TOP NEWS
Slovenia takes turn in EU presidency Slovenia officially took over the half-yearly presidency of the European Union, thus becoming the first former Communist block country to hold this position. The last semester has Portugal as leading country.
Romanian woman killed in Italy A 17-year old Romanian girl was killed by her former Italian boyfriend on the night of the New Year's Eve, in the Italian city of Rosamo, Rador informs. After presuming at first that it was all just an accident caused by those celebrating the New Year firing weapons, investigators found that, in fact, Cornelia Duana was shot dead by 29-year old Giuseppe Ceravolo.
Romanians working abroad sent home 7 billion euro in 2007 Romanian workers employed in other states sent home some 7 billion euro in 2007, out of which over 2 billion in December only, a report put up by the World Bank informs, according to the Rador news agency. Romania ranks tenth worldwide on this indicator. According to the report, the amount is not very significant, if compared to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Romania, still the funds sent by migrating workers represent a real support for the national economy. 
UPDATE: Snow storm brings South Romania to a halt. Bucharest airports closed Bucharest and surrounding areas were brought to a complete halt on Thursday morning after a night of heavy snow storms that led to the closure of Romanian capital's two airports and paralyzed traffic across the city and on national roads and one highway. After the heavy snows during the past few days, several national roads were blocked, trains suffered major delays, flights were cancelled, ports were closed and ambulances proved unable to reach their destinations. A yellow code warning was instated between January 1 and 3.
Benazir assassination: how it may change the world The assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto has instantly unleashed a profound political and social crisis in Pakistan during the full swing for the January 2008 elections. It also had as an immediate effect a fall of stock indices on world markets. Possible medium and long term effects of the Thursday attack are now analyzed in detail in the world political and financial capitals.
Benazir Bhutto dies in suicide bombing Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto died in an attack while at an electoral event of former PM and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad, on Thursday. Dozens of people were killed in the attack, AFP informs, quoting Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Cheema.
Ukraine installs border patrols on Serpent Island Ukraine prepares to place a frontier police patrol unit on the controversial territory of the Serpent Island, the KPUnews agency informs. The decision comes as a result of the visit president Viktor Iushchenko made to Odessa in November, when he asked to have a functional unit placed in the island before March 2008. Border Police officials say they do their best to abide the order. 
Fog, snow seriously affects traffic in Bucharest, surrounding areas A layer of thick ice covered much of Bucharest roads on Monday morning, seriously affecting traffic on Christmas Eve, while intense fog and snow hindered proper driving in many areas in southern Romania. Drivers have been urged to keep low speed as police announced an increased number of minor car crashes over the weekend and in the first hours on Monday.
50 Romanians stuck on Moscow airport, another 200 waited 15 hours on Heathrow due to bad weather 51 Romanian citizens were stuck on the Moscow airport due to bad weather on Monday at noon. The group, including locally known pop band Akcent and football player Ciprian Marica, have been waiting for 14 hours to return home and were promised to depart Moscow on an Aeroflot plane at about 11.30 a.m. Another 200 Romanian citizens were forced to wait for more than 15 hours on London Heathrow due to heavy fog this weekend.
Iran Embassy criticizes the publishing of Satanic Verses in Romania The Iranian Embassy in Bucharest criticized the translation into Romanian of the controversial book Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie, PressTv informs. The Iranian diplomacy condemned the publishing of the blasphemy, Press TV informs on its website, and even demanded the banning of the volume in Romania.Romanian Patriarchy earlier criticized the publishing of the volume, considering that it wrongs the spiritual values and religious symbols, regardless the official religion that uses it.
Life in orphanages affects brains Psychologists suspected for quite a while that growing up in orphanages affects the mental development, but did not have any clear evidence until now, the New York Times reads on Friday, quoting the results of an unique study, conducted in Romania. The study, published in the Friday edition of Science, is the result of unique experiments conducted through several years, comparing the IQ of children growing in orphanages with the IQ of orphans growing up in foster care families. 
Institute led by Ex-president Iliescu - accused of forging and censoring data on Romanian Revolution Traian Orban, a former participant in the Romanian Revolution in 1989, refused the diploma he was about to receive from ex-president Ion Iliescu, currently president of the Romanian Revolution Institute. Orban accused the Institute of protecting some of the people guilty for the numerous victims of the Revolution. Another participant in the revolution accuses the institute of censorship. Iliescu says the fuss is only about personal discontents and fabulation.
Report on Communism not applied One year after the president officially condemned the Communism, only 4 out of 36 measures suggested in the Tismaneanu Report on Communism were applied. The draft for a lustration law passed over an year in the Houser of Deputies, while the investigations on the Romanian Revolution and the violent events in the early 90s are far from being finished. The Communism manual for high schools was not edited, just like the promised Encyclopedia of Communism.
Opposition wins in 2008 Budget negotiations Record amounts of money for Agriculture, education and local administration in areas led by the main opposition party, Social Democrats (PSD): this is, in a rough description, the state budget structure for 2008. The budget law draft was approved by the Parliament on Thursday, after two days of fast-forward debates and amendments approved on a roll. PSD obtained 2.4 billion RON (1 euro = 3.55 RON) for the counties led by its party members. 
PM will not sack minister Orban before Police conclusions Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu officially declared that he waits the results of the Police investigation in the case of minister Orban's car crash. Tariceanu refuses to make any official comment until the results are made public and points at the rumors on dismissing Orban as "not founded". In the recent chain of events, the father of the young girl involved in the accident was heard by prosecutors on Thursday and declared that he maintains his first statements: the girl broke her hand earlier in the day, slipping on the ice. 
Governing PNL party press office: All information published by HotNews.ro consists in invented stories The press office of the governing party in Romania, the National Liberal Party (PNL), issued a press release for the whole Romanian media on Wednesday saying that "all information published by the HotNews press agency simply consists in invented stories aimed at manipulating the public opinion". The press release unprecedentedly attacking the website you are now reading - which, as an online news website in Romanian and English and not as a press agency, is one of the most visited news websites in Romania - does not make reference to a specific story on HotNews.ro.
Romania Transport minister could be subjected to criminal inquiry over car accident Romanian Transport minister Ludovic Orban, brother to European Commissioner for Multilingualism Leonard Orban, could be subjected to a criminal inquiry as the Romanian police on Wednesday passed to prosecutors the file of an accident in which the minister was involved on Sunday. The news comes as footage of the accident was broadcast by a TV news station on Wednesday afternoon and claims intensified that the member of the government lied repeatedly in preliminary statements about the accident.
Romania Police confirmed that Transports minister hit a person Police confirmed on Tuesday evening that Romanian Transports minister Ludovic Orban hit a person in the car accident he was involved in on Sunday, but added that the parents of the victim did not file any complaint. Orban and the police had previously dismissed claims of a victim, which first appeared on a blog.
Killer of Romanian director Cristian Nemescu gets 7 years in prison British citizen Ali Imran, who caused the car crash in which famous Romanian film director Cristi Nemescu, sound engineer Andrei Toncu and cab driver Radu Arustei died in Bucharest last year, has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
Anthax case confirmed in northern Romania Lab analysis confirmed that a man who sacrificed an animal is infected with anthrax in Bistrita Nasaud in Northern Romania, Romanian news station Realitatea TV informs. The butcher is receiving the necessary treatment and is out of danger.

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