Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The skinny

The skinny: Forget austerity: Romanians fixate on the IMF shoe

romanian holiday

cash-strapped country fixates on the IMF shoe

In Romania this week, it's all about the shoe. Romania has borrowed billions from the International Monetary Fund but some are wondering whether IMF envoy Jeffrey Franks needs a loan himself after he was seen wearing shoes with a hole on a visit with President Traian Basescu. The image on Saturday has eclipsed any of Franks' comments about public spending, layoffs or inflation in the Balkan nation. Mysteriously, the photo of the shoe also disappeared Tuesday from its previous location on the presidential website. No matter, the shoe kept dominating the news. "There is no excuse to go to the president of a country with torn shoes," popular television commentator Mircea Badea said. Franks was asked to comment on the shoe Monday at a news conference on the Romanian economy. "I prefer to talk about Romania, not personal matters," he said, but added, "I changed my shoes today."

roamin' citizens

Quake myth has Italy all shook up

Italian officials have gone to extraordinary lengths to try to debunk an urban legend predicting a devastating earthquake in Rome today. The country's Civil Protection department posted a dense information packet on its website stressing quakes can't be predicted and Rome isn't particularly at risk. Toll-free numbers have been set aside at city hall to field questions. The national geophysics institute will open its doors to the public today to inform the curious and the concerned about seismology. The effort is all designed to debunk a purported prediction of a major Roman quake on May 11, 2011, attributed to self-taught seismologist Raffaele Bendandi, who died in 1979.

kennel caper

Just call this dog Harry Houdini

After three late-night escape attempts from an Oregon veterinarian's office, a German shepherd named Jack finally made it. The Medford Mail Tribune reported the crafty canine managed to pull open his kennel, trip the dead bolt on the clinic's back door and pull down the handle to get outside. He set off three motion-detector alarms on the way and ripped open four bags of food. He roamed 7 miles from the vet's office, but only made it home when animal control officers took him to a shelter where he was reunited with his worried family.

trust issue

Polar bears? How about the kids

A group of attorneys representing children and young adults began filing legal actions in every state and the District of Columbia last week in an effort to force government intervention on climate change. The ploy was backed by activists looking for a legal soft spot to advance a cause that has stumbled in the face of stiff congressional opposition and a skeptical U.S. Supreme Court. The goal is to have the atmosphere declared for the first time as a "public trust" deserving special protection. It's a novel approach considering the public trust doctrine dates to Roman times.

Compiled from Times wires.

The skinny: Forget austerity: Romanians fixate on the IMF shoe 05/10/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 11:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Helicopter, small aircraft collide at Clearwater Air Park


    CLEARWATER — Two people suffered minor injuries after a helicopter and a small aircraft collided late Saturday afternoon at Clearwater Air Park, 1000 N Hercules Ave.

    Clearwater Fire Department emergency personal douse a plane with fire retardant after the plane crashed into a helicopter at Clearwater Air Park 1000 N Hercules Ave. Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. According to Clearwater Fire two people sustained minor injuries. [Photo by Clearwater Fire Department]
  2. 4-year-old girl, man injured in Clearwater Beach boating crash


    A 4-year-old girl was airlifted with serious injuries after a personal watercraft she was riding on collided with a boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near Clearwater Beach just before 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

  3. Hernando Sheriff's Office identifies bank robber killed after chase, places 7 deputies on administrative leave


    Authorities have identified a bank robbery suspect fatally shot by Hernando County sheriff's deputies after a wild chase Friday in which the fleeing suspect rammed several patrol cars in Brooksville.

    Scott Michael Chamberlain, 44, died after a deputy-involved shooting Friday. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office said that Chamberlaine attempted to rob a bank before taking deputies on a pursuit. (Florida Department of Corrections)
  4. No. 12 FSU, freshman QB James Blackman struggle in 27-21 loss to N.C. State


    TALLAHASSEE — Whatever was left of No. 12 Florida State's College Football Playoff hopes suffered a massive, likely fatal, blow Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium.

    Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Nyqwan Murray (8) carries during the first quarter of the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.
  5. Trump tells Warriors star Stephen Curry that White House visit is off


    SOMERSET, N.J. — Stephen Curry and President Donald Trump agree on one thing: The Golden State star is not going to the White House anytime soon.

    Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry poses for photos during NBA basketball team media day Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. [Associated Press]