Czech soldiers will be helping to provide security in Estonia on the occasion of an informal meeting of NATO member states’ foreign ministers. The 22 Czech soldiers, who are all members of the army’s biological and nuclear specialists unit, will be traveling to Estonia on Sunday, ahead of the summit which is to take place in Tallinn on April 22 and 23. The Czech experts will be checking the location of the NATO meeting for poisonous and nuclear substances. In the past, Czech soldiers have worked in security and anti-terrorism units at numerous international events, such as the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 and NATO summits across Europe.
Czech soldiers from the anti-chemical unit will help guard next month's
NATO summit in Latvia, the cabinet, which is expected to resign next
week, decided on Wednesday. Twenty-seven experts on chemical,
biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons will be deployed to Riga,
where they will serve from November 21 to December 9. The Czech
contingent will be part of a multi-national unit but its expenses paid
for by the Czech Republic, the Defence Ministry said.
The government also decided to send three specialists on pyrotechnics to Lebanon. The team is to take part in the UN's peace-keeping unit UNIFIL.
In possible cases of bio-terrorist attacks or leaks of dangerous substances into the environment, efficient detection and early-warning systems could save many lives. Czech scientists have developed a special optical sensor, a device which can detect dangerous biological substances in the environment.
In this edition of One on One we find out what it's like to be a sports reporter on the Czech beat: my guest is Jan Palicka, a sportswriter for the major Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes, who covered such memorable events this year like the European Football Championships in Portugal - where the Czechs excelled - and the Athens Olympics, where they clinched just one gold. When we met at a garden café some time ago I began by asking Jan how he long he had been involved in writing and why he had chosen sports.
In this week's Mailbox, we have letters from the US, India and Ireland. Mohammad Shamim asks about Czech participation in the Olympics, Jonathan Murphy recalls his recent visit to Radio Prague and Otto Schwartz has a question about dance schools in the Czech Republic. And you will also find this month's Radio Prague quiz question.
On Thursday the president also met all the Czech athletes who won medals at the recent Olympic Games in Athens. Mr Klaus thanked them for representing the country in an exemplary manner, and wished them continued success in the future. The Czech Republic took one gold, three silver and four bronze medals in Athens.
This week saw the publication of a book simply entitled "Athens 2004" by Herbert Slavik, a Czech photographer who spent the recent Olympics chronicling the feats of the Czech team at the Games. The Czech Republic took one gold, three silver and four bronze medals in Athens, and the general secretary of the Czech Olympic Committee, Vladimir Dostal, says that was an achievement.
Lenka Smidova made a little bit of history recently, when she took the Czech Republic's first ever Olympic medal in sailing, a silver in the "Europe" category. Since returning from Athens, Lenka - who spends nine months of the year on the sea in various parts of the world - has been enjoying some time at home, attending numerous events celebrating her success. I spoke to the Olympic medal winner in Prague on Tuesday, and asked her if she had been confident of success ahead of the Athens Games.