News Sunday, AUGUST 09th, 1998

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Hello and welcome to Radio Prague. I'm Vladimir Tax and here's the news. First the headlines.

These are the main points and now the news in more detail.

Havel better

President Havel's health has further improved, the president's medical team announced on Saturday. The president's temperature is below 38, he is breathing without a respirator and is able to take solid food.

Germany pressing for apology

German finance minister Theo Waigel on Saturday asked Czech Premier Milos Zeman to apologise for his recent statement in which he drew a parallel between Sudeten Germans and Czech political extremists. Waigel said Zeman must apologise so that the Czech- German dialogue can continue.

Mr. Zeman has already drawm criticism from German chancellor Helmuth Kohl, foreign minister Klaus Kinkel and Bundestag speaker Rita Suesmuth.

Three million ethnic Germans, many of whom lived in a border area known as the Sudetenland, were expelled from Czechoslovakia after World War II and their property was confiscated. Most of them now live in the German state of Bavaria.

Lansky: Prague will not apologize

According to deputy premier Egon Lansky, the Czech Republic will not apologize to Germany for premier Zeman's negative statements about Sudeten Germans. Lansky said that Prague will do its best to improve relations with Bonn, but that there is nothing to apologize for. In his opinion, premier Zeman's statements were misinterpreted.

Social Democrat gear up for battle

The Social Democratic Party has been thoroughly preparing its candidates for the senate elections which are to take place in autumn. The party's election manager Jan Korf told CTK that the candidates will undergo training in for example, behaviour in public, rhetoric and talking to journalists.

French scouts in Czechland

A troop of scouts from Versailles, France, are helping to repair houses damaged by the recent floods in Eastern Bohemia. The help has been organized by the archbishop of the town of Olomouc and the catholic diocese in Versailles.

Czech weather report

And finally, the weather forecast. We are expecting a mostly clear day with afternoon highs from 27 to 31 degrees Celsius. The sun should still be with us, for the most part, at the beginning of next week, with temperatures between 29 and 33 degrees Celsius.

And that's the end of the news.