5 C
January 21, 2022


Placido Domingo makes applauded return
after cancer surgery

Tenor Placido Domingo made a triumphant return to the stage Friday night, performing for the first time after colon cancer surgery. “It was a great evening,” the Spanish singer said after appearing at the famed La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy, in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. “It was very emotional. I was happy to be in front of an audience.” Although there were a couple of boos, the tenor got a warm 14-minute ovation from the notoriously critical La Scala audience. “There is a fantastic audience that feels great passion. You heard a generally enthusiastic audience,” Domingo noted. Surgeons in New York City removed a cancerous polyp from the colon of the 69-year-old only six weeks ago. Domingo had admitted that he had put off his annual colonoscopy for years but then succumbed to intense pain after concerts in Japan in February. “My biggest triumph ever is the one over illness,” he declared earlier this week. The tenor is slated for another six performances of Simon Boccanegra at La Scala, before taking the production to London’s Royal Opera in June and Madrid’s Teatro Real in July. In September, he’s taking on the role of the poet Pablo Neruda in the world premiere of Il Postino in Los Angeles.

Cannes Film Festival shares major surprises

The films in the main competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival are a mere 16, far less than in more recent years. The only U.S. film in the main running is “Fair Game,” a political thriller starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts. Other major American films that will debut at the festival, mostly out of competition is Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” and Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” Other major films set to make their debut are Stephen Frears’ “Tamara Drewe” and Woody Allen’s “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.” In the running this year is Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Biutiful,” his first film after “Babel” in 2006. Directors who have been absent from Cannes for several years will be returning. Takeshi Kitano returns with his latest film, “Outrage,” and marks his first appearance at the festival since 1999. Four films from Asia are in the main competition, “Housemaid,” “Poetry” and “A Letter to Uncle Boonme.”

British auteur Mike Leigh returns with “Another Year” starring Jim Broadbent. This is Leigh’s fourth time in the main competition. Conspicuously absent from the lineup is Terrence Malick’s eagerly awaited “Tree of Life” starring Brad Pitt. There are still rumours that the film could make its debut at the prestigious film festival. The chief byword at the Cannes Film Festival in recent years has been diversity. Director Manoel de Oliveira’s “Angelica” will be at the festival, still going strong at the age of 102. In addition, 21-year-old directorial wunderkind Xavier Dolan will make the scene with “Les Amours Imaginaires.” It’s Dolan’s second film at the festival, following his debut “I Killed My Mother” last year.

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Nadal wins sixth
consecutive Monte Carlo title

Rafael Nadal produced a devastating display to beat fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco and secure a sixth consecutive Monte Carlo Masters title. Nadal won 6-0 6-1 in just one hour and 26 minutes – his 32nd straight victory at the Monte Carlo Country Club, accoirding to BBC Sport. It is his first tournament win since Rome last May, since when he has struggled with knee injuries. But the former world number one showed he is back to his best as he dropped 14 games in five matches in Monte Carlo. He becomes the first player to win six consecutive titles at the same tournament since tennis turned professional in 1968, and moves level with Roger Federer on 16 Masters titles – one behind Andre Agassi’s record of 17.

FC Vaslui, second Romanian Cup-Timisoreana finalist

FC Vaslui has qualified for the first time into the Romanian Cup-Timisoreana final after defeating FC Brasov on Thursday evening, score 4-0 (2-0 at half time), in a game counting for the return leg of the semifinal fixture. FC Vaslui had lost the first leg (0-1). The team won thanks to the goals scored by Raul Costin (28th minute), Wesley Lopes (29th minute), Lucian Sanmartean (53rd minute) and Carlo Costly (73rd minute). FC Vaslui will play against CFR Cluj, the winner of the last two Romanian Cup editions, on May 26 in Iasi.

League I, leg 28 results

Gloria – Dinamo 3-2

Unirea Alba Iulia – Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt 3-2

Astra Ploiesti – International Curtea de Arges 1-1

Unirea Urziceni – Pandurii Tg. Jiu 3-0

The following games took place on Sunday evening:

FC Timisoara vs. CFR Cluj

Poli Iasi vs. Otelul Galati

FC Brasov vs. Gaz Metan Medias

Rapid vs. Steaua

FC Vaslui vs. Universitatea Craiova

Rapid in mourning – Sandu Neagu dies at 61

Sandu Neagu (Rapid Bucharest’s former glory) has died at the age of 61 after suffering a cardio respiratory arrest on Saturday morning. Neagu was hospitalized on Thursday because he had suffered a leg fracture. The former player was part of the team that won the first title in Rapid’s sports record (season 1966-1967). Neagu also won two Romanian Cups (1972 and 1975).

Consuelo and Adrian Mutu involved in Florence brawl

Fiorentina striker Adrian Mutu and his wife Consuelo were involved in a brawl early Friday morning while returning home after a night spent alongside two friends within Fiorentina’s Cavalli Club, according to Italian press reports. According to the online edition of ‘La Repubblica,’ Consuelo and Mutu spent their night with Lebanese jeweler Gruosi Fawaz and businessman Buti Tommaso. While leaving the club at 2 AM they were approached by two men that made advances to the Romanian striker’s wife. Mutu, Buti and Gruosi allegedly intervened, with the two men hitting Buti and Gruosi, the aforementioned source notes.

