Caracal investigation continues; anti-government protests are scheduled on Saturday in Bucharest
CARACAL INVESTIGATION Searches continue at the Caracal home of Gheorghe Dincă, the 66-year old man who confessed, after being apprehended more than 2 weeks ago, to having killed and incinerated 2 teenage girls. New evidence is searched with respect to 18-year old Luiza Melencu, who went missing in April, after hitching a ride in Dincǎ’s car. On Thursday, genetic tests on the bone fragments found in a bag in a forest near Caracal were completed, and results indicate that the bones belong to 15-year old Alexandra Măceşanu, whom Dincă said he had killed in late July. Also on Thursday, the search on the suspect’s laptop, camera, mobile phones and memory stick was completed, with the data to be processed by forensic IT experts. The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, has called for more efficient measures to prevent murder and other violence against women, in a Twitter response to the Caracal case.
TRADE In the first half of this year, Romanian exports totalled nearly 35 billion euros, while imports stood at over 42.5 billion, taking the trade balance deficit to around 7.7 billion euros, the National Statistics Institute announced on Friday. The largest share in traded commodities was accounted for by vehicles and transport equipment and other manufactured products. According to the Statistics Institute, the trade deficit in the first half of this year is over 1.3 billion euro deeper than in the corresponding period of 2018.
PROTEST A rally is scheduled for Saturday in front of the Government headquarters in Bucharest, with participants, both from Romania and from the diaspora, disgruntled with the performance of the current Government made up of the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats. The protesters will march from the Revolution Square, where the Interior Ministry is headquartered, to the head office of the Directorate Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism and then to Victoriei Square. The organisers said the march is a response to the events of August 10, 2018, and to recent developments in the political and social arena. The interim Interior Minister Mihai Fifor called for a peaceful and lawful protest. The rally of August 10, 2018 was marred by violence and a disproportionate response by the police, and resulted in injuries on both sides. Several criminal investigations are underway.
NAVY Events devoted to the Romanian Navy Day, traditionally celebrated on August 15, have started in the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanţa. On Saturday, the Constanta Military Port organises an Open Door Day, with thousands of people expected to visit 14 Navy vessels, 2 Coast Guard ships, a Puma Naval helicopter, a submarine and mobile missile launchers. The event begins with a performance by the Navy Band, and participants will also be able to take part in workshops, presentations and exhibitions and interact with officials for navy education institutions, marines, military divers and hydrography experts. Until August 15, other Danube and Black Sea ports in Romania will also host concerts, book launches and interactive workshops.
ANONIMUL The 16th Anonimul International Independent Film Festival comes to a close on Saturday in Sfântu Gheorghe, in the Danube Delta, south-eastern Romania. Six Romanian and foreign feature films took part in the official competition. The Ukrainian director Sergey Loznitsa, the winner of the 2018 Cannes “Un Certain Regard” award, is the guest of honour in this year’s festival. He received the “ANONIMUL” Trophy for his contribution to world cinema.
UNIVERSITY The 17th edition of the Izvoru Mureşului Summer University is taking place between August 12 and 17 in Harghita County, central Romania. this year’s theme is Romania and the Romanians abroad, one year after the Great Union Centennial. The topics approached will include preserving the identity of the Romanians in Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova in the context of regional geopolitical development and the Romanian national interest, the policies of parliamentary parties and public institutions with respect to the Romanians abroad and the Romanians in the multi-ethnic regions in Romania. Attending the works will be participants from Romania and from the diaspora, as well as from the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, and Bulgaria, mass media and civil society representatives, and members of the academic community in Romania and abroad.
TENNIS Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, no 4 in the world, is facing today Marie Bouzkova (Czech Republic, no 91 WTA) in the quarter-finals of the Toronto tournament, which has over 2.8 million US dollars in prize money. Halep, the defending Wimbledon champion, qualified into the quarter-finals after on Thursday she defeated Russian Svetlana Kuznetzova (198 WTA), 6-2, 6-1. The Romanian player has won the Rogers Cup twice, in 2016 and 2018.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)