Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

24-05-2003

Police catch alleged "cyanide blackmailer"

Police say they've arrested a man believed to be responsible for a series of blackmail threats to local hospitals and other public buildings. The man - described as 30 years of age with a history of past convictions - is suspected of threatening to poison hospital food with cyanide unless he received 300 million crowns. The man has been charged with attempted blackmail.

NATO Russia Permanent Joint Council begins meeting in Prague

Members of the NATO Russia Permanent Joint Council have begun meeting in Prague. The meeting is part of the spring session of NATO's Parliamentary Assembly, which represents the Alliance's 19 members. NATO members are in Prague for talks expected to be dominated by the recent conflict in Iraq. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999, and last year hosted the first ever NATO summit to be held in the former Soviet bloc.

Anti-human trafficking conference held in Prague

Meanwhile government representatives from 55 countries have been attending a Prague conference on human trafficking. Delegates to the conference, organised by the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE), urged banks, employment agencies and other businesses to join the international campaign against human trafficking. The government representatives said that businesses must become more involved in the campaign, arguing that governments cannot fight the battle against human trafficking themselves.

Tuma happy with stability of Czech crown

The governor of the Czech central bank, Zdenek Tuma, has said he is satisfied with the recent relative stability of the crown, and that the next move in interest rates might be in either direction. Speaking to reporters at a symposium in Switzerland, Mr Tuma said he expected inflation to rise in the next few months. The crown is enjoying a period of unprecedented strength against both the dollar and the euro.

Bag containing plastic explosive found on rubbish dump

A paper bag containing five kilograms of plastic explosive has been found on a rubbish dump near the south Bohemian town of Ceske Budejovice. Police have taken away the material - described as nitro-glycerine - for examination.

Police in Prague arrest couple accused of producing pervitine

And police in Prague have arrested a man and a woman suspected of producing and selling the illegal drug pervitine. A police raid uncovered pervitine with a street value of 1.3 million crowns in a number of properties in Prague. Pervitine, an amphetamine similar to speed, is mostly produced in makeshift laboratories.

Postcard from LA reaches Czech woman - 21 years late

An elderly woman from the North Moravian city of Prostejov has received a postcard from the United States - more than 20 years after her sister posted it from Los Angeles. The card - bearing a postmark dated December 20, 1983 - carried news of the birth of a grandchild, who is now 21. The Czech Post Office told Pravo newspaper the late arrival might be connected to the poor geography of their American counterparts, saying 20 percent of letters from the U.S. are still sent to the Czech Republic via Ukraine.

Weather

Sunday will be another hot and sunny day, with temperatures in the daytime reaching highs of 29 degrees Celsius. Thunderstorms are likely in places.

24-05-2003