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July 5, 2016

Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel dies aged 87

Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel dies aged 87

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

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File photo of the Dalai Lama, George W. Bush, and Wiesel in 2007.
Image: Chris Greenburg.

On Saturday, acclaimed writer Elie Wiesel died in New York City at age 87, his family said, following a lengthy illness.

Wiesel was born 1928 in the town of Sighet in Romania. Twelve years later, in 1940, his town was included in an annexation by Hungary. In 1944, Wiesel, fifteen at the time, and his family, along with the entire Jewish population in Sighet, were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. He was freed in 1945, only to realize his mother and sister died in death chambers and his father from disease and starvation. Elie Weisel, on the advice of an older Jew, had lied to the Nazis about his age, as an eighteen-year-old would be useful to them as a worker.

Ten years after his freedom, he wrote the famous book Night — written in Yiddish, first published in French translation — detailing his experience in the camp and his regret of survival. His book sold only about a thousand copies in the first year it was published, however today the book has been translated into 30 different languages with more than ten million copies sold. In 2006 TV personality Oprah Winfrey added it to her book club, prompting the swift selling of three million copies.

Wiesel wrote around 60 books, two plays, and two cantatas.

Wiesel first started a career in journalism in 1948 for the French newspaper L’Arche, which sent him as a correspondent to Israel. He also became a Paris correspondent for Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot and he was encouraged by an interviewee to write about his experience in the camp.

Photo of Auschwitz concentration camp.
Image: Alexandre Lepage.

In 1972, Wiesel was a professor of Judaic Studies at the City College of New York for four years until he became a professor of Humanities at Boston University, where he remained.

Wiesel then became an activist and advocate during many conflicts, such as the Bosnian genocide of the 1990s. He advised the actions of several U.S. presidents, including then-President Ronald Reagan. During his acceptance of the Congressional Gold Medal, he advised Reagan not to visit a Bitburg military cemetery containing Waffen-SS graves. Reagan, however, continued with his trip, which created much controversy. Former President Jimmy Carter also appointed Wiesel as Chairman of the Presidential Commission on the Holocaust.

In 1986, Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize as an advocate for racial and religious groups and a spiritual leader.

Wiesel also helped in the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He was the chairman of the organization that collected funds from other survivors of the Holocaust to create the museum.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called him “a ray of light and an example of humanity that believes in the goodness of man”. U.S. President Barack Obama called him a “living memorial”. French President Francois Hollande called him a “grand humanist” and a “tireless defender of peace”.

He is survived by his wife Marion and his son Elisha.



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December 14, 2015

UEFA Euro 16 draw takes place in Paris

UEFA Euro 16 draw takes place in Paris – Wikinews, the free news source

UEFA Euro 16 draw takes place in Paris

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Monday, December 14, 2015

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On Saturday evening, UEFA Euro 2016 draw took place at the Palais des Congrès in Paris; UEFA Euro 2016 is scheduled to be hosted in France. 24 nations were grouped in six groups, with the host nation getting Group A. The quadrennial football tournament of Europe is scheduled to start in June 2016, the matches to be played in ten French cities.

England had the first draw, and went to Group B. Interestingly, Wales also drew into Group B. World Cup winners Germany got Group C. Polish national captain Robert Lewandowski, who recently scored a brace against Croatian Dinamo Zagreb for Bayern Munich, would be facing his Bayern Munich teammate Thomas Müller in a Group C match.

Two-time defending Champions Spain got the D. Netherlands did not qualify for the first time since 1984 after a shocking exit in the qualifying match.

In full, groups drew as follows:

Group A, France, Romania, Albania, Switzerland.
Group B, England, Russia, Wales, Slovakia.
Group C, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireland.
Group D, Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia.
Group E, Belgium, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Sweden.
Group F, Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Hungary.

The opening match of the tournament is scheduled to be France versus Romania.



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November 5, 2015

Romanian Prime Minister resigns over nightclub fire

Romanian Prime Minister resigns over nightclub fire

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Romainia Prime Minister Victor Ponta
Image: Social Democratic Party of Romania.

