02-03-2004

All the Czech papers lead with Monday's shocking murder of a teacher who was stabbed by his student in the east Bohemian town of Svitavy. The Academy Awards that were held in Los Angeles early on Monday morning CET also make the front pages, with the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King emerging as the clear winner of the night with a record eleven Oscars. But it was not a lucky night for the Czech film industry as Zelary, the Czech nominee in the Foreign Film category, came close but not close enough, the papers report.

Only Hospodarske Noviny decides to focus on the Czech Republic's preparedness for the EU, pointing out that government officials still lack the necessary information regarding what Czech citizens must do to work in fellow EU countries upon their accession to the union in just two months.

Never before in Czech history has a student killed a teacher, the dailies note. Monday's stabbing of sixty-year old Bohuslav Sibl has come as a shock to the nation with everyone asking "how safe are Czech schools?" While today's youth is becoming more aggressive, cases in which a minor turns against an adult are rare, writes Mlada Fronta Dnes, adding that of the three hundred murders that are committed every year only five are committed by children.

Lidove Noviny points out that the country's teachers have been trying to bring the growing aggressive behaviour of students to the state's attention for a very long time. However, MPs and the Education Ministry have been turning a deaf ear to their words of warning. Neither does the ministry plan to work on a law that would protect teachers, arguing that it is up to the various districts and regions to take the necessary measures to make their schools safe.

Since a new law that came into effect this year does not allow the police or the media to make public the name, photo, or anything else that could lead to the identification of a juvenile suspect, Lidove Noviny runs a black marker over any information on the student. Mlada Fronta Dnes and Pravo do not go that far and reveal the student's age, gender, and the subject he studied at the vocational school.

Buying drugs in Prague is as easy as getting yoghurt in a supermarket, writes Mlada Fronta Dnes. A reporter for the paper spent three days visiting seven clubs referred to her by a drug consumer and bought marihuana in four of them without having to try too hard. All you have to do is ask for it without any nervousness, the reporter says. Employees in the other three clubs sold marihuana too but did not want to deal with people they did not know. Most clubs sell a gram of marihuana for 250 Czech crowns, the paper writes and does not shy away from publishing the names and addresses of the seven clubs as well as what they sell and how much they want for it.

Jiri Kajinek, who became famous, or rather infamous, having spent forty days on the run from the police after breaking out of a maximum security prison, has found an easy way to make some money, while serving a life sentence in prison. Pravo and Lidove Noviny report that Mr Kajinek's smiling face can now be seen on numerous billboards around the country and will soon appear in numerous dailies and magazines.

A month-long advertising campaign for the commercial station Kiss Radio features a photo of Kajinek with headphones and a caption underneath reading "the Radio Station for Life". The head of Kiss Radio's advertising department tells Pravo that the goal is to get the media back on Mr Kajinek's case, as well as have potential listeners remember the radio station through this unusual campaign. Mr Kajinek is getting tens of thousands of crowns for allowing the station to use his photo.

02-03-2004

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