News Monday, JULY 27th, 1998

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Radio Prague E-News Date: July 27, 1998 Written/read by: Libor Kubik

These are the top Czech stories this hour, now the news in more detail, read by Libor Kubik.

HAVEL-HEALTH

Czech President Vaclav Havel has spent a peaceful night after a three-hour operation in Prague's military hospital on Sunday.

Surgeons said there were no complications during the operation to remove a few more inches of havel's large intestine and an artificial bowel outlet.

But Austrian surgeon Ernst Bodner, who was in charge of the international medical team, said that post-operative difficulties could not be completely ruled out.

The president is expected to remain in hospital for two weeks. During his stay in hospital, Premier Milos Zeman and Lower House Speaker Vaclav Klaus will deputise for him.

Havel underwent emergency surgery while on holiday in Austria last April when doctors removed about 30 centimetres of his large intestine after he had developed peritonitis.

CTK quoted doctors as saying the latest operation was a routine follow-up to the April surgery.

Havel had a third of a lung removed in 1996 when he was found to have cancer.

CZECH-HAVEL-KLAUS-ROW

Czech Parliament Speaker Vaclav Klaus declined to comment on Sunday on President Havel's criticism of an opposition pact between his right-wing ODS party and the Social Democrats, which paved the way for them to form a one-party minority government.

Havel was very outspoken in his pre-recorded Czech Radio interview, broadcast on Saturday, on the way the new cabinet was formed.

Klaus said he would not comment ahead of the outcome of Havel's surgery.

In his broadcast, the president had regretted the Social Democrats' inability to strike a coalition pact with the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union, who were forced to go into opposition. But he said he hoped for such a coalition to emerge after -- as he predicted -- the ODS forces the Social Democrat cabinet to resign.

CZECH-FLOODS

Flood alert is still in force in the Rychnov area in eastern Bohemia where seven people died earlier this week when rivers swelled as a result of torrential rains.

Czech Civil Defence Commander Alois Schulz said on Sunday fresh reinforcements were being despatched to the flooded regions to help clean roads and railways and restore communication links.

A Finance Ministry damage-assessment team was also sent to the region on Sunday.

A number of volunteers are working on the site of disaster, together with over 200 army troops, fire-fighting crews and police.

Relief aid is being channelled into eastern Bohemia.

CZECH-PREMIER-SKINHEADS

The new Czech Social Democrat premier, Milos Zeman, said on Sunday his cabinet would take a tougher hand on racist skinheads and possibly outlaw them for their frequent attacks on ethnic minorities.

Speaking on the private TV channel Prima, Zeman said there were sufficient legal instruments to apply against the movement. He said that although they are not officially registered with the Ministry of the Interior, various skinhead groups appear to be well organised, and disseminate publications which incite ethnic and racial hatred.

Zeman said his government would crack down tougher on racists than his predecessors.

CZECH-ITALY-TENNIS-FEDCUP

Tennis -- and Italy beat the Czech Republic 4-1 in their Federation Cup playoff match on Sunday.

In the doubles, Francesca Lubiani and Flora Perfetti beat Lenka Nemeckova and Michaela Pastikova 6-2 4-6 7-5.

Italy's Rita Grande lost to Radka Bobkova 6-2, 3-6, 6-7 in a match which finished on Sunday after Saturday's rain delay.

Sylvia Farina beat Hrdlickova 6-1 6-2, and on Saturday, Farina beat Bobkova 6-0, 6-4.

CZECH-WEATHER

A look at Monday's weather -- we are facing an overcast day with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Daytime maxima between 23 and 28 degrees Celsius, and around 18 degrees in the mountains.

An outlook for Tuesday and Wednesday -- bot days will be rather warm but also wet. Nighttime lows from 12 to 16 Celsius, and afternoon highs on Tuesday from 20 to 24 degrees, and a little cooler on Wednesday, with temperatures between 19 and 23 degrees Celsius.

But the weatherman says we should be prepared for torrential local rains in the night from Monday to Wednesday.

And that's the end of the news.