News of Radio Prague
Paratroopers guard Ruzyne airport
200 troops from the Czech rapid deployment brigade have been patrolling Prague's Ruzyne airport as part of tightened security measures following the discovery of a functional anti-tank missile near one of the runways. A fully functional rocket-propelled grenade was found about one kilometre away from runway No. 24 on Thursday. The police are working to determine the origin of the weapon. It reportedly does not come from the stores of the Czech Army however, it was also used for example by the Czechoslovak border guards before 1989. According to the Czech Army Chief of Staff, Jiri Sedivy, it was unlikely that a travelling airplane could have been hit by someone firing the rocket from the place where it was discovered. The shoulder-mounted 68-millimetre rocket launcher is designed to attack armoured targets and has a maximum range of 300 metres.
Deputy PM warns against provisional budget
The Deputy Prime Minister, and the leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party, Vladimir Spidla, has warned against another rejection of the state budget by the Parliament. He said such a step, which would lead to the introduction of a provisional budget, could seriously endanger the Czech Republic's security in a situation when the country has joined in the fight against global terrorism. On Thursday, the Lower House return the draft state budget for 2002 to the government for reworking. The main objections voiced by the opposition concern the volume of revenues and their structure.
Czech and Polish gang of explosive smugglers arrested
One Czech and two Polish citizens have been arrested by the Polish police during an undercover operation which foiled an international smuggling route. All three are believed to have mafia connections. The police also seized 8 kilograms of the infamous Semtex explosive. The explosives originated in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and were destined for an unspecified location in Western Europe. According to the Polish police spokesperson, the 8 kilograms of Semtex could have served to make up to 40 powerful bombs. The police also confiscated state-of-the-art remote detonation devices which could have been used to set off bombs from a distance of several thousand metres.
Czech weather report
We are expecting a mostly cloudy day with a occasional rain showers. The highest daytime temperatures should range from 14 to 18 degrees Celsius. Monday should be much the same, cloudy with scattered showers, afternoon highs should reach between 12 and 16 degrees Celsius.