News of Radio Prague

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Fifth Forum 2000 conference underway in Prague

The fifth and last conference in the Forum 2000 series, which brings together leading world figures and thinkers, officially got underway in Prague. The series of international conferences was conceived by Czech President Vaclav Havel and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, and aims to identify and analyse the challenges facing mankind at the beginning of the new millennium. The topic of this year's conference is "Human Rights - Search for Global Responsibility". Renowned names such as Cuban dissident Elizardo Sanchez, U.S. writer Francis Fukuyama, as well as former President of Germany Richard von Weizsacker are participating in the conference, which comes to an end on October 17th.

Former President Clinton at Forum 2000

The former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, has also arrived in Prague to participate at Forum 2000. After a panel discussion at the conference and overwhelmed by journalists and people who wanted to simply shake Mr Clinton's hand, the former President took a walk through the city on Monday. Despite heavy security with Czech and U.S. bodyguards surrounding Mr Clinton at all times, journalists did get him to comment on the latest U.S.-led air strikes on terrorist targets in Afghanistan. Mr Clinton fully supported his successor, current U.S. President George W. Bush, saying that a strong consensus against terrorism was necessary in order to come closer to world-wide peace.

34 cases of suspicious mail currently under investigation

In reaction to the growing number of anthrax being sent in the mail in the United States, a total of 34 cases of suspicious mail, mostly envelopes with unidentified contents, have been handed over to the authorities by Czech citizens throughout the country. In the Karlovy Vary spa town in South Bohemia alone, four envelopes with as yet unidentified contents have been sent to different locations in the town. The Czech Interior Minister, Stanislav Gross has asked the Czech nation not to panic, although he stressed the importance of reporting all suspicious cases - no matter how trivial they might seem. Prime Minister, Milos Zeman, has also said that there was no cause for alarm and called the incident a simple joke. All of the 34 cases are currently being analysed at biological and chemical laboratories of the National Office for Nuclear Safety.

Kavan on official trip to Greece

The Czech Foreign Minister, Jan Kavan, who is currently on an official trip to Greece, has met his Greek counterpart, Jorgo Papandreu. The two men said the EU must make enlargement its priority amid the global campaign against terrorism. Mr Kavan's spokesman said the two had held an hour-long discussion centred around the negative effects of xenophobia, including the situation of the Roma community in the Czech Republic, and both came to the conclusion that a racist environment needed to be combated as it also helped to harbour terrorism. Mr Kavan also met the Greek President, Konstantin Stefanopulos, and attended a meeting of the Czech-Greek Council for Reconstruction and Development. Mr Kavan is also due to meet the Greek Defence Minister, Akis Tsochadzopulos. During his trip, Mr Kavan was assured by several Greek senior politicians that Greece supported the rapid enlargement of the EU.

Russian chess player Garry Kasparov in Prague

The Russian chess master Garry Kasparov is visiting the Czech capital. On Thursday and Saturday, Mr Kasparov will play four Czech grand masters at Prague Castle. On Sunday, he will play a simultaneous game of chess in Brno. Garry Kasparov started playing chess at the age of five. He became a grandmaster at seventeen and the youngest world champion in 1985 at the age of twenty-two.

Weather

And finally a quick look at the weather forecast. Tuesday will have clear skies with temperatures between 17 and 21 degrees Celsius. Tuesday night shall see partially clear skies with early morning fog and temperatures between 5 and 9 degrees Celsius. Day-time temperatures on Wednesday shall range from 16 to 20 degrees Celsius.