News of Radio Prague

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UN General Assembly Chairman in Prague

Czech President Vaclav Havel on Tuesday welcomed UN General Assembly Chairman Dr. Han Seung-Soo who is currently on an official visit to the Czech Republic. Topics of discussion at the meeting centred around the United Nation's role in international conflicts, reform of the UN and the international fight against terrorism. President Havel also mentioned Prague's preparations for the NATO summit that is to be held in the autumn. Apart from the president, Dr Han Seung-Soo is scheduled to meet with Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan who is bidding to become the new head of the UN General Assembly. According to Mr Havel's spokesman, the Czech President has already backed Mr Kavan, assuring Dr Han Seung-Soo that if elected, he would be very useful to the UN.

Spidla: agreement over joint centre-left government programme expected within a week

During a meeting with Czech President Vaclav Havel on Tuesday, Social Democrat Chairman Vladimir Spidla assured Mr Havel that his party and the Coalition would come to an agreement over the text of a joint government programme within a week. After winning the elections to the lower house, the Social Democrats have begun discussions on forming a new centre-left government with the Coalition grouping of the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union. This would give them a slim majority of 101 of the 200 seats in parliament. Although disagreement over several areas was expected to hinder talks on the joint programme, critics say that the biggest test will be when debate on the allocation of government and parliamentary posts follows.

Court rejects appeal by skinhead

A court in Prague has rejected an appeal by a 23 year old skinhead who was sentenced to seven years in prison after brutally attacking three people. Frantisek Sobek, an active member of the neo-Nazi movement, beat up a man in May 1999 during celebrations in Prague after the Czech Ice Hockey team won the World Championships. The incident was recorded by a passer-by whose video served as evidence in court. On the same day of the first attack, Mr Sobek physically assaulted a man and his pregnant wife who were walking their dog. Mr Sobek's lawyer told journalists that she would ask the Supreme Court in Brno to review the appeal.

Anarchists call for release of Polish counterpart

Representatives of the Czech anarchist movement presented the polish embassy in Prague with a petition to release a prisoner in Poland on Tuesday. The petition, signed by hundreds of Czech anarchists, supports Tomek Wilkoszewsky who in 1996 was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing a skinhead. In March of this year a protest was held in front of the Polish embassy and resulted in better prison conditions for Mr Wilkoszewsky. The anarchists now hope that the petition will result in his release.

Strougal ready to appear in court

One of Communist Czechoslovakia's most prominent political figures, former Prime Minister Lubomir Strougal, has recovered his health and is ready to appear in court. When holding the post of Interior Minister in 1965, Mr Strougal was believed to have deliberately halted legal proceedings concerning three murders committed in 1948 by the communist secret police. The 77-year old, however, was cleared of all charges due to lack of evidence. An appeal process scheduled for June 11th this year had to be postponed after he failed to appear in court, citing ill health.

Weather

And finally a quick look at the weather forecast. Wednesday will be partially cloudy with isolated showers and daytime temperatures between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius.