Daily: 08/10/2021

У Зеленського створюють «димову завісу» – в партії Порошенка відреагували на звинувачення Баканова

Раніше 8 жовтня голова СБУ Іван Баканов заявив, що у спецслужбі перевіряють версію про причетність п’ятого президента Петра Порошенка до нової справи, порушеної проти депутата Верховної Ради Віктора Медведчука

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Окупований Крим: Нарімана Джеляла вивезли на «психіатричну експертизу»

Адвокат Микола Полозов відзначив, що стан здоров’я Джеляла нормальний

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Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Philippine, Russian Press Freedom Defenders

Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov of Novaya Gazeta and Philippine journalist Maria Ressa of Rappler have been named the recipients of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize — a move press freedom advocates hope will shine light on the threats to a global free press. Esha Sarai has more. Tommy Walker contributed.

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ЄС стурбований рішенням Польщі про верховенство національного права

Глава європейського зовнішньополітичного відомства Жозеп Боррель наголосив, що верховенство права ЄС – основний принцип Євросоюзу

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Фінал «Євробачення-2022» відбудеться у Турині

Півфінали конкурсу, який відбудеться в PalaOlimpico, призначені на 10 та 12 травня, фінал – 14 травня

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Americans Agree Misinformation Is a Problem, Poll Shows

Nearly all Americans agree that the rampant spread of misinformation is a problem.

Most also think social media companies, and the people that use them, bear a good deal of blame for the situation. But few are very concerned that they themselves might be responsible, according to a new poll from The Pearson Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Ninety-five percent of Americans identified misinformation as a problem when they’re trying to access important information. About half put a great deal of blame on the U.S. government, and about three-quarters point to social media users and tech companies. Yet only 2 in 10 Americans say they’re very concerned that they have personally spread misinformation.

 

More — about 6 in 10 — are at least somewhat concerned that their friends or family members have been part of the problem.

For Carmen Speller, a 33-year-old graduate student in Lexington, Kentucky, the divisions are evident when she’s discussing the coronavirus pandemic with close family members. Speller trusts COVID-19 vaccines; her family does not. She believes the misinformation her family has seen on TV or read on questionable news sites has swayed them in their decision to stay unvaccinated against COVID-19.

In fact, some of her family members think she’s crazy for trusting the government for information about COVID-19.

“I do feel like they believe I’m misinformed. I’m the one that’s blindly following what the government is saying, that’s something I hear a lot,” Speller said. “It’s come to the point where it does create a lot of tension with my family and some of my friends as well.”

Speller isn’t the only one who may be having those disagreements with her family.

The survey found that 61% of Republicans say the U.S. government has a lot of responsibility for spreading misinformation, compared to just 38% of Democrats.

There’s more bipartisan agreement, however, about the role that social media companies, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, play in the spread of misinformation.

According to the poll, 79% of Republicans and 73% of Democrats said social media companies have a great deal or quite a bit of responsibility for misinformation.

And that type of rare partisan agreement among Americans could spell trouble for tech giants like Facebook, the largest and most profitable of the social media platforms, which is under fire from Republican and Democrat lawmakers alike.

“The AP-NORC poll is bad news for Facebook,” said Konstantin Sonin, a professor of public policy at the University of Chicago who is affiliated with the Pearson Institute. “It makes clear that assaulting Facebook is popular by a large margin — even when Congress is split 50-50, and each side has its own reasons.”

 

During a congressional hearing Tuesday, senators vowed to hit Facebook with new regulations after a whistleblower testified that the company’s own research shows its algorithms amplify misinformation and content that harms children.

“It has profited off spreading misinformation and disinformation and sowing hate,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said during a meeting of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection. Democrats and Republicans ended the hearing with acknowledgement that regulations must be introduced to change the way Facebook amplifies its content and targets users.

The poll also revealed that Americans are willing to blame just about everybody but themselves for spreading misinformation, with 53% of them saying they’re not concerned that they’ve spread misinformation.

“We see this a lot of times where people are very worried about misinformation but they think it’s something that happens to other people — other people get fooled by it, other people spread it,” said Lisa Fazio, a Vanderbilt University psychology professor who studies how false claims spread. “Most people don’t recognize their own role in it.”

