У ЄС обіцяють звернутися до СОТ через запровадження США мит на сталь і алюміній

У Євросоюзі обіцяють застосувати мита у відповідь і звернутися до СОТ через запровадження США з 1 червня високих мит на сталь і алюміній. 

«ЄС вважає, що ці односторонні тарифи США є невиправданими та суперечать правилам Світової організації торгівлі. Це протекціонізм, чистий і простий…», – йдеться у заяві голові Європейської Комісії Жан-Клода Юнкера.

Він зауважує, що Євросоюз демонстрував відкритість для обговорення шляхів вдосконалення двосторонніх торговельних відносин з США, але не погоджувався на переговори під тиском погроз. 

«Тепер США не залишає нам вибору, окрім як продовжити врегулювання спору в СОТ із застосуванням додаткових мит на низку імпорту з США. Ми будемо захищати інтереси ЄС у повній відповідності з міжнародним торговельним правом», – наголосив Юнкер.

Сполучені Штати Америки заявили, що з 1 червня запровадять ввізне мито на сталь з ЄС у розмірі 25 відсотків, а також 10 відсотків на алюміній. 

ДТП зі спецавто в Києві: у поліції кажуть, що їхні співробітники не вживали алкоголь

Поліцейські, які перебували в спецавтомобілі, що збив дитину у Києві, не вживали алкоголь, заявляє прес-служба поліції Києва.

У відомстві повідомляють, що обоє поліцейських пройшли тест на пристрої для визначення рівня сп’яніння.

Прилад показав, що правоохоронці не вживали алкоголь, стверджують у поліції.

За повідомлення, також поліцейських доставляють до лікаря-нарколога, щоб відібрати біологічні зразки для проведення дослідження на встановлення стану сп‘яніння.

У поліції повідомляли, що у Києві у Дарницькому районі поліцейське спецавто збило хлопчика, який їхав на велосипеді, дитина отримала тілесні ушкодження, його госпіталізували.

За фактом автопригоди розпочато кримінальне провадження за статтею 286 ( Порушення правил безпеки дорожнього руху) Кримінального кодексу України.

Раніше видання «Українська правда» з посиланням на джерело у правоохоронних органах повідомило, що у Києві на вулиці Григоренка на нерегульованому пішохідному переході авто з кортежу президента України Петра Порошенка збило велосипедиста на переході, його госпіталізували.

Наразі в Адміністрації президента цю інформацію не коментували.

У березні у поліції повідомляли, що в центрі Києва на перехресті вулиць Шовковичної та Інститутської службовий автомобіль з кортежу збив пенсіонера 1930 року народження.

Мати Кольченка: сина примушують прийняти російське громадянство

Кримчанин Олександра Кольченко, який 31 травня оголосив голодування в російській виправній колонії, змушують прийняти російське громадянство і шантажують батьками, які залишилися в анексованому Криму. Про це проекту Радіо Свобода, сайту Крим.Реалії, розповіла його мати Лариса Кольченко.

«Примушують прийняти російське громадянство. Спочатку розмова починається з того, «як погано в Україні і як добре в Росії», потім починається відкритий шантаж, розповідають про те, що «у тебе батьки в Криму залишилися», що треба б якось прийняти громадянство … А потім в відкриту хочуть, щоб він підписав паспорт», – розповіла мама Кольченко.

На її думку, розраховують на те, що, коли Олександр Кольченко прийме російське громадянство, Україна ніяк не зможе вплинути на його звільнення.

Кримчанин Олександр Кольченко, який відбуває термін у виправній колонії в російському Копєйську (Челябінська область), оголосив про початок голодування з 31 травня.

Російські спецслужби затримали Олега Сенцова й активіста Олександра Кольченка в анексованому Криму в травні 2014 року. Їх звинуватили в організації терактів на півострові. Суд засудив Сенцова до 20 років колонії суворого режиму. Кольченко отримав 10 років колонії. Обвинувачені свою провину не визнали.

 

Правозахисний центр «Меморіал» вніс Сенцова і Кольченка в список політв’язнів.

