News of Radio Prague

Czech anti-chemical unit arrives in Kuwait to take part in US-led campaign

A Czech anti-chemical unit has arrived in Kuwait to take part in the United States-led military campaign entitled 'Enduring Freedom'. A plane carrying almost all of the 250 soldiers who will take part in the campaign arrived in Kuwait on Tuesday morning. The soldiers were taken to the camp at Dauha where they are to spend the next six months. Czech anti-chemical troops are said to be among the best in the world.

Lower house committee meeting on possible security breach by police adjourned

The lower house of parliament's defence committee adjourned a meeting on Tuesday due to the non-attendance of police chief Jiri Kolar, who is on a trip abroad. The meeting was to discuss an incident last week in which around 30 uniformed and possibly armed police officers attended a lower house session debating a bill on the security services. Member of the opposition Civic Democrats said that the police officers' aim was to intimidate MPs. The interior minister, Stanislav Gross, has denied that the police officers broke security regulations. The defence committee is to discuss the matter when police chief Kolar returns to Prague.

Visegrad environment ministers to meet despite recent dispute between leaders

The environment ministers of the Visegrad Four countries are set to meet on Wednesday, despite a dispute which arose between the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary last month. A planned meeting of the four countries' prime ministers was cancelled following statements made by the Hungarian prime minister Vitkor Orban over the Benes decrees. Under the decrees ethnic Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia and Hungarians had their property confiscated after World War II. The Czech environment minister, Milos Kuzvart said on Tuesday that environmental issues were not restricted by either borders or terms of office.

Spending on medicines up by 15 percent, consumption up 6 percent

Spending on medicines in the Czech Republic increased by 15 percent last year compared to the year 2000, according to the State Institute for the Control of Medicines. However, daily doses of medicine per head increased by only 6 percent in 2001.

Pensioner gets prison term for large-scale loan fraud

An old-age pensioner who conned some 130 people out of 8.5 million crowns has been sentenced to five years in prison. Jaromira Flekova, who is 63 and from the north Bohemian town of Jablonec, has also been ordered to repay all the money. Mrs Flekova borrowed money from her victims offering them interest of up to 30 percent, but in several cases only paid the interest without returning the money.

Czech paralympic team returns from Salt Lake City with five medals

The Czech Pararlympic team has arrived back from the Salt Lake City Paralympics with five medals. The blind skier Katerina Tepla won two golds and one silver, while Sabina Rogie - who is also a blind skier - took two bronze medals. The Czech Republic was 14th in the medals table at the games.

Wednesday's weather

And finally a look at the weather forecast for Wednesday. It should be cloudy with rain in places, with temperatures between nine and thirteen degrees.