The photo of the Austrian-born American actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has announced he is going to run for governor of the state of California, dominates the front pages of all major Czech dailies on Friday. "The Terminator wants to be governor, the Terminator runs for governor", read the inspired captions.
Other stories include President Vaclav Klaus' repeated recommendation of lawyer Ales Pejchal for the post of a judge of the Constitutional Court, after the Senate rejected his candidacy in July. The papers also discuss the bailing out of the indebted Fisher travel empire by the Atlantik Financial Markets brokerage house.
PRAVO reports that President Vaclav Klaus has rejected more than 100 of the 450 requests for a presidential pardon that have been sent to the President's Office. When he came to office, Vaclav Klaus said he would grant pardons only very sparingly. He is cooperating with his team of consultants but he says he wants to stay true to the Constitution which authorises the President to decide on his own, rather than consulting the Justice Ministry - which used to be very much involved in the process when former President Vaclav Havel was in office.
"Lauder wants to ruin TV Nova" reads a headline in MLADA FRONTA DNES. The Bermuda-based company CME which helped to set up the highly successful commercial television in the early 1990s and then fell out with its director Vladimir Zelezny is suing Nova for some 31 billion crowns in lost profit. The paper says that should CME's owner Ronald Lauder win the arbitration, it would be the end for TV Nova. This March, a Swedish court of arbitration ruled that the Czech Republic has to pay 10.5 billion crowns to Mr Lauder for failing to protect CME's investment in TV Nova.
The paper also carries the story of 108-year old First World War foreign legion soldier Alois Vocasek. After the Second World War, Mr Vocasek was sentenced for life for his alleged collaboration with the Nazis in accordance with the Benes decrees, as he was briefly involved in the fascist organisation Vlajka. He maintains he has not harmed anyone and that Czech courts had refused to reopen the case. That's why he is going to file a complaint about the Czech courts with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Although the proceedings in Strasbourg may take several years, Mr Vocasek believes he will live to see the verdict.
The economic daily HOSPODARSKE NOVINY reports that the Czech real-estate market is expecting what the paper calls the sale of the decade. Two giant shopping centres are going to exchange owners as the Swedish company Skanska is selling the property together with two similar properties in Budapest to improve its financial standing. Skanska has not been doing well recently and the sell-off of its commercial properties is reported to be the company's sole source of revenues this year. The estimated profit is 557 million crowns.
LIDOVE NOVINY writes that the current heat wave is to continue for several days, with temperatures exceeding thirty degrees Celsius. Although the drought is causing damage to farmers around the country, those who welcome the hot and dry weather are Czech wine producers. In their opinion, the 2003 vintage will be unique, the best in decades. The amount of sunlight the vines have been getting this summer is expected to boost the sugar content in the grapes significantly, says LIDOVE NOVINY.
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