Insight Central Europe News

21-11-2003

A Hungarian man has been shot dead by U.S troops as he approached a military checkpoint west of Baghdad. The 27 year old University student, Peter Varga-Balazs, had been working for the US Company Brown and Root as a driver and interpreter. American sources say U.S soldiers opened fire after Varga-Balazs approached a checkpoint at high speed and failed to slow down despite calls to stop. The shooting of Varga-Balazs is the first Hungarian death in post-war Iraq.

The Czech nuclear safety office says radioactive material seized by Czech police in a sting operation last week had no weapons potential. Two Slovaks were arrested in the Czech Republic for trying to sell what appeared to be low-grade uranium. Tests have since have revealed that two metal rods contained depleted uranium, and three others were of natural uranium.

The World Bank has agreed to lend Poland US$300 million to help finance the restructuring of its mining industry. The plan by Prime Minister Leszek Miller's government is aimed at turning around an industry that lost 230 million dollars last year.

And Slovenia's football team has lost their bid to qualify for the euro 2004 championships. They lost their qualifying game to Croatia 1 - 0.