Angry villagers in Pungești, Romania, tear down the fence surrounding the Chevron shale gas prospecting site, built against the locals’ opposition to the project. Riot police stands helplessly by. December 6th 2013.
The 38 years old Khazar Karim Friad was detained by law enforcers on December the 13th, near the British Embassy in Bucharest. The Iraqi was in possession of a 7 inch knife and was plotting to physically injure and even to cause the death of several Western diplomats, it has been revealed in a press release from the Romanian Anti-terrorism Prosecutor’s Office (DIICOT). The targets were US and British diplomatic representatives posted to Romania, say the prosecutors. Investigators claim that the suspect is a follower of Saddam Hussein’s doctrine and thus was planning to avenge the military actions taken by Western powers on his country’s soil. Continue reading
Plastic bags filled with tap-water, thrown off helicopters, shovels and brooms. This is what Romanian fire-fighters and forest rangers are using in the battle against the forest fires that have been raging since the 20th of July, at high altitudes, in the Carpathian mountains. In the Bucegi Natural Reservation, on Monday alone the helicopter flew 11 sorties, at each of them being only able to deliver 35 bags full of water, the equivalent of half a ton, over the burning vegetation. Fire-fighters on the ground keep filling the plastic bags with water, loading them onto the craft and then crossing their fingers that the pilots don’t miss the target. Right next to the flames, other fire-fighters are trying to put out the flames with brooms and shovels, since the fire engines simply can not make it to the scene. Continue reading
Deep in the heart of Romania, in the Mureş County, Gerard Depardieu is undertaking a rare enterprise: the remake of one of the gems of Romanian film-making, “The Death of Ipu”, based on a short story by Titus Popovici. The plot takes us to the days of the German retreat from Romania, in late 1944, as Romanian and Soviet troops were pushing West. A German soldier is killed by partisans in a Romanian village and the German commander announces reprisals against the civilians. The village mayor, priest, policeman, teacher and notary have their wives arrange a feast for the village “under-dog”, a man named Ipu, in an against-the-clock attempt to persuade him to take the blame for the entire village. Continue reading
Romania’s seisure of a dozen Dutch lorries shipping in flowers from Holland as an alleged retaliation on Friday’s Dutch opposition to Romania’s accession to Schengen is anything but new, claim the Romanian media. France has also been targeted by similar retaliatory tactics, during Paris’ opposition to Romania’s admission to Schengen. Two major French companies under governmental contracts in Romania saw their contracts lost or almost lost, coincidentally at the very same time with the Romanian-French stalemate on the Schengen issue. Continue reading
Almost 30 persons, among which a German citizen and a TV executive from Bucharest have been taken into custody on Thursday, in connection with a male luxury prostitution ring. Zender Klaus, a German national living in Romania for 11 years, is accused of organising the encounters between gay men and male prostitutes – meetings attended, among others, by a journalist and a football player. Prosecutors claim that young men and boys would be brought to a villa in Snagov, close to Bucharest, to entertain other gay men in all-out orgies. These parties would take place on week-ends, mostly, fact confirmed by several neighbours who claim to have seen lots of men coming and going from the house. Continue reading
A member of the Romanian Broadcast Council has pulled a pistol during a hearing in front of the Culture Committee of the Romanian Parliament. Constantin Duţu was to testify on Wednesday afternoon in front of the committee when, at 14:00 hours Romanian time, he drew a pistol and placed it on the table, in front of the MPs. He then put it back in a briefcase, but immediately drew it back in front of the live television cameras. Immediately after, Constantin Duţu was removed from the committee’s chambers. Continue reading
This autumn, Romania’s MPs will have on their agenda the question of whether or not to reinstate the death penalty, after more than two decades since the capital punishment was abolished. Death sentences may again be legally pronounced against paedophiles who murder their victims, according to the bill submitted by the Liberal-Democrat senator, Iulian Orban. This initiative comes in the wake of an unseen crime wave against children. In the most recent case, a 10 years old girl was raped and then killed in Jimbolia, close to the Romanian-Serbian border.
A 64 years old man from Dolj, Romania, was until recently the proud owner of what may be the world’s largest bladder stone ever to be surgically removed. Florea Rotaru was suffering from extreme abdominal pains, but, like many Romanians, avoided seeing a doctor about his ails for fear of surgery. When eventually the pain overwhelmed his will power, the man admitted voluntarily to the emergency room of the Craiova County Hospital, where he was immediately taken to the operating room. The doctors were completely surprised at the size of the bladder stone revealed by the X-rays. Continue reading
Around 60 percent of the 3 million Romanian migrants are not planning to come back to their motherland, it was revealed in a survey conducted by the Soros Foundation. They are saving up to 40% of their earnings abroad – which totalled 12 billion Euros in 2010 – and they are now sending less money to their families at home. The amount sent to Romania by the ex-pats decreased to 2.8 billion Euros in 2010, while the remaining 9 billions remained stored in Western banks, the same survey announced. Continue reading