Liberal leadership nominates Senator Norica Nicolai as Romania Justice minister The political board of the governing National Liberal Party (PNL) has approved Senator Norica Nicolai to take over the Justice minister portfolio on Monday. The ministerial seat was left vacant a week ago following the resignation of ex-minister Tudor Chiuariu. 28 members of the PNL board were in favor of Nicolai, with one vote against her.
Heavy snow falls brought traffic to a halt across Romania this weekend Meteorologists say this weekend saw the first real snow fall reported in Romania for the last two years, with snow affecting most of the country. While this comes as good news for mountain resorts that have opened a majority of ski slopes, traffic was brought to a complete halt this weekend and several people died in accidents.
Former Justice minister Chiuariu accuses President Basescu of blackmailing Constitutional Court Former Justice minister Tudor Chiuariu accused President Basescu in an interview for this weekend of blackmailing members of the Constitutional Court of Romania. Even though he admits he has no evidence to support his statements, Chiuariu warned that several times Basescu knew beforehand some information which he could only obtain through blackmail.
25 Romanian thieves arrested in Spain A network of Romanian thieves operating for more than half a year in the region of Valencia have been arrested under charges of stealing. Romanian TV station Antena 3 reported on Sunday that the Spanish police confiscated guns, ammunition and other weapons following the arrest of the 25 Romanians - 19 men and six women.
World Handball: Germania - Romania 36-35 Romania's national women handball team lost before Germany by only one point this weekend, only getting fourth place in the Handball World Cup with a 36-35 score despite a seven-point lead at breaktime. Germany managed to equal Romania in the last 32 seconds of the game and then won in the two additional rounds.
26% more new cars registered in 2007 Over 288,000 new cars were registered on the Romanian market during the first 11 months of 2007, 26.2% more than the similar period in 2006, the European Auto Constructors Association informed. During the same period, Europe saw over 14.82 million new cars registered, 1.1% more, compared to 2006. The most significant growth was seen on the Romanian and Bulgarian market. 
PM Tariceanu: Moldova lacks the vision to build its road to the EU Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu declared on Friday that he is disappointed with the Kishinev government attitude, as well as with the recent statements of president Vladimir Voronin on Romania. Still, Tariceanu emphasized on the fact that Romania will always be available to help Moldova. Discussing the case of the two Romanian diplomats expelled from Kishinev, Tariceanu said that the attitude of the Moldova officials does not follow the spirit of the policies Romania addressed to Moldova.
Romanian movie 4, 3, 2... Golden Globe nominee. Oscars to follow After its success in Cannes, where it got the highest prize - the Palme D'Or trophy, Romanian film 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days was nominated for the Golden Globe Awards, in the Best Foreign Movie category. Movie director Cristian Mungiu declared for Realitatea TV that this nomination represent one step further in receiving an Academy Award nomination. 
Romania qualifies to handball semi-finals Romania national handball team won in front of France on Thursday night (34 : 31) in a heart-weakening game, thus qualifying to the world championship semi-finals. After starting the game in a modest note and being led at half-time, 14:8, Romania recovered and evened the score. The game time ended at 24:24, the two overtime rounds continued to maintain the equality (27:27) and two extra overtime rounds were finally necessary to decide a winner.In the next game, Romania will play against Russia, a game similar to the finals last two years ago, when Russia won the gold. 
Europe has new Treaty The European leaders, gathered in Lisbon on Thursday, signed the new European Union Treaty. This reform treaty, long negotiated and subject for a series of compromises, replaces the EU Constitution, rejected through referendum by several EU states. The new treaty will stipulate the rights and obligations of each member state and is expected to lay a foundation for the modernization of European institutions, as well as to change the ratio of forces, in favor of larger countries.
Brussels warns: January report on Romania will be hard The European Commission report on the progress made by the Romanian Justice and the anti-graft campaign, scheduled for release in January, will be a very hard one, EC sources declared for NewsIn. Same sources say that officials in Brussels are extremely annoyed by the fact that Romania failed to respect its commitments to the EU.