Сенцов від 14 травня оголосив безстрокове голодування з вимогою звільнити всіх українських політв’язнів, які перебувають в російських в’язницях

Tom Cruise Tweets as Production Starts on ‘Top Gun’ Sequel

Tom Cruise is back on the flight line for a sequel to the 1986 film “Top Gun.”

The actor on Thursday tweeted a photo of himself as Navy pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in a flight suit, looking at a fighter jet. The photo includes the phrase “feel the need.” In the original movie, Cruise’s character talks about how he feels the need for speed.

Cruise writes #Day 1 of production of “Top Gun: Maverick.”

The movie is scheduled for release in July 2019.

 

Trump Renews Call for ABC Apology

U.S. President Donald Trump again asked the ABC TV network Thursday for an apology for reasons that were not entirely clear. The request came a day after the network canceled Roseanne Barr’s television show following racist remarks she posted about Valerie Jarrett, an African American who served as a White House adviser to President Barack Obama.

 

Trump’s request comes after he suggested Wednesday he should get an apology from Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC.

On Thursday, though, Trump was more direct when he tweeted: “Iger, where is my call of apology? You and ABC have offended millions of people, and they demand a response. How is Brian Ross doing? He tanked the market with an ABC lie, yet no apology. Double Standard!”

Trump did not elaborate on how the network offended people. ABC correspondent Brian Ross, however, was suspended for four weeks last year after erroneously reporting that Trump asked former national security adviser Michael Flynn to make contact with Russian officials before the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Although ABC has not apologized directly to Trump for Ross’ error, the network issued a statement shortly after recanting the story that said, “We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday.”

Trump has not denounced Barr, who is white, for posting a tweet Tuesday that was later deleted saying Jarrett is a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and the “Planet of the Apes.” She later tweeted she was sorry “for making a bad joke” about Jarrett.

But White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee-Sanders said Wednesday Barr’s remarks were “inappropriate” and complained about the hiring of Trump critic Keith Olberman by ESPN, which is also owned by Disney. “This is a double standard that the president is speaking about.”

Barr’s offensive remarks triggered intense backlash, including ABC’s cancellation of her show which had been renewed for a second season.

“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” said ABC entertainment President Channing Dungey.

Trump’s Twitter response Wednesday was somewhat surprising after Huckabee-Sanders said in response to a question about Barr Tuesday that he is focusing on trade, North Korea and other issues and “not responding to other things.”

After saying Tuesday she would stop tweeting, Barr resumed posting, blaming the effects of the sleep medication Ambien for her racist remarks in one of her more than 100 subsequent postings.

“guys I did something unforgivable so do not defend me. it was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting — it was memorial day too — i went 2 far & do not want it defended — it was egregious indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but…don’t defend it please.”

 

The maker of Ambien, Sanofi S.A., responded to Barr’s claim saying, “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

Iger, who once considered challenging Trump for the presidency in 2020, indeed called Jarrett to inform her about the show’s cancellation.

“He wanted me to know before he made it public that he was canceling the show,” Jarrett said.

Jarrett has not commented on Trump’s response nor has Iger replied to Trump’s suggestion he was treated differently by the network.

Barr’s TV show was a new version of her 1988-97 sitcom “Roseanne.” It returned this year with Barr playing a character who is supportive of President Trump.

Barr in real life is an avid supporter of Trump. He hailed the new show two months ago for its strong ratings.

“Look at her ratings! Look at her ratings,” he said at a speech in Richfield, Ohio. “Over 18 million people,” Trump said, “and it was about us.” They haven’t figured it out yet; the fake news hasn’t quite figured it out yet. They have not figured it out. So that was great.”   

Trump’s response to the Barr controversy was not his only controversial remark in recent days. On Memorial Day, a solemn U.S. holiday to honor military personnel who died in the line of duty, Trump tweeted: “Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!”

The tweet drew criticism from some, including retired Admiral John Kirby, a State Department spokesman during the Obama administration.

“This is one of the most inappropriate, ignorant and tone-deaf things our Commander-in-Chief could have said on a day like today,” Kirby wrote on Twitter.

