ARTS & LEISURE

NEWS IN BRIEF

Johann Strauss Ensemble returns to Bucharest in December


The famous Austrian chamber music orchestra Johann Strauss Ensemble will give on December 16, at the Palace Hall from Bucharest, the extraordinary concert “Christmas in Vienna,” the organizers inform. First soloist and conductor of this concert is the charismatic concertmaster of the orchestra of the famous Schonbrunn Palace, Russel McGregor. He had the occasion to accompany and “conduct” Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Ildiko Raimondi, and many others. Born at Oxford, Great Britain, Russel grew up and “made the first steps” in music in the distant Australia, where he returned for a triumphal concert at the famous Opera House from Sydney. The Australian musician plays a violin manufactured by Carlo Giuseppe Testore in 1697, violin which is the “younger sister” of the famous violin of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Special guests in the show from Bucharest are the soprano Romana Beutel and the baritone Michael Havlicek. Last year they received standing ovations from the audience which filled up the Palace Hall from Bucharest. Being for the fifth year in a row in Romania, Johann Strauss Ensemble became a landmark of the high quality music for the public from our country. Johann Strauss Ensemble also delighted through its musical performances the public from many cultural centers of the world – Tokyo, Osaka, Melbourne, Sydney, Paris, London, Monaco, Madrid, Rome, Brussels, Berlin, Zurich, Hambourg, Salzburg, Linz or Vienna. The tickets were put on sale at the box-offices of the Palace Hall, Bucharest National Theater, Musica shop, Nottara Theater, metro station Unirea 2, the network of Diverta and Germanos bookshops, Carrefour network and online on vandbilete.ro, biletedelatati.ro, bilete.ro, blt.ro, ticketpoint.ro and eventim.ro. The show is part of the national multiculturalism and multilingualism project “Art against Drug 2009.” The event takes place under the high patronage of the Embassy of Austria to Bucharest.


Polanski agreed to pay victim $500,000


SAN FRANCISCO – Film director Roman Polanski agreed to pay the victim in his sex crime case at least $500,000 as part of a civil settlement reached years after he fled the United States, the Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday.


Polanski reached a confidential settlement in 1993 with Samantha Geimer, the newspaper said, citing court filings made available on Friday. The paper said it was not clear whether the filmmaker paid her. The final document filed in August 1996 had him still owing Geimer $604,416, according to the Times. Geimer has acknowledged reaching a civil settlement with Polanski, the Times said.

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SPORTS

NEWS IN BRIEF

League 1, ninth leg results


Otelul – FC Brasov 1-1 (0-1)

Ceahlaul – Rapid 0-4 (0-2)

FC Vaslui – Astra Ploiesti 3-1 (2-1)

Gaz Metan- Urziceni 0-0

Craiova – Alba Iulia 3-1 (2-1)


Francophone Games: Athletes Alina Militaru and Ileana Sorescu win Gold


The Romanian athletes have won two Gold medals (Alina Militaru – long jump; Ileana Sorescu – discus throw) and one Bronze medal (Cristina Sandu – long jump) on the first day of the athletics event at the Francophone Games in Beirut. The long jump event was dominated by Romania’s representatives, Alina Militaru winning the event with a 6.49-meter jump and Cristina Sandu finishing third with a 6.27-meter jump. France’s Vanessa Gladonne won the Silver with a 6.30-meter jump.


Ileana Sorescu won the discus throw event with a 54.28-meter throw, followed by Suzanne Krabge (Ivory Coast) with a 53.68-meter throw and Coralie Glatre (France) with a 51.55-meter jump.


Rulmentul Brasov wins first game in second preliminary round of CL


Women’s handball club Rulmentul Urban Brasov has defeated Italy’s HC Sassari on Saturday, score 43-37 (23-14). The Group 1 game counted for day two of the tournament in Lublin (Poland), a tournament that is part of the second preliminary round of the Champions League. In another game SPR Lublin SSA lost to Norway’s Byasen HE Trondheim, score 29-19. In its first game Rulmentul lost to SPR Lublin SSA, score 29-19. Rulmentul played against Byasen on Sunday evening. Byasen HE tops the group standings with 4 points, followed by Rulmentul with 2 points, SPR Lublin SSA with 2 points and HC Sassari with 0 points.


