Daily: 16/09/2021

Deadly Floods, Dirty Coal: Germany’s Climate Dilemma as Election Looms

As Germany prepares to elect a new leader, climate change is high on the agenda. Floods blamed on global warming killed hundreds in July. But as Henry Ridgwell reports from Germany, the country is also Europe’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide and is struggling to wean itself off fossil fuels

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Зеленський створив робочу групу щодо загроз від будівництва газогонів в обхід України

Група має «підготувати пропозиції щодо заходів із запобігання та мінімізації негативних наслідків для держави від спорудження газогонів»

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У Росії заарештували на 10 діб активістів, які розгорнули біля Кремля банер «Свободу Навальному!»

Адвокат Сергій Тельнов вказав, що суд відмовив захисту у всіх клопотаннях

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В ОГП перевіряють версію вбивства Чорновола, даних про кастет немає – ЗМІ

В’ячеслав Чорновіл загинув 25 березня 1999 року

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Ще одного експрем’єра Киргизстану затримали у справі про золотий рудник Кумтор

Кумтор протягом багатьох років був об’єктом фінансових та екологічних суперечок

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У Зеленського з участю послів ЄС та «Групи семи» говорили про підтримку судової реформи

Президент України Володимир Зеленський заявив 13 вересня, що не допустить «блокування найголовнішої реформи країни, яку обіцяв українцям і яку ініціював»

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‘No Journalist Should Die’ – EU Calls for Better Media Safety

The European Union’s executive arm asked its member countries Thursday to better protect journalists amid a rise of physical attacks and online threats against media professionals.

According to the European Commission, 908 journalists and media workers were attacked across the 27-nation bloc in 2020. A total of 23 journalists have been killed in the EU since 1992, with the majority of the killings taking place during the past six years.

“No journalist should die or be harmed because of their job. We need to support and protect journalists; they are essential for democracy,” said Vera Jourova, the commission vice president for values and transparency.  

“The pandemic has shown more than ever the key role of journalists to inform us. And the urgent need for public authorities to do more to protect them.”

Murders of reporters remain rare in Europe, but the killings of journalists in Slovakia and Malta in recent years have raised concerns about reporters’ safety in developed, democratic societies.  

Earlier this year, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen expressed support to investigative journalism after the killing of Peter R. de Vries, a renowned Dutch journalist who reported on the violent underworld of the Netherlands.

The commission’s non-binding proposals include recommendations for EU countries to ensure fair and effective investigations and prosecutions, and to provide protection to those under threat, with a strong focus on female journalists.  

According to the EU, 73% of female journalists have experienced online violence and the commission said EU countries should “support initiatives aimed at empowering women journalists and professionals belonging to minority groups and those reporting on equality issues.”

The bloc’s executive arm also proposed the creation of support services, including helplines, legal advice, and psychological support. It insisted on the need to ensure reporters’ safety during demonstrations, where most of the attacks take place.  

“Member states should provide regular training for law enforcement authorities to ensure that journalists and other media professionals are able to work safely and without restrictions during such events,” the commission said.

Noting that digital and online safety has become a “major concern” because of online attacks but also the risks of illegal surveillance, the executive branch also encouraged EU countries to improve cooperation between media and cybersecurity bodies.

“Relevant national cybersecurity bodies should, upon request, assist journalists who seek to determine whether their devices or online accounts have been compromised, in obtaining the services of cybersecurity forensic investigators,” the commission said.

The proposals were unveiled just months after the commission’s annual report on adherence to the rule of law concluded that democratic standards were eroding in several member countries.

That report notably singled out Slovenia, which currently holds the six-month rotating presidency of the European Council, for attacks against the Balkan nation’s media.  

“This is not only Slovenia. We see the very aggressive rhetoric in some other member states,” Jourova said, adding that the EU will keep putting pressure on member countries where continuous issues are spotted.

