News Sunday, JUNE 11th, 2000

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Hello and welcome to Radio Prague. I am Libor Kubik, and we start the program with a brief news bulletin. First the headlines:

Those were the headlines, now the news in more detail.

CZECH-LIDICE-ANNIVERSARY

Fifty-eight years after being razed to the ground by the Nazis in World War II, the Czech village of Lidice on Saturday marked the anniversary in the presence of Prime Minister Milos Zeman and other high-ranking officials.

Mr. Zeman described the events in Lidice 58 years ago as the preview to a possible annihilation of the entire Czech nation if Hitler had won the war.

Lidice was burned down in June 1942, all its male inhabitants were executed, and women and children were deported to Nazi concentration camps on trumped-up charges that Lidice was instrumental in the assassination of the Nazi governor of the occupied Czech lands, Reinhard Heydrich.

A memorial to 82 Lidice children killed in a German concentration camp in Poland was unveiled on Saturday.

CZECH-HAVEL-HEALTH

Laboratory tests indicate that Czech President Vaclav Havel's condition has stabilized after the hernia operation he underwent on Monday and the serious breathing problems he developed earlier in the week.

Presidential spokesman Martin Krafl said on Saturday that Mr. Havel had resumed work and communication with his office by telephone. Mr. Krafl said the president would stay in hospital for at least one more week.

Havel's wife Dagmar has been spending time with her husband at the hospital each day. She is recuperating from Lyme disease, which is transmitted by tick bites and can result in memory loss.

President Havel had a hernia removed without complications on Monday but suffered from severe congestion in his lungs on Tuesday night. His breathing difficulties subsided as the week went on, and he was moved out of intensive care on Friday.

CZECH-VISEGRAD-APPEAL

The prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have urged the European Union to speed up its eastward expansion.

The premiers, coming together for a meeting of the Visegrad Group at Stirin Castle outside Prague, also repeated a call for increased cooperation with Germany.

The Visegrad Group was formed in 1991 in the Hungarian town of the same name with the aim of coordinating reform measures in the four countries.

A joint fund of one million euros was set up by the four prime ministers to fund joint projects.

CZECH-GERMAN-CRITICISE

Representatives of the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft have strongly criticised both the Czech and German governments for ignoring their demands for compensation.

Some 2.5 million ethnic Germans were forced to leave their homes in Czechoslovakia after World War II on the basis of decrees signed by then- Czechoslovak President Edvard Benes.

The Landsmannschaft's outgoing spokesman Franz Neubauer and the organisation's new chairman Bernd Posselt slammed both countries for their handling of the group's recent compensation claims and for allowing the Benes Decrees to remain on Czech law books.

The German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has said the decrees should not be an obstacle to the Czech Republic entering the European Union. Germany's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has described the group's recent compensation demands as counterproductive.

Czech President Vaclav Havel, Prime Minister Milos Zeman and Foreign Minister Jan Kavan have repeatedly stated that their country has no intention to abolish the Benes Decrees.

CZECH-SOCCER-EURO

Football now -- and midfielder Pavel Nedved has fully recovered from an ankle injury ahead of the Czech Republic's Euro 2000 game against the Netherlands on Sunday.

Coach Jozef Chovanec said in Rotterdam on Saturday all players were now fit and there were no serious injuries. Chovanec will tell his players who is playing against the co-hosts and favourites on Sunday morning.

CZECH-WEATHER

And we end as usual with a quick look at the weather.

On Sunday, a cold front from the west will bring an end to the current heat-wave here in the Czech Republic where temperatures have risen well over 30 degrees Celsius. We are expecting a cloudy day with scattered showers and thunderstorms, and daytime highs still between 28 and 32 degrees., dropping to between 14 and 18 Celsius in the night.

Monday's early morning lows between 14 and 18 Celsius, and it will be a wet day, again with frequent thunderstorms. Daytime highs between 22 and 25 degrees in Bohemia and between 25 and 29 Celsius in the eastern parts of the country.

Tuesday will bring us even more rain and daytime highs will drop to around 20 degrees Celsius.

I'm Libor Kubik and that's the end of the news.