Otelul Galati – ZRK Kikinda, 27-28 in EHF Cup


Women’s handball club Otelul Galati lost its home game against Serbia’s ZRK Kikinda on Saturday, score 28-27 (14-15). The game counted for the first leg of the second round of the EHF Cup. The home-side’s goals were scored by Nicoleta Tudor (3), Amelia Busuioceanu (10), Maricica Trandafir (1), Daciana Curtean (1), Tatiana Alifanova (1), Catalina Cioaric (5), Carmen Gheorghe (2), and Adriana Tacalie (4). The return leg is scheduled on October 10 in Kikinda.


Sharapova wins comeback title in Tokyo


TOKYO – Former world number one Maria Sharapova won her second Pan Pacific Open title after Jelena Jankovic retired with a wrist injury in Saturday’s final. It was Sharapova’s first title since shoulder surgery last October and the 20th of her career. Her last tournament win came at Amelia Island in April 2008. The Russian was leading 5-2 when seventh seed Jankovic complained of shooting pains down her right arm and called for the trainer to tape up her wrist at the changeover. The Serb managed just two more points after a medical timeout before throwing in the towel.

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Social

NEWS IN BRIEF

A Romanian woman, among the victims of the land slippage from Sicily


A Romanian woman aged 48 years is among the victims of the land slippage caused by the abundant heavy rains in Sicily, according to an announcement made on Sunday by Civil Protection, who has identified, until the time being, 12 corpses out of the total 22 dead, as ‘Corriere della Sera’ reports, cited by Mediafax. The Romanian woman, identified as Monica Balascuja, died in the Sicilian locality Scaletta Zanclea, where several houses collapsed.


At least 22 persons died and other 30 are reported missing, based on the new situation summary released on Sunday, following a land slippage that buried several houses from East of Sicily into mud. Nearly 80 persons were injured, some of them burnt into the explosions of gas bottles and 400 were evacuated.


Romanian hero in New York


A Romanian has become a hero in New York after rescuing, last Wednesday, from a fire, a 4–year old boy.


Horia Cretan heard from his store “desperate screams” and he went out. Noticing the fire that was coming out from the window of a fourth floor of a neighboring building, “the good Samaritan” – as mass media over the Ocean referred to him – went upstairs fast, on the fire scale of the building, he took the child, he went with him downstairs and he covered him with a blanket to protect him. The child health condition is good. Cretan, aged 33, has been living in New York since 1994 and he owns an IT store in Bronx neighborhood, according to the newspaper “Adevarul”. The sister of the young man said for the same newspaper that when he was 12, Horia also rescued her from a fire that started from a default plug, a fire where unfortunately their father died in.


35 pupils get intoxicated with unknown substance in Braila


A number of 35 children, aged between 5 and 14, from the Batogu village, Ciresu commune, Braila County got intoxicated with an unknown substance and were committed to the Braila County Hospital with headache, nausea, dizziness and syncope. The Public Health Department on Friday reported the case to the National Center for the Prevention and Control of Transmissible Diseases. According to the Health Ministry, the children have a mild form of intoxication and the symptoms appeared after the sports class at school. The small patients are well now and will be held under observation for a few more days, added the source. Experts from the Public Health Department say the children might have been intoxicated with a herbicide, as the school is located near a facility dealing with such substances, and parents say weed-killers had been sprayed on the surrounding fields last Thursday.


Raids with gunfire and drunk drivers after Sarmalelor Festival in Harghita


Drivers on the verge of alcoholic coma and gunfire, these are the results of the raid that the traffic police conducted on Saturday night in Harghita County after the conclusion of the Sarmalelor Festival, of the Days of Harvest and the Grapes’ Festival. The traffic police patrols stopped hundreds of drivers and issued fines surpassing RON 4,000. Six drivers now have criminal files and nine others are left without drivers licenses. The highest alcohol level detected by breathalyzers stood at 1.19 per thousand. In Toplita the police made use of their guns in order to stop a driver that ignored the traffic patrol’s signals. Cezar Asandei, chief commissioner of the Harghita Traffic Police stated: ‘The police officers made use of their weapons in order to stop a driver. They found out that the driver had no license and was driving under the influence.’

