Monthly: June 2018

Штаб ООС заявив, що готовий «неухильно дотримуватися» нового перемир’я

Українські військові готові «неухильно дотримуватися» нового перемир’я на Донбасі, повідомив штаб української воєнної Операції об’єднаних сил.

«У зв’язку із прийняттям рішення Тристоронньою контактною групою у Мінську про оголошення режиму тиші по всій лінії фронту довжиною 426 кілометрів на два літніх місяці, починаючи з 1 липня, Об’єднані сили заявляють, що підпорядковані підрозділи неухильно дотримуватимуться прийнятого рішення», – заявили військові.

Нове перемир’я оголосили з 1 липня, цього разу з нагоди жнив. Попередній режим припинення вогню, який називали «великоднім», розпочався з 30 березня. Сторони практично щодня звинувачували одна одну в його порушенні.

Збройний конфлікт на Донбасі триває від 2014 року після російської анексії Криму. Україна і Захід звинувачують Росію у збройній підтримці бойовиків. Кремль відкидає ці звинувачення і заявляє, що на Донбасі можуть перебувати лише російські «добровольці». За даними ООН, за час конфлікту загинули понад 10 тисяч людей.

your ad here

Italy, Malta in Fresh Standoff Over Boat Carrying 59 Migrants

A rescue boat saved 59 migrants at sea off Libya on Saturday and Italy immediately said it would not welcome them, setting up a fresh standoff with Malta and adding to tensions among European governments over immigration.

The migrants on board Open Arms, a boat run by the Spanish Proactiva Open Arms charity, include five women and four children, said Riccardo Gatti, head of the organization’s Italian mission.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing League Party, said there would be no exception to his policy of refusing to let humanitarian boats dock in Italy and added that Malta was the nearest port of call.

“They can forget about arriving in an Italian port,” he tweeted.

Maltese Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia, shot back on Twitter that the rescue had taken place closer to the Italian island of Lampedusa than to Malta. He told Salvini to “stop giving false information and involving Malta without any reason.”

Gatti told Italian radio broadcaster Radio Radicale that the migrants on board included Palestinians, Syrians and Guineans and were all in good condition.

He later told Reuters that Open Arms had received no authorization from any country to dock and did not know where it would take the migrants.

German ship docked

On Wednesday, Malta let the German charity ship Lifeline dock in Valletta with 230 migrants on board, after it was stuck at sea for almost a week following Italy’s decision to close its ports to rescue vessels run by nongovernmental organizations.

However, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the gesture was a one-time solution, and the following day Malta announced it would not allow any more charity boats to dock.

European Union leaders on Friday came to a hard-fought agreement on migration that Salvini and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said was positive for Italy.

However, the agreement does not oblige other EU states to share the burden of sea rescues.

More than 650,000 migrants have come ashore in Italy since 2014, mostly after being rescued at sea off the Libyan coast by private and public groups. Italy is sheltering about 170,000, but the number of arrivals has plummeted this year.

Despite the decline in arrivals, there are still daily stories of disasters as migrants make the perilous crossing from Africa to Europe. The Libyan coast guard said around 100 were thought to have drowned off Tripoli on Friday.

That tragedy raised the political temperature in Italy, where the government dismissed opposition accusations that it was responsible because of its crackdown on NGOs and said the best way to save lives was by preventing departures from Libya.

“The fewer people set sail, the fewer die,” Salvini said.

your ad here

Затриманий в Ірані український моряк оголосив голодування

Затриманий в Ірані український моряк Андрій Новічков оголосив голодування, повідомив перший секретар посольства України в Ірані Сурен Бальянц у коментарі «Громадському».

«Так, я підтверджую цю інформацію. Ми цією справою займаємося. Усю інформацію стосовно Новічкова я передав Міністерству закордонних справ», – сказав дипломат.

Він зазначив, що співробітники посольства України зможуть побачити Новічкова лише після надання на це відповідного дозволу.

Одеський моряк Андрій Новічков виїхав з України в листопаді 2016 року. Він підписав контракт на роботу старшим помічником капітана іранського судна Arezoo.

