News Tuesday, JUNE 29th, 1999

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

Those were the main points and now the news in more detail.

Belgrade condemns Havel's visit to Kosovo

Yugoslav officials have condemned Czech president Vaclav Havel's recent visit to Kosovo. The Yugoslav state press agency Tanjug accused Havel of breaking international diplomatic conventions by visiting the province without consulting the Yugoslav authorities. "As a sovereign state, Yugoslavia did not ask anyone to organize any visits on its territory," Tanjug wrote, quoting Yugoslav foreign ministry officials. The agency added that the incident was likely to damage the two countries' mutual relations.

Havel was the first head of a NATO member country to visit Kosovo after the cease-fire.

Zeman fails to prove accusations of Zieleniec

Premier Milos Zeman has failed to prove his allegations against former foreign minister Josef Zieleniec. At the end of last week, Zeman accused Zieleniec of hiring 60 PR agencies and journalists to secure his own positive presentation for money from the ministry's budget. Zeman promised either to prove the allegations by Monday or apologize but he has failed to do either.

Govt approves compensation of World War Two foreign army veterans

The government has approved a bill on compensations to Czech soldiers who fought against the Nazis in foreign armies during World War II. Deputy Premier Pavel Rychetsky told journalists that under the proposal, soldiers who suffered serious injuries, Czechs and Slovaks who served in a foreign army for more than one year, and widows of those who died in action will receive 120,000 crowns, others will receive 60,000.

Lower house to hold session

The lower house of Czech parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, begins its 15th session later today. The main items on its agenda include a law on referenda, a draft law on same-sex partnership, and the European Social Charter. A heated debate is expected concerning a controversial press law submitted by the cabinet. Premier Milos Zeman is also expected to present an assessment of the cabinet's performance over its first year in office.

Czech soldiers leave for Kosovo

Two out of three military transports bearing Czech soldiers for Kosovo have left the Czech Republic. The first train set off for the Balkans late on Monday, another followed Tuesday morning. The rest of the Czech KFOR contingent will leave the Czech Republic in the evening. The Czech Republic is sending 126 reconnaissance troops to the KFOR peace-keeping mission.

CTB announces tender for third mobile operator

The Czech Telecommunications Bureau has announced a public tender for the third mobile telephone operator in the Czech Republic. The new subject will be granted a license to operate in the 1800 MHz band. There are already two operators in the 900 MHz band. Experts expect the third operator to bring further drop in prices which are already low due to tough competition between the two current operators.

Czech weather report

And finally, the weather forecast. We're expecting a mostly clear day, afternoon highs should range from 23 to 27 degrees Celsius. Wednesday and Thursday should be rather cloudy with scattered showers, with highest daytime temperatures around 25 degrees Celsius.

And that's the end of the news.