News Monday, MAY 18th, 1998

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Radio Prague E-news Date: May 18th, 1998 Written/read by: Daniela Lazarova

Hello and welcome to the programme. I'm DL and we begin with a look at the main newsstories this hour

Those were the headlines and now the news in more detail:

Prague - violence

Twenty five young people have been charged in connection with the violence which marked Saturday's Global Street Party in Prague. The march, organized in protest at the effects of economic globalization on the environment, ended in a riot as the mood of the 3,000 strong crowd turned ugly. Participants attacked the McDonald and KFC outlets on Wenceslas Square and police clashed with demonstrators amidst total confusion, broken shopwindows and looting.

Cobblestones and bottles flew threw the air and at one point police totally lost control, retreating as radicals overturned a police vehicle. Fifty young people were arrested when police reinforcements arrived on the spot. 17 police officers were reported injured , though none seriously. Mainstream environmental groups have condemned the clashes. " We deeply regret that the demonstration was termed ecological because that damages the image of preserving nature and the environment " the Czech branch of Greenpeace said in a statement issued several hours later.

Romany - killed

Another Romany has died as a result of a skinhead attack. The man, whose name has not been disclosed, was beaten up by skinheads and left lying unconscious in the street where he was killed by an oncoming van. Emotions are running high in his home town of Orlova, Moravia, where an angry crowd of Romanies have assembled and are threatening a vendetta. Meanwhile, police have detained three skinheads involved in the incident.

AIDS memorial

Candlelight memorials for AIDS victims have been held in many Czech cities over the weekend. In Prague the event took place at the Ledeburg Gardens where the organizers distributed red ribbons as a mark of solidarity with AIDS victims and brochures on AIDS prevention. The candlelight event culminated in a concert in memory of AIDS victims around the world. In the Czech Republic 69 people have died of AIDS, 368 are registered HIV positive.

Terezin memorial

A commemorative gathering likewise took place in Terezin, the site of a former Nazi concentration camp, on Sunday in memory of Holocaust victims. Between 1940 and 1945 over 200.000 prisoners passed through the Terezin gates, many of them dying in the camp, over 100.000 ending up in Nazi gas chambers. Laying a wreath at the memorial site, Czech foreign minister Jaroslav Sedivy said Terezin would forever remain a memento of unbearable suffering and pain but also of moral strength and courage. This cruel chapter in European and world history came about through a major foreign policy lapse, Sedivy said, a gross miscalculation of those who selfishly thought the tyrant would stop at their door. It is an error which must never be repeated, the Czech foreign minister stressed.

Czech Radio - anniversary

Czech Radio is celebrating its 75th birthday. Both Prague and regional studios opened their doors to the public over the weekend and a birthday concert took place on Prague's Old Town Square on Sunday afternoon. Czech Radio has released a compact disc to mark the occasion, a compilation of archive recordings dating back to 1923.

Weather

The start of the week is expected to bring partly cloudy skies, with intervals of sunshine and light showers. Day temps will not change significantly, remaining at between 16 and 20 degs C. A warming is expected mid-week.