24-01-2001

The case of two Czech citizens imprisoned in Havana is still making the headlines in all Czech newspapers today. PRAVO features a photo of Lucie Pilipova, the wife of Freedom Union MP Ivan Pilip, who has so far spent 12 days in a jail in Havana. The Secretary of the Freedom Union, Zdenek Giest, told PRAVO that the Czech detainees in Cuba have been given shoes without laces and have been identified by their prison numbers only.

The two Czech prisoners are being kept in prison under the same conditions as Cuban inmates, and they themselves do not believe it would be wise to ask for above special care, Giest told PRAVO. Pilip's party colleagues do not know "where Pilip obtained his Cuban visa. He used his private passport because he apparently went there for a private visit," one of them told PRAVO.

MLADA FRONTA DNES ponders a new highway law approved by parliament late last year and in force as of January 2001. Last year, writes the paper, 23 children died in car accidents, but none of them on the country's main highways. Despite this, the new law stipulates that children's car seats are only compulsory on these highways.

According to experts, children's seats make it seven times less likely that a child will be injured in an accident, and they are most effective at speeds of up to 80 kilometres per hour. The chairman of the Senate, Petr Pithart points to the fact that there are some 55 thousand kilometres of standard roads in the Czech Republic, while all the highways together are only 700 kilometres in length. But members of the Lower House of Parliament say that making children's seats compulsory for all roads would discriminate against families with more children, who usually don't have enough money to buy a bigger car.

"Medicines are sold at different prices," reads a headline in LIDOVE NOVINY. The paper says that with prescription in hand, people usually head for the nearest pharmacy, but this might not be the best thing to do. The price of the same medicine can differ from place to place, writes LIDOVE NOVINY, but patients are unable to find out which pharmacy is the most convenient for them. The chairman of the Czech Pharmaceutical Chamber, Jan Horacek, told the paper that the price depends not only on the distribution firm, but also on the date on which it arrives in the pharmacy, and the price difference can amount to hundreds of Czech Crowns, concludes LIDOVE NOVINY.

ZEMSKE NOVINY carries an amazing story about a dog that has dug up munitions dating from WWII. This took place near to the town of Krnov in Northern Moravia: when a 25 year old man was walking his dog, the dog sniffed out and dug up 31 hand grenades which have lain under the ground since the Second World War. The dog owner returned home to grab his camera and took several snapshots, but did not show the pictures to the police until three days later. The 50 year old ammunition was then removed by pyrotechnics experts, reports ZEMSKE NOVINY.

24-01-2001