Aid - The Romanian government has increased by 50% on average the amount of emergency aid that will be granted, this year, to families or single people affected by natural disasters, the Labor and Social Solidarity Ministry announced. The measure adopted on Wednesday was taken as a result of the increase in the construction cost index by up to 80%, according to the latest statistical price bulletin of the National Institute of Statistics - INS. The aid varies between 1,500 (approx. 300 Euros) and 10,000 lei (approx. 2,000 Euros). Most of the money, 10,000 lei (about 2,000 Euros), will be given to families and single people whose homes were affected in a proportion of over 75%. If loss of human life was also recorded, the family of the deceased person will receive an additional 7,500 lei (about 1,500 Euros), regardless of the number of victims. Meanwhile, the Romanian Waters Administration says that the strategic reserve of water from the main 40 lakes, although decreasing compared to the beginning of July, may ensure the necessary amounts for all beneficiaries who are fed from surface sources. According to the data presented, almost 800 localities have restricted power supply across Romania, and the drought continues, especially in the area of small towns and villages in Moldavia (east). In terms of crops, the affected area has reached over 205,000 hectares.
Revolution - The prosecutor general of Romania, Gabriela Scutea, on Wednesday announced the "Revolution Case" was referred back to the supreme court. In this case, the ex-president Ion Iliescu, former deputy PM Gelu Voican Voiculescu and Iosif Rus, former Military Aviation chief, are charged with crimes against humanity. According to the investigation, a widespread "terrorism" psychosis was created, which led to chaotic gun fire, fratricide, conflicting military orders. According to military prosecutors, this psychosis was induced deliberately, through disinformation and diversion, and resulted in over 850 dead, 2,380 wounded, hundreds of people illegally arrested and psychological trauma. Initiated in Timișoara in December 1989, the Romanian anti-communist revolution led to the flight, capture, summary trial and execution of the communist dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife Elena.
China - The EU called for the tensions related to the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan to be settled through dialogue and for all communication channels with China to remain open, so as to avoid errors. China has its army on high alert in response to the visit, which it sees as a provocation. China's defense ministry announced "targeted military operations", and the East Command of the People's Liberation Army said they involved live-fire drills near Taiwan-a self-ruled island that China views as part of its territory. In Washington, the Biden administration says there is no need for the Chinese authorities to turn this visit into a crisis. The White House spokesman for national security, John Kirby, said the House Speaker has the right to visit Taiwan, but highlighted that the trip was not a violation of Chinese sovereignty or of the One China Policy. The visit, which was not supported by US president Biden, is the first by a US official at this level in 25 years.
Covid-19 - The next variants of the new coronavirus will most likely be not very aggressive, but easily transmitted, the head of the Matei Bals Institute for Infectious Disease, Adrian Marinescu believes. He says the pandemic has reached a stage where we cohabitate with the virus, and many of the infected people perceive the disease as similar to a common cold. The health minister Alexandru Rafila does not rule out a 7th pandemic wave in Romania this autumn, when schools and universities resume classes. The Defense Ministry announced that 3 military hospitals in Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara will re-open units for treating Covid patients. On Wednesday over 9,100 new COVID-19 cases were reported, most of them in Bucharest and in Cluj and Timiş counties. Nearly 4,000 COVID patients are hospitalized, of whom nearly 550 are children. 284 patients are in intensive care, and 41 COVID-related deaths have also been reported.
Agriculture - Romania's grain yield is enough to cover the domestic demand and some exports, the agriculture minister Petre Daea said on Wednesday, as 96% of the crops have already been harvested. High temperatures and extensive drought have affected crops, particularly sunflower and maize, across the country. Romania is one of the largest grain exporters in the EU and an active exporter to the Middle East. Last year the country had record-large crops, including 11.3 million tons of wheat. The domestic grain yield is generally 2-3 times higher than the domestic demand. (AMP &LS)