Daily: 27/08/2022

Американська комп’ютерна компанія Dell припиняє роботу в Росії

Dell є ключовим постачальником серверів у Росії

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Чехія та Польща домовилися захищати повітряний простір Словаччини до поставок американських F-16

Братислава припиняє використання своїх старих винищувачів МіГ-29 радянського виробництва наприкінці цього місяця

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Greek PM Admits to Tapping Political Rival’s Phone, Refuses to Say Why

Greece’s main opposition leader has called on the country’s prime minister to resign after he admitted that the nation’s spy chief bugged the phone of a senior political leader. The scandal is being dubbed Greece’s Watergate.  

Speaking before Greece’s Parliament, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis took the stage, defending what he called “a mistake.”

The minute he found out, he said, he looked the Greek people in the eye and told them he knew nothing of what was going on. 

It was wrong, he said, adding, however, that it was legal on national security grounds.

Greek law allows eavesdropping on criminal suspects, terrorists, and pedophiles,

but the Greek constitution bars phone-tapping of political leaders except on national security grounds.

Mitsotakis was hammered with complaints, charges, and demands during the heated debate Friday for failing to explain why the phone of Nikos Androulakis, the head of Greece’s Socialist party, had been tapped.

Instead, Mitsotakis added to conspiracy theories whirling since the scandal broke earlier this month that suggest Androulakis’ phone was hacked at the behest of foreign spy agencies.

Forces outside the country can only benefit from seeing this slip-up cause instability and a political crisis, he said.

Mitsotakis refused to elaborate, but Alexis Tsipras, Greece’s main opposition leader and a former prime minister, insisted the nation had to know why Androulakis’ phone tapping was allowed on grounds of national security.

“Is he a foreign agent, a spy? Your refusal, to tell the truth, is in itself an answer,” Tsipras said.

Local media loyal to the government have suggested Androulakis’s phone was hacked at the request of spy agencies from China, Armenia and Ukraine – allegations that the three countries have categorically denied.

Still, the scandal adds to fears of widespread surveillance across Europe at a moment when democracies feel threatened by Russian aggression. The European Union has begun to regularly check phones and other devices for listening applications and espionage.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has also been a target recently, along with President Emmanuel Macron of France, the former prime minister of Belgium and top EU officials.

During the heated parliamentary debate, Tsipras urged the government to resign, accusing it of defying democratic practices and acting in a way that was a disgrace to the Greek people.

Parliamentary probes are set to begin in the coming weeks.

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Serbia’s Leader Says EuroPride Won’t Happen Due to Threats

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic announced the decision to cancel the September 12-18 EuroPride celebration during a news conference where he also proposed extending the term of Serbia’s prime minister, who identifies as a lesbian.

Members of the European Pride Organizers Association chose Serbia’s capital three years ago to host the annual event. Vucic said a crisis with neighboring Kosovo and various economic problems were among the reasons why the Balkan nation’s authorities did not think they could handle EuroPride, which features a Pride parade.

“This is a violation of minority rights, but at this moment the state is pressured by numerous problems,” he said.

EuroPride organizers said Serbian authorities must provide security against “bullies” who threaten the march and seek to discredit it. European Pride Organizers President Kristine Garina urged Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic to honor a promise to support the event.

“President Vucic cannot cancel someone else’s event,” Garina said. “The right to hold Pride has been ruled by the European Court of Human Rights to be a fundamental human right.”

An organizer in Serbia, Goran Miletic, said police must formally ban the march to prevent it from happening. If they issue a ban, organizers would file a complaint at Serbia’s Constitutional Court. He insisted that indoor events planned as part of the week-long celebration can’t be banned.

“The only thing that can happen is for the police to ban the [pride] march,” Miletic said. “However, such a hypothetical decision would be contrary to the constitution.”

Serbia pledged to protect LGBTQ rights as it seeks EU membership, but increasingly vocal right-wing supporters harass and sometimes attack people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Serbia’s right-wing and pro-Russian groups have gained strength in the past several years and some secured parliament seats during the country’s April general election. Several thousand people recently joined a march in Belgrade against LGBTQ Pride.

“It’s not the question of whether they [extremists] are stronger, but you just can’t do it all at the same moment, and that’s it,” Vucic said. “I am not happy about it, but we can’t manage.”

Vucic won another five-year term in the first round of April’s vote, and his Serbian Progressive Party won the general election in a landslide. The president said Saturday that Brnabic, who has led the previous two governments in Serbia, should lead the new Cabinet that is expected to be formed in the coming weeks.

