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Romania’s national team on 27th position in FIFA standings


Romania’s national team descended one position in the FIFA Nations’ Standings, and is now on the 27th position, with 814 points. The Brazilian national team is still at the top, with 1,642 points, followed by Spain, with 1,590 points. The third place goes to the Netherlands, with 1,379 points.


One of Romania’s adversaries in the preliminaries of the 2010 World Championship, France is on the ninth position, with 1,059 points, while Serbia is on the 14th position, with 925 points. Lithuania climbed one position and is on 59th place, with 545 points, Austria is on the 68th place, with 493 points, while the national team of the Faroe Islands ascended two positions to the 163rd place, with 96 points.


Russian referee team for Romania vs. Austria, in 2010 FIFA World Championship preliminaries


The game of Romania vs. Austria, scheduled on September 9 at the Steaua Stadium, at 20.45, in the preliminaries of the 2010 World Cup, will be attended by a Russian referees’ team, with Yuri Babaskov as main referee, the website frf.ro announces. Babaskov, aged 45, is the Russia-based FIFA referee with the longest activity (since 1998). He will be accompanied by Tikhon Kalugin (first assistant referee, aged 34, a FIFA referee since 2005), Anton Averianov (second assistant referee, aged 36, a FIFA referee since 2000) and Stanislas Sukhina, (reserve referee, aged 41, a FIFA referee since 2003). The arbitration will be supervised by the Danish Kaj Ostergaard, while the Swede Gerhard Sager was assigned as FIFA Commissar.

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Two Romanians killed in Berlin roof collapse


Two Romanians died in Berlin after the roof of an old building on the construction site of the future Orthodox Church in the German capital collapsed over them, official sources said yesterday, quoted by Mediafax. The two were a construction worker and a priest, according to the same sources. The spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, Alin Serbanescu, confirmed the accident. The German police are investigating the case and the Romanian embassy is closely monitoring the situation, he said.


Students suspected of murder remain in custody


A Timisoara Court of Appeals panel yesterday decided to keep in custody the two medicine students suspected of killing an elderly Roma man. The two students had appealed a previous court decision to place them in custody for 29 days pending investigations, but Court of Appeals magistrates rejected their action, even if their defence cited several procedural flaws. The two students, Carmen Bejan and Raul Florea, are accused of cold-bloodedly killing an elderly man with 50 knife blows and then cutting the victim in several pieces in an attempt to dispose of the body. Also yesterday, the funeral service of the victim, an important member of the Roma community, took place.

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Gunfire in Borsa: underworld member shoots at pursuing police officers


The police officers continued yesterday the series of searches that are part of the dossier on construction machines stolen from the West, with the prosecutors issuing arrest warrants in the ‘Bulldozer’ dossier.


According to Antena 3, several police units pursued one of the suspects. The 22 year old suspect that is part of an underworld group was driving an SUV and did not heed the police officers’ signals to pull over. Moreover, according to Voichita Zehan, the spokesperson of the Maramures Police, the young man smashed his vehicle against the police car three times. He subsequently damaged three other vehicles parked in the area. The police units pursued the suspect and managed to stop him downtown where an exchange of gunfire occurred between the two sides. It seems that one of the police officers was injured.


The ‘Bulldozer’ dossier investigations were initiated by the DIICOT prosecutors in March 2009 when the judicial authorities in Belgium and France notified the Romanian authorities about the existence of a crime group that had repeatedly stolen high-power road construction machines (excavators, cranes, bulldozers) from the territory of EU member states and was forging international and intra-EU transportation documents. The industrial machines were taken across the border into Romania with the help of false documents, without being disassembled. They were then hidden in the forests in Maramures or through various construction sites.


