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Bystander Victims: Facing The Trauma Of Children Who Witness Domestic Violence

Children who live amid domestic abuse are at serious risk of long-term physical and mental health problems. It's imperative we start to look deeply at these long-term effects because violence is passed down from generation to generation. A close-up investigation from Romania.

BRASOV — “This morning, she was laughing when she told me that her tummy hurts, that her head hurts, that she feels sick." Irina, a 34-year-old mother, tells me as I sit down on the living room couch in her apartment on the outskirts of Brasov in central Romania.

She tells me about her daughter, who is in her bedroom reading an Isadora Moon book, about a half-fairy, half-vampire girl. I can feel the girl's presence through the tiny plasticine figurines around the house: dandelions, bunnies, flowers modeled in as much detail as only an eight-year-old can.

On Irina's arm, I can see a black tree tattoo, with a winding stem and vigorous, almost frightening, roots. Behind it, there is a sunset in strong shades of red and green. It's the tree of life, a tattoo Irina got this year to remind her that life has been hard for her in recent years, but she is still standing.

She's a woman who has experienced domestic violence and, six years ago, managed to get out of her abusive relationship with Maria's father. (The names of the children and mothers in the article are pseudonyms and I have used them to protect their identities.)

I came to visit them because Irina is currently looking for answers to a question that interests me too. I’m a reporter who has been documenting the impact of domestic violence for the last eight years. Irina wonders to what extent the violent incidents her daughter witnessed as a child affect and will affect her emotional and physical health.

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This Happened—November 12: Nadia Comăneci, Perfection From Romania

Romania's Nadia Comăneci is credited with popularizing the sport of gymnastics worldwide, getting her successful start at a very young age.

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Long Neglected, Romania Could Be NATO's Achilles Heel

Since Russia's annexation of Crimea, NATO has reinforced its presence eastward — but the Baltic countries and Poland were the prime beneficiaries. But Romania, which shares the longest border with Ukraine, may be the country most directly in Vladimir Putin's path.

BUCHAREST — For many years, NATO has underestimated the importance of Romania. But the war in Ukraine means Romania is taking on a new geopolitical importance, and NATO has been stepping up its military presence in the country due to its strategic position on the Black Sea and its shared border with Ukraine.

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Now the country may be vulnerable, watching nervously to see how far Russian troops will advance in Ukraine. A visit to Bucharest last week by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris underlined NATO’s commitment to defend its southeastern flank, potentially exposed to Moscow's advances.

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Budapest or Bucharest? A Tale Of Very Lost French Soccer Fans

Let's be honest, as European capital names go, Budapest (Hungary) and Bucharest (Romania) are pretty similar. It's even slightly closer in French: Budapest and Bucarest. Still, for six French football fans who wanted to watch last week's France v. Hungary match live, we can only wonder how this geographic blooper could have gone this far.

Oui, oui...the supporters of les Bleus wound up in Bucharest, watching the game on television, rather than the stadium Budapest where France and Hungary finished in a 1-1 draw.

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food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

Not Sure About That Romanian Style

For a moment, the streets of Sibiu turned into a fashion show — and that woman didn't seem too convinced by the man's dress sense ... Was it the traditional căciulă sheepskin hat, or something else?

Bertrand Hauger

Religious Romania

Romania is one of the richest countries I've set foot in when it comes to religious heritage. The central European state has history-packed cathedrals, exuberantly colorful churches — and in this case, beautifully peaceful monasteries.

food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

Wouldn't It Be Nice

The setting and timing of this shot coincide perfectly with the release, half-way around the world, of the seminal surfer album Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys. But this summer in Romania was also just a year after the rise of Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu. We didn't know it then, but he would become one of the 20th century's cruelest tyrants.

Bertrand Hauger

Legendary Cathedral

Don't be fooled by the exuberant Moorish style of the Curtea de Argeș cathedral. The various legends associated with this Romanian Orthodox church tend to be, well, grim.

In one tale, the architect — to be able to finish the building — is forced to sacrifice his wife by walling her alive in the cathedral. In another, the Prince who had ordered the construction of cathedral had the masons stranded on the roof, for fear they'd build a greater church for someone else. The builders tried to escape by flying off with wings they'd made out of wood. No, this tale doesn't end well either.


Slice Of Transylvanian Life

Driving around Romania during one of the hottest summers I can remember, I got to see the many faces of daily life — in both sadness and joy. These traditionally dressed locals were bringing cake to a wedding. No sign of ice cream.

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Mihaela Iordache

In Romania, Where Infant Mortality Meets Anti-Vaccination Movement

Romania has Europe's highest infant mortality rate. The main causes of death are infectious diseases like tuberculosis and rubella, while VIPs make public claims that vaccines are dangerous.


BUCHAREST — Olivia Steer is young and beautiful, and she frequently graces the front pages of Romanian magazines to promote a healthy diet and lifestyle. But Steer is also famous for something else: She is the face of the country's growing anti-vaccination campaign.

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Panama Papers, Polish Abortion Law, Spain Time Travel


A massive leak of more than 11 million documents has exposed an immense network of offshore shell companies, many of them illegal. The documents — dubbed the "Panama Papers" — were obtained by German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung and reveal the involvement of 72 current and former heads of state.

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