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POLITICS

NEWS IN BRIEF

MEP Gigi Becali officially joins presidential race


Independent Euro-Deputy and head of the New Generation Party – Christian Democrats (PNG-CD) on Saturday officially announced his candidacy for president. Becali, who is also a known businessman and financier of Steaua football club, will run under the slogan “Faith, hope, love” and believes PSD leader Mircea Geoana will be his main rival in the race.


“If Traian Basescu doesn’t run, I think I will go in the run-off because I cannot see who can defeat me. If Basescu runs, I’m hoping for the third place,” Becali said. He made his announcement on Saturday, before President Basescu made public that he was indeed running for a second term. Becali voiced confidence that he can defeat Liberal leader Crin Antonescu as well.


As for his campaign, the MEP said he will not attack his rivals and will not spend more than EUR 100,000 because he “doesn’t need to.” “Give me a ten-year term and you will see a Romania that God will love,” he said, adding that his purpose is to make a “spiritual Romania” that would have no casinos, no gambling and no sex shops.


He also said he was against legalizing prostitutions and drug consumption, in reference to a recent report by a presidential commission suggesting that light drug use and prostitution be decriminalized. “We’ll legalize prostitution and drugs and turn this into the Devil’s country. Vote for him (e. n. Basescu) if you want prostitution,” Becali said.


His candidacy was greeted by Antonescu, who said however that he was surprised to hear Becali that he would settle for the third place. “You don’t move on from the third place, it not like football, this is not Champions League or UEFA,” Antonescu said.


Oprescu still expected to launch BID


Bucharest General Mayor Sorin Oprescu will soon announce his presidential bid, ex Social Democrat leader Octav Cozmanca said, quoted by daily ‘Gandul’ on Friday. Cozmanca said that Oprescu would announce his candidacy “on Sunday or Monday” after “the government circus ends.”


“Now we’re working hard to have everything ready. Some events will follow – Geoana’s congress, Vadim and Becali’s announcements and then we will make it public,” according to Cozmanca, who is Oprescu’s campaign head.


‘Gandul’ also wrote that Oprescu’s volunteer teams have already begun raising signatures for the mayor’s candidacy for president.


Oprescu meanwhile traveled to Brasov, where he met with his friends on Saturday to discuss the presidential bid. The Bucharest mayor explained that he wants to consult with his friends and see how much support he would have before deciding whether to run for president or not.


When asked when he would launch his candidacy, Oprescu did not specify a date, but said it will not be a big event. As for who he would sign an alliance with if he makes it into the run-off, Oprescu said he was almost certain he would make it. “And they will ask me, they will offer me an alliance strategy. If I get to Cotroceni, Romanians will breathe a sigh of relief for getting some normality,” Oprescu said, quoted by Agerpres.

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POLITICS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Ioan Rus: PSD should have remained in Gov’t


Ioan Rus, a former Social-Democrat Minister of Internal Affairs, stated on Saturday for Realitatea TV that his party should have avoided leaving the Government. In his opinion the second round of Presidential elections will bring PSD in the position to negotiate a return to Government. ‘What would have happened eventually if PSD were to remain in Government? The Senate Speaker and his team of ten ministers would have run against the Romanian President and his team of ten Ministers. What would have been the problem? Why was there the need to leave the Government by all means? You could have run for office from that position too.’ Asked whether PSD could have avoided this move, Rus answered: ‘Undoubtedly. From December 6 we will return to negotiations, meaning that what they abandoned since then and until now they will have to resume in early December. We threw a tantrum only to pick things up from where we left them three months from now.’


Rus refused to state at what moment he might leave PSD to form another party. He underlined that during these Presidential elections he backs Mircea Geoana but that he maintains his right to criticize him.


Laura Codruta Kovesi, reappointed as prosecutor general


President Traian Basescu on Friday signed the decree for reappointing Laura Codruta Kovesi as prosecutor general of the prosecutor’s Office within the High Court of Cassation and Justice.


Laura Codruta Kovesi will thus keep her position for another three-year term. The announcement was made in a press release posted on the internet site of the Presidential Administration.


The decision comes a week after the member of the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) rejected a proposition by Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu to designate Kovesi as chief of the General Prosecutor’s Office for another term. CSM rejected this by an overwhelming majority, with all its five members voting against, but their reasons were rather personal than management-related.


According to Mediafax, Kovesi said Friday that she sees her new term in office as both a responsibility and an opportunity to move forward the projects she already started and to implement the measures necessary for the Public Ministry’s institutional development.

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