News of Radio Prague

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European Commission to ask Austria not to block Czech EU talks over Temelin

The European Commission has said it will try to persuade Austria to stop blocking the Czech Republic's European Union accession talks because of a dispute over the country's Temelin nuclear power plant, which Austria says is unsafe. The Commission's Director General for Enlargement, Eneko Landaburu, said on Thursday it would try to persuade Austria to accept its position on the energy chapter negotiations with Prague, during talks to be held in September. Relations between the Czech Republic and Austria have been strained since October, when Prague started up the Soviet-designed nuclear plant at Temelin, which lies just 60 km from the Austrian border. Until now, Austria has blocked talks on the energy chapter in the course of the Czech Republic's accession negotiations with the European Union, saying the plant does not comply with the EU's safety standards. The Czech government says the plant is safe.

British immigration officials turn away more Roma families at Prague Airport

British immigration officials stationed at Prague's Ruzyne Airport have turned away more Roma passengers trying to board a flight to London. A three-member Roma family were refused permission to board the plane, telling reporters afterwards they were not given a reason why they were turned away. British immigration officials were deployed at Ruzyne Airport on Wednesday, in what London says are measures designed to protect the British asylum system from abuse. All Czech passengers travelling to Britain are interviewed at the airport by British immigration officials before being allowed to board their flights, the first time Britain has adopted such measures. Thousands of Roma people have arrived in Britain in the last few years, claiming racial discrimination and persecution at home. The Czech government says they are economic migrants.

Rivers rising after more heavy rain

Rivers are rising in eastern parts of the country following several days of storms and heavy rain. There are already reports of flooding in some parts of Moravia, and many rivers have been placed on flood alert. The basements of several houses in the Moravian capital Brno have been flooded, while storms in the Olomouc region brought down trees and power lines. There were no reports of any injuries. The Czech Meteorological Office has said there should be no repeat of the catastrophic floods which hit the region in 1997, leaving many people dead and thousands homeless.

One dead, one injured in security van robbery

One security guard was killed and another seriously injured on Friday afternoon during an armed robbery on a security van carrying cash from a fuel depo near the town of Jihlava. The company's managing director said some 1.5 million crowns, or around 35,000 U.S. dollars, was stolen in the robbery. The van belonged to the Fenix security service.

Theatre director Daniel Dvorak new director of National Theatre

Theatre director and stage designer Daniel Dvorak has been named as the new director of the National Theatre. Culture Minister Pavel Dostal told journalists Mr Dvorak would be appointed on September 1 and would take up the post in June 2002.

Internet use on the rise

A study carried out by the Sofres Factum Agency in June showed a rising number of Internet users in the Czech Republic. More than one quarter of the Czech population over the age of 18 uses the Internet - with two thirds of them logging on at work. However seven percent of the population say not only have they never used the Internet, they've never even heard of it.

Weather forecast

And the heavy rain is set to continue well into the weekend, with eastern areas of the country remaining the worst affected. Temperatures on Saturday will not rise above 21 degrees Celsius, while Sunday will be warmer with more rain forecast throughout the country.