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Constitutional Court explains decision on body studying Securitate archives The Constitutional Court (CCR) decided yesterday that some of the articles in the law for the functioning of CNSAS (the body enabled to study the archives of the former political police, Securitate) come against the Romanian Constitution. After the decision caused endless negative comments on the victory of the former Securitate officers, the Court published a 27-page document justifying the decision. On of the main problems was that CNSAS and its college define themselves as extraordinary court, which is anti-Constitutional.
Romania criticized by Human Rights Watch for CIA prisons, Kosovo incident and Mailat case The Human Rights Watch organization tells in its annual report about the Kosovo incident in February, when Romanian gendarmes killed to demonstrant, claims once again that Romania hosted illegal CIA prisons and also mentions the crisis in Italy caused by the Mailat case (the Romanian accused of raping and killing an Italian woman), NewsIn informs. 
Romania's big lottery prize winner is an immigrant businessman The lucky winner that won the biggest lottery pot in Romania's history is a rich businessman in Bucharest who has double citizenship, Romania's lottery director, Liliana Ghervasuc announced in a press release. Ghervasuc said that she cannot offer any more details about the winner.
Government allocates 14 million euro to clean up its image The Executive approved on Wednesday a decision to direct some 14 million euro for advertising, surveys, analysis and reports. Only some 300,000 Romanian RON are allocated to scientific and cultural activities. The money will reach the budget of the Government's Strategy Agency, an institution that is said to have conducted masked advertising for PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
EC spokesman Mark Gray: Commission report on Romanian justice is correct, factual and firm A European Commission report analyzing the evolution of the Romanian Justice system will be presented on Monday afternoon, EC spokesperson Mark Gray said on Thursday. The European official said that the report will be 'correct, factual and firm'.
Romania Constitutional Court deals heavy blow to body studying communist-era political police files Romania's Constitutional Court accepted on Thursday the claims of a businessman-politician that three articles of a law based on which CNSAS, the national body studying the archives of the communist-era secret police, was operating were unconstitutional. The decision effectively leads to the dissolution of the CNSAS once the court decision is published in the Official Gazette.
Interim Justice Minister brings corrections to EC report on Romanian justice Romania's interim Justice minister Teodor Melescanu argues that a European Commission report on the progress of the Romanian justice system, expected to be issued early next week, would be balanced and would not recommend the activation of the safeguarding clause if the Government complies with its commitments in the sector. The minister said he sent some corrections to the report to Brussels officials.
Government postpones decision on car tax After the Executive's meeting on Wednesday, in which a decision should have been made regarding the first car registration tax, Government officials announced that a final word has yet to come, in about 1 or 2 weeks. Romanian officials do not seem to agree which calculus model to choose. Development Minister Laszlo Borbely declared that Hungarian Democrats proposed several measures to reduce the tax value. The new options will be analyzed this week. 
Romanian climber Laurentiu Bulareanu died while conquering Aconcagua peak, Argentina Romanian climber Laurentiu Bulareanu died yesterday morning while returning from the Argentinian peak Aconcagua which he and his wife climbed, Romanian newspaper Cotidianul reads in its Tuesday edition. The man felt sick and his wife went to reach for help. However, paramedics were too late.
Romania highest ever lottery prize won on Sunday The winning lottery numbers that brough a 9.3 million euro win - the highest ever pot in the history of Romania - were 36, 6, 47, 24, 20 and 2. Officials announced on Sunday that the lucky numbers were extracted from a subunit in Bucharest. Some other 139 winners guessed 5 out of the 6 winning numbers and received a prize of 19,252 Romanian Ron.
Central Bank chief economist: Interest rates most probably to grow Valentin Lazea, chief economist of the Romanian Central Bank (BNR), declared in an interview for BBC and Hotnews.ro that BNR will probably increase the reference interest rate during its following session. Lazea also added that the current economic growth is not sustainable, being maintained only by the consumption index. Romanians consume more than they produce, said Lazea. 
