News Saturday, OCTOBER 24th, 1998

Radio Prague e-news: October 23, 1998 Written/read by: Ray Furlong

Hello and welcome to the programme. I'm Ray Furlong and we begin with a bulletin of news.

Now the news in more detail.


Vaclav Havel's doctors have agreed that the 62-year-old president is well enough to travel to Germany on Saturday afternoon, to attend celebrations marking the 350 years since the Peace of Westphalia. However, Havel has promised them in return that he will ease up his work schedule in the days afterwards. Havel is said to be tired after this week's four-day visit to Britain - a visit his doctors had reservations about before he departed owing to the busy pace of his programme. But Havel's trip to Munster will be a short one, lasting less than a day. He'll be joining heads of state from 17 other countries whose predecessors signed the Peace of Westphalia and brought an end to the Thirty Years' War.


The Prime Minister, Milos Zeman, has made another attack on journalists - this time in connection with Czech-German relations. Zeman was recalling the harsh verbal exchanges he had had with Chancellor Helmut Kohl during Germany's recent election campaign, and said that many articles in the Czech press at the time echoed the ideology of Sudeten German organisations. He went on to say it was as if they'd been paid for by the Sudeten German leader Franz Neubauer. His comments come after the controversy caused last weekend, when he suggested journalists were easily corruptible.


There's trouble stirring in the world of music. Earlier this week the Dvorak Society complained about a plan to produce a rock n' roll version of the great composer's famous opera, Rusalka. And now the men behind the project have hit back. Producers Michael Prostejovsky and Zdenek John say the Dvorak Society's criticism was unsubstantiated and based merely on a number of recordings taken out of context. The Dvorak Society's lawyers had also said that Prostejovsky's team did not have permission from any of the inheritors of the Dvorak estate - to which Prostejovsky has now replied that quite simply, there aren't any.


A British woman has been charged with credit-card fraud by state attorneys in eastern Bohemia. The 47-year-old woman is alleged to have forged visa cards which she then used to make withdrawals from a number of bank accounts. The state attorney's office in the town of Hradec Kralove told the CTK news agency that three Nigerian men had also been charged with the offence, although the two cases were not linked. "It's good these cases were uncovered early," he said, adding that "other people carrying out this kind of activity may move away from the Czech Republic and go to other countries."


And finally, sex is proving as popular as ever in the Prague district of Smichov. Interest in a trade fair of anything and everything to do with eroticism, which opened on Thursday, has exceeded even the hopes of its organisors - with around 3,000 visitors on the first day alone. The fair has over thirty exhibitors selling all kinds of products, from condoms to blow-up dolls, and organisors say they're making a handsom profit. The fair, in Smichov's Narodni dum, continues this weekend with an extensive range of additional side-shows promised.


And to round of with the weekend weather - for Saturday the outlook is cloudy skies and scattered showers, with temperatures between 12 and 16 degrees celsius. Overnight temperatures are expected to fall to between 10 and six degrees, with strong westerly winds. A cold front will arrive on Sunday, reducing temperatures to between nine and thirteen degrees. And that's the news.