Press Review

r_2100x1400_radio_praha.png

Both MLADA FRONTA DNES and LIDOVE NOVINY lead on Wednesday with the arrest of judge Jiri Berka on charges of declaring the bank Union banka bankrupt on the basis of false documents. The judge could face ten years in prison if found guilty of abuse of power.

Both MLADA FRONTA DNES and LIDOVE NOVINY lead on Wednesday with the arrest of judge Jiri Berka on charges of declaring the bank Union banka bankrupt on the basis of false documents. The judge could face ten years in prison if found guilty of abuse of power.

Czech Television's Michal Kubal has just returned from a stint in Baghdad which made him a household name in the Czech Republic and he is pictured on the front page of LIDOVE NOVINY surrounded by news media microphones at Prague airport on Tuesday.

The daily says Mr Kubal was only allowed to stay so long in the city because Iraqi censors could not understand Czech; that allowed him to do the kind of reports that got American journalists, for instance, expelled from the country. The journalist said he and his cameraman succeeded in staying in Iraq so long largely thanks to the great work of their Syrian guide Hassan Hamid, who also accompanied them back to Prague.

Former prime minister Milos Zeman may have just received his first pension cheque, but he has not quit politics for good, reads the lead story in PRAVO. Mr Zeman - who was thwarted in his presidential ambitions by current PM and Social Democrat leader Vladimir Spidla - says he is disturbed by the fall in support for the party he led to power and cannot stand idly by. Around a third of the party support Mr Zeman and would like him to make a comeback, he says.

Students of the Czech language at the University of Texas in Austin are to premiere the "Cimrman" play "Hospoda Na mytince" this Friday, reports LIDOVE NOVINY. Behind the staging of the play, written by the comic duo Zdenek Sverak and Ladislav Smoljak - and its fictitious hero Jara Cimrman - is Craig Cravens, a professor of Slavonic Studies at the university.

Asked who the play, with its very specific humour, will appeal to in the US, Mr Cravens answers with a forthright "nobody", adding somewhat optimistically that in time the Cimrman character could become as popular in the States as here in the Czech Republic.

The non-existent Cimrman is the greatest Czech of all time, according to one man interviewed in MLADA FRONTA DNES as part of its series "jaci jsme", which looks at Czech society today. In a poll quoted by the daily, first Czechoslovak president T.G. Masaryk was ranked the greatest Czech, followed by Charles IV and Jan Hus.

Two women you may have heard interviewed recently on Radio Prague also feature in today's press. The 93-year-old Lady Luisa Abrahams is pictured in PRAVO at a school in Melnik, which she presented with money she raised to help deal with the consequences of last August's floods.

And in MLADA FRONTA DNES the leading Czech women's football player, Pavlina Scasna, describes her debut for Philadelphia Charge in the United States professional women's league. Standards in the US are much higher than in Germany's Bundesliga, says Scasna, adding that she enjoyed her first game despite being on the losing side.