Під час плавання в Південно-Китайському морі в Новічкова стався конфлікт із одним із матросів. За словами українця, спочатку той зайшов до робочого офісу, хоча у цей час мав фарбувати труби на вантажній палубі. Новічков каже, що матрос накинувся на нього після зауваження та спробував вдарити.

Українець стверджує, що коли матрос вийшов з офісу, він пішов зачинити двері і побачив, як матрос вистрибнув за борт.

У лютому 2017 року Новічкова силою вивели на берег та доставили до поліції. Восени 2017-го моряк оголосив голодування, після чого його звільнили з-під варти під особисте зобов’язання консула, заборонивши залишати Іран до кінця розслідування. Українцю загрожує страта.

Судовий розгляд справи досі не розпочався.

your ad here

У США тисячі людей протестують проти імміграційної політики Трампа

Тисячі людей протестують у США проти політики «нульової толерантності» президента Дональда Трампа щодо нелегальної міграції, включно з тими її положеннями, через які дітей розлучають з батьками

Коаліція лівих активістів, включно з групами, які організовували масові жіночі марші протягом останніх двох років, розраховують провести понад 600 демонстрацій у всій країні, у яких візьмуть участь сотні тисяч людей.

До скверу навпроти Білого дому протестувальники принесли написи на кшталт «Де діти?» або «Зупинить жорстокість».

Відповідно до політики «нульової толерантності», яку адміністрація Дональда Трампа почала проводити останнім часом, дорослих мігрантів затримували і, як правило, залишали під вартою до суду, а дітей забирали від батьків. Ця практика викликала різку критику правозахисників, преси та опонентів президента. З критикою дискримінаційної політики, але не свого чоловіка, виступила також перша леді США, дружина Трампа, Меланія Трамп.

20 червня Дональд Трамп підписав указ, згідно з яким дітей забиратимуть у дорослих мігрантів, тільки якщо не буде підтверджений їх родинний зв’язок, або дорослі будуть становити загрозу їхній безпеці. У всіх інших випадках сім’ї повинні бути разом.

your ad here

Evangelicals Downplay Roe v. Wade Fate

For evangelical Christian leaders like Jerry Falwell Jr., this is their political holy grail.

Like many religious conservatives in a position to know, the Liberty University president with close ties to the White House suspects that the Supreme Court vacancy President Donald Trump fills in the coming months will ultimately lead to the reversal of the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade. But instead of celebrating publicly, some evangelical leaders are downplaying their fortune on an issue that has defined their movement for decades.

“What people don’t understand is that if you overturn Roe v. Wade, all that does is give the states the right to decide whether abortion is legal or illegal,” Falwell told The Associated Press in an interview. “My guess is that there’d probably be less than 20 states that would make abortion illegal if given that right.”

Falwell added: “In the ’70s, I don’t know how many states had abortion illegal before Roe v. Wade, but it won’t be near as many this time.”

The sentiment, echoed by evangelical leaders across the country this past week, underscores the delicate politics that surround a moment many religious conservatives have longed for. With the retirement of swing vote Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, Trump and his Republican allies in the Senate plan to install a conservative justice who could re-define the law of the land on some of the nation’s most explosive policy debates — none bigger than abortion.

And while these are the very best of times for the religious right, social conservatives risk a powerful backlash from their opponents if they cheer too loudly. Women’s groups have already raised the alarm for their constituents, particularly suburban women, who are poised to play an outsized role in the fight for the House majority this November.

Two-thirds of Americans do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, according to a poll released Friday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. Among women of reproductive age, three out of four want the high court ruling left alone. The poll was conducted before Kennedy’s retirement was announced.

“The left is going to try very hard to say this is all about overturning Roe,” said Johnnie Moore, a Southern Baptist minister who was a co-chairman of the Trump campaign’s evangelical advisory board. The more significant shift on the high court, he said, would likely be the help given to conservatives in their fight for what they call religious freedom.