Brnabic first became Serbia’s prime minister in 2017, in what was seen as major change for the country that is predominantly conservative and male-dominated. Brnabic lives with her female partner, but LGBTQ groups have criticized the prime minister, saying she has done little to improve the position of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals in Serbian society.

After Belgrade’s 2010 pride march produced clashes, subsequent marches took place with strong police protection.

EuroPride was first celebrated in London in 1992, and Belgrade was set to be the first city in southeast Europe to host the event, according to organizers. Next month’s event was expected to attract thousands of people from throughout Europe.

Vucic said the celebration could be postponed for “happier times.” He insisted that state authorities must plan instead for energy problems anticipated for the winter, partly as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The Serbian government has condemned the Russian invasion but has refused to join Western sanctions against Russia.

Vucic said tensions with Kosovo, a former Serbian province whose independence the government in Belgrade has refused to recognize, were another source of pressure on authorities.

The tensions soared last month from a dispute over travel documents and license plates, and have raised concerns about instability in the Balkans, where multiple wars were fought amid the breakup of Yugoslavia. Serbia relies on support from Russia and China to continue claiming that Kosovo is part of its territory.

Washington and most EU countries have recognized Kosovo independence. U.S. and EU envoys visited Kosovo and Serbia earlier this week in an effort to ease the tensions.


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Президент Сербії оголосив про скасування Європрайду у Белграді

Організатори прайду обіцяють, що всі заходи проведуть, як і планували

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Угорщина дала згоду на будівництво ядерних реакторів «Росатомом»

«Це великий крок, важлива віха», – заявив міністр закордонних справ Петер Сійярто.

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ЗСУ відбили російські війська на кількох напрямках – Генштаб

Триває сто вісімдесят пʼята доба війни РФ проти України

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Buses Move 400 Asylum-Seekers From Squalid Dutch Camp

Authorities transferred some 400 asylum-seekers away from a makeshift camp outside an overcrowded migrant reception center in the northeastern Netherlands after a damning report called the site where hundreds of people were sleeping rough a health hazard.

Leon Veldt, a spokesperson for the government’s asylum-seeker accommodation organization, said Saturday that the migrants were moved overnight to alternative accommodations in other locations.

The move came after a team from the Inspectorate for Health Care and Youth visited the squalid, temporary camp in the village of Ter Apel and said there was “a serious risk of outbreaks of infectious diseases as a result of the total lack of hygiene.”

A day earlier, 150 people were transferred to two sports halls in a central city in a bid to alleviate the crisis that has seen some 700 people sleeping outside the packed center this week. Refugee advocates likened the situation to overcrowded camps in Greece and Italy, which are common first destinations of Europe-bound asylum-seekers.

A 3-month-old baby died this week in a sports hall at the Ter Apel center, and authorities are investigating the cause of death. Two men were taken to the hospital, one for a heart attack and another for diabetes that had gone untreated for weeks.

The conditions were so bad that the Dutch branch of Doctors Without Borders sent a team there on Thursday, the relief agency’s first deployment in the Netherlands.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Friday he was ashamed of the scenes in Ter Apel. On Friday night, Rutte’s government announced a raft of measures aimed at easing the country’s asylum-seeker accommodation crisis.

They include temporarily reining in refugee family reunions and the number of arriving migrants earmarked for the Netherlands under a 2016 deal between the European Union and Turkey.

The government said it also was working with local municipalities to create more homes for people who receive refugee status so they can more quickly move out of asylum-seeker centers, freeing up space for new arrivals.

The Dutch military was tasked with setting up a new camp to house people who are waiting to register asylum claims at the Ter Apel center.

Milo Schoenmaker, the board chairman of the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, welcomed the moves, saying: “With the measures that have been announced, the application center in Ter Apel can hopefully be relieved quickly. At the same time, there are still insufficient available places to accommodate everyone.”

While many Dutch towns and cities have offered places to stay to Ukrainians who fled the war in their country, the welcome has worn thin for asylum-seekers from other countries. Most people arriving in Ter Apel are Syrians fleeing their nation’s grinding civil war.

