ARTS & LEISURE

NEWS IN BRIEF

Winter Fair at the Village Museum


Christmas fair and live performances, various surprises await the public as of this weekend, in the Village Museum Florile Dalbe winter custom festival. On the lanes of the Village Museum, groups of children come to sing, wishing you a happy Christmas and for the New Year. Starting Saturday, December 12, the traditional fair will also bring together folk artists performing outside the display houses. Among the artistic programme’s highlights, visitors will be able to listen to old-time carols “Colinde, melinde” with Pilisterlu group, Nataly group. On Sunday December 13, there will be a parade of the winter celebration featuring The Goat Play with Cununita group from Ilva Mare, Bistrita Nasaud, Masks Play with Drumul baltagului group from Borca, Neamt, „The Deer” from Sticlaria, Scobinti, Iasi, as well as Vasilca, with Dunarica group, Nasturelu, Teleorman.


Panait Istrati exhibition at the National Museum of Literature


A comprehensive documentary photo exhibition that celebrates 125 years since the birth of Romanian writer Panait Istrati, opened Friday at the Round Hall of the National Museum of Romanian Literature (MNLR). Under the title ‘Panait Istrati – Nikos Kazantzakis: A friendship’s odyssey’ the exhibition puts on display photographs and documents from the archive of the Panait Istrati Memorial House in Braila, some of them in premiere, such as Istrati’s restored birth certificate and manuscripts by the author. Under a different form, the exhibition was also opened in October this year, in Greece, in the writer’s father hometown. The events dedicated to Panait Istrati, who was born in August 125 years ago, began Thursday in his natal town of Braila, with the exhibition ‘Panait Istrati – photos from Soviet Russia (1927-1929).’ Panait Istrati (1884-1935) was born in Braila, as the illegitimate son of a washerwoman – Joita Istrate – and a Greek smuggler. His first literary attempts date back from 1907, when the writer committed himself to the Romanian socialist press. Between 1910-1912, he publishes his first stories: ‘The savior,’ ‘The white horse,’ ‘Our family,’ ‘1st of May.’ He collaborates with the newspapers ‘Viata Sociala,’ ‘Dimineata,’ ‘Adevarul’ and moves closer to socialist circles. In 1927 he tours Moscow and Kiev, in Russia, where he meets Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis. In 1929 he once again travels to Soviet Russia and gets the inspiration for his work entitled ‘Vers l’autre flamme – Confession pour vaincus’ (translated in English as ‘The Confession of a Loser’), which denounces the abuses of the communist regime.


Coupe performance
at Bucharest Operetta



The company “A theatre like all the others” brings at “Ion Dacian” National Operetta Theatre (TNO) from Bucharest a coupe show, whose first take” by Gian Carlo Menotti, with Mediana Vlad and Constantin Cocris, and “The Bear” by William Walton, (after the play with the same name by A.P. Cehov), with Alina Bottez, Jean-Kristof Bouton (Canada) and Claudiu Sola, set up for the first time in Romania. The production is signed by Marcel Stanciucu. The two titles are one-act operas, masterpieces of the repertoire of the 20th century, representative for the American and British spaces. The small extent of the scores and the small number of characters (two in “The Phone” and three in “The Bear”) place them in the category of the chamber opera.

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SPORTS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Blair’s son to become
a football agent



Nicky Blair, the son of the former prime minister, is to open his own football agency. The Oxford-educated school teacher has decided on a change of career, starting up a company with a university friend, “Independent” reads. Mr Blair already runs a computer gaming business with his housemate, 22-year-old Gabriel Moraes. Now the pair have reportedly set themselves up as football agents. However, they are not understood to have any players on their books yet. Agents represent footballers’ interests and can make a lot of money out of conducting transfers, as well as other deals for their clients. Many sign up hot young prospects from South America and Africa, handling their careers off the field. Mark Steele, an agent with Agent Energetics, dismissed suggestions that Mr Blair, at 23 years old, would find it difficult to make a success of his new career. “He is from a famous background so that may open up some doors for him. But it is a free country, so good luck to him and we will see how he gets on,” he said. “I would just like to wish him luck,” added another agent, Willie McKay.


