News Sunday, AUGUST 01th, 1999

Hello and a very warm welcome to the programme. I'm Pauline Newman, first let's take a look at the main headlines of the day:

You are tuned to Radio Prague. Those were the headlines, now let's take a look at the news in more detail...

Czech President Vaclav Havel has voiced his approval of George Robertson's nomination to succeed Javier Solana as NATO Secretary- General. His support comes along with that of other leading politicians. Britain announced on Friday in Sarajevo, it had nominated the Defence Secretary, who proved an influential leader during the Kosovo war and is the architect of an admired strategic defence review. Vaclav Havel has also told journalists, that by attending the Sarajevo Summit, world leaders were showing their responsibility for developments in the Balkans. Statesmen meeting in the Bosnian capital, have endorsed an ambitious plan to end a cycle of bloody Balkan wars, by creating what they hope will be the conditions for peace, prosperity and security. Speaking to journalists upon his return from Sarajevo, the Czech President said that after ten years of conflict in former Yugoslavia, it has emerged that everyone has a right to freedom and human dignity. Mr Havel said that the summit had more than just a symbolic significance, in his view, it was an attempt to repair society and institute democratic thought and freedom. Serbia has since dismissed the Summit, saying it prefers to rebuild its country through trade not aid.

Controversy continues to surround speculation that in the past, the Czech Foreign ministry gave bribes to journalists. This follows recent claims made by the present Foreign Minister Jan Kavan, who first said two weeks ago, that he had proof of these illegal practices. In his latest move, he told journalists on Friday evening, that he intends to hand over all the information to Premier Milos Zeman who will deal with the matter. Mr Zeman is well known in Czech politics for his ability to produce evidence pointing to scandal. The Czech Premier for his part, also alledges that to his knowledge, the ministry during the mid-nineties under Josef Zieleniece, concluded some sixty contracts with various journalists and news agencies, in return for presenting the office in a good light to the public. Mr Zieleniece says he is eager to see the evidence and will also expect an apology from Milos Zeman, simply because in his words: "Lies should not become a normal part of dialogue between politicians and the public".

A Prague based catholic charity received on Saturday, donations and gifts of some 22 million Czech crowns. A spokesman said the organisation was quite overwhelmed, adding that six million will be used to provide immediate aid to refugees who are currently in the Czech Republic, while the rest will go on financing long term projects in Kosovo.

And we end as usaul with a quick look at the weather: Although the lovely warm weather we've been having over the last few days is set to continue over Sunday, there could be some thunderstorms in the evening as a result of the build up of pressure. Temperatures during the day should reach a high of 29 degrees celsius falling to about 11 overnight.

I'm Pauline Newman and that's the end of the news.