For a roundup of domestic and international news, click here.
ELECTION IN FRANCE – Over 47 million French are on Sunday expected to hit the polls to vote in the first round of the presidential election, seen as underlying the future of the European Union. Following Thursday’s terrorist attack on Champs Elysee, authorities have strengthened security. 50,000 law enforcement officers and 7,000 military have been mustered. For the first time in over 60 years, the acting president Francois Hollande is not seeking a second term in office. Another novelty might be that the candidates of the two largest factions, the Socialist Party and the Republican Party, might be eliminated from the first round. Of the 11 candidates enrolled in the race, Emmanuel Macron, representing the moderate center, Marine Le Pen, the far-right National Front candidate, Francois Fillon, the former Prime Minister and the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melanchon are among the favorites.
AVALANCHE – Saturday’s avalanche in Retezat Mountains killed two teenagers, 13-year-old Dor Geta Popescu and 14-year-old Erik Gulacsi, both professional climbers enrolled in a sports club in Brasov. The local mountain rescue service has warned against imminent avalanche risks. Dor Geta Popescu was the holder of six world titles and a European trophy. At 10 years of age she became the world’s youngest climber to summit Ararat, at an altitude of 5,000 meters. Erik Gulacsi last year was designated the youngest European climber to summit Aconcagua Peak in Argentina, at over 6,900 meters, the highest in America. The police is investigating the tragedy.
SPEECH – Romanian Crown Princess Margareta will deliver a speech before Parliament on April 26, marking the anniversary of 100 years since Iasi was named the capital of the Kingdom of Romania between 1916-1918 and the City of the Great Unification”. The event celebrates the adoption 100 years ago of the laws reforming the Romanian modern state, the agrarian law and the election law, both adopted by the Senate and the Deputies’ Assembly. According to a press release issued on Suday, political and legislative measures adopted by the Parliament that fled to Iasi during the Great War, are the expression of a concerted political effort on behalf of all the parties making up the Constituent Assembly, as expressed by King Ferdinand in his opening speech in the Parliament plenary session of December 15, 1917. We recall that after the Great War, all of Romania’s historical provinces were united under one single entity, the Kingdom of Romania.
GYMNASTICS – Romanian athlete Marian Dragulescu is today competing in the vault event at the European Gymnastics Championships hosted by Cluj-Napoca, northwestern Romania. On Saturday, Dragulescu won gold in the floor event. Aged 36, Marian Dragulescu holds the most European gold medals, 10. Also today, in the women’s competition, Romanians Catalina Ponor and Larisa Iordache are competing in the beam final. Cluj is hosting the European Gymnastics Championships 60 years after the last edition was held in Romania. A total of 274 athletes from 37 countries are taking part in the event.
TENNIS – Simona Halep on Sunday defeated Johanna Konta of Great Britain, 6-1, 6-3 in the third rubber of the Fedcup match pitting Romania against Great Britain. The match is a playoff game for remaining in the Second World Group. The aggregate score is now 2-1 for Romania. On Saturday, Halep defeated Heather Watson in the first game, while Konta beat Sorana Cirstea in the second. Irina Begu will next play Heather Watson. The doubles match will be played later today. We recall that Saturday’s match between Konta and Cirstea was interrupted due to an incident caused by Romanian coach Ilie Nastase, who was sent off after swearing at the umpire and verbally abusing Johanna Konta and the British coach. The ITF is investigating the case. (Translated by V. Palcu)