News of Radio Prague

Svoboda resigns as Four-Party leader, replaced by Kuenhl

Cyril Svoboda, who was elected two months ago as the first leader of the opposition Four-Party Coalition, has resigned, following disagreements over the formation of a shadow cabinet. Mr Svoboda, a member of the right-of-centre Christian Democrats, has been replaced by Karel Kuehnl, the leader of the Freedom Union. The Four-Party Coalition - a group of four right-of-centre opposition parties - has held intensive negotiations over the last few days over the formation of a shadow cabinet. Mr Svoboda accused his colleagues in the Christian Democrats of being inflexible in their choice of shadow cabinet seats, an accusation rejected by Christian Democrat leader Jan Kasal. Another colleague, Jaroslav Kopriva, accused Mr Svoboda of lying.

Politicians welcome Milosevic arrest

Politicians from across the political spectrum have welcomed the arrest of the former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. President Vaclav Havel said he would like to see Mr Milosevic stand trial for war crimes in the Hague, but agreed it would be more likely he would be tried in Yugoslavia. The move was also welcomed by the Czech Foreign Ministry and all political parties except the Communists. Communist MP Vojtech Filip said Mr Milosevic was not responsible for the situation in the Balkans, and would successfully defend himself in court.

Temelin reconnected to national electricity grid

The Temelin nuclear power station was once again connected to the country's national electricity grid on Sunday, after five days of tests due to problems with a turbine in the plant's generator. Temelin has been connected and disconnected to the country's national grid numerous times over the last few weeks, as technicians battled with vibrations in the generator's turbine and other technical problems. Anti-nuclear activists in neighbouring Austria say the problems are proof Temelin is unsafe. Temelin's operators CEZ, the country's state-owned energy utility, say the problems are normal in any testing period. Temelin could be shut down for up to a month this summer for maintenance work.

Britain ready to deploy immigration officials in Prague

A spokesman for Britain's Home Office said on Saturday that London was ready to send British immigration officials to Prague in a bid to weed out what it describes as 'bogus asylum seekers.' The officials will question British-bound travellers in Prague before they board their flights. The spokesman confirmed that officials could be deployed in the Czech capital if the situation demanded it, following an agreement with the Czech government. British immigration officials are already stationed in Paris and several Balkan countries to head off 'bogus asylum seekers' before they arrive in Britain. Hundreds of Czech Roma families have sought asylum in Britain in recent years, claiming systematic discrimination at home. The Czech government says they are economic migrants.

Right-wing extremists demonstrate in Orlova

Around seventy right-wing extremists demonstrated in the eastern town of Orlova on Saturday. The demonstration was described as against drugs and in support of the Czech national identity. One speaker called for public executions for all convicted drug dealers over the age of 14. Clashes with anarchist protestors were prevented by the presence of more than 100 police officers. The demonstration was organised by the Republican Youth Organisation, the National Front, and the National Unity Bloc, three far right groups whose supporters are mostly neo-Nazi skinheads.

Klaus: if Zeman resigns as PM, we withdraw from Opposition Agreement

The leader of the right-of-centre Civic Democrats, Vaclav Klaus, has said if Milos Zeman resigns as Prime Minister, it will be the end of the so-called 'Opposition Agreement' - the power-sharing deal under which the Civic Democrats support Mr Zeman's minority Social Democrat cabinet in return for policy concessions and senior parliamentary seats. Mr Zeman has already said he will resign as leader of the Social Democrats at the party's national conference in April, but recently announced that he might offer his resignation as Prime Minister as well. Mr Klaus told the BBC on Friday that if Mr Zeman went, his party would no longer see any obligation to support the Social Democrat cabinet. However Mr Klaus also said he did not think Mr Zeman's offer to resign as Prime Minister was meant seriously.

Zeman, Kavan could face police questioning over Zieleniec slander charges

Prime Minister Zeman and his Foreign Minister Jan Kavan could face police questioning over allegations of slander against the former Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec. The state prosecutor involved in the case said on Friday that the two men could face questions to ascertain whether they had slandered Mr Zieleniec by claiming he had bribed journalists to provide positive coverage in the media. The accusations were made in 1999 by Mr Zeman and backed up by Mr Kavan. Both men later apologised to Mr Zieleniec after failing to provide evidence for the accusations.

Kosovo Albanians sentenced for heroin smuggling

A court in the western city of Plzen has sentenced a Kosovo Albanian man to 11 years in prison for organising the smuggling of heroin to Germany. His brother was sentenced to 6.5 years, and a courier was sentenced to 4 years. The courier was caught on the border in May 1999 with four packets of heroin hidden in juice cartons. The two brothers deny all the charges and have appealed against the sentences.

Chief Rabbi opens Jewish Moravia exhibition in Brussels

The Czech Republic's Chief Rabbi Karel Sidon has opened an exhibition in Brussels devoted to the life of Moravia's pre-war Jewish community, most of whom perished in the Holocaust. The exhibition, entitled 'Jewish Moravia, Jewish Brno', contains objects and photographs documenting the life of Moravia's Jewish community from its establishment in the Middle Ages to the present day. Before 1939 there were some 80,000 Jews living in Moravia - today that figure is around 500. But Rabbi Sidon said the community was growing once again, and the exhibition was part of an attempt to prove that Moravia's Jewish community was not dead.


And finally, a quick look at the weather. Monday night will be clear, with temperatures falling to just above zero degrees Celsius. Tuesday will be warm and mostly sunny, but becoming more cloudy in the western half of the country. Daytime temperatures will reach up to 20 degrees Celsius in places.