Archive for: New York Times

Doctor Recounts Imprisonment in Libya

Aug 2nd, 2007

Doctor Recounts Imprisonment in Libya

By MATTHEW BRUNWASSER SOFIA, Bulgaria, Aug. 1 — In the yard of the Bulgarian presidential residence, on the foothills of Vitosha Mountain, Ashraf al-Hazouz on Tuesday recounted his years of imprisonment and torture in Libya and aired his grievances: the beatings, the electrical charges all over his body, the injection that he was told carried the virus that causes AIDS.

Libya’s Release of 6 Prisoners Raises Criticism

Jul 15th, 2007

Libya’s Release of 6 Prisoners Raises Criticism

July 25, 2007 Libya’s Release of 6 Prisoners Raises Criticism By MATTHEW BRUNWASSER and ELAINE SCIOLINO SOFIA, Bulgaria, July 24 — After more than eight years in a Libyan prison, convicted of deliberately infecting children with the virus that causes AIDS, five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor stepped off a French presidential plane to freedom here on Tuesday. The charge had been widely dismissed abroad as absurd. The Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, had accused the six medical workers, who were said to have been tortured, of acting on the orders of American and Israeli intelligence agencies to destabilize the Libyan state.

Romania, a Poor Land, Imports Poorer Workers

Apr 11th, 2007

Romania, a Poor Land, Imports Poorer Workers

April 11, 2007 Romania, a Poor Land, Imports Poorer Workers By MATTHEW BRUNWASSER BACAU, Romania — To get around the chronic labor shortages hampering this traditional textile center and in other industries across Romania, Sorin Nicolescu, who runs a clothing factory, came up with an original solution: import 800 workers from China.   “The explanation is very simple,” said Mr. Nicolescu, general manager of a Swiss concern, the Wear Company. “We don’t have any Romanian workers because they have all left to work” in Western and Central Europe. Foreign investors have been attracted to Romania, a poor Balkan country, because of its low wages and, since Jan. 1, its membership in the European Union. At the same time, those low wages and freedom of movement through Europe, which is now easier, have been fueling a wave of emigration that threatens to slow an economic boom in recent years in Romania. “This was happening before we joined the E.U.,” said Ana Murariu, a production manager at Wear. “Now it’s even worse.” Romania, a nation of 21.6 million (and declining 0.2 percent annually), received 9 billion euros, or about $12 billion, in foreign direct investment last year. That helped the economy grow last year as much as 7 percent, with an unemployment rate in January of 5.4 percent — well below the European Union average. But with monthly wages averaging around $375 after taxes, roughly two million people, or [...]