News Saturday, AUGUST 12th, 2000

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By Ray Furlong

CZECH-TV-CRISIS

Crisis-ridden Czech Television has received another blow with the surprise resignation of its head of news, Jiøí Hodáè.

Mr. Hodáè said he was resigning because the General Director of Czech Television, Dušan Chmelièek, refused to make public a blueprint he had prepared on the development of news coverage. Mr. Chmelièek has accepted the resignation.

Mr Hodáè also said that unspecified people who were outside Czech Television management were having ever greater influence inside the organisation.

There have been a series of shock resignations and disputes within Czech Television´s news section over the last year, amid various accusations of political influence on the institution.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Jiøí Hodáè has been taken to hospital - but no details have yet been given.

CZECH-GERMANY-PAEDOPHILES

Czech and German police have pledged to step up the fight against paedophile sex tourists travelling from Germany into towns on the Czech side of the border. The head of the North Bohemian Police, Jiøí Vorálek, has said that top policemen from both sides of the frontier will meet next week to draw up a better strategy.

This comes after reports on German television recently which stated that there are around 10,000 paedophiles in Germany who travel regularly to Czech border towns for cheap sex with child prostitutes.

Mr. Vorálek said the main problem in dealing with the situation was poor communication between Czech and German police. The German Interior Minister, Otto Schling, has also complained about this in the past.

The Czech Interior Ministry recently announced plans for a new agreement with Germany allowing the two countries´ police units to operate on both sides of the border.

CZECH-BOSNIA-TOURISM

The Czech embassy in Sarajevo has issued a warning to Czech nationals that holidaying in Bosnia is still dangerous - despite the recent decision by the country´s government to scrap visa requirements for Czech, Slovak, and Polish tourists.

A statement issued by the embassy warns in particular against the danger presented by landmines, saying tourists should keep to well-marked roads and not explore ruins or forests.

For many Czechs, Croatia has long been a popular holiday destination. The Czech embassy says people should not try to sentimentally repeat journeys to Croatia along the same routes they used before the break-up of Yugoslavia - many of which run through Bosnia.

CZECH-AUSTRIA

A leading member of Austria´s ruling People´s Party has said the Czech Republic does not have to repeal the Benes Decrees before joining the European Union. Josef Muehlbachler told the Austrian Press Agency that his party wanted the decrees scrapped, but they were not a condition for EU entry.

The decrees covered the expulsion of over two million Sudeten Germans to Austria and Germany after the war, and the confiscation of their property. The other party in the Austrian government, the populist Freedom Party formerly led by Joerg Haider, has said scrapping the Benes Decrees should be a condition for joining the EU.

WEATHER

And finally, the weekend weather. Saturday will be another glorious day, with temperatures between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius. Sunday looks like being even hotter - 26 to 30 degrees.

Nighttime temperatures will also be high - between 10 and 15 degrees. The fine weather is expected to continue into next week, with a chance of storms on Monday.