TOP NEWS
Resigning journalist speaks up about political pressure within Romanian public television Former editor at the Romanian Public Television TVR, Radu Gafta resigned this week, using the occasion to reveal that the new management of the News department of the broadcasting company has censured several reports which might have significant political impact. The former editor told HotNews.ro that some journalistic investigations were stopped and an article about Norica Nicolai, Liberal nominee for the Justice Ministry was censored with no other explanations by the new chief editor of the News department, Madalina Radulescu. 
4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days film might change Oscar rules Oscar committee president Mark Johnson has said that both the Romanian movie 4,3,2 and the French production Persepolis should have been among the selected movies for the Oscar race. He admitted in a Washington Post interview, quoted by Romanian local television Realitatea TV that the selection rules for Oscar should be changed and he will make a move in this direction. He added that this year's selection is notable for the movies it excluded and not for those chosen.
Two Romanians retained in Verona for stealing 1,000 cars Two Romanian citizens were retained in Verona, Italy and charged for stealing some 1,000 cars over the last three years, Romanian television Realitatea TV informs. One of the men is from the county of Neamt, while the other from Iasi, both in North East Romania.
Coalition for a Clean Government stands against Norica Nicolai The Coalition for a Clean Government (CGC) considers that the nomination of Norica Nicolai as Justice Minister is a serious error and demands prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu to revise this suggestion. Five non-governmental associations, groups within the coalition, initiated an online petition called "Civil society declares against Norica Nicolai as Justice Minister".
Chess master Bobby Fischer dies aged 64 Former chess World Champion, legendary Bobby Fischer, died on Thursday, the Iceland public radio announced, quoted by BBC. The US-born player, who became famous for beating Cold War Soviet rival Boris Spassky in 1972, died after a long time of suffering from an unspecified illness, his spokesman said.
Romania to ban plastic shopping bags Environment Minister Attila Korodi announced on Friday his intention to forbid the offering of free plastic bags in stores. Korodi says that the measure will encourage people to use textile bags, thus reducing the pollution with slow decomposition in the biodegradation process. Quality bags take 100 years to decompose, said the Environment Minister, who adds that the measure may come into force at the beginning of 2009.
Interim Justice Minister refuses to approve criminal investigation against former and in office ministers Interim Justice Minister Teodor Melescanu refused on Friday to launch the criminal investigation against former and in office ministers, investigated by the National Anti-Graft Prosecution Office (DNA). Melescanu should have signed the files recently approved by president Traian Basescu and have it sent to the DNA, but claimed that the documentation received from the presidency is incomplete. It is the first time in the already controversial Romanian Justice when a minister refuses to follow procedure. even more, the Justice Minister doesn't have the right to look into the files. 
Romania has decided semi-finalists for Eurovision 2008 Romania has elected  24 semi-finalists on Thursday for Eurovision 2008t, the international music contest. The Romanian public television has broadcast the first stage of the pre-selection on Wednesday, January 16. The total number of songs entering the competition amounted to 282 but only 24 were finally elected.
Graft inquiries launched against ten Romanian football moguls The National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) announced on Thursday it opened criminal inquiries against ten Romanian football moguls including agents Ioan and Victor Becali, Bucharest club Rapid boss George Copos and former football star Gica Popescu. They are charged with fraud, embezzlement and money laundering. Anti-graft prosecutors determined the total amount of the prejudice to 1.7 million euro, as a result of avoiding any registration of the sums received after the transfer of 12 players from one club to another.
Three Romanian journalists retained while trying to sneek onto the Bucharest International Airport Three Romanian journalists were temporarily held in custody by police officers for trying to illegally enter restricted areas on the Henri Coanda International Airport in Bucharest. According to local news television Realitatea TV, the journalists wanted to test the vigilance of the personnel.
EP quarrels over Nokia facility in Romania The head of the Socialist Party group in the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, demanded the European Union on Wednesday not to approve the opening of a Nokia facility in Romania, in the village of Jucu, near Cluj. Schulz claims that the production transfer from Germany to Romania is made with EU funds, a fact denied by the European Commission president, Jose Manuel Durrao Barroso. Sorin Frunzaverde, head of the Romanian delegation within the EP Popular Party group, qualified the statements made by Schulz as exaggerated and ill-timed. UPDATE: Romanian Socialist group member Adriana Ticau contradicted Martin Schulz, showing that Romania is the right place for IT and telecomm investments at this moment.
President Traian Basescu approves criminal investigation against 8 former and in office ministers Romania president Traian Basescu approved on Wednesday the launching of criminal investigations against eight former minister and members of the current Government. Labor Minister (in office) Paul Pacuraru, (former) Justice Minister Tudor Chiuariu, (resigned) Economy Minister Decebal Traian Remes, (former) prime minister Adrian Nastase, (former) Transport Minister Miron Mitrea, (resigned) Telecomm Minister Zsolt Nagy, (former) Defense Minister Victor Babiuc and (former) Economy Minister Codrut Seres. Traian Basescu demanded the interim Justice Minister, Teodor Melescanu, to open the procedures for the criminal investigation in all cases. The Anti-Graft Prosecution Office (DNA) spokesperson, Lidia Saplacan, declared for Hotnews.ro that the file roll will begin as soon as the Justice Ministry approves the launching of the criminal investigation.
Interim Justice Minister: PM Examines accusations against Norica Nicolai In an exclusive interview for Hotnews.ro, Liberal boar member and Defense Minister Teodor Melescanu claims that the accusations against Justice Minister seat candidate Norica Nicolai are thoroughly studied by the prime minister. Juridical counselors and Liberal party members are involved in the investigation but, up to this moment, there are no impediments in keeping on supporting Nicolai for the position.
Romanian hit-film loses Oscar nomination The jury of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences made a preliminary selection of the 63 movies running for the "Best foreign film" category. Nine movies were selected, out of which only five will participate in the competition. Romanian multi-awarded 4 Months, 3 weeks and 2 days was not included. Movie director Cristian Mungiu expressed his doubt on the fact that his film may receive a nomination ever since last year's Golden Lion awards, considered as the European Oscars. According to Mungiu, the American public is used to another kind of movies and, for the moment, he is fully satisfied with the European honors he received. 
Suicidal squirrels cause concern among parents The National Audio - Video Council (CNA) confronts a new problem these days: cable TV station AXN broadcasts a mini-cartoon series presenting squirrels that commit suicide inventing ingenious and rather gore methods to put an end to their lives. The TV station got its license in the UK, from its Ofcom, and obeys the British legislation, which doesn't prevent such clips from being broadcast at ant moment of the day. Romanian CNA received two complaints this year only regarding the broadcasting of Suicidal Squirrels cartoons during the day, when the show can be accessed by children.
Romanian President confirms Defense Minister Teodor Melescanu as Justice interim Romanian PM Tariceanu asked President Traian Basescu on Tuesday to accept an interim Justice Minister in order to avoid an institutional blockage, a press release of the Government informs. Tariceanu proposed Teodor Melescanu, current Defense Minister to temporarily occupy the Justice seat, left vacant after the resignation of minister Tudor Chiuariu late last year. The Presidency announced shortly that President Basescu has accepted the nomination.
Bush to be accommodated at Marriott, Merkel and Barroso at Hilton and Sarkozy at Sofitel Hungarian publication Nepszabadsag quoted by Romanian monitoring agency Rador informs the hotels which will accommodate the heads of state participating at the 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest on April 2-4.
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.

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