Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

25-08-2003

Czech intelligence: growing criminal threat

The Czech Republic is under growing threat from Islamic extremists and organized criminal gangs with close Russian connections, the BIS counterintelligence service warned Monday. In a report covering the year 2002, it also warns of criminal gangs with Chinese and Albanian connections. The report also disclosed, among other things, attempts by Czech right-wing extremists to establish a foothold in the Czech political scene. There was a clear shift in the criminal activity of "human traffickers" from Afghanistan and Armenia, to Austria and Hungary, the report said. It stated that the Czech Republic was no longer a transit country for illegal migrants. Islamic extremists disguised as refugees were known to be passing freely into the country. However, no "concrete high-risk person" had been admitted.

Central bank governor encourages government to go ahead with reforms

The Czech National Bank governor Zdenek Tuma has encouraged the cabinet to go ahead with the planned reforms of public finances. Mr Tuma said at an economic congress that the proposed reforms must not be watered down as a result of various pressures. He said the Czech economy was in a relatively good shape so that there was no need for the government to limit itself in its ambitions. He also said that the proposed steps are just the first stage of wider reforms. The government plan includes tax hikes and austerity measures, as well as pension and health system reforms. It has been criticised by politicians, economists and trade unions as either too mild or too severe. The parliament is expected to start discussing the proposal in detail in September.

Small plane violates no-fly zone over Temelin nuclear plant

Civilian aeronautics officials on Monday reported that a small plane violated a no-fly zone over the Temelin nuclear plant in South Bohemia on Saturday. The authorities are investigating the incident. A Czech Army fighter jet rushed to the scene after the Piper 28 single-engine plane was detected in the skies near the Temelin nuclear plant. The Czech air force said the fighter monitored the intruding aircraft until the erring pilot landed at a nearby airfield. During the incident, the Piper pilot could not be reached by radio "because of failure to correctly operate the on-board radio," an army statement said. Temelin is one of two Czech nuclear plants whose no-fly zones were increased to 20 square kilometres after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. A similar small-plane incident above Temelin occurred in April this year.

Swimmer Hlavackova wins gold in at University Games

Czech swimmer Ilona Hlavackova won the gold medal in women's 50 metres backstroke at the world university games in Taegu, South Korea, on Monday. World silver medallist Hlavackova finished the race in 29.04 seconds.

Czech weather forecast

We are expecting a mostly clear or partially cloudy day on Tuesday. The highest daytime temperatures should range from 23 to 27 degrees Celsius. The following two days should be cloudy with occasional showers, with afternoon highs around 25 degrees Celsius.

25-08-2003