Daily: 02/03/2018

Президент США продовжив на рік санкції проти Росії через агресію в Україні

У 2014 році США запровадили санкції проти Росії через анексію Криму та роль Москви в збройному конфлікті на Донбасі

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Фігурантам «справи Хізб ут-Тахрір» обмежили час на ознайомлення з матеріалами – адвокат

Підконтрольний Росії Київський районний суд Сімферополя 2 березня обмежив фігурантам «справи Хізб ут-Тахрір» Зеврі Абсеітову, Ремзі Меметову, Рустему Абільтарову і Енверу Мамутову час на ознайомлення з матеріалами справи, повідомив «Крим.Реалії» адвокат Еміль Курбедінов.

«Суд обмежив час для ознайомлення зі справою до 14 березня. Згідно із законом, немає ніяких обмежень. Якщо слідчий бачить, що адвокат чи обвинувачений зловживає цим правом, він може подати відповідне клопотання. Ми вважаємо, що ніяких зловживань з нашого боку не було. Таке довге ознайомлення пов’язане з тим режимом, який слідство встановило. Якщо ми не встигнемо, вони все одно закриють ознайомлення», – сказав Курбедінов.

За словами адвоката, відведеного часу може не вистачити для ознайомлення.

«За нормального режиму ознайомлення потрібно близько 20 днів», – додав він.

8 лютого на засіданні підконтрольного Кремлю Верховного суду Криму було продовжено арешт фігурантам «справи Хізб ут-Тахрір» Зеврі Абсеітову, Ремзі Меметову, Рустему Абільтарову і Енверу Мамутову.

У травні 2016 року в Бахчисараї російські силовики провели серію обшуків в будинках мусульман, кримських татар, а також в місцевому кафе. В результаті були затримані і звинувачені в тероризмі четверо бахчисарайців: Зеврі Абсеітов, Ремзі Меметов, Рустем Абільтаров і Енвер Мамутов. Їх підозрюють в участі в організації «Хізб ут-Тахрір», визнаної в Росії терористичною.

Захисники заарештованих і засуджених у «справі Хізб ут-Тахрір» кримчан вважають їх переслідування мотивованим за релігійною ознакою.

Представники міжнародної ісламської політичної організації «Хізб ут-Тахрір» називають своєю місією об’єднання всіх мусульманських країн в ісламському халіфаті, але вони відкидають терористичні методи досягнення цього і кажуть, що їх несправедливо переслідують в Росії.

Після російської анексії в Криму почастішали масові обшуки у незалежних журналістів, громадських активістів, діячів кримськотатарського національного руху, членів Меджлісу кримськотатарського народу, а також кримських мусульман, підозрюваних у зв’язках із «Хізб ут-Тахрір».

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Росія: адвокати Собчак заявили, що подали на Жириновського заяву до Генпрокуратури

Адвокатський корпус кандидата в президенти Росії Ксенії Собчак подав заяву на іншого кандидата, лідера ЛДПР Володимира Жириновського до Генеральної прокуратури Росії через його образи під час телевізійних дебатів, повідомила прес-служба кампанії Собчак.

Адвокати просять відкрити проти Жириновського адміністративне провадження.

На думку представників Собчак, Жириновський дозволив собі публічно й у непристойній формі принизити її честь та гідність.

Під час телевізійних дебатів наприкінці лютого між Жириновським та Собчак стався конфлікт. Він почався з виступу в ефірі ще одного кандидата в президенти Росії – Сергія Бабуріна. Жириновський назвав Собчак «дурепою» після того, як вона закликала його не перебивати Бабуріна. У відповідь кандидатка сказала 71-річному лідерові ЛДПР, що йому в його віці «шкідливо так хвилюватися».

Той закликав ведучого змусити її замовкнути. «Але ж вона тупа, мізків немає», – не вгавав Жириновський. Собчак вилила на нього воду, що спровокувало політика на чергову лайку.

Вибори президента Росії призначені на 18 березня. Всього в бюлетені буде вісім кандидатів, включно з чинним президентом Росії Володимиром Путіним.

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Транзиту газу в Європу нічого не загрожує – Порошенко

Транзиту газу в Європу нічого не загрожує і Україна вкотре підтверджує свою надійність постачальника газу до ЄС, заявив президент Петро Порошенко на терміновій нараді в п’ятницю щодо загроз енергетичній безпеці України.

