Prague court officials have just freed on health grounds an old aged pensioner who, after losing 15 million crowns in a Nigerian "investment" scam, killed an official at the country's embassy. And if this tragic story wasn't unusual enough, it turns out that the freshly released Jiri Pasovsky is a man with a most colourful past.
June 12, 1987: The President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, speaks in front of the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin: "General-Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr Gorbachev, open this gate... Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
In the days of the Cold War people who came into regular contact with foreigners were kept under close police scrutiny and were put under intense pressure to report on details of their meetings. In the early 1960s the South African musicologist Geoffrey Chew spent a year studying in the city of Brno. His landlady was a highly cultivated woman, who spoke several languages. She was also a reluctant police informer, but she got round this rather distasteful problem in a neat and elegant way. On a recent trip back to Brno, Geoffrey Chew remembered