21-07-2003

Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla and his wife Viktorie with Czech expatriates living in Texas, photo: CTKPrime Minister Vladimir Spidla and his wife Viktorie with Czech expatriates living in Texas, photo: CTK Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla and his wife Viktorie wearing white Stetson hats and broad smiles - that is an image that dominates today's front pages. The couple posed for a group photo with Czech expatriates living in Texas, who all donned traditional Czech folk costumes for the occasion.

The idyllic picture clashes with a headline in MLADA FRONTA DNES reading "Spidla angered by Klaus' veto". The paper writes that the president's veto of a VAT-hike bill has put the prime minister in a difficult situation. If the bill does not make it through the lower house of parliament, the matter could eventually lead to the collapse of the coalition cabinet, MLADA FRONTA DNES says.

The paper also reports that the commercial television station TV Nova has decided to abolish their controversial Saturday programme "Call the director". The live half-hour one-man-show, tailored for former station head Vladimir Zelezny, was a thorn in the side for the government which repeatedly threatened to revoke TV Nova's licence. The programme was suspended after Mr Zelezny was sacked. According to MLADA FRONTA DNES, the station is now going to replace it with a programme named "Call Nova".

LIDOVE NOVINY reports that police in the north Moravian town of Karvina are organising self-defence courses for women. The important thing, writes LIDOVE NOVINY, is that women in Karvina will not have to pay for the lessons - the costs will be shared by the local town hall and the Interior Ministry. Police experts in the martial arts will give instruction on self-defence to women between 18 and 48 years of age. A similar course was organised in Karvina two years ago with the number of women interested well-exceeding the capacity of the course. A police spokeswoman in Karvina told LIDOVE NOVINY that attacks on women were quite frequent in the region.

LIDOVE NOVINY reports that a herd of bulls that escaped from an organic farm near the town of Havlickuv Brod last week are still at large. The owner tried to lure the adventurous males back by using a rutting heifer as a decoy. The ploy did not work, writes LIDOVE NOVINY, and the ten bulls are still roaming free, troubling the locals as nobody knows how exactly they might behave should they encounter people. If yet another female fails to charm the bulls, vets may use tranquiliser guns to immobilise them or even shoot them dead. Provided that they ever find them, of course.

Galina Broyko (Ukraine) - winner of the Miss Deaf World contest, photo CTKGalina Broyko (Ukraine) - winner of the Miss Deaf World contest, photo CTK PRAVO writes about a unique beauty contest held in Prague's Congress Centre on Saturday. The Miss Deaf World contest, initiated by the Czech association of the hearing-impaired, took place for the third time, and for the second time in a row in Prague. This year's winner is 21-year old Galina Broyko from Ukraine. Nineteen stunning young women from around the world represented their countries at the beauty pageant whose aim is closer integration of hearing impaired people into society. The winner, Galina Broyko from Ukraine, told PRAVO that although she could not hear the applause she received, she could feel its vibrations in her chest.

HOSPODARSKE NOVINY carries a story about the Czech 500-crown banknote which is celebrating its tenth birthday these days. The paper writes that instead of the Czech 19-century writer Bozena Nemcova, the note was originally meant to bear the portrait of the 19-century Slovak linguist, poet and politician Ludovit Stur. However, the split of Czechoslovakia and the consequent monetary separation changed everything, and because of time pressure, the first series of the new Czech banknotes, designed by artist Oldrich Kulhanek, were printed in England.

21-07-2003