Bucharest Police apprehend members of a violent gang


Four members of a gang known for its violent crimes got apprehended yesterday during a search conducted by police officers at several locations in Bucharest and the town of Pantelimon, Ilfov County, Mediafax reports. During the operation, the officers also found a 12-mm hunting rifle, a rubber bullet pistol – both weapons held illegally – and various types of ammunition for lethal and non-lethal weapons, along with swords, clubs and axes. The four men were taken in custody under the accusation of attempted murder, indecent behavior, public order offences, and infringements of the weapons and ammunition legislation. They will be presented to the Bucharest Tribunal in order to be issued arrest warrants.

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US Ambassador in Romania took the oath yesterday


Lawyer Mark Gitenstein on Tuesday took the oath as Ambassador of the United States of America in Romania. In his address, he spoke about his Romanian grandparents, the Romanian soldiers who shed their blood together with American troops, as well as the stance in support of minorities’ rights taken by courageous leaders, like President Basescu. According to yesterday’s issue of ‘Cotidianul’ newspaper, Gitenstein recollected his ancestors from Braila and Iasi, his grandmother and grandfather – all of them of Romanian origin. The latter is 94 years old and lives in Florala, Alabama, the town where the new ambassador was born. Gitenstein pointed to the remarkable history of Romania in the last two decades, when she turned from a Soviet satellite country into one of the most loyal and trustworthy allies of the US, from a state-dominated and paralyzed market into the country with the fastest economic growth in Europe, until last year’s recession. Gitenstein also referred to the blood shed by Romanian soldiers alongside Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq, by quoting Shakespeare’s words: “For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.”


PSD wants Berceanu’s head


After Minister Victor Ponta stated on Monday that it was agreed during the Coalition leaders’ meeting that PSD will renounce the setting up of a Parliamentary investigation commission against Transportations Minister Radu Berceanu, the latter vehemently reacted on Tuesday, accusing the PSD leaders of lying and of violating the protocol signed by the two parties. ‘We talked that from now on we won’t back investigation commissions for Mrs. Andronescu and for Mr. Berceanu. We should stop these things if possible. After the Nemirschi and Ridzi precedents we will probably stop here,’ Victor Ponta stated on Monday. ‘Ponta’s statements stem from his imagination and have no connection with reality. There was no talk “about the Berceanu commission and the Andronescu commission.” I have personally asked the Social-Democrats not to protect me in any way and to initiate the ‘Berceanu’ Parliamentary investigation commission at the time and on the subjects of their choosing. The name Andronescu was not even mentioned,’ Radu Berceanu stated on Tuesday, being quoted by ‘Cotidianul’ daily.


On the other hand, Geoana stated that he does not want an anti-Berceanu investigation but that PSD is asking for his demotion from the head of the Ministry of Transportations.

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BUSINESS

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Romania ranks 3rd EU-wide following retail drop


Romania ranks third in the European Union (EU) in terms of the decline in the volume of retail sales in June, 17.8 per cent, against the year-earlier period, compared with an EU level of 1.7 per cent, according to data released by the Statistical Office of the European Communities and reproduced, Mediafax reports. Of the 17 states in the Eurostat standings, only four registered retail volume increases – Austria (2.7 per cent), UK (1.8 per cent), Sweden (1.2 per cent) and Poland (0.6 per cent). Latvia and Lithuania saw the sharpest falls, 29.1 per cent and 19.19 per cent respectively. In the EU, retail trade went down 0.8 per cent for foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco, and 1.3 per cent for non-foodstuffs. The indicator fell in June, compared to May, by 3.8 per cent in Romania’s case, the second-largest drop EU-wide, behind Latvia’s 5.1 per cent, while the EU overall retail volume rose 0.1 per cent.


CEC Bank posts HI RON 19 M profit


CEC Bank reported a net gain of RON 19 M in the first half of 2009 and a 21.65 per cent rise in corporate loans, Agerpres reports. Retail loans rose 1.75 per cent over the said interval, and savings deposits by 10.52 per cent respectively. Assets were up 34 per cent. CEC Bank improved its market performance both in terms of its assets and loans and deposits. At the end of the first half of this year, CEC Bank held a market share of 5.28 per cent, and 4.40 per cent and 7.42 per cent for loans and deposits respectively.

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