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Petre Roman christens his son

Former Prime Minister Petre Roman has baptised his son on Saturday within Bucharest’s St. Silvestru Church. Businessman Dinu Patriciu and his wife were the child’s godparents.

Petrus Roman is the first child of Petre Roman and Silvia Chifiriuc. The two married ten months ago.

The event was attended by known businessmen, diplomats and politicians, including former Foreign Affairs Minister Adrian Cioroianu, former Defence Minister Teodor Melescanu and Peter Imre, general director of Adevarul Holding.

Romanians may be granted a day off to stay home and… pray

Democratic-Liberal Party (PDL) senator Gheorghe David and PDL deputy Mircea Lubanovici filed, last week, at the Senate, a proposal to modify the Labour Code, which stipulates declaring the National Prayer Day as a legal holiday, to be taken off work. Initiators of the bill mention a similar stipulation exists in the US, under the name “National Prayer Day”. According to the two, the promotion of this bill springs from the desire of many Christians in Romania, as well as many Romanians in the diaspora, regardless of their religious denomination, to be granted a special day each year, which is to be dedicated to getting closer to God by prayer and to be acknowledged by law – by being declared a legal holiday and off work, is stated in a PDL release remitted, on Friday, to Mediafax.

S&P not ruling out early elections in Romania

Standard&Poor’s (S&P) analysts are not ruling out early parliamentary elections and are waiting to see whether political tensions will grow because of a possible increase in social pressures. “While the main opposition parties try to consolidate themselves after their election defeat, we are not ruling out the possibility of early parliamentary elections taking place before the ones scheduled in 2012. In this context it remains to be seen whether political tensions will grow because of possible intensification of social pressures, against the backdrop in which the government is implementing the commitments it took on salary restrictions within the public sector,” a report by the international financial rating company reads, quoted by Mediafax.

Tokes claims the Securitate has a “hand” in his divorce

MEP Laszlo Tokes claims he feels caught in the midst of a “major conspiracy” against him, culminating in disclosures about the divorce filed by his wife, after he started to reveal names of former collaborators of the Securitate from the Reformed Church. Tokes said, on Friday, in a press conference in Oradea, that he would not be intimidated by the “negative campaign” initiated against him and would continue to expose former collaborators of the Securitate, although some of them, reactivated by former Securitate officers, joined forces against him. The wife of MEP Laszlo Tokes sued him for divorce at the Oradea Court, claiming the fault lies entirely with her husband, former reformed bishop of Piatra Craiului, whom she accuses of being unfaithful.

Mini- scandal before College 19 election

Spokesperson for the Democratic-Liberal Party (PDL) candidate in the elections at College 19 (Bucharest) Teo Trandafir (PDL), Cristian Preda, accused her opposing candidate, Liliana Minca (the Conservative Party – PC) of using Trandafir’s electoral slogan, an act which shows disrespect to the voters. Preda stated that, after Minca’s campaign staff renounced red for green in the campaign materials, now Teo Trandafir’s opposing candidate uses a slogan similar to the one used by the Democratic-Liberal candidate. In her turn, Minca argued that her slogan and campaign colours were inspired by the mayor Cristian Popescu-Piedone and had nothing to do with PDL, a party which “shot down pensioners, teachers and workers”. Yesterday, in sympathy with commemorations taking place in Poland, the two candidates in next Sunday’s elections suspended all electoral activities.

Child gets mauled by lion in Brasov Zoo

A lion gave a six-year-old child serious head injuries on Saturday after the latter approached the animals’ cage in order to feed them peanuts. The little boy was visiting the Zoo with his mother and an aunt. At one point the child climbed on the protection fence of the cage that contained two lions, wanting to feed them peanuts. According to witnesses, one of the lions extended its paw through the cage bars, scratching the child’s head and cutting his ear. The boy was immediately taken to hospital. ‘The child is conscious and in a stable condition. He has a head injury and a cut ear,’ Emilian Matau, spokesperson of the Brasov County Ambulance Service, stated for Mediafax.

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Gov’t to lay off 100 Romaero employees

The Government will send home 100 employees with aircraft repair and maintenance company Romaero Bucuresti (RORX), starting June, on grounds of contract value falling. According to Mediafax, he contract value has fallen nearly 50 per cent from the original figures and another reason points to a sharp fall in new orders amid crisis. The staff laid off will get an overall 1 M RON in severance payments this year, 1.6 M RON in 2011 and 273,000 RON in 2012 respectively, under a government emergency ordinance underway. The Executive also stated economic and financial studies conducted at Romaero show the prospects for 2010 as rather discouraging in terms of international and domestic market rebound, which means the company being heavily into debt calls for a downsizing programme being implemented. Romaero took up a RON 5 M loan, which it used to pay about 35 per cent of November 2009 arrears to the consolidated general budget. A government resolution passed last February stipulates Romaero will keep this year a work force of maximum 200.

