News Tuesday, JUNE 13th, 2000

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Police swoop on 'Macedonian Albanian heroin-smuggling gang'

Police say they have arrested the ringleaders of a drugs gang, who they claim were responsible for smuggling heroin from the Balkans to Western Europe via the Czech Republic. A police spokesman said most of those arrested were Albanians from the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, although they also included one Czech citizen. Police also claim to have discovered a laboratory for the preparation and storage of heroin. They say the gang was led by a man nicknamed Aslam, who is awaiting extradition to Macedonia to stand trial for his part in the failed assassination attempt against the Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov in 1995.

Hungarian passenger jet forced to make emergency landing in Prague

Technicians are examining a Hungarian passenger jet after the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in Prague. The Czech Airport Authority reported that the Malev Airlines Boeing 737 was forced to return to Prague's Ruzyne airport shortly after takeoff on Monday following a false fire alarm. None of the 79 passengers on board was hurt. The plane was on a regular flight from Prague to Budapest, but returned after 10 minutes when its security system reported fire.

Police forced to intervene at Freedom Union meeting

Police were forced to intervene at a meeting of the right-of-centre Freedom Union on Monday after a dispute between rival factions in the party spilled over into open confrontation. Police were called to a branch meeting in the southern city of Brno after private security guards refused to allow party members into the meeting hall. The deputy head of the Freedom Union's Brno branch said those who attempted to enter the building were not regular Freedom Union members, and claimed some were foreign citizens. The former head of the local party, whose colleagues were prevented access to the building, said the incident was part of a power struggle within the local party.

Czech fans hurt in bus crash

Five Czech football fans have been seriously injured after a bus carrying them back from Sunday's Euro 2000 championship match against the Netherlands crashed in Germany. A police spokesman said the bus carrying 29 fans crashed near Wuerzburg in central Germany on the way back from the Czech Republic's 1-0 defeat in Amsterdam. Thirteen of the fans suffered minor injuries.

Dutch PM refuses Czech congratulations following controversial penalty

And senior Dutch representatives have refused to accept congratulations from the Czech Foreign Ministry following the Netherlands' victory over the Czech Republic. The Dutch team clinched the match in a controversial last-minute penalty. A Czech Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok and the Netherlands Crown Prince William Alexander of Orange had refused congratulations from the Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan. The two men were reported as saying that the Czech team had lost the match unfairly. The Czech press has described the decision by Italian referee Pierluigi Collina as disgraceful, and there have been strong protests by members of the Czech team.

Doctors say Havlova recovering well from Lyme's disease

Doctors say the wife of the Czech President, Dagmar Havlova, is recovering well from Lyme's disease, following a three-week course of antibiotics. Mrs Havlova was admitted to hospital after complaining of headaches and exhaustion. Doctors said she was in the early stages of the disease, which is carried by infected ticks. Several thousand people are diagnosed with the disease each year in the Czech Republic.

Weather

And finally a look at Wednesday's weather forecast. It will be a warm and mostly cloudy day with temperatures reaching up to 27 degrees Celsius and the chance of thunderstorms in place. Nighttime temperatures will drop to 15 degrees Celsius.

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