Tony Perkins, who leads the socially conservative Family Research Council, said abortion was simply “a factor” in evangelicals’ excitement over a more conservative Supreme Court. He suggested that public opinion was already shifting against abortion rights, although that’s not true of the Roe v. Wade ruling, which has become slightly more popular over time.

Perkins agreed with Moore that the broader push for religious freedom was a bigger conservative focus.

Many evangelicals, for example, have lashed out against Obama-era laws that required churches and other religious institutions to provide their employees with women’s reproductive services, including access to abortion and birth control. Others have rallied behind private business owners who faced legal repercussions after denying services to gay people.

Yet sweeping restrictions to abortion rights are certainly on the table, Moore noted.

“There is a high level of confidence within the community that overturning Roe is actually, finally possible,” Moore said. He added: “Evangelicals have never been more confident in the future of America than they are now. It’s just a fact.”

In Alabama, Tom Parker, a Republican associate justice on the state Supreme Court who is campaigning to become the state’s chief justice, explicitly raised the potential of sending cases to Washington that would lead to the overturning of key rulings, including Roe v. Wade.

“President Trump is just one appointment away from giving us a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court,” Parker said in an interview on the radio program Wallbuilders Live. “And they are going to need cases that they can use to reverse those horrible decisions of the liberal majority in the past that have undermined the Constitution and really just abused our own personal rights.”

Despite Trump’s struggles with Christian values in his personal life at times, skeptical evangelical Christians lined up behind him in the 2016 election, and they remain one of his most loyal constituencies.

The president’s standing with white evangelical Christians hit an all-time high in April when 75 percent of evangelicals held a favorable view of Trump, according to a poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute.

The unlikely marriage between the thrice-married president and Christian conservatives has always been focused on Trump’s ability to re-shape the nation’s judicial branch.

On the day she endorsed candidate Trump in March 2016, the late iconic anti-abortion activist Phyllis Schlafly first asked him privately whether he would appoint more judges like the conservative Antonin Scalia, recalled Schlafly’s successor Ed Martin, who was in the room at the time. Trump promised he would.

The president followed through with the appointment of Neil Gorsuch less than a month after his inauguration, delighting religious conservatives nationwide. And the Trump White House, while disorganized in other areas, made its relationship with the religious right a priority.

The first private White House meeting between evangelical leaders and senior Trump officials came in the days after the Gorsuch nomination, said Moore, who was in attendance. He said the White House has hosted roughly two dozen similar meetings since then in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House.

A senior administration official such as Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump or Kellyanne Conway — if not Trump himself — has always been present, Moore added. Each meeting featured a detailed briefing on the administration’s push to fill judicial openings.

“The courts have been at the very center of the relationship,” Moore said.

And now, as the focus shifts toward the president’s next Supreme Court nomination, evangelical leaders who once held their noses and voted for Trump have little doubt he will pick someone who shares their conservative views on abortion, same-sex marriage and other social issues.

Falwell insisted only that Trump make his next selection from the list of prospective nominees he released before his election. All are believed to oppose the Roe v. Wade ruling.

Any deviation from the list, Falwell said, would be “a betrayal.” He noted, however, that he’s in weekly contact with the White House and has supreme confidence that the president will deliver.

“This is a vindication for the 80 percent of evangelicals who supported Trump. Many of them voted on this issue alone,” Falwell said. “Today’s a day that we as evangelicals, and really all average Americans, can say we told you so.”

your ad here

Merkel Secures Asylum Seeker Return Deals With 14 EU Countries

Fourteen European Union countries have said they are prepared to sign deals with Germany to take back asylum seekers who had previously registered elsewhere, part of an effort to placate Chancellor Angela Merkel’s restive Bavarian allies.

 

In a document sent to leaders of her coalition partners, seen by Reuters, Merkel listed 14 countries, including some of those most outspoken in their opposition to her open-door refugee policy, which had agreed to take back migrants.

Under the EU’s Dublin convention, largely honored in the breach since Merkel’s 2015 decision to open Germany’s borders, asylum seekers must lodge their requests in the first EU country they set foot in.