«Вітаємо ті заяви, які сьогодні були зроблені в Європейській комісії нашими партнерами, в тому числі й урядом Німеччини, де було чітко наголошено, що вони розуміють, хто несе відповідальність за спроби створити цю кризову ситуацію. Ми впевнені, що контракт не буде розірваний. Ми впевнені, що транзиту нічого не загрожує. Україна в черговий раз твердо підтвердила свій статус як надійного постачальника», – сказав Порошенко.

Він запевнив, що ситуація стовідсотково буде під контролем.

«На жаль, Росія і «Газпром» ще раз продемонстрували, що як тільки наступає холод, вони черговий раз роблять спроби застосувати постачання газу як механізм політичного тиску. Це не пройде – Україна надійний партнер», – додав Порошенко.

Раніше сьогодні у Європейській комісії повідомили, що на сьогодні газ до Європейського союзу надходить «нормально й стабільно».

В Україні до 7 березня запровадили національний план дій в енергетиці щодо обмеження споживання природного газу. Це сталося після зменшення подачі палива з боку Росії. У «Газпромі» також заявили, що розпочнуть процедуру розірвання контрактів з НАК «Нафтогаз України» на поставку й транзит газу в Стокгольмському арбітражі. Цей суд 28 лютого виніс рішення в суперечці України і Росії щодо компенсації на суму 4,63 мільярда доларів «Газпромом» за недопоставку «Нафтогазу» погоджених обсягів газу для транзиту. «Газпром» заявив про незгоду з рішенням арбітражу.

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Mafia Influence, Anti-Migrant Fervor in Rural Italy Likely to Impact Elections

The young African couple joined the checkout line in a small supermarket in a town in Campania, Italy’s southwest region famous for a dramatic coastline, ancient ruins, Naples and the Camorra — one of Italy’s top crime mobs. The couple were clutching some basic food items, including milk, bottled water and pasta, and a small plastic bag bulging with change — mostly 1- and 5-cent coins, the proceeds of begging.

Already eyed disdainfully by Italian shoppers, they were met with exasperation and rejection by store clerks when they proffered their money bag to pay. The disdain of the shoppers turned to rage, with shouted calls for the Africans to stop holding up the line and get out.

The Ghanian husband and wife, both in their twenties, one university-educated, who arrived in Italy last year after a hazardous sea crossing from Libya, didn’t leave empty-handed — a fellow shopper, a north European, stepped forward to pay in more manageable money, earning grumbles from others for encouraging the Africans.

Much of the media coverage by metropolitan-based reporters of Italy’s increasingly bad-tempered parliamentary elections has focused on Rome and the northern cities of Milan, Turin and Venice, where the big flag-waving rallies of the 21 competing parties in a sprawling, messy election are taking place.

But a third of Italians don’t live in the big cities or their suburbs, and the voters of small-town and rural Italy will be critical in shaping Sunday’s results.

The minor episode in the coastal supermarket illustrates a deep, seething anti-migrant anger in Campania, one on display daily in incidents large and small, that risks undercutting the vote of Italy’s ruling Democratic Party (PD) in a region where it runs also the regional government.

Campania’s small towns and villages have become ground-zeros when it comes to a migration crisis that has roiled Italian politics, strained the country’s resources and tried the patience — and compassion — of Italians. Locals have become infuriated by the record influx of mainly economic migrants from sub-Saharan African countries.

“Yes, it has become more difficult in recent months,” said Manu, who shrugged off the disdain he encountered when trying to pay for his groceries with a pile of small coins. He says he and his wife made the perilous journey to Italy with the aim of securing jobs somewhere in Europe and improving their lives.

“Italian hearts have hardened,” he said.

Anti-migrant campaigning

Locals acknowledge their attitude indeed has changed because of the sheer numbers of migrants on their streets and their sense of being invaded, as well as the highly public, desperate and mostly Nigerian street prostitution trade on the wind-swept, trash-strewn roads running along the coast north of Naples.

Like much of Italy, anti-migrant fervor has been shaping campaigning in Campania, where the maverick, anti-establishment Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S) is co-opting the votes of the PD by feeding off local anger toward asylum-seekers and blaming the government of Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni for failing to come to grips with the influx and of finding ways to halt it.

It is a region M5S leader Luigi Di Maio, a suave, boyishly telegenic 31-year-old, knows well, having been born and raised in Pomigliano d’Arco, a small municipality on the outskirts of Naples just north of Mount Vesuvius.