 

New Delhi Peace House Fosters Tolerance, Peaceful Coexistence

In an attempt to bridge the gap of understanding between different Indian communities, a house in the Indian capital of New Delhi is trying to foster the message of tolerance and peaceful coexistence in a unique manner. The house gives people from different religions and communities the chance to live together as a family for up to six months as a way to promote understanding. VOA’s Ritul Joshi reports from New Delhi.

Trump Planning Tariffs on European Steel, Aluminum

President Donald Trump’s administration is planning to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports after failing to win concessions from the European Union, a move that could provoke retaliatory tariffs and inflame trans-Atlantic trade tensions.

The tariffs are likely to go into effect on the EU with an announcement by Friday’s deadline, according to two people familiar with the discussions. The administration’s plans could change if the two sides are able to reach a last-minute agreement, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Trump announced in March the United States would slap a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, citing national security interests. But he granted an exemption to the EU and other U.S. allies; that reprieve expires Friday.

​Europe bracing

Europe has been bracing for the U.S. to place the restrictions even as top European officials have held last-ditch talks in Paris with American trade officials to try to avert the tariffs.

“Realistically, I do not think we can hope” to avoid either U.S. tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum, said Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union’s trade commissioner. Even if the U.S. were to agree to waive the tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, Malmstrom said, “I expect them nonetheless to want to impose some sort of cap on EU exports.”

European officials said they expected the U.S. to announce its final decision Thursday. The people familiar with the talks said Trump could make an announcement as early as Thursday.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross attended meetings at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris on Wednesday, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer joins discussions in Paris on Thursday.

The U.S. plan has raised the threat of retaliation from Europe and fears of a global trade war — a prospect that is weighing on investor confidence and could hinder the global economic upturn.

If the U.S. moves forward with its tariffs, the EU has threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. orange juice, peanut butter and other goods in return. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire pledged that the European response would be “united and firm.”

Limits on cars

Besides the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, the Trump administration is also investigating possible limits on foreign cars in the name of national security.

“Unilateral responses and threats over trade war will solve nothing of the serious imbalances in the world trade. Nothing,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in an impassioned speech at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.

In a clear reference to Trump, Macron added: “These solutions might bring symbolic satisfaction in the short term. … One can think about making voters happy by saying, ‘I have a victory, I’ll change the rules, you’ll see.’”

But Macron said those “who waged bilateral trade wars … saw an increase in prices and an increase in unemployment.”

Tariffs on steel imports to the U.S. can help local producers of the metal by making foreign products more expensive. But they can also increase costs more broadly for U.S. manufacturers who cannot source all their steel locally and need to import the raw material. That hurts the companies and can lead to more expensive consumer prices, economists say.

Ross criticized the EU for its tough negotiating position.

“There can be negotiations with or without tariffs in place. There are plenty of tariffs the EU has on us. It’s not that we can’t talk just because there’s tariffs,” he said. He noted that “China has not used that as an excuse not to negotiate.”

But German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier insisted the Europeans were being “constructive” and were ready to negotiate special trade arrangements, notably for liquefied natural gas and industrial goods, including cars.

WTO reforms

Macron also proposed to start negotiations between the U.S., the EU, China and Japan to reshape the World Trade Organization to better regulate trade. Discussions could then be expanded to include other countries to agree on changes by the end of the year.

Ross expressed concern that the Geneva-based World Trade Organization and other organizations are too rigid and slow to adapt to changes in global business.

“We would operate within (multilateral) frameworks if we were convinced that people would move quickly,” he said.

Ross and Lighthizer seemed like the odd men out at this week’s gathering at the OECD, an international economic agency that includes the U.S. as a prominent member.

The agency issued a report Wednesday saying “the threat of trade restrictions has begun to adversely affect confidence” and tariffs “would negatively influence investment and jobs.”

41 Advance to Spelling Bee Finals

This year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee drew the largest number of competitors in its history, 516. But the field is far smaller, as only 41 spellers advance to the finals Thursday. 

The finalists were announced Wednesday after two days of onstage spelling during which nearly 200 spellers were eliminated for getting words wrong. Scores on a written spelling and vocabulary test determined who advanced to the finals.

