News Monday, OCTOBER 05th, 1998
Hello and welcome to the programme. I'm Dl and we begin with a look at the main newsstories
Those were the headlines and now the news in more detail
Amidst growing international tension over the Kosovo crisis, NATO defense and foreign ministers are to hold consultations in Brussels later today. A meeting of the North Atlantic Council has been called for 1300 GMT in view of analysing the latest news from Kosovo. The Reuters newsagency reports that the crisis is also to be discussed with prospective NATO members, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. While Russia vehemently opposed the idea of air strikes against Yugoslavia over the weekend, the allies have put their decision on hold until they receive a report by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on whether Yugoslavia has complied with UN mandatory resolutions.
Speculation and controversy now surrounds the man chosen to spearhead the government's anti-corruption drive. Jan Sula's announcement that he wanted to resign from his post at the head of a special government commission just days after being appointed has created a furore. Sula said he was backing down in the face of repeated threats made to his family , which has some opposition politicians openly questioning whether the former chief of counter-intelligence is not vulnerable to blackmail. There are those who suggest that the years in which Sula worked for private firms selling information may have something to do with his decision to back out. Sula's final decision is expected on Monday, after a meeting with prime minister Milos Zeman.
Animal rights activists have marked World Animals Day with charity events and protest actions. Saturday's charity concert and auction of children's drawings is reported to have raised 162.000 crowns. The money is to be used to build badly needed new cat and dog shelters. Activists also protested against the conditions in some shelters and voiced suspicions that some of the abandoned animals were being sold to laboratories for tests.
Primary school teachers in one of the most polluted parts of the country, the Ostrava region, have received special training in raising eco-awareness in the young generation. The Ostrava magistrate in cooperation with a local association working to improve the environment have financed training courses and provided work materials for 1,000 kindergarten and primary school teachers who are expected to pass on the message and raise eco-awareness in the classroom. As one of the volunteers told the ctk "we can't shift problems such as coal burning or car pollution -but attitude is something we can help change, and in the long run a great deal will depend on how today's children feel about pollution".
On a more cheerful note, Czechs are a nation of people who have turned mushroom picking into an art, or maybe its a national craze. Whatever, this year conditions for mushrooms are excellent and forests across the country are teeming with them. Hundreds of Czechs headed for the nearest forrest over the weekend - but the real connoisseurs flocked to Prague's Zofin on Saturday for a mushroom exhibition of over 400 species. And the pick of the bunch was a giant mushroom measuring 30 cms in diameter. /Incidentally, we have covered the event and you'll be able to hear all about it in Peter Smith's magazine./
Happy birthday mr. President!
President Havel turns 62 today. He will be spending the day at Lany Chateau and hosting a party for his many friends there in the evening. Since the day is traditionally linked with the netting of fish from the Lany lake , a hardy outdoor activity the president enjoys, the evening party menu will boast many fish delicacies.
And finally, a look at the weather - Monday will bring partly cloudy to overcast skies with occasional drizzle and day temps between 10 and 14 degs C.