МВС: з 1 серпня Нацгвардія патрулюватиме українські населені пункти

З 1 серпня військовослужбовці Національної гвардії України патрулюватимуть українські населені пункти, повідомило Міністерство внутрішніх справ України.

Нацгвардію залучать до піших патрулів відповідно до наказу міністра внутрішніх справ Арсена Авакова.

«У такому форматі для забезпечення правопорядку буде залучено близько 2000 патрульних, 100 одиниць автомобільного транспорту та 100 службових собак. Службу гвардійці нестимуть п’ять днів на тиждень по шість годин, утім за ускладнення оперативної обстановки час служби військових може бути змінений», – розповіли в МВС.

Згідно з повідомленням, патрульних гвардійців озброять спецзасобами та штатною зброєю. Також вони отримають планшети, підключені до інформаційного порталу Національної поліції.

У відомстві розповіли, що протягом першого півріччя 2019 року військові Нацгвардії спільно з працівниками Нацполіції затримали 1680 осіб за підозрою у вчиненні кримінальних правопорушень та близько 20 тисяч громадян – за адміністративні правопорушення.

Поліція кваліфікує події в агентстві «Укрінформ» як хуліганство

Поліція кваліфікує сутички в агентстві «Укрінформ» як хуліганство, повідомило Міністерство внутрішніх справ України.

Підозрюваним загрожує до чотирьох років позбавлення волі.

30 липня група осіб у футболках із написом «Традиція і порядок» зірвала пресконференцію кандидатів у народні депутати в одномандатному виборчому окрузі №50 і розгромила пресцентр у будівлі інформаційного агентства «Укрінформ» у Києві.

Понад 10 осіб, які увірвалися до приміщення, кричали «Геть сепаратиста Аксьонова!» та звинуватили учасника пресконференції, самовисуванця Андрія Аксьонова, що він є громадянином Росії. Сам Аксьонов стверджує, що ніколи не мав російського паспорта.

Поліція згодом повідомила, що затримала двох учасників інциденту в «Укрінформі».

«Динамо» та «Шахтар» стартували в чемпіонаті з перемог

Київське «Динамо» та донецький «Шахтар» стартували в чемпіонаті України з футболу з перемог.

Кияни на виїзді здолали львівські «Карпати» з рахунком 0:2: на 41 хвилині карпатівець Олексій Ковтун зрізав м’яч у власні ворота, а на 46-й нападник «Динамо» Артем Беседін реалізував пенальті.

«Шахтар» на виїзді переміг «Олександрію» з Кіровоградської області. На гол Максима Третьякова в першому таймі донеччани відповіли трьома забитими м’ячами в таймі другому (автогол Гліба Бухала та результативні удари Тайсона і Дентіньйо).

Дебютант Прем’єр-ліги «Дніпро-1» розпочав чемпіонат із перемоги над донецьким «Олімпіком». За дніпрян голи забивали Сергій Булеца та Владислав Супряга.

US, China Agree to Hold Next Round of Trade Talks in September

The latest round of trade talks between U.S. and Chinese negotiators ended in Shanghai Wednesday with an agreement to meet again in September in the U.S.

Although neither side immediately commented on the talks, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported the talks were “frank, highly efficient and constructive.”

The news agency also reported negotiators discussed “the issue of China increasing its purchases of U.S. agricultural products, according to its domestic needs.”

U.S. and Chinese representatives held talks at a working dinner on Tuesday and less than a half day of negotiations on Wednesday before the U.S. delegation headed straight to the airport.

Shortly after U.S. negotiators arrived in Shanghai on Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump warned China against negotiating a deal after the 2020 U.S. presidential election  — declaring a delayed agreement would be less attractive than a deal reached in the near term.

“The problem with them waiting … is that if & when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now … or no deal at all,” Trump said in a post on Twitter.

…to ripoff the USA, even bigger and better than ever before. The problem with them waiting, however, is that if & when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now…or no deal at all. We have all the cards, our past leaders never got it!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2019

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying responded to Trump’s tweet on Wednesday, telling reporters at a daily news briefing in Beijing “it doesn’t make any sense for the U.S. to exercise its campiagn of maximum pressure at this time.”

Hua also said “It’s pointless to tell others to take medication when you’re the one who sick.”

