News Sunday, APRIL 09th, 2000

Those were the headlines and now the news in full:

Czechs and Poles criticize human rights situation in Cuba

The Czech Republic and Poland have put forward a joint resolution criticizing the human rights situation in Cuba. The resolution, which was put to the UN Commission for Human Rights, had been consulted with UN representatives from Europe, the United States and Latin America. According to Czech deputy foreign minister Martin Palous it has met with unanimous support. The Czech authorities, who believe they have a moral debt to countries still labouring under dictatorships, have disregarded a sharp warning from the Cuban foreign ministry about not meddling in the country's internal affairs.

Kohinoor mine still not sold, strike continues

Over 50 miners are spending their 9th day underground now in a desperate battle to keep their coal-mine open. The mine's majority owner has now been persuaded to sell rather than close the Kohinoor mine in North Bohemia , but hope of a signed contract fell through as a potential buyer failed to show up for Saturday's planned meeting. Two other buyers have come forward and it is not at this point clear who will clinch the deal. The striking miners have no preference, only wanting guarantees that they will retain their jobs. Meanwhile mine-experts and psychologists are urging Kohinoor's management to speed up the sale, arguing that there is now a real danger of the miners' sustaining permanent health damage or worse, the danger of an explosion underground.

Who wants Lenin?

Spring cleaning is in full swing and some things you just don't know what to do with. The Czech town of Pardubice for instance is trying to find a new home for a two meter bronze statue of Soviet revolutionary Vladimir Ilich Lenin. Having paid close to a million Czech crowns for him some decades back they are not ready to give him away for free. Initial plans to have him melted down and re- modeled into the first Czechoslovak President Tomas Garrigue Masaryk had to be abandoned when the sculptor put his foot down. So Lenin he stays – and the highest offer from private collectors so far is 200, 000 Czech crowns.

Novak says wrong anthem fired him up

Jiri Novak's smash victory over the US's Pete Sampras at the Davis Cup quarterfinals may have had something to do with the fact that the organizers goofed in playing the Czech national anthem. They actually played the Czechoslovak anthem, seven years out of date , leaving the Czech team standing in total disbelief as they listened to the once familiar " lightening over the Tatra mountains" . " It did fire me up," Novak told the CTK news agency shortly after his stunning victory over Sampres [7-6 /7-1/ 6-3 6-2 ] on Friday. "I told McEnroe that when they come to Prague we'll play the Russian national anthem for them" he added. The captain of the Czech team has filed an official protest.

Finally a look at the weather:

No significant change is expected over the next three days. Sunday is expected to be a partly cloudy day with temps between 7 and 11 degs C. Scattered rain or snow showers in the higher altitudes. Night time lows around freezing point.