Younger adults tend to be more concerned that they’ve shared falsehoods, with 25% of those ages 18 to 29 very or extremely worried that they have spread misinformation, compared to just 14% of adults ages 60 and older. Sixty-three percent of older adults are not concerned, compared with roughly half of other Americans.

Yet it’s older adults who should be more worried about spreading misinformation, given that research shows they’re more likely to share an article from a false news website, Fazio said.

Before she shares things with family or her friends on Facebook, Speller tries her best to make sure the information she’s passing on about important topics like COVID-19 has been peer-reviewed or comes from a credible medical institution. Still, Speller acknowledges there has to have been a time or two that she “liked” or hit “share” on a post that didn’t get all the facts quite right.

“I’m sure it has happened,” Speller said. “I tend to not share things on social media that I didn’t find on verified sites. I’m open to that if someone were to point out, ‘Hey this isn’t right,’ I would think, OK, let me check this.”

The AP-NORC poll of 1,071 adults was conducted Sept. 9-13 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

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Macron Faces Anger of Young Africans at Meeting

French President Emmanuel Macron faced the frustration of young people from across Africa on Friday over a range of issues, including migration and the vestiges of colonialism, at a summit aiming to turn the page with the continent.

Billed as a chance to prove France’s commitment in particular to young Africans, the Africa-France summit gathering some 3,000 business leaders, artists and athletes in the southern city of Montpellier was largely dominated by the region’s crises.

“I can no longer stand to see African youths dying in the sea” trying to reach Europe, a woman told Macron as he visited the dozens of round tables at the vast Sud de France arena overlooking the Mediterranean.

A young Guinean urged him to “support the transition” after the military coup that deposed the West African country’s long-time president Alpha Conde last month.

Sibila Saminatou Ouedraogo, a Burkina Faso participant at the conference, said that African nations — many of them former French colonies — still labored under a “relationship of dependency” towards France that was holding back their development.

More than 1,000 youths were at the gathering which, though dubbed a “summit” by the French hosts, pointedly excluded leaders other than Macron.

‘System of humiliation’

The French president will later debate with 12 young people chosen by the Cameroon intellectual Achille Mbembe, who was tasked with organizing the meeting.

“We hope that Montpellier will mark a fresh start — that people listen to Africa and African youths, which have things to say to the world and France,” said Bakary Sambe, director of the Timbuktu Institute.

But the meeting also comes as many youths in particular have bristled at Macron’s decision to slash visas to Algerians, Moroccans and Tunisians in a dispute on illegal immigration.

Mehdi Alioua, a political science professor in Rabat, denounced “a collective punishment” and a “system of humiliation” — sparking fierce applause.

“We’re stuck between condescending language from the West that want to educate Africans, and language from our governments claiming that the West wants to impose its values,” said Habiba Issa Moussa, a Nigerian studying in France.

Expectations are high that Macron will announce concrete steps such as those proposed by Mbembe, which include a fund for promoting democratic initiatives or increased opportunities for students to study abroad.

In a report given to the president this week, Mbembe said France was failing to recognize “new movements and political and culture experiments” underway in several countries.

After arriving in Montpellier, Macron said 26 artworks and other prized artefacts stolen by French colonial forces from Benin a century ago would be returned this month as promised.

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‘COVID Health Pass’ Required for Italian Workers Starting Next Week

Starting next week, all public and private workers in Italy will be required to have a digital COVID-19 health certificate or face being sent home on unpaid leave and fined up to $1,730.

The measure making the so-called “green pass” compulsory, announced last month, comes into effect October 15, and will remain in force until at least the end of the year, but most likely for longer, officials say. Government ministers and health care officials say the rule is necessary to protect public health and to avoid an infection resurgence.

Requiring health passes for all workers sets Italy apart from European neighbors, most of which only require health care workers to prove they have been fully vaccinated, recently tested negative for the coronavirus or have recovered after contracting the virus.

The Italian move aims not only to reduce the chance of the infection rate surging as the northern hemisphere’s winter approaches, it is also aimed at boosting vaccine uptake.

“The vaccine is the only weapon we have against COVID-19 and we can only contain infections by vaccinating the large majority of the population,” Regional Affairs Minister Mariastella Gelmini said. 

