Three Romanians among the wounded in Thursday's attack in Barcelona/Simona Halep and Horia Tecau in the quarterfinals of the Cincinnati tournament
BARCELONA ATTACK - Spanish authorities have today informed the Romanian General Consulate in Barcelona that there are three Romanians among those wounded in Thursday's terrorist attack. 14 people have died and more than 100 have been wounded in the most popular area of Barcelona, Las Ramblas, where on Thursday evening a van rammed into pedestrians. The victims are of 20 nationalities from Europe, South America, Australia and Africa. The attack has been claimed by the Islamic State. Just a few hours after the attack in Barcelona, in the resort of Cambrils, also in Catalonia, five alleged terrorists were shot dead by the police while they were just about to launch an attack. Three days of national mourning have been declared in Spain. Romania, just like the rest of the international community, has firmly condemned the attack. More on this after the news.
SUMMER UNIVERSITY - Friday is the last day of the Summer University in Izvoru Muresului, central Romania. Representatives of the Romanian historical communities around the country's borders have drawn attention to the danger of assimilation. The situation is dramatic in the Timoc province, in eastern Serbia, where the 300,000 ethnic Romanians living there cannot benefit from any fundamental rights, said Daniel Magdu, the president of the Romanian Community in Serbia. Also, representatives of ethnic Romanians in Ukraine have warned that they too are subject to an aggressive process of assimilation, as schools in Romanian have been dismantled and Romanian children are discouraged to speak their mother tongue. All representatives have stressed the fact that, without support from the Romanian state, they will no longer be able to preserve their national identity. The Director of the 'Eudoxiu Hurmuzachi' centre in Cernauti, academician Vasile Tărâţeanu, has stated that the number of schools in Romanian has dropped in northern Bucovina from 114 to 62, of which some are mixed, Romanian - Ukrainian.
STATE VISIT - On August 24th, the French president Emmanuel Macron will pay a formal visit to Romania, at the invitation of his Romanian counterpart Klaus Iohannis. The talks will focus on means of boosting bilateral relations under the Strategic Partnership and also the main issues on the European and international agenda. The visit was decided on the sidelines of the European Council of June 23rd, when Macron accepted president Iohannis's invitation to continue their dialogue in Bucharest.
EXTREME WEATHER - The Romanian National Meteorology Administration has issued a warning for extreme heat and thermal discomfort, affecting the entire country on Friday and Saturday. According to weather experts, the weather will be rather hot in all regions, with highs reaching 34-36 degrees Celsius, and even 37 in the south. The temperature - humidity ratio will exceed the critical 80 unit threshold. On Sunday, the weather will grow unsettled in the west, and temperatures will start dropping there. The noon reading in Bucharest today was 34 degrees Celsius.
FOOTBALL - Romania's football champion FC Viitorul has lost 3-1, on home turf, the match against the Austrians from Red Bull Salzburg, in the playoffs for the Europa League main group phase. The return game will be played next Thursday in Austria. We recall that Romania's vice-champion FCSB (formerly known as Steaua Bucharest), has secured a place in the groups of the second continental competition. FCSB hopes, however, to get access to the Champions League's groups. On Tuesday, the Bucharest squad ended in a draw the match against Sporting Lisbon, nil-nil, away from home, in the playoffs for the main group phase of the most important European football competition. The return game is scheduled for August 23rd, in Bucharest.
TENNIS - The Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, ranking 2nd in the WTA classification, will play against the British Johanna Konta (no. 7 WTA) in the quarter finals of the tournament in Cincinnati, the US, with 2.5 million dollars in prize money. Halep defeated on Thursday the Latvian player Anastasija Sevastova (16 WTA). In 2015, Halep lost the final in Cincinnati to Serena Williams, and last year she stopped in the semi-finals, as she was defeated by Angelique Kerber. Also in the current tournament in Cinncinati, in the men's doubles, the pair made up of the Romanian Horia Tecau and the Dutch Jean-Julien Rojer has qualified for the quarter finals, after defeating Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Rajeev Ram of the US. Tecau and his partner will compete for a place in the semi-finals against the British - Brazilian pair Jamie Murray / Bruno Soares.