“There were no perfect scores on the test,” spelling bee Executive Director Paige Kimble says, “We thought it was an easy test. We were wrong.”

“They made it hard on purpose” said Jacob Williamson, a former competitor who is coaching five spellers this year. 

But that didn’t seem to shake the confidence of those who have traversed the road before.

“It was fine, actually. I didn’t expect it to be fine,” said Erin Howard, 13, of Huntsville, Alabama. “I think at worst I missed five.”

According to Scripps, 113 of the spellers this year had previous national finals experience and 45 have relatives who are former competitors, including Atman Balakrishnan, from Chicago, whose father Balu Natrajan was the winner in 1985, and the first Indian-American to take the title. 

The top scorers this year are Shruthika Padhy, Aisha Randhawa and Karthik Nemmani. 

Shruthika came into the bee as one of the favorites, having finished in seventh place last year.

The past 13 champions and 18 of the last 22 have been Indian-American.

US Judge Dismisses Kaspersky Suits to Overturn Government Ban

A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday dismissed two lawsuits by Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab that sought to overturn bans on the use of the security software maker’s products in U.S. government networks.

The company said it would seek to appeal the decision, which leaves in place prohibitions included in a funding bill passed by Congress and an order from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The bans were issued last year in response to allegations by U.S. officials that the company’s software could enable Russian espionage and threaten national security.

“These actions were the product of unconstitutional agency and legislative processes and unfairly targeted the company without any meaningful fact finding,” Kaspersky said in a statement.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington said Kaspersky had failed to show that Congress violated constitutional prohibitions on legislation that “determines guilt and inflicts punishment” without the protections of a judicial trial.

She also dismissed the effort to overturn the DHS ban for lack of standing. Kaspersky Lab and its founder, Eugene Kaspersky, have repeatedly denied wrongdoing and said the company would not help any government with cyber espionage.

The company filed the lawsuits as part of a campaign to refute allegations that it was vulnerable to Kremlin influence, which had prompted the U.S. government bans on its products.

That effort includes plans to open a data center in Switzerland, where the company will analyze suspicious files uncovered on the computers of its tens of millions of customers in the United States and Europe.

Film Producer Weinstein Indicted on Rape Charges

Film producer Harvey Weinstein was indicted Wednesday on first- and third-degree rape and criminal sex act charges, furthering the first criminal case to arise from a slate of sexual misconduct allegations against the former movie mogul.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said the indictment brought Weinstein “another step closer to accountability.”

The announcement came hours after Weinstein’s lawyers said he’d decline to testify before the grand jury because there wasn’t enough time to prepare him and “political pressure” made an indictment unavoidable.

A statement issued through a Weinstein spokesman said the 66-year-old film producer, who has denied the allegations, learned of the specific charges and the accusers’ identities only after turning himself in Friday. With a deadline set for Wednesday afternoon to testify or not, his request for more time was denied, the statement said.

“Finally, Mr. Weinstein’s attorneys noted that regardless of how compelling Mr. Weinstein’s personal testimony might be, an indictment was inevitable due to the unfair political pressure being placed on Cy Vance to secure a conviction of Mr. Weinstein,” the statement said, referring to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.

Vance said in a statement that the Weinstein camp’s “recent assault on the integrity of the survivors and the legal process is predictable.”

“We are confident that when the jury hears the evidence, it will reject these attacks out of hand,” Vance said.

Weinstein was charged Friday with rape and criminal sex act charges involving two women in New York, as a grand jury continued hearing evidence in the case; the panel has been at work for weeks. Defendants have the right to testify in a grand jury’s secret proceedings but often don’t, for various reasons.

Dozens of accusers

Dozens more women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault in various locales. He has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex, and his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said Tuesday that Weinstein was “confident he’s going to clear his name” in the New York prosecution.

Brafman called the rape allegation “absurd,” saying that the accuser and Weinstein had a decade-long, consensual sexual relationship that continued after the alleged 2013 attack.

The woman, who hasn’t been identified publicly, told investigators Weinstein confined her in a hotel room and raped her.