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China Envoy Banned from Visiting Britain’s House of Commons

The Speaker of the British House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, has banned China’s ambassador to Britain, Zheng Zeguang, from entering Parliament until Beijing lifts sanctions it imposed six months ago on five Conservative lawmakers and two peers.  

 

The ban — the first ever imposed on a foreign envoy by a House of Commons Speaker — is the latest sign that British authorities are growing increasingly frustrated with what they see as Beijing’s aggressive diplomacy. Hoyle consulted with Downing Street and Britain’s Foreign Office before announcing the ban, according to local media reports. 

His bar on Zeguang came just hours before British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed former trade minister Liz Truss as Britain’s new foreign secretary, part of a wider Cabinet reshuffle. Truss is seen as a China hawk and has lobbied for much tougher measures to be pursued against China’s Communist government for rights violations.

 

In a statement midweek Hoyle said: “I do not feel it’s appropriate for the ambassador for China to meet on the Commons estate and in our place of work when his country has imposed sanctions against some of our members.”

Last week Hoyle met with British lawmakers targeted by the Chinese sanctions. They urged him to impose a ban on the envoy. The Chinese embassy in London described the prohibition on Zeguang as “despicable and cowardly.”

Zeguang, who was appointed as envoy in June, was scheduled to speak to a British parliamentary group on China, but the invitation was withdrawn.

Souring relations

 

Relations between China and Britain have become fraught over Beijing’s crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and repression of its Muslim minority in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang, where China’s Communist government has interned more than a million Uyghurs in detention centers, according to rights groups.

 

The Chinese sanctions imposed in March on British lawmakers, one of whom is a former leader of the ruling of Britain’s ruling Conservatives, were in retaliation for Britain sanctioning Chinese officials and a state-run entity for alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang. 

The Chinese sanctions imposed in March on British lawmakers, one of whom is a former leader of Britain’s ruling Conservatives, were in retaliation for Britain sanctioning Chinese officials and a state-run entity for alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang.   

China has denied repeated claims that Uyghur Muslims are being held in detention centers. Beijing targeted 10 British organizations and individuals in its March sanctions. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the British officials were being punished for spreading “lies and disinformation” about Xinjiang.

 

China’s Global Times newspaper, an English-language outlet of the Chinese Communist Party’s flagship People’s Daily newspaper, reacted with fury to the parliamentary ban on the Chinese envoy, saying in an angry editorial: “It is extremely rare, if not ‘a global innovation,’ for the UK to ban a foreign envoy from Parliament, a public venue for political discussions in the country. It shows brutality, impulsiveness, and the breaking of the rules.”

The editorial added: “London acts as if only it can sanction others, but not the other way around. Given that it simply does not have the strength to deal with China this way, the UK now behaves like a hooligan after having become a loser.” It suggested Beijing bar the British ambassador from entering the Great Hall of the People.  

 

The group of British lawmakers sanctioned by China, which includes former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith and MPs Tim Loughton and Nusrat Ghani, welcomed Hoyle’s decision, praising the Speaker for “standing up for freedom of speech in the mother of Parliaments by supporting those parliamentarians who have been sanctioned by China.”

Liz Truss

 

The appointment of Liz Truss as foreign secretary is unlikely to please Beijing. She has been targeted for criticism by China’s Foreign Ministry and Communist Party-run media in the past for lobbying for tough measures against Beijing as international trade secretary. The 46-year-old is only the second woman to hold the post of foreign secretary and is seen as a vigorous champion of free trade and markets and a strong supporter of the transatlantic alliance with Washington.  

She faults China for not pursuing fair trade and for engaging in “economic coercion” and warned in a speech last week against Britain becoming “strategically dependent” on China, criticizing Beijing for “unfair” trading practices.

 

Last December Truss fought a behind-the-scenes battle with Britain’s Foreign Office, her new ministry, over whether Parliament should legislate to allow British courts a role in determining whether the repression of Xinjiang amounts to genocide. The Foreign Office opposed giving British courts preliminary power to determine whether genocide is occurring in Xinjiang, or elsewhere, arguing the decision should rest with international courts.  

