News of Radio Prague

Government approves employment plan for 2001

The Czech government has approved a National Employment Plan for this year. Its focal points include support for job creation and re-qualification, protection against illegal employment, improving conditions for small and medium-sized business as well as the development of industrial zones. The plan updates the National Employment Programme adopted in 1999 which specifies tasks for different levels of state administration - from the government to local councils. Cabinet spokesman Libor Roucek told reporters the programme had helped to reduce unemployment by one percent, bringing down the figure to 8.9 percent for the year 2000.

Zelezny's family house in Brittany seized by court

A French court has seized property belonging to the director of the Czech commercial television station, TV Nova, Vladimir Zelezny and his former wife Marta. The property is located in Brittany. The court based its decision on the result of a Dutch court of arbitration which ruled that Mr Zelezny must immediately pay his former partner, Central European Media Enterprises (CME), 23 million USD. Mr Zelezny broke an agreement with CME nearly two years ago and deprived the company of profits from TV Nova. CME says that Mr Zelezny's property will also be seized in other countries.

Czech woman arrested in the Philippines

The authorities in the Philippines have arrested a group of 14 foreigners including one Czech woman. They were charged with economic sabotage, fraud and illegal employment. The Czech consul in Manila, Jana Chaloupkova, said if the woman is found guilty, she could be sentenced to life in prison. The foreigners - from Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Ireland and the Czech Republic - allegedly worked in the Philippines without official permits, and used telemarketing in an attempt to fraudulently sell equities worth several hundred US dollars.

Anti-nuclear activists hire Ed Fagan to fight Temelin

The famous American trial lawyer Ed Fagan has asked the builders of the controversial nuclear power station at Temelin to provide technical documents for the project. He addressed his request to the owner of the plant, the Czech power utility CEZ, and to the supplier of operational technology, Westinghouse. Mr Fagan was recruited by Austrian anti-nuclear activists, who say Temelin is unsafe and should be shut down. CEZ has reacted by saying the documents Mr Fagan has requested are confidential and cannot be disclosed.

Kavan runs for UN General Assembly presidency

The Czech Foreign Minister, Jan Kavan, has confirmed that he is running for the post of President of the United Nations General Assembly for the term 2002-2003. Mr Kavan's spokesman Ales Pospisil told journalists there was a good chance that a Czech representative would become the body's next president. Mr Kavan has received support for his candidacy from all the countries he asked, the latest being South Africa. The UN General Assembly elects its president from candidates from five groups of countries, with the presidency rotating among the five groups. The current president is a representative of Western Europe, his predecessor was African.

Passenger transport between CR and Ukraine to be limited

The Czech Republic and Ukraine have limited passenger transport between the two countries in an effort to curb illegal migration. Authorities on both sides will issue a limited number of permits to cross the border for vehicles carrying six to nine passengers. The reason for such a measure are illegal transports of people mainly from Ukraine to the Czech Republic. This year, the Czech side will issue only 300 such permits.

Flu epidemic nearly over

The flu epidemic in the Czech Republic has ended in some regions of the country, and is receding in others. Hygiene officials say it could be completely over by next week.

Czech weather forecast

And finally, let's take a look at the weather. Tuesday should be mostly cloudy with rain or snow showers, the highest daytime temperatures should range from 1 to 5 degrees Celsius. Wednesday and Thursday should be much the same, cloudy with scattered showers and afternoon highs just above zero.