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Про підготовку до обов’язкової евакуації жителів Києва не йде мова – КМДА

Система цивільного захисту Києва працює в посиленому режимі, переконують в КМДА

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AP: журналіст на місці обстрілу в Чаплиному не побачив загиблих військових, про яких заявляла Росія

При цьому журналіст бачив дітей серед загиблих

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У Росії нагородили адвокатів військовополонених, засуджених «ДНР» до страти

Їм вручили відзнаки «За внесок у розвиток адвокатури»

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«Зерновим коридором» експортовано перший із 24 лютого мільйон тонн агропродукції – Зеленський

У липні Україна та Росія за посередництва ООН досягли угоди про відновлення експорту зерна

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Humanitarian Ship Rescues 268 Migrants in Mediterranean

The Ocean Viking, a humanitarian ship of SOS Mediterranee, has rescued 268 people since Thursday during five rescues of migrants mostly found in overcrowded wooden boats between Libya and Malta, the NGO announced Friday.

“Many have high levels of exhaustion and dehydration” and “severe sunburn,” said the NGO, whose headquarters are in Marseille.

Several minors, including unaccompanied minors, pregnant women and even a 3-week-old baby are now cared for by SOS Mediterranee and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent on the Viking Ocean.

On Tuesday, the ship said it had spotted four empty boats in this area, including one without a motor. But “without communication from the maritime authorities, the fate of the people on board remains unknown,” the ship communicated.

Since the beginning of the year, 1,161 migrants have disappeared in the Mediterranean, including 918 in the central Mediterranean, the most dangerous migratory route in the world, according to the International Organization for Migration.

The U.N. agency estimated the number of dead and missing in 2021 at 2,048 in the Mediterranean, including 1,553 for the central Mediterranean alone.

Every year, thousands of people fleeing conflict or poverty attempt to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, whose coasts are 300 kilometers from Italy.

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Nuclear Treaty Conference Near End with Ukraine in Spotlight

As Friday’s end to a four-week conference to review the landmark U.N. treaty aimed at curbing the spread of nuclear weapons neared, delegates scrambled to reach agreement on a final document with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and takeover of Europe’s largest nuclear power a key obstacle.

Argentine Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen, president of the conference reviewing the 50-year-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which is considered the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament, circulated a revised 36-page draft final document that aimed to address some of China’s concerns. But it still made the same four references to Russia’s occupation of Europe’s biggest nuclear plant at Zaporizhzhia in southeastern Ukraine — though without naming Russia.

Any document must be approved by all 191 countries that are parties to the treaty, and the closing plenary meeting to consider the revised draft was delayed while delegates met behind closed doors to try to get all countries on board.

Earlier this week, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Security Council that the Biden administration is seeking a consensus final document that strengthens the nuclear treaty and acknowledges “the manner in which Russia’s war and irresponsible actions in Ukraine seriously undermine the NPT’s main purpose.”

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused the United States and its allies at that council meeting of “politicizing the work on the final document, putting their geopolitical interests in punishing Russia above their collective needs in strengthening global security.”

“Against the backdrop of the actual sabotage by the collective West of the global security architecture, Russia continues to do everything possible to keep at least its key, vital elements afloat,” Nebenzia said.

The four references to Zaporizhzhia, where Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of shelling, would have the parties to the NPT express “grave concern for the military activities” at or near the facility and other nuclear plants, recognize Ukraine’s loss of control and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inability to ensure its nuclear material is safeguarded.

The parties would also support IAEA efforts to visit Zaporizhzhia to ensure there is no diversion of its nuclear materials, which the agency’s director is hoping to organize in the coming day. And it would express “grave concern” at the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities, in particular Zaporizhzia, and stress “the paramount importance of ensuring control by Ukraine’s competent authorities.”

The NPT review conference is supposed to be held every five years but was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The last one in 2015 ended without an agreement because of serious differences over establishing a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction.

Those differences haven’t gone away but are being discussed, and both draft documents obtained by The Associated Press would reaffirm the importance of establishing a nuclear-free Mideast zone. So, this is not viewed as a major stumbling block this year.

The issue that has changed the dynamics of the conference is Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warning that Russia is a “potent” nuclear power and any attempt to interfere would lead to “consequences you have never seen,” and his decision soon after to put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert.

Putin has since rolled back, saying that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” a message reiterated by a senior Russian official on the opening day of the NPT conference on Aug. 2. But the Russian leader’s initial threat and the occupation of Zaporizhzhia by Russian forces soon after the invasion as well as their takeover of the Chernobyl nuclear plant, scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986, renewed global fears of another nuclear emergency.

