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Second ice church in the world inaugurated in Romania The second ice church in the world, and the first in South East Europe has received its blessing at Balea Lac, Central Romania, local television Antena 3 informs. The church measuring 60 square meters was built in 3 weeks and already received some hundreds of tourists.
Queen Ana speaks about Romanian King Michael, royal life and family in first-ever interview Queen Ana of Romania, wife to King Michael, delivered her first interview ever in a show on Romanian public television TVR on Saturday. She used the occasion to reveal amusing details about her time beside King Michael over the years, her royal life and family.
Some 200 wild boars shot at private hunting event One of the richest Romanian businessmen, Ion Tiriac hosted its yearly hunting event at Balc, Western Romania that ended on Sunday after some 200 wild boars were shot dead, NewsIn informs. Even though, this year Tiriac refused to make reveal the list of his guests, influential and rich people joined him this weekend as Wolfgang Porsche, the heir to the Porsche family or Romanian Prince Dimitrie Sturdza were seen in Balc these days.
Romanian film director Cristian Mungiu fails to fetch Golden Globe Award Due to the US screenwriters' strike, the Golden Globe Awards could not be officially organized, so the organizers set up a conference to announce the winners this weekend. Romanian famous movie director, Cristian Mungiu did not win the Golden Globe Award for the best foreign film with his 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days, as the went to Le Scaphandre et le Papillon by Julian Schnabel - which also got the award for best director.
Brussels officials may discuss activation of safeguarding clause on Justice again The Romanian Academic Society think tank puts forward a pessimistic report for 2008 Romania: the organization warns that the negative tendencies of 2007 have every chance of being multiplied in the upcoming year. Moreover, the think tank forecasts that Brussels officials could open up discussions to activate the safeguarding clause on Romanian Justice if attacks on anti-graft prosecutors are stopped.
Norica Nicolai will not retire: the 1997 incident is a lie, in 1991 I did not break the law Despite all the scandal around her being nominated for the Justice Minister seat, including the statements made on Friday night by president Basescu, Norica Nicolai will not retire from the race for the governmental position. In a press conference on Friday, after the speech held by president Basescu, Nicolai said the professional curricula was made up by the former political police, Securitate, when it comes to the 1987 incident referred to by Basescu, and that she did not break any laws in 1991. 
President Basescu: PM Tariceanu - A threat to national security President Traian Basescu put up a press conference on Friday night, a few hours after the press release referring to the reasons for which he would not accept Norica Nicolai as Justice Minister. Surprisingly, Basescu did not refer mainly to Nicolai, but to the fact that he failed to have a phone conversation with Prime Minister Tariceanu for two days. "I insisted to invite the Prime Minister to see and discuss the professional history of Norica Nicolai. But the thing is that I couldn't reach, with all the efforts, the prime minister. The telecomm system is conceived so it would not fail. The problem is that it could have been a national security issue, or something equally important, and the system failed. This is a problem of national security".
President unveils reasons to reject Norica Nicolai President Basescu publicly presented on Friday the reasons why he did not accept Norica Nicolai as Justice Minister. The reaction came after Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu declined two invitations from the president to discuss the situation and once again declared that he would not make other nomination that Norica Nicolai.
Sir Edmund Hillary, first man to conquer the Everest, dies aged 88 The first man who ever climbed the Everest, the world's highest mountain, died on Thursday night, aged 88, after a few years of worsening health conditions, the New Zealand Prime Minister declared, quoted by France Presse. Hillary dies after a heart crisis in a hospital in Auckland. “Sir Ed spoke of himself as a simple New Zealander, of modest quality. In fact, he was a Colossus, a hero", the prime minister wrote in a press release.
Romania not an actor in uranium and plutonium smuggling Romania is not included in the database of the International Atomic Energy Agency in any aspects of the illegal traffic of enriched uranium and plutonium, the IAEA website reveals. At the beginning of the week, IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei expressed his concern that Al-Qaeda may be supplied with nuclear or radioactive materials coming from Ukraine, Romania, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Romanian authorities reacted promptly, denying the existence of such a traffic on Romanian soil. 