In the aftermath of a deadly nightclub fire in Romania last week, yesterday Prime Minister of Romania Victor Ponta announced his resignation, stating “I’m handing in my mandate, I’m resigning, and implicitly my government too”.

Cquote1.svg I’m handing in my mandate, I’m resigning, and implicitly my government too Cquote2.svg

—Victor Ponta in a statement

The announcement came after around 20,000 protesters marched through Bucharest on Tuesday night, blaming the government for lax regulation and corruption. During his televised resignation speech, Ponta said he hoped “the government’s resignation will satisfy the people who came out in the streets”. However, yesterday night as many as 30,000 protesters demonstrated, demanding further political reform.

The recent protests express deep-seated concern about political corruption in Romania. Ponta is currently on trial for a series of corruption charges, which he denies.

Ponta’s resignation came alongside the resignation of Gabriel Oprea, who was serving as Interior Minister.

Victor Ponta says he will remain Prime Minister until a temporary replacement is chosen by the President of Romania. Forming a new government might take some time, and could result in elections if the President is unable to find a Prime Minister who can form a government.



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Romanian Prime Minister resigns after nightclub fire

Romanian Prime Minister resigns after nightclub fire

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Romainia Prime Minister Victor Ponta
Image: Social Democratic Party of Romania.

In the aftermath of a deadly nightclub fire in Romania last week, yesterday Prime Minister of Romania Victor Ponta announced his resignation, stating “I’m handing in my mandate, I’m resigning, and implicitly my government too”.

Cquote1.svg I’m handing in my mandate, I’m resigning, and implicitly my government too Cquote2.svg

—Victor Ponta in a statement

The announcement came after around 20,000 protesters marched through Bucharest on Tuesday night, blaming the government for lax regulation and corruption. During his televised resignation speech, Ponta said he hoped “the government’s resignation will satisfy the people who came out in the streets”. However, yesterday night as many as 30,000 protesters demonstrated, demanding further political reform.

The recent protests express deep-seated concern about political corruption in Romania. Ponta is currently on trial for a series of corruption charges, which he denies.

Ponta’s resignation came alongside the resignation of Gabriel Oprea, who was serving as Interior Minister.

Victor Ponta says he will remain Prime Minister until a temporary replacement is chosen by the President of Romania. Forming a new government might take some time, and could result in elections if the President is unable to find a Prime Minister who can form a government.



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  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Colectiv nightclub fire
  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg 2015 Romanian protests

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November 4, 2015

Romainian Prime Minister resigns over nightclub fire

Filed under: Politics and conflicts,Romania,Victor Ponta — admin @ 5:00 am

Romainian Prime Minister resigns over nightclub fire

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Romainia Prime Minister Victor Ponta
Image: Social Democratic Party of Romania.

Fallout from the deadly nightclub fire in Romainia reached new heights this Wednesday, with Prime Minister of Romania Victor Ponta announcing his resignation. The resignation comes shortly after around 20,000 protesters marched through Bucharest, blaming the government for lax regulation and corruption.

Cquote1.svg I’m handing in my mandate, I’m resigning, and implicitly my government too Cquote2.svg

—Victor Ponta in a statement

The protests are not solely about the fire. Many in Romania have previously blamed the government for corruption, with many believing that the government is keeping them from making ends-meet. Ponta is also currently on trial for a series of corruption charges, all of which he currently denies.

Victor Ponta says that he will remain Prime Minister until a new government is formed. Forming a new government might take some time, and could result in elections if the newly-appointed Prime Minister is unable to form a government.



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October 31, 2015

Romanian nightclub fire kills over two dozen

Romanian nightclub fire kills over two dozen

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

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Officials said at least 27 people are dead and 155 injured after pyrotechnic effects used at the Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest, Romania reportedly malfunctioned yesterday, sparking a fire.

File photo of pyrotechnic effects
Image: Toggy.

The club was hosting an album launch party which attracted hundreds of attendees at the time of the fire. As of this morning, some people thought to be attending the nightclub were still unaccounted for.