Merkel needs breathing space in her standoff with Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, whose leader, interior minister Horst Seehofer threatened ahead of this week’s Brussels summit to defy Merkel by closing Germany’s borders to some refugees and migrants, a move that would likely bring down her government.

EU leaders agreed at the summit to share out refugees on a voluntary basis and create “controlled centers” inside the European Union to process asylum requests.

According to the document seen by Reuters, the bilateral agreements will make the deportation process for refugees who have earlier registered elsewhere far more effective.

“At the moment, Dublin repatriations from Germany succeed in only 15 percent of cases,” the document says. “We will sign administrative agreements with various member states… to speed the repatriation process and remove obstacles.”

Among the countries that have said they are open to signing such agreements are Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, countries which have opposed any scheme to share out asylum seekers across the continent.

The other countries named are Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. Austria, where new Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is an immigration hard-liner who governs in coalition with the far right, is absent from the list.

your ad here

Trump Claims Saudi Arabia Will Boost Oil Production

President Donald Trump said Saturday that he had received assurances from King Salman of Saudi Arabia that the kingdom will increase oil production, “maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels” in response to turmoil in Iran and Venezuela. Saudi Arabia acknowledged the call took place, but mentioned no production targets.

Trump wrote on Twitter that he had asked the king in a phone call to boost oil production “to make up the difference…Prices to (sic) high! He has agreed!”

A little over an hour later, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported on the call, but offered few details.

“During the call, the two leaders stressed the need to make efforts to maintain the stability of oil markets and the growth of the global economy,” the statement said.

It added that there also was an understanding that oil-producing countries would need “to compensate for any potential shortage of supplies.” It did not elaborate.

Oil prices have edged higher as the Trump administration has pushed allies to end all purchases of oil from Iran following the U.S. pulling out of the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. Prices also have risen with ongoing unrest in Venezuela and fighting in Libya over control of that country’s oil infrastructure.

Last week, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel led by Saudi Arabia and non-cartel members agreed to pump 1 million barrels more crude oil per day, a move that should help contain the recent rise in global energy prices. However, summer months in the U.S. usually lead to increased demand for oil, pushing up the price of gasoline in a midterm election year. A gallon of regular gasoline sold on average in the U.S. for $2.85, up from $2.23 a gallon last year, according to AAA.

If Trump’s comments are accurate, oil analyst Phil Flynn said it could immediately knock $2 or $3 off a barrel of oil. But he said it’s unlikely that decrease could sustain itself as demand spikes, leading prices to rise by wintertime.

“We’ll need more oil down the road and there’ll be nowhere to get it,” said Flynn, of the Price Futures Group. “This leaves the world in kind of a vulnerable state.”

Trump is trying to exert maximum pressure on Iran while at the same time not upsetting potential U.S. midterm voters with higher gas prices, said Antoine Halff, a Columbia University researcher and former chief oil analyst for the International Energy Agency.

“The Trump support base is probably the part of the U.S. electorate that will be the most sensitive to an increase in U.S. gasoline prices,” Halff said.

Trump’s comments came Saturday as global financial markets were closed. Brent crude stood at $79.42 a barrel, while U.S. benchmark crude was at $74.15.

Saudi Arabia currently produces some 10 million barrels of crude oil a day. Its record is 10.72 million barrels a day. Trump’s tweet offered no timeframe for the additional 2 million barrels — whether that meant per day or per month.

However, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser told journalists in India on Monday that the state oil company has spare capacity of 2 million barrels of oil a day. That was after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the kingdom would honor the OPEC decision to stick to a 1-million-barrel increase.

“Saudi Arabia obviously can deliver as much as the market would need, but we’re going to be respectful of the 1-million-barrel cap — and at the same time be respectful of allocating some of that to countries that deliver it,” al-Falih said then.

The Trump administration has been counting on Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members to supply enough oil to offset the lost Iranian exports and prevent oil prices from rising sharply. But broadcasting its requests on Twitter with a number that stretches credibility opens a new chapter in U.S.-Saudi relations, Halff said.

