News of Radio Prague

Saab/BAE stand alone in Czech Air Force tender

The Defence Ministry has confirmed that two more aircraft manufacturers have withdrawn from a tender to supply the Czech Air Force with new supersonic jet fighters. A Defence Ministry spokesman said the European consortium EADS, which manufacturers the Eurofighter, and France's Mirage Dassault Aviation, which makes the Mirage, had withdrawn their bids. The confirmation followed Wednesday's news that two U.S. firms - Lockheed Martin and McDonnell-Douglas/Boeing - had pulled out of the tender, worth some 100 billion Czech crowns. The pullouts mean only one manufacturer is left in the tender - the British-Swedish consortium Saab/BAE-Systems, which makes the Gripen fighter. The successful bidder must invest at least 150 percent of the value of the tender back into the Czech Republic, in the form of offset programmes. The Czech Republic had planned to decommission its fleet of ageing MiG fighters by 2003 at the latest, although some politicians have questioned whether the country can really afford new planes.

Court finds Lacko attackers responsible for his death

A court in the eastern city of Ostrava has requalified the sentences against four far-right skinheads involved in a fatal attack against a local Roma man. The court said two of the youths were guilty of physical assault resulting in death, not the lesser offence of grievous bodily harm. The court increased their suspended sentences, and also confirmed the prison sentences against two fellow attackers, who were sentenced to three years and one year in prison respectively. Relatives of the man have fought a three-year battle to have all the youths involved in the attack brought to justice. Milan Lacko was set upon by a large gang of skinheads in the town of Orlova in May 1998. He was beaten to the ground and left lying in the road, where minutes later he was run over by a car. He died shortly afterwards. A court originally ruled that the youths bore no direct responsibility for Mr Lacko's death, saying he died as a result of being hit by the car. The original verdict was condemned by the Roma community and human rights groups, who say the Czech courts fail to punish far-right skinheads for racially-motivated attacks.

Falbr files charges over Bosch Diesel union fiasco

The head of the country's biggest trades union organisation, Richard Falbr, has filed criminal charges after claiming factory employees were prevented from forming a trade union. Mr Falbr says a group of some 70 workers at the Bosch Diesel plant in Jihlava were attacked by a large mob at the meeting on April 23rd. He said the meeting was disrupted by around 1,000 Bosch employees, who threw eggs at union leaders and physically attacked participants at the meeting. Mr Falbr accused Bosch of organising buses to carry the employees to disrupt the meeting, and said the company had also given them paid leave to attend it. The management of Bosch Diesel, a subsidiary of the German firm Bosch, has denied all the charges.

Gruesome discovery at Prague train depo

Police say a bag containing human remains has been discovered in a train at a Prague railway depo. A spokesman said the bag contained the headless body of a man in his 20s. It was found on a train from Dortmund, which arrived in Prague on Wednesday morning. Police forensic experts are now trying to determine the time and cause of death.

Poles against Temelin nuclear trains

An opinion poll in Poland has shown the vast majority of Poles are opposed to the transport of nuclear fuel for the Czech Republic's Temelin nuclear power station across Polish territory. Just 23 percent of respondents said they agreed with the transports, from the Polish port of Szczecin to Temelin, which is located in South Bohemia near the Austrian border. The Polish Nuclear Safety Authority gave permission for the transports earlier this year. So far one transport has taken place.


And finally a look at the weather. And there is more hot and sunny weather forecast for the next few days, with skies staying clear in most parts of the country. Temperatures on Friday night will fall to lows of six degrees Celsius, rising on Saturday to highs of 24 degrees. Sunday will see more fine weather, with the chance of thunderstorms in places.