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December 14, 2008 | Alison Mutler and William J. Kole, Mutler and Kole write for the Associated Press.
By his own description, Barack Obama was "a skinny kid with a funny name," but that isn't stopping proud parents from Romania to Indonesia from naming their newborns after the U.S. president-elect. Romania's downtrodden Gypsies -- once enslaved, like African Americans, yet still struggling to overcome deep-seated prejudice -- seem particularly inspired. "When I saw Obama on TV, my heart swelled with joy. I thought he was one of us Gypsies because of his skin color," said Maria Savu, whose infant grandson -- Obama Sorin Ilie Scoica -- was born in the central Romania village of Rusciori.
December 26, 2007 | Ian Wylie, Special to The Times
This small industrial center in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains is not Albena Spasova's favorite destination. Driving the twisting highway makes her ill. Once she arrives, danger lurks. U.S. Secret Service agents escort her, for her safety.
December 19, 2007 | Hugh Hart, Special to The Times
THIS year's Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner, "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," chronicles a bleak day in the life of a pregnant college student who enlists her roommate to arrange an illegal abortion. Writer-director Cristian Mungiu's drama culminates in a brutal bargain the two women strike with a black-market abortionist. And the backdrop for Romania's foreign language film Oscar contender is every bit as grim as the characters' predicament.
August 10, 2007 | Kenneth Turan, Times Staff Writer
The most unlikely subjects often make for the most deliciously comic films. That's the case with "12:08 East of Bucharest," which carefully builds a sly and unexpected human comedy out of a dispute over whether a revolution would still be a revolution if nobody showed up. "Bucharest" is one of the wave of new films from Romania that have captured the imagination of the cinema world.
August 3, 2007
Patriarch Teoctist, 92, the head of the Romanian Orthodox Church, who made history when he invited then-Pope John Paul II to his country in 1999 but also was criticized for being too close to former communists, died Monday of a heart attack after prostate surgery at a Bucharest hospital. Teoctist was appointed to head the church in November 1986 but briefly stepped down in 1989 after anti-communist protesters said he had been too conciliatory toward former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
June 25, 2007 | From the Associated Press
A bear attacked a group of U.S. tourists on a remote trail in the Carpathian Mountains, killing a woman and injuring two other people, authorities said Sunday. The group of six tourists chased off the bear when it tried to approach them near a cabin about 75 miles north of Bucharest, but the animal reappeared on a trail and attacked about 10 p.m. Saturday. The bear first attacked a 26-year-old woman.
June 9, 2007 | Sebastian Rotella, Times Staff Writer
The CIA held suspected Al Qaeda militants in secret prisons in Poland and Romania, enlisting top officials in those countries to create and conceal the facilities, a European intergovernmental agency alleged Friday.
May 28, 2007 | Kenneth Turan, Times Staff Writer
"4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," a small Romanian film that was one of the first shown at the Festival de Cannes, outlasted its better-financed, better-known rivals and won the Palme d'Or at a ceremony Sunday night at the Palais des Festivals. The victory for this beautifully realistic, faultlessly made film about the agonies of getting an abortion in Communist Romania circa 1987 was a popular choice in what was considered one of the strongest competition fields in years.
May 20, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Romania's president easily survived a referendum on his impeachment, according to exit polls, which showed a victory that he said reflected the popularity of his fight against corruption. Three-quarters of voters said they did not want President Traian Basescu ousted, according to two exit polls. Five parties in Parliament banded together last month to suspend Basescu, saying he had violated the constitution by usurping the role of the prime minister and criticizing the courts.
April 21, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
President Traian Basescu said he would not resign, a day after the opposition-dominated parliament suspended him amid allegations that he had abused his position. The parliament vote paved the way for a referendum to impeach Basescu, to be held on or before May 20. Senate Chairman Nicolae Vacaroiu took over as interim president. Basescu is unlikely to be removed from office.
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