News of Radio Prague

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Visegrad group to sponsor joint cultural projects

The ministries of culture of the so-called Visegrad group have agreed to allocate 50,000 USD for joint cultural projects. Ministers from the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary declared their support for joint projects that would promote member countries of the Visegrad group, such as a roaming folk music festival, which will be held for the first time in 2002 in Budapest.

Environmentalists block highway in protest over Temelin

Austrian Environmental activists blocked the highway not far from the Czech-Austrian border for several hours on Sunday in protest against the Temelin nuclear power plant in South Bohemia. Around forty activists blocked the highway 500 metres from the Wullowitz-Dolni Dvoriste border crossing, and blocked traffic for several hours. The issue of Temelin has strained relations between the Czech Republic and Austria, which is a nuclear-free country.

Czechs arrested in Israel to fly home

Four Czech arrested in Israel for working illegally in the country are to be expelled from Israel, although they currently remain in custody. Israeli police arrested the four men on Thursday in the town of Beersheva on charges of working illegally in a local casino. On the same day, they were sentenced to expulsion and will be sent back to the Czech Republic on the nearest available flight. However, the men deny standing trial or signing any verdict.

Austria's Haider: Czechs should shut down Temelin

A senior representative of Austria's Freedom Party, Joerg Haider, has warned that the Czech Republic will not be able to join the European Union unless it resolves some controversial issues. Haider called on the Czech Republic to close down the controversial nuclear power station at Temelin and to annul the post-war Benes decrees which enabled the expulsion of ethnic Germans from the country. Haider insists that Austria should hold a referendum on EU enlargement.

Czech Telecom cuts prices

After a long wait, telephone service subscribers in the Czech Republic are to enjoy some benefits of market liberalisation and increased competition. The dominant Czech fixed-line telecommunications operator, Czech Telecom, has decided to cut prices of calls to mobile networks by up to 48 percent for both private and corporate customers. Telecom representatives said the step was aimed at attracting clients who had ceased using fixed-line services. The fixed-line telecommunications market was opened up to competition on January 1, 2001. However, some services will be fully liberalised at the end of 2002.

Motor racing - Czech Tomas Enge wins Formula 3000 race

Motor racing now - and Czech Tomas Enge won the sixth round of the Formula 3000 championship on Saturday, reducing Justin Wilson's overall lead to three points. Enge led from start to finish on the Nuerburgring circuit to beat Australian Mark Webber and Brazilian Ricardo Sperafico into second and third place respectively. Wilson, Enge's team mate at Nordic Racing, spun into a gravel trap on the fifth lap, before retiring for the first time this season three laps later. The Briton still leads the series on 31 points with Enge second, three points behind, and Super Nova's Webber third with two points less Enge.

Czechs qualify for volleyball world championship

The Czech volleyball team has qualified for the world championship in Argentina in 2002. The Czechs defeated the Ukraine 3-1 in a group final qualifier match on Sunday. The Czechs gained six points in their group, the Ukraine came second and still has a chance to qualify for the championships.

Czech weather report

And finally, a brief look at the weather. On Monday, weather in the Czech Republic will be influenced by a high pressure area. We are expecting a partially cloudy day with scattered showers in the Eastern and Northern parts of the country. The highest daytime temperatures should range from 20 to 24 degrees Celsius.