News of Radio Prague

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Czech anti-chemical troops head for Kuwait

Czech anti-chemical warfare troops have begun sending their heavy equipment to Kuwait where they will take part in the U.S.-led military campaign. The equipment is expected to arrive in Kuwait in mid-March together with most of the two hundred and fifty soldiers from the anti-chemical warfare unit. Their tour of duty will last six months and will cost approximately five hundred and sixty million Czech crowns or 16 million US dollars.

Schroeder says irritations cleared up with Czech Republic

The German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's spokesman said on Wednesday that what he called the "irritations and misunderstandings" with the Czech Republic had been cleared up during the German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's recent trip to Prague. However, no date has been decided for Chancellor Schroeder's planned visit to the Czech Republic. The Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman said in an interview recently that the Sudeten Germans had been Adolf Hitler's "fifth column" and that expulsion was a better fate than the death penalty which was the normal punishment for traitors. Mr Zeman's statements drew a wave of criticism from German politicians.

Kafka's library back in Prague

The personal library of the German-Jewish-Czech author Franz Kafka has returned to his native Prague after several decades. The large collection of books, magazines and manuscripts, including some of the first editions of Kafka's work, had been owned by the car giant Porsche. The German auto manufacturer said it had acquired Franz Kafka's library from an antiquarian book dealer in Stuttgart with a view to handing it over to the Franz Kafka Society in the Czech Republic. The collection, which comprises some 1,000 books and other documents, has been valued at more than 4 million Czech crowns or over one hundred thousand US dollars.

High winds wreaked havoc across Czech Republic

High winds ripped off roofs, overturned lorries and otherwise wreaked havoc across the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Gales of 86 kilometres per hour were recorded in Prague, while in the mountains they reached about one hundred and twenty kilometres per hour. The winds subsided in the late afternoon.

Second Football Association official taken to custody

A court in the city of Brno decided on Wednesday to remand the former vice president of the Czech Football Association Jan Gottvald in custody. Jan Gottvald had been wanted by the police for months and handed himself in to the police in Prague on Tuesday. He is suspected of large-scale fraud. Mr Gottvald faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted. For the second time in a year, authorities have levelled fraud charges against a leading figure from the Czech Football Association.

Weather

And finally a look at the weather forecast. The night will be cloudy with isolated showers and snow in mountainous regions. Night time temperatures will range from 4 to 0 degrees Celsius. Friday will be brighter with scattered rain showers and snow and sleet in mountain areas. Daytime temperatures will range from 5 to 10 degrees Celsius.