BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian border guards have discovered 48 Iraqi citizens hidden away in a truck that officially was transporting boxes of chocolate.
Border police at the Danube port of Giurgiu on the Romanian-Bulgarian border said they discovered 22 men, 9 women and 17 minors including a young infant on Thursday evening after checks on the truck revealed a high level of carbon dioxide, a gas that humans exhale. Continue reading »
Source (H/t reader kevin a.)
Sevil Shhaideh briefly oversaw the department of regional development
Romania is set to appoint a Muslim and a woman as prime minister for the first time in its history. with the nomination of Sevil Shhaideh, a little-known member of the Tartar minority.
The centre-left Social Democratic Party (PSD) led by Liviu Dragnea took 45 per cent of the vote on election day in 11 December, double any other party’s share.
It is now forming a new government in coalition with a smaller liberal partner. But Mr Dragnea, who as party chief would normally be appointed to become Prime Minister, was found guilty of electoral fraud and given two years’ suspended sentence in April. Continue reading »
“Romania is not a Turkish province.”
- The original deal called for a “mutual exchange” in which Romania would build a new Orthodox Church in Istanbul, while Turkey would build the mosque in Bucharest. In July 2015, however, Prime Minister Victor Ponta revealed that the Romanian government had abandoned the Istanbul church project because it is “not allowed under Turkish law.” Ponta approved the Bucharest mosque project anyway, saying it was a multicultural symbol of Romania’s acceptance of the Muslim community.
- Ponta’s decision to approve the mosque, which will mimic Ottoman-era architecture, was greeted with outrage in a country that was under Ottoman Turkish domination for nearly five centuries until 1877.
- “This plan is not about worship, it is about marking the territory of their authority through a monument.” – Ozgur Kazim Kivanc, a Turkish activist opposed to Erdoğan’s destruction of public commons to build mosques.
- “Once Islam enters a land, that land becomes Islamic and Muslims have the duty to liberate it someday. Spain, for example, is Islamic land, and so is Eastern Europe: Romania, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia…” – Omar Bakri Muhammad, a prominent Sunni Islamist cleric.
- “We consider the disposal of free land which, ironically, belonged to the family of Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu, who was beheaded by the Turks on August 15, 1714, to be a betrayal of the Romanian people.” – Pending lawsuit calling on the court to annul the government’s grant of free city land for the mosque project.
Opponents of a proposed Turkish mega-mosque in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, have filed a lawsuit against the government in an effort to halt the project. The court is set to begin hearing the case on October 14. Continue reading »
Roads in Romania already experiencing winter conditions. Blizzards in some areas
Mountain rescuers urge drivers to not travel on Transfagarasan unless they are equipped for winter – winter tires, snow chains, shovel and sand. Continue reading »
The Western public doesn’t know it, but Washington and its European vassals are convincing Russia that they are preparing to attack.
According to a report issued on June 6th in German Economic News (Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or DWN), the German government is preparing to go to war against Russia, and has in draft-form a Bundeswehr report declaring Russia to be an enemy nation. DWN says: “The Russian secret services have apparently thoroughly studied the paper. Continue reading »
Bulgaria’s prime minister firmly ruled out his country’s participation in the proposed NATO fleet in the Black Sea aimed at countering Russian forces in the area: “I don’t need war,” the politician said after Russia promised a response; meanwhile Romania’s president, one of the initiators, has hurriedly backed off.
“I always say that I want the Black Sea to see sailboats, yachts, large boats with tourists and not become an arena of military action… I do not need a war in the Black Sea,” Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said on Thursday referring to the proposal for the NATO fleet in the Black Sea made by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis while visiting Bulgaria on June 15-16.
“Our country will not become part of the Black Sea fleet being prepared against Russia,” Borissov said as quoted by EurActiv.com website. Continue reading »
Beekeeping business could be moving towards bankruptcy.
2016 started out promising for Romanian beekeepers, with springlike weather giving early hopes for a good year. But everything changed with the radical change in weather. Continue reading »
Snow sometimes reaches even 30 cm (12 inches) as winter came again.
Flocks and herds should be grazing on the hills. The animals are now huddling in barns and farmers are forced to buy hay to feed them. Continue reading »
Romania has arrested two employees of an Israeli intelligence company on charges of spying on and trying to intimidate the country’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor, officials say.
“An investigation has been launched and two people have been arrested,” Mihaela Porime, a spokeswoman for the anti-crime and terrorist prosecutors’ office, said on Wednesday, adding that the suspects work for the Israeli private intelligence agency, Black Cube.
The firm reportedly has several former operatives of Israel’s Mossad spy agency on its payroll. Continue reading »
– Russia Cuts Off Ukraine Gas Supply To 6 European Countries (ZeroHedge, Jan 14, 2015):
Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian state energy giant Gazprom to cut supplies to and through Ukraine amid accusations, according to The Daily Mail, that its neighbor has been siphoning off and stealing Russian gas. Due to these “transit risks for European consumers in the territory of Ukraine,” Gazprom cut gas exports to Europe by 60%, plunging the continent into an energy crisis “within hours.” Perhaps explaining the explosion higher in NatGas prices (and oil) today, gas companies in Ukraine confirmed that Russia had cut off supply; and six countries reported a complete shut-off of Russian gas. The EU raged that the sudden cut-off to some of its member countries was “completely unacceptable,” but Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller later added that Russia plans to shift all its natural gas flows crossing Ukraine to a route via Turkey; and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak stated unequivocally, “the decision has been made.” Continue reading »
Snow totals for western and central parts of Turkey and down to the city of Jerusalem
At least 8 villages isolated – Normally sun-drenched islanders lose power and water
SNOWFALL RATES…OVER 3 INCHES PER HOUR AT TIMES.
It feels like a Siberian winter in Romania.
Tags: Algeria, British Columbia, Canada, Climate Change, Environment, Global Cooling, Global News, Global Warming, Greece, Israel, Jerusalem, Lebanon, Meteorology, Middle East, Romania, Snow, Turkey, U.S., Weather, Winter
– US may have had ‘black site’ in Romania, says ex spy chief (The Malysian Insider/AFP, Dec 13, 2014):
A former head of Romania’s intelligence service said the CIA may have kept detainees in a “transit centre” in Romania but that Bucharest was unaware of the activities conducted at the site.
After September 11, 2001, Romania and the United States talked about “centres of support for the CIA, sites that the Romanians would place at the disposal of CIA representatives, where they could organise the activities that they wanted to carry out in other countries,” Ioan Talpes said in a video interview with the daily Adevarul. Continue reading »
– Romania – Snow up to 10 centimeters (Ice Age Now, Oct 26, 2014):
The A2 motorway is closed between Bucharest and Fundulea, according to the Center Infotrafic the Romanian Police.
Meteorologists have issued a code yellow warning for snow and wind in Bucharest and five other counties in the southeast.
According to meteorologists, the municipality of Bucharest and the Ilfov, Giurgiu, Virginia, West counties Calarasi and Ialomita, will receive 5-7 cm of snow, with 10 cm in some areas. The County Teleorman shas received about 5 cm in the last few hours. Continue reading »
– US to boost troops at Romania airbase increasing NATO’s military presence in Eastern Europe (Voice of Russia, April 1, 2014):
US has asked to boost the number of troops and aircraft stationed at an airbase in NATO ally, Romania, President Traian Basescu said. The request would add up to 600 US troops to the roughly 1,000 currently stationed in Romania, and would increase the number of military aircraft there, Reuters reports.
– A Romanian Scientist Claims to Have Developed Artificial Blood (Smithonian, Nov 4, 2013):
Science, in all its grand ambition and contemporary sophistication, doesn’t quite have what it takes yet to replicate anything like blood. It not only delivers oxygen and essential nutrients, but also serves a host of other functions crucial for our survival, such as fighting infections, healing injuries and regulating hormones. So far, researchers have concentrated the bulk of their efforts on the more modest goal of creating something that can at least effectively carry out the vital role of transporting oxygen throughout the body.
This kind of “artificial blood” would be a useful substitute for critical circumstances such as medical emergencies, when the body can’t do this on its own. It could also be designed to be sterile, unlike real blood, which can be infected and infect others during a transfusion. And while donated blood requires refrigeration, a synthetic version could be made to last longer and be readily available for various life-or-death situations, even on the battlefield.
The latest bearer of hope for such a potential breakthrough comes from a research facility located in the Transylvanian city of Cluj-Napoca, of all places. (Yes, Translyvania is a real place in Romania.) Researcher Radu Silaghi-Dumitrescu, a professor at Babes-Bolyai University, has been working on a unique concoction and his work has progressed to the point where he and his team successfully transfused a blood substitute into mice—without them experiencing any ill effects, according to a report by the Romanian news outlet Descopera. He intends for the lab-engineered blood to work inside the body for several hours or even up to an entire day as the body replenishes itself.
