Bogdan Aurescu, on North-American tour

The Foreign Ministry’s State Secretary for strategic affairs Bogdan Aurescu will meet with deputy advisor for national security Anthony Blinken on Monday and Tuesday. He will also have meetings with Pamela Quanrud State Secretary’s deputy advisor for Europe, Dan Russel, deputy assistant to the State Secretary for Russia, Ukraine and Belarus affairs and other American officials in the Pentagon and National Security Council. According to a press release from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, talks will include the strategic mutual partnership on regional security, energy issues and NATO cooperation for a new strategic concept draft within the alliance. Another issue State Secretary Aurescu will discuss will be the Visa Waiver programme. After the US visit Bogdan Aurescu will go to Ottawa to discuss with local officials a reboot of mutual political relations in the context of 90 years of diplomatic relations between Romania and Canada. The Romanian official will also sign the Canadian-Romanian accord for social security.

Geoana, Romania’s special envoy
in Moscow

The Social-Democrat presidential runner acknowledged having paid a private visit to Moscow aimed at ‘normalizing the Russia-Romania’ dialogue, although he was not empowered by the Supreme Council of National Defence, a body whose vice-president was at the time, to do so. ‘Today’s relationship with the Russian Federation is frosty, practically, normalizing the dialogue was my chief goal,’ was the reason Geoana provided Saturday for the ‘informal contacts’ he had in Moscow. Geoana having no mandate from CSAT was what Traian Basescu reproached him. ‘You can’t be the CSAT vice-president and travel for meetings in Moscow without even notifying the CSAT president about it,’ Traian Basescu reproached Geoana in a televised program, Geoana’s Senate president capacity would have allowed him a formal visit to his Russian counterpart at the most, yet not executive-related contacts. Despite allegations he had met with an adviser to Russian president Medvedev, Geoana gave no clue over who he met with in Moscow. Liberal presidential candidate Crin Antonescu, who called on Geoana to reveal the content of his negotiations with the adviser to president Medvedev, whether he asked for financial support for his campaign and had a CSAT mandate for the meeting, also criticized Geoana’s visit to Moscow. Antonescu did not find Geoana’s answer satisfactory.

Bomb alarm
on train boarded
by Ludovic Orban

A bomb alarm on the Bucharest-Budapest international train proved a fake. Liberal Leader Ludovic Orban was among the passengers who boarded the train which departed from Bucharest Saturday evening. Orban said he took the train after the alarm was proved to have been false. The train departed from Bucharest North Railway Station at 8:27 pm, with a 37-minute delay. The spokeswoman for the CFR Calatori railway authority, Oana Branzan, said a 112 call had been received about a bomb placed on the said train, which led to their evacuation a short while later. The railway police checked the train and found no explosive device on it, so that passengers got onto the Budapest-bound train.

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IMF: The trend of Romania’s GDP in Q3,
better than expected

Romania’s economy ‘is moving in the right direction’ as a result of a redress in demand, International Monetary Fund (IMF) official Tonny Lybek said, who nonetheless drew attention to domestic uncertainty on the political plane.

‘Things are moving in the right direction if we look at the redress in foreign demand, but the other way around too, if we look at domestic uncertainties. Let’s hope this situation will be short-lived. There are policies that need to be implemented and next year’s budget is yet to be passed,’ Hotnews cited the IMF representative for Romania and Bulgaria as saying. Lybek also stated that economic contraction data for the third quarter in Romania were better than the Fund’s anticipations, yet the 7.5-8 per cent projection for 2009 needs to be kept in place for now. Romania’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP) continued declining in the third quarter too, when it was 0.7 per cent lower than in the previous quarter in real terms, and down 7.1 per cent according to early statistic estimates Friday. The January-September GDP fall was of 7.45, less than the first-half reduction of 7.6 per cent.

A profitable Q 3 for OTP Bank Romania

OTP Bank Romania registered in the first nine months a profit after taxation of 779 M Forint (EUR 2.74 M or RON 11.7 M), against a loss of 196 M Forint in the same period of the past year, but setting up provisions almost four times bigger. OTP Bank Romania operational profit rose in the first nine months from 1.14 bln Forint to 4.86 bln Forint (EUR 17.1 M), after the 2 per cent fall of the operational expenditures, from 10 bln Forint to 9.87 bln Forint (EUR 34.8 M).

