News Saturday, JULY 17th, 1999

Radio Prague E-news Date: July 17th, 1999

Those were the headlines and now the news in more detail:

Annan talks of reforming UN, praises Czech Republic

On an official two day visit to the Czech Republic UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said that the Kosovo conflict has highlighted the need for the United Nations to undergo internal reform and that it would be undertaken within six months to a year. Pointing out that the air-campaign against Yugoslavia had not been sanctioned by the United Nations, Kofi Annan stressed in particular the need to amend the right of veto in the UN Security Council, in order to break the ever present deadlock. Tape – Annan – audio As regards the Czech Republic’s role in the United Nations Kofi Annan said: Tape: Annan –audio The UN Secretary General is meeting with leading Czech government and parliament officials, and is to be received by President Vaclav Havel on Saturday.

Zeman says six ministries working well, four found lacking

Assessing the government’s performance during its first year in office, premier Zeman described the work of six ministries as above-average . Four were found lacking. The premier said he was particularly happy with the work of the foreign ministry, the interior ministry ,the justice ministry, that of labour and social affairs, and the ministry of defense. He expressed concern over delays in meeting EU accession criteria, slow legislative reform and the lack of any noteworthy results in the government’s Clean Hands operation.

Public discontent boosts Communist party’s ratings

Public support for the little reformed Communist party hit a new high on Friday, putting it ahead of the ruling Social Democrats. A July poll conducted by the polling agency STEM showed the communists up by two percentage points with an 18% popularity rating. The governing Social Democrats have dropped one percentage point to 17%. The center-right Civic Democrats of Vaclav Klaus are currently at the top of the ladder with a 23% support rating.

Two ring leaders arrested

The police report they have arrested the leaders of a drugs-trafficking ring operating in western Bohemia. The thirty three year old Albanian national and his 47 year old Czech accomplice have been charged with production and trafficking in opiates. They face up to 15 years in prison. Eight other people have been detained for questioning.

Finally a look at the weather : the weekend is expected to be partly cloudy with scattered showers and intervals of sunshine. Saturday’s temps are forecast at 21 to 25 degs, Sunday should be far warmer with afternoon highs between 23 and 27 degs.