PROTEST - On Sunday, the
Romanian Interior Minister held a press conference concerning the events that
occurred during the anti-Government protest on August 10th in
Bucharest. Carmen Dan apologized to all those who suffered, both civilians and
military. The Interior Minister said that she had received the report on the
events and voiced her availability to present the data before Parliament.
According to the minister, 21 criminal records have been opened, 3 people have
been arrested and 2 have been placed under judicial control. As regards the
tear gas used, Carmen Dan said that the substances used are authorized, have
certificates of conformity and are sold by authorized manufacturers. She also
explained the gendarmes' violence with the fact that the peaceful protesters
did not disassociated themselves from the violent ones. Until Sunday night, the
Army Prosecutor's Office in Bucharest had registered approximately 300 criminal
complaints against gendarmes, filed by participants in the protest. 130 people
have been heard so far. Army prosecutors have initiated criminal proceedings
for abusive behavior and professional misconduct in relation to the
intervention of the gendarme forces during the protest. Ionel Corbu, Chief
Prosecutor of the Army Prosecutor's Office with the Bucharest Military
Tribunal, has stated that the aggression displayed was not justified, as there
were other means that could have been used instead.
ITALY - The search
operation for those missing after the Morandi motorway bridge collapsed in
Genoa ended overnight after the last bodies were found, bringing the official
death toll to 43. Two of the dead are Romanian citizens. We recall that a
200-meter section of the bridge gave away in busy traffic on Tuesday, plunging
vehicles, concrete and twisted metal to the ground, 50 metres below. The
viaduct was part of the A10 motorway and was managed by the private operator
Autostrade per l'Italia. The Italian
government blames Autostrade for the disaster, though the company denies any
negligence on its part. On Friday, the Government launched a procedure to
revoke the concession agreements with
Autostrade, which allow the latter to operate toll roads.
DIASPORA - The Romanians who
live and work abroad and spent their summer holidays in the country are now
going back to work, so border crossing points, especially in the west of the
country, are extremely crowded. Official data show that, in the past few days,
the Romanian border has been crossed by more than 1,300,000 people, both
Romanian and foreign citizens. In another development, Romanian police and its
foreign partners discovered some 20,000 people reported in the Schengen
Information System or wanted by INTERPOL in the first six months of the year.
Also, more than 400 wanted by the Romanian authorities at international level
were brought to the country, and more than 360 people wanted by Romania's
international partners were handed over to the countries wanting them.
CYBER ATTACK - The Romanian
Intelligence Service has announced that it possesses intelligence according to
which large-scale cyber attacks were perpetrated against financial institutions
in Romania in the June-August 2018 period. The American banks too had received
warnings from the FBI that certain hackers were prepared to attack ATMs and
payment processing devices. The Romanian Intelligence Service has stated that
the hackers use several attack methods, including the Cobalt Strike arsenal,
associated with a cyber-crime group in Eastern Europe.
TALKS - The German chancellor
Angela Merkel and the Russian President Vladimir Putin have made no real
progress with the talks regarding the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, the relations with
Iran and the North Stream 2 gas pipeline, the issues that the two officials
discussed on Saturday night, Reuters reports. The two leaders met in a formal
bilateral meeting for the first time since the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
After the talks, the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peksov told the press that no
agreement was reached following the discussions held at the Meseberg castle, north
of Berlin. He stated that both Merkel and Putin believed the North Stream 2
project was purely commercial, despite opposition from both the US and Ukraine.
The pipeline should be rendered operational in late 2019, and would supply Europe
with Russian natural gas, going round Ukraine. This project, initiated by
Moscow, is being implemented despite the EU's energy strategy to reduce the
dependence on gas imported from Russia.
TENNIS - The Romanian tennis
player Simona Halep, world's no.1, has qualified for the final of the WTA
tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio, with approximately 3 million dollars in prize
money, after defeating on Friday 6-3, 6-4 Arina Sabalenka of Belarus. The
Romanian player, who is the tournament's first seed, will play the final match
against the Dutch Kiki Bertens, no 17 in the WTA rankings. To Simona, the
Cincinnati final will be the 33rd in her career, whose record
includes 18 titles won so far. In another move, the pair made up of the
Romanian Horia Tecau and the Dutch Jean-Julien Rojer failed to qualify for the
final of the doubles competition of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in
Cincinnati. They were defeated on Saturday by the British-Brazilian pair Jamie
Murray - Bruno Soares.