U.S. and Chinese officials gathered in Shanghai in an attempt to revive talks, with both sides trying to temper expectations for a breakthrough.

The world’s two largest economies are engaged in an intense trade war that has dragged on for more than a year, having imposed punitive tariffs on each other totaling more than $360 billion in two-way trade.

The Shanghai negotiations came after Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed at June’s G-20 summit to resurrect efforts to end the costly trade war over China’s technology ambitions and trade surplus.

China is resisting U.S. demands to abolish government-led plans for industrial leaders to enhance robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies.

The U.S. has complained China’s plans depend on the acquisition of foreign technology through theft or coercion.

Days prior to the Shanghai meeting, Trump threatened to withdraw recognition of China’s developing nation’s status at the World Trade Organization. China responded by saying the threat is indicative of the “arrogance and selfishness” of the U.S.

The U.S. delegation in Shanghai was represented by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. They met with a Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He, who serves as the country’s economic czar.

 

 

Loophole Allows Families to Get Aid Meant for Needy Students

The U.S. Education Department is being urged to close a loophole that has allowed some wealthy families to get federal, state and university funding that’s meant to help needy students.

Federal authorities were notified last year that some parents in Illinois were transferring custody of their children to friends or relatives to make it appear they came from poorer backgrounds. In doing so, they became eligible for scholarships and federal grants that are typically reserved for low-income students.

Disclosure of the practice comes at a time of intense debate over the fairness of college admissions. Earlier this year, federal authorities say they uncovered a sweeping scheme in which wealthy parents paid bribes to get their children into elite universities across the nation.

The latest case was uncovered at the University of Illinois after guidance counselors at nearby high schools caught wind of the scheme and notified the school’s admissions office. University officials soon noticed a pattern of students coming from certain Chicago suburbs with recent guardianship transfers and similar language in their applications. In total, the school says it has identified 14 cases over the last year.

Andy Borst, director of undergraduate admissions, said that while the strategy appears to be legal, it’s ethically questionable. By tapping into funding for needy students, he said, wealthy families deprive students who legitimately need help. Some of the families were able to obtain state grants that are first-come, first-served, while thousands of other students were turned away.

“Financial aid is not infinite,” he said. “There are students who are eligible for need-based aid who are not receiving their awards because the state runs out.”

The Education Department’s inspector general said it’s aware of the issue and is urging the agency to add new language to its rules to close the loophole. Under the proposed update, changes of guardianship would not be recognized “if a student enters into a legal guardianship but continues to receive medical and financial support from their parents.”

A statement from the department said it’s weighing how to respond.

“Those who break the rules should be held accountable, and the department is committed to assessing what changes can be made — either independently or in concert with Congress — to protect taxpayers from those who seek to game the system for their own financial gain,” according to the statement.

The scheme, which was first reported Monday by Pro Publica and The Wall Street Journal, has been traced to clusters of parents in Chicago suburbs. It’s unclear how widespread the scheme reaches, but Pro Publica reported that students involved have been accepted to schools including the University of Missouri, the University of Wisconsin and Indiana University. Those schools said they’re looking into the issue.

A statement from the University of Wisconsin said it will review all cases of legal guardianship to verify “genuine financial need.” Indiana University said it will contact any involved students and request documentation to verify financial aid eligibility. The University of Missouri said it has a “very small number” of suspected cases but will pull institutional aid from any students who misrepresented their financial status.

News of the scheme is likely to trigger a wave of similar investigations at colleges across the country as officials try to determine the scope, according to admissions and financial aid groups.

“I can guarantee that they are going to start doing some digging on their own campuses to see if they see any patterns,” said Jill Desjean, a policy analyst at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Some parents told Pro Public and The Journal that they transferred custody of their children on the advice of a college consulting firm called Destination College, based in Lincolnshire, Illinois. The company’s website promises to help parents pay for college “in the most efficient and inexpensive way.” The firm did not respond to a request seeking comment.

After having their custody transferred, students can claim they are independent of their families and apply for financial aid using their own earnings rather than their families’. That would typically qualify them for federal Pell Grants, which are capped at about $6,000 a year, and an Illinois state program that provides about $5,000 a year. It could also make them eligible for university scholarships that range as high as the full cost of tuition.

Mark Sklarow, CEO of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, says both the guardianship scheme and the bribery scandal are symptoms of the spiraling cost of college tuition. Still, he denounced the scheme and said it unfairly robs students who need the most help.