She and other ministers point to the downward curve of the epidemic in Italy, a decline that has coincided with a vaccination program that has now seen the inoculation of 80% of Italian adults. Health authorities Thursday reported 2,938 new coronavirus cases in Italy in the previous 24 hours, and 41 deaths.

“The green pass works, the number of vaccinated people increases, and consequently in recent weeks the data on infections, hospitalizations and of deaths have dropped significantly,” Gelmini told reporters here Thursday. 

“The pandemic is finally under control in many parts of the world thanks to effective vaccination campaigns,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Thursday.

“Vaccines are safe and they save lives,” he added. 

While the Parliament voted overwhelmingly last month when asked to approve the measure making a health pass mandatory for all workers, some ethicists and political philosophers have raised concerns, saying the rule effectively strips some citizens of their constitutional rights when they have not broken any laws. They also say it violates European Union regulations barring discrimination against the unvaccinated.

Massimo Cacciari, one of Italy’s most respected philosophers, says the rule is dangerously discriminatory as it “automatically transforms an entire category of people into second-class citizens.”

“We are in a situation of very dangerous drift, into a perennial state of emergency,” Cacciari said during a recent television debate hosted by the news agency Adnkronos.

“If you have no sensitivity to constitutional issues, fine,” he added, “But how can you not understand that the COVID emergency is accelerating this drift, with a centralization of the decision-making process.”

The only other country in the world to have made a COVID-19 passport compulsory for all workers is Saudi Arabia. Several other European countries have also made COVID-19 health passes mandatory to enter public venues such as restaurants, bars, museums, cinemas, and theaters. Greece tests unvaccinated workers now in both public and private sectors. 

According to opinion polls the Italian public largely backs the measure, but thousands of vaccine opponents and COVID-19 skeptics have regularly gathered on Saturdays in towns and cities across Italy to protest pandemic restrictions and green pass mandates since they were first mandated in July for access to entertainment venues, indoor dining at restaurants and long-distance rail travel.  

Labeling the Draghi government “health dictatorship,” protesters rail against what they see as an infringement of civil liberties, and often trade in conspiracy theories on social media platforms, alleging among other things that the vaccines are unproven and that they are behind a spate of deaths. 

How the mandate will fare in requiring workers to possess a green pass is unclear, though. Outside the big cities it is rare for restaurants to request evidence of a green pass from customers, it seems from visits to eight restaurants on Rome’s outskirts. Only one asked to see customers’ digital health certificates. 

The government is introducing heavier sanctions starting next week for venues and businesses that fail to observe the health mandates. Managers and owners who breach the rules more than once can face a 10-day closure order. Employers are also being instructed to verify their workers’ digital certificates before the start of shifts.

Business leaders have complained about the onerous nature of checks. Under database privacy laws, businesses are not allowed to keep employees’ health data and are meant to reverify their health certificates every day.

Business associations Confindustria, which represents manufacturing and service companies, and Confcommercio, which represents trade, tourist, service, and transportation companies, are negotiating with Draghi’s ministers to see if employers can gain access to the government’s database storing vaccination records, all of which are linked to the tax numbers of those who have been vaccinated.

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Мецгер відреагував на розслідування «Схем» про «Укрексімбанк»

Відсторонений голова правління «Укрексімбанку» заявив, що банк «не зробив жодного порушення», а виявлені журналістами документи треба передати правоохоронцям

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Нобелівську премію миру присудили головному редактору «Новой газеты» та філіппіно-американській журналістці

Премію присудили головному редактору російського видання «Новая газета» Дмитру Муратову та філіппіно-американській журналістці Мерії Рессі «за їхні зусилля щодо захисту свободи вираження поглядів»

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У Чехії відбуваються парламентські вибори, які вважають тестом для прем’єра Бабіша

Вибори, що почалися 8 жовтня, триватимуть два дні

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US, EU Urge Russia to Find, Prosecute Mastermind in Journalist’s 2006 Killing

The United States and the European Union have honored the memory of a Russian investigative journalist slain 15 years ago by demanding that Moscow bring to justice those who ordered her killing and praising the independent journalists continuing her legacy under Kremlin pressure.

In one of two statements issued Thursday, the 15th anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s killing, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized what he called “continued impunity for those who ordered [her] murder,” saying it undermined Russia’s freedom of speech, press freedom and broader human rights.

