News of Radio Prague

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Lower House bans tobacco advertising

The Czech Lower House passed a bill on Friday which puts strict limits on tobacco advertising. If the Senate and the President approve the bill, all tobacco advertisements will disappear from Czech streets and the media in two years' time with the exception of shops and newsstands. The remaining adverts should not target under-eighteens, verbally encourage people to take up smoking, depict people in the act of smoking or even show open cigarette packs.

Zeman and Miller welcome results of Hungary's election

The Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman and his Polish counterpart Leszek Miller have welcomed the victory of their sister Social Democrat party in Hungary's general election, saying the victory improved prospects for regional cooperation and a common strategy on EU entry. The Czech and Polish prime ministers said the defeat of Hungarian rightist Viktor Orban had removed an obstacle in tough talks with the European Union over how much money the candidate countries will get once they join the EU. Mr Orban's comments about Czechoslovakia's post-war Benes decrees, which stripped ethnic Germans and Hungarians of their property and citizenship, led to a cancellation of a summit of the Visegrad group of EU candidates earlier this year.

Senate passes civil service law

The Czech Senate passed a law on the civil service on Friday, stipulating new rights and responsibilities for approximately 80,000 Czech civil servants. These include an oath of allegiance prohibiting other sources of income as well as five weeks of annual paid leave and five months' severance pay. The law takes effect in January 2004.

Kavan asks Lebanon for support of candidacy

The Czech Republic has asked Lebanon to support its nomination for the presidency of the United Nations' General Assembly for the years 2002 and 2003. The Czech Republic's candidate for the position, the Foreign Minister Jan Kavan, says 102 out of 189 UN member countries have supported his application. The next presiding country and its representative is to be chosen among Central or East European countries. Last year the Czech government allocated 113 million crowns or over 3 million US dollars for Mr Kavan's candidacy.

Social Democrats to terminate opposition agreement

The leader of the ruling Social Democrats, Vladimir Spidla, has sent a letter to the head of the opposition Civic Democrats, Vaclav Klaus, concerning the termination of the so-called opposition agreement between the two parties. The Social Democrats say they want to end the contract by the June elections. The controversial opposition agreement between the two parties was signed after the last general elections four years ago and enabled the Social Democrats to form a minority government.

Weather

Friday night should be overcast with rain in some parts of the country and temperatures between 10 and 6 degrees Celsius. Saturday is expected to be cloudy and rainy with temperatures ranging from 11 to 15 degrees Celsius. Sunday should be somewhat brighter and warmer, with temperatures reaching highs of 18 degrees Celsius.