Di Maio also knows what arguments to make when trying to counter the campaigning of challenger Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing coalition made up of the 81-year-old former prime minister’s Forza Italia and three other parties, including Matteo Salvini’s far-right populist Lega, which has called for the mass clean-out of migrants. Di Maio is as uncompromising about migrants but is less specific about what his party will do about them.

The governing PD desperately needs to hang on in the south, especially in the 15 electoral districts of Campania, to avoid a crushing, historic national defeat. PD strategists are hoping the recognizable names of the party’s parliamentary candidates — long-serving politicians well known to the communities — will be enough to stave off electoral humiliation.

But long service brings dangerous baggage.

Mafia mob

Campania is home to one of Italy’s most powerful Mafia mobs, the Camorra, which is enmeshed in the politics of the region. The public image is of a mob that makes most of its money from drugs and prostitution.

But anti-Mafia prosecutors say that while narcotics and sex trafficking are both highly important revenue streams for the Camorra, the big money is made in public-sector fraud, construction contracts and waste management. The longer the public service, the more likely a politician has had to make deals with the mobsters, public prosecutors tell VOA.

As the election has unfolded in Campania, politically damaging leaks about police probes into PD politicians have multiplied — the most embarrassing for the party involving an investigation into the son of regional Governor Vincenzo De Luca. The governor claims the whole thing is a setup. Nonetheless, in such a tight election the news of the police probe could have a major impact.

“Campania is the Ohio of Italy,” said Paolo Russo, a center-right politician. He argues the greatest risk for Berlusconi and his electoral alliance, which has been pushing a plan for major tax cuts, is that the PD vote collapses to well below 20 percent, which he believes could benefit M5S and ensure the maverick upstart emerges from the voting as the largest single parliamentary party, preventing the right-wing electoral alliance led by Forza Italia from securing an overall parliamentary majority.

In short, Berlusconi’s alliance needs the PD to do poorly, but not too poorly. A few hundred votes either way in Campania could make all the difference nationally.

And such a tight race raises the question of the Camorra. Vote-buying, regardless of party affiliation, is a habitual practice in Campania, prompting Italy’s interior minister, Marco Minniti, to question the outsize dangers that poses.

“There is a concrete risk of the Mafias disrupting electors’ free vote,” Minniti said last week as he presented an annual report to the Anti-Mafia Commission in Rome. “The Mafias are able to shape institutions and politics.”

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Кремль: Росія не планує втягуватися в гонку озброєнь

Росія не планує втягуватися в гонку озброєнь після заяв президента Росії Володимира Путіна про розробку нових видів ядерної зброї, заявив речник Путіна Дмитро Пєсков.

«Це не що інше, як відповідні дії Російської Федерації на злам договору щодо ПРО, на вихід США з договору щодо ПРО і на досить активний процес створення глобальної системи ПРО, яка в свою чергу, очевидно в перспективі була здатна порушити стратегічний паритет, ядерний паритет і фактично нейтралізувати стратегічні сили Російської Федерації», – заявив Пєсков.

Читайте також: «Ми на порозі нової гонки озброєнь»

Раніше сьогодні він також заперечив, що Росія порушує міжнародні договори про контроль над озброєннями.

Пєсков також заявив, що промова Путіна не збільшить міжнародну ізоляцію Росії і не стане провісником початку нової гонки озброєнь.

Під час інтерв’ю, що транслювалося в останні години 1 березня в США, Путін сказав, що Росія буде використовувати ядерну зброю тільки за надзвичайних обставин.

«Є дві причини, які можуть спонукати нас використати ядерну зброю: напад ядерної зброї проти нас або напад з використанням звичайних озброєнь із загрозою існуванню російської держави», – сказав Путін в інтерв’ю телеканалу NBC.

Раніше канцлер Німеччини Ангела Меркель і президент США Дональд Трамп висловили занепокоєння через заяви президента Росії Володимира Путіна 1 березня про розробку ядерної енергоустановки для крилатої ракети, яка буде невразливою для систем ПРО. Лідери США та Німеччини заявили, що зброя матиме негативний вплив на «міжнародні зусилля з контролю над озброєннями».

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Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine Decry Russian Presence

Leaders from Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia have criticized the presence of Russian troops in their countries saying they are a destabilizing presence in the three ex-Soviet republics.

