Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

15-11-2003

Police arrest two Slovaks trying to sell suspected low-grade uranium

Police have arrested two Slovak men as they attempted to sell a large amount of radioactive material in a Brno hotel. The two, from the Slovak town of Presov, were detained in a sting operation at Brno's Voronez hotel while trying to sell three kilograms of the material, which has not yet been identified. The National Institute for Nuclear Safety says it was the largest seizure of radioactive material anywhere in the world for the last nine months. The head of the Institute, Dana Drabova, said it was almost certain that the material could not have been used for the production of nuclear weapons. She said the material was most probably low-grade uranium smuggled from the former Soviet bloc.

South Bohemian villages vote in first referendum on nuclear waste facility

Residents of three South Bohemian villages are taking part in the country's first ever referendum on nuclear waste. The people of Nadejkov, Bozetice, and Prestenice are being asked to vote on a government proposal to build an underground nuclear waste storage facility in the area. Similar referendums are planned in five other villages in areas also considered as potential sites. At present, waste from the country's two nuclear power plants at Temelin and Dukovany is stored at the plants themselves.

Record low turnout in Senate by-election

A record low turnout has accompanied this weekend's second round of the Senate by-election in Brno. Just over 10 percent turned out to vote in the final round, electing Karel Jarusek, a member of the main opposition Civic Democrats, as the city's new senator. In the end Mr Jarusek won by just 21 votes. Saturday's turnout was the lowest ever in any election to the Senate, which suffers from a lack of public trust.

Ostrava office workers flee to safety before office block collapses

Office workers in the North Moravian city of Ostrava made a last-minute escape to safety on Saturday just before part of their three-storey office block collapsed. Employees fled the building when the walls began to crack. Around one quarter of the building collapsed shortly afterwards. The accident was apparently caused by construction work on the walls of the building, which began in the morning. Police are considered whether to file criminal charges. City officials have decided that the entire building will be demolished.

North Bohemia man attempts suicide by self-immolation

A man attempted to commit suicide by setting himself alight on Friday, the 17th such case since March. The man, from the village of Flaje, near Most in North Bohemia, is now in intensive care in hospital. Doctors say he is expected to survive his injuries. The Czech Republic has seen a wave of self-immolations since a 19-year-old student set himself alight on Wenceslas Square in March.

Weather

Sunday will see sunny spells in western and central parts of the country, with cloudier weather in the east. Drivers are warned of freezing fog in some parts of the country. Daytime temperatures will range from 4 to 8 degrees Celsius, falling at night to lows of -1 degrees.

15-11-2003