News Wednesday, AUGUST 25th, 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.

Formanova Wins Gold in 800 Meters

Ludmila Formanova of the Czech Republic won the gold medal in the 800 meters at the World Championships in Seville. Maria Mutola of Mozambique was second, Olympic Champion Svetlana Masterkova finished third. Formanova overtook Mutola over the last 50 meters of the race to finish in 1 minute 56.68 seconds.

Prague City Council approves three million crown aid to Turkey

The Prague City Council has allocated three million crowns from its budget to purchase medical material for earthquake- hit Turkey. Initially, Prague considered sending a rescuer team of dog-handlers to Turkey but as Prague Lord Mayor Jan Kasl told journalists, the plan was thwarted due to the inflexibility of the Foreign Ministry. He said that a team of rescuers with sniffer dogs from the municipal fire brigade was prepared to start for Turkey immediately and most of the expenses for their stay in Turkey was to be covered from the city budget.

Klaus slams dailies for bias

The leader of the main opposition Civic Democratic Party Vaclav Klaus has accused two Czech daily newspapers of bias against his party. Popular dailies MLADA FRONTA DNES and LIDOVE NOVINY had refused to publish an advertisement submitted by the Civic Democratic Party for its candidate in the senate election, claiming it was not in line with the advertising standards. While LIDOVE NOVINY eventually published the advertisement unchanged, MLADA FRONTA DNES carries the advertisement with one paragraph blacked out. Klaus insists that the reasons were political and that there have been efforts to prevent his party from gaining access to the media. The advertisement is highly critical of another candidate for the seat in the Senate which became empty earlier this year.

CET 21 violated no U.S.-Czech agreement - executive

The licence holder for the private Czech station, Nova Television has refused claims that international agreements were broken. The company's executive Peter Krsak told journalists that no inter-state agreement on investment protection was violated as claimed by a former United States Ambassador to Austria Ronald Lauder. he has instituted arbitration proceedings against the Czech Republic for its failure to protect his investment in the Czech television broadcasting sector. Krsak pointed out that for the several million crown investment, the american investor received ten- fold more, adding that it was also necessary to protect domestic investors.

Lauder Commences Arbitration Against Czech Republic

Ronald S. Lauder, the former United States Ambassador to Austria, has instituted arbitration proceedings against the Czech Republic under the Bilateral Investment Treaty. In 1993, Mr. Lauder made significant investments in the Czech television broadcasting sector. His investments, strongly encouraged by the Czech authorities and undertaken under contractual arrangements approved by those authorities, led to the creation of TV Nova -- the most successful private television station in the Czech Republic. The Notice of Arbitration alleges that, since 1996, the Czech Republic has failed to protect Mr. Lauder's investment as required by the BIT and as a result, the value of Mr. Lauder's investment has been severely undermined. Mr. Lauder is now seeking financial compensation for the harm he has suffered and enforcement of his rights through the restoration of the originally approved contractual arrangements.

Ministry to ban tobacco ads

The ministry of health wants to limit tobacco advertising. Health minister Ivan David told reporters that the ministry suggests for example gradual diminishing of billboards, displaying of advertisements only in places where tobacco products are sold, and limiting sponsorship by tobacco producers. He said that the proposals are based on World Health Organisation recommendations and EU practice. The proposal will be discussed by the government today.

German environment minister to visit Czech Republic

German environment minister Juergen Trittin will visit the Czech Republic this week on the invitation of his Czech counterpart, Milos Kuzvart. The two ministers are to discuss the Czech Republic's preparations for EU membership, and environmental issues such as cross-border pollution, energy production and highway connection between the two countries.

Dvorak does well in Seville

And once more from the Athletics World Championship in Seville - Czech decathlonist Tomas Dvorak, a world record holder, is in pole position overnight to add a second world championship gold medal to the one he won in 1997. He has notched up 4,582 points after five events. Dvorak, who broke Dan O'Brien's seven-year-old record when he amassed 8,994 points last month in Prague, set a personal best in the long jump with 7 meters 98, and in the shot put with 16.49 metres. He had earlier run the 100 metres in 10.60. Dvorak came close to the world record already when he won gold with 8,837 points in Athens. The 27- year-old Dvorak said recently he believed he was capable of exceeding 9,000 points.

Czech weather report

And finally, the weather forecast. On Wednesday, weather in the Czech Republic will be influenced by a high-pressure area. We are expecting a mostly sunny and quite warm day with afternoon highs ranging from 23 to 27 degrees Celsius. Thursday and Friday should be rather cloudy with scattered showers on Thursday, with highest daytime temperatures around 25 degrees Celsius.

And that's the end of the news.