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Car falls in ravine
on Transfagarasan road

A car fell in a ravine, Sunday, on National Road (DN) 7C – Transfagarasan, in a zone closed to traffic, and the three occupants trapped inside were extracted only after mountain rescue teams came to the spot. According to Diana Lazar, spokeswoman for ISU Sibiu, the initial report was about just one person trapped inside the automobile. The mountain rescue team stationed at the nearby Balea Lac resort was the first to respond. “My teammates got to them and were able to get them out of the car. The vehicle had fallen in a ravine and was battered, so it was very hard to free the occupants, but the team managed to do it. Three men were injured in the accident. Two of them are in good health, but the third is unstable,” said Adrian David, the chief of Sibiu Salvamont Service.

Four day old baby left in incubator
by medics

A newborn baby was rushed to the ‘Grigore Alexandrescu’ Hospital of Bucharest, with severe burns, after a nurse forgot him in the incubator at the ‘Bucur’ Maternity of Bucharest, where the baby was born. The parents say they are decided to sue the hospital staff over the incident. The child was born on November 11 and on Friday night he was put in incubator, because he got jaundice. The baby’s mother, A.D. says that on Saturday morning she went to feed the baby and could not find it. According to the women, the hospital staff told her the baby had been moved to another hospital, because it had been forgotten in the incubator. The reason for this incident was that the nurse had to attend to many difficult births. According to doctors from the ‘Grigore Alexandrescu’ Hospital, the baby is in a very serious condition. The parents stand firm in their decision to sue the medical staff, for negligence, and say they will file complaints with the Order of Nurses and the Bucharest College of Medics.

Three suspects escape from Police
section, one caught

Three suspected thieves escaped on Sunday from custody of Police Section 9 of Bucharest, while they were out for a walk in the yard, Police spokesman Christian Ciocan announced. Before the closing of our edition the media reported that one of them (Costel Ion Patru) has already been caught. According to the source, the three got away after they tore apart the fence surrounding the yard. Mircea Tudor Vasile, aged 35, from Bucharest, was held in custody for theft from homes, Mihai Spiridon, aged 19, was imprisoned for theft, while Ion Costel Patru, aged 20, was accused of car theft. To recapture them, Police sent their personal descriptions to border checkpoints and will offer a reward. “This is common practice in other countries, now adopted by the Romanian Police too. The reward consists in a sum of money, whose amount will depend on the value of the information that will be provided,” Ciocan explained. The case was reported to the Prosecutor’s Office of the District 2 Tribunal, which will investigate the police officers guarding the detention facility when the three people escaped. Police also took the case to the Bucharest Tribunal, which will investigate the three suspects for the crime of break-out, Christian Ciocan added.

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Handball – Oltchim’s
first defeat

Women’s handball team Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea were outplayed by Russia’s Zvezda Zvenigorod 27-26 (12-10) in a Group C Champions’ League game Saturday. It marked Oltchim’s first defeat in the competition and with it, a blow to their bid to get into the last-16 stage of the competition. In the same group, Hungary’s champions, Gyor Eto, prevailed over Spain’s SD Itxako, 20-14. Two more legs are scheduled to be played in Group C in January 2010. The first two teams out of the four in the group will go into the last 16 of the Champions’ League competition. Romania’s champions aim to play in the final, having reached the semis last year.

Manny Pacquiao defeats Miguel Cotto to take WBO welterweight title

Manny Pacquiao won a world title in a record seventh weight division in Las Vegas last week end, stripping Miguel Cotto of his defences and his WBO welterweight championship belt with a performance that cemented the Filipino’s reputation as one of the finest boxers of this or any other generation, guardian.co.uk informs. Referee Kenny Bayless stepped into end the fight in the 12th round but, really the contest was over long been then. Out-fought and out-thought, Cotto – a proud and strong fighter who was no-one’s idea of tomato can – was knocked down twice in earlier rounds and as the dénouement approached his ambitions had been reduced to little more than seeking shelter from the storm.

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