“Guardianship laws are designed for when parents are unable or should not be responsible for a child’s well-being,” he said. “It isn’t something that is meant to be traded away in order to beat the system.”

To help spot the scheme, the University of Illinois added new questions for applicants who indicate they’ve had changes in guardianship. They’re now asked who pays their cellphone bills, for example, and their health care costs. But school officials and financial aid experts are wary of making the process overly complicated for students who have undergone legitimate custody transfers.

“We don’t want to see them having to jump through additional hoops,” said Desjean, of the financial aid association. “It could place an extra burden the most vulnerable students who really are in legal guardianship.”

Among the most immediate questions for the University of Illinois is whether to continue providing university aid to students who used the scheme. Officials said they’re still deciding. But when it comes to federal and state aid, the school is legally required to keep that money flowing to eligible families, said Borst, the admissions director.

“We’ve addressed it as much as we are able to legally,” he said. “But we’re still stuck with having to provide federal and state aid to families who are manipulating the financial aid process.”

Taliban Expects Peace Deal With US in Next Meeting

The Taliban says it is hopeful an agreement will be reached with the United States to end the 18-year-old war in Afghanistan when the two adversaries meet later this week in Qatar for a crucial round of peace negotiations.

The two sides have worked hard for nearly one year and almost drafted a text in which “we have addressed all major issues,” Suhail Shaheen, who speaks for the Taliban negotiating team, told VOA.

Taliban negotiators have done their part and it is now up to the American side whether they have “made up their mind” and take the next step of winding up the dialogue process, he asserted.

“We hope to reach an agreement on the troops’ withdrawal,” Shaheen said when asked for his exceptions from the upcoming meeting, though he declined to say when exactly the talks will take place.

FILE – Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad at the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington, Feb. 8, 2019.

U.S chief negotiator Zalamay Khalilzad, who has been in Afghanistan for more than a week, tweeted Wednesday that he is heading to Qatar for talks with the Taliban. “In Doha, if the Taliban do their part, we will do ours and conclude the agreement we have been working on.” Khalilzad added that during his stay in Kabul he worked with Afghan leaders to finalize a negotiating team for intra-Afghan talks. Khalilzad said he will stop in neighboring Pakistan before traveling to the Qatari capital.

The draft text outlines a “mutually agreed” timeline for U.S. troops to leave the country in exchange for Taliban guarantees that “Afghan soil, particularly areas under our control” do not become a platform for transnational terrorism, Shaheen said, without sharing specific details.

He said international guarantors, possibly China, Russia, the United Nations, and neighbors of Afghanistan, including Pakistan and Iran, will witness the signing of the U.S.-Taliban agreement.

U.S. President Donald Trump has indicated he intends to wind down the longest U.S. foreign military intervention, costing Washington an estimated nearly one trillion dollars and more than 2,400 lives of American military personnel.

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said President Trump has instructed him to reduce the number of American troops in Afghanistan by the 2020 election. “He (Trump) has been unambiguous: End the endless wars. Draw down. Reduce. It won’t just be us,” Pompeo noted in some of the clearest comments on the administration’s plans to terminate the war.

Once the agreement between the United States and the Taliban is inked, it will require the insurgents to immediately enter into negotiations with Afghan stakeholders.

The chief Taliban negotiator, Sher Abbas Stanikzai, earlier this month acknowledged while talking to VOA in Doha that issues such as a permanent and comprehensive cease-fire will be taken up in the intra-Afghan talks.

“We are committed that when the final agreement is signed with the Americans for the withdrawal of their troops and the timetable is given and international guarantors are witnessing the final signature, after that we will go to the inter-Afghan dialogue,” Stanikzai explained to VOA.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government has repeatedly said it would have the lead role in conducting the inter-Afghan talks, prompting the Taliban to quickly deny those assertions.

Khalilzad, however, intervened on Saturday to end the confusion by publicly explaining who would be sitting on the negotiating table when intra-Afghan negotiations begin.

“They will take place between the Taliban and an inclusive and effective national negotiating team consisting of senior government officials, key political party representatives, civil society and women,” the Afghan-born U.S. envoy tweeted.

Khalilzad’s statement was yet another major concession to the Taliban who have consistently refused to engage in direct talks with the Ghani administration, dismissing it as “illegitimate and an American puppet.”

