News of Radio Prague

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Klaus to resign at December conference

The right-of-centre Civic Democrats announced on Thursday that party leader Vaclav Klaus will resign at a special conference in December. A Civic Democrat spokesman said the entire party leadership would also step down with him, following the worst election result in the party's ten-year history. Mr Klaus, a former prime minister, has come under pressure to resign since the Civic Democrats suffered a second successive defeat at the hands of the ruling Social Democrats, who are now trying to form a centre-left government. A self-styled conservative and admirer of the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Mr Klaus has dominated Czech politics since the fall of Communism in 1989. He has not said whether he will seek re-election as party chairman.

Communist vow to fight screening law

MPs for the largely unreformed Communist Party have said they will use their increased presence in parliament to fight an 11-year-old law designed to block former Communists from holding senior official posts. Pavel Kovacik, one of 41 communist deputies elected to the 200-seat chamber last week, said in a newspaper interview that his party was committed to bringing about the abolition of the anti-Communist screening law. The law was introduced shortly after the fall of Communism to prevent officials of the former regime - including secret police and party officials - from holding positions in government, the police and state-controlled companies.

Indonesia seeks military co-operation with Czech Republic

Indonesia's state-run Antara news agency has said Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri is seeking military co-operation with the Czech Republic and Slovakia on her current trip to Europe. The Indonesian president visited the Czech Republic on Monday and Tuesday, before moving on to Slovakia. Indonesia has been looking for new sources of armaments and military equipment since 1999, when the United States banned armed sales to the country in retaliation for the alleged involvement of the Indonesian Armed forces in human rights abuses in East Timor.

Japanese emperor to make first Czech Republic visit

Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko plan to visit Prague next month for their first visit ever to the Czech Republic, the Japanese embassy in Prague announced on Thursday. The state visit, from July 6th - 9th, is part of the royal couple's two-week tour of central Europe, which also includes stops in Austria, Poland and Hungary. Visits to the country have been few and far between. Prince Takamatsu - the brother of the late Emperor Hirohito - visited Czechoslovakia in 1932, but the next state visit wasn't until more than 50 years later, in 1985.

Police - heatwave causing spate of reservoir drownings

Police in North Moravia say the scorching temperatures have led to a spate of drownings as people seek relief from the heat in local lakes and reservoirs. Four people have drowned in swimming accidents in the region this week, including a 12-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy.

Weather

And finally a look at the weather. And the sweltering weather of the last seven days is set to come to an end on Friday, with the arrival of a cold front from the west. Temperatures in the daytime will not rise above 27 degrees Celsius in most parts of the country, and there's a good chance of showers or thunderstorms.