Daily news summary News Sunday, NOVEMBER 21st, 1999

21-11-1999

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

Havel gives support to call for politicians to stand down

President Vaclav Havel has given his support to a call by former student leaders for the current political elite to stand down. Mr Havel said that he too was in favour of the first generation of post-Communist politicians stepping down to make way for younger people. The petition, entitled "Thank You, Now Get Out", was initiated by six student leaders involved in the 1989 overthrow of Communism, and hundreds of people, including the head of the Catholic Church Miloslav Vlk, have since added their support. The petition has been dismissed as childish and irrelevant by the Prime Minister Milos Zeman and the leader of the main opposition Civic Democrats Vaclav Klaus.

Zeman says Social Democrats to stay until 2002

Meanwhile Prime Minister Zeman has said his minority Social Democrat government will remain in power until 2002, when its four year term of office comes to an end. Addressing members of the party´s Central Executive Committee on Saturday, Mr Zeman said that his government had as promised unleashed a legislative storm, and that the "Clean Hands" anti-corruption campaign was already bearing fruit. The minority government, which is kept in power under a unique power-sharing agreement with the centre-right Civic Democrats, has faced a hail of criticism in recent months and has been damaged by several high-profile corruption scandals.

Ruml: "Opposition Agreement" turning into coalition

The leader of the right-wing Freedom Union, Jan Ruml, has said that Mr Zeman´s decision to postpone a cabinet reshuffle until after the Civic Democrats have held their national conference in December is proof that the "Opposition Agreement" between the two parties is gradually becoming a coalition. Mr Ruml said that his party and others were ready to create a majority centre-right coalition, but that Mr Klaus´s Civic Democrats were blocking the move.

Anarchists protest against death sentence for U.S. activist

Police in Prague prevented a small group of anarchist demonstrators from gathering outside the American embassy on Saturday. The demonstrators were protesting against the planned execution of black activist Mumia Abu Jamal, who was sentenced to death for murdering a policeman in the American state of Pennsylvania. Police made no arrests and the demonstration ended peacefully.

Czech Television goes back in time to November 1989

And finally Czechs were given the opportunity to step back in time on Saturday thanks to the country´s public television network, Czech Television. For the entire day the regular schedule on the network´s second channel CT2 was replaced with authentic programmes from November 1989. Viewers were treated to a number of televisual treats, including lengthy speeches by the First Secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party Milous Jakes, a gala performance celebrating Soviet-Czechoslovak friendship and interviews with students of the Klement Gottwald School of Political-Military Studies.

Weather

And we´ll end as usual with a quick look at Sunday´s weather. And it will be a mostly cloudy day, with patches of rain and snow in places. Temperatures are expected to reach a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius in the daytime, falling to lows of minus 8 at night.

I'm Rob Cameron and that's the end of the news.

21-11-1999