Bogdan's Feed
Apr 16, 2014
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Lost dogs of Romania

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 Bucharest, Romania

By Bogdan Cristel

I love dogs. I grew up with them around me all the time and I remember always having one with me when I played in my grandpa’s yard as a child.

Our dogs, just like thousands of others in Bucharest, were kept in the family garden. But everything changed in the city after former Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu began a project to erase old houses with backyards and replace them with huge high-rise blocks.

Apr 16, 2014

Teenager uses Facebook to save Romania’s stray dogs

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – When French film actress Brigitte Bardot began a campaign to spare the thousands of stray dogs in Romania’s capital from being put down, she did it with a $150,000 donation scheme.

A similar campaign is being waged by Ana-Maria Ciulcu, a 13-year-old schoolgirl with braces on her teeth who uses Facebook to appeal to dog lovers all over Europe – and to make sure the dogs go to the right homes.

Mar 13, 2014
via Photographers' Blog

Faces of Romania’s past

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Slobozia, Romania
By Bogdan Cristel

Romania is proud to have produced a man thought by many to be the world’s first war photographer – Carol Popp de Szathmary, from the city of Cluj, who took photographs of the Crimean War in the 1850s.

One of the most impressive people to have followed in his footsteps is Costica Acsinte, another Romanian who worked as a photographer during the First World War. Below is an image of his taken on the front line.

Feb 14, 2014

In election year, Romania debates giving human rights to dolphins

CONSTANTA, Romania (Reuters) – Armed with an iPad and a letter of support from an Oscar-winning film director, Remus Cernea is pushing a cause that he acknowledges few of his fellow Romanian lawmakers care about: giving dolphins the same rights as humans.

The 39-year-old activist politician introduced a bill in parliament last week that would recognize the marine mammals as “non-human persons”, on account of their highly developed intelligence, personalities and behavior patterns.

Dec 7, 2013

Chevron halts Romania shale work after protest

PUNGESTI, Romania, Dec 7 (Reuters) – U.S. oil major Chevron
halted exploration works for shale gas in eastern
Romania for the second time in two months on Saturday after
anti-fracking protesters broke through wire mesh fences around
the site.

Thousands of people have rallied across Romania in recent
months to protest against government support for shale gas
exploration and separate plans to set up Europe’s largest open
cast gold mine in a small Carpathian town.

Sep 1, 2013
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Romania’s bankrupt town

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Aninoasa, Romania

By Bogdan Cristel

Getting to Jiu Valley – once home to a powerful coal mining industry that has since fallen on bad times – is difficult. The main road there is currently closed to traffic three days a week because of repair works, so I arrived in the small Jiu Valley town of Aninoasa after driving for 7 hours on detour roads. It is roughly 330 kms (205 miles) to Aninoasa from the Romanian capital Bucharest.

Aninoasa is the oldest town in Hunedoara County, mentioned as far back as 1453 AD. But earlier this year it also became the first town in Romania to have filed for insolvency. It is a small town, with simple houses and ramshackle communist-era apartment buildings to house coal miners.

Jun 20, 2012

Romanian ex-PM attempts suicide as jailers arrive

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Former Romanian prime minister Adrian Nastase tried to kill himself on Wednesday when police came to take him to start a two-year jail term for corruption, a case touted by Romania as proof that it is getting tough on graft.

Nastase appeared to have attempted suicide when police arrived at his house in an upmarket part of the capital to take him to prison, the Bucharest Court of Cassation and Justice said in a statement.

Feb 24, 2012
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Snow as high as houses

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By Bogdan Cristel

When I was little, my grandfather told me about the winter of 1954, when the army had to shovel them out from under snow so high it covered their house completely. I didn’t believe the story at the time as it seemed like a fib, a fisherman’s tale.

Well, I recently realized my grandfather wasn’t exaggerating. I had never before seen snow that would cover an entire house until this February.

Jan 16, 2012

Romanian protesters clash with riot police

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romanian riot police used tear gas against protesters who threw rocks and set fire to newspaper stands and rubbish bins in central Bucharest in a fourth day of street demonstrations against government austerity measures Sunday.

Protesters also gathered peacefully in several large cities across Romania, including Cluj, Timisoara and Iasi, calling for the resignation of President Traian Basescu and the centrist government of Prime Minister Emil Boc.

Sep 29, 2011
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Climbing Eden Park

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By Bogdan Cristel

After 40 hours of flying Bucharest – Amsterdam – Beijing – Auckland, I arrived in New Zealand; my first time in the Southern Hemisphere.

The first nice surprise here was that both my check-in pieces of luggage arrived on the same flight (I expected it to take a week and to be on the safe side packed a toothbrush in my hand luggage).