News Tuesday, AUGUST 11th, 1998

Radio Prague E News Written / Read by: Pauline Newman Date: 11.8.98

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. I'm Pauline Newman, those were the headlines, now let's take a look at the news in full:

Havel / Recovery

Czech President Vaclav Havel's doctors have announced that they are satisfied with their patient's progress. They are however, reluctant to say when they will abandon the tracheostomy. A member of the team of doctors, said on Monday afternoon, that the President is breathing alone, without the aid of a breathing machine, he added that the tracheostomy serves to avoid any further infection of the lungs.

According to Havel's personal doctor, Ilya Kotik, the President's condition remained stable over the weekend. He said that Vaclav Havel is now practising walking around and that although in theory, he could leave the building if he had to, doctors are reluctant to let him out into the hot sun. He added that although Havel's temperature tends to rise towards the evening, this is all part of his recovery after the operation.

Trial / Skinheads

The trial of three of the skinheads accused of murdering Romany Tibor Danihel continued on Monday in the Southern Bohemian town of Pisek.

The case which shocked the whole country in 1993 when the victim was found dead and battered in the river Otava after having clashed with a group of skinheads, is being carried out under high levels of security.

An official closely involved in the investigation, told journalists on Monday afternoon, that although many potential witnesses have denied having seen anything at all, many facts are now coming to light which suggest that they could know things vital to the investigation. He added that these people will have to co-operate with the police in the end and stop avoiding testifying.

Three of the four skinheads accused of the murder are being kept under very tight surveillance. In the meantime, a member of the President's office is attending the proceedings with an advisor to the Minister of the Interior.

Kolar / Secret Documents

Former Director of the Bureau of National Security, Pavel Kolar was found to be in possession of two documents which the Interior Ministry has described as secret.

According to a ministry spokesman, an investigation into the case is set to take place which should reveal why Kolar came to have the documents in the first place.

Kolar was dismissed from his post as Director of the bureau several hours after the new Interior Minister, Vaclav Grulich was appointed on the 24th July. He claims he was taking the documents to his new office. The head of Vaclav Grulich's office, however, claims that Kolar intended to take the documents home.

Temelin / Commission

It may be that the fate of the controversial Nuclear Power plant Temelin has finally been resolved.

Czech Environment Minister Milos Kuzvart and Trade and Industry Minister Miroslav Gregr came to an agreement on Monday afternoon on the construction of the plant. According to Gregr a commission will be set up, consisting of 12 experts. Three EU representatives and several foreign specialists are to be included on the board.

This was a bone of contention and the cause of much debate within the government, since in the past the Trade and Industry minister was against having specialists from abroad in, to judge the final construction of the plant.

Gulf War / Illness

The Czech ministry of Defence has announced that it has not closed the investigation into the mysterious illness which many soldiers have suffered from since their participation in the Gulf war. A spokesman told journalists on Monday afternoon, that the Ministry intends to send the afflicted soldiers in for medical tests again in order to get to the bottom of the matter. Many soldiers from the allied forces, returned from the gulf, suffering from what doctors have only been able to term "nervous disorders". Veterans of the war, often insist that the army has dismissed their illness and overlooked the impact this has had on the lives. Last week, the US Department of Defence declared Czechoslovak claims during the conflict, that low levels of nerve gas had been detected "credible".

Survey / Standard of Living

A recent survey has revealed that some 55 percent of Czechs are satisfied with their standard of living. Two fifths of those asked, told researchers that their standard of living is poor, while 6 percent said theirs is absolutely dreadful. The Institute for the Research of Public Opinion also revealed that while 26 percent of Czechs are concerned that their standard of living will worsen, 53 percent does not envisage any improvements in the situation.

We end as usual with a brief look at the weather:

Tuesday will see more of the scorching weather we have had over the weekend. Skies will be clear and sunny with temperatures reaching 34 degrees celsius, dropping during the night to 15 degrees celsius.

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