14-12-2003

In this week's Mailbox: New QSL cards, education levels, Czech soldiers in Afghanistan. We answer questions from Caren Thomas and Victor Finley.

QSL card 2004 - Jaroslav JezekQSL card 2004 - Jaroslav Jezek We've been getting many questions regarding next year's QSL cards and our new set of cards is currently being printed. There will be eight in total and since the year 2004 is designated as the Year of Czech Music, our new cards will concentrate on that, featuring Czech opera singer Ema Destinova, pianist Rudolf Firkusny, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and the composers Antonin Dvorak, Jaroslav Jezek, Josef Suk, Bedrich Smetana, and Leos Janacek. Some of them feature their photographs, others places they lived in or visited many times in their lives.

But moving on to our first question. It's from Caren Thomas who lives in Texas, USA. She writes:

"I read in your news that unemployment in the Czech Republic is 9.9%. Could you tell us more in terms of education as far as the two genders are concerned?"

The latest figures from the Czech Statistical Office are from November 5th and show that the number of women with university degrees is increasing, while that of men has been stable. More men aged 70 and over - about fifteen percent - have a university degree than women - about four percent. As far as people men and women between the ages of 25 and 39 years are concerned, the number either studying or already with university degrees is about the same - about fifteen percent.

Victor Finley listens to us in Denmark and asks:

"With all the news on Iraq there has been little on Afghanistan. Is the Czech Army still involved there?"

Well, according to the Czech press, some 121 soldiers will be sent to Afghanistan in the spring of 2004. It seems certain, although the Czech Parliament will be making its final decision in January. Thirteen of the soldiers (an eleven-member demining team and two military meteorologists who'll be stationed at Kabul airport) will join ISAF - the International Security Assistance Force. The remaining 108 soldiers will take part in the US-led Enduring Freedom operation.

And we've come to the end of Mailbox. Just a quick reminder of this month's competition question: "what building near the Old Town Square in Prague is connected with cubism." If you don't know the answer already, have a look on our website, the building was featured in one of our broadcasts recently. You have until the end of the month to send your answers to the Radio Prague English Section, 120 99 Prague 2, the Czech Republic or to english@radio.cz.

14-12-2003