News Sunday, DECEMBER 10th, 2000

By: Vladimir Tax

Czech foreign ministry welcomes Nice summit outcomes

The Czech foreign ministry has welcomed the outcomes of the EU summit in Nice. The ministry was reacting to the EU enlargement strategy which expects the first wave of expansion in January 2004 or a year earlier. The Czech foreign ministry said the document reflected the goals the Czech government had been systematically pushing for for a long time. Czech chief negotiator with the EU, Pavel Telicka, highlighted the fact that in the first part of the summit, EU leaders expressed their will to take enlargement as a priority. However, he said it was necessary to wait for the outcome of internal reforms.

Kajinek is back behind the bars

Czech police have arrested dangerous murderer Jiri Kajinek who escaped from the most strictly guarded prison in the Czech Republic six weeks ago. Kajinek was arrested in Prague, some 200 km away from the Mirov prison where he was serving a life sentence. The police rapid deployment squad arrested Kajinek in an apartment owned by his prison inmate, murderer Ludvik Cerny, who is also serving life prison sentence at Mirov. The police said Kajinek was armed with two guns and a hand-grenade and was planning further criminal activities. The police did not say whether Kajinek had any accomplices. Kajinek has been transferred to the Valdice prison which has special facilities for handling extremely dangerous criminals.

Christian Democrats call for integration of Four-Coalition into one party

The Christian Democratic Party has called for integration of the coalition of four right-of-centre opposition parties into one political party. The Christian Democratic Party has also selected Jaroslav Kopriva as its candidate for the post of the chairman of the four-coalition. Mr. Kopriva, a former deputy interior minister, is the chairman of the Czech Catholic Charity Organisation. Mr. Kopriva will have to compete against candidates from the other parties, which he considers as a difficult task, although the other three parties have not decided on their candidates yet. The Four-coalition did extremely well in the recent Senate and regional elections and has ambitions to win the general election in 2002.

Russian mafia in Czech Republic paralysed

The Czech police has arrested seven bosses of one of the most powerful Russian-speaking criminal groups operating in the Czech Republic. They were the masterminds of the so-called Luhansk Brigade which focused on illegal arms trade, forging money and violent crime. The police operation codenamed the Net took three weeks and actually paralysed the criminal organisation which was based in the Moravian city of Brno. The police said it had been monitoring its activities since 1996.

Weather forecast

And finally, a brief look at the weather. We are expecting a cloudy day with occasional showers, the highest daytime temperatures should range from 5 to 8 degrees Celsius. The beginning of next week should also see rather cloudy skies with rain or snow showers in higher altitudes. Night-time lows will drop down to zero, afternoon highs should be between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius.