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May 11, 2021
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NEWS IN BRIEF

MediaSind says that press freedom could become an “illusion”

The Romanian Federation of MediaSind Journalists said yesterday, on the Day of the World Freedom of Media, that the Romanian media, “this watchdog of the democracy is likely to become a poor, and the freedom in expression, a genuine illusion”.

“For 20 years, since the media and each citizen have regained the right to free expression, many politicians have had as a main target to make media silent just like during the Communist period”, according to the journalists from MediaSind, cited by Agerpres.

According to them, the attempts to undermine the media freedom have taken place by means of various actions and legislative drafts, among which “Macovei Code” – where the journalists had places in prisons “secured”, the draft of the law on proportional balance among positive and negative news, as well as the excessive political size of the public radio and TV institutions. Apart of these, there are, based on MediaSind, verbal and physical aggressions on journalists or pressures of the authorities against media institutions, such as investigations of Police or prosecutors aimed at intimidating the journalists. It has been aimed, several times, MediaSind says, at revealing the confidential sources or confiscating / copying documents related to media. A special chapter is represented by the concern of the authorities on intercepting communications.

Brasov taxi driver accused of murder, found dead in prison

A Brasov taxi driver who was accused of having killed two young women and then disposed of their bodies was found dead on Sunday morning in his Codlea Penitentiary cell. According to Antena 3, preliminary investigations show that Ionut Nicolae was killed by his cell mate. The taxi driver was accused of having killed two young women in 2007. One of the two was the daughter of the Brasov Emergency Situations Inspectorate’s deputy chief Gabriel Motruna. Nicolae reportedly killed the two young women and then rented an apartment in Bacau, where he hid the bodies.

Paraglider fell in Peles Castle yard after 30-metre fall

A young male paraglider from Targoviste dived into the yard of the Peles Castle in Sinaia, Friday, breaking his shoulder and sustaining head injures in the process. According to the Antena 3 news channel, the youngster was flown by helicopter to Bucharest’s Floreasca hospital. The young man recounted he started his glide at elevation 2,000 in Sinaia, yet strong air currents prevented him from landing. The incident occurred under the terrified eyes of Peles Castle visitors.

Bucharester attacked by bear in the Bucegi Mountains

A tourist was attacked by a bear in the Bucegi Mountains Friday morning, Mediafax reports. The tourist, a 41-year-old resident of Bucharest, came under the bear’s attack while the man was travelling from Diham to the Malaesti Chalet, injured his right ankle in the attack. A Rasnov-based mountain rescue team called by the man, who dialled the emergency number 112, took him down from elevation 1,680 to the foot of the mountain, from where a waiting ambulance took him to hospital.

Young woman injured after falling in three-meter pit

In Alba County, a group of young people set off on a closed route in Cheile Rametului mountainous region on Friday. While they tried to climb up a very steep area, one of them dislodged a rock, which hit a young woman in the group. The woman lost consciousness and fell in a three-meter deep pit, according to Antena 3. Fortunately, the girl survived the fall.

The woman, 21, is from Breaza and wanted to spend May Day with her friends in the mountains, according to the same source.

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NEWS IN BRIEF

Interior Minister eyes wide reform of Bucharest police

About 23 Bucharest police chiefs are under investigation and 68 others have already been sanctioned over poor management, following an investigation of the Interior Ministry’s Control Body, daily ‘Romania libera’ reported. The investigation showed that police are generally inefficient, that they have lost control over neighborhood gangs and groups, that they do not have enough information about criminal groups’ actions and that more often than not, they fail to find perpetrators in many cases. Interior Minister Dan Nica heavily criticized the police for failing to clean the streets. “Do your job, because Romanians are watching closely what goes on with the Bucharest police. You have people, there are about 7,000 police agents in the capital and you have the possibility of cleaning things up and clearly separating who has control of the streets, the police or the criminals,” Nica told Bucharest police chiefs. His comments came as the Bucharest Police Inspectorate announced a wide reshuffle so as to dissolve 80 leadership posts and to redistribute 400 positions to the Ilfov Police.

Complex surveillance system at the Black Sea

Romania was provided with a complex system of observation, surveillance and control of Black Sea traffic (SCOMAR), which is worth approximately EUR 25 M. The project, mostly financed by the European Union, is aimed at helping secure the Black Sea border, according to daily ‘Jurnalul National’. The system allows authorities to visualize vessels that are tens of kilometres away in the sea. With the help of the system, border police will be able to intervene in Romania’s territorial water to combat poaching, illegal contraband or human and drug trafficking, according to the same source. SCOMAR’s command centre is located within the Constanta Border Police Inspectorate. Present at the launch of the system, Interior Minister Dan Nica said SCOMAR was an exceptional system “which can be considered an example of good practices in Italy, Malta, Greece, which face illegal migration problems”.

Vanghelie: ‘When others hit the brake, we hit the gas’

Social Democrats’ Bucharest leader Marian Vanghelie said yesterday in Brasov, while commenting on the results of most recent opinion polls, that “when some hit the brake when taking a turn, we hit the gas”. Vanghelie said he was surprised to see President Traian Basescu’s sudden drop in opinion polls. “Let me present you some data. At the moment, Basescu has in Bucharest 31 per cent. This is for the first time a right-wing leader has dropped so much and so suddenly. (PSD leader) Mircea Geoana has 27 per cent, the Greater Romania Party has 9 per cent and Miss EBA (a nickname for Traian Basescu’s daughter Elena Basescu) has 5 per cent,” Vanghelie said, quoted by Realitatea TV. He added that the PSD is ready to “hit the gas” in the election campaign.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Nuclearelectrica: Romania, on superior position regarding energy reactors

Romania, with its two units at Cernavoda Nuclear-Electric Plant, ranks the first within a classification of the average values, countrywide, for the burden factor, calculated for the whole life cycle of the energy reactors, this value being 87 per cent, the highest within the 28 countries which use energy reactors, according to a press release published by Nuclearelectrica, Agerpres informs. From the classification drafted by Nuclear Engineering International, China, Slovakia and Ukraine are missing. Cernavoda Nuclear – Electric Plant secures, within the national energy system, nearly 18 per cent of the total energy produced in the country. At the end of 2008, out of the 424 positions within the classification, Unit 1 ranked the 43rd with a burden factor of 84.6 per cent, and Unit 2, ranked the 11th, with 89.3 per cent. Last Thursday, Unit 1 of CNE re-edited the record of the 300 days of uninterrupted functioning. Basically, the nuclear units from Cernavoda work permanently at their nominal power.

Ministry of Communications to pay EUR 100 M for Microsoft licenses

The Government authorized Ministry of Communications to pay nearly EUR 100 M for the right to use the Microsoft licenses by Ministries and by Governmental agencies over 2009 – 2012, the funds being earmarked from the state budget, the first installment being paid in 2010, as HotNews informs. In addition to this amount, there is a commission for foreign exchange and the expenditures incurred by the payment, on the basis of a decision approved by the Government. “In 2009, the public institutions use 150,694 licenses, which were purchased during 2004 – 2008 on the basis of a commercial contract providing for license rental addressing Microsoft products 0115 RO and its additional acts. The contract ceases on April 26, 2009, a date at which the non exclusive license using right also expires”, according to the document. The most numerous computers and servers for which licenses will be bought belong to Ministries of Defence, Health, Agriculture, Finances, Justice, Administration and Internal Affairs.

U.S. regulators seize a bank

WASHINGTON – U.S. regulators seized Silverton Bank of Atlanta on Friday, a bank that provided services to other banks and the biggest bank failure so far this year, but officials said the impact would be minimal. Silverton had about 1,400 client banks in 44 states and provided services that included credit card operations, clearing accounts and trading of loans, including the real estate loans that were its undoing. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said it had created a bridge bank to take over Silverton, saying this would allow its client banks to maintain their relationship with the least amount of disruption. “This is not going to change the financial make-up of any of the institutions doing business” with Silverton, said Mitchell Glassman, who heads the FDIC’s resolutions and receiverships division. Silverton, with about USD 4.1 billion in assets and USD 3.3 billion deposits, was the largest failure since Downey Savings and Loan was seized in November with about $12.8 billion in assets.

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