06-08-2003

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK One subject may not be making front page headlines, but is perhaps the dominant issue in Wednesday's dailies. That's the tropical heat the Czech Republic is currently enjoying, or should that be suffering? While Czech trains are going slower due to warping tracks, PRAVO reports that temperatures on trams in the capital city Prague are approaching 60 degrees Celsius.

Heat builds up in the trams, with individual trams - and drivers - out for up to 11 hours a day. The drivers' health is in danger, say doctors, as they could suffer hyperthermia. What's more, suffering in their cabins, they may not be able to concentrate on the streets as much as usual, PRAVO reports.

HOSPODARSKE NOVINY, meanwhile, says the heat wave is "damaging" the Czech Republic's farm animals, another blow to farmers already hit by a poor harvest. One dairy tells the daily that it costs more to look after cows with a high milk yield and in any case output falls after a few days of tropical weather. On top of that, farm animals grow less when the temperature passes 30 degrees, as they eat less feed and drink more water.

You might imagine people drink more beer in heat like we're having at the moment. Not so, says the director of Prague Breweries in MLADA FRONTA DNES: it's too hot to drink during the day and drinkers get less pleasure out of their pint. The ideal temperature for selling beer, he says, is 26 degrees Celsius. Another brewery tells the daily, however, that what people don't drink during the day, they make up for in the evenings.

Moving on to other issues, a group of Czech fathers is taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, says MLADA FRONTA DNES. They are demanding compensation from the Czech state for not getting to see their children, even though that their right by law. The problem, say the fathers, is that their estranged wives ignore court orders to let them see their kids, and the courts do nothing about it.

Due to the number of people taking part in the YMCA conference in Prague, the city's transport authority has taken an unusual step: they have introduced English language announcements on buses and trams taking people to the event, reports LIDOVE NOVINY. The YMCA has paid for the unusual service, says the daily. The same newspaper carries an interview with one of the Czech team who recently canoed up the Ganges, exploring parts of the river never before visited. Filip Jancar tells LIDOVE NOVINY that he and the rest of the group took part in a Hindu religious service before attempting to navigate the uncharted stretch of the river.

And the Czech canoeists were quite industrious on the trip - they are making three documentaries about their adventure, one about their journey, one about a village in the area and one about a local dam. Mr Jancar, who is a school teacher, says next year he wants to tackle the Amazon.

Finally, where would you imagine Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla would take his summer holidays? Well, rather than an exotic location, Mr Spidla has - as evidenced by photos in several of Wednesday's newspapers - chosen to holiday in the Czech Republic, in the west Bohemian spa town of Karlovy Vary to be specific.

06-08-2003