5 people have died and around 30 have been wounded in a serious car accident that occurred this morning on a national road in the south east of Romania, 60 kms away from Bucharest. A coach transporting 33 people hit from the back a tipper truck carrying sand. No braking traces have been identified at the accident site. The authorities are considering several scenarios among which technical problems or the likelihood of the bus driver falling asleep. A code red intervention plan has been activated, including the mobilization of human and material resources of all institutions with intervention attributes.
The Romanian Defense Minister, Mihnea Motoc, met Friday with the French Defense Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, on the sidelines of the informal meeting of the EU defense ministers hosted by Amsterdam. The talks focused on security issues as well as on cooperation as part of international organizations, shows a press release of the Romanian Defense Ministry. Minister Motoc highlighted the importance of maintaining the cohesion and unity of the North Atlantic Alliance and the need to carry on with the process of adapting the organization to the new security environment, stressing the necessity of consolidating the NATO presence on the eastern flank and the Black Sea, the Romanian Defense Ministry shows. Amsterdam hosts on Friday a meeting of the European defense and foreign ministers. Informal talks are taking place for the revision of the European Strategy on foreign and security policy. Romania is represented by the Foreign Minister, Lazar Comanescu.
Spain has confirmed that a pregnant woman has been diagnosed with the Zika virus, this being the first case reported in Europe. The Spanish Health Ministry says the woman has recently returned from a trip to Columbia where she is supposed to have been contaminated. The World Health Organization set up in early February a Global Response Unit to coordinate the actions meant to fight the propagation of the Zika virus. The measure was taken following the sudden increase in cases of microcephaly and other neurological disorders registered in Brazil, a country that has confirmed more than 400 cases of new born babies suffering of microcephaly, most likely caused by the Zika virus. The WHO has declared the virus, which continues to spread across the two Americas, a global public, medical emergency.
Friday saw the drawing of lots for the single matches to be played by Romania and the Czech Republic as part of the Fed Cup, to take place on Saturday and Sunday in Cluj (in the north west of Romania). The match counts for the World Group 1st round. The first match will be pitting Simona Halep (3rd in the WTA classification) and Karolina Pliskova (13th in the WTA ranking). The Czech Republic is also represented by Petra Kvitova (9th in the WTA ranking), Barbora Strycova (41st WTA seed) and Denisa Allertova (59th WTA seed). In the absence of Alexandra Dulgheru(61st in the WTA ranking) and Irina Begu (31st) who are injured, Romania’s team is made up of Simona Halep, Monica Niculescu (WTA 40th seed), Andreea Mitu (96th in the WTA) and Raluca Olaru (45th in the WTA, doubles). The Czech team has been the best team of the past years at the Fed Cup, wining 9 titles including in 2015.
The UN mediator for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, will explain today to the ambassadors of the 15 members of the UN Security Council his decision to suspend the peace negotiations in Geneva. Staffan de Mistura, who has been mediating since Monday the negotiations between the regime in Damascus and the Syrian opposition, announced Wednesday a 3-week break in the negotiations, which are meant to work out a political solution to the crisis. No date has been advanced for the resumption of negotiations in the context in which the Syrian opposition representatives announced they would not negotiate unless the regime in Damascus ended bombardments in the civilian areas and started releasing the prisoners. In another development, donations for Syria worth 11 billion dollars were gathered in London, on Thursday, at an international donor’s conference. (news translated by Lacramioara Simion)