The Swedish media has reported that a 39-year-old Swedish national has been in custody in the Czech Republic since the weekend, arrested as an alleged terrorist plotter wanted by both the FBI and the US Central Intelligence Agency. On Sunday the suspect was detained at Prague airport on a Stockholm flight en route to Beirut, on the basis of an international arrest warrant. In the past the man, who has not been identified, was accused by the US of connections to terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden. The US has sought the suspect's extradition for a number of years for alleged terrorist plotting on US territory. The Swedish Foreign Ministry has not provided details in the case - investigations are underway.
A member of the right-of-centre Civic Democratic Party, Tomas Julinek, has criticised Health Minister David Rath for proposed changes in the health sector. On Tuesday Mr Julinek stated the proposed changes, the reduction of medical services by one-fifth, would see patients suffer, primarily those with chronic diseases, including patients awaiting kidney or bone marrow transplants. The health minister has not responded to the charge. Mr Rath, who is unaffiliated but will run on the Social Democrat ballot in general elections next year, has been at odds with members of the opposition Civic Democratic Party on numerous occasion in recent weeks, trading political barbs and charges over alleged corruption.
The Czech region of Moravia-Silesia said on Monday it would halt preparations at the Nosovice industrial zone to house a new Hyundai car plant if it is unable to buy the required land by the end of the week. A news release said that the region had exhausted all the legal possibilities at its disposition to buy the land to which five percent of the owners remained against. The region said that instead it will deploy its efforts to attract Hyundai to build its first European car plant at a second site at Mosnov, in the east of the Czech Republic, if the situation did not change.
Until now Nosovice has appeared to be the preferred location for the 1.24 billion US dollar deal for the South Korean car plant, which the Czech Republic hopes to sign over neighbouring Poland.
Hyundai's decision on the location of the plant is expected by the end of 2005.
A new survey released by Intrum Justitia has revealed that when it comes to payments Czech firms are the second-worst in Europe. Of seventeen countries examined only Portugal fared worse. According to the survey, among developed countries, the Czech Republic has three times the number of cases where creditors never receive payment. Justitia's director indicated on Tuesday that over two years of study the Czech Republic had improved somewhat on the risk index, but not enough to see a change in the country's position overall on the ratings ladder.
Czech police have nabbed a 23-year-old hold-up artist responsible for robbing twelve gas stations in southern Moravia since July. Using a fake gun and a balaclava to mask his identity, the man made off with the equivalent of 7,500 US dollars. He was caught several days ago in the Czech Republic's 2nd largest city of Brno. If found guilty he could face up to ten years in prison.
Wednesday is expected to see sleet and icy conditions with the daytime temperature hovering at about 2 degrees Celsius.
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