Austria has expressed concern over Friday's oil leak at the Temelin nuclear power plant in southern Bohemia. A spokesman for the Austrian environment ministry said the Austrian government was requesting a detailed report on the technical failure which led to the accident. The power giant CEZ which built the plant and is now preparing it for trial operation, reported on Friday that an unspecified amount of oil had leaked from a turbine into the plant's drainage system . A CEZ spokesman said the oil had been successfully contained within the plant itself and had not in any way damaged the environment.
German border police have detained two refugees who escaped from a quarantined camp in north Bohemia. One of them was infected with E-hepatitis and has been hospitalized in a Karlovy Vary hospital, the other is now back in the Cerveny Ujezd refugee camp. The two men were detained by border patrols as they tried to cross the Czech-German border at Cheb. 18 refugees from the camp remain in hospital under close medical surveillance.
The Social Democratic Party has come up with a brand new idea for campaigning in the upcoming Senate elections. Its candidates are planning to get on the phone and talk people into giving them their vote. According to a party spokesman they'll have over 500 telephone lines at their disposal and try to contact as many voters as possible, going by the Yellow Pages. We'll talk to them about their problems and answer any questions them want to ask, the spokesman said. The party is not saying how much this will all cost but it is expected to be the mainstay of their campaign.
A Czech and German national remain in critical condition following an accident involving a four-seat light aircraft at Rakovnik airport on Sunday. The plane crashed in a nearby field during an air-show but officials say it was a private flight which had nothing to do with the event itself. An investigation is underway to ascertain the cause of the accident. The third passenger of the plane sustained only light injuries.
Environment activists in eastern Moravia are working to preserve 29 rare species of orchids growing in the wild. Jan Pavelka of the Vsetin Environmentalists' Association told newsmen they were currently working on eight hectars of meadows where there is a high incidence of these rare floral specimen. This means regularly eliminating aggressive weeds and shrubs by hand and making sure that the orchid seeds fall on fertile soil. Eight rare floral species have already disappeared from the region and the government is now handing out subsidies of 10,000 crowns per hectar of hand-treated meadowland in the region.
The rainy weather has proved a godsend for some businesses. The many chateaux in the country which offer guided tours several times a day are reported to be doing really well and some have even improved on their services. The Rajec chateau in south Moravia now offers after-dark tours which are said to be very impressive. Flaming torches, costumes and medieval music are part of the show. 300 visitors availed themselves of the opportunity over this weekend alone.
Monday should bring partly cloudy to overcast skies across the country though day temps will remain fairly high between 19 and 23 degs C. If you are heading out arm yourself with an umbrella because we're bound to get more drizzle, possibly a late afternoon thunderstorm as well.
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