Press Review

Without exception, all the Czech newspapers today feature a photograph of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic standing trial at the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague. The papers report that Milosevic stood up when the judges entered the room, but that was the only gesture by which he showed his respect for the proceedings. He completely rejected the court, saying that the whole tribunal and all the accusations against him were false, inform the papers.

On domestic issues, today's LIDOVE NOVINY writes about last year's incomes of members of parliament, something that Czech readers always like to learn more about. The paper writes that senator Edvard Outrata earned the most, mainly thanks mainly to his Canadian pension. Second and third came the Speaker of the Lower House Vaclav Klaus and his deputy Ivan Langer, who both earned over a million crowns in addition to their salaries, from lecture giving and renting office space respectively.

But LIDOVE NOVINY writes that the MPs' and senators' income reports also include any gifts they received - some of which were quite strange. For instance, Minister without portfolio, Karel Brezina, was given an army dagger, while Vice Premier Vladimir Spidla received a tie pin, nine graphic illustrations and a bronze statuette. The paper informs that copies of MPs' income reports are available to the public on the first Monday of each month.

"Slovak gays might seek asylum in the Czech Republic," reads a headline in today's PRAVO. Slovak homosexuals, writes the paper, have warned that in protest against the failure of a law which would ensure them equal access to employment, many of them might leave the country and ask for asylum in the Czech Republic.

The draft legislation has not been approved by the Slovak Parliament mainly due to the Christian Democratic Movement's opposition - a move which may force Slovak homosexuals into leaving, says the spokesman of the gay rights association, Inakost. He adds that Slovak gays feel that they cannot live life to the full when faced with this kind of discrimination, writes PRAVO.

While sheep farmers and bee keepers are nervous of wolves and bears living in the Beskydy mountains in Moravia, ecological activists and owners of mountain chalets think such beasts might help to lure more tourists to the region, writes MLADA FRONTA DNES. Igor Genda from the Rainbow Movement told the paper that while, for instance, in Canada, tourists consider such wild environments as balanced examples of nature, Czechs try to avoid such areas altogether.

A Slovak expert on wolves, Juraj Lukac told the paper that excursions to the habitats of wild and dangerous animals already také place in Slovakia. Two travel agencies from Britain and Germany organize stays in the Slovak mountains for those clients who feel exited when walking through an area known for its bears and wolves, writes MLADA FRONTA DNES.

ZEMSKE NOVINY reports that the latest police interview with Helena Cermakova, whose 5-year-old daughter has been missing for two weeks, hasn't shed any more light on the case. Mrs. Cermakova is at present in hospital following her attempted suicide, and the case investigator believes she knows more about little Tereza's disappearance than she is willing to disclose. She has not been charged - she is still only a witness in the case, the investigator informed ZEMSKE NOVNY, adding that they would continue to interview Mrs. Cermakova.

Author: Olga Szantová
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