News of Radio Prague

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State of emergency to end at midnight

The state of emergency, which was put into force in five regions of the Czech Republic during the recent floods, will be called off on Saturday at midnight local time. In the surroundings of the towns of Decin and Litomerice and also in some parts of Prague, the state of emergency will be replaced by a state of alert. The state of emergency was first declared by Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla on the 12th of August when in a public address on Czech Radio, Mr Spidla stated that the danger caused by heavy floods in Prague, Central Bohemia, South Bohemia, and the Plzen and Karlovy Vary regions was severe enough to threaten the property, health, and lives of citizens.

EU approves creation of disaster relief fund

The Foreign Ministers of all fifteen European Union member countries have approved the establishment of a special disaster relief fund. Finances from the fund will be available to both member and candidate countries. The Czech Republic too, is expected to be entitled to resources from the fund which should help the country in recovering from this year's devastating floods.

Tvrdik: Czech Republic discusses aerospace security with NATO

The Czech Defence Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik has said the Czech Republic is discussing the securing of its aerospace with other NATO members. Owing to the recent floods, the government had to abandon plans to buy two dozen supersonic jet fighters for the Czech air force. Speaking at an air show in the city of Hradec Kralove on Saturday, Mr Tvrdik said that by mid-September he would put forward alternatives to the original plan to buy 24 Gripen fighters from the British-Swedish consortium BAE Systems/Saab. Mr Tvrdik said the options were to buy fewer aircraft, lease them or work in cooperation with other NATO member-countries.

Spolana finishes chlorine removal operation

Specialists at the Spolana chemical plant north of Prague finished pumping out the remaining chlorine gas from the last two storage tanks on Saturday morning. Tanks with the dangerous chemical were stored in a warehouse which was damaged by the recent flood. The flooding at Spolana caused leakages of several chemical substances both into the air and water, the most dangerous being the leaks of chlorine. On Monday the government intervened after a second leak of chlorine into the air, and the factory's director was sacked. No one was hurt in the event, but plants in surrounding fields and gardens were burnt.

Czech citizen sentenced in US for illegal employment

A United States Federal Court in Chattanooga, Tennessee has sentenced a Czech citizen for 10 months in prison for brokering employment for illegal immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe. Twenty-three-year old Karel Klement, an illegal immigrant himself, received the same verdict as his elder brother Bohumil, who was accused of the same crime and sentenced in July.

Weather

Saturday night should be cloudy with rain in places and temperature falling to lows of 12 degrees Celsius. Sunday is expected to be partially cloudy with rain and thunderstorms in places, with a chance of isolated hailstorms. Daytime temperatures should not exceed 24 degrees Celsius.