Daily news summary News Friday, AUGUST 06th, 1999

06-08-1999

Hello and welcome to the programme. I'm Libor Kubik, first a look at the news headlines.

Those were the headlines, now the news in more detail.

CZECH-MEDIA-RIFT

The Czech private TV channel Nova, which on Thursday began broadcasting from makeshift facilities a programme which no longer relies on its former sole provider CNTS, probably did not break the law. This according to sources at the National Broadcasting Council, which now says it will not convene an emergency meeting to discuss the issue, as called for by the CNTS.

The Broadcasting Council said the matter would be attended to at its scheduled session planned for August 17.

Nova began broadcasting a slightly altered programme on Thursday, and the CNTS has said it will not comment on the situation until August 15.

TV Nova, this country's most popular television, has seen its audience ratings drop steadily over the past two weeks, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Television Organisations.

CZECH-HAVEL-NATO

Czech President Vaclav Havel has welcomed the appointment of British Defence Secretary George Robertson as NATO's new Secretary General.

Havel praised Robertson's experience, skills and abilities which he said he had proved many times. The Czech Republic, together with Hungary and Poland, became members of the alliance a few months ago.

CZECH-HELICOPTER-CRASH-POLICE

Czech Police President Jiri Kolar on Thursday ordered a temporary halt to parachute training programmes for the police force. The move came one day after two officers from the rapid deployment force were killed , two men were injured and a helicopter was lost in training.

The helicopter crashed on Wednesday in a densely populated rest and recreation area in southern Bohemia but there was no civilian loss of life.

Police President Kolar has appointed a special commission of inquiry.

CZECH-BANK-CROWN-INTERVENTION

The Czech National Bank's Vice Governor Oldrich Dedek warned on Thursday that lower interest rates cannot prevent the currency from growing stronger if this is being brought about by an influx of foreign investment.

Dedek said in an interview to the CTK news agency that the central bank was obliged to intervene at some point against the strengthening of the Czech crown. He said the latest lowering of the interest rates to 6.25 percent had proved counterproductive as the crown's exchange rate continued to grow further.

CZECH-CENTRALEUROPE-GYPSIES

The living conditions of the Roma people in Central Europe including the Czech Republic have deteriorated, according to the AFP news agency.

Its Vienna bureau on Thursday quoted the international organisation Human Rights Watch as saying Gypsies or Romanies continued to be the victims of ostracising and have little chance to enter Western Europe legally.

The agency said that up to 80 percent of the Romanies are jobless in some parts of the Czech Republic and members of this ethnic minority hold it against local businesses that they prefer to employ immigrants from Eastern Europe to recruiting Roma people.

CZECH-COMMUNIST-EU

The little-reformed Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia said on Thursday it was not opposed to this country joining the European Union but not until the Czech economy is restarted.

The party's deputy chairman Vlastimil Balin told a press conference in Prague that all blame for the Czech economic situation rests on the past right-wing governments.

The approval ratings of the Communist Party continued to grow last month when they surpassed the popularity of the ruling Social Democrats of Prime Minister Milos Zeman.

CZECH-PRAGUE-FORUM 2000

Public figures from all over the world will gather in Prague in mid-October for this year's Forum 2000 meeting -- the third in a series of meetings sponsored by Czech President Vaclav Havel.

Our correspondent says that former South African President Frederik de Klerk, Israel's ex-premier Shimon Peres and financier George Soros are among those invited. Also topping the list of official guests are the noted U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs and former EU Commission Chairman Jacques Delors.

This year's keynote is "the unpredictable and the avoidable" in global economics.

CZECH-WEATHER

Now for a look at the weather.

Friday will be a cloudy and humid day here in the Czech Republic, with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the eastern parts of the country and daytime highs between 25 and 29 degrees Celsius. Night-time lows from 13 to 17 degrees.

At the weekend, we expect the weather to be influenced by a low pressure area which will bring more precipitation into Central Europe. But daytime temperatures will remain very high -- between 25 and 29 Celsius, cooling to around 15 degrees in the night.

I'm Libor Kubik and that's the end of the news.

06-08-1999