News Saturday, DECEMBER 02th, 2000

By: Daniela Lazarova

Meeting at Linz turns stormy

Over 1,500 Austrians gathered in the Austrian town of Linz on Friday to attend a meeting with Czech nuclear experts and the management of the Temelin nuclear power plant. The meeting, which was initiated by the Austrian government in an effort to diffuse growing public concern over safety at the Temelin nuclear power station, was reported to have been stormy from the outset, with booing, jeering and whistling. Environmental activist Eva Glawischnig later told the CTK news agency that the attitude of the Czech delegation was "an insult to the Austrian public" and that the director of Temelin had acted as if the Iron Curtain was still in place. The meeting, described earlier as an effort to pave the way to a successful summit between the two countries' heads of government, which is due to take place on December 12th has thus been deemed an overall failure.

Two people injured in explosion

Two young people are reported to have been injured in an incident in which a drug addict exploded a hand grenade in a flat in the North Moravian city of Ostrava. One of the young men is reported to be in critical condition. Police are questioning the owner of the flat, which was used as a meeting place for addicts. It is not clear where the man obtained the hand grenade. A police spokeswoman said a box of cartridges was also found in the apartment.

World AIDS Day

On World AIDS Day, the Czech health authorities have stressed the need for effective educational campaigns, targeting predominantly the male population and high risk groups. According to international statistics, the number of male HIV sufferers is far higher than the number of females infected with the virus. Medical experts say this is most likely due to the fact that men tend to be less concerned about health risks in general. 479 people are registered HIV positive in the Czech Republic, 144 of them are suffering from AIDS. 88 people have died of it to date. At present, AIDS testing is done on an anonymous basis, which means that HIV positive patients need not seek out treatment. The authorities are now considering introducing a measure which would make treatment compulsory for all infected patients. However, opponents point out that banning anonymous testing could have the opposite effect, and make the situation even worse.

Abused children to have new help centre

A crisis centre for abused children is to open in Pilsen in the spring of 2001. According to Ilona Kolarova, who heads the Abused Children's Fund, the centre should serve as a haven for physically and psychologically abused children, as well as those who have attempted to commit suicide. Kolarova said the number of child suicides in the Czech Republic was among the highest in Europe. Four similar help centres for children are already operating in different parts of the country.


And finally a quick look at the weather: we're in for a foggy and overcast weekend with scattered showers and day temps between 4 and 8 degs C. If you wish to enjoy some sunshine and clear skies your best bet is to head for the mountains, but beware of icy roads, since nighttime lows are due to drop to minus 2 degs C.