The other accuser in the case, former actress Lucia Evans, has gone public with her account of Weinstein forcing her to perform oral sex at his office in 2004. The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assaults unless they come forward publicly.

Vance, a Democrat, came under public pressure from women’s groups to prosecute Weinstein after declining to do so in 2015, when an Italian model went to police to say Weinstein had groped her during a meeting.

Police set up a sting in which the woman recorded herself confronting Weinstein and him apologizing for his conduct. But Vance decided there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, also a Democrat, ordered the state attorney general to investigate how Vance handled that matter.

В Одесі збирали підписи за знесення Оперного театру

В Одесі активісти збирали підписи за знесення Національного театру опери і балету і перетворення його на торговельний центр. В акції, що пройшла поблизу самого театру, взяли участь кілька десятків людей.

Вони тримали плакати із надписами «Зносіть місто одразу, щоб не було боляче», «Ах Одеса! Немає живого місця», «Плювати на закон – заливаємо бетон», «Найважливішим мистецтвом для нас є «шопінг», «Співати можна і в торговельному центрі».

За словами одного з організаторів акції, екскурсовода Олександра Бабіча, ця акція – крик відчаю, сміх крізь сльози.

«Оскільки Одеса знищується все більш швидкими темпами і зробити з цим все одно нічого не виходить, залишається лиши максимально пришвидшити цей процес», – жартує він.

 В акції також взяло участь кілька відомих жителів Одеси, в тому числі художник і директор Мистецького музею Олександр Ройтбурд.

Учасники акції зачитали «звернення» до одеської міської ради, в якому попросили пришвидшити знесення історичного центру, оскільки чиновники все одно не намагаються його зберегти. Деякі учасники запропонували встановити торговельні кіоски вздовж хвилелому.

Акція завершилася збором підписів під жартівливим зверненням за перебудову театру в торговельний центр. Ескізи цієї фантастичної будівлі з’явилися в соціальних мережах напередодні.

Заступник лідера Північної Кореї прибув до США

Північна Корея заявляє, що віце-прем’єр-міністр Північної Кореї Кім Йонг Чол прибув до Нью-Йорка для переговорів щодо особистої зустрічі президента США Дональда Трампа та лідера Північної Кореї Кім Чен Ина. 

Представник місії Північної Кореї в Організації Об’єднаних Націй сказав, що помічник лідера країни прибув літаком Air China у Нью-Йорк в Міжнародний аеропорт Джона Кеннеді 30 травня.

Найвідоміший північнокорейський чиновник, який відвідував США з 2000 року, як очікується, зустрінеться з державним секретарем США Майком Помпео 31 травня.

Читайте також: Саміт лідерів США та Північної Кореї таки може відбутися 12 червня?

24 травня Трамп надіслав Кім Чен Ину листа про скасування саміту, запланованого на 12 червня в Сінгапурі. Однак уже 26 травня президент США сказав, що, як і раніше, сподівається, що зустріч з Кім Чен Ином відбудеться в заплановані терміни.

Пізніше президент США підтвердив, що до Північної Кореї прибула група офіційних представників Сполучених Штатів для переговорів про підготовку зустрічі Трампа з лідером КНДР Кім Чен Ином.

У США невиліковно хворим дозволили використовувати експериментальне лікування

Президент США Дональд Трамп підписав закон, який дозволяє невиліковно хворим пацієнтам використовувати експериментальні ліки і методи лікування, повідомляє агентство Associated Press.

Йдеться про лікування, яке ще не отримало схвалення управління з санітарного нагляду (FDA). 

Пацієнтам зі смертельними захворюваннями, які вичерпали всі сертифіковані методи терапії, дозволять приймати неперевірені ліки. Процес легалізації нових методів лікування в США займає тривалий час. За даними агентства, іноді на схвалення ліки йдуть роки.

Законопроект викликав серйозні дебати в Конгресі Сполучених Штатів. Ініціативу підтримували республіканці, в той час як деякі представники Демократичної партії вважали її ненадійною. За словами низку конгресменів, законопроект дасть пацієнтам помилкову надію на одужання.

