News Monday, MAY 22nd, 2000

Hello and welcome to Radio Prague. I'm Vladimir Tax and here's the news. First the headlines.

These are the main points and now the news in more detail.

Justice minister considering resignation

Justice minister Otakar Motejl is considering resigning after Parliament turned down a fundamental part of his reform of the justice system. He said he would base his decision on the fate of several other bills he had proposed as part of the reform. These include for example an amendment to the Commercial Code and the law on detention. The minister has also complained about a lack of discussion about the proposals in the Lower House, with the opposition critising the ministerial concept without presenting concrete suggestions. The justice system reform will now be subject of talks between the ruling Social Democrats and the main opposition Civic Democrats.

Thousands commemorate WWII victims at Theresienstadt

More than a thousand people took part in a solemn ceremony in the Terezin ghetto to commemorate the victims of Nazism during World War II. Representatives of more than 20 countries paid tribute to those who died in the Terezin transit camp. Czech President Vaclav Havel stressed that the memory of the victims of nazi terror must remain as a memento for the coming millennium. He also warned against the current rise of racial, national and religious hatred.

The Terezin fortress in Northern Bohemia, dating back to the 18th century, was used by Germans during World War II as a transit concentration camp. Out of the 200 thousand prisoners, 40 thousand died in the camp itself, and some 100 thousand of them died later in extermination camps.

Cool reaction to Sudeten German demands

Fresh demands for compensation by Sudeten Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia at the end of World War II received a cool reception in Prague on Sunday, and stirred fresh controversy in Germany itself. The Sudeten German Landsmannschaft - a group representing the interests of the three million Germans expelled - is calling for compensation from a fund established by the German and Czech governments in 1997. A Member of the Czech Parliament, Jiri Payne, of the opposition Civic Democratic Party told the Czech News Agency that Sudeten Germans should feel free to apply for compensation. However, he warned, they also should prepare to be prosecuted if they collaborated in any way with the Nazis.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has already declared that the Sudeten Germans' demands "seriously damage German interests", as Berlin performs the delicate task of improving relations with Prague.

Police arrest assassins

Czech police have arrested four men who were allegedly planning a bomb attack to assassinate three people. The police seized plastic explosives, remotely controlled ignition devices, and illegally possessed arms from the suspects. They all have been placed in remand. The police declined to specify whom the attack was aimed at.

Czech Deputy Foreign Minister visits Algeria

Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Hynek Kmonicek has started a two-day working visit to Algeria. Kmonicek told the Algerian press upon his arrival that the visit was part of political consultations on bilateral issues. He stressed that the situation in ALgeria was improving and that the country was an important market in the region. He added that the Czech-Algerian relations have been good for decades.

Experts expect NEWLOVE to hit Czech Republic on Monday

Experts expect the new computer virus NEWLOVE to hit the Czech Republic on Monday. It is reported to have infected computers in several large companies in the United States on Thursday. NEWLOVE is a worm, like the previous ILOVEYOU virus, and uses e-mail software to spread itself. However, it is more destructive and more difficult to detect, as it is capable of self-modification.

Czech weather report

And finally, the weather forecast. We are expecting a cloudy day with showers or rain. Afternoon highs should reach only between 13 and 17 degrees Celsius. Tuesday should be much the same, cloudy with showers and the highest daytime temperatures between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius. Wednesday should bring some sunshine again, and temperatures between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius.

And that's the end of the news.