KOFI ANNAN - The former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, was a visionary, and his efforts to reform the Organisation will not be forgotton, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on Saturday. Kofi Annan died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland in the early hours of Saturday, after a short illness. He was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his humanitarian work jointly with the UN as an organisation in 2001. He was the seventh secretary general and served for two terms between 1997 and 2006. Annan’s foundation issued a statement on his Twitter account on Saturday that described him as a “global statesman and deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world”. Born in Kumasi, Ghana, on 8 April 1938, Annan joined the UN system in 1962 as an administrative officer with the World Health Organization in Geneva. He later served with the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, the UN Emergency Force in Ismailia, the UN high commissioner for refugees in Geneva and in several senior posts at its headquarters in New York.
ACCIDENT – Rescue teams continue to search for possible survivors after the dramatic collapse of a motorway bridge in Genoa, Italy. Over 40 people were killed when dozens of vehicles fell 45m. The cause of the disaster, which occurred during torrential rain, was not immediately clear but questions had been raised about the safety of the structure. Saturday was declared a national day of mourning in Italy and included a state funeral at the industrial port city’s fair grounds for those who plunged to their deaths as the Morandi Bridge gave way Tuesday. But many of those who lost loved ones declined to participate in the state funeral. Some cited the need to bid farewell in private while others blamed the loss of lives on those responsible for the bridge’s safety.
INFLATION - Romania maintained in July, for the sixth consecutive month, its position as the country with the highest annual inflation rate among the European Union member states, of 4.3 percent measured by Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP), Eurostat has reported. The figure is, however, smaller than the one June, when it stood at 4.7%. In its turn, the National Bank of Romania revised downwards, to 3.5%, the inflation forecast for this year.
CYBER ATTACK - The Romanian Intelligenge Service SRI has announced it has strong information and data, including technical ones, that Romanian financial institutions have been under powerful cyber attacks in the period June-August this year. Recently, other partner institution of the SRI have identified, in their own countries, the imminence of such attacks, also dicrected against a number of financial systems across the world. The document also says that hackers use a variety of instruments, some from the Cobalt Strike arsenal, which are associated with a cyber crime group from the East.
IMPORTS - Romania’s imports stood at 40.2 billion euros in the first six months of the year. Official statistics show that 3.3 billion euros went on food imports, double the amount in the first six months of 2008, according to Mediafax news agency. According to recent data provided by the National Institute of Statistics, Romania’s exports of farm and food products in the first half of the year accounted for only 2.2 billion euros, bringing the deficit at more than 1 billion euros.
PROTESTS – In Romania, military prosecutors announced they would continue to receive over the weekend complaints from people injured in the gendarme intervention in the so-called Diaspora protests one week ago. So far, over 230 criminal complaints have been registered, and more than 100 people interviewed. Military prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation in rem for abusive behavior, abuse of office and negligence while on duty related to the gendarme intervention in the August 10th protests.