News Sunday, APRIL 25th, 1999

Radio Prague E-News Written/read by: Libor Kubik

Hello and a very warm welcome to you from Radio Prague. The weather here in Central Europe is just balmy, I am Libor Kubik in Studio 20, and here’s the news.


At the NATO summit in Washington, the alliance’s Secretary General Javier Solana and U.S. President Bill Clinton have welcomed the pact’s three new members – Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic.

In his keynote speech, Czech President Vaclav Havel described his country’s admission into NATO as one of the milestones in the history of the Czech Republic. He said that NATO’s enlargement had helped the world to newly divide itself along natural lines – regions united by commonly shared cultural, historical, political and general traditions.

But he said such regionalisation should not poise countries against each other. President Havel stressed that his country is aware of not only the guarantees but also the obligations ensuing from its membership in NATO.


Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman sees the solution of the Yugoslav crisis in disarming the Kosovo Liberation Army, giving NATO’s operation in Kosovo a UN Security Council mandate, and engaging Russia in the efforts to bring about a diplomatic solution of the conflict.

Premier Zeman was speaking at Saturday’s session of his ruling Social Democratic Party in Kladno west of Prague.

He said that the war in Yugoslavia was not between the goodies and the baddies. He said there exist well-founded suspicions that the KLA is connected with a drug-smuggling Mafia and is involved in terrorist operations.

According to Zeman, the cabinet wants to honour its commitments towards NATO but also to keep a distance from the Kosovo conflict, emulating the example of Italy, Greece and Norway.


Only one Czech in three supports NATO’s operations in Yugoslavia. And according to a poll just out, almost one half of those questioned by the STEM polling agency are opposed to NATO’s air raids against Yugoslav targets.

The poll was commissioned by Czech public radio and television.

Meanwhile, NATO on Saturday reported fresh attacks on Yugoslav military targets in its campaign to drive Serbian forces out of Kosovo.

NATO warplanes attacked a mobile radar site, a bridge, a ground-to-air missile site, and an artillery position.

Serbian media reported attacks on the city of Novi Sad in the north and Nis in the south. Belgrade, where the Serbian TV studios were blasted on Friday, was spared.


Police in the Czech Republic say they have arrested a man as he attempted to smuggle eight kilograms of heroin into the neighbouring Germany.

The police said the 27-year-old man from Prague, caught near the Rozvadov border checkpoint, had been charged with illegal production and possession of a habit-forming substance and could face up to 15 years in jail if convicted.

The street value of the seized haul would be around eight million Czech crowns, or more than 260,000 U.S. dollars, the police said.


A week-long Czech festival opened in the Jordanian capital Amman on Saturday. Our correspondent says that the event’s cultural programme includes live performances by the Prague Art Trio and the Lucka folk song and dance ensemble from Moravia, as well as art exhibitions and culinary shows highlighting famous Czech foods.

The joint Czech-Arab Chamber of Commerce has organised a trade mission of six Czech corporations to coincide with the festival.


Finally, a quick look at the weather here in the Czech Republic. A low-pressure area will bring some showers on Sunday, together with morning fogs. We expect night-time lows between four and eight degrees Celsius, and afternoon highs from 15 to 19 degrees.

On Monday and Tuesday, we expect an intrusion of warmer air and should be prepared for occasional thunderstorms. Night-time lows from five to nine degrees, daytime maximums between 16 and 20 Celsius.

I am Libor Kubik and that’s the end of the news.