News of Radio Prague

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Special Forces contingent en route to Kuwait

The first contingent of Czech special forces has left for Kuwait to take part in the U.S.-led military operation in the region. Twenty soldiers from the anti-chemical unit from the northern town of Liberec have made up the lead force, and will prepare the ground for a total of 250 servicemen who will serve in Kuwait for half a year. Czech forces will provide advance warning of possible biological or chemical attacks, and will be set to take part in clean-up operations in the event of a terrorist attack in the region.

President Vaclav Havel's meeting with Ahmet Necdet Sezer

Czech President Vaclav Havel has met with his Turkish counter-part Ahmet Necdet Sezer, in Prague on a three-day visit. The two men discussed human rights issues, EU ties with NATO, and the planned NATO summit, which is set to take place in Prague in November. Both men agreed that seven countries should be asked to join the NATO alliance: the three Baltic states, as well as Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia.

Poncelet: Benes Decrees not an obstacle

French senate leader Christian Poncelet has said that France does not see former Czechoslovakia's post-war Benes Decrees as an obstacle to the Czech Republic joining the European Union; Poncelet made the announcement after meeting with Czech senator Petr Pithart on Thursday. The French politician added that France had registered goodwill on the part of the Czech Republic to now try and find a solution for the controversial decrees, which sanctioned the expulsion of two and a half million Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia after World War II.

Gorbacev against Temelin

The former president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbacev, has decided to support Austrian opponents of the Czech Republic's Temelin nuclear power plant; "Stop Temelin", one of the movements opposed to the plant revealed photographs of Gorbachev signing their book. Mr Gorbachev is quoted as saying he had been made an activist in the group's movement. Stop Temelin spokesman Josef Neumuller said that he hoped Mr Gorbacev's show of support would help ensure an open dialogue with the Czech Republic over the controversial plant.

Drug gang members sentenced

A twenty-eight year old Tunisian gang leader has been sentenced to eight years in prison by a Czech court, for dealing heroin in Prague. Two fellow gang members, who are Czech, received lighter sentences of three years in prison. A fourth member, who acted as driver and distributor, co-operated with police and received a five-year sentence. The drug gang was known for dealing heroin at three Prague subway stations, and their customers included teenage children.

Czech man arrested for smuggling alcohol from Bavaria

A Czech truck-driver has been caught at a Czech-German border crossing, attempting to smuggle a truck load of alcohol from the Czech Republic to the German province of Bavaria. The twenty-eight -year-old suspect is believed to have forged documents to smuggle cargo across the border, and is believed to have been operating for some time, incurring damages of over one-and-a-half million Euros. The warrant for the suspect's arrest was issued by a court in Nuremberg.

Weather

Thursday evening will be cloudy with a chance of isolated showers. Temperatures will fall to lows between 5 and 1 degree Celsius.