The parliamentary speakers from the three countries issued a joint statement Friday saying they were “profoundly concerned about Russian troops” in Moldova “and Russian occupation and other forms of military intervention,” in parts of Georgia and Ukraine.

The statement at the end of a one-day security conference in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau, also expressed displeasure at “coordinated foreign support for separatist movements,” and social media “operations” to discredit their pro-European governments.

It said the governments should enhance their capability to counter hybrid attacks and called on the European Union and U.S. to support them.

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Trump’s Proposed Tariffs Spark Fears of Trade War, Price Hikes

U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports sparked concerns of a trade war Friday, with emerging markets trading lower and some world leaders threatening to take retaliatory measures.

Japan’s Nikkei share average fell to a more than two-week low Friday. The Nikkei ended 2.5 percent lower at 21,181.64 points, its lowest closing since Feb. 14.

“Automakers will have to bear the cost, and they may also have to raise prices while auto sales are already sluggish,” said Takuya Takahashi, a strategist at Daiwa Securities. “This isn’t looking good to the auto sector.”

​China, EU, Canada react

China on Friday expressed “grave concern” about the apparent U.S. trade policy but had no immediate response to Trump’s announcement that he will increase duties on steel and aluminum imports.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker denounced Trump’s trade plan as “a blatant intervention to protect U.S. domestic industry.” He said the EU would take retaliatory measures, it Trump implements his plan.

Canada said it would “take responsive measures” to protect its trade interests and workers if the restrictions are imposed on its steel and aluminum products.

Trump said Thursday the tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports will be in effect for a long period of time. He said the measure will be signed “sometime next week.”

The trade war talk had stocks closing sharply lower on Wall Street.

The American International Automobile Dealers Association said Trump’s tariff plans would increase prices substantially.

“This is going to have fallout on our downstream suppliers, particularly in the automotive, machinery and aircraft sectors,” said Wendy Cutler, a former U.S. trade official. “What benefits one industry can hurt another. What saves one job can jeopardize another,” she said.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president’s decision “shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.” She said Trump had talked about the trade plans “for decades.”

Republicans speak out

Not all of Trump’s fellow Republican politicians agreed with his trade war talk.

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska said, “You’d expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one.”

A spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan said the House majority leader hoped the president would “consider the unintended consequences of this idea and look at other approaches before moving forward.”

Trump posted on Twitter Thursday about trade policy.

At the Thursday meeting, President Trump said the NAFTA trade pact and the World Trade Organization have been disasters for the United States. He asserted “the rise of China economically was directly equal to the date of the opening of the World Trade Organization.”

Trump told officials from steel and aluminum companies that the United States “hasn’t been treated fairly by other countries, but I don’t blame the other countries.”

In 2017, Canada, Brazil, South Korea and Mexico accounted for nearly half of all U.S. steel imports. That year, Chinese steel accounted for less than 2 percent of overall U.S. imports.

President Trump said he has a lot of respect for Chinese President Xi Jinping, and when he was in China, he told President Xi, “I don’t blame you, if you can get away with almost 500 billion dollars a year off of our country, how can I blame you? Somebody agreed to these deals. Those people should be ashamed of themselves for what they let happened.”

Xi’s top economic adviser, Liu He, is set to visit the White House Thursday to meet with top administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Trump’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn.

A White House official speaking on condition of anonymity told Reuters that they expect a “frank exchange of views” and will focus on “the substantive issues.”

Ryan L. Hass, the David M. Rubenstein Fellow at John L. Thornton China Center and the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings Institution told VOA he believes in the best-case scenario, Liu’s visit will assure both sides that “they are committed to solving underlying problems in the bilateral trade relationship.” Hass noted, “In such a scenario, both sides would agree on the problems that need to be addressed, the framework for addressing them, and the participants and timeline for concluding negotiations.”

Hass said if Liu’s visit fails to exceed the White House’s expectations, then the probability of unilateral U.S. trade actions against China will go up.

“If the U.S. takes unilateral actions, China likely will respond proportionately, and that could set off a tit-for-tat cycle leading to a trade war,” Hass said.

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Australia Takes Mining Giant to Court

Australia’s corporate watchdog is taking mining giant Rio Tinto and two former executives to court over the global miner’s “misleading and deceptive conduct” in reporting the coal reserves of a Mozambique mine purchased for $4 billion.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) launched the court action Friday against Rio Tinto, former Chief Executive Tom Albanese and former Chief Financial Officer Guy Elliott.

