A roundup of the main stories in Romania today.
Anniversary. Chisinau, the
capital of the ex-Soviet, majority-Romanian speaking Republic of Moldova, is
hosting an assembly to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the union
of Bassarabia with Romania. A number of Romanian politicians, including the
former president and current leader of the People's Movement Party Traian
Basescu and the Liberal leader Ludovic Orban are due to attend the event. A
province with a majority ethnic Romanian population that formed part of the
Tsarist Empire, Bassarabia became united with Romania at the end of the First
World War, on the 27th of March 1918. The Soviet Union later
re-annexed Bassarabia in 1940 following an ultimatum, and created today's
Republic of Moldova on its territory.
Summer time. In
Romania, clocks moved forward from Daylight Saving Time on Saturday night. 3 am
became 4 am, and Romania is now 3 hours ahead of GMT. Because of the shift, the
day of the 25th of March only has 23 hours instead of 24. Clocks were
turned forward at the same time in all European Union countries. Summer time
lasts from the last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October. First
adopted in 1916 in Germany, Daylight Saving Time was introduced in Romania in
1932 to make the most of natural light and reduce the use of artificial
A special church service was held on Sunday in Trebes, in southern France, to
honour the four people killed on Friday by an Islamist attacker. Paris will
host a national ceremony in a few days' time to honour the gendarme who died
after taking the place of a hostage. Lieutenant-colonel Arnauld Beltrame was hailed a
hero for saving the lives of several people taken hostage in a supermarket by
an armed man, a French citizen of Moroccan origin. Investigations are ongoing
and the police have interviewed two more persons in connection with the attack,
one of whom is believed to be the attacker's partner. France, which saw a
series of attacks in 2015 and 2016 that killed more than 240 people and wounded
hundreds, is still facing a strong jihadist threat. The Romanian government has
firmly condemned these terrorist attacks and said it stands by France and the
other countries in the fight against terrorism and radicalisation.
US rallies. Hundreds
of thousands of people took to the streets in many cities across the United
States to demand tighter gun control laws. The demonstrations, held under the
motto March for Our Lives, were led by the survivors of a mass shooting at a
Florida school in February in which 17 people were killed. In Washington, the
rally, the biggest in recent years, was joined by many celebrities.
Palm Sunday. Roman-Catholic Christians today celebrate
Christ's Entry into Jerusalem commonly known as Palm Sunday, which also marks
the beginning of the Passion Week, the week preceding Easter. On Palm Sunday,
the Roman-Catholic Church also celebrates Youth Day. Processions with flowers
and branches are held to honour Christ's entry into Jerusalem almost 2,000
years ago. During Passion Week, all Roman-Catholic believers must forgive and
reconcile with those with whom they have fallen out, as this is a time of
penitence and preparation for the biggest Christian holiday, Easter.
Handball. The Romanian women's handball side today face
Russia in Cluj Napoca in a return match as part of the fourth qualifying group
in the run-up to the European Championships in France. On Wednesday in
Togliatti, Romania lost to Russia 30-25, their first defeat in this qualifying
campaign. The two sides now both have 4 points, followed by Austria with 2
points, but one match behind. If they win today, Romania may win the group.
Romania on Saturday defeated Israel 2-1 in a friendly match held in Netanya.
They will face Sweden on Tuesday in another friendly to train for the upcoming
Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. Sweden are currently in the 19th
place in the UEFA ranking, while Romania is ranked 36th and Israel
94th. We recall that Romania have not qualified for this year's
World Cup hosted by Russia.
Tennis. The Romanian tennis players Simona Halep and Monica
Niculescu lost their respective third-round matches in Miami on Saturday. Halep
was defeated by Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in
three sets, while Niculescu withdrew with back pain in the decisive set against
Sloane Stephens of the US. In the men's draw, Marius Copil was eliminated in
the second round by Russia's Karen Khachanov.