The Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting has elected former dissident Petr Pospichal as its new chairman. On Tuesday the body elected Mr Pospichal and other officials despite the fact only 11 of the council's 13 seats have been filled. The previous broadcasting council was dismissed in April after the Czech Republic lost an arbitration case taken by American company CME which said the state had failed to protect CME's investment in the commercial channel TV Nova.
The Interior Ministry has requested that the state attorney file charges against a Prague police officer in connection with an attack on a Romany family near Jicin, central Bohemia. Czech Television reported that on May 13 five police officers who had been drinking attacked three members of the family and shouted racist slogans.
Agriculture Minster Jaroslav Palas has said the Czech Republic supports European Union Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler's proposals to reform the EU's farm policy. Speaking in Brussels on Tuesday, Mr Palas added, however, that it was necessary to make clear how the reforms would affect new member countries. The Czech Republic is set to join the EU in May next year, subject to a referendum in three weeks time.
The continued weakening of the United States dollar has seen the Czech crown once again reach a new high against the US currency; Tuesday saw a rate of 26.38 to the dollar, the highest figure since August 1996. The crown's highest ever rate against the dollar was just under 26, which was also recorded in 1996.
The International Monetary Fund has lowered its 2003 growth forecast for the Czech Republic's gross domestic product due to the negative impact of Europe's sluggish economy. The IMF said on Tuesday it expected GDP growth of less than 2 percent, down from the 3.2 percent it had previously predicted.
The state-owned carrier Czech Airlines nearly doubled its net profit last year to 14.6 million US dollars, despite a downturn in the airline industry and the severe floods which hit the Czech Republic last August. CSA has benefited from a low cost base, rising standards of living in the region, increased integration with the European Union and Prague's popularity as a tourist destination. The airline, which is a member of the Sky Team alliance of international carriers, is slated for privatisation in 2004 or later.
Wednesday should be a cloudy day in most parts of the Czech Republic, with rain and even storms in places. The maximum temperature will be 25 degrees Celsius.
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