News of Radio Prague

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Czech military field hospital for Afghanistan agreed in principle - UK minister

The sending of a Czech military field hospital to Afghanistan has been decided on in principle, the British defence minister, Geoff Hoon, said after talks with his Czech counterpart Jaroslav Tvrdik in London on Tuesday. Mr Hoon said all that remained was to resolve practical questions regarding the hospital. The shooting down of a United States helicopter in Afghanistan on Monday illustrated the need for a field hospital, said Mr Hoon. The British and Czech defence ministers also discussed the Czech Army's planned purchase of Gripen fighter jets from a consortium of British Aerospace and Sweden's Saab.

Army truck carrying missiles involved in motorway collision

A Czech army truck loaded with anti-tank missiles collided with a van on the D 11 motorway between Prague and Hradec Kralove on Tuesday morning. The van hit the end of the slow-moving Tatra truck - the driver managed to get out of the van before it burst into flames. Firefighters arrived quickly and put out the blaze. Police closed the motorway in both directions for five hours while army munitions experts supervised the transfer of the anti-tank missiles to another truck. An army spokesman downplayed the risk of an explosion.

Construction union plans demonstration for Monday over pay, holidays

The construction trade union Stavba has announced that it will hold a protest demonstration in Prague next Monday. The union is demanding a nominal year-on-year pay rise of six percent, as well as a guarantee of five weeks holiday. The union's leader Miroslav Jarolimek said the demands were realistic, in the light of the fact that the construction sector has seen a boom over the last two years. The Czech Confederation of Trade Unions supports the construction union's demands.

Gregr's plan for management buy-out of mining companies blocked by government

Senior government figures have rejected a plan put forward by Trade and Industry Minister Miroslav Gregr for management buy-outs of two large north Bohemian mining companies. Mr Gregr had wanted the management buy-outs to take place before the term of the current government ends in June. The financial weekly EURO's website reported on Tuesday that both Prime Minister Milos Zeman and Labour and Social Affairs Minister Vladimir Spidla had blocked the plan.

President Havel hopes to see Romania invited to join NATO at Prague summit

President Vaclav Havel would like to see Romania invited to join NATO at the organisation's summit in Prague in November, his spokesman said after a meeting between Mr Havel and the Romanian Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana on Tuesday. Mr Geoana also discussed European enlargement and economic co-operation with Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman during his visit to Prague.

Weather

And finally a look at the weather forecast. Tuesday night should be largely clear with mist in places. Temperatures should range between minus two and plus two degrees Celsius. Wednesday is expected to be clear with cloud in places. The maximum daytime temperature should be 12 degrees Celsius.