Hello and welcome to Radio Prague. I´m Rob Cameron, first a look at the news headlines.
Those were the headlines, now for the news in more detail.
As NATO troops continued their deployment into Kosovo, the Czech Defence Ministry has expressed hope that Russia will join a united peacekeeping force in the province. A ministry spokesman said unity between Russian and other international troops involved in the operation was vital. He was speaking after a contingent of 200 Russian troops arrived at Pristina airport in Kosovo. The Kremlin has admitted that the order to deploy the troops had come from President Boris Yeltsin, but said the timing of the deployment had been left up to the military. The Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has described the deployment as a mistake, and said the troops had been ordered to leave. However the Russian Defence Ministry has denied the order, raising questions as to who is control of the military in Russia.
The head of the European Commission delegation to the Czech Republic Ramiro Cibrian has dismissed claims that the country is on the verge of being dropped from the first group of candidates for European Union membership. Cibrian said it was premature to say now if any countries would be dropped from the first group or not. The Czech Republic was placed in the group of six fast-track EU candidates alongside neighbours Hungary and Poland. However following months of persistent economic problems and a slowdown in harmonisation of Czech legislation with EU law, speculation has emerged that the Czech Republic might be demoted from the first group.
Meanwhile in neighbouring Austria, the Minister for Consumer Protection Barbara Prammer has condemned remarks by the Czech Trade and Industry Minister Miroslav Gregr concerning Prague´s nuclear policies. Prammer quoted Gregr as saying that the Czech Republic would need to consider building a new nuclear power station within twelve years. She said such comments threatened the country´s bid to join the EU. There is already heated debate between Prague and Vienna over the completion of the Temelin nuclear power station in South Bohemia. The Czech government agreed recently to go ahead with completion, causing deep dismay from the Austrian government, which opposes nuclear power.
And finally a 49-year-old man from Olomouc in North Moravia has broken the world record for eating the city´s famous pungent cheeses. Josef Krajci ate 15 Olomouc cheeses, two slices of bread and drank half a litre of beer in less than two and a half minutes, setting a new world record.
And with that we come to the end of the news.
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