note, the electricity company CEZ, which is in charge of constructing the Temelin nuclear power plant, has filed a lawsuit against the Czech branch of the environmental organisation Greenpeace. CEZ has initiated the lawsuit due to alleged libel by Greenpeace. The company is suing Greenpeace for five million Czech Crowns, or roughly 120,000 dollars, as it claims that the environmental organisation has been spreading false information about CEZ and the Temelin nuclear power plant. This, says CEZ, has damaged the company's good name. The director of the Czech branch of Greenpeace welcomed the lawsuit, saying that as there is plenty of proof to back Greenpeace's claims, he has no fear that CEZ will win the case.

Police prepare for IMF demonstrations

The Czech police continued with preparations for the IMF/World Bank meetings, which are due to be held in Prague at the end of September, with a mock demonstration in the Central Bohemian town of Milovice. 450 police officers took part on the training session, in which they were faced by supposedly rioting demonstrators. After petrol bombs were thrown at the officers, they moved in wearing riot gear, accompanied by police dogs, mounted officers and water cannons. The actions of the police were described as tough, but not excessive. Interior Minister Stanislav Gross was present for the session, and told journalists afterwards that it was safe to say that the Czech police are prepared for the IMF/World Bank meetings.

Police seize 8 kilos of heroin

Police have seized eight kilograms of heroin, with a street value of roughly 8 million Czech Crowns, or two hundred thousand dollars, on the Czech-Austrian border. Customs officers discovered the drugs cache while searching a car driven by a Pole in his mid-forties. The heroin was hidden in a special compartment in the car's fuel tank. The driver was bound for Venice, where he was meant to hand the drugs over to accomplices. This is the largest drugs haul made by the Czech police so far this year.

Weather report

And finally, the weather forecast. The weather should take a turn for the worse today, bringing cloudy skies with rain showers and thunderstorms expected in places. The highest daytime temperatures should reach twenty three degrees Celsius. Temperatures during the night should reach a maximum of thirteen degrees Celsius. The weather is due to continue the same over the weekend.

I'm Nick Carey, and that's the end of the news.