News Friday, JUNE 02th, 2000

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Hello and welcome to Radio Prague. I am Libor Kubik, and we start the programme with a brief news bulletin. First the headlines:

Those were the headlines, now for the news in more detail.

CZECH-MOLDOVA-CRIME

The Czech foreign ministry says it is working to formulate an official apology to the Moldovan embassy in Prague for the incident in which that country's transport minister was assualted and robbed in Prague on Monday. The Foreign Minister, Jan Kavan, says he will shortly send a letter of apology to his Moldovan counterpart, Nicolae Tabacura.

Prague Police say they have obtained the descriptions of three of the six Russian-speaking attackers.

The minister, Afanasie Smochin, and his aide, were beaten and robbed of the equivalent of 1,300 US dollars in downtown Prague on Monday evening. They had been attending an international transport conference.

The Czech Foreign Minister Stanislav Gross says he was not asked to provide bodyguards to any of the participants. He told Czech Radio the incident occurred after the daily proceedings of the conference. Minister Gross denied accusations that his office neglected security measures.

CZECH-SLOVAK-COMMUNIST-CRIME

The last chief of Czechoslovakia's communist secret police will be charged in his native Slovakia within one month, according to a senior Slovak military prosecutor.

The prosecutor said that the investigators had completed work on the file of General Alojz Lorenc, whom a Czech court sentenced to four years in jail in 1993 for abusing his official powers by ordering the detention of dissidents during anticommunist protests in the late 1980s.

Lorenc claimed his Slovak citizenship after the Czech-Slovak split and refused to go to a Czech prison.

CZECH-ELECTION-OBJECTIONS

More than a third of the Social Democrat members of the Senate have said they are unhappy about proposed amendments to the Czech electoral law. Some of the nine dissidents have said they will not support the amendments which have been passed by the lower house earlier this week.

A senior Civic Democrat, Mr. Miroslav Macek, has warned that if the Senate fails to pass the amendment because some of its Social Democrat members, his party should end its power-sharing agreement with the ruling party.

Our correspondent says the bill, tabled jointly by the ruling Social Democrats and their power- sharing partners, the main opposition Civic Democrats, clearly favours the big parties over their smaller rivals.

The two big parties currently hold 47 seats in the 81-seat Senate. The amendment, opposed by President Vaclav Havel, must be passed by at least 41 votes provided all Senators are present at the time of the vote.

CZECH-CHILD

Child abuse is on the rise in the Czech Republic. That much from a joint statement released by government experts and NGOs from the Czech Republic and Britain, who met in Zlin on Thursday at a conference on children's needs, coinciding with Thursday's International Children's Day.

The conference in Zlin was one of the biggest meetings to date that brought together pediatricians, officials from the ministries of labour and social affairs, and organisations protecting children.

CZECH-RUSSIAN-MAYOR

The Mayors Jan Kasl of Prague and Yuri Luzhkov of Moscow have signed an agreement on fostering friendly ties between both capitals.

The document, signed in Prague during the Mayor of Moscow's visit, commits both parties to cooperation in the field of city administration, communal management, housing construction and support for businesses, trade and environmental projects.

CZECH-ETHNIC-EQUALITY

The ultra-nationalist Moravian United Front has threatened a campaign of civil disobedience unless Prague stops oppressing the Czech Republic's Moravian entity. The Front said in a statement that Moravian nationality was not recognised in the Czech-dominated society and that the very name of the Czech Republic was misleading.

The Front said Prague failed to recognise that as well as by Czechs, this country is home also over a million Moravians and Silesians.

Our correspondent says all three entities inhabiting the Czech Republic speak Czech and consider themselves citizens of one country. But the Front has threatened that Moravia could break away if discriminatory practices continued.

CZECH-ITALY-SOCCER

Football -- and the Czech Republic and Italy will meet in the final of the European Under-21 Championships in Slovakia on Sunday after they both won in a dramatic final round of group games on Thursday.

In Group A, the Czech Republic beat Croatia four goals to three in a thriller in Trnava to finish top of the group two points clear of Spain who defeated the Netherlands 1-0.

CZECH-WEATHER

And we end as usual with a quick look at the weather.

Friday will be a very warm day here in the Czech Republic, with daytime highs between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius, dropping to between 10 and 14 degrees in the night.

Saturday's maximum daytime temperatures will be between 25 and 29 Celsius, dropping to between 12 and 16 in the night.

Sunday will usher a cold front and scattered thunderstorms in the late afternoon. We expect Sunday's afternoon highs between 26 and 30 degrees.

I'm Libor Kubik and that's the end of the news.