News of Radio Prague

Former communist leaders acquitted

A Prague court has acquitted two Czechoslovak communist leaders, Milos Jakes and Jozef Lenart, who were accused of collaborating with Soviet invaders in order to crush the 1968 Prague Spring uprising against communist rule. Former Prime Minister Jozef Lenart and ex-Communist Party boss Milos Jakes had been on trial over their alleged roles in the invasion, in which Soviet tanks rolled through the streets and killed dozens of people. The court said there was insufficient evidence to convict the two. The high profile trial was one of the few times former Czechoslovak communist leaders have been brought to trial in the thirteen years since the fall of the regime.

Havel makes last stop on US trip

President Vaclav Havel has met the governor of Florida Jeb Bush in Miami. The two politicians spoke about the situation in Cuba, the Czech Republic's communist past and the country's transition to democracy. On Sunday, President Havel met representatives of the Cuban exile community, former Cuban political prisoners and human rights activists. Mr Havel is expected to return to Prague on Tuesday.

Havel's health condition good, personal doctor says

Unlike a number of previous foreign trips, the event-filled visit to the United States did not affect the frail health of President Havel, his personal physician told reporters on Monday. Dr. Ilja Kotik said the 65-year-old president held up "quite well" during the week-long trip that included stops in Washington, New York and Miami. Breathing problems forced Mr Havel to cut short a state visit to France earlier this year and a Middle East trip last year.

Spidla welcomes election results in Germany

Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has said he welcomes the result of the parliamentary elections in neighbouring Germany. Mr Spidla has congratulated Social Democrat Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder whose party is going to remain in power for the next term, in a coalition with the Greens. Mr Spidla added that the victorious "red-green" coalition in Germany was close in orientation to the Czech Social Democrats.

Floods damage to industry estimated at CZK 11.7 billion

During the devastating floods in August, industry in the Czech Republic suffered damage estimated at 11.7 billion crowns or nearly 400 million US dollars, a Trade and Industry Ministry spokeswoman has told reporters. The worst affected was the manufacturing industry, with damage assessed at 3.4 billion crowns, and the energy industry in South, Central and West Bohemia.

Czech phone numbers harmonised with EU standards

In a major step towards European Union harmonisation, Czech Republic telecom operators on Sunday renumbered all of the country's 11.5 million mobile and land-line telephones. A confusing, outmoded numbering system was replaced with a nine-digit number for each of the country's 7.8 million mobile phones and 3.7 million land lines. In addition, the number of area codes was reduced to 14 from 159. The new system brings the country in line with EU standards, allows for more competition among operators, and sets the stage for the introduction of new services.

Weather report

On Monday morning, autumn officially started in the Czech Republic and the weather is behaving accordingly. Tuesday is expected to be overcast and rainy with sleet or snow in mountainous areas. Daytime temperatures should range from 6 to 10 degrees Celsius.