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EXPLOSION – The British Police is treating today’s explosion in a metro station in London as an act of terrorism. British security forces, the emergency medical service and the fire squad were called up after a small explosion was reported in one of the cars, causing burn injuries to several people. Great Britain this year was the target of four major terrorist attacks, which killed 36 people.
MILITARY – Three Romanian soldiers were wounded today in Afghanistan during a mission in the area of responsibility. Two of them are stable and the third is in critical condition. The military were travelling in a convoy in Kandahar, when a booby-trapped vehicle collided with their armored vehicle. The military were deployed in Afghanistan in August. In 2017 the Romanian Army is contributing 620 military to the NATO Resolute Support operation in Afghanistan, while another 300 soldiers are being deployed in operations led by NATO, the EU, the UN and the OSCE in other regions. 28 Romanian soldiers died and another 18- were wounded in external missions.
EXCISE DUTY ON FUEL – The excise duty on fuel went up on Friday by 3,5 eurocents / liter, and is expected to increase by the same amount starting October 1. Aimed at bringing in more revenues to the state budget, the measure was taken after the Government eliminated the 7 eurocents extra excise duty on fuel early this year. The introduction of the additional excise is harshly criticized by transporters, who warn that its effects will impact the entire economy.
UKRAINE – Three MPs in the Ukrainian Parliament, including Romanian Grigore Timis, have called on President Petro Poroshenko not to ratify the new education law. Passed earlier this month, the law severely restricts the rights of national minorities to education in their mother tongue. The three MPs say Ukraine would violate bilateral agreements with their countries if the law is passed. On Thursday, Foreign Ministers of Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece addressed a joint letter to their Ukrainian counterpart, calling for the amendment of the draft law.
NORTH KOREA – The UN Security Council is today meeting in an emergency session at the request of the United States and Japan to address the latest North-Korean missile test. According to South-Korean officials, a missile was launched close to Pyongyang and flew over 3,700 kilometers. The Japanese Government has condemned what it has described “a dangerous provocative action”. The US has urged China and Russia to exert pressure on North Korea. China is the largest oil provider to North Korea, while Russia employs a large number of North Koreans, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said. The recently adopted UN sanctions should be the starting point of action against North Korea, the US official went on to say.
FOOTBALL – Romanian football club FSCB won 3-nil against Viktoria Plzen of the Czech Republic in the first game of the Europa League group phase. In the other group fixture, Hapoel Beer Sheva of Israel edged out 2-1 Lugano of Switzerland on home turf. In another move, the Romanian Football Federation on Thursday terminated the contract of Romanian national team coach German Christoph Daum, after the poor qualification campaign in the 2018 World Cup preliminaries. With 9 points in 8 games, Romania now holds zero chances of qualifying, ranking 4th after Poland, Denmark and Montenegro.
TENNIS – Dragos Dima is today playing Gerald Melzer in the first game of the Davis Cup match pitting Romania against Austria. Hosted by Wels in Austria, the match is counting towards the first round of the playoffs for Group 1 in the Europe-Africa zone. In the second match of the game, Domonic Thiem, the world’s no. 7, is playing Bogdan Borza. On Saturday, Horia Tecau and Nicolae Frunza are playing Dominic Thiem and Philipp Oswald. On Sunday, Dominic Thiem is playing Dragos Dima, while Gerald Melzer will take on Bogdan Borza. Romania leads 3-2 in official games against Austria. (Translated by V. Palcu)