Analysis: N. Korea Sees US Economic Handouts As Threat

The U.S.-North Korea summit appears to be back on track, but Pyongyang is showing increased impatience at comments coming out of Washington that what leader Kim Jong Un really wants, even more than his nuclear security blanket, is American-style prosperity.

It’s a core issue for Kim and a message President Donald Trump shouldn’t ignore as they work to nail down their summit next month in Singapore.

Kim is as enthusiastic as Trump to see the summit happen as soon as possible, but the claim that his sudden switch to diplomacy over the past several months shows he is aching for U.S. economic aid and private-sector know-how presents a major problem for the North Korean leader, who can’t be seen as going into the summit with his hat in his hand.

The claim is also quite possibly off target. 

North Korea is far more interested in improving trade with China, its economic lifeline, and with South Korea, which it sees as a potential gold mine for tourism and large-scale joint projects. Getting the U.S. to back off sanctions so he can pursue those goals, along with the boost to his legitimacy and whatever security guarantees he can take home, is more likely foremost on Kim’s mind. 

Even so, the North’s perceived thirst for U.S. economic aid has consistently been the message coming from Trump and his senior officials. All Kim needs to do, they suggest, is commit to denuclearization and American entrepreneurs will be ready to unleash their miracles on the country’s sad-sack economy.

“I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial nation one day,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this.” 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has laid Washington’s road map out in more detail.

“We can create conditions for real economic prosperity for the North Korean people that will rival that of the South,” he said earlier this month in a televised interview. “It won’t be U.S. taxpayers. It will be American know-how, knowledge, entrepreneurs and risk-takers working alongside the North Korean people to create a robust economy for their people.” 

Pompeo suggested that Americans help build out the North’s energy grid, develop its infrastructure and deliver the finest agricultural equipment and technology “so they can eat meat and have healthy lives.”

Kim has emphatically not agreed to any of that. 

Under Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy, international sanctions on North Korea are stronger than ever. Sanctions relief would open the door for more trade with China, South Korea and possibly Russia – partners North Korea trusts more than it trusts Washington – and potentially unlock access to global financial institutions. 

The last thing Kim wants is to give up his nuclear weapons only to have his country overrun with American businessmen and entrepreneurs.

To Pyongyang’s ears, that scenario is less an offer than a threat. 

Despite its very real need for foreign investment, Kim’s regime has good reason to be wary of economic aid in general. Opening up to aid inevitably involves some degree of increased contact with potentially disruptive outsiders, calls for change, loosening of controls and restrictions – all of which could be seen as a threat to Kim’s near absolute authority.

North Korea’s message on that has been clear. 

Almost as soon as Pompeo started talking about his plan to rebuild North Korea’s economy, Kim Kye Gwan, the North’s first vice foreign minister, shot back that Pyongyang has no interest in that kind of help, saying, “We have never had any expectation of U.S. support in carrying out our economic construction and will not at all make such a deal in future, too.” 

State media unleashed another attack on the idea Sunday, calling Fox News, CBS and CNN “hack media on the payroll of power” for airing programs that featured U.S. officials talking about how large-scale, nongovernmental economic aid awaits North Korea if it moves toward verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.

The North’s media have been careful not to criticize Trump directly. 

But the issue is sensitive enough that the North has also stepped up its response in ideological terms, stressing the superiority of the socialist system and the value of independence, while warning against the underhanded scheming of the “imperialists,” which in North Korea speak is interchangeable with “Americans.”

“It is the calculation of the imperialists that they can attain their aims without firing a single shot if they make the people degenerate and disintegrate ideologically and foment social disorder,” said an editorial Sunday in the ruling party’s newspaper.

The commentary went on to call the capitalist way of life “ideological and cultural poisoning” and concluded, “Unless such poisoning is prevented, it would be impossible to defend independence and socialism and achieve the independent development of each country and nation.”

Starbucks Closes Stores, Asks Workers to Talk About Race

Starbucks, mocked three years ago for suggesting employees discuss racial issues with customers, asked workers Tuesday to talk about race with each other.

It was part of the coffee chain’s anti-bias training, created after the arrest of two black men in a Philadelphia Starbucks six weeks ago. The chain apologized but also took the dramatic step of closing its stores early for the sessions. But still to be seen is whether the training, developed with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and other groups, will prevent another embarrassing incident. 

