Press Review

"Detained Czechs might be sentenced to life imprisonment for drug smuggling," reads a headline in today's PRAVO. The paper informs us that in Greece, where a Czech couple has been caught with a substantial amount of heroin in their car, the sentence for smuggling drugs may range from 5 years to life imprisonment, depending on the seriousness of the particular crime. The Czech Consul spokesperson in Athens, Zuzana Otcenaskova, told PRAVO that the case of the two Czech citizens is being taken very seriously.

The 38-year-old man and his 30-year-old girlfriend are already facing charges, and will be undoubtedly put into custody. The couple comes from the North Bohemian town of Usti nad Labem, and they were caught on the Greek-Turkish border with more than 30 kilogrammes of heroin in their Mercedes. They are now being held in the town of Alexandrupoli and their lawyer says they are likely to receive high sentences.

ZEMSKE NOVINY reports on the situation at the Dusejov farm in Southern Moravia, where a week ago 134 cows were slaughtered after the Czech Republic's first positive BSE test had been confirmed in one of the animals. The paper quotes the farm's director, Zdenek Bartosik as saying that people in Dusejov are now getting back on their feet, as the insurance company has agreed to pay for a new herd.

The farm plans to buy several cows with calves and hopes that they will give milk as soon as the autumn. The spokesman of the State Veterinary Administration, Josef Duben, said the BSE case was something that the farm could not have prevented, and so the farmers will get 100 percent compensation for their losses caused by the slaughter of more than 100 cows. Mr. Bartosik looks optimistic - "we must forget the past and think of the future," he told ZEMSKE NOVINY.

MLADA FRONTA DNES reports that the search for a missing five-year-old girl continues in the town of Kladno, near Prague. Tereza Cermakova went missing on Tuesday, where she was last seen at a playground. Her mother Helena Cermakova, who was with the little girl that day, is struggling to remember what happened. She told police that she was sitting on a bench when she lost sight of her only daughter. The young single mother pleaded with the people of Kladno to help her find Tereza.

So far, the extensive three-day search has yielded no results. Hundreds of police officers, guards and ordinary citizens have combed through the town and its surrounding forests and ponds. The search party included helicopters, divers and dogs. Many people have come forward with information, but so far the police have no clues as to the girl's whereabouts. Every year in the Czech Republic over 1,000 children under the age of fifteen go missing. In most cases, the children are soon found, writes MLADA FRONTA DNES.

LIDOVE NOVINY says that reality TV is on its way to the Czech Republic. Few Czechs today have an inkling about shows like "Survivor", "The Jerry Springer Show" and "Big Brother", but now thanks to the private TV station, Nova, they will be just as informed as the 12 million viewers around the world who tune into those programs.

From July 12th, Nova will run a Czech version of Jerry Springer's talk show. One week later, it will follow up with thirteen episodes of "Survivor", called "Kdo prezije?" in Czech. Nova director Vladimir Zelezny has no interest in picking up Big Brother, which another private station, Prima, would like to acquire. Czech public service television has thus far not displayed an interest in reality TV programs, adds LIDOVE NOVINY.