Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

09-03-2001

U.S. Secretary of State disapproves of addition to anti-Cuban resolution

The U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, has expressed reservations about an addition made by the Czech Republic to a resolution condemning human rights violations in Cuba. Mr Powell said that although the resolution was expected to be a priority at the Geneva human rights conference, the United States opposed the addition, which deems economic sanction against Cuba as counterproductive. There has been no reaction to Mr Powell's statement from the Czech Republic, which is intensively seeking support from countries in Latin America, following Poland's decision to withdraw as co-author of the resolution.

Temelin nuclear reactor taken off-line

The controversial Temelin nuclear power plant was disconnected from the national electricity grid on Thursday after having been back in operation for less than two weeks. The reactor's spokesman, Milan Nebesar, explained that the current phase of testing had been completed. The reactor is now to remain off-line for a week in order to repair three of the four regulatory valves, which operators say will help reduce turbine vibrations. This has resulted in criticism from Austrian anti-nuclear activists who claim that the constant stopping and starting of the reactor is proof that Temelin is unreliable and dangerous.

Witness: Agriculture Ministry driver fled scene of traffic accident

The personal driver of Agriculture Minister Jan Fencl is alleged to have caused a traffic accident in the town of Olomouc, and reportedly fled the scene afterwards. A witness told police that Mr. Fencl's driver was overtaking another vehicle when he noticed a car heading towards him in the opposite direction. A lorry was forced to swerve out of the way, hitting two other cars in the process. Both Minister Fencl and his driver say they didn't see the collision take place.

Eighteen year old soldier from the Netherlands dies during training exercise

An 18 year old Dutch soldier died in an accident involving a military vehicle at a base in Moravia. The soldier was participating in his brigade's two-month long training exercise, which is currently taking place at the military base, Libava na Olomoucku. The accident is now under investigation by both the Dutch and Czech military police.

Police search former intelligence service officer for incriminating material

Police spent several hours on Wednesday night searching the home of Vladimir Hucin, a former intelligence officer who was sacked in February for violating his duties. Mr Hucin was charged with two criminal offences on Wednesday: the failure to carry out orders and the unauthorised possession of weapons, but unnamed sources claim that he is one of the suspects in a number of explosions that have occurred in Prerov, where he lives. After confiscating weapons and documents, the police moved on to the cemetery opposite his house, where police found explosives allegedly hidden there by Mr. Hucin.

Three women to candidate for the post of Deputy-Chairperson of the Social Democratic Party

A little over a year after Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman's infamous public proclamation that women weren't qualified to sit in his cabinet, it seems he could be proved wrong. Three women have decided to contend for the post of Deputy-Chairperson of the Social Democratic Party. They are Marie Souckova (Deputy-Chairman of the Social Democrats in the Usti nad Labem region), MP Milada Emmerova, and the spokesperson of the Education Ministry Vladimira Al Malikiova. The popular Petra Buzkova will not be joining them as she intends to concentrate fully on the positions she already holds.

Missing woman found dead in Slovakia

Rescuers have found the body of a 53-year-old Czech tourist who went missing two weeks ago whilst crossing the ridge of the Velke Fatry mountain in Slovakia. Members of a mountain rescue service found her frozen body in the foothills of the Ostredok mountain, less than a kilometre away from where the body of a Slovak skier was found. He was guiding a group of tourists on the same day that the Czech tourist went missing.

Weather

And finally, a quick look at the weather. Friday is expected to be overcast with scattered showers with temperatures between 9 and 13 degrees Celsius. Night-time temperatures will stay above zero, ranging from 2 to 6 degrees Celsius.

09-03-2001