Ionut Costea to be removed from Transelectrica Board

The Ministry of Economy, Commerce and Business Environment – majority shareholder in Transelectrica (TEL) – wants to remove Eximbank chief Mircea Ionut Costea from the company Managing Board (CA), Mediafax reports. If stockholders give green light during the General Shareholders Meeting slated for April 29, Costea will be replaced with Marian Mateescu, reads the convener release sent by the power transport utility to the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB). Mateescu’s appointment will be operated under an order issued by the Economy Ministry on March 31 this year. The same day, however, Mateescu will be replaced, in its turn, by Andrei Benghea-Malaies, as requested by the ‘Proprietatea’ Fund in a note sent on April 12. On the same occasion, Doru Voicu, counselor for energy to Economy Minister Adriean Videanu, will replace Elena Ianda in the Board of Transelectrica.

Dacia’s sales growth – highest in the EU

Dacia’s annual sales growth (61 per cent in March 2010 compared to the same month last year) is the highest in the European Union, Mediafax informs. Nevertheless, the Romanian auto market has registered the second-highest drop in the EU (50.4 per cent). According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, Dacia sold approximately 30,760 vehicles in the EU in March 2010, having a market share of 1.9 per cent (against 1.3 per cent in March 2009). Approximately 4,030 new passenger cars were sold in Romania this March, as against 8,120 in March 2009. For Renault Group, the owner of the Romanian car manufacturer, sales climbed by 33.3 per cent to more than 163,500 units. Renault hiked its market share from 8.3 per cent to 10 per cent in March 2010.

Google Maps Romania officially launched

Google Company will officially launch today Google Maps Romania, a service available on the website maps.google.ro for local users and companies, a press release informs. The service allows users to access online maps, to look for companies, to place free ads by means of the Google Maps Local Business Centre, to make their own maps and to look for various places. Google Maps Romania can be viewed in several templates: the traditional map, useful in finding an address or tracing an A-to-B route; for a detailed exploration, users may use the “Satellite” button, which shows photographs taken by a satellite and aerial views; the “Field” view displays the physical and geographic configuration of an area (it highlights, for instance, mountains and hills). According to Google, firms may publish for free data on their activity, contact address, telephone numbers, photographs, and may, also, place ads on Google Maps, even if they don’t have their own site.

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Romania to pay EUR 24.8 M less to EU budget

Romania will pay from 2010 EUR 24.8 M less than the originally set contribution of EUR 1.408 bln, Mediafax reports. This is due to EU posting a EUR 2.2 bln surplus in 2009, with 1.9 per cent of the funds going to be reallocated, according to the European Commission (EC0. Union spending in 2009 matched the passed budget of 113.4 bln euros, the EC release shows. ‘The low level of funds remaining in 2009 shows money was channelled efficiently towards where needed. The surplus will be incorporated as earnings in the 2010 budget, which translates into savings for member states,’ the European Commissioner for Financial Planning and Budget, Janusz Lewandowski, said. The EUR 141.4 bln 2010 EU budget passed in December 2009, the EC reports. Each state’s contribution is set according to the size of its Growth Domestic Budget.

A new Emporiki Bank office in Bucharest

Emporiki Bank Romania, the local branch of Emporiki Bank Greece, member of the Crédit Agricole French group, officially inaugurated, on Friday, at 116-118 13 Septembrie street, its 35th office, a press release informs. By the inauguration of the new location, the bank launches, in Bucharest, its new concept of ambient branding, based on the international retail standards of the Crédit Agricole Group. Present at the inauguration, Alain Strub, General Manager of Emporiki Bank of Greece, Member of the Executive Board of Crédit Agricole, said that, by this endeavour, both Emporiki Bank and the Credit Agricole Group wish to develop “strong investments and long-term commercial ties with Romanian partners”. The new retail concept they propose is reflected in all the operational aspects of the office, as well as in the offer of financial-banking products and services of Emporiki Bank. The Bank has already initiated special promotions for the 13 September office: 50 pc discount off the granting commission attached to credit products and zero per cent account management commission on the Business Premium Account for small enterprises, for the first three months since opening the account, according to Stefan Cojocaru, office manager.

UK’s Brown wants investigation into Goldman Sachs

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Sunday he wanted Britain’s financial watchdog to investigate U.S. bank Goldman Sachs after it was charged with fraud by U.S. regulators. Brown, who is fighting an election campaign, piled pressure on Wall Street’s most powerful bank, accusing it of “moral bankruptcy” over reported plans to pay big bonuses. Goldman Sachs was charged with fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday over its marketing of a subprime mortgage product. Goldman has called the U.S. lawsuit “completely unfounded” and has vowed to defend itself. “I want a special investigation done into the entanglement of Goldman Sachs and the companies there with other banks and what happened,” Brown told BBC television.

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