“ASIC alleges that RTL (Rio Tinto Ltd) engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by publishing statements in the 2011 annual report, signed by Mr. Albanese and Mr. Elliott, misrepresenting the reserves and resources of RTCM (Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique),” the watchdog said in a statement.

Rio Tinto bought the mine in 2011 for $4 billion and wrote off $3.5 billion in loses several years later when it sold the mine. The mining company fired Albanese and Elliott over their involvement with the sale.

ASIC said in a statement, “… by allowing RTL (Rio Tinto Limited) to engage in such conduct, Mr. Albanese and Mr. Elliott failed to exercise their powers and discharge their duties with the care and diligence required by law as directors and officers of RTL.”

ASIC wants the court to fine the two former Rio Tinto executives and bar them from managing corporations “for such periods as the court thinks fit.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged the mining giant and the two executives with fraud last year over similar allegations.

Rio Tinto said last year the U.S. charges were “unwarranted.”

The company did not immediately respond to the Australian charges.

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White House Faces Rumors About Top Security Aide’s Exit

The White House on Thursday faced fresh speculation about the future of national security adviser H.R. McMaster, with officials sending mixed messages about his possible departure.

Amid a stream of staff leaving Donald Trump’s White House, NBC reported that the three-star general tasked with running White House security policy would, within months, be headed for the exit as well.

“We frequently face rumor and innuendo about senior administration officials,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said in response. “There are no personnel announcements at this time.”

That was followed up by a more categorical statement from McMaster’s spokesman, Michael Anton.

“I was just with President Trump and H.R. McMaster in the Oval Office. President Trump said that the NBC News story is fake news, and told McMaster that he is doing a great job,” Anton said.

NBC reported that a senior executive at U.S. automaker Ford, Stephen Biegun, was a possible replacement.

Biegun previously worked as national security adviser to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, and worked in the George. W. Bush White House.

Trump and McMaster have had an uneasy relationship.

When the army general recently said there was “incontrovertible” evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he was publicly upbraided by Trump.

“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians,” Trump tweeted.

McMaster joined the administration in February last year, replacing Michael Flynn, who has since been indicted by Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 election and whether there were connections between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Last week, CNN reported that the Pentagon was looking at moving McMaster back into the military.

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Turkey’s Global Anti-Gülen Crusade Puts Tbilisi in Diplomatic Bind

Mustafa Emre Çabuk is out of prison but not out of trouble.

The Turkish national, who for the past 15 years ran a Gülen school in the Georgian capital, Tblisi, is the latest international educator caught up in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anti-Gülenist campaign.

Çabuk is at home under security services protection after nine months’ detention, waiting to learn whether he will be extradited to Turkey, where he is charged with terrorism and would face nearly certain long-term imprisonment.

“I am not supporting any terrorist group. I am just a teacher,” Çabuk told VOA after completing the maximum detention allowed without trial under Georgian law.

“I was in prison for nine months for nothing,” he said. “For nothing.”

Georgian dilemma

As traumatic as it is for Çabuk personally, his case also presents a dilemma for the Georgian government, which is caught between its human rights obligations as a country that aspires to become a member of the European Union, and economic pressure from its larger neighbor and major trading partner, Turkey.

No evidence has been presented linking Çabuk to the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, which Erdogan blamed on his onetime ally and now archrival Fethullah Gülen, prompting a wide-ranging purge of Gülen’s associates in Turkey and attempts to shut down the former imam’s global network of religious and secular schools.

Compliance with Turkish demands has varied from country to country, with the United States, for example, rejecting repeated requests for the U.S.-based cleric’s extradition on the ground that Ankara has not provided satisfactory evidence of his participation in the coup.

“The more vulnerable you are, the likelier you will be to acquiesce,” Henri Barkey, an international affairs expert with Lehigh University, told VOA, adding that a lack of international scrutiny allows Ankara to bully less powerful neighbors, Central Asian and African countries.

“In the case of Georgia, Tbilisi has to balance EU concerns,” he said. “Brussels, while not very powerful in getting the Turks to retract policies, can nonetheless apply pressure on Tbilisi.”

The U.N. Committee Against Torture has appealed to Georgia to delay a decision on whether to extradite Çabuk pending a U.N. committee discussion.

Levan Asatiani, a regional campaign director for Amnesty International, said any move toward extradition would represent a criminal act.

