04-10-2002

Both MLADA FRONTA DNES and PRAVO lead with a story about Czech police vice-president Miroslav Antl. Mr Antl was involved in a traffic accident in the town of Pardubice on Thursday morning, when he entered a crossroads in his car and crashed into another vehicle. No one was injured in the accident but police officers wishing to remain anonymous suggest Mr Antl had been drinking before the crash.

MLADA FRONTA DNES adds that Miroslav Antl likes to present himself as an uncompromising champion of the law who is determined to crack down on crime. If tests prove that Mr Antl was indeed driving drunk, he could be suspended or sacked from the police force. But neither Mr Antl, nor the police president who is now to decide about Mr Antl's future, were available for comment, says MLADA FRONTA DNES.

"The Czech Republic has a new case of BSE", reads the headline in LIDOVE NOVINY. Vets have discovered the fourth case of mad cow disease in the country, this time in a seven-year-old cow from a farm just outside Prague. The results of a confirmative test will be known on Monday, the paper says, and they will decide whether another 25 heads of cattle from the same farm will have to be put down.

MLADA FRONTA DNES reports on a spectacular discovery made by archaeologists in the Rokycany region in West Bohemia on Tuesday. Experts from the West-Bohemian Museum excavated a 310 million-year old imprint of a fossil plant, the largest of its kind. The imprint is over one metre long and comes from the period when black coal started to form after a layer of volcanic ash buried a tropical forest, preserving petrified prehistoric flora till our times, the paper writes.

HOSPODARSKE NOVINY reports on Thursday's visit of Prime Mininister Vladimir Spidla and Defence Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik to Afghanistan. The paper lists Czech companies that are planning to do business in post-Taliban Afghanistan. The greatest demand for Czech cooperation comes from Afghan cement works, power distributors and the education sector, the paper says.

LIDOVE NOVINY writes that the public broadcaster Czech Television has to pay a fine of 1 million crowns for advertising the American award-winning TV series "Sex and the City" immediately after prime-time children's programme back in the year 2000. The Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting had decided to fine Czech Television, which appealed against the verdict and a Prague court then annulled it, says the paper. According its general manager, Czech Television is going to appeal against the new ruling, too.

An editorial comment in MLADA FRONTA DNES looks at the personality of former Justice Minister and current presidential candidate Jaroslav Bures. The author notes that Mr Bures has had the words "presidential candidate" printed on his business cards. The comment goes on saying Mr Bures entered the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in 1986 which means he had to sign a document saying he approved of the occupation of the country by Soviet troops.

According to the paper, Jaroslav Bures defends his joining the Communists by saying it would have harmed his career had he not entered the party. The commentator asks whether the would-be president cares more about his career than the occupation and devastation of his own country, and whether a man who until recently did not even bother to mention his communist past in his c.v. should really become the highest representative of the Czech Republic.

04-10-2002