Hello and welcome to the programme. We begin as usual with a look at the main newsstories this hour
President Vaclav Havel is reported to be one of the front-runners for the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize. Nobel committee watchers say President Havel could be a popular choice given the 30th anniversary of the Soviet led invasion of the former Czechoslovakia. As one of them put it to Reuters " if Vaclav Havel is to have a chance it must be this year". Other candidates on the list are Northern Ireland's peace deal, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Pope John Paul. The Nobel Prize winners for 1998 will traditionally be announced in Oslo on October 16th.
The Cabinet has commissioned the Czech Intelligence Service to investigate who is responsible for the leaks of confidential information discussed at closed Cabinet sessions. The move comes after top-secret documents from these meetings ended up in the hands of the press recently. The Intelligence Service has been asked to present a report by the end of October.
Trade and industry minister Miroslav Gregr is urging the government to agree to individual investment conditions for foreign investments over 150 million US dollars. Gregr is suggesting that state benefits for potential investment offers over that magic mark be debated on a case to case basis. The Czech government is very aware of the need to increase foreign investment in the country, and in the light of developments in Russia, the Central European states are all seeing new possibilities opening up.
A check-up on Prague Castle financing has revealed misappropriation of funds, the ctk newsagency reports. According to the Supreme Auditing Institute, which reviewed expenditures in 1996 and 1997, almost 15 million crowns were misappropriated, mostly in connection with visits abroad. The head of the President's Office, Ivan Medek, said he would take respective measures on the grounds of the audit result. Prague Castle itself is said to have requested the audit.
A delegation of British diplomats has arrived in Prague for a conference on EU expansion. The three day event, organized by the British embassy, is focused on Britain's role in the expansion process and , in particular, means of assisting individual candidates in achieving EU-compatibility.
Taxes in the Czech Republic are still higher than the OECD average, according to the OECD's annual statistical report. Tax revenues in the Czech republic last year amounted to 39,4 of the GDP, in 1996 -40,5% of the GDP. The tax revenues of OECD member states average around 37% of the national GDP.
A soldier serving conscript duty has died after shooting himself through the heart allegedly while cleaning his weapon. Military police have ruled out violence but are still investigating whether the shooting could not have been a suicide. There have been several tragic incidents in which young soldiers-in-training have died or been seriously injured through negligence.
We can expect a really lovely warm day on Thursday, with sunshine and day temp between 23 and 27 degs. Enjoy it while it lasts - for the weekend should bring another cold front. a
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