Romania to build animal stunning facilities using EU funds Romanian authorities put up a plan to solve the problem of animal stunning and prepare to suggest in Brussels that such specialized facilities could be built through accessing EU non-refundable funds. At this moment, the stunning of pigs during Christmas holidays and of lambs during Easter is still conducted using traditional means, far from the European demands. The Veterinarian Authority chairman, Radu Roatis, says that the plan includes an education campaign for peasants. 
Judge Lidia Barbulescu elected new president in CSM The Superior Magistrates Council (CSM) elected a new president on Thursday. Lidia Barbulescu won the position almost unanimously, with 15 votes in favor and only one against. At the same time, Gratiana Isac was elected unanimously as vice president of the Council. For the first time in the history of this institution, the candidates had to present an action plan for their mandate.
Movie director Sergiu Nicolaescu undergoes brain surgery Movie director and Social Democrat central figure Sergiu Nicolaescu suffered a surgical intervention on Thursday morning in order to have a haematoma removed from the brain surface. The movie director (also former top Romanian actor) was hospitalized this week and was forced to pursue the intervention after he was injured in a domestic accident two months ago. Doctors say his condition is stable and he is recovering well, already speaking and moving hands and feet.
Romanian PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu sticks to nomination of Norica Nicolai as Justice minister despite presidential opposition Romanian prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu informed President Traian Basescu in a letter on Wednesday that he sticks to the nomination of Liberal Senator for the seat of Justice minister, a day after Basescu informed him in a letter that he he disagreed with her nomination. Tariceanu fiercely attacked the head of state, saying Basescu couldn't reject a person "for the simple reason of bearing a strong political and personal dislike" towards her.
How to play with faces on the FBI website A technical vulnerability of the FBIjobs.gov website allows users to play and have friends, rivals or personalities figure as one of the "most wanted" people looked for by the FBI. A cowboy-looking President of Romania, Traian Basescu, has already landed on the FBI website, funny-face accompanied by a text that calls him "the Tony Soprano of Romania".
Child porn scandal shocks Bulgaria Advertising clips of a new Bulgarian movie, Baklava (a kind of Turkish cake), directed by Alekso Petrov, shocked Bulgaria, Rador informs. Terrible scenes of homosexuality, violence and pornography, all involving children, as well as scenes of drunk minors smoking and taking drugs caused a huge scandal among Bulgarians. The clips were filmed in an orphanage, "A.G. Kodjakafalieta", in the city of Burgas.
Over 100 Romanians attacked in xenophobic outburst in Italy On the night of January 7/8, over 100 Romanians camped in an abandoned wine factory in Aprilia, Italy, were victims of a new xenophobic attack. The immigrants occupied a factory on via Nettunese, as shelter from the cold. On Monday night, an organized group of Italian youngsters threw Molotov cocktails through the factory windows, then destroyed the windows of cars parked nearby.
Lobby to hire a nephew for Norica Nicolai Former deputy manager at the National penitentiary Administration Sorin Dumitrascu declared for Hotnews.ro that he was asked to employ Norica Nicolai's nephew shortly after the Parliament incident involving her. Norica Nicolai, suggested for the Justice Minister seat, as rejected by President Traian Basescu because some 18 months ago she was involved in a scandal, when she let a nephew vote in her place in the Parliament. The nephew, Ana Hanes Manea, was employed in the National Office against Money Laundering, where she still works. Dumitrascu refuses to point at the person(s) who put pressure on him to hire Manea, but admits that is the same person involved in the scandal of the illegal vote and that the lobby referred to a position that did not involve contact with the convicts.
World Bank foresees global economic slowdown in 2008 The global economy growth rate is expected to decrease to 3.3%, the World Bank estimates. The institution draws the attention towards the fact that the lack of financial stability may cause a recession in the US economy, NewsIn informs.
Putin may visit Romania during the 2008 NATO summit Romania prepares for the NATO summit scheduled for April 2008, in Bucharest. According to the Russian news agency Novyi Region, quoting Deutsche Welle, some surprises may take place during the reunion. Organizers say that a visit of the Russian strongman Vladimir Putin may be expected, this being the first time the leader would arrive in Romania.German analysts see in the meeting between Romanian president Traian Basescu and Vladimir Putin - as president or prime minister - a possibility to improve the relations between Romania and Russia.

ESRI

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