News of Radio Prague

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Schroeder appeals for support for "historically important" EU enlargement

The German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has made a passionate appeal for support for the enlargement of the European Union. Chancellor Schroeder was speaking at the end of a two-week tour of German border regions, during which he made several trips across the border into Poland and the Czech Republic. Mr Schroeder, speaking in the West Bohemian spa town of Frantiskovy Lazne after meeting his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman, said he hoped his trip had dispelled fears surrounding enlargement. The German chancellor said the opportunities of what he described as "this enormous, historically important project" far outweighed the risks. Many Germans are afraid that EU expansion will mean a sudden influx of cheap workers from the east. Many Poles and Czechs, meanwhile, are afraid of losing land and property to wealthy Germans.

No news on when Britain will reintroduce airport immigration controls

Britain is still refusing to say when it will re-impose controversial immigration controls at Prague's Ruzyne Airport. A spokesman for the British Embassy in Prague said the matter was now in the hands of the British Foreign Office, but that the airport was ready to accommodate the return of British immigration officers at any time. British officials were first stationed at Prague Airport last month following a sharp increase in the number of Czechs - almost all of them members of the country's Roma minority - arriving in Britain to seek asylum. Czech Roma say they are subject to widespread discrimination at home, but Britain says it cannot grant asylum to any Czech citizen because they are not persecuted by the Czech state. Opponents said the measures were discriminatory towards all Roma passengers.

Czech troops could be first to begin 'Essential Harvest'

Czech troops newly stationed in Macedonia could be the first to begin carrying out NATO's 'Essential Harvest' mission - disarming ethnic Albanian rebels as part of the recent peace agreement with the Macedonian government. The commander of Czech troops in Macedonia, Captain Oldrich Napravnik, said Czech soldiers, who are currently guarding NATO's command headquarters near the Macedonian capital Skopje, could begin collecting weapons as early as Monday.

Daily Telegraph: Britain seeking extradition of convicted paedophile

Reports in the Daily Telegraph newspaper say Britain is seeking the extradition of Chris Denning, the former Radio 1 disc jockey who was sent to prison in the Czech Republic for sexually abusing underage boys. Mr Denning, who is 59, completed his three-and-a-half year sentence in Prague's Pankrac Prison in May, but was placed in special custody following a request from Britain's Home Office. The Czech Justice Ministry told the paper that a warrant for Mr Denning's arrest had been issued in Britain in connection with alleged "sexual crimes".

Brno postal workers discover severed limbs in package

Police in Brno say human body parts were discovered in a package sent to a local post office from Prague last week. Post office workers said they opened the package, which arrived on August 20th, because of the overpowering smell. Inside they discovered a severed arm and a leg, which a police spokeswoman confirmed belonged to an adult or adolescent child.

Plzen court sentences eight Ukrainians for extortion

A court in the West Bohemian city of Plzen has sentenced eight Ukrainian men to a total of 50 years in prison, after finding them guilty of extortion. The court heard that the men were members of a gang which had demanded three million crowns in protection money from a businessman who employed Ukrainian construction workers.

Weather forecast

And finally a quick look at the weekend's weather. Saturday will see hot and sunny weather, with the chance of showers in northern parts of the country. Daytime temperatures will range between 26 and 30 degrees Celsius, falling to lows of 12 degrees at night. Sunday will bring more fine summery weather, with sunny skies and temperatures again reaching 30 degrees in places.