Press Review

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No single topic dominates the Czech papers today - although a particularly brutal photo on the cover of Pravo of men shot dead in the assassination attempt on Afghani president Hamid Karzai is certainly attention grabbing to say the least. But it's with the Czech reaction to a possible U.S.-led strike against Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein that we begin. The daily Mlada fronta Dnes writes that the Czech Republic would like the U.S. to avoid an attack on Iraq, or at least have any strike sanctioned by the U.N. first.

No single topic dominates the Czech papers today - although a particularly brutal photo on the cover of Pravo of men shot dead in the assassination attempt on Afghani president Hamid Karzai is certainly attention grabbing to say the least. But it's with the Czech reaction to a possible U.S.-led strike against Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein that we begin. The daily Mlada fronta Dnes writes that the Czech Republic would like the U.S. to avoid an attack on Iraq, or at least have any strike sanctioned by the U.N. first.

The Czech desire to avoid a military conflict is in keeping with the vast majority of European countries in NATO. They would prefer to see a diplomatic solution, with the return of inspectors to Iraq to investigate whether the country is currently producing weapons of mass destruction. One person who sees a military attack as feasible, though, is Defence Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik. Mlada fronta Dnes quotes Tvrdik as posing the question "Can you really trust Saddam Hussein?" Well, he doesn't think so: Tvrdik adds that as Defense Minister he is "less gullible" than other politicians.


Moving on, today's Lidove noviny features a story about what it calls a legal fiasco concerning the trial of three male suspects charged in the Czech Republic's greatest post-office robbery ever. Just under 30 million crowns were stolen from a Prague post office five years ago, when two masked men held up the post, tied up postal workers and kept them at gun-point, while a third stood guard outside. Olfactory evidence, found on the bindings used and in the suspects' car, as well as the testimony of two postal workers, and failed lie-detector tests, not enough for the court to find the suspects guilty. They were released due to a lack of direct evidence.


Fed up with work? Many Czechs are, writes Hospodarske noviny in an article quoting a study that finds the Czech workplace leaves something to be desired. According to the paper some of the factors that make the Czech workplace less pleasant than, for example, work environments in the European Union, are a greater concentration of overall noise, longer work hours and less opportunities for special training. Hospodarske noviny writes that, according to the study, a third of Czechs believe their health is at risk because of the allegedly low quality of the workplace. Apparently, though, Czechs complain less than Hungarians, the paper writes.


Finally for this Press Review we return to Mlada fronta Dnes for a story that frankly seems almost too awful to believe: the paper writes that on Thursday a Czech woman, nine-months pregnant, attempted to give herself a caesarean - which she then, apparently, sewed up herself. Doctors insist she must have been assisted, that it was impossible she could have done something like that alone, but not all the circumstances have been cleared up. Both the woman, and the unborn child, were found dead by paramedics the husband claims that he hadn't noticed anything unusual about the mother's behaviour the morning he left for work.