– Emergency food flown into stranded European towns (Idaho Statesman, Feb. 13, 2012):
BUCHAREST, Romania — Military planes and police helicopters flew in tons of emergency food to snowbound villages and ships in the Balkans on Monday, after blizzards so fierce that some people had to cut tunnels through 15 feet (4 meters) of snow to get out of their homes.Since the end of January, Eastern Europe has been pummeled by a record-breaking cold snap and the heaviest snowfall in recent memory. Hundreds of people, many of them homeless, have died in the bitter cold and tens of thousands have been trapped by blocked roads inside homes with little heat.
Authorities declared a state of emergency Monday in eastern Romania, where 6,000 people have been cut off for days. About a dozen major roads were closed, 300 trains canceled and more than 1,000 schools shut down.
– Death toll rises as big cold freezes Europe (DPA/Sydney Morning Herald – Feb 11, 2012):
Freezing temperatures left thousands of people stranded without power in the Balkans and elsewhere in Europe on Saturday, as the death toll from one of the coldest winters in years continued to rise.
In Montenegro, the government declared a state of emergency 24 hours into a blizzard that dumped another two metres of snow across the country and cut off access to northern regions. The death toll was expected to rise from three when rescuers reach isolated areas.
In Serbia, the authorities reported three new deaths, raising the overall death toll for the country to 19. An estimated 50,000 people remain isolated in remote villages. The energy situation has become critical, prompting the government to extend a two-day holiday next week to five days, keeping schools closed and cut the power supply to non-essential factories.
In Croatia, an average of 50 centimetres of snow were expected to fall during the weekend, while powerful winds blowing from the sea forced local road authorities to close some sections of the Adriatic highway.
Many villages in mountainous regions in Bosnia have been cut off since the start of the cold spell, nearly two weeks ago.
Temperatures dropped to as low as -32C in Poland’s southern Bieszczady Mountains, while eight people died in house fires, police said.
A further eight people died in Romania, the health ministry said, raising the overall death toll to 65. Tens of thousands of people remained isolated in the south, where the army, police and firefighters were trying to clear access routes and distribute food and water.
Heavy snowfall also hit many parts of Italy – especially its central and southern regions – where six recent deaths have been linked to the cold weather. Several remote villages in the central Marche and Umbria regions remained cut off as a result of unusually high snow levels.
In north-eastern Trieste, at least 10 people were injured when winds with speeds of more than 130 km/h lashed the Adriatic port city. The poor weather forced the cancellation of flights and Serie A football matches.
In northern Bulgaria, trains could not make their way through the deep snow, which the wind has blown on the railways, state radio reported.
The Bulgarian section of the Danube was completely frozen on Saturday, the national Agency for Maintenance of the Danube River said. The Bulgarian Maritime Administration has banned all navigation in the Bulgaria section, including ferries to Romania.
– europe snow blocks in tens of thousands (AFP/Pakistan Daily Times – Feb 11, 2012):
* Death toll from Europe’s big freeze rises past 550
BELGRADE: Snow drifts reaching up to rooftops kept tens of thousands of villagers prisoners in their own homes Saturday as the death toll from Europe’s big freeze rose past 550.
YouTube Added: 10.02.2012
Villages buried under 4-5 Meters (13-16 feet) of snow. January-February 2012.
– Deadly freeze moves west across Europe (Al Jazeera, Feb. 5, 2012)
More than 250 people have been killed across Europe as a potentially worsening week-long cold snap shifts west, blanketing large parts of the continent with snow.
Forecasters on Sunday predicted the deep freeze, which has already forced Bosnia to declare a state of emergency and airports to close, will continue.
The death toll included hundreds of homeless people who have frozen to death in what has become the harshest European winter in decades.
Russian gas exporter Gazprom, which supplies fuel to much of Europe, said it would be unable to meet increased European demands and had reduced supplies “for a few days” to ease the crisis in Russia.
Snow fell on Rome’s Colosseum for the first time in three decades, disrupting air and rail travel, and Venice’s famous canals have frozen over.
About 160,000 people in central and southern Italy were without electricity, and power company Enel said 1,000 workers were trying to fix damaged power lines.
Bodies on the streets
In Ukraine, where at least 122 people have died, the most in Europe, 78 bodies have been found on the streets. Night- time temperatures there have dropped to -33C.
Metro stations in the capital, Kiev, have become sanctuaries of warmth for the homeless.
