Press Review

r_2100x1400_radio_praha.png

Without exception all of Friday's Czech papers feature George W. Bush on their covers at the U.N. yesterday, where the U.S. president addressed the continuing problem of Iraq and possible U.S. strikes. The American president warned the United Nations that it would have to bring Saddam Hussein to heel in compliance with U.N. resolutions if it wanted to avoid U.S. military action. Meanwhile, here in the Czech Republic this Friday perhaps the most dominant story concerns the truth behind the Prague metro: it has now been confirmed that the once infallible system did contain engineering flaws that allowed extensive parts of Prague's subway to flood last month.

Without exception all of Friday's Czech papers feature George W. Bush on their covers at the U.N. yesterday, where the U.S. president addressed the continuing problem of Iraq and possible U.S. strikes. The American president warned the United Nations that it would have to bring Saddam Hussein to heel in compliance with U.N. resolutions if it wanted to avoid U.S. military action. Meanwhile, here in the Czech Republic this Friday perhaps the most dominant story concerns the truth behind the Prague metro: it has now been confirmed that the once infallible system did contain engineering flaws that allowed extensive parts of Prague's subway to flood last month.

Lidove noviny writes that breaches in several key areas allowed floodwater to enter the system, which had otherwise been completely sealed off. At one station one of the areas that failed to hold back high waters was a brick wall, which, according to original plans, should have been made from reinforced concrete. Under the circumstances anti-flood barriers that the transport authority says were in place, in time, were rendered useless.

Moving on to another item Friday's Mlada fronta Dnes goes back in history with a claim that Communist Czechoslovakia sheltered the Palestinian terrorist who masterminded the attacks on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Secret documents leaked to the paper confirm that in 1978 Palestinian terrorist Abu Daud spent several weeks in Czechoslovakia under a false name, with the protection of the Communist regime. The reason for his visit is not known, says the paper.

The information would have been gold dust to German investigators at the time, says Mlada fronta Dnes. The German authorities only issued a warrant for Abu Daud's arrest in 1999, when he admitted in a book to masterminding the massacre. The Israeli athletes were taken hostage in the Olympic Village by a Palestinian commando group demanding the release of prisoners. Eleven hostages were murdered, nine of them during a bungled rescue attempt by the German police.

Turning now to today's Pravo the daily reveals that the Czech Defense Ministry has not abandoned - only modified - its aim of buying new fighter jets for the Czech Air Force: from an original 24 planes it would now like to invest in half that amount. The paper indicates that this change may be an unpleasant surprise for most taxpayers, and highly unpopular for the government, after it was widely speculated that any deal on fighter jets was dead and buried when weighed against extreme flood-damage costs currently facing the Czech Republic. The original cost of buying 24 Gripen fighter jets from the SAAB - BAE Systems consortium was estimated at ^) billion crowns - the cost of flood damages - 100 billion.

Staying with Pravo fans of Formula 3000 will be dismayed to hear that Czech driver Tomas Enge has tested positive for illegal substances, in this case THC found in marijuana. Though the revelation has surprised the race world, the result will apparently not threaten Enge's start in the Formula 3000 season in Monza, Italy, the paper writes. Enge is currently neck in neck in the standings with French driver Sebastian Bourdrais as they head towards the championship title.