Fidel’s Son Gets IBAF Baseball Post


Antonio Castro, a doctor and one of Fidel Castro’s children, was elected to a vice president post of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) on Sunday in Lausanne, “Havana Times” informs. Castro is the team doctor of the national Cuban Baseball Team traveling with the squad to international tournaments around the world. Kazuhiro Tawa (Japan) and Alonso Perez (Mexico) were the other two IBAF vice presidents elected. Italian Ricardo Fraccari is the new IBAF president which reigns over non-professional baseball events.


Orlando woman claims affair with Tiger Woods


The list of women allegedly involved with Tiger Woods keeps growing. The latest woman to claim she had an affair with the golfer has told her story to a British tabloid. Waitress Mindy Lawton, 33, told ‘News of the World’ that she had an intense affair with the pro-golfer after meeting him at a Perkins restaurant near his Windemere home. “I was so excited I was going to have a drink with Tiger Woods,” Lawton told the tabloid. “I knew he was married, but whenever he had come into the restaurant with his wife he looked so miserable. They didn’t talk and never held hands.” Lawton is the fifth woman to claim to have had an affair with the athlete since he was in an early morning car crash. Lawton claims she initially didn’t know Woods’ invitation to get a drink would turn into an affair. She told the tabloid the relationship lasted for about a year. She said he left her for L.A. cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs.


Flamengo beat Gremio 2-1 to lift Brazilian title


Flamengo lifted the Brazilian championship when they came from a goal down to beat Gremio 2-1 at a packed Maracana to end a 17-year wait for the country’s best supported team on Sunday, Reuters reports. The victory left Flamengo, winners for the fifth time since the championship was instituted in 1971, two points clear of Internacional and outgoing champions Sao Paulo, who also won their final matches in a thrilling run-in. Flamengo completed the 38-match campaign with 67 points. Inter and Sao Paulo, who beat relegated Santo Andre and Sport Recife respectively, both finished with 65. Defenders David and Angelim scored in each half after Roberson had opened the scoring for Gremio in front of a crowd of 80,000.

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Social

NEWS IN BRIEF

Bucharest City Hall
to be relocated



The activity of Bucharest City Hall will take place, starting in January, in a new location hired by the municipality, according to a contract signed by the municipal advisors, at 291-293, Splaiul Independentei, Sector 6, in order to allow the consolidation of the current building from 47, Regina Elisabeta Blvd, Sector 5. The new location will have a useful surface of at least 9,000 sq m, a space for the archives of at least 600 sq m, and a space for the registry and reception. According to the declarations of the mayor general, Sorin Oprescu, quoted by Agerpres, his offices will be at the 14th and last floor of the building. The relocation of the City Hall from Regina Elisabeta Blvd. will be performed gradually, Oprescu said.


Six years in prison for British driver who murdered director Nemescu


The judges ruled yesterday, through final sentence, to sentence to six years in prison the British Ali Imran for the murder in a road accident of the director Cristian Nemescu, the sound director Andrei Toncu and the taxi driver Dumitru Arustei, in August 2006. Bucharest Court of Appeal turned down the recourse of the British citizen Ali Imran, maintaining the solution of the lower court. In the accident, which occurred on the night of August 25 through 26, 2006, the director Cristian Nemescu, aged 27, the sound director Andrei Toncu, 28, and the taxi driver Dumitru Arustei, 24, died. The three were in the taxi when the car driven by Ali Imran crossed the street on the red colour of the traffic light, hitting them, in the junction from Eroilor Bridge. The taxi was circulating regularly, going from the Military Academy to Berzei Street.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Raiffeisen Bank launches
children’s savings plan



Raiffeisen bank is launching a children’s savings plan addressed to parents who wish to save money for their children, Agerpres informs. The account may be opened on behalf of the child in either EUR or RON, with maturity at the age of 18, the bank informs. The savings plan may be opened from the very first months of life of the child up to the age of 17, in RON – 9.5 percent yearly fixed interest rate – and in EUR – 4 percent yearly fixed interest rate in the first three years and the for periods of one year. ‘Because we know how important investing in children’s education and future is, we have created a special savings product for parents who want to give their children a safer beginning’ Savings Products Department Manager Anca Nutiu said. The account is opened for the minor child on the very first day of his/her life, having its maturity when the child turns 18. The minimum opening amount is RON 150 or EUR 200 and the maximum amount is RON 420,000 or EUR 100,000.


