News of Radio Prague

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Rychetsky: Czech authorities must do more to improve Roma integration

The deputy Prime Minister Pavel Rychetsky has said the Czech authorities must do more to improve the integration of the country's Roma minority. Speaking after a meeting with Roma representatives on Friday, Mr Rychetsky said the government and state authorities must concentrate on improving protection of the Roma, and also tackle the problem of disproportionately high unemployment among members of the minority. Thousands of Roma have fled the Czech Republic in recent years, seeking asylum from what they say is racial discrimination at home. Britain recently stationed immigration officers at Prague's Ruzyne Airport, in an attempt to stop Czech citizens - most of them Roma - from applying for asylum in the U.K. The controversial measures were lifted on Thursday.

Police continue for search for missing children

Police in South Moravia say the search continues for two children who went missing in the region almost two weeks ago. The search has been intensified after police discovered the body of the children's Belgian brother-in-law last week near the village of Nebovidy in the Brno region. Police say the man, named as Stephan Knaepen, had committed suicide. The man's car was also found, but there was no trace of the two children, a boy aged 10 and a girl aged 12. The three left Brno on August 1st for a tour of local castles.

French drugs firm withdraws anti-cholesterol drug after deaths

The French pharmaceutical company Laboratoires Fournier has withdrawn the anti-cholesterol drug Cholstat from the Czech market. The move follows the withdrawal of the same drug produced under a different name by the German company Bayer, following a series of deaths believed to be linked with one of the drug's active ingredients, cerivastatin. There are an estimated 5,000 Cholstat users in the Czech Republic.

Austrian anti-nuclear activists cancel border blockade

Austrian anti-nuclear activists called off their planned border blockade on Friday after failing to gain permission from the Austrian authorities. Demonstrators had planned to block the Gmund border crossing with the Czech Republic in protest at plans to reactivate the Temelin nuclear power station across the border in South Bohemia. Temelin's first reactor is due to be switched on this weekend, following a three-month shutdown to allow essential repairs on the plant's generating turbine. Temelin has been plagued with technical problems since going into test operation last October.

Police file charges against man advocating armed Communist struggle

Police in the town of Sumperk have asked state prosecutors to charge a 23-year-old man with extremist offences, after he wrote articles in a far-left newspaper calling for an armed struggle to bring about the return of Communist rule. The man, David Pecha, could become the first left-wing extremist to be prosecuted under a Czech law which makes the support of movements that lead to the suppression of human rights and freedoms a criminal offence. An amendment to the law was recently pushed through by right-of-centre deputies and senators, widening the offence to include Communism. Previously it had been used to prosecute neo-Nazi skinheads and other far-right extremists. There are currently several dozen Communist MPs sitting in the lower house of the Czech Parliament.

Weather forecast

And finally a quick look at the weather. And the cloudy weather will move away from the Czech Republic on Sunday, leaving clear skies and temperatures reaching highs of 23 degrees Celsius. Monday will warmer, with temperatures rising to 26 degrees Celsius, but the chance of rain in the northern half of the country.