The Afghan-born American reconciliation envoy has been in Kabul over the past week and has held at least four meetings with Ghani and talked to key Afghan opposition leaders as well as civil society leaders in his bid to push them to form a representative team for the much-awaited talks with the Taliban to help end decades of bloodshed in the country.

Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace

Neighboring Pakistan, meanwhile, is increasingly taking the center stage in the Afghan peace process for arranging the U.S.-Taliban dialogue and vowing to intensify its role to help bring the process to the logical conclusion.

Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Washington earlier this month and discussed Afghanistan with President Trump. The Pakistani leader promised to personally meet with Taliban leaders to persuade them to go for a negotiated settlement to the war through Afghan-to-Afghan talks.

On Tuesday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi welcomed Pompeo’s statement about U.S. military drawdown. He insisted while talking to reporters that Islamabad is moving forward with “honesty and in good faith” to further the Afghan reconciliation process but he dismissed assertions Pakistan alone is responsible for doing so.

“Pakistan is a facilitator. Pakistan is not a guarantor. The onus cannot be on Pakistan alone because it is a shared responsibility. It will be unrealistic for the world to expect that we (Pakistan) have a magic wand and can ensure desired outcomes from this peace process,” Qureshi stressed.

Afghans, however, remain critical of Pakistan’s efforts, alleging the country has sheltered Taliban leaders and helped them sustain insurgent activities on the Afghan side, charges Islamabad rejects.

Pakistan’s ongoing effort to fence its nearly 2,600 kilometer Afghan border, denunciation of continued Taliban violence and promoting a reconciliation process are all aimed at securing peaceful neighborhood, say officials in Islamabad.

“We will cooperate even with the devil for ensuring peace in Afghanistan,” a senior Pakistani security official insisted when asked to respond to allegations Pakistan wants to install a government of its own choice in Kabul like it did in the past by supporting certain Afghan factions.

“Pakistan had coined the phrase, and now continues to urge all sides to faithfully implement the “Afghan-owned, Afghan-led” principle as hopes for peace grow stronger by the day,” observed a senior foreign ministry official with direct knowledge of Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace building efforts.

“Aware of its key role, Pakistan will continue to shoulder its part of the shared responsibility,” he added.

Pakistani officials, however, cautioned in background interviews  that their “core interests and serious concerns cannot be overlooked” as such attempts would cast a shadow on this spirt of cooperation.”

Pakistani officials allege rival India’s growing influence in the Afghan security establishment is behind recent terrorist attacks inside Pakistan and want India’s role restricted to only reconstruction assistance to the war-torn country. New Delhi rarely comments on the Pakistani allegations while the Afghan government rejects them as baseless.  

Sources in Islamabad told VOA senior U.S. State Department diplomat Alice Wells will arrive in Pakistan next week to review Afghan peace efforts in meetings with Pakistani officials.

Wells, the U.S. principal deputy assistant secretary of state in charge of South and Central Asian affairs, is credited with initiating the direct U.S. talks with the Taliban in July 2018. There was no official confirmation available from either side about her upcoming visit, however.

Iran’s possible role to act as a guarantor in the final U.S.-Taliban deal, however, is unclear in the wake of the country’s increased tensions with the United States. Sources tell VOA that Tehran had refused to attend a meeting Beijing hosted in early July of senior Chinese, Russian, American and Pakistani officials to review Afghan peace developments.

 

 

Бекіров збирається голодувати, якщо його справу відправлять у Красноперекопськ – адвокат

Кримськотатарський активіст Едем Бекіров збирається голодувати, якщо його справу відправлять для розгляду в місто Красноперекопськ на півночі анексованого Росією Криму, заявив у Facebook адвокат Іслям Веліляєв, який відвідав заарештованого в СІЗО Сімферополя.

За його словами, Бекіров вважає, що не витримає етапування до Красноперекопька.

Адвокат описав стан здоров’я Бекірова як «стабільно критичний».

«Протягом 10 днів не міг встати з нар через защемлення нерва і сильного болю в спині. Болить серце, мучить задишка і ядуха. Відчуття нестачі свіжого повітря Щодня вводять ін’єкцію інсуліну і дають діабетичні препарати», – розповів Веліляєв.

23 липня уповноважена Верховної Ради з прав людини Людмила Денісова звернулася до російського омбудсмена Тетяни Москалькової через стан здоров’я Бекірова.