Foreign orders
support Nokia production



The production of mobile telephone accessories may raise the turnover of Nokia Romania to half a billion euro this year following orders received from Northern Africa and the Middle East, company officials say according to ‘Romania Libera’. In the context, Nokia union members and the company management have proceeded to a new collective bargaining agreement meant to secure the labour force necessary for the expansion of the production of mobile phones and accessories. Nokia union representatives affiliated with CNS Cartel Alfa said that approximately 200 workers would be hired in a first phase.


In addition, the union officials said they would ask the employer to change some of the employment agreements for a determinate period into employment agreements for an indeterminate period. ‘If the company receives orders from clients, it will be normal to retain the current seasonal or determinate employees’, said Nokia union leader Valentin Ilcas. Nokia Romania currently has a total of 1,600 employees.


International Caviar Corporation
Calan could be listed with Frankfurt Stock Exchange



International Caviar Corporation from Calan (AMAL), the former Agromec Calan, a firm dealing with aquaculture in fresh water, could be listed with the Stock Exchange from Frankfurt, Mediafax informs. Mercurius Bank from Germany informed the most important shareholder of the company that it is interested to mediate the operation. In the general meeting of the shareholders from December, the shareholders of the company estimated opportune this offer, after the main shareholder, Roland Erhard Schroder, informed them that he received an official letter from the German bank Mercurius, which is willing to mediate this operation, reads a press release of International Caviar Corporation, transmitted to Rasdaq market. The firm from Calan also wants to launch an initial public offer at Bucharest Stock Exchange for the sale of five million shares.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

3G services from Cosmote to become available in June at latest


Cosmote Romania will launch its first 3G services by end-June next year at latest, announced company CEO Stefanos Theocharopoulos, who also became the top manager of Zapp mobile operator. Launching the first 3G product is among the company’s top priorities, Theocharopoulos added, quoted by Money Channel TV. “Only a month passed since I have become the manager of Zapp. What we must do is evaluate the situation, first draw a plan of how we should integrate the company, and only then should we launch the products. This is an operational merger, which implies merging the two networks, the retail network and employees, as well as corporate culture. We will rather launch these products in the first half of next year. (…) The mobile data market is not so mature, and this is the reason why we believe we purchased Zapp at the best moment to enter this market at the right time. We will much faster become a major player in the data segment, compared to the voice evolution,” Theocharopoulos explained.The approximately 350,000 customers which Zapp had at the end of last year will further benefit from Zapp services, which will be provided as long as there will be a relevant market for them, Theocharopoulos declared.


Enel wins 2009 Platts ‘Deal of the Year’ Award for Endessa takeover


Enel won the 2009 Platts ‘Deal of the Year’ Global Energy Award, according to a press release yesterday, for the world’s biggest deal this year. Enel’s takeover of Endessa is the largest transaction worldwide in the energy sector in 2009. After the takeover, which was concluded last June, Enel, with an installed power capacity of 96,000 MW, and operating in 24 countries, shore up its international position, becoming the second-largest utility company traded at the European bourse. The Global Energy Awards are acknowledged as ‘Academic Awards’ in the field of energy. ‘A takeover of such size and complexity calls for a special leadership level. Enel CEO Fulvio Conti embodies such leadership type, through a combination of very good negotiating abilities and power of persuasion with the pledge of aligning the Enel Board of Directors and the company employees to sustain his vision,’ Platts notes.

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