 

Nigel Adams, a Foreign Office minister, told a parliamentary panel that there was “credible, troubling and growing evidence” of forced labour taking place on a significant scale in Xinjiang but he feared an “asset flight,” if ministers rushed into enacting measures, warning China could start withdrawing investments from Britain.

 

Truss backed the legislative proposal.  

 

Commenting on Truss’s appointment, British newspaper The Times said she “is far more hawkish on China than the prime minister, aligning herself with the American shift towards confrontation with Beijing.”  Other British commentators said her pick to replace Dominic Rabb will help repair bridges with Washington following the U.S.-led NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, which was criticized by senior British Conservative lawmakers.

 

“New UK Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, is a proper China hawk,” tweeted Sophia Gaston, director of the British Foreign Policy Group, a London-based think tank. Gaston said Truss would be able at the Foreign Office to hold “China to account on values” while “playing a larger role in coordinating diplomatic efforts with our [foreign] partners.”

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У Росії повідомляють про напад невідомого на відділ поліції

Нападник поїхав на машині. Його розшукують, повідомили в МВС Росії

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США, Британія й Австралія оголосили про безпековий альянс в Індо-Тихоокеанському регіоні

Цей крок розкритикував Китай

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50 тисяч фейкових акаунтів: СБУ заблокувала чергову ботоферму з матеріалами на замовлення РФ

Тривають слідчі дії

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Кулеба: ООН із політичних мотивів проігнорувала саміт «Кримської платформи»

За словами голови МЗС, «свідоме ігнорування» ООН установчого саміту «Кримської платформи» демонструє як стан справ у самій організації, так і розуміння нею своєї ролі у світі

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Навальний увійшов до списку найвпливовіших людей за версією Time

Есе про Навального опубліковане в категорії Icons («Знакові постаті»)

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У Британії змінився міністр закордонних справ

Елізабет Трас стане першою жінкою – представницею Консервативної партії, яка очолює Міністерство закордонних справ Британії

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У Білому домі наразі не підтвердили можливість надання Україні «Залізного купола»

«Щодо деталей, то мені треба уточнити в команди», – сказала речниця Білого дому

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British Afghan Women on Hunger Strike to Protest Taliban’s Treatment of Women in Afghanistan

Three British Afghan women are on a hunger strike near the British Parliament to protest the treatment of women in Afghanistan by the Taliban. Yalda Baktash reports.

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US, UK to Help Australian Submarines Go Nuclear