A witness told local media that pyrotechnics used in the club ignited nearby objects. The Facebook page for the album launch event said “customized light show and pyrotechnic effects” were to be used at the scene.

A crush occurred as people flocked to exits in an attempt to flee from the nightclub. A witness interviewed by Reuters said “there was a stampede of people running out of the club.”

On the Facebook page for the album launch event, users who believed people they knew may have been attending the event posted questions asking about where their friends or family members were. Many victims of the fire did not carry any form of identification with them. The Government has set up a hotline for those whose friends or family members are believed to have been at the club.

President of Romania Klaus Iohannis said on Facebook he was “shocked and deeply saddened”((ro)) by the incident.


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September 17, 2015

Romanian PM Victor Ponta indicted in fraud case

Romanian PM Victor Ponta indicted in fraud case

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta was today indicted for fraud offences.

Ponta speaks in a file photo from last year.
Image: Social Democratic Party.

The move follows a previous charging, which sees Ponta accused of forgery, tax evasion, money laundering, and having a conflict of interest. He is set to become the nation’s first Prime Minister to face trial while in power.

His party, the left-wing Social Democrats, support him. Ponta denies the accusations which emerged months ago, and has refused to resign. The Social Democrats lost the Presidential election last year and face a general election next year.

Ponta has thrice resisted censures proposed by the opposition. He has resigned the Social Democratic leadership and prosecutors say they have frozen some of his assets. President Klaus Iohannis has asked Ponta to leave office, saying “we must admit that Romania’s image has the most to suffer from this issue.”((ro))

The alleged misconduct predates Ponta’s time in office and therefore avoids presidential immunity. The indictment indicates prosecutors have finished investigations and are ready to try Ponta and four others involved in the case. Ponta was a lawyer and member of parliament in 2008–09, the period covered by the indictment. He was elected Prime Minister in 2012.

President Iohannis, pictured in March, is a political rival and has called on Ponta to resign.
Image: European People’s Party.

The case alleges Ponta forged expenses claims for 39,750 euros while working for political ally Dan Sova‘s law firm. Ponta gave Sova three different ministerial roles, the foundation for the conflict of interest allegations. The case is now sent to the country’s highest court.

Ponta accused anti-corruption prosecutors of “manipulating public opinion” and withholding information. Romania is amongst Europe’s poorest nations and has been grappling with corruption and political instability since independence from the Soviet Union in 1989. In recent years the rich and powerful have come under scrutiny by the nation’s anti-corruption investigators, often claiming the cases against them are political.


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August 29, 2015

Four men go before Hungarian court after 71 found dead in lorry

Four men go before Hungarian court after 71 found dead in lorry

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

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Four foreign men have today gone before a court in Hungary on suspicion of people smuggling. Their detention relates to Thursday’s discovery of a lorry full of corpses in Austria. The death toll was yesterday finalised at 71.

Today’s hearing took place at the Palace of Justice in Kecskemet, pictured here from file.
Image: Tothsandor92.

The lorry had been abandoned since Wednesday on the hard shoulder of the “Eastern Motorway“, near the Hungarian border. Roadworkers became suspicious of dark liquid seeping from the vehicle, and responding police found the bodies. Initial police estimates were that 20–50 were suffocated in the back of the lorry which was near Parndorf.

The arrested men are thought to include the vehicle’s owner and at least two drivers. Three are Bulgarian and one is from Afghanistan. Criminal suspects in Hungary can generally be held for 72 hours before charge but prosecutors, citing the seriousness of the case, want the period extended. Extradition to Austria is possible.

Of the 71 dead, 59 are men, eight are women, and four are children. The children are thought to be aged three, eight, and ten years, alongside an eighteen-month-old baby. “There was also a Syrian travel document found” police spokesman Hans Peter Doskozil told journalists “so of course our first assumption is that these people were migrants, and likely a group of Syrian migrants. We can rule out that they were Africans”.

The four accused were escorted into court in Kecskemet, central Hungary, by a police convoy. Reportedly the lorry traveled from Kecskemet. Hungary is presently building a border fence across the Serbian frontier, as migrants from war-torn Syria and other regions seek access to the Schengen Area of free movement, which covers most of the EU.

