News Wednesday, NOVEMBER 01th, 2000

By Libor Kubik

Prague, Vienna agree to further talks on Temelin nuclear plant

The Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman and Austria's Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel have agreed to a regular exchange of information on the controversy- inspiring Temelin nuclear power station.

The two leaders held talks for four hours on Tuesday night at Zidlochovice Castle in Brno, during which differences were clear between them on the value of such a nuclear plant. Austria has in the past many times brought up security concerns about the plant.

Temelin has been undergoing testing for three months and is set to go into service next year.

Mr Schuessel reportedly renewed his call for the testing to be halted but Mr Zeman turned him down. The meeting in the Moravian Renaissance castle, in the presence of Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan and Austrian Environment Minister Wilhelm Molterer, took place as several hundred demonstrators from both countries gathered outside.

The two leaders could meet again at the end of November in Vienna.

Central bank governor resigns, grabs new job

The Bank for International Settlements in Basel has appointed the Czech National Bank's Governor Josef Tosovsky as Chairman of its Financial Stability Institute.

The announcement came only hours after he handed in his resignation as central bank chief. Fifty-year-old Mr Tosovsky said his move had little to do with controversial reforms at the Czech National Bank.

President Vaclav Havel, accepting his resignation letter, said there would be an intensive search for a successor but no candidates were mentioned.

Lower House Speaker Vaclav Klaus criticised the timing of Mr Tosovsky's resignation and accused President Havel of attempts to misuse the situation and name a new governor for many years under a law on the central bank, whose amendments he has vetoed this week.

Prison officials blamed for Czech killer's jailbreak

Prison officials were blamed for a convicted killer's daring escape from a maximum security Czech prison. A nationwide hunt for Jiri Kajinek continues and an international arrest warrant has been issued.

The Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman and interim Justice Minister Pavel Rychetsky have announced a probe into the possible role of guards in Sunday's escape from the Mirov prison in the town of Sumperk.

The 39-year-old inmate, who was sentenced to life behind bars last year, apparently sawed through the bars of his prison cell on Sunday evening and scaled down a prison wall with a rope. It is unclear how he got the tools needed for the escape. The prison's deputy director and six guards have been sacked.

Mr Kajinek was convicted for the shooting deaths seven years ago of a Plzen businessman and his bodyguard and an attempted third murder.

Prince Charles launches UK training team at Czech military academy

Britain's Prince Charles has inaugurated the activity of a British military advisory and training team at the Czech military academy in the town of Vyskov.

The team's mission is to help improve smaller unit command standards in the armed forces of NATO's new members in central Europe.

The Prince, who is on a visit to the Czech Republic, also called on Prague's Sue Ryder Home for Senior Citizens, meeting veterans of World War Two.

Tennis - Korda to play in Prague Challenger event

Tennis -- and Czech Petr Korda, banned from tennis in 1998 for a year following a positive drug test, is to play in an ATP Challenger event in December and could make a comeback to the main circuit.

Mr Korda, the 1998 Australian Open champion, was found to have used the banned substance nandrolone at the 1998 Wimbledon championships. After protracted appeals, he was banned for one year.

The ban was largely symbolic as the Czech player retired after failing to qualify for last year's Wimbledon. He was also ordered to return 660,000 dollars in prize money he won while his case was pending.

Czech weather report

On Wednesday, the skies will be mostly cloudy and it's going to be a very wet day. Nighttime lows between six and ten degrees Celsius and down to four degrees in the western parts of the country. Afternoon highs in Bohemia between nine and 13 degrees and in Moravia and Silesia up to 15 degrees Celsius.

Thursday will also start on a rainy note, with early morning lows between two and six degrees and maximum daytime temperatures between 10 and 14 Celsius.

And on Friday, we expect only scattered showers, morning fogs, morning lows between four and eight degrees and afternoon highs between 10 and 14 degrees Celsius.