Travel: 48 hours in Bucharest

For an early summer blast of Gypsy music, exotic food and a bizarre mix of Byzantine and brutalist architecture, Robert Nurden recommends Romania's lively capital

Property: The name's Dracula - and how can I help?

FOR REASONS that need not trouble you at this point I have been spending a little time in Romania recently. While it is a quite compelling country it is also home to the patron saint of estate agents, aka Dracula - a blood-sucking monster who does not work during the hours of daylight. Given that his legendary home is in Transylvania, a beautiful region which is but a short hop from the Romanian capital of Bucharest, it would not have been surprising if the local estate agents were a bloodthirsty bunch. They are not.

Bardot bid to reduce strays in Romania

A conference of Western veterinarians and animal-care organisations, joined by Brigitte Bardot, pledged yesterday to rid Bucharest of its 200,000 stray dogs within three years.

Romanians get royal visit

Romania's former king arrived to spend his first Christmas in Romania since he was forced by the Communists to abdicate in 1947. King Michael, who lives now in Switzerland, came with his wife, Anne of Bourbon- Parma, and two of their daughters. She said the family intends to visit hospitals and orphanages, and meet President Emil Constantinescu, who declared himself a monarchist in the early 1990s, but has since changed his mind. Polls indicate that one in 10 Romanians favour a monarchy.

Letter: Children need love more than a culture

I read Emma Daly's article ("The girl who got away", 2 November) with rising waves of frustration. What do people mean when they say "the adoption of children by foreigners ... is ethnic cleansing by the well-meaning"? Is it really better for children to stay within their own cultures, come what may? Why have we raised culture to the status of a new religion? Such an attitude forms a large part of ethnic wars and their horrors.

Rugby Union: Thomas stakes claim for No 10

Robert Cole reports from Wrexham

Rugby Union: Moore on home patch as Wales ring changes

Steve Moore will feel well and truly at home when Wales face Romania at The Racecourse, Wrexham, today.

British 'priest' held on sex charges in Romania

A 34-year-old Briton was being held by police in Romania yesterday after being accused of having sex with an under-age boy. Media reports in Bucharest suggested that the arrested man, identified by police as John Michael Taylor, was an Anglican priest. But a Church of England spokesman said the only priest registered by that name was a 67-year-old who was looking after his sick wife in Blackburn. "I can confirm that this is not the man you are referring to because the Bishop of Blackburn has spoken to him personally today, in Blackburn. He is not in Romania."

Minorities hail Ukraine treaty

Minorities hail Ukraine treaty

Football:League praises play-offs for growing attendances

The Football League was yesterday celebrating the attendance explosion that has attracted four and a half million new fans to the game over the last decade.

Spy chief falls foul of the West

Romania's intelligence agency yesterday blamed domestic and foreign pressure groups for the resignation of the man who had run the service since the anti-Communist revolution of 1989. A spokesman said that Virgil Magureanu, who took part in the overthrow of the Ceausescu dictatorship, had offered his resignation to President Emil Constantinescu last Thursday in the wake of "pressure from groups in Romania and abroad".

Republic leave McGrath out

Paul McGrath's distinguished international career could finally be over after he was yesterday left out of the Republic of Ireland's squad for the vital Group Eight World Cup qualifying tie against Romania in Bucharest on 30 April.

Review: Avant-Garde: Hyperion Ensemble

AVANT-GARDE Hyperion Ensemble Purcell Room, London

Travel: Yeee-hah - so long Buenos Aires, howdy Bucharest

PASSPORT: HANK WANGFORD

Mayor to be Romania PM

The popular mayor of Bucharest was designated as Romania's future prime minister yesterday, two days after the reformist Emil Constantinescu won presidential elections, ousting former Communists.
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