Press Review

A new case of BSE - the country's third - makes the front pages today - "Mad Cow Disease Returns" thunders MLADA FRONTA DNES. Right next to that story is a photo of Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, head of the Czech Catholic Church, holding up the skull of the Czech patron saint St Wenceslas. Thousands of Catholics attended a mass in Prague's St Vitus Cathedral on Saturday to celebrate St Wenceslas Day - or Day of Czech Statehood as the new holiday is officially known.

Meanwhile celebrations were also underway across the river at the Estates Theatre, where Mozart conducted the world premiere of Don Giovanni in 1787. Director Milos Forman used the theatre for his Oscar-winning film of Mozart's life - Amadeus - in 1983. Forman returned to the Estates Theatre this weekend to unveil a new DVD of Amadeus - digitally re-mastered and twenty minutes longer than the original.

The film was released in 1984, and became a huge hit, winning a total of eight Oscars. Forman was deeply moved by the interest in Saturday's showing, says MLADA FRONTA DNES. "I can't believe that you came to see a 20-year-old film which is now even 20 minutes longer," he told the audience. Milos Forman also revealed that the Communist authorities only let him film in the Estates Theatre because they were desperate for hard currency. "They told me then - your colleagues in the Czechoslovak film industry are against the idea, but you have the strong backing of the Ministry of Finance."

Preparations continue for November's NATO summit in Prague, writes LIDOVE NOVINY today, and as part of those preparations police are busy vetting the thousands of people involved in the summit. They range from secretaries at the Prague Congress Centre - where the summit will take place - to chambermaids working at the Hilton Hotel, where U.S. President George W. Bush and his entourage will be spending the night. For two days in November, says LIDOVE NOVINY, the Hilton will become a fortress.

Moving on, and PRAVO reports that Civic Democrat deputy chairman Ivan Langer recently compared Social Democrat Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla to Stalin. Mr Langer said that it was only a matter of time before the Prime Minister begins to use the same ruthless methods as the late Russian leader. Vladimir Spidla is no stranger to "Soviet dictator" comparisons - his nickname in parliament is "Vladimir Ilych", after Stalin's predecessor.

And finally back to MLADA FRONTA DNES, and news that police are investigating a 48-year-old businessman from Central Bohemia after discovering a large cache of arms at his home. Police found a total of 62 weapons at the man's house, including heavy machine guns, mortars and even an anti-aircraft gun. Most of the weapons date back to the Second World War, but many are still fully functional, says the paper.

The man said in his defence that he had a passion for collecting military hardware. The police have no reason not to believe him, says MLADA FRONTA DNES, but they say he was naive if he thought he didn't need a gun license to own them. He now faces up to five years in prison.