News of Radio Prague
Government willing to move RFE
The Czech government has announced it is willing to find new office space for the staff of Radio Free Europe. The Radio Free Europe building is right in the centre of Prague and is a prime target for any possible terrorist attacks. According to Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan, the cabinet has already discussed the issue and that several suggestions have already been made for where the staff could be moved to. The proposed sites are either in Prague itself or in the near vicinity. Several Czech politicians have stated in the recent past that Radio Free Europe could only be moved if the US government requests it. So far, said Mr Kavan, no such request has been received, but he told journalists on Thursday that he will not be surprised if it happens. According to the US ambassador to Prague, Craig Stapleton, there are currently no plans to move the staff of RFE.
NATO accepts offer of Czech transport plane
NATO has accepted the Czech Republic's offer of a transport plane for use in military operations in the war against terrorism. The Alliance has officially stated that it will use the Tu-154 transport plane for up to thirty days, which will fall any time between October 15th and December 13th. Foreign Minister Jan Kavan stated on Thursday that he believes the offer will be taken up sooner or later, and that the plane could see active service as early as next week.
Fox and Havel: all countries must unite against terrorism
After talks held at Prague Castle, Czech President Vaclav Havel and his Mexican counterpart, Vicente Fox, released a joint statement that the governments of all countries should unite to remove the threat posed by terrorist attacks. The two presidents met one month after the devastating attacks in New York and Washington on September 11th. We have agreed, the presidents said, that the one of the greatest threats posed to civilisation at this point in time, is that of terrorism, and that all countries should join forces in fighting it.
Report critical of Czech treatment of Roma minority
In a fresh report, the way the Czech authorities treat the country's Roma minority has been strongly criticised. The detailed analysis of the Czech Republic, which was compiled by the Open Society Institute, comes just one month before the European Commission's annual report on Czech EU accession preparations. The report states that although the Czech government has acknowledged the existence of discrimination towards the Roma community and has launched programs to try to combat this problem, in reality the situation of the Roma has changed very little. The Czech Republic, the report says, does not have adequate laws with which to persecute those who discriminate against the Roma, and that where regulations are in place, they are not properly applied. The Czech Roma, the report states, faced deep rooted prejudice, which is often expressed through violence.
And finally, a quick look at the weather forecast. Friday in the Czech Republic should see partially cloudy to cloudy skies, with scattered rain showers expected in places. Daytime highs could reach 21 degrees Celsius.