“This is not science, this is human behavior,” said Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz. He called it the first step of many.

The training was personal, asking workers to break into small groups to talk about their experiences with race. According to training materials provided by the company, they were also asked to pair up with a co-worker and list the ways they “are different from each other.” A guidebook reminds people to “listen respectfully” and tells them to stop any conversations that get derailed. 

“I found out things about people that I’ve worked with a lot that I didn’t know,” said Carla Ruffin, a New York regional director at Starbucks, who took the training earlier Tuesday and was made available by the company to comment on it. 

Ruffin, who is black, said everyone in her group said they first experienced bias in middle school. “I just thought that was pretty impactful, that people from such diverse backgrounds, different ages, that it was all in middle school.”

She said the training and discussion was needed: “We’re never as human beings going to be perfect.”

Starbucks declined to specify how much the training cost the company, though Schultz said it was “quite expensive” and called it “an investment in our people and the long-term cultural values of Starbucks.”

The chain also lost sales from closing early, but the late-in-the-day training sessions meant no disruption to the busier morning hours.

At the company’s Pike Place Market location in Seattle, commonly referred to as the original Starbucks, the store stopped letting people in at 1 p.m.

Trina Mathis, who was visiting from Tampa, Florida, was frustrated that she couldn’t get in to take a photo but said the shutdown was necessary because what happened in Philadelphia was wrong.

“If they haven’t trained their employees to handle situations like that, they need to shut it down and try to do all they can to make sure their employees don’t make that same mistake again,” said Mathis, who is black.

Others visiting the store questioned whether the training would make a difference or suggested it was overkill.

Anna Teets, who lives in Washington state, said the problem has been fixed and the company has dealt with the situation. “It’s been addressed,” she said.

The training was not mandatory, but Starbucks said it expected almost all of the 175,000 employees at 8,000 stores to participate and said they would be paid for the full four hours. Executives took the same training last week in Seattle.

Training in unconscious, or implicit, bias is used by many corporations, police departments and other organizations. It is typically designed to get people to open up about prejudices and stereotypes — for example, the tendency among some white people to see black people as potential criminals.

Starbucks said it would make its training materials available to other companies. Many retailers, including Walmart and Target, said they already offer some racial bias training. Nordstrom has said it plans to enhance its training after three black teenagers in Missouri were falsely accused by employees of shoplifting. 

In the Philadelphia incident, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were asked to leave after one was denied access to the restroom. They were arrested by police minutes after they sat down to await a business meeting.

Video of the arrests were posted on social media, triggering protests, boycott threats and debate over racial profiling, or what’s been dubbed “retail racism.” It proved a major embarrassment for Starbucks, which has long cast itself as a company with a social conscience. That included the earlier, widely ridiculed attempt to start a national conversation on race relations by asking its employees to write “Race Together” on coffee cups. 

Starbucks said the Philadelphia arrests never should have occurred. Some black coffee shop owners in the city suggested black customers instead make a habit of patronizing their businesses. Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse owner Ariell Johnson said she has called the police just once in the two years she has been open. She said that should happen only when there is a provocation or danger.

Nelson and Robinson settled with Starbucks for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free college education. They also reached a deal with the city of Philadelphia for a symbolic $1 each and a promise from officials to establish a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.

The two men visited the company’s Seattle headquarters on Friday, Schultz said, to “see what Starbucks does every day.” He added that Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson has agreed to mentor them. “I suspect this won’t be the last time they come,” Schultz said. 

Calvin Lai, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, said diversity training can have mixed effects.  

“In some cases it can even backfire and lead people who are kind of already reactive to these issues to become even more polarized,” Lai said.

One afternoon wouldn’t really be “moving the needle on the biases,” he said, especially since Starbucks has so many employees and they may not stay very long.

Starbucks said the instruction will become part of how it trains all new workers. Stores will keep iPads given out for Tuesday’s meetings and new videos will be added every month for additional training. 

Starbucks said it also plans to hold training at its stores in other countries.

