News Tuesday, JULY 04th, 2000

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CZECH-NUCLEAR-ENVIRONMENT

Environmentalists from across the country pitched tents outside the controversial Temelin nuclear power station in South Bohemia, not far from the Austrian border.

They said they would be sending emissaries around the region with petitions demanding that a referendum be held on whether or not to launch the plant.

Temelin's operator, utilities company CEZ, has announced that the plant will be stoked with nuclear fuel within the next few days and will be ready for test operation.

The environmental organisation Greenpeace says it has insider information from CEZ indicating that the plant is not safe. However, the National Nuclear Safety Agency argues that Greenpeace's information is stale and the shortcomings it specifies have long been eliminated.

CZECH-LITERATURE-CONGRESS

Over 150 Czech literature experts from around the world have arrived in Prague at the start of an international congress. Its keynote is "One Thousand Years of Czech Literature".

Most of the delegates from abroad are teachers and translators of Czech literature, and Czech is the official language of business. The congress will run through the weekend.

CZECH-RAIL-ACCIDENT

In a gruesome accident last weekend, a Czech Rail employee lost his legs as he attempted to jump on a fast moving train near a station outside the North Moravian town of Sumperk.

Police said on Monday the man had slipped and train wheels amputated his right leg and left foot. The police said the man, described as an experienced 56-year-old railwayman, had tried to jump on the train at an angle that prevented the train driver from seeing him.

The incident is under investigation.

CZECH-TENNIS

Tennis -- and players can cross out the Czech Republic from their schedule this year. The Czech Tennis Association has cancelled both ATP and WTA Czech Open tournaments because of a shortage of sponsors.

The association's spokesman has said that the men's outdoor tournament had been switched from May to September but the delay failed to help in raising the necessary 400,000 dollars in sponsorships.

The women's event, scheduled for this month with prize money of 140,000 dollars, could not find sponsors either, because potential donors said it would clash with tournaments in Palermo and Portschach.

CZECH-WEATHER

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

Tuesday will be wet and cloudy day with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Daytime highs in Bohemia between 23 and 27 degrees Celsius, and in Moravia and Silesia between 27 and 31 degrees, dropping to between 14 and 18 degrees at night.

Wednesday will be a little colder, with maximum daytime temperatures ranging from 19 to 23 degrees and nighttime lows between 10 and 14 Celsius.

On Thursday, we expect daytime highs from 19 to 23 Celsius, scattered showers and morning mists in some localities.