News Sunday, APRIL 23rd, 2000

Hello and a very warm welcome to Radio Prague. I'm Rob Cameron, and we start the programme with a brief news bulletin. First the headlines:

Those were the headlines, now for the news in more detail.

Miners end three week occupation of Kohinoor coal mine

Miners at north Bohemia's Kohinoor coal mine have resurfaced from a mine shaft following a three week occupation in protest at job losses. Management and miners' representatives signed an agreement on Friday ending the strike, barely half an hour before a deadline to evacuate the mine. Faced with the threat of immediate dismissal, the 47 miners backed down on their earlier demands, asking only for social guarantees to counter the impact of possible job losses if the mine was closed. The senior union leader Richard Falbr praised the miners for their bravery, and said he would do all he could to ensure the agreement was respected.

Anarchists protest at far right meeting

A small crowd of anarchist demonstrators have protested in the town of Jihlava against Saturday's meeting of the outlawed National Social Alliance, a far-right party with a strong skinhead following. The demonstration was accompanied by a strong police presence, and there were no reports of any disturbances. The Interior Ministry has refused to register the far-right party, saying it was clearly undemocratic. The party was formed following the banning of a far-right civic association, the National Alliance.

Man charged with murder after confessing to killing teenage daughters

Police in the North Bohemian town of Jablonec nad Nisou say a man has been arrested and charged with murder, after shooting dead his two teenage daughters at their home on Saturday morning. The man also tried to shoot himself, but was discovered by police suffering from serious head injuries. Police say he has confessed to killing his two daughters, and detectives are now trying to establish a motive for the murders.

Social Democrats accuse Civic Democrats of back-peddling on housing

The governing Social Democrats have accused the main opposition Civic Democrats of violating the power-sharing pact which has kept the minority government in power since 1998. The Social Democrats say the dispute centres around the establishment of a state housing fund, which the two parties agreed to support when drawing up the power-sharing agreement. At recent parliamentary sessions, however, the Civic Democrats have appeared less enthusiastic, and have expressed a number of reservations regarding the government's proposal. The parliamentary leader of the Social Democrats said at a press conference on Friday that talks were needed to settle the dispute.

Environmentalists call for referendum on Temelin

With only just over three months to go before the launch of the Temelin nuclear power plant in south Bohemia, environmental activists are launching a campaign to remind the ruling Social Democrats of their earlier demands that a referendum should decide the plant's future. Activists of the Rainbow environmental group have started a petition demanding a referendum, which now holds some two thousand signatures. Prime Minister Milos Zeman said earlier this week that while he himself had been in favour of a referendum several years ago, that was at a time when the plant's construction had still been in the early stages.


And I´ll end as usual with a look at Sunday's weather forecast. And it will be another hot and sunny day, with daytime temperatures reaching 28 degrees Celsius, falling to eight degrees at night.

I'm Rob Cameron, and that's the news.