– Romanians stop paying benefits to anyone who owns gold jewellery (Daily Mail, Feb. 2, 2012):
Romanian officials have denied targeting gypsies under tough new laws introduced to cut back on the amount of benefits paid – by refusing to pay benefits to anyone who owns gold jewellery.
Under the regulations introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions, any person claiming any sort of social benefit will be excluded if they declare that they own jewellery, or have more than 100 grams of precious metal, works of art, porcelain or crystal objects, fur coats or designer products.
–163 dead as cold snap grips Europe (AFP, Feb. 2, 2012):
WARSAW — A cold snap kept Europe in its icy grip Thursday, pushing the death toll to 163 as countries from Ukraine to Italy struggled with temperatures that plunged to record lows in some places.
Entire villages were cut off in parts of eastern Europe, trapping thousands, while road, air and rail links were severed and gas consumption shot up during what has been the severest winter in decades in some regions.
In Ukraine, tens of thousands headed to shelters to escape the freeze that emergencies services said has killed 63 people — most of them frozen to death in the streets, some succumbing to the hypothermia later in hospitals.
– Romania uses army to save snow-trapped travellers (Reuters, Jan. 26, 2012):
* Temperatures expected to fall to -20C on Friday* PM says priority is to rescue stranded car travellers
* Blizzards also shut towns and port in Bulgaria (Updates rescue numbers, adds protests)
BUCHAREST — Romania has drafted in the army to rescue hundreds of travellers stranded by blizzards that dumped metres of snow on the ground on Thursday, derailing a train and forcing authorities to shut down motorways and ports and cancel flights.
Hundreds of schools were shut and by 2000 GMT dozens of towns and villages were still without electricity, as felled trees and strong winds brought down power lines.
Police and ambulance crews had rescued more than 1,600 people by Thursday evening but more than 1,000 cars were still snowed in on roads, Prime Minister Emil Boc said, and road authority officials were distributing tea and blankets.
Authorities have banned traffic on Romania’s only two motorways and several national roads until weather improved.
“I am asking you to not rest easy until you have made sure people’s lives are not in danger,” Prime Minister Boc told an emergency response meeting late on Thursday before heading out to capital Bucharest’s ringroad to inspect progress.
– Romanian-Bulgarian border closed due to heavy snow (Romania Business Insider, Jan. 26, 2012):
The border between Romania and Bulgaria was closed due to the bad weather conditions, according to the Bulgarian Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova, quoted by Novinite.com.
The Giugiu-Bucharest border crossing is closed for all vehicles due to the heavy snow. All transit traffic from Greece and Turkey via Bulgaria to Romania has also been stopped, Lilyana Pavlova added.
– Inside Romania’s secret CIA prison (AP, Dec. 8, 2011):
WASHINGTON — In northern Bucharest, in a busy residential neighborhood minutes from the heart of the capital city, is a secret the Romanian government has long tried to protect.
For years, the CIA used a government building — codenamed “Bright Light” — as a makeshift prison for its most valuable detainees. There it held al-Qaida operatives Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and others in a basement prison before they were ultimately transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2006, according to former U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the location and inner workings of the prison.
The existence of a CIA prison in Romania has been widely reported, but its location has never been made public. The Associated Press and German public television ARD located the former prison and learned details of the facility where harsh interrogation tactics were used. ARD’s program on the CIA prison is set to air Thursday.
“God has performed a miracle for her, finally Irina is delivered from evil,” AFP quoted the priest as saying.
“I don’t understand why journalists are making such a fuss about this. Exorcism is a common practice in the heart of the Romanian Orthodox church and my methods are not at all unknown to other priests,” Father Daniel added.
|Father Daniel says the nun’s death was justified|
A Romanian nun has died after being bound to a cross, gagged and left alone for three days in a cold room in a convent, Romanian police have said.
Members of the convent in north-east Romania claim Maricica Irina Cornici was possessed and that the crucifixion had been part of an exorcism ritual.
Cornici was found dead on the cross on Wednesday after fellow nuns called an ambulance, according to police.
A priest and four nuns were charged with imprisonment leading to death.
Police say the 23-year-old nun, who was denied food and drink throughout her ordeal, had been tied and chained to the cross and a towel pushed into her mouth to smother any sounds.