“According to international law, it is prohibited to transfer a person to a state where this person is more likely to be subjected to torture, inhuman treatment or other serious human rights violations,” Asatiani told VOA, adding that Georgian law prohibits extradition of a person in this situation.

“Georgia is surrounded by repressive political regimes where human rights protection became a scarce resource,” he said. “But Georgia has built a very positive image for itself in the region, and so it must now maintain this image and show by its action that there is no exception when it comes to accountability.”

Few choices for Georgia

But Soner Cagaptay, head of Washington Institute’s Turkey Research Program, said, “There is very little countries such as Georgia can do when faced with Turkish requests to extradite supporters of Gülen movement.”

“Erdogan sees the movement as his eternal enemy and will use all his political muscle to make sure that countries where the Gülen movement has had networks, especially Turkey’s neighbors, cooperate with him on this issue, or at least lend him a sympathetic ear,” Cagaptay said.

Tornike Sharashenidze, an independent political analyst based in Tbilisi, echoed that sentiment, saying Georgia has no choice but to accommodate Turkey’s demands.

“We are a small country with no luxury to feel hurt over the violation of human rights by Turkey,” he told VOA. “We are not the United States that has power to refuse to extradite Gülen [himself].”

Çabuk, who has lived in Georgia since 2002, was arrested by Georgian police in May 2017, immediately after a state visit by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

After being held for the maximum time allowable without trial, the 38-year-old high school principal is home with his wife and two children, where he is guarded around the clock by the same Georgian law enforcement agency that detained him in May.

His release, he said, has offered only a brief respite from the grinding mental anguish that accompanies what he called his status as a political prisoner.

“When the prosecutor read to me what Ankara is blaming me for, I couldn’t hold myself, I started to cry,” Çabuk said of the first day of his detention.

“I worked 15 years in Georgia together with my Georgian people. My honor was damaged so much,” he added. “I felt really bad, as a human, as a family man. I am a father and I am a teacher, but blaming me for terrorism — that is very abstract.”

​Azerbaijani journalist

Çabuk’s school, Demirel College in Tbilisi, which is actually a high school, has had its accreditation revoked but remains open despite the charges against its principal. Early in 2017, however, Georgia shuttered Çabuk’s old workplace, a Gülen school in the Black Sea port city of Batumi.

Çabuk said he trusted the Georgian law enforcement agency protecting him, but that he remained haunted by the story of Afgan Mukhtarli, an Azerbaijani journalist based in Tbilisi who in May 2017 was abducted and spirited to a police station in Baku, where government officials recently sentenced him to six years in prison.

Although Mukhtarli was not under Georgian police protection — there had been no calls for his extradition to Baku — international condemnation of his strong-armed imprisonment was swift, leaving Georgia’s human rights record under increased scrutiny.

No court date has been set for a decision on Çabuk’s fate.

This story originated in VOA’s Georgian service.

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US Announces Sale of Lethal Aid to Ukraine   

The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, the first lethal weaponry the U.S. has sold to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014.

The State Department formally approved the sale Thursday of 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, in a move long expected to upset Russia.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Defense, said Ukraine has asked to buy the missiles and 37 launchers, at a cost of around $47 million.

Kyiv has been asking Washington for lethal military aid since the Russian invasion, but the Obama administration offered only training and support equipment rather than contribute to escalated violence. 

Late last year, President Donald Trump indicated he would be agreeable to moving forward with the sale of Javelin missiles to Kyiv.

Congress must sign off on the sale before the deal can be made complete, which means the dollar figure and progress of the sale could change. But so far, lawmakers have indicated widespread support for the move. The 2018 defense policy budget allows for increased funding to support Ukraine.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, chair of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, released a statement Thursday saying “Providing lethal aid to Ukraine shows that the United States is serious about protecting the interests of our nation and our allies.”

The move came just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his annual address to Russia, unveiling a new arsenal of nuclear-capable weapons.

U.S. officials say they are “fully prepared” to deal with any Russian threat. 

While the long-anticipated deal was not formally announced until Thursday, on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a press conference that he was expecting delivery of lethal defensive weaponry from the United States within weeks. 

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Refugee Women Get a Taste of Entrepreneurship    

When refugees arrive in a new country, they bring little to no material possessions. But many bring something more valuable: their talent and skills. 

Twenty refugee women and asylum-seekers from different parts of the world recently came together at a pop-up store in Phoenix, Arizona, to display their homemade products and tell their compelling stories.  

