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What the newspapers say: January 21, 2009

de Alina Comanciu     HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 21 ianuarie 2009, 1:59 English | Press Review

Most newspapers on Wednesday read about the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama who, one newspaper reads, spent one hour in Romania back in 2005. At a local level, the new law regulating the retrieval of technical data on telephone calls, emails or text messages stirred up important debates. Last but not least, Romanian troops deployed in Iraq are to stay.

As millions of people all around the world joined their American counterparts to witness the inauguration of the US president elect Barack Obama, Cotidianul reminds its readers that Barack Obama visited Romania, for about an hour back in 2005 when he was Senator.

However, we find that Obama stayed in Romania one hour and never left the Bucharest international airport, former US diplomat in Romania Mark Taplin revealed for the Romanian television Realitatea TV. Apparently, Obama was coming from Azerbaijan and his plane landed in Romania for more fuel. He was greeted at the time by officials from the US Embassy in Romania while he was waiting for his plane to be ready for take off.

The new Obama phenomenon swept away the entire world as he manage to resurect not only the hopes of the American people but also that of the world, a CNN survey reveals. Obama's popularity skyrocketed even though, before the official inauguration he had to face some problems regarding the nomination of his future staff. Nonetheless, a BBC study in 17 countries concludes that 67% of the respondents share the same vision that Barack Obama put forward for the American people.

International newspapers greeted the new Obama era: French president Nicholas Sarkozy declared that he expects to help Obama save the world. On a realistic tone, French Foreign Affairs minister Bernard Koucher warned that Obama has no magic powers at his hands.

Elsewhere in the news, Romania libera reads about the controversies stirred up by the new law regulating the retrieval of personal information from telephone calls, emails and text messages. The newspaper reads that Romania's way to comply with EU directives does not protect its citizens from abuses from the institutions given this power.

Specialists warn that the databases can become, by mistake or intention, public and that actually citizens are the ones paying the bill for their administration since the state subsidies the spending incurred by companies needing to stock the information.

Romania's Public Policy Institute deputy director Adrian Moraru declared that the normative act reads that the law does not apply for the content of the communication but only for technical data like the time of the call etc is not necessarily credible. He added that there is no guarantee that this is actually happening and that the institutions are respecting the law.

However, the Mobile Operators Association executive director Liviu Popescu declared that the law does not bring about anything new, since companies were stocking this kind of information, as companies needed to be able to prove that they have charged the client correctly for his calls.

Several judges declared for the newspaper that the implementation of the new law touches on the right to privacy of individuals. The argued that these regulations are strictly interdicted by the European Human Rights Court even if their ruling contradict the European Union normative acts.

Cotidianul reads that Romanian authorities signed the agreement with Iraq regarding the Romanian troop deployment. According to a presidential press release, Romanian troops will ensure humanitarian and medical support for Tallinn and Baghdad and will instruct and counsel Iraq security forces.

The press release reads that Iraqi authorities invited Romania, together with other states, to continue their efforts to support stabilize and reconstruct Iraq by maintaining their troops even after December 31, 2008.




















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