Under the NPT’s provisions, the five original nuclear powers — the United States, China, Russia (then the Soviet Union), Britain and France — agreed to negotiate toward eliminating their arsenals someday and nations without nuclear weapons promised not to acquire nuclear weapons in exchange for a guarantee to be able to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

India and Pakistan, which didn’t join the NPT, went on to get the bomb. So did North Korea, which ratified the pact but later announced it was withdrawing. Non-signatory Israel, which is believed to have a nuclear arsenal but neither confirms nor denies it, has been an obstacle in discussions of a Mideast zone free of weapons of mass destruction.

Nonetheless, the treaty has been credited with limiting the number of nuclear newcomers (U.S. President John F. Kennedy once foresaw as many as 20 nuclear-armed nations) as a framework for international cooperation on disarmament.

The draft final document would express deep concern “that the threat of nuclear weapons use today is higher than at any time since the heights of the Cold War and at the deteriorated international security environment.” It would also commit the 191 parties to the treaty “to making every effort to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again.”

The parties would call on India, Israel and Pakistan to join the NPT “as non-nuclear-weapon states” and on South Sudan to become a party as soon as possible. It would call on North Korea to return to the treaty at an early date and immediately cease its nuclear activities.

Diplomats and nuclear experts monitoring the closed-door negotiations cited differences between China and the West that could have blocked agreement on a final document but appear to have been resolved in the final draft.

China wanted the document to mention the U.S.-UK-Australia deal to provide Australia with a nuclear-powered submarine, and the final draft notes that parties to the NPT are interested in “the topic of naval nuclear propulsion” and the importance of a transparent and open dialogue on it.

Of the five nuclear powers, China is the only one still producing fissile material — either uranium or plutonium — needed to produce nuclear weapons, and several Western nations wanted to pressure Beijing to halt production.

The original draft included a call to the five nuclear weapon states “to declare or maintain existing moratoria on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other explosive devices.” This was eliminated in the final draft which calls for the immediate start of negotiations on a treaty banning production of fissile material.

The final draft document barely mentions the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, saying only that it was adopted in July 2017, entered into force in January 2021, and held its first meeting of states parties in June 2022. Some Western countries maintain that calls for immediate nuclear disarmament are totally unrealistic in the current highly polarized and chaotic world.

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РФ вирішила не видавати біометричні паспорти за кордоном

Офіційне пояснення рішення через «технічні причини» може означати дефіцит чіпів, який виник через санкції, запроваджені після початку російського вторгнення в Україну

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Набрали чинності нові санкції Норвегії проти РФ

Нині список санкцій включає понад 1200 фізичних та понад 100 юридичних осіб

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Росія може використати приїзд паломників-хасидів до України для влаштування провокацій – СБУ

У відомстві зазначають: ті, хто все ж наважиться здійснити паломництво, мають неухильно дотримуватись вимог режимних заходів

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Experts Worry Digital Footprints Will Incriminate US Patients Seeking Abortions

The U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of protections for abortion rights has intensified scrutiny of the personal data that technology firms collect. Apple, Facebook and Google typically comply with legal requests for user data. For women who live in states where most abortions are now illegal, their smartphones and devices could be used against them. Tina Trinh reports.
Videographer: Saqib Ul Islam, Greg Flakus Video editor: Tina Trinh

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Turkey, Finland, Sweden Discuss Security Concerns, to Keep Meeting Through Autumn

Officials from Turkey, Finland and Sweden agreed on Friday to keep meeting in the coming months to discuss security concerns that Turkey raised as a precondition for allowing the two Nordic countries to join the NATO military alliance. 

Officials from the three countries held their first such meeting on Friday in the southern Finnish city of Vantaa. 

Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said the meeting aimed to establish contacts and set goals for cooperation that the countries agreed to by signing a memorandum of understanding at NATO’s Madrid summit in June. 

“The participants discussed the concrete steps to implement the Trilateral Memorandum and agreed that the mechanism will continue to meet at the expert level during the autumn,” the Finnish foreign ministry said in a statement after the meeting. 

The two Nordic countries applied for NATO membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but faced opposition from Turkey which accused them of imposing arms embargoes on Ankara and supporting groups it deems terrorists. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office said the sides had agreed to intensify their cooperation and fight terrorism. 

“Finland and Sweden will show full solidarity and cooperation with Turkey in the fight against all forms and manifestations of terrorism… [and] they reiterated their commitment not to provide support to these organizations,” it said. 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has demanded Sweden and Finland extradite suspects Turkey seeks over terrorism-related charges, while the Nordic countries say they have not agreed to specific extraditions. 

Finland’s foreign ministry had been tight-lipped about Friday’s meeting, refusing to give its location or timing, but later said it had taken place in the city of Vantaa near the capital Helsinki. 

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