The details and the countries may be different, but their stories are strikingly similar. 

From Iraq

Nada Alrubaye was an art teacher who fled Iraq. “I had two boys. One, my young boy, was killed in Baghdad,” she said. “I decided to go to Turkey with another son because I wanted to protect him.” They arrived in Arizona four years ago.  

“I escaped from Syria seven years ago when the war started,” said Rodain Abo Zeed, through an interpreter, “because there was no safety and no opportunities for my kids to continue their education, and because my husband’s restaurant got burned down to ashes.” She traveled first to Jordan and then came to the U.S.  

From Afghanistan

Tahmina Besmal was in her early 20’s when she fled Afghanistan. “Me, my mom, and two sisters because of safety and there was no opportunities for ladies to go to school, to do a job, to be independent.” Her family lived in India for six years before coming to Phoenix.

A step toward self-sufficiency

A team of graduate social work students at Arizona State University created the Global Market pop-up store to help these women become self-sufficient. They welcomed the opportunity to sell their homemade products at this donated retail space in downtown Phoenix.

“The global market project is developed in a collaboration between local non-profits and Arizona State,” one of the students, Alyaa Al-Maadeed, said. “So the way that we designed this project is just by using a concept from the world of business, which is a pop-up store, and integrated it into the world of social work.” 

Asna Masood is president of one of the nonprofit partners — the American Muslim Women’s Association (AMWA). “Last year, we started new beginning skills training program for refugee women,” she said. “We teach them how to sew and then help them sell those items to the community.”

Learning a skill

Tahmina Besmal acquired sewing skills in the program and brought aprons, purses, and tablet cases she sewed at home to the pop-up store.

Other items for sale at the store included handicraft arts, soap and organic body care products, international sweets, paintings, jewelry and more. An Iraqi refugee applied henna tattoos on customers’ hands.

“The pop-up market is good for me because I bring all my stuff here. They were only in my home,” said Nada Alrubaye. “I sold some of my paintings like today, I sold two paintings and some of my jewelry.” Alrubaye said she was happy with the opportunity.

The pop-up store was only open for a month. But Megan McDermott, another graduate student on the team, said organizers have a long-term vision.

“The goal of the project is not only to bring these women short-term income. We want to really provide them with the experience of learning how to run their own business and learning how to be entrepreneurs.” 

From Iraq

The goal resonates with Tara Albarazanchi, an Iraqi asylum-seeker who offered her homemade soaps and body care products.

“This pop-up market gives me that experience of working in a shop, dealing with people, dealing with cash, and knowing how to make the books,” she said.  “I am talking about my products. It gives me the exposure that I was looking for.”

Organizers hope visitors to the store learned something as well.

As Alyaa Al-Maadeed explained, “It offers an educational opportunity for the customers to come in and interact with people from different parts of the world and learn their stories and learn what is a refugee and what does it mean to come from another part of the world having nothing to begin with.” 

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Pop-up Shop Offers Refugee Women a Taste of Entrepreneurship    

When refugees arrive in a new country, they bring little to no material possessions. But many bring something more valuable: their talent and skills. 

Twenty refugee women and asylum-seekers from different parts of the world recently came together at a pop-up store in Phoenix, Arizona, to display their homemade products and tell their compelling stories.  

The details and the countries may be different, but their stories are strikingly similar. 

Personal stories

Nada Alrubaye was an art teacher who fled Iraq.

“I had two boys. One, my young boy, was killed in Baghdad,” she said. “I decided to go to Turkey with another son because I wanted to protect him.”

They arrived in Arizona four years ago.  

Rodain Abo Zeed came from Syria.

“I escaped from Syria seven years ago when the war started,” said Rodain Abo Zeed, through an interpreter, “because there was no safety and no opportunities for my kids to continue their education, and because my husband’s restaurant got burned down to ashes.”

She traveled first to Jordan and then came to the U.S.  

Tahmina Besmal was 17 years old when she fled Afghanistan.

“Me, my mom, and two sisters because of safety and there was no opportunities for ladies to go to school, to do a job, to be independent,” she said.

Her family lived in India for six years before coming to Phoenix.

A step toward self-sufficiency

A team of graduate social work students at Arizona State University created the Global Market pop-up store to help these women become self-sufficient. The women welcomed the opportunity to sell their homemade products at a donated retail space in downtown Phoenix.

