News Sunday, OCTOBER 31st, 1999

Hello and a very warm welcome to Radio Prague. I´m Rob Cameron, first the news headlines.

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

Deputy PM: demo confirms some police have "neo-Nazi sympathies"

The deputy Prime Minister Pavel Rychetsky has said police handling of Thursday´s street disturbances appears to confirm accusations that some officers sympathise with neo-Nazis. There were clashes on Thursday between riot police and anti-fascist demonstrators, who had gathered to express their opposition to a march by neo-Nazi skinheads to mark the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918. Police claim they broke up the crowd to prevent clashes with skinheads. Mr Rychetsky´s son Lukas, who was present at the demonstration, told reporters the crowd was prevented from leaving a square by police who then charged them with batons. The deputy Premier´s son, who lectures at Charles University, said he was beaten and thrown into a police van. He criticised the authorities for allowing the march to go ahead, and said street demonstrations were one of the few ways in which people could express their opposition to the skinhead movement.

Roma Youth criticises Labour Office over "R" files

The Association of Roma Youth has criticised Labour Offices for marking files belonging to Roma job applicants with the letter "R". The association´s chairman Jan Rac said the practice could be one of the reasons why Roma were emigrating from the Czech Republic. Mr Rac said the practice was reminiscent of pre-war discrimination and Nazi persecution of the Roma. He said it was up to the authorities to ensure the practice was halted. According to a report last week by the Czech News Agency some Labour Offices use the letter "R" to indicate that an applicant is Romany. Labour Office managers have denied the allegations, but both current and former employees have confirmed that the practice is routine. The Czech national airline admitted recently that tickets belonging to Roma passengers had until March been marked with the letter "G" for "Gypsy".

CSSD members defect to form new "anti-Germanisation" party

Several dozen former members of the ruling Czech Social Democrat Party in the North Bohemian town of Teplice have formed a new party - the Czech Social Democrat Movement. At a founding conference in the town the party adopted a programme of "fundamental social policies, Slavic solidarity and anti-Germanisation." As well as former Social Democrat members, the party also includes ex-members of the extreme-right Republican Party.

Faith-healing baker: putting clocks forward is "genocide"

A long-term opponent of putting the clocks forward in summer has filed charges with the Supreme Court. Stanislav Pecka, a baker and faith-healer, has fought for years against changing the clocks in summer, saying it disrupts the body´s natural biorhythms and leads to illness. Mr Pecka, who described the practice as "genocide", has sent official complaints to President Vaclav Havel and the European Commission for Human Rights. The clocks go back one hour at three a.m. on Sunday.


And finally a quick look at Sunday´s weather. It will be a rather cloudy day with isolated showers in places. Daytime temperatures will reach a maximum of 15 degrees Celsius, falling to four degrees at night.

I'm Rob Cameron and that's the end of the news.