An earthquake measuring 6.2 degrees on Richter’s scale rocked central Italy earlier today, taking scores of lives/ The Turkish army and the international coalition have launched an operation against IS positions in the Syrian town of Jarablos
EARTHQUAKE – An earthquake measuring 6.2 degrees on Richter’s scale rocked central Italy earlier today, taking over 40 lives and producing extensive material damage. According to Radio Romania’s local correspondent, the mayor of Amatrice says the village has been reduced to rubble, with many people still caught under the debris. The village is located close to L'Aquila, where a similar tremor seven years ago left 309 people dead, 1,500 injured and produced material damage worth over 16 billion dollars. Today’s tremor was also felt in northern and southern Italy and was followed by many aftershocks, which prompted many Italians, including those in Rome to go out of their homes. The Romanian relevant authorities have announced that no assistance request has been received so far from Romanian nationals.
TURKEY – The Turkish army and the anti-jihadist international coalition forces have today launched an operation to chase away the Islamic State terrorist group from the Syrian town of Jarablos, close to the border with Turkey, sources with the Turkish Prime Minister’s office have announced. Turkish military sources have announced the artillery opened fire at the town, whereas US fighters pounded IS positions, as part of the operation. Also, Turkish military vehicles crossed the border into Syria, as part of the offensive. In the case of Turkey, this operation is motivated by the wish to prevent Kurdish militias from taking control of the locality and to open a corridor for Syrian moderate anti-governmental rebels, a Turkish high official has underlined.
AGRICULTURE – Romanian MPs on the agriculture parliamentary committee have held talks with representatives of the Agency for Payments and Intervention in Agriculture (APIA) on the subsidy allocation stage for Romanian animal breeders. The director of the aforementioned agency, Nicolae Horumba, has announced that most requests submitted by farmers for payments have already been approved. He has also announced that the other farmers, too, will receive subsidies by the end of the month. The meeting between the MPs and the APIA representatives takes place against the backdrop of several farmers having gone on hunger strike for days, being discontent with not receiving subsidies for 2015 in their entirety. They resorted to this extreme form of protest after the Agriculture Ministry failed to comply with the pledges it made, to pay by mid August, the 360 million Euros worth of subsidies for animals, from European funds.
BLACK RIBBON DAY- Romania signed yesterday in Bratisalva a declaration underlying its determination to protect democracy, the rule of law and human rights. The document was adopted by all delegations which attended the ministerial conference devoted to the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes. Attending the meeting organised by the Slovak presidency of the Council of the EU was also Romanian justice minister, Raluca Pruna. She reiterated that Romania had also signed a joint declaration issued by the line ministries of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, which makes clear how the victims of totalitarian regimes should be recompensed and the way in which the justice systems of the aforementioned countries can be used to contain extremism. Attending the conference were also representatives of the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes in Romania.
CINEMA– The long reel by Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” is ranked 15th by 177 film critics around the world, asked by the BBC Culture to take part in a poll to determine the 21st Century’s 100 greatest films. “We believe that the new classics on this list are destined to become old classics. Whether or not that happens is ultimately up to you, the moviegoers”, the BBC Culture editors say. Mungiu’s film won the Palme d'Or at the 60th edition of the Cannes Festival, back in 2007. Ranking first is “Mulholland Drive”, directed by David Lynch, followed by “In the Mood for Love”, by Wong Kar-wai and “There Will Be Blood” directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.
SPORTS – Romania’s football vice-champion, Steaua Bucharest, is facing Britain’s Manchester City, on home turf this evening, in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off tie. Steaua has practically lost any chance to advance to the group stage, after sustaining a 0-5 defeat in the first leg, but it is automatically qualified into the Europa League group stage. Romania’s champion Astra Giurgiu on Thursday will also try to qualify into the Europa League group stage. Astra will play the return match in Great Britain, too, but it will be facing West Ham United, after ending the first match in a draw, 1-1, on home turf.
(Translated by Diana Vijeu)