Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

15-03-2003

Czech Republic ordered to pay ten billion crowns over TV Nova dispute

The Czech Republic has been ordered by an arbitration court to pay the US based-company CME over 10 billion crowns, or around 350 million US dollars, for failing to protect the company's investment in the Nova television station. The London court ruling follows a similar decision in the first phase of the legal battle over TV Nova. In 1999 Czech media magnate Vladimir Zelezny, whose company owned Nova's broadcast licence, squeezed investor CME out of the station before relaunching it himself. Mr Zelezny, who was elected to the Senate last year, is being investigated by Czech police on a number of fraud charges.

Meanwhile the governing Social Democrats' deputies group has called for the establishment of a committee of inquiry into the Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting's handling of the Nova affair and the activities of Mr Zelezny. Culture Minister Pavel Dostal has called for the council's dismissal.

Person making anonymous bomb threats demands money drop, reports Nova

The anonymous person who has been threatening to set off bombs if he is not given ten million crowns has demanded that the money be dropped from a helicopter at an unspecified location in south Bohemia, TV Nova reported on Friday. A pipe bomb was discovered on a railroad bridge in the eastern city of Olomouc on Wednesday and several bomb threats have been received in recent days. Meanwhile, the newspaper Mlada fronta Dnes reported on Saturday that investigators believe the perpetrator is acting alone and may be a former member of the security forces.

Meanwhile, a telephone bomb threat at Prague's Ruzyne airport on Friday - the ninth this year - turned out to be a hoax.

Klaus: post-war expulsion of Germans unacceptable from modern perspective

President Vaclav Klaus has said the Czech Republic and its neighbours must put the post-World War II expulsion of Czechoslovakia's German minority behind them. Speaking on the 64th anniversary of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, Mr Klaus said that while the past could not be changed, the events of that era were "unacceptable" from the modern perspective. After the war some three million Sudeten Germans were forced to leave the country and were stripped of their property.

Prague metro running completely as normal for first time since August floods

Prague's metro system returned to full service for the first time since August's floods on Saturday, with the reopening of the Palackeho namesti entrance of Karlovo namesti station on the B line. Trains on all sections of the line are also now running at normal intervals. Millions of euros worth of damage was done to Prague's underground system when large sections of it were completely submerged by the worst floods in centuries.

Weather

Sunday should be partially cloudy with snow showers in some parts of the country and a maximum daytime temperature of nine degrees Celsius. Weather forecasters are expecting temperatures to rise to up to 14 degrees during next week.

15-03-2003