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CHRISTMAS – Christmas in 2015 was the quietest and safest in the last 5 years, reads an Interior Ministry report. The number of road accidents was by 15% lower than in 2013 and by 7% lower than last year. The number of assaults also dropped as compared to previous years. Also 25% less fires were reported this year. Law enforcement units and riot police officer will ensure public order in over 150 New Year parties and concerts scheduled next week. Additional police staff will be deployed to border crossing points. Over 1,2 million people have crossed Romania’s border this week.
EARTHQUAKE – A 6.3 Richter-scale earthquake shook northern Afghanistan, with aftershocks reaching as far as India. According to the US Institute for Geophysics, the epicentre of the tremor was located in the northern province of Badakhshan, close to the Pakistani border. Tens of people have been reportedly injured. Press agencies recall that hundreds of people died following a massive earthquake that occurred in the same region on October 26.
REFUGEES – Europe must regain control of its borders, the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Saturday, in response to emerging information according to which Islamic State militants would have counterfeit passports. The German official has warned that refugees should not be included in the same category with those suspected of terrorism, adding that many militants originate from Europe. Minister Steinmeier went on to say that the European Council’s proposal to extend the remit of the European Agency managing cooperation between national border guards securing its external borders – FRONTEX and the EU’s aid to Turkey so that this country might contribute to curbing the flow of refugees to Europe are vital to secure a better control of EU borders. Over a million refugees, fleeing conflicts and wars in the Middle East, have arrived in Europe this year, mostly in Germany.
SURVEY – Over 70% of Romanians have confidence in the institution of family, although less than half trust in the institution of marriage, according to a survey conducted by IRES. The survey also reveals that Romanians share the same social tendencies, moral standards with their partner, although not necessarily their political affinities. Regarding the image of the ideal marriage, respondents referred to aspects such as mutual respect and communication, time spent together, appreciation, faithfulness, understanding, tolerance and the existence of children as key to a happy marriage. The study also shows that divorce is seen as the acceptable solution in cases of violence from one of the partners, infidelity, lack of love or alcohol abuse. Over 90% of Romanians argued against polygamy and are extremely conservative regarding same-sex marriages, 82% of respondents arguing against this form of marriage.
INVENTIONS – 2015 was rich in inventions. Some of the breakthroughs that have helped change the face of our lives over the last year include a modified wheelchair for people with disabilities, allowing them to climb stairs unassisted. Also this year a new generation of bendable smartphones was released, as well as a pocket scanner, a 3D pen, a palm-sized printer, and the 3D printer that can print prosthetics in less than 42 hours. Adding to the list is a robot capable of solving the Rubik cube puzzle and the 128 GB memory-card.
(Translation by V. Palcu)