AID In Romania, the people affected by recent natural disasters will receive state aid, after the government approves a draft resolution in this respect today. The largest sums, around EUR 2,000, will go to the families and individuals whose households have been affected to an extent of over 75%. In the case of fatalities, the families of the deceased will receive an additional EUR 1,500, irrespective of the number of victims. Meanwhile, the Romanian Waters Administration says the strategic water reserve in the country's main 40 lakes, although decreasing since early July, is able to cover the needs of all relevant beneficiaries. According to current data, nearly 800 localities have introduced water supply restrictions, and the drought continues, especially in the east. As regards crops, a total of 205,000 hectares of farmland have been affected so far.
AGRICULTURE Romania's grain yield is enough to cover the domestic demand and some exports, the agriculture minister Petre Daea said today, as 96% of the crops have already been harvested. High temperatures and extensive drought have affected crops, particularly sunflower and maize, across the country. Romania is one of the largest grain exporters in the EU and an active exporter to the Middle East. Last year the country had record-large crops, including 11.3 million tonnes of wheat. The domestic grain yield is generally 2-3 times higher than the domestic demand.
COVID-19 The next variants of the new coronavirus will most likely be not very aggressive, but easily transmitted, the head of the Matei Bals Institute for Infectious Disease, Adrian Marinescu believes. He says the pandemic has reached a stage where we cohabitate with the virus, and many of the infected people perceive the disease as similar to a common cold. The health minister Alexandru Rafila does not rule out a 7th pandemic wave in Romania this autumn, when schools and universities resume classes. On Wednesday over 9,100 new COVID-19 cases were reported, most of them in Bucharest and in Cluj and Timiş counties. Nearly 4,000 COVID patients are hospitalized, of whom nearly 550 are children. 284 patients are in intensive care, and 41 COVID-related deaths have also been reported.
TAIPEI The EU called for the tensions related to the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan to be settled through dialogue and for all communication channels with China to remain open, so as to avoid errors. China has its army on high alert in response to the visit, which it sees as a provocation. China's defence ministry announced "targeted military operations", and the East Command of the People's Liberation Army said they involved live-fire drills near Taiwan-a self-ruled island that China views as part of its territory. In Washington, the Biden administration says there is no need for the Chinese authorities to turn this visit into a crisis. The White House spokesman for national security, John Kirby, said the House Speaker has the right to visit Taiwan, but highlighted that the trip was not a violation of Chinese sovereignty or of the One China Policy. The visit, which was not supported by US president Biden, is the first by a US official at this level in 25 years.
REVOLUTION The prosecutor general of Romania, Gabriela Scutea, today announced the "Revolution Case" was referred back to the supreme court. In this case, the ex-president Ion Iliescu, former deputy PM Gelu Voican Voiculescu and Iosif Rus, former Military Aviation chief, are charged with crimes against humanity. According to the investigation, a widespread "terrorism" psychosis was created, which led to chaotic gun fire, fratricide, conflicting military orders. According to military prosecutors, this psychosis was induced deliberately, through disinformation and diversion, and resulted in over 850 dead, 2,380 wounded, hundreds of people illegally arrested and psychological trauma. Initiated in Timișoara in December 1989, the Romanian anti-communist revolution led to the flight, capture, summary trial and execution of the communist dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife Elena. (AMP)