“Saudis are used to U.S. requests for oil,” Halff said. “They’re not used to this kind of public messaging. I think the difficulty for them is to distinguish what is a real ask from what is public posturing.”

The administration has threatened close allies such as South Korea with sanctions if they don’t cut off Iranian imports by early November. South Korea accounted for 14 percent of Iran’s oil exports last year, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

China is the largest importer of Iranian oil with 24 percent, followed by India with 18 percent. Turkey stood at 9 percent and Italy at 7 percent.

The State Department has said it expects the “vast majority” of countries will comply with the U.S. request.

your ad here

AP Fact Check: Were Tax Cuts an ‘Economic Miracle?’

Editor’s note: A look at the veracity of claims by political figures

President Donald Trump has elevated his tax cuts to an act of biblical proportions, misleadingly claiming at a White House speech Friday that they triggered an “economic miracle.”

Not quite.

Also Friday, the president’s top economics aide, Larry Kudlow, appeared on the Fox Business Network to address one of the major problems with the tax cuts — that they’ll heap more than $1 trillion onto the national debt. Kudlow falsely countered that the budget deficit was falling because of growth generated by the tax cuts. The deficit is actually rising.

A look at the statements and the fact:

TRUMP: “Six months ago, we unleashed an economic miracle by signing the biggest tax cuts and reforms … the biggest tax cuts in American history.”

THE FACTS: The president is exaggerating, if not being outright deceptive.

Rather than achieving a miracle, his tax cuts have helped stoke additional growth in an economic expansion that was already approaching its 10th year. The additional growth is largely fueled by government borrowing, as the federal deficit rises because of the tax cut. The pace of growth is expected to taper off after next year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the Federal Reserve and outside analysts.

And while the $1.5 trillion worth of tax reductions over the next decade are substantial, they’re far from the largest in U.S. history as a share of the overall economy. The Trump tax cut ranks behind Ronald Reagan’s in the early 1980s, post-World War II tax cuts and at least several more, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which advocates for deficit reduction.

Trump proudly went through a list of economic achievements that build on the progress begun under former President Barack Obama. The 3.8 percent unemployment rate and the historically low level of requests for jobless aid are both the result of a steady and gradual recovery from the worst economic meltdown since 1929.

Several hundred companies responded to the tax cuts by paying workers bonuses or hiking hourly wages, but any significant income growth has yet to surface in the overall economy.

The tax cuts have added on average $17 a month to people’s incomes, according to an analysis by Ernie Tedeschi, head of fiscal policy analysis at the investment firm Evercore ISI and a former Treasury Department economist. The analysis is based off consumer spending, income and inflation data released Friday.

That $17 monthly gain is helpful, but it’s far from miraculous.

​KUDLOW: “As the economy gears up, more people working, better jobs and careers, those revenues come rolling in, and the deficit, which is one of the other criticisms, is coming down, and it’s coming down rapidly.”

THE FACTS: Nope.

Since the fiscal year started in October, Treasury Department reports show the federal government has recorded a $385.4 billion deficit, a 12 percent jump from the same period in the previous year.

The Congressional Budget Office was even more blunt in a long-term assessment released Tuesday.

It estimates that the national debt — the sum of yearly deficits — will be $2.2 trillion higher in 2027 than it had previously forecast, largely a consequence of Trump’s 10 year, $1.5 trillion tax cut. The size of the debt could be even higher if provisions of the tax cut that are set to expire are, instead, renewed.

your ad here

‘Insect Vision’ Hunts Down Asteroids

June 30 marks Asteroid Day, a U.N.-sanctioned campaign to promote awareness around the world of what’s up in the sky. In Milan, scientists are assembling a new telescope that uses “insect vision” to spot risky celestial objects. Faith Lapidus explains.

your ad here

Politicians, Supporters Increasingly Vitriolic Beyond Traditional Boundaries

American political divisions are deepening, and so is the debate over acceptable political speech. Americans deeply value the constitutionally protected right to speak their mind, but are there limits? White House correspondent Patsy Widakuswara explores the debate.

your ad here