Tennis – The success scored by the Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, who becomes the new WTA world No. 1 on Monday, when the updated rankings are released, has been hailed by sports personalities from Romania and abroad. Simona received congratulations from her coach Australian Darren Cahill, the former Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, the former German tennis player Boris Becker and the Romanian minister of youth and sports, Marius Alexandru Dunca. According to former Romanian tennis player Ilie Nastase, one of the best players of the 1970s and a former ATP world no.1 player, the most difficult part for Simona Halep is just starting now. Halep is the first Romanian player to become WTA World No. 1 after on Saturday she qualified to the WTA tournament final in Beijing. On Sunday she will meet Caroline Garcia of France. Simona Halep also becomes 25th WTA World No. 1 player.
NATO - Romania needs to join the Schengen area so as to facilitate the movement of allied troops in Europe in case of conflict, said Saturday the Romanian defense minister Mihai Fifor at the 63rd annual meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly hosted by Bucharest. In turn, the Chief of General Staff of the Romanian Army, general Nicolae Ciucă, said Saturday that the recent facts he identified in the Black Sea area confirmed that the situation was deteriorating. He mentioned Russia’s actions, the crisis in Ukraine and the trans-national threats resulting from terrorism and migration. According to him, these actions are destabilizing the region, consequently all NATO members should remain vigilant. The Romanian foreign minister Teodor Meleşcanu also said that the deployment of Russian troops in the Black Sea is not targeting only this region but also the east of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly meeting is being attended by more than 50 delegations from NATO’s member or associate states.
Madrid – Thousands of Spanish people calling for Spanish unity and dialogue attended rallies in Madrid and other cities across Spain against the backdrop of the separatists from Catalonia wanting to unilaterally declare the region’s independence in the following days, after last Sunday’s referendum was rejected as illegal by the Spanish justice. The government in Madrid once again called on the Catalan leaders to give up their declaration of independence. Also Spain’s government representative in Catalonia apologized to people hurt during police efforts to stop the referendum. On Sunday Barcelona will see another rally aimed at making a call for wisdom. The rally will also be attended by well-known writer Mario Vargas Llosa who labeled the Catalan separatism as a ‘disease’.
Visa waiver – Including Romania in the Visa Waiver program and deepening the Strategic Partnership with the US were the topics discussed Saturday in Bucharest by the PM Mihai Tudose and the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea with a delegation of the American Congress. Romania will remain a trustworthy partner of the US and also a partner within NATO, the Romanian PM said. The American officials have in turn expressed support for the projects Romania is developing in the field of energy security.
Migrants – 50 people, among whom 19 children and 10 women, risking drowning were saved by the Romanian border police who were on a mission in the Aegean Sea. The migrants were on an overcrowded inflatable boat in full danger of sinking. The migrants were subsequently landed in the port of Chios and handed over to the Greek authorities. Since the beginning of the year the Romanian police have rescued over 1,200 people on board small boats in danger of sinking in the territorial waters of Greece, shows a communiqué of the Border Police.
Weather report - The south and southeast of Romania are under a code orange alert for bad weather until Sunday afternoon. Heavy rainfalls will be reported in these regions, the amount of water reaching 20-30 l/sq.m. In the rest of the territory, light rainfalls are expected mainly in the northwest. In the mountains, at more than 1,600 meters altitude snowfalls will be reported. The highs of the day ranged from 7 to 19 degrees C. (translation by L. Simion)