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Romania pimping gang busted in France, police say

A gang of Romanians who pimped out young compatriots in France and other European countries has been busted in the southwestern city of Toulouse with around a dozen arrests, police said Friday. The gang also operated in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Britain, an officer said on customary condition of not being named. The police investigation revealed an organisation made up of people with set roles, from running the gang to logistics and sending cash back to Romania. fal/lal/rmb/boc

Romanian party vows to block bill shielding MPs from graft probes

By Radu Marinas BUCHAREST (Reuters) - One of Romania's ruling parties has vowed to block proposals that would increase the immunity of members of parliament from corruption charges, as the European Union presses Bucharest to rein in graft and organized crime.

Romania minister quits after AIDS comments

Romania's Culture Minister Daniel Barbu stepped down Thursday after sparking outrage over comments about AIDS funding, the prime minister's office told AFP. Barbu earlier this week said he "could not help wondering how many Shakespeare festivals could be organised if the (anti-AIDS) programme did not exist or if its budget was halved". Senate speaker Crin Antonescu on Wednesday said the only conscientious step for Barbu was to resign.

Romanian PM defends cooperation with China

BUCHAREST, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta Monday defended cooperation with China, saying that a circular letter on China distributed by the European Union during a summit between Chinese and Central and Eastern European leaders held last month was not only uninspired, but also lacked vision.

Chinese premier calls for closer China-Romania parliamentary exchanges

BUCHAREST, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday proposed that the legislatures of his country and Romania boost exchanges and cooperation so as to help pass on the bilateral friendship from generation to generation. Although China and Romania are far apart, they enjoy a time-honored profound friendship, treat each other equally, and have amicable relations between their peoples, Li said when meeting with President of the Senate Crin Antonescu.

Romania moves to allow EU citizens to buy farmland

Romania's government opened the way for European Union citizens to acquire farmland from next year, by approving the proposal on Thursday. The bill will be debated in an emergency procedure in parliament where the governing centre-left coalition controls 70 percent of the seats. Romania has the 5th-largest expanse of farmland in the European Union but it had banned foreigners from acquiring agricultural land unless they teamed up with a Romanian partner within a business.

Romania's PM pushes for contested decentralisation plan

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Tuesday asked for a confidence vote in parliament on a draft law decentralising public services despite rights groups warning of the increased risk of influence peddling. The decentralisation bill would transfer power and resources from central to local authorities in the fields of health, agriculture, environment, culture, sports and tourism. "This is an important step to modernise Romania (...) that will make us break with the centralised communist state of the past," social-democrat Ponta told lawmakers.

Romanian gov't, parliamentary panel reject Gabriel Resources gold mine project

BUCHAREST, Romania - Stock in Gabriel Reources Ltd. (TSX:GBU) was down almost nine per cent after the Romanian government announced Monday that it would not allow the Canadian company to develop what would have been Europe's biggest open gold mine. The announcement by Prime Minister Victor Ponta came shortly before a parliamentary commission voted down a bill that would have permitted the project.

US economy grew 2.8% in third quarter

The US economy grew 2.8 percent in the third quarter, much stronger than expected, the government reported Thursday. Analysts had expected the Commerce Department's first read on gross domestic product for the quarter would show growth at an annual rate of 1.9 percent from the second quarter. vs/nss

US economy grew 2.8% in third quarter

The US economy grew 2.8 percent in the third quarter, much stronger than expected, the government reported Thursday. Analysts had expected the Commerce Department's first read on gross domestic product for the quarter would show growth at an annual rate of 1.9 percent from the second quarter. vs/nss
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