“We urge that all of those involved in her murder be identified and held accountable for their crimes,” he said.

EU foreign affairs spokesperson Peter Stano said the 27-nation bloc “call[s] on the Russian government to ensure that all those responsible for Anna Politkovskaya’s assassination are brought to justice through an open and transparent judicial process.” He also noted a 2018 judgment by the European Court of Human Rights that said Moscow had not done enough to find those who ordered her killing, even after convicting several people who carried it out.

Politkovskaya was shot to death in an elevator of her Moscow apartment building on Oct. 7, 2006. The 48-year-old investigative reporter for Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta had been an outspoken critic of Russia’s longtime president, Vladimir Putin.

She gained prominence for her coverage of human rights violations committed during Russia’s war with separatists in its constituent republic of Chechnya in the 2000s.

Her killing coincided with an intensification of a Kremlin crackdown on freedoms of speech and the press in Russia, recalled Jeffrey Trimble, an Ohio State University political science lecturer who had been a senior manager at VOA sister network Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty at the time.

“It was the year, for instance, that the Voice of America and RFE/RL lost almost all of their local rebroadcasting partners in Russia,” Trimble told VOA in a Wednesday interview.

Both Blinken and Stano noted in their statements that Russia’s press freedoms have recently weakened further, with the government designating many independent journalists as “foreign agents” or “undesirable.” They said the U.S. and the EU will stand in solidarity with those journalists in the face of such pressure.

Speaking to Russian reporters Thursday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said finding the mastermind of contract killings was a difficult and lengthy process. He said the “inevitability of punishment” for such crimes was of major importance to Moscow.

 

In 2014, a Moscow court convicted four Chechens, one of whom was the gunman, of involvement in the Politkovskaya killing. A former Moscow police officer also was convicted of being an accomplice.

Novaya Gazeta published an article Wednesday, noting that under Russia’s statute of limitations, the killing’s mastermind would not face punishment more than 15 years after the crime was committed unless a court extended the period. It vowed to push the government to revive its investigation and identify the mastermind.

The newspaper also posted on its website a nearly two-hour documentary with findings from its own investigation into the killing.

“Even with the crackdown on independent journalism in Russia, creative and brave journalists are finding a way to cooperate and work with their international colleagues,” Trimble said. “I hope that Russian journalists who continue to investigate this [killing], together with international journalists who have other resources, can produce information that will force the Russian authorities to take more definitive action to solve this crime,” he added.

This article originated in VOA’s Russian Service. Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters. 

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Верховний суд просить КСУ оцінити конституційність судової реформи Зеленського

У зверненні судді Верховного суду, зокрема, ставлять під сумнів конституційніть положеннь, які стосуються створення Етичної ради

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У Росії кажуть, що відповіли на запит 45 країн про отруєння Навального

Що саме відповіла Москва, представник країни в ОЗХЗ не уточнив

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Рада 8 жовтня планує обрати нового спікера

Верховна Рада 7 жовтня ухвалила рішення про відставку Дмитра Разумкова з посади голови парламенту

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Microsoft: Russia Cyberattacks Targeting More Governments, Agencies

Russia appears to be getting more aggressive and more successful as the nation’s hackers launch a growing number of cyberattacks against the United States and other nations, according to a new report by Microsoft. 

Microsoft’s 2021 Digital Defense Report warns that what it labels as “Russian nation-state actors” are responsible for 58% of all nation-state cyberattacks, and that they are now successful almost one out of every three times. 

“Russia-based activity groups have solidified their position as acute threats to the global digital ecosystem,” the report said, cautioning that Russian cyber actors have been adaptable, getting better at using open-source tools “that make them increasingly difficult to detect.” 

Microsoft also said Russia’s most frequent target was the United States, followed by Ukraine and Britain, and that the focus seems to be shifting toward intelligence gathering, with more than half of Russian attacks now targeting agencies involved with foreign policy, national security or defense, up from just 3% a year earlier. 

According to Microsoft, after Russia, the greatest number of cyberattacks came from North Korea, Iran and China.

North Korea’s top target was cryptocurrency companies, while Iran quadrupled its attacks on Israel as tensions between the two countries grew steadily. 

China also was active, focusing much of its cyber efforts on intelligence gathering. 

