News Sunday, MAY 23rd, 1999

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 in hospital, intensive cure

President Havel is still in hospital and undergoing an intensive antibiotics treatment. President's doctor Ilja Kotik told reporters that the intensive cure should prevent bronchitis from developing into pneumonia, which, according to Kotik, could be dangerous. Havel was taken to hospital on Thursday with a fever and bronchitis. He has been suffering from bouts of pneumonia since a surgery to remove a malignant tumour from his lungs in late 1996.

Kavan meets Chien

Czech foreign minister Jan Kavan continues his visit to China, aimed at strengthening mutual political and trade relations. On Saturday, Kavan met with Chinese deputy premier Chien Chi Chien to discuss the Kosovo crisis. Kavan said after their meeting that they also discussed human rights. In his opinion, different views of certain aspects of human rights should not be taken as intentional confrontation. The next stop on Kavan's 11-day Far East tour will be Mongolia.

Lux warns against change in electoral law

Former chairman of the Christian Democratic Party, Josef Lux, has warned against changes in the electoral law as planned by the two strongest parties, the Civic Democrats and the Social Democrats. In Lux's opinion, the attempt to limit the role of smaller parties will eventually turn against its originators and will pave the way for the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union to win the elections. If approved, the main change would be an increase in the number of constituencies with less deputies for each of them. Under this principle, bigger parties would stand a better chance to win the elections.

Aid for Kosovo refugees

Charity collections to help Kosov refugees continue throughout the country. Czech Catholic Charity has collected 17 million Czech crowns as aid for Kosovo refugees and sent several convoys with material aid to Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro. Czech first lady Dagmar Havlova, a former actress, has called on her colleagues from Prague theatres to provide material aid for Kosovo refugees. The presidential couple has already donated one hundred thousand Czech crowns from their foundation Vision 97 as aid for Kosovars who found refuge in the Czech republic. President Havel himself planned to visit Albania to help those suffering but his journey had to be postponed because of health reasons.

Czech weather report

And finally, the weather forecast. On Sunday, weather in the Czech Republic should be influenced by a high pressure area from South- West. We are expecting a partially cloudy day with scattered showers, afternoon highs should range from 15 to 19 degrees Celsius. The beginning of next week should be much the same, partially cloudy with occasional showers, with highest daytime temperatures between 19 and 23 degrees Celsius.

And that's the end of the news.