A post-mortem is to be carried out, although initial reports say that Cornici died from asphyxiation.
| I don’t understand why journalists are making such a fuss about this
The Hungarian National Bank stands in Budapest, Hungary, on Oct. 16, 2008. Photographer: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg News
Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) — Imre Apostagi says the hospital upgrade he’s overseeing has stalled because his employer in Budapest can’t get a foreign-currency loan.
The company borrows in foreign currencies to avoid domestic interest rates as much as double those linked to dollars, euros and Swiss francs. Now banks are curtailing the loans as investors pull money out of eastern Europe’s developing markets and local currencies plunge.
“There’s no money out there,” said Apostagi, a project manager who asked that the medical-equipment seller he works for not be identified to avoid alarming international backers. “We won’t collapse, but everything’s slowing to a crawl. The whole world is scared and everyone’s going a bit mad.”
Foreign-denominated loans helped fuel eastern European economies including Poland, Romania and Ukraine, funding home purchases and entrepreneurship after the region emerged from communism. The elimination of such lending is magnifying the global credit crunch and threatening to stall the expansion of some of Europe’s fastest-growing economies.
The International Monetary Fund may soon lack the money to bail out an ever growing list of countries crumbling across Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and parts of Asia, raising concerns that it will have to tap taxpayers in Western countries for a capital infusion or resort to the nuclear option of printing its own money.
IMF’s work in countries such as Turkey is only just beginning
The Fund is already close to committing a quarter of its $200bn (£130bn) reserve chest, with a loans to Iceland ($2bn), Ukraine ($16.5bn), and talks underway with Pakistan ($14.5bn), Hungary ($10bn), as well as Belarus and Serbia.
Neil Schering, emerging market strategist at Capital Economics, said the IMF’s work in the great arc of countries from the Baltic states to Turkey is only just beginning.
“When you tot up the countries across the region with external funding needs, you get to $500bn or $600bn very quickly, and that blows the IMF out of the water. The Fund may soon have to start calling on the West for additional funds,” he said.
Brad Setser, an expert on capital flows at the Council for Foreign Relations, said Russia, Mexico, Brazil and India have together spent $75bn of their reserves defending their currencies this month, and South Korea is grappling with a serious banking crisis.
“Right now the IMF is too small to meet the foreign currency liquidity needs of the larger emerging economies. We’re in a dangerous situation and there is the risk of extreme moves in the markets, as we have seen with the Brazilian real. I hope policy-makers understand how serious this is,” he said.
The IMF, led by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has the power to raise money on the capital markets by issuing `AAA’ bonds under its own name. It has never resorted to this option, preferring to tap members states for deposits.
The nuclear option is to print money by issuing Special Drawing Rights, in effect acting as if it were the world’s central bank. This was done briefly after the fall of the Soviet Union but has never been used as systematic tool of policy to head off a global financial crisis.
“The IMF can in theory create liquidity like a central bank,” said an informed source. “There are a lot of ideas kicking around.”
Tags: Bank for International Settlements, Bankruptcy, Belarus, Bonds, Central Bank, Debt, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Economy, Financial Crisis, GDP, Government, Hungary, Iceland, IMF, Liquidity, Pakistan, Politics, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Taxpayers, Turkey, Ukraine
The crisis in Hungary recalls the heady days of the UK’s expulsion from the ERM.
The financial crisis spreading like wildfire across the former Soviet bloc threatens to set off a second and more dangerous banking crisis in Western Europe, tipping the whole Continent into a fully-fledged economic slump.
Currency pegs are being tested to destruction on the fringes of Europe’s monetary union in a traumatic upheaval that recalls the collapse of the Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992.
“This is the biggest currency crisis the world has ever seen,” said Neil Mellor, a strategist at Bank of New York Mellon.
Experts fear the mayhem may soon trigger a chain reaction within the eurozone itself. The risk is a surge in capital flight from Austria – the country, as it happens, that set off the global banking collapse of May 1931 when Credit-Anstalt went down – and from a string of Club Med countries that rely on foreign funding to cover huge current account deficits.
The latest data from the Bank for International Settlements shows that Western European banks hold almost all the exposure to the emerging market bubble, now busting with spectacular effect.
They account for three-quarters of the total $4.7 trillion £2.96 trillion) in cross-border bank loans to Eastern Europe, Latin America and emerging Asia extended during the global credit boom – a sum that vastly exceeds the scale of both the US sub-prime and Alt-A debacles.
Tags: Argentina, Austria, Banking, Brazil, Credit Crisis, Credit Crunch, Dollar, Economy, Euro, GDP, Hedge Funds, Hungary, IMF, Meltdown, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., U.S.