PROTEST - On Saturday, some 25,000 people, including from the Diaspora, protested against the ruling coalition in Romania, calling for an answer to what happened at the diaspora protest a year ago, given that no one has been found guilty yet. We recall that at the protest held on August 10th, 2018, with some 100,000 participants, the gendarmes intervened brutally and used tear gas and water cannons, leaving injured on both sides. Several criminal cases have been opened in relation to those events. Reuters news agency has stressed the peaceful character of the protest and the fact that it was organized by groups of people who are working abroad. France Presse has reported the words of a 60-year-old lady who came, she said, to protest against the injustice she is facing every day, against a corrupt political class and an outdated health-care system. Radio Free Europe too carries an article headlined 'We know what you did last summer', stressing the fact that the protest had echoes all across the country and marked one year since the violent reprisal of the event on August 10th, 2018. The topic has also been covered by Deutsche Welle, which mentioned the fact that the protest was held against the background of a weakened coalition, given the results of the elections for the European Parliament and the conviction of its leader, Liviu Dragnea, who got a 3 and a half years sentence for corruption and was sent to prison.
CARACAL MURDERS - The Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism has announced that searches continue at the Caracal home of Gheorghe Dinca, the man who confessed, after being apprehended more than 2 weeks ago, to having killed and incinerated 2 teenage girls. On Saturday, prosecutors searched the house and talked to more witnesses. Things from around the house, with blood stains on them, were collected and sent for forensic analysis. Also, the investigators will break the holes covered with cement in the yard of the house, as this could provide more evidence. New evidence is also searched with respect to 18-year old Luiza Melencu, who went missing in April, after hitching a ride in Dinca's car. On Thursday, genetic tests on the bone fragments found in a bag in a forest near Caracal were completed, and results indicate that the bones belong to 15-year old Alexandra Maceşanu, whom Dinca said he had killed in late July. Also on Thursday, the search on the suspect's laptop, camera, mobile phones and memory stick was completed, with the data to be processed by forensic IT experts. The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, has called for more efficient measures to prevent murder and other violence against women, in a Twitter response to the Caracal case.
VOTING - The Permanent Electoral Authority has announced that, so far, more than 10,000 Romanian voters living abroad have registered on the www.votstrainatate.ro portal for the presidential elections due this autumn. Half of them would like to cast their vote in a polling stations. According to the Electoral Authority, postal voting has several advantages: the possibility to vote from home, by means of a simple a safe procedure, avoiding queuing in front of the polling stations and lower costs. According to the Ministry for Romanians Abroad, more than 5 and a half million Romanians have left the country. Together with those living in historical communities, the number of Romanians living abroad stands at approximately 10 million.
SUMMER UNIVERSITY - The 17th edition of the Izvoru Mureşului Summer University is taking place between August 12 and 17 in Harghita County, central Romania. This year's theme is Romania and the Romanians abroad, one year after the Great Union Centennial. The topics approached will include preserving the identity of the Romanians in Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova in the context of regional geopolitical development and the Romanian national interest, the policies of parliamentary parties and public institutions with respect to the Romanians abroad and the Romanians in the multi-ethnic regions in Romania. Attending the works will be participants from Romania and from the Diaspora, as well as from the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, and Bulgaria, mass media and civil society representatives, and members of the academic community in Romania and abroad.
NAVY DAY - Events dedicated to the Romanian navy Day, traditionally celebrated on August 15th, continue today in Galati with an open gates day. Tourists and locals are invited to visit the battle ships of the Mihail Kogalniceanu fleet. On the seafront, military staff will present fighting equipment and techniques, and also the educational offer of the navy school. The little ones will have the opportunity to meet god Neptune and also pirates. Until August 15, other ports on the Danube and the Black Sea will host exhibitions, concerts, book launches and interactive workshops.
TENNIS - The Romanian-born Canadian tennis player Bianca Andreescu (27 WTA) is today playing against the American Serena Williams (10 WTA) in the final of the Toronto tournament, with 2.8 million dollars in prize money. This is the first confrontation between the two players. The Romanian Simona Halep left the tournament on Friday, because of some medical issues. She left the field after the first set in the match against the Czech Marie Bouzkova, accusing severe pain in the left foot.