Ford's Romania plant posts lower profit

Bucharest  - Ford Motor Co's Romanian plant saw profits drop by more than 26 per cent in the first half of 2008 on weaker sales, news reports said Tuesday.

Net income at the Craiova plant, which is being upgraded to start vehicle production next year, fell to 1.08 million lei (454,000 dollars), the Mediafax news agency said. Sales fell by 4 per cent, the report said.

Ford last year agreed to pay Romania's government 57 million euros (79 million dollars) for a 72-per-cent stake in the plant, which was originally taken over by South Korean automaker Daewoo in the 1990s.

The move confirmed Romania as a rising auto industry hub after Renault's Dacia unit racked up strong sales with budget-priced cars.

Romania breaks up alleged dating-fraud ring

Bucharest - Romanian police broke up a dating fraud ring that preyed on US and Canadian nationals and made 130,000 dollars with fake promises of romance, news reports said Tuesday.
Based in the Romanian city of Cluj, the 11 suspects allegedly set up false internet profiles of Romanians looking for love, then asked for travel money when their victims got interested, the Mediafax agency reported.
Investigators in Cluj believe that more than 70 people were defrauded in the United States, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Britain and Belgium, the report said.
Police arrested nine people in raids Thursday, Mediafax quoted city authorities as saying Tuesday.

Suspected German human trafficker arrested in Romania

Bucharest  - Romanian border police have arrested a 37-year- old German citizen on suspicion of multiple counts of human trafficking and enforced prostitution, the Romanian Mediafax news agency reported on Monday.

The man was arrested on the Romanian-Hungarian border, and was travelling in the direction of Germany in the company of three women aged between 14 and 22.

Police also found detailed accounts of the man's income, as well as well as an appointment calendar with client information.

Romanian president, foreign minister start Caucasus conflict tour

Romanian President Traian BasescuBucharest - Romanian President Traian Basescu and Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu embarked Wednesday on a whirlwind tour of five countries to review the Georgian-Russian conflict and its effects on the region.

In just two days, the Romanian duo were to visit the Ukraine, Moldava, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, meeting with their counterparts to review developments in the wake of the conflict in Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia.

In Kiev, Basescu is to meet Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to start the series of top-level meetings.

Romanian parliament votes down bills to prosecute former ministers

Romanian parliament votes down bills to prosecute former ministersBucharest  - The Romanian parliament, meeting in special session, voted Wednesday against prosecuting former premier Adrian Nastase and former transportation minister Miron Mitrea.

A bill to seek prosecution of Nastase gained only 120 votes, far short of the necessary two-thirds majority of 218 votes, while 150 deputies voted against the bill.

In Mitrea's case, 160 deputies supported a bill for prosecution, also short of the two-thirds needed, as to 107 voting against it.

Secret police shot at Romanian protesters, court documents show

BucharestBucharest- Romania's secret police, and not the army, fired on demonstrators during the rev