Flu epidemic expands. Hospitals impose quarantine After Bulgaria and Hungary confronted extensive flu epidemics, the number of cases begun to grow in Romania as well. The Cantacuzino Institute announces that most of the cases until now were recorded in Bucharest, where 18 patients were diagnosed with flu. Other cases were confirmed in the counties of Iasi, Buzau, Constanta, Brasov and Sibiu. Doctors say that all cases will be handled with maximum attentions, patients being hospitalized. Several hospitals even instated quarantine.
Gallup poll: Citizens complain about corruption in Justice, lawyers complain about the Police, judges - about the age of buildings that host the institutions The most important three problems the Romanian Justice confronts are corruption, the lack of professionalism and the unclear legislation, say the citizens who were involved in a court trial. Those who have never been in court say the main problems are the corruption, the lack of professionalism and the involvement of politics in the Justice process. Unlike the citizens, the people in the system, like the clerks of the courts, never see the judges, prosecutors, lawyers or policemen as corrupt. Lawyers think very high of themselves and have a very poor opinion about the Police, then about judges and prosecutors, the results of a recent poll conducted by Gallup reveal.
Same mobile phone number, different operator, starting in October Mobile phone users will be able to maintain their number regardless the mobile operator they choose. The possibility will appear around October 21, when the technical infrastructure is installed. Customers will only have to make a ten-day notice towards their current operator. The costs for transferring a number from a network to another will be supported by the new hosting network. Still, costs may be partially recovered from the user, the only condition imposed by authorities being an affordable fee. Wired telephones do not  qualify for the new option. 
Former Justice Minister Monica Macovei might become the ninth minister under investigation Former Justice Minister Monica Macovei may be added to the "eight ministers" list - the list of former and in office ministers against whom the National Anti-Graft Prosecution Office (DNA) has opened criminal files. Gardianul informs on Thursday that an investigation was opened in order to verify the way Freedom House won the bid for auditing the National Anti-Graft Strategy, while Macovei was in office. 
EC president Barroso: Each European will pay 3 euro per week to fight global warming Every EU citizen will pay some 3 euro per week in order to cover the cost of fighting the global warming, according to the plan adopted in Brussels on Wednesday, said the European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso in his speech in front of the European Parliament. Without paying this price, the cost would be ten times larger.
Prime Minister sees economic growth in 2008 Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu declared on Wednesday, after the Government session, that Romania has no structural problems at this moment. The head of Government said that he expects 2008 to be a year of economic growth. "It is normal to have the stock market reacting to the international problems, a fact that can be seen in the evolution of the national currency. But this is not the lowest level of the Romanian leu. It is the result of speculating actions", said Tariceanu. 
Tickets for Romania games at Euro 2008 UEFA allocated for Romania 19,501 admission tickets for the groups games, out of which 11,951 are public. The rest is reserved for officials, partners and sponsors. There are three kinds of tickets, worth 45, 80 or 11 euro, plus transport and processing taxes.Online reservations will be available at www.biletefotbalonline.ro between January 28 and February 7, but only one ticket can be purchased at a time.
Flood warning in five counties The Environment Ministry issued an yellow code alert for floods in five Romanian counties: Mehedinti, Teleorman, Olt, Giurgiu and Dolj. The warning is valid on Wednesday, from 11:00h to 24.00h. Because of the rain about to fall during the following hours, combined with the melting 20 centimeters of snow, rivers will abruptly grow in volume, the National Hydro Institute warned. 
Oscar nominee Heath Ledger found dead Australian actor Heath Ledger was found dead in his apartment in New York, the death being apparently caused by a drug overdose, CNN reports. Born in 1979, Ledger was nominated for the Academy Awards two years ago, for his role in Brokeback Mountain. An NYPD official said that his body was found by the apartment maid and that medicines were found near Ledger. There were no suicide notes or other indications that the actor killed himself. 

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