News of Radio Prague

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Czech soldier dies in Bosnia

A Czech soldier has died at the headquarters of the Czech SFOR contingent in Bosnia, taking part in UN peace-keeping operations. The Defence Ministry said that he died of injuries sustained while he was defusing ammunition found by local residents. He died shortly after being transferred by helicopter to the nearest military hospital.

Further racist attacks on Roma

Czech police have reported two separate serious racist attacks against Romanies. Following one incident in the eastern city of Ostrava a man is in hospital with serious injuries after being stabbed repeatedly by four skinhead youths, who set upon a group of Romanies in the street. In the western town of As, near the German border, three youths face charges of propagating racism, after they smashed down the door of a flat belonging to a Roma family. A police spokeswoman said that they broke windows and shouted racist slogans. No-one was hurt after the flat's owner managed to barricade himself and his family into a back room.

Encouraging growth figures

Figures have been published showing that industrial production has continued to grow rapidly in the first five months of this year. The figure is nearly ten percent higher than for the same period in the year 2000. The industrial recovery has been particularly strong in the rubber and plastics industries, as well as in metallurgy and the manufacture of electrical and optical goods. At the same time the number of people employed in industry has also shown a slight increase.

Czech media magnate faces further investigation

The supreme court of the Alpine principality of Liechtenstein has said it suspects the Czech media magnate, Vladimir Zelezny, of serious fraud. The court has asked the Czech authorities to help in gathering evidence, and the District Court for central Prague has promised to cooperate. Vladimir Zelezny's multi-million dollar transactions with a foundation based in Liechtenstein are already being investigated in the Czech Republic. Czech police suspect Zelezny of damaging the interests of the American-owned company CME that in the past was involved in running Zelezny's popular private television station, TV Nova.

German energy company halts imports of Czech electricity

The German energy giant E.ON has halted imports of electricity generated in the Czech Republic. The decision comes after public pressure in Germany from opponents to nuclear power, who are concerned about the safety of the Czech Temelin nuclear plant. A further factor is thought to be a law recently passed in Germany that will enable the government to ban imports of electricity produced in nuclear plants in Eastern Europe, suspected of being unsafe. Up to now E.ON has been the Czech Republic's largest energy customer abroad, accounting for a quarter of energy exports. A spokesman from the Czech energy company CEZ declined to comment on the decision saying that talks were still under way with E.ON.

Chemical scare in centre of Mlada Boleslav

There was traffic chaos in the town of Mlada Boleslav on Friday morning caused by a scare over a chemical leak. Two barrels containing dangerous and potentially explosive chemicals fell from a lorry and police immediately cordoned off the area. After the precise contents of the barrels were determined, the situation was brought under control, and only twenty-five people in the immediate vicinity had to be evacuated.

British director praises Czech festival

The British film director, John Irvin, who is in Karlovy Vary to present his film Shiner starring Michael Caine, has heaped praise on the Czech town's annual film festival. At the same time he was highly critical of Hollywood, warning European filmmakers seeking Hollywood success not to sell the souls. He said that the Karlovy Vary festival was intended for people and not just business interests. The two-week festival draws to a close this weekend.

Weather

And finally, a quick look at the weekend's weather. Saturday will be another cloudy day, with showers and isolated thunderstorms and temperatures peaking at 27 degrees Celsius. Sunday will be cloudy but hot, with temperatures as high as 30 degrees.