News of Radio Prague

Havel files charges against pornographic website

Czech President Vaclav Havel has filed a criminal complaint against the owner of a pornographic website named after his wife, Dagmar Havlova. In a statement issued on Wednesday, presidential spokesman Ladislav Spacek said that the apparent aim of the website owner was to make a profit out of the name of the president's wife. Mr Spacek said that the website could lead Internet users to believe that the content is related to Dagmar Havlova and that this could seriously harm her personal rights.

Government rejects intervention on compensation claims

The Czech government has rejected calls to pressure the German government on the issue of compensation for former forced labourers. Representatives of Czechs who were forced to work in Nazi Germany as slave labourers during WWII, fiercely criticised the German government's approach to providing compensation on Tuesday, and called on the Czech government to intervene. A government spokesman said on Wednesday that the government would rely on normal diplomatic channels to resolve the issue and that there was no need to revert to stronger measures.

Kuzvart: keep Kyoto going

Czech Environment Minister, Milos Kuzvart, says he is in favour of implementing the Kyoto agreement with or without the United States. Mr Kuzvart's statement came at a conference of environment ministers from member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. Mr Kuzvart told journalists that the Czech Republic is one of a group of countries in favour of applying the agreement, the main aim of which is to reduce greenhouse gases. Mr Kuzvart said that both the EU member states and EU candidate countries back the agreement.

NATO welcomes planned army reform

Following a meeting with NATO Secretary General George Robertson in Brussels, the new Czech Defence Minister, Jaroslav Tvrdik, has stated that NATO officials approve of plans to reform the Czech Armed Forces. Mr Trvdik is the first Czech defence minister since the fall of Communism to have served in the armed forces. Shortly after being appointed to the post, he unveiled plans to cut internal costs in order to provide modern equipment for the army. Mr Tvrdik has also been given three months to prepare a programme for the creation a standing professional army. Earlier this year, the NATO Secretary General sent a strong message to Prague that it must speed up the modernisation of its armed forces.

Abused woman receives conditional sentence for killing

The regional court in the Central Bohemian city of Hradec Kralove has given an abused woman a conditional sentence of three years in prison for killing her husband. According to the judge, the woman had suffered long-term physical and mental abuse and had tried to reason with her husband on many occasions. The judge said he felt that the killing was obviously in self-defence, so that the normal sentence for murder, of between ten to fifteen years in prison, would have been far to high.

H-System bombs all made using same technology

Police in Prague say that pyrotechnic analysis of eight letter bombs sent to managers of the bankrupt company H-System were all made using the same technology and therefore by the same person or persons. H-System was set up as a co-operative several years ago with the intention of building family homes for shareholders, but subsequently went bankrupt. Several public demonstrations have since been held by shareholders angry over the loss of their savings. One of the eight bombs exploded, injuring one person. Police sources said on Wednesday that the electric wiring and components used to produce the bombs were identical. Detectives and forensic scientists are apparently still searching for clues as to the identity of the bombs' creator.

Four Party Coalition still ahead in polls

According to a STEM agency opinion poll, the Four Party Coalition, a grouping of four smaller centre-right opposition parties, remains the most popular choice for Czech voters. The coalition has topped the polls for the past few months, and they are currently on twenty five percent. The opposition Civic Democrats would, according to the poll, come second with twenty two percent, and the ruling Social Democrats would come a close third with twenty one percent.

No action to be taken against Klaus

The Lower House of Parliament has decided to take no action against Lower House speaker Vaclav Klaus over an incident with a journalist last November. During the incident, Mr Klaus is alleged to have seized the journalist's mobile phone and thrown it on the floor in anger during an interview. A state prosecutor in Prague stated recently that this was a criminal act and that Mr Klaus should face charges. But on Wednesday the Lower House's immunity committee said it did not agree with this statement and that Mr Klaus would not face any charges.


And finally, a quick look at the weather forecast. Thursday should see partially cloudy to overcast skies, with the possibility of rain or thunderstorms later in the day. Temperatures should rise to a daytime high of 25 degrees Celsius. Temperatures during the night on Wednesday should drop to a minimum of ten degrees Celsius.