Arsenal London - Steaua Bucharest 2-1. Honorable loss In the last game in the Champions League groups, Steaua lost in front of Arsenal London, ending a series of poor games with a rather fair and dedicated game. "Even though the final impression was that we could have achieved more, it is a fair result. We were surpassed in the first half of the game because we were too afraid, Then we got some courage and we had our chances. It is hard to believe we will ever raise youngsters with the quality of those at Arsenal, who begin when they are still small and row up in a professional environment", said Marius Lacatus, Steaua coach.
Two Romanian diplomats - persona non grata in Kishinev Two employees of the Romanian Embassy in Kishinev were declared persona non grata by the Moldovan government, the NewsIn news agency informs. According to local authorities, the two Romanians carried on activities incompatible to their diplomatic statute. Both Embassy employees have 24 hours to leave the country. At the same time, the Moldova ambassador in Bucharest, Lidia Gutu, was recalled to Kishinev for consultations, a release from the Moldovan Foreign Ministry informs.
US Embassy employee involved in car crash is Secret Service agent The US Embassy confirmed on Wednesday that its attaché, Kevin L. Sandlin, was involved in the traffic accident on Tuesday night in Bucharest. In a press release for, the Embassy confirms its cooperation with the Romanian Police in the investigation on the case. Asked by the reporters, the US Embassy officials said that Kevin Sandlin is a deputy attaché within the Embassy and he works as representative of the US Secret Service on fiscal frauds and cyber crime.
Yahoo! opens office in Romania Marius Pahomi announces on his blog that Yahoo! will open an office in Romania. "I received the confirmation personally, during a private meeting in London with Toby Coppel, Managing Director Yahoo! Europe", Pahomie writes.According to the blog author, Coppel visited Bucharest two weeks ago and discussed with IT&C Ministry and other governmental officials.
Foreign Minister points at Romanians who travel without papers Romanian embassies and consulates are not a problem, said Foreign Minister Cioroianu in a public meeting organized by the Social Dialogue Group on Tuesday night. Cioroianu pointed at Romanians who leave Romania without carrying any personal documents. The minister defended his Foreign Ministry employees after president Traian Basescu had claimed in an interview for and BBC that the ministry attempts to transform consuls and ambassadors into political clients. 
Controversial oilman decides on who should be employed as prosecutor In a criminal complaint addressed to the Anti-Graft Prosecution Office (DNA), a member of the examination panel who judge the competitions for prosecution office job openings is accused of working for Dinu Patriciu, influential Liberal and general manager of Rompetrol, a company he founded and sold, becoming the richest man in Romania. Gabriela Ghita, one of the prosecutors under investigation the recent case of prosecutors accepting bribe to employ other prosecutors, claims that Irina Berar, one of the panel members who decides who wins the job, works for Dinu Patriciu and is responsible, in 80% of the cases, of deciding who is the winner in competitions for prosecution office contests. 
US Embassy employee involved in car crash in Bucharest An employee of the US Embassy in Bucharest was involved in a car crash on Tuesday night, ended with the injury of a woman, Realitatea TV informs. Eye witnesses claim that the car driven by the US embassy employee was speeding and that the driver spread alcohol stench, although he refused to be tested. According to the TV station, the accident took place on the Beijing Boulevard, near the China Embassy. UPDATE: A criminal record was opened on the name of the US driver for refusing the alcohol testing and for the injuries suffered by the victim.
Absolute corruption record: 21 customs officers accused of 8,000 misdemeanours in one year Romanian anti-graft prosecutors have accused 21 customs officers from Bucharest International Airport Henri Coanda of committing 8,121 acts of petty corruption in one year only. The total prejudice amounts to 81,470 Romanian Ron.
Romanian anti-graft prosectors investigate former Environment minister Former Environment minister Aurel Costin Ilie, who served in the 2000-2004 Social Democratic government, is heard by anti-graft prosecutors in a case related to land concessions in downtown Bucharest. Even though some 183 acres of land were requested by their rightful owners, local authorities granted those lands to an Australian real estate company while Ilie served as a minister.


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