Romania

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King Who Famously Switched to the Allied Cause Dies at 96

Romanian King Michael I 'bravely' arrested country's pro-Hitler dictator on Aug. 23, 1944

(Newser) - Former Romanian King Michael I, who was forced to abdicate by the communists in the aftermath of World War II, died on Tuesday. He was 96. Michael, who played a pivotal role in Romania's switch to the Allied cause following a coup in 1944, spent decades in exile working... More »

Disinherited Grandson Causing Drama for Romania's Royals

Nicholas Medforth-Mills says he just wants to see his dying grandfather

(Newser) - Three generations of Romania's royal family were embroiled in a very public row Thursday as a disinherited prince's attempts to see his ailing grandfather led his own mother to renounce him. Princess Elena accused her son, Nicholas Medforth-Mills, of disregarding "the privacy, suffering, and dignity" of her... More »

Nazi 'Death Train' Survivors Get 'Small Measure of Justice'

Roughly 1K Iasi survivors to receive pensions from Germany

(Newser) - After years of fighting for it, about 1,000 living survivors of Nazi persecution in Romania are now eligible for compensation from the German government. The New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany on Wednesday said Jews who survived the 1941 pogrom in the Romanian city of Iasi... More »

Think Ducks Are Cute? This Might Change Your Mind

Mallards spotted eating birds in Romania

(Newser) - You probably thought ducks were cute waddlers who liked to eat your stale bread. Poof, your bubble has been burst. The BBC reports wild mallard ducks have been spotted eating other birds, swallowing one nearly whole, an "extraordinary" behavior that has never been observed before. Zoologist Silviu Petrovan of... More »

Dracula's Castle Now Being Guarded by Bears

And tourists are being kept away

(Newser) - After 600 or so years, it's once again wise to give Dracula's castle a wide berth. The AP reports the historic Poenari Castle in Romania was closed to tourists late last month "for the safety of visitors." Apparently tourists climbing the nearly 1,500 steps to... More »

It's Known as Dracula's Castle, to Its Owner's Dismay

Dominic Habsburg aims to educate tourists about its true history

(Newser) - Just about everyone associates Bran Castle with Dracula—except its owner. For Archduke Dominic Habsburg, the Romanian fortress is the former home of his grandparents, Queen Marie and King Ferdinand I, who made it "a happy place of light and flowers." Today, however, few know anything about the... More »

You Can Spend Halloween in a Coffin at Dracula's Castle

Don't let the vampire bite

(Newser) - You could spend a night in Dracula’s Transylvanian castle—but sleep is no guarantee. Airbnb is offering two guests an overnight stay at Bran Castle in the mountains of Transylvania, fittingly, on Halloween night. The great grandnephew of Bram Stoker, who based his 19th-century novel on the very place,... More »

Russia: US Missile Defense Site in Romania a 'Direct Threat'

The US says defense site is meant to stifle threats from Iran, not Russia

(Newser) - A US missile defense site in Romania aimed at protecting Europe from ballistic missile threats went live Thursday, angering Russia, which opposes its presence in its former area of influence, the AP reports. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tried to reassure Russia as he spoke at a ceremony attended by... More »

'Shocking Downfall' for the Country That Gave Us Nadia

Romanian women's team fails to qualify for Rio

(Newser) - The Romanian women's gymnastics team has scored a medal in every Olympics since 1976, making it the longest Olympic medal streak in the sport—and one that has now been broken, reports NPR . The team failed to nab a spot at the Rio Olympics during a qualifying "test... More »

Snoop Dogg Accidentally Promotes Transylvanian Village

'Snoop Dogg checked into Bogata by mistake—but you don't have to'

(Newser) - A small village in northern Romania is reveling in the virtual attention caused by a spelling mistake by Snoop Dogg. Posting a selfie on Instagram, the rapper who has been on tour in Bogota, Colombia, told his fans he was in Bogata, in Transylvania. (It seems he accidentally checked in... More »

32 Nightclub Deaths Bring Down Romanian Government

Prime minister quits amid outrage

(Newser) - Romanians who took to the streets in the wake of a nightclub fire that killed 32 people didn't just vent their anger, they brought down the government. Prime Minister Victor Ponta resigned Wednesday, as did the mayor of the district in Bucharest where the fire took place, reports the... More »

27 Die in Nightclub Inferno

Romania declares 3 days of national mourning

(Newser) - A heavy metal band's pyrotechnical show sparked a deadly fire Friday at a Bucharest nightclub, killing 27 people and injuring scores of the club's youthful patrons, officials and witnesses say. Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea initially said an explosion occurred at Colectiv club, located in a basement in a... More »

Teen Dead After Taking Selfie Atop Train

It was parked, but she apparently touched high-voltage wire

(Newser) - A teenager is dead after she was electrocuted while taking selfies atop a parked train in northeast Romania. Anna Ursu, 18, was hospitalized in the city of Iasi on Friday with severe burns after she apparently touched a high-voltage wire above the train. She died on Sunday. "Her whole... More »

In Romania, a Surprise Victor Vows 'Deep Change'

New president Klaus Iohannis upsets country's old guard

(Newser) - An ethnic German mayor who defeated the prime minister in a runoff to become president of Romania said today his victory signals stronger relations with the West and greater stability for Eastern Europe. Thousands of Romanians celebrated the surprise victory of Klaus Iohannis over Victor Ponta, which the mayor of... More »

Guy Who Hacked Bush Family, Celebs: 'What I Did Was Right'

'Guccifer' points to worldwide Illuminati conspiracy as justification

(Newser) - The hacker known as Guccifer, whose exploits brought the world such images as George W. Bush's self-portrait in the shower , doesn't regret his actions: "OK, I broke the law, but seven years in a maximum-security prison? I am not a murderer or a thief," he tells... More »

Historian Who Revealed Real Dracula Dies

Florescu linked legends to Vlad the Impaler

(Newser) - The historian who linked legends of Dracula to sadistic 15th-century Romanian ruler Vlad the Impaler has died at the age of 88. Romanian-born professor Radu Florescu, who fled his homeland on the Orient Express as World War II broke out, gained fame in the '70s with In Search of ... More »

For Sale: Dracula's Castle

Transylvanian property owner seeks bites

(Newser) - A one-of-its-kind property is available for buyers looking for a big stake in the Transylvanian property market: the castle that once housed the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. Bran Castle, long one of Romania's top tourist attractions, has been owned by everybody from Teutonic knights to Communist governments... More »

Couple May Have Buried $2.7M in Coins, Says FBI

Romanians built huge shelter in Washington state

(Newser) - A Romanian couple are being sent back to their homeland to be questioned over alleged tax evasion —and authorities suspect they are leaving $2.7 million in "buried treasure" behind in Washington state. The FBI arrested Radu and Diana Nemes in March and discovered they owned six properties... More »

Putin Signs Crimea Decree ... Romania Shudders?

Romania's president: Other Eastern-European countries are next

(Newser) - Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree today recognizing Crimea as a "sovereign and independent country," hours after the strategic Black Sea peninsula declared it had broken from Ukraine and would merge with Russia following a weekend referendum. The moves triggered the toughest Western sanctions against Russia since... More »

European Corruption 'Breathtaking': EU Report

Romania and Bulgaria lead the pack of worst offenders

(Newser) - Think Europeans are unlikely to be corrupted by a bribe? Not according to a new EU report that calls European corruption "breathtaking" in scope and says it costs at least $120 billion a year, the BBC reports. The extent of corruption varies by country, but 75% of Europeans surveyed... More »

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