Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

19-11-2003

Field hospital winding up mission

The Czech field hospital in Basra is to leave the country before the end of the year, having completed an eight month long mission in the southern Iraqi city. The hospital treated both civilians and soldiers, conducting over 200 operations and treating over 10,000 people. Making the announcement in Prague on Wednesday, Czech Defence Minister Miroslav Kostelka said the hospital staff had done a great job and its work was much appreciated both by the allies and the locals. The field hospital is to be replaced by a Czech military police unit to be deployed 25 kilometres from Basra. The unit is to help train local police officers.

Police searching for hoax caller

The police is investigating an anonymous bomb threat which prompted a Czech airliner bound for the US to make an emergency landing in Iceland on Tuesday evening. The CSA flight, carrying 174 passengers, was forced to land in Keflavik after the US embassy in Prague received a hoax threat claiming there was a bomb on board. A search of the plane revealed no explosive. The flight's passengers and crew were housed in Iceland overnight and continued the flight to New York on another CSA plane on Wednesday afternoon.

Principal found guilty of child sex abuse

A primary school principal has received a three year suspended sentence for sexually abusing children. The court likewise ordered Frantisek Kalat to undergo sex therapy and banned him from teaching for a period of five years. The principal claims he is innocent of the charges and has appealed the verdict. Child witnesses said he had tried to force them to have oral sex with him while on a school trip to Spain, and had offered to pay for their services.

Police cracks down on people smugglers

The police have arrested a gang of people smugglers involved in smuggling illegal Chinese migrants across Europe. Over the past six months the gang is believed to have smuggled over 160 Chinese nationals to Italy, via the Czech Republic and Austria. Police in all three countries have been working on the case since April.

Eighth BSE case confirmed

The Czech Veterinary Office has confirmed an eighth positive case of BSE or mad cow disease in the Czech Republic. The animal was from a farm in southern Moravia and vets are now debating the number of animals which will have to be put down and tested. The number is expected to be at around 200.

Police recapture suspected sex offender

A suspect who may have been involved in a series of at least 18 sexual attacks against women, 7 in the Usti Nad Labem region of north Bohemia, has been recaptured after giving police the slip on Tuesday. The suspect, 29-year-old Martin Duna, escaped from a police station but was caught within the vicinity of his neighbourhood in the neighbouring town of Decin Tuesday evening. According to police the suspect, who has a history of violent offences, had confessed to the attacks just before slipping away. The circumstances of his escape are otherwise unknown.

Svoboda denies the allegation the government was planning to expand Temelin

Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda has assured his Austrian counterpart Benita Ferrero-Waldner that the Czech government is not planning the construction of a new nuclear facility - neither is it planning on expanding existing ones. Mr Svoboda's announcement followed a protest by Austria's Environment Ministry on Tuesday on allegations the Czech Republic's Trade and Industry Ministry was planning on building two more reactors at the Temelin nuclear power plant beginning as early as next year. Mr Svoboda said outright it was not a plan the government had discussed.

'Amateur palaeontologist' finds first dinosaur bone in Czech Republic

An amateur palaeontologist has uncovered the first dinosaur bone ever in the Czech Republic, found within the vicinity of a quarry in Kutna Hora. Michal Moucka, a doctor, was walking with his children when he spotted a bone in the ground that brought to mind it might be a dinosaur's, later confirmed by professionals. The bone comes from a specimen known as Inguanodontide, a herbivore that lived around 95 million years ago. It was between 2.5 to 3 metres tall and 4 to 5 metres long. Experts are speculating the specimen may have been about twenty years old when it died. Interestingly, the bone has revealed tooth markings left by a primitive shark. Palaeontologists are now hoping to research the bone fully to construct a model of the specimen that would be displayed at Prague's National Museum.

Weather:

Thursday should be a clear and sunny day across most of the Czech Republic with day temperatures between 9 and 13 decrees Celsius.

19-11-2003