A train carrying nuclear fuel from the Polish port of Szczecin to the Temelin nuclear power plant in South Bohemia has reached its final destination on Sunday afternoon, after crossing the Czech-Polish border in the morning. The nuclear fuel was first transported to Poland from the U.S. by ship, and its route by land was kept secret in fear of protests by anti-nuclear activists. The transport was accompanied by strict security measures, but the journey to Temelin passed without incident. Although most of the country's politicians did not oppose the transport, a number of mayors from villages close to the train's route have complained about not being informed about the transport.
People around the world are paying special attention to the health of the planet today, as Sunday marks the 31st international Earth Day. In the Czech Republic, environmentalists have been planting trees, organising contests in recognising wildlife and plants, and attempting to break the world record for crushing plastic bottles. The country's 15 zoos are also taking part in a European campaign against the hunting of wildlife on the African continent. International Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, but environmentalists in then Communist Czechoslovakia did not join in the celebrations until 20 years later, in 1990.
The European Bank for Reform and Development (EBRD) has said the Czech Republic needs to pay special attention to reform of its social security system. The warning came in a report evaluating the transformation of economies in Central and Eastern Europe, which was made public on Sunday during the EBRD's annual meeting in London. The organisation also said it was important for the country to cut spending to keep public finances in balance. It noted, however, that foreign investment in the Czech Republic would rise despite the slowdown in the global economy.
The right-of-centre Civic Democratic Party has been reflecting on 10 years of existence at a party conference on Saturday and Sunday. During the conference, chairman, Vaclav Klaus promised to lead his party to victory in the 2002 parliamentary elections. Speaking to party delegates, Mr. Klaus said that one of the most important values, the freedom of the citizen, was not supported by leftist parties, a reference to the minority ruling Social Democrats. Mr Klaus's Civic Democrats keep the minority government in power under a deal signed between the two parties after the 1998 elections.
Scientists have warned that the lives of many birds that are currently migrating to Central Europe from the South are in serious danger. If the cold weather with rain, sleet and snow prevails, many birds whose only source of food are insects will either have to fly to warmer climates or starve to death as most insects are finding warmth and shelter from the cold under the ground, out of reach of the birds. The flocks of birds that are most at risk in the Czech Republic are swallows, martins, and warblers.
And now for some sports news. Two of the Czech Republic's most successful boxers of the past few years, Lukas Konecny and Rudolf Kraj, will not be taking part in the 2001 World Amateur Boxing Championship, scheduled to take place in Belfast in June. Whilst Konecny, who won two bronze medals at world championships, is now boxing professionally, Kraj has been forced to pull out of the championships due to a shoulder injury.
And finally, a quick look at the weather forecast. Tonight shall continue to see overcast skies with showers in places. Temperatures shall range between 0 to 4 degrees Celsius. Tuesday will be much the same with temperatures between 12 to 16 degrees Celsius.
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Wide range of events in store for Czechs this weekend as 30-year anniversary of Velvet Revolution reaches climax
Hundreds of thousands again gather in Prague to voice their opposition to prime minister
Škoda unveils 4th-generation Octavia ahead of model’s 60th anniversary
Shabby pub profits from nostalgia