The United States and Britain will help Australia develop a nuclear-powered submarine fleet, U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday, as leaders of the three countries announced a new trilateral security partnership focused on the Indo-Pacific region.”We need to be able to address both the current strategic environment in the region and how it may evolve,” Biden said, “because the future of each of our nations, and indeed the world, depends on a free and open Indo-Pacific enduring and flourishing in the decades ahead.”The trio will be known by the acronym AUKUS.Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressed that these nuclear-powered submarines would not carry nuclear weapons.Not seeking nuclear weapons”Let me be clear, Australia is not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons or establish a civil nuclear capability,” Morrison said, speaking virtually to the White House, along with his American and British counterparts. “And we will continue to meet all our nuclear nonproliferation obligations.”A senior Biden administration official who briefed reporters prior to the announcement set a timeline of 18 months for the three countries to work together to identify the optimal pathway for delivering the submarines.Johnson said his country would play an important role in sharing knowledge with Australia, a former British colony that remains in the Commonwealth, an organization led by Queen Elizabeth II.This agreement, he said, “will draw on the expertise that the U.K, has acquired over generations dating back to the launch of the Royal Navy’s first nuclear submarine over 60 years ago.”The new partnership will allow the three countries to share information and expertise more easily in key technological areas such as artificial intelligence, cybertechnology, quantum technologies, underwater systems and long-range strike capabilities.”This initiative is about making sure that each of us has a modern capability, the most modern capabilities we need to maneuver and defend against rapidly evolving threats,” Biden said.FILE – This photo taken Jan. 2, 2017, shows a Chinese navy formation during military drills in the South China Sea.Pushing back on ChinaAlthough none of the three leaders mentioned China in their remarks on Wednesday, analysts see this as another move by Western allies to push back on Beijing’s rise in the military and technology arenas.”It’s already clear from the context that building for a high-intensity warfare environment — and that’s what a submarine does — there is really only one clear potential adversary in that equation,” said Euan Graham, senior fellow for Asia-Pacific security at the Singapore office of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.The deal, signed by countries that already share close ties, is a clear sign of Washington’s intention to remain a dominant and stabilizing power in the region.”The U.S. effectively is willing to share almost everything it has,” said Julian Ku, a Hofstra University professor who focuses on international disputes and law. “It takes what’s already a very deep alliance to another level.”The new fleet, which a Biden administration official described as having the characteristics of “stealth, speed, maneuverability, survivability,” will have a broader range and can stay below the surface for long periods.”Tactically, this will give Canberra an operational means to sustain undersea combat power for much longer durations throughout the western Pacific when compared to Australia’s current diesel submarine,” said Eric Sayers, a nonresident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who focuses on Asia-Pacific security policy.China’s navy has a fleet of 60 submarines, which includes six nuclear-powered attack submarines.Talks with French companyUntil this announcement, Australia had been in talks with French company Naval Group to build as many as 12 French-designed nuclear submarines. That program was estimated to cost up to $70 billion.Biden noted that this would be a multilateral effort, and that the trio welcomed help from longtime allies. “The United States looks forward to working closely with France and other key countries as we go forward,” he said.

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«Нічого особистого»: головний відповідач у справі про теракти в Парижі 2015 року виступив у суді

Салах Абдеслам визнав свою роль у нападі

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ЄС «визнає прогрес» України у впровадженні реформ – чернетка заяви за підсумками жовтневого саміту

Документ, зокрема, містить тези на підтримку співпраці України з блоком в галузях безпеки, економіки та кібербезпеки

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UN Rights Chief Calls for Moratorium on Artificial Intelligence Systems

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, is calling for a moratorium on the sale and use of artificial intelligence systems, which she says pose a serious risk to human rights. The High Commissioner’s report, which will be submitted to the U.N. human rights council, provides an analysis of how advances in digital technologies are affecting people’s human rights.   The report argues that artificial intelligence, or AI, can be a force for good, but also can be overly intrusive and have negative, even catastrophic, effects on people’s right to privacy and other human rights. Peggy Hicks, director of thematic engagement at the U.N. Human Rights Office, says AI systems can be faulty and have embedded biases. These, she says, can lead to discrimination that might jeopardize job prospects or welfare and social security benefits.   She says there are numerous cases of people being treated unjustly because of the faulty use of AI in law enforcement, national security, and criminal justice and border management areas. “We see AI being used for profiling and suspect identification,” she said. “Biometric technology, such as facial recognition and emotional recognition, are being used, including remotely in real time to identify people — with documented cases of erroneous identification and disproportionate impact on certain groups, often minorities.”   The report notes biometric technologies increasingly are being used by governments, international organizations, and technology companies to identify people in real time and from a distance. This potentially allows unlimited tracking of individuals. Hicks says the High Commissioner specifically recommends a moratorium on the use of remote biometric recognition technology in public spaces given the serious threats to public freedoms associated with such surveillance. “Without immediate and far-reaching shifts and how we address AI deployment and development, the existing harms will multiply at scale and with speed,” she said. “And the worst part of it is, we will not even know the extent of the problem because there is so little transparency around artificial intelligence and its use.”   U.N. rights chief Bachelet says there needs to be much greater transparency by companies and states in how they are developing and using AI. She says the power of AI to serve people is undeniable, but so is its ability to invade their privacy and violate human rights on an enormous scale and with virtually no visibility. 
 

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