Local elections – Over 18 million Romanian citizens with the right to vote are expected to the polls on Sunday to vote in the local elections. They are going to elect 41 presidents of county councils, more than 1,300 county councilors, 40 thousand local councilors and 3,200 mayors. The elections are held in one single round. According to data provided by the Central Electoral Bureau 38.16 % of the voters cast their ballots in the first 11 hours since the opening of poling stations. In Bucharest 29% of the voters have cast their ballots. The local elections had been initially scheduled for June but were postponed due to the pandemic with the mandates of the current local authorities having been extended. The main competitors in these elections are the Social Democrats and the Liberals. The local elections are also a test for the upcoming presidential election to be held on December 6. The vote is taking place in special circumstances with the observance of health protection rules imposed by the pandemic. The interior minister conveyed a request to the Central Electoral Bureau to extend the voting process after 21:00 hours, local time, for the people still queuing near the poling stations to be able to vote.
Covid-19 Ro – Another 1,438 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the past 24 hours in Romania, taking the total number of infections to 122,673, show data published in Sunday by the Strategic Communication Group. Another 31 people infected with the new coronavirus have died, taking the total death toll to 4,718. More than 98,600 patients have recovered, with 535 people currently in ICUs. The number of Romanians from abroad confirmed with SARS-CoV-2 is 6,693, with 126 people having died. Family doctors recommend the population to get a flu vaccine to reduce the risk of a possible overlapping of seasonal flu with COVID-19. As part of a campaign run by the Health Ministry, free immunization will benefit especially the people over 65 with chronic diseases, children, the institutionalized elderly, pregnant women and medical staff.
COVID-19 world – As many as 33 million people across the world have got infected with the new coronavirus. Since the start of the pandemic, in late 2019 in China, almost 1 million people have died. The WHO warns that the new coronavirus is likely to kill more than 2 million people if action is not taken internationally to fight the disease. The US continues to be the country with the biggest number of contaminations and deaths. Over 7.1 million Americans have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and more than 207,000 have died. Europe is also facing problems, with Russia reporting almost 8 thousand cases in the last 24 hours. Great Britain is now in the grips of a second wave of the pandemic.
Tennis – The Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, top seed in Rolland Garros and world’s no. 2, on Sunday qualified to the second round of the Roland garros grand slam tournament after defeating the Spanish Sara Sorrives Tormo 6-4, 6-0. Halep, a champion in 2018, will play in the second round with the winner of the match pitting Romanian Irina Begu (73 WTA) against the Swiss Jil Teichmann (53 WTA), who are also meeting on Sunday. Another two Romanians Monica Niculescu and Irina Bara have managed to reach the main singles table. Niculescu will be up against the American Danielle Collins in the first round and Bara will play against the Croat Donna Vekici. They thus join other Romanian players on the main table of the France Open. Patricia Ţig will play the Swiss Stefanie Voegele, Sorana Cîrstea will meet Elena Rîbakina from Kazakhstan, and Ana Bogdan will play against Hungarian Timea Babos. Romania’s players will also participate in the doubles.
Yerevan – The president of the European Council Charles Michel on Sunday called for the ending of hostilities between the troops of Azerbaijan and the separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh and for the immediate start of negotiations. He made this appeal after Armenia on Sunday decreed martial law and total military mobilization following clashes with Azerbaijan in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia said that Azerbaijan had launched an air and artillery attack in Nagorno-Karabakh while Azerbaijan accused the Armenian forces of bombing military and civilian targets from its territory. The two countries from the Caucasus have been stuck in an unresolved conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but controlled by ethnic Armenians. Although a ceasefire agreement was concluded in 1994, Armenia and Azerbaijan have been frequently accusing each other of attacks on the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict worries the West as it might increase instability in South Caucasus, a region serving as corridor for the oil an gas pipelines towards the world markets.
Paris – France is ‘at war with Islamist terrorism’ said Sunday the French interior minister Gerald Darmanin, two days after a stabbing attack perpetrated in Paris which deliberately targeted the former offices of the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine and injured two, France Press reports. The interior minister recalled that in the past 3 years France had thwarted 32 attacks, which means one attack per month on average. The main suspect, an 18-year old Pakistani took responsibility for his action saying that he placed his actions ‘in the context of the republication of the cartoons’. The cartoons were republished early this month by Charlie Hebdo as a trial over the 2015 Islamist attack on the magazine which killed 12 people began.(tr. L. Simion)