A roundup of local and international news.
NASA - Romanian experts help develop the most sophisticated robotic arm which NASA plans to use on Mars. This device will start its journey towards the red planet in the second half of this decade and will land close to the American robot Perseverance, which currently collects samples from Mars. The robotic arm will be used to collect rock and dust samples and send them to Earth 11 years later. The arm is autonomous and very robust. Its design imitates a human arm, with shoulder, elbow and wrist and has its own brain and eyes. The robot is able to perform a wide range of movements.
DIASPORA - The Romanians in the Diaspora who plan to return and invest in a business that creates at least 2 new jobs may obtain funding of up to EUR 40,000 under the 3rd edition of the Start-Up Nation programme, the Romanian tourism ministry announced. Applicants whose start-ups create only one job may receive up to EUR 20,000. To benefit from the EUR 4 million programme, applicants must submit proof of their residence abroad.
BUDGET – A budget adjustment has been scheduled for the upcoming days, PM Nicolae Ciuca has announced, adding that a 10% cut in the expenses with goods and services will be operated by each ministry. Also, support programmes and the Start-Up Nation programme for Romanian entrepreneurs, including the ones in the Diaspora, will be analyzed.
CEREALS - Chances for Ukraine to export, in the upcoming days, large quantities of cereals through its remaining Black Sea ports are increasing. Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations have authorised another five transports of cereals and sunflower oil totalling 160 thousand tons. Meanwhile, a ship under foreign pavilion reached Ukraine through a port in the region of Odessa, for the first time since the start of the war, and will also transport cereals. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky voiced confidence that the transports of cereals will ease the global food crisis.
COVID - 19 Over 6,400 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed on Saturday in Romania. More than 3,800 patients are hospitalised, nearly 260 of whom in ICUs, and 28 Covid-related deaths were reported. Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 66,200 people have died of COVID-19 in România.
UNTOLD - The most eagerly awaited music festival this summer, Untold, held in Cluj Napoca, north-western Romania, comes to an end today. This year's theme of the festival is "Temple of Luna," an artistic concept that highlights the mythological side of Transylvania, seen as a land of the night and magic. Scores of stands sell food, drinks, clothing and gadgets. The organisers expect over 400,000 people to attend this year's edition.
MEETING - The city of Suceava, in north-eastern Romania, hosted a meeting with representatives of the historical communities in the region of Cernauti, Ukraine. Romanian authorities, alongside diplomatic and consular missions from Ukraine, will continue efforts to support Romanian students registered with Romanian-language schools. Tablets will be purchased to support Romanian teachers and the Romanian ethnic students in the Romanian schools in Ukraine, the Department for the Romanians Everywhere has announced.
NATURAL GAS - An EU-wide 15% reduction of natural gas consumption will come into force early next week, the Czech presidency of the EU Council announced. The regulation was adopted officially, and the text will be published in the Official Journal on Monday and will take effect the next day. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, called on member states to prepare for the worst-case scenario of Russia suspending gas supplies. Member states must also secure 80% of their winter needs ahead of time. (EE)