A Czech pilot was killed on Monday when his fighter jet crashed during a training session southwest of Prague. The single seat L 159 Alca went down in clear weather in a military area close to the town of Jince, shortly before noon. The wreckage was not on fire when emergency crews and the police arrived and it is not clear what caused the accident. An air force spokesman said the air force had lost one of its most experienced pilots. No one else has been reported hurt. Technical glitches and a lack of training have led to a string of accidents which claimed 24 of the county's elite pilots in the past decade.
The 72 year old pensioner who shot dead the Nigerian consul in Prague last week is being given psychiatric treatment in a prison hospital. The elderly man, who reportedly lost his life savings in an oil investment scam, has been charged with murder and faces up to 15 years in prison. He is said to be severely traumatized and prison officials say they fear he might try to commit suicide if left unattended.
The Czech government has approved a new health reform plan which is to be implemented over the next three years. The planned reform addresses inadequacies of the present system, among them a lack of emergency units and specialized care in some areas of the country. Health minister Marie Souckova says she would like Czech patients to be able to chose their physician, to be better informed about their treatment and to be more active in prevention. Although the law enables Czechs to chose their doctor this is practically impossible in many areas of the country, where there is a lack of physicians, waiting rooms are overcrowded and doctors work overtime in order to keep emergency units open on weekends.
The trial against former communist secret police investigator Alois Grebenicek which was to begin on Monday has had to be postponed since his defense attorney Cestmir Kubat is suffering from the flu. Judge Radomira Vesela who received medical confirmation of Mr. Kubat's illness has set the next trial date for March 24th. Mr. Grebenicek, who is 81, is accused of having tortured political prisoners in the late 40s and early 50s. Although proceedings against him have been underway for five years now, the accused never appeared in court due to his ailing health. Mr Grebenicek's son is the leader of the present-day Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia.
Tuesday is expected to be clear to partly cloudy, with day temperatures between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius.
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