15-10-2002

All of Tuesday's papers carry photos from the Indonesian island of Bali, which became a terrorist target last Saturday. LIDOVE NOVINY, PRAVO and HOSPODARSKE NOVINY lead with articles about the tragedy, for which the Indonesian government and the United States blames the Al-Quaeda network.

LIDOVE NOVINY writes about the former police vice-president, Miroslav Antl who was involved in a traffic accident in the town of Pardubice at the beginning of October, and afterwards failed a breathalyser test. Mr Antl has now confessed he had drunk a shot of the plum brandy slivovice before driving that morning.

Miroslav Antl, who liked to present himself as an uncompromising champion of the law determined to crack down on crime, has resigned from his position and does not yet know what he will do for a living. According to LIDOVE NOVINY, he would like to join the police again one day.

PRAVO reports that Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla visited his predecessor Milos Zeman at his country house on Monday to talk about Mr Zeman's participation in the vote the party are holding to select their presidential candidate. PRAVO says that Mr Zeman has confirmed that he is indeed going to take part in the poll, but says even if he wins under no circumstances will he enter the first round of presidential elections.

The paper writes that if a direct vote for president were introduced in the Czech Republic Milos Zeman would not run for president either. Mr Zeman told PRAVO that all he was interested in was the party vote. Only in the case that no one is chosen in the first round of presidential elections in February next year will Mr Zeman stand, he tells the daily.

The paper also reports that the former mayor of Prague Jan Kasl plans to take legal action against the commercial TV station Nova. The channel reported on Saturday that Mr Kasl was being investigated by the police for suspected corruption in a privatisation case. Mr Kasl who has formed a new party, the European Democrats, and is running for Prague mayor in the upcoming election, says Nova wanted to discredit him in the vote.

MLADA FRONTA DNES features the story of a 14-year old boy who died of a drug overdose last Wednesday in Prague. Czech drug experts say they encounter more and more young people addicted to hard drugs but the death of a 14-year old addict is something they've never seen. The boy's friends and teachers told MLADA FRONTA DNES he was a normal, happy guy. They never suspected he was a drug addict, although he did not hide the fact that he first tried illegal drugs at the age of 11.

The paper notes that hard drugs are no longer a problem concerning high school students alone; primary school kids are experimenting with them too, although parents and teachers refuse to believe it. According to MLADA FRONTA DNES 20 percent of 15-year olds have tried cannabis. Around 17 percent of them have come into contact with a high-risk drug, such as ecstasy, heroin, the Czech amphetamine pervitin, heroin or solvents.

15-10-2002