In Mailbox this week: The Czech Republic and the International Criminal Court, ownership of churches, a cat parasite featured in Czech Science, day nurseries in the Czech Republic. Listeners quoted: Wayne Soukup, Max Pottie, Barbara Deacon, Aloisie Krasny.

Thanks for tuning in to Mailbox, the programme dedicated to your questions and opinions. We are always glad to hear from our regular audience but we are also happy to learn that we have new listeners or readers. One of them is Wayne Soukup from the United States:

"I recently 'discovered' the existence of your website. I'm having a great time catching up on the culture, personalities and news from my ancestral homeland (great-grandparents left south-east Moravia in the 1880's). Thank you."

And as we can see from Wayne's e-mail from a few days later, he keeps coming back. This is his comment on our recent piece of news:

"I was astounded to find that my ancestral homeland is the only nation in Europe that has not signed on to the International Criminal Court. For a nation that has been victimized twice in the last century by criminal regimes to defy what appears to me to be common sense should be an embarrassment to the Czech citizens. The argument was made by the current [American] administration to leave the Court out of fear that charges against US diplomatic, government and military personnel might be brought before the Court. Given recent history, that might have been a reasonable fear. However, it was and remains one reason that America has lost the respect of much of the world."

In Nova Scotia in Canada, Max Pottie listens to the early morning rebroadcasts of Radio Prague programmes on the CBC.

"I particularly like to listen to your news because I find your country to be so old, yet so modern. Besides many of your best hockey players play here in North America. I have been particularly interested in your comments on historic churches and the problem of ownership. For one thing, here in my part of Canada, so few people attend Mass that the Catholic Church is closing churches and consolidating parishes. It would seem to me that the Catholic Church is the real owner of the old churches in your country but if, as I understand it, fewer people attend church, they should be glad to have them taken off their hands.."

Barbara Deacon from Prince Edward Island, Canada, also listens to Radio Prague at that early hour:

"This morning there was a report on the radio about humans getting a parasite from domestic cats that can cause many problems. Can you tell me what this parasite is called and how a person finds out if they have it or not and how it is treated?"

The parasite you mention is toxoplasma and you can find the complete transcription of that edition of Czech Science on our website.

Illustrative photo: archive of Radio Prague
In response to this week's report on the shortage of state-run day nurseries, Aloisie Krasny from Sydney, Australia, sent us this comment:

"The Czech Republic is developing and moving ahead but I must say I am surprised that essential services such as child minding facilities have not been catered for. Most companies in the West have child minding facilities for mothers which enables them to go back to work and earn a decent salary. I think that Czech women need to put their heads together and begin their own businesses and open their own day care centres. This is quite normal in Australia and other Western countries. Comes on ladies, there comes a time when you have to go out and do it yourself; put a plan into action, find the niche in the market and take the opportunity which is obviously out there. Create the best childcare facilities you can and develop your businesses."

Thank you for your comments and also for the answers to our monthly competition which have been arriving in great number. You still have one more week to send us your answer if you haven't done so yet.

This month we want you to tell us the name of a British film actor, who was born in Prague in 1917 but moved to Britain in 1939. He is perhaps best known for his appearances in the famous "Pink Panther" movies with Peter Sellers.

The address for your answers is [email protected] or Radio Prague, 12099, Prague, the Czech Republic. Thanks for listening and till next week, bye-bye.