“The global market project is developed in collaboration with local non-profits,” said Alyaa Al-Maadeed, one of the students. “So the way that we designed this project is just by using a concept from the world of business, which is a pop-up store, and integrated it into the world of social work.” 

Asna Masood is president of one of the nonprofit partners — the American Muslim Women’s Association (AMWA).

“Last year, we started new beginning skills training program for refugee women,” she said. “We teach them how to sew and then help them sell those items to the community.”

Learning a skill

Tahmina Besmal acquired sewing skills in the program and brought aprons, purses and tablet cases she sewed at home to the pop-up store.

Other items for sale at the store included handicraft arts, soap and organic body care products, international sweets, paintings, jewelry and more.

One of the Syrian refugees applied henna tattoos on customers’ hands.

“The pop-up market is good for me because I bring all my stuff here. They were only in my home,” said Nada Alrubaye. “I sold some of my paintings like today, I sold two paintings and some of my jewelry.”

The pop-up store was only open for a month. But Megan McDermott, another graduate student on the team, said organizers have a long-term vision.

“The goal of the project is not only to bring these women short-term income. We want to really provide them with the experience of learning how to run their own business and learning how to be entrepreneurs.” 

From Iraq

The goal resonates with Tara Albarazanchi, an Iraqi asylum-seeker who offered her homemade soaps and body care products.

“This pop-up market gives me that experience of working in a shop, dealing with people, dealing with cash, and knowing how to make the books,” she said.  “I am talking about my products. It gives me the exposure that I was looking for.”

Organizers hope visitors to the store learned something as well.

“It offers an educational opportunity for the customers to come in and interact with people from different parts of the world and learn their stories,” Al-Maadeed, the student organizer, said, “and learn what is a refugee and what does it mean to come from another part of the world having nothing to begin with.” 

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Держдепартамент США схвалив продаж Україні «Джавелінів» – Пентагон

«Система Javelin допоможе Україні побудувати свій довгостроковий потенціал оборони для захисту суверенітету і територіальної цілісності» – заява Пентагону

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Ядерна зброя, про яку говорив Путін, порушує міжнародні зобов’язання Росії – Держдепартамент США

У Державному департаменті США заявили, що використання згаданих 1 березня президентом Росії Володимиром Путіним видів ядерної зброї порушує міжнародні зобов’язання Москви, а саме Договір про ліквідацію ракет середньої і меншої дальності, заявила речниця Держдепартаменту США Гедер Науерт.

«Деякі з них (озброєнь – ред.) не відповідають договору РСМД, що особливо нас турбує. Вони (Росія – ред.) не дотримуються договору РСМД з 2014 року, розробляючи ракети середньої дальності наземного базування і крилаті ракети, прямо порушуючи договір», – заявила Науерт.

Вона також зазначила, що Москва «розробляє дестабілізуючі системи зброї вже понад 10 років, порушуючи свої міжнародні зобов’язання».

Науерт заявила, що у Держдепартаменті спостерігали за виступом Путіна перед Федеральними зборами «з великим інтересом».

«Зрозуміло, що було сумно спостерігати за відеоанімацією, яка зображає ядерний напад на Сполучені Штати. Ми, безумовно, не отримали задоволення від цього. Ми не вважаємо це поведінкою відповідального гравця на міжнародній арені», – сказала Гедер Науерт.

Раніше в сьогодні в Міністерстві оборони США заявили, що американська армія здатна захистити своїх громадян від будь-яких загроз. У Пентагоні зазначили, що системи протиракетної оборони США в Європі спрямований не проти Росії, а для захисту від Північної Кореї, Ірану та інших загроз.

1 березня у своєму посланні Федеральним зборам президент Росії Володимир Путін заявив, що у Росії розроблена малогабаритна надпотужна ядерна енергоустановка для крилатої ракети, яка буде невразливою для систем протиракетної оборони. Ракетам була присвячена майже половина виступу російського президента. Він заявив, що США відмовлялися вести з Москвою переговори про протиракетну оборону.

Договір про РСМД вважається знаковою угодою між Сполученими Штатами та Радянським Союзом, яка створила схему перевірки відповідності ядерних арсеналів сторін. Уперше Сполучені Штати офіційно звинуватили Росію в недотриманні домовленостей ще в 2014 році, хоча експерти розвідки заявили, що нова система в Росії була розроблена ще за кілька років до цього.

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