Italy May Return to Polls in July, Sources Say, Amid Market Rout

Italy may hold repeat elections as early as July after the man asked to be prime minister failed to secure support from major political parties for even a stop-gap government, sources said on Tuesday, as markets tumbled on the growing political turmoil.

Italy has searched for a new government since inconclusive elections in March, with the president finally designating former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli as interim prime minister until a new vote is held between September and early 2019.

But sources close to some of Italy’s main parties said there was now a chance that President Sergio Mattarella could dissolve parliament in the coming days and send Italians back to the polls as early as July 29.

That prospect emerged immediately after Cottarelli met the president on Tuesday afternoon and left without making any statement. Cottarelli had been expected to announce his stopgap government’s cabinet after those talks.

A source close to the president said Cottarelli had made no mention in the meeting of an intention to give up his mandate and that he was simply finalizing his cabinet lineup.

Major parties, though, sensed Cottarelli’s mission was all but dead and called for parliament to be dissolved immediately.

“It would be best to go to elections as quickly as possible, as early as July,” said Andrea Marcucci, senate leader for the centre-left Democratic Party.

Italy suffered its biggest market selloff in years amid investor fears the election would deliver an even stronger mandate for anti-establishment, eurosceptic politicians, casting doubt on Italy’s future in the euro zone.

Market rout

Yields on Italy’s two-year bonds, the most sensitive to political upsets, suffered their biggest one-day jump since 1992.

The euro also hit multi-month lows, as credit rating agency Moody’s signalled a possible downgrade for Italy if the next government failed to address its debt burden.

Central bank Governor Ignazio Visco said Italy “must never forget that we are only ever a few short steps away from the very serious risk of losing the irreplaceable asset of trust,” but there were “no justifications” for the market turmoil.

Saxo Bank currency strategist John Hardy said European Central Bank President Mario Draghi might soon be required to intervene to calm markets, as he did during the euro zone debt crisis in 2012 when he promised to do “whatever it takes.”

Euro zone money markets had been betting on the ECB raising interest rates from ultra-low levels mid-next year. But with economic growth slowing and worries about Italy, they are now pricing in just a 30 percent chance of a modest 10 basis point rise in June 2019.

‘Respect the voters’

President Mattarella had looked to Cottarelli as prime minister to calm political and market turmoil, which Italy’s two anti-establishment parties blame on the president himself after he vetoed their choice for economy minister in their would-be coalition government.

 Mattarella blocked Paolo Savona as unsuitable on the grounds he had argued Italy should be prepared to quit the euro.

The 5-Star Movement and the far-right League, the biggest winners from the March election, declined to nominate an alternative candidate and abandoned plans to form a government, switching back into election mode, with 5-Star Movement calling for Mattarella to be impeached.

Other euro zone countries are concerned about the currency bloc’s third-largest economy. French President Emmanuel Macron defended what he called Mattarella’s courage and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of the need to obey rules governing the euro.

But top EU officials were quick to play down a comment from Germany’s European commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, who said he hoped the market turmoil would be “a signal (to Italians) not to hand governing responsibilities to the populists.”

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker released a statement saying: “Italy’s fate does not lie in the hands of the financial markets,” and Donald Tusk, the chairman of EU leaders’ summits, called on EU institutions to “respect the voters … We are there to serve them, not to lecture them.”

Even if Cottarelli were able to form an interim government acceptable to the splintered Italian parliament, investors believe he would fail to pass the 2019 budget, triggering a snap election in the autumn.

The election campaign is likely to centre on Italy’s relationship with the European Union and in particular the budget restraints imposed on members of the euro zone.

A poll by SWG showed support for the League had jumped to 27.5 percent, up about 10 points from the March 4 elections.

With support for 5-Star falling about three points to 29.5 percent, the two combined would have a majority in parliament if they decided to join forces again.

Фото з місця вбивства Аркадія Бабченка в Києві

29 травня ввечері в Києві пострілом у спину був вбитий російський журналіст та критик Володимира Путіна Аркадій Бабченко. Кадри з місця подій у Дніпровському районі столиці – у фоторепортажі Радіо Свобода.