Daily news summary News

16-01-2005

UN Mission confident that Liberia will extradite fugitive Czech arms dealer

Although the two countries do no have an extradition treaty, the UN mission in Liberia expressed confidence on Sunday that the Liberian government would soon hand over a Czech national charged with illegally exporting arms to Iraq and several other countries. Dalibor Kopp had operated an illegal ammunitions production line and exported arms to Africa and the Middle East. He was arrested by UN peacekeepers in Liberia last month. If found guilty Mr Kopp faces up to 10 years in prison.

PM Gross: fewer than one in four people now working for the police held those positions before 1990

Fewer than one in four people working for the police in the latter half of last year 2004 had been employed there before 1990, Prime Minister Stanislav Gross said in written reply to a deputy from the main opposition Civic Democrats. A historian told the state news agency CTK this was evidence that a "major overhaul" of the police force had been undertaken. Information on the number of former Czechoslovak secret police (StB) agents working for the police, however, has not yet been made public; Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan, asked to provide this information during a November session of Parliament, said none held any senior police posts. He said perhaps a couple dozen former StB employees work for the police and these had shown they were "of value to the force."

Woman who smothered her baby to death in 2002 loses final appeal at Supreme Court

A woman charged with suffocating her two-week-old daughter has lost a final appeal before the Supreme Court not to face criminal charges. Lucie Rokosova, now 24, had testified that the infant girl had been crying all night and that tried to quiet her baby by covering its mouth for a few minutes and had not meant to harm her. Rokosova also testified that at the time of the incident, which took place in October 2002, she was suffering from exhaustion and post-natal depression. She now faces up to 15 years in prison.

Legendary guitarist Chuck Berry kicks off European tour in Prague

The legendary rock-and-roller Chuck Berry has arrived in the Czech Republic and is due to kick off his "Rock n' Roll Never Forgets" tour of Europe on Sunday night in Prague. The 78-year-old guitarist, known for hits like Maybellene" and "Johnny B. Goode," will play Lucerna Palace along with the Joe Richardson Express, an American blues group.

Czech hockey team leads at World University Games top spot after beating Canada 5-4

Canada dropped a 5-4 decision to the Czech Republic on Saturday, in its second game of the men's hockey tournament at the 2005 World University Winter Games. Three of the Czechs' five goals came on breakaways. Czech goaltender Tomas Dusek was the story of the game, turning aside 49 of 53 shots. The Czech Republic (2-0-1) leads the way with five points, with defending champions Russia (2-0-0, 4 pts) second followed by Japan (1-1-1, 3 pts).

Neumannova wins World Cup in Nordic skiing freestyle event

In other sports news, Katerina Neumannova of the Czech Republic won the women's Nordic skiing World Cup freestyle race on Saturday. It was her 13th career World Cup victory - but her first in front of a home crowd. She beat World Cup leader Marit Bjoergen of Norway by 7.7 seconds.

Weather

Light snow flurries are expected throughout much of the country on Monday, but it should melt quickly, with daytime highs of 4 degrees Celsius.

16-01-2005