News of Radio Prague

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CEZ shares plummet as EdF "loses interest" in sale

Shares in the state-owned energy utility CEZ have fallen sharply following rumours that the French power company Electricite de France (EdF) is no longer interested in buying it. Traders on the Prague Stock Exchange said shares in CEZ fell by almost eight percent on Friday, in response to a report in the French financial daily Les Echoes that EdF was no longer willing to pay the asking price demanded by the Czech government. EdF was unable to confirm the claims. CEZ owns and operates the controversial Temelin nuclear power plant. The plant was restarted on Friday following the latest in a series of unscheduled shutdowns.

Polls: big parties make firm gains following 4K collapse

The results of two separate opinion polls released on Friday have shown the ruling Social Democrats and the right-of-centre Civic Democrats making substantial gains following the collapse of the opposition Four-Party Coalition. The polls, conducted by the STEM and CVVM agencies, both showed the Social Democrats in first place, closely followed by the Civic Democrats. The Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union-DEU - the remnants of the Four-Party Coalition - came third in both polls. The Four-Party Coalition had topped the polls for several months before its collapse two weeks ago.

Police launch investigation after finding body of new-born baby

Police in South Moravia have launched an investigation after the body of a new-born baby was discovered in fields near Brno on Thursday. An autopsy revealed the baby had suffered head injuries. Police have appealed for the mother of the baby to come forward.

Former SS officer Viel released from prison

A former SS officer serving a prison sentence for murdering Jewish prisoners in the Terezin ghetto has been released from prison and transferred to a normal hospital. Julius Viel, who is now 83, was sentenced to 12 years in prison by a court in Germany last year for murdering seven Jewish prisoners in Terezin - a town in North Bohemia which was turned into a ghetto and concentration camp during the Second World War. A spokesman for the court said Mr Viel, who is suffering from cancer, could be sent back to prison if his health improves.

"Adolf Hitler Commando" charged after losing incriminating photo

And a group of three youths calling themselves the "Adolf Hitler Commando" have been charged with supporting neo-Nazi ideology after a photo showing them saluting a swastika flag was handed in to the police. A spokeswoman for Hradec Kralove police in East Bohemia said the three youths - aged 19, 20 and 21 - had been under surveillance for some time. She said one of the youths had apparently left the photo somewhere by accident.

Czech parliament approves prisoner exchange with Thailand

The Czech lower house has approved prisoner-exchange measures with Thailand that could bring two convicted drug traffickers home to the Czech Republic by the end of the year. If the measures are approved by the Senate and signed by President Vaclav Havel, the two men - aged 26 and 33 - would be released to the Czech authorities. The measure would also allow Thai citizens convicted in the Czech Republic to be transferred to Thailand.

Weather

And finally a look at the weekend's weather. After a cold night, Saturday will be a fine, clear day with temperatures ranging from two to six degrees Celsius. Sunday will be slightly warmer, but with the chance of showers in places.