News of Radio Prague

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Small civilian plane flies too close, violates Dukovany no-fly zone

A small civilian plane flew too close and violated the no-fly zone at the Dukovany nuclear power station in south Moravia on Thursday - at 9:30 Thursday morning the plane had to be escorted out of the zone by an army MI-24 helicopter, employed after the plane's pilot failed to communicate with a local air-base. The plant was not in danger and an army official confirmed afterwards that the incident did not require the assistance of Czech L-39 fighter jets, also on stand-by. The Dukovany nuclear power plant's extended 22 kilometre no-fly zone has been in effect ever since last year's September 11th terrorist attacks on the U.S.. The latest air-space violation is the third such incident at a Czech nuclear power plant since the extended no-fly zones were imposed. The incident will now be reviewed by police and army officials.

TV unions call for Balvin to step down for the time being

In an open letter to Jiri Balvin, the head of the national broadcasting station Czech TV, independent TV workers' unions have recommended that the general director step down in the interim of an on-going police investigation. Police have charged Mr Balvin with allegedly awarding illegal contracts as well as criminal mismanagement. On Thursday around 200 employees from the station gathered to hear union representative Adam Komers read union suggestions to those present. The TV unions have voiced fears that the charges against Czech TV's general director could have a negative effect on the reputation of the broadcasting station as a whole.

Close to 3,000 Czechs living abroad register to vote in upcoming general elections

The Czech Foreign Ministry has confirmed that 2, 960 Czechs living abroad have registered to vote in general elections in the Czech Republic, set to take place in June. According to the ministry the number is not final and may still undergo minor fluctuations. Nevertheless, original estimates in April suggested that the number of interested Czech voters abroad would be much higher, involving as many as 70, 000. Some Czechs living abroad have criticised the registration system as limiting, especially in such geographically broad countries as Canada and Australia. The system required Czechs living abroad to register at consulates by May 5th at the latest, which some say was not a realistic option; others complained that they had not been made aware it was necessary to register at all.

Suspect arrested in rape case involving 11-year-old girl

Police have arrested a 40-year-old man for attempting to rape an eleven-year-old girl in an attack which took place last February. The suspect is accused of having dragged the girl off the road and attempted to force her to have intercourse near a railway track, before running off. The girl was able to describe her assailant clearly to police, helping lead to the suspect's eventual arrest. The suspect has a past criminal record: in the past he was found guilty of criminal business dealings. If found guilty in this case he could face between 5 to 12 years in prison.

Nine-month-old "Midnight Storm" to be returned to parents on Friday

Nine-month-old "Midnight Storm", the little girl placed in a foster nursery home after her parents failed to have her officially registered, will be returned to her parents on Friday. On Thursday a court in Pilsen made the decision that the otherwise healthy little girl could be released from the foster home, now that the necessary legal requirements had been met, including registration and health insurance.

Weather

Thursday evening will see partly clear skies with temperatures falling to ten degrees Celsius. Friday will be partly cloudy with temperatures reaching highs between 23 to 27 degrees Celsius.