News Thursday, AUGUST 10th, 2000

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Hello and welcome to Radio Prague. I am Libor Kubik, and we start the program with a brief news bulletin. First the headlines:

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

CZECH-AUSTRIA-NUCLEAR

Leading Austrian politicians and environmentalist groups have renewed their criticism of the Czech Republic's plan to launch a controversial nuclear power station near the Austrian border.

The Temelin plant in South Bohemia has been completed and is ready for test operation.

Upper Austria's Governor Josef Puehringer, whose province neighbours on the Czech Republic, has called on the Vienna government to toughen its stance on Temelin, and has threatened obstructions in the process of Prague's accession to the EU.

However, an EU spokesperson said on Wednesday that the Union and the European Commission had no right to interfere with the energy policies of member and candidate countries.

CZECH-AIRFORCE-FLIGHTS

The Czech Air Force lifted an eight-days-old flight ban on all its planes on Thursday with the exception of its vintage jet trainers L-29 Delfin.

A Delfin crash in which a prominent pilot was killed near the East Bohemian town of Chrudim earlier this month caused the Czech Air Force to ground its planes pending investigation.

However, the Delfins -- an early Sixties design with no black box on board -- remained grounded. Experts said the ban would probably extend to many months.

CZECH-RUSSIA-HAVEL

Czech President Vaclav Havel has sent his condolences to Russia's President Vladimir Putin over Tuesday's devastating blast in central Moscow, which left at least seven people dead and over 90 injured.

Mr. Havel wrote in his letter that his thoughts were with those who had lost their closest relatives or were themselves injured. He expressed hope that the perpetrators of the blast will be tracked down soon.

Moscow's Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo have said the blast may have been a terrorist attack but warned that it shouldn't be automatically blamed on Chechen separatists.

CZECH-SENATE-CONSTITUTION-MILITARY

The Czech Senate has passed a constitutional amendment which would enable the government in certain conditions to decide about troop deployments abroad or the presence of foreign troops in the country. However, the amendment also empowers parliament to abrogate the government's decision.

The legislative change was designed to improve the country's operability and flexibility in meeting commitments ensuing from the Czech membership of NATO.

CZECH-RELIGION-CONFERENCE

An international conference on religious freedoms and state ideologies is underway in Prague. The keynote speaker, Father Tomas Halik of Prague's Charles University, told Czech Radio that his country had first-hand experience with both state-enforced religion and state-enforced atheism.

He said that apart from Estonia and former East Germany, the Czech Republic was one of Europe's most neglected countries as concerns religious awareness.

The conference is taking place under the auspices of the Beckett Foundation -- an organisation which monitors the protection of the freedom of religion on a global scale.

CZECH-AIRCRASH-DEAD

The passenger on board the light sports plane which crashed on Sunday near Rakovnik in Western Bohemia, has died. The pilot, a German national, was reported to be in a serious condition on Wednesday.

No cause of the incident, which occurred during an air show to which the plane was not related, has been disclosed. The police said the first outcomes of investigation might be released late this week.

CZECH-ATHLETE-SUICIDE

The Czech shot-putter Martin Bilek, the country's indoor champion in 1995, has committed suicide by jumping from a ninth-floor window in Prague. The incident happened on August 1 but has been reported only now.

A police spokesman said that Mr. Bilek had suffered from a mental disease for which he had been treated in hospital, and had attempted a suicide before.

A colleague of Mr. Bilek has said the former champion was a drug addict.

CZECH-WEATHER

And we end as usual with a quick look at the weather.

Thursday will be a fairly nice day here in the Czech Republic, with early morning lows between eight and 12 degrees Celsius and daytime highs between 21 and 25 degrees.

Friday's daytime temperatures will keep at between 21 and 25 Celsius, dropping to between 11 and 15 during the night. Saturday's maximum temperatures will be quite high -- between 25 and 29 degrees, cooling to between 11 and 15 Celsius at night.

I'm Libor Kubik and that's the end of the news.