News Saturday, OCTOBER 02th, 1999

Those were the headlines, now the news in more detail:

Nuclear incident increase opposition in Austria

The nuclear accident in Tokiamura in Japan on Thursday in which dozens of people were irradiated, several of them seriously, has been perceived in Austria as confirmation that its stance of absolute opposition to nuclear energy is correct. All of Austria's political parties are now united in defending Vienna's anti-atomic policy towards its eastern neighbours. This increase in anti-nuclear sentiment will in particular affect the construction of the Temelin nuclear power station in the Czech Republic. In a final television broadcast before Sunday's general elections, chancellor Viktor Klima stated that in his opinion, the Czech Republic should not be able to enter the European Union if it completes Temelin.

Y2K preparations for civil aviation systems considered inconclusive

The United States Department of Transport said on Thursday that estimates of the Year 2000 aviation preparations of 17 international destinations outside the United States are inconclusive. One of these destinations is the Czech Republic. In a report on its Website, the Department of Transport states that prudence dictates that travellers electing to fly in the aviation systems of these destinations immediately before and after the New Year should plan their itinerary carefully. The department claims that there is simply not enough information available from countries such as the Czech Republic to be able to judge their readiness.

Deficit reaches over eight billion

The Czech Republic's state budget ended the month of September at a level of eight and a half billion Czech Crowns, which was three billion up from the August level of five and a half billion. This is also significantly higher than the figure in the same period last year, which was six billion.

Convict still at large

After a week of searching, the Czech police still have no idea as to the whereabouts of escaped convict Zdenek Svoboda. The prisoner escaped last week as he was being shipped back to Pankrac prison from the hospital. According to the former director of the prison service, Jiri Maly, who resigned on Wednesday in connection with this incident, the police escort in charge of the prisoner was to blame for the escape. Allegations have also been made that Zdenek Svoboda could have contacted his accomplices from inside the prison by mobile phone. An instruction manual for a mobile phone was found in the potatoes Svoboda was peeling before his escape. Police are currently investigating how the mobile phone could have been smuggled into the prison.

Air traffic controllers will not be punished

Air traffic controllers involved in this week's protest over overtime will probably not be punished. Thirteen of the sixty five air traffic controllers did not turn up for work on Tuesday and eight failed to show up on Wednesday. The company in charge of air traffic control, RLP, has said that although the partial strike has cost the company up to four million Czech Crowns a day, the main priority now is not to punish those involved, but to get operations back up and running. The company intends to discuss the problems that led to the strike to find a way to prevent it happening again.

One quarter of Czechs unhappy with Senate election campaign

In an new opinion poll, the majority of Czechs have expressed their dissatisfaction with the way the major political parties fought the Senate election for the Prague 1 seat in August. A quarter of those asked even went as far as to say that they were disgusted by the way the campaign was run. Over two thirds of those asked, however, stated that they were happy with the way the election turned out. The Prague 1 seat was won by the independent candidate and businessman Vaclav Fischer with over seventy percent of the vote.

Mushroom pickers in danger

Czech mushroom pickers are becoming the victims of a wave of car thefts say the police in Moravia. In the area around the city of Olomouc there have been over twenty cases of car theft in the past two weeks, all within forests in the region. The car thieves apparently wait until the mushroom pickers go off into the forest, then either steal the cars or remove all of the valuables inside. The police have warned mushroom pickers to be on the lookout, and to take their valuables with them whilst seeking mushrooms.

And finally the weather. The weather on Saturday will perfect for picking mushrooms with clear or partially cloudy skies in most places. Temperatures should reach a maximum of twenty two degrees centigrade. And that was the news.