Screengrab of Hyza graphic from the company homepage.
Image: Hyza.

Slovak chicken meat company Hyza, a previous owner, previously told Wikinews the lorry has changed hands several times in roughly the last year. After they sold it they say it was exported to Hungary; it now bears Hungarian plates but still features Hyza branding including pictures of meat.

On the day of the discovery Hyza quickly removed a graphic from their homepage featuring cartoon chicken stowaways in a car being inspected at a customs post. The stowaways also appeared with a line through them alongside the word “imigranti” and the site www.imigranti.sk in one corner. On the other side was Hyza’s logo. Imigranti.sk is also unavailable.

Police today found 26 migrants in a lorry near Braunau am Inn, Austria. The driver, from Romania, refused to stop for police and was arrested following a chase. Police said three children were hospitalised for “severe dehydration”. Found near the German border, the migrants were from Afghanistan, Syria, and Bangladesh.



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July 12, 2013

Moldovan premier invites Romanian counterpart to pipeline start

Moldovan premier invites Romanian counterpart to pipeline start

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Friday, July 12, 2013

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Moldovan premier Iurie Leancă
Image: Estonian Foeign Ministry.

During an official visit to Romania on Tuesday, Moldovan premier Iurie Leancă invited his Romanian counterpart, Victor Ponta, to attend Moldovan Independence Day on August 27. On that occasion, the two neighbouring countries are to start building a cross-border gas pipeline between cities Iași, Romania, and Ungheni, Moldova.

European Union (EU) commissioner for energy Günther Oettinger is also expected to attend the meeting. The Moldovan premier seeks support for EU visa facilitation for Moldovan citizens as well as economic and energy ties with the EU. Russian energy minister Aleksandr Novak declared in September 2012 that the Russian Federation agrees to lower gas prices for Moldova only if the ex-soviet republic denounces the Energy Community of South East Europe between the EU and eight non-EU countries including Moldova.

Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe. The latest Transparency International report on global corruption says Moldovan citizens report the second most widespread bribery of a European country. Moldovan politicians often accuse each other of being either under the influence of Russia — the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova; or under the influence of Romania and the EU — the Alliance for European Integration, the current government coalition. Russia maintains a motorized infantry battalion and some ammunition depots from the soviet era in Moldova’s breakaway Transdnestr region; Russian vice-premier Dmitry Rogozin said earlier this year Russia would continue these until the status of the region is settled. This situation has persisted for some time; in the OSCE Summit Declaration of Istanbul of 1999, Russia was to pull its troops out of Transnistria by the end of 2002.

Moldova also hopes to sign the European Union Association Agreement by the end of 2013.



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February 25, 2013

Romanian skier debuts at 2013 IPC Alpine World Championships

Romanian skier debuts at 2013 IPC Alpine World Championships

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Laura Valeanu of Romania following her first slalom run
Image: Raystorm.

Yesterday, women’s standing LW4 classified skier Laura Valeanu finished eighth in her group in the slalom event, marking the first appearance of a Romanian skier at the 2013 IPC Alpine World Championships in La Molina, Spain. No other Romanian skiers have competed thus far in the competition.

Valeanu was also her country’s only participant at the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver where she finished fourteenth in the giant slalom and earned a Did Not Finish in the slalom event.

Valeanu completed her first slalom run in La Molina in a time of 1:16.48, the eighth best time on that run. Her second run was a little under two seconds slower at 1:18.42, and the ninth best time in the run. Despite that, her combined run time of 2:34.90 was faster than ninth and last place finisher Úrsula Pueyo who had a combined run time of 2:35.85. Valeanu’s combined time was nearly thirty seconds slower than French winner Marie Bouchet.

The women’s standing group started with twelve skiers, but three skiers failed to finish their first run including Finland’s Katja Saarinen, United States skier Allison Jones and Russian Mariya Papulova.

The 2013 IPC Alpine World Championships continues today with the Super Combined event scheduled.



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