Microsoft said a large part of Beijing’s efforts, through a threat actor called Chromium, focused on gathering social, economic and political intelligence from India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan and Thailand. 

Another prominent Chinese threat actor, known as Nickel, focused its efforts on foreign ministries in Central and South America. 

The report also said that South Korea, Turkey and Vietnam were increasingly active in cyberspace, though the volume of attacks carried out from those countries paled in comparison with Russia, North Korea, Iran and China. 

Top U.S. officials have shared their concerns about the growing danger from cyberattacks, especially from nation-state adversaries, in recent weeks. And many have voiced support for legislation that would require private companies to notify the U.S. government if their systems were breached. 

“I think we’re at a point, seeing the arc of cybercrimes and the cyberthreats, that really there’s an urgency to it,” U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told a virtual cybersecurity conference earlier this week. “We’re optimistic the legislation will pass.” 

Speaking at the same summit Thursday, U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly said that while many of the threats are not new, they remain worrisome, given “how vulnerable some of our critical infrastructure sectors are.” 

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Hold-outs Ireland, Estonia Agree to Global Tax Reform Deal

The Irish and Estonian governments on Thursday agreed to sign on to a 15% global minimum tax rate on multinational firms, leaving only Hungary as the last hold-out against the far-reaching deal. 

The reform aims to stop international corporations from slashing the tax bills by registering in nations with low rates. 

“The government has now approved my recommendation that Ireland joins the international consensus,” Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said. 

“I’m absolutely satisfied that our interests are better served within the agreement,” he added. 

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that joining the reform would ensure “we have the best chance of ensuring that Estonia’s business environment and tax policy continue to work in the interests of a better future for all of us.” 

Finance ministers from wealthy G-7 nations in June endorsed a global minimum corporate tax rate of at least 15%, reached in the framework of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

It was approved by the G-20 in July and has been signed by more than 130 countries, except Hungary. 

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said earlier this week that there was a chance that his country could agree to it as long as the reform “does not damage the Hungarian economy or put Hungarian jobs in danger.” 

Donohoe said Ireland has insisted on a change of wording, excluding “at least” before the 15% figure, describing this as an important issue that needed to be resolved, due to the “desire of some to seek a higher rate.” 

The minister said the reform was expected to take effect in 2023. 

Ireland currently has a 12.5% tax rate. 

Its tax policy has attracted giants such as Apple and Google, while Estonia had been concerned that joining the reform could threaten its vibrant tech start-up sector. 

The reform will affect 56 Irish multinationals that employ about 100,000 workers, as well as 1,500 foreign-owned multinationals employing 400,000 people. 

It only applies to companies with annual turnover of more than 750 million euros ($870 million) a year. Smaller businesses will still pay corporate tax at 12.5%. 

Kallas said that in the case of Estonia the reform “will not change anything for most Estonian business operators, and it will only concern subsidiaries of large multinational groups.” 

While Ireland stands to lose 800 million to 2 billion euros in corporate tax receipts if companies leave the country, the minister argued that if it did not sign up to the deal, Ireland would “lose influence in respect to the critical decisions that will come in the coming months.” 

He added that there was debate in the U.S. Congress on changes that would align their tax system with the OECD agreement, calling this a key factor due to “significant investment by U.S. multinationals here.” 

Following Ireland and Estonia’s decision, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said, “We are on the way to a generational achievement of creating a global minimum tax, which would create a more level playing field so jobs and investment can flourish in the United States.” 

Ireland’s low levy has attracted an outsized number of pharma and tech firms but also prompted accusations the nation acts as a tax haven. 

 

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Russian Movie Crew Makes History in Space

A Russian film crew blasts into space on a moviemaking history mission, an American actor known for playing a space explorer gets the chance to see the real deal, and more. VOA’s Jesusemen Oni has more on the Week in Space.

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Європарламент закликав ЄС ухвалити п’ятий пакет санкцій проти влади Білорусі

Нові обмежувальні заходи пропонується зосередити на фізичних і юридичних особах, причетних до репресій в Білорусі і незаконному переміщенню людей через кордони

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Суд у Варшаві визнав пріоритет польського права над законодавством ЄС

Незгодні з рішенням Конституційного суду влаштували перед будівлею суду акцію протесту

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