Російські слідчі відмовляються його шпиталізувати, попри рішення Європейського суду з прав людини.

Бекірова в анексованому Криму обвинувачують у незаконному зберіганні боєприпасів і вибухівки. Він відкидає обвинувачення.

Жителя селища Новоолексіївка Херсонської області Едема Бекірова російські силовики затримали на в’їзді в анексований Крим вранці 12 грудня 2018 року. Відомо, що він прямував до Криму для відвідування 78-річної матері та родичів. Підконтрольний Кремлю Київський районний суд Сімферополя заарештував Бекірова.

Гройсман: у Порошенка вже все позаду

П’ятий президент України Петро Порошенко «не зробив для себе висновків», заявив прем’єр-міністр Володимир Гройсман на своїй сторінці у Facebook. Він вважає, що в колишнього голови держави «все позаду».

«Прочитав інтерв’ю Петра Олексійовича для «Української правди». Схоже, він так і не зробив для себе висновків з того всього, що відбулось останнім часом. Як, на жаль, так і не зрозумів, чому я не пішов на вибори разом з ним», – написав Гройсман.

Він висловив жаль, що Порошенко «великою надією і підтримкою людей пожертвував заради своїх приватних інтересів».

«Врешті і я теж не зміг з огляду на його підходи реалізувати все те, що мав намір зробити. І саме тому нам не по дорозі. Що ж, у нього вже все позаду. Але я впевнений – в України все ще попереду», – написав Гройсман.

У квітні Володимир Зеленський здобув у другому турі виборів президента 73,22% голосів. Петро Порошенко – 24,45%.

На дострокових парламентських виборах п’ятий президент очолив виборчий список «Європейської солідарності», яка посіла четверте місце і здобула 25 місць у Верховній Раді.

«Партія Українська стратегія Гройсмана» отримала на виборах 2,41% та не потрапила до парламенту.

В інтерв’ю «Українській правді» Порошенко, говорячи про рішення Гройсмана іти на вибори самостійно, сказав: «Чи було право у Володимира зробити цей вибір? Було. Чи схвалюю я цей вибір? Ні. Я вважаю, що з політичної точки зору, це було самогубство. Але чи має він право на цей вибір? Очевидно, так». Порошенко додав, що прем’єру не допомогла критика експрезидента.

У 2014 році Гройсман обрався народним депутатом за списками партії «Блок Петра Порошенка» і став головою Верховної Ради. У квітні 2016 року Гройсмана призначили прем’єр-міністром.

Ліга чемпіонів: українець Швед забив дебютний гол за «Селтік»

Український футболіст Мар’ян Швед забив гол у дебютному матчі за шотландський «Селтік» у другому раунді кваліфікації Ліги чемпіонів.

Українець вийшов на заміну в другому таймі в матчі проти естонського «Нимме Калью», забив на 93-й хвилині та встановив остаточний рахунок – 0:2. Перша гра закінчилася з рахунком 5:0 на користь «Селтіка».

У наступному раунді команда Шведа зіграє з румунським «Клужем».

Українець перейшов із львівських «Карпат» до «Селтіка» в січні 2019 року, проте другу частину минулого сезону провів у Львові.

Угорський «Ференцварош» під керівництвом українця Сергія Реброва зіграв внічию з мальтійською «Валеттою» й пройшов до третього раунду кваліфікації Ліги чемпіонів. Перша гра між командами завершилася з рахунком 3:1.

У наступному раунді «Ференцварош» зіграє з хорватським «Динамо» (Загреб).

Trump Warns China to Negotiate Trade Deal Now Rather Than Later

As U.S.-China trade talks are set to begin, U.S. President Donald Trump is warning China against negotiating a deal after the 2020 U.S. presidential election  — declaring a delayed agreement would be less attractive than a deal reached in the near term.

“The problem with them waiting … is that if & when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now … or no deal at all,” Trump said in a post Tuesday on Twitter.

…to ripoff the USA, even bigger and better than ever before. The problem with them waiting, however, is that if & when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now…or no deal at all. We have all the cards, our past leaders never got it!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2019

The tweet came as U.S. and Chinese officials gathered in Shanghai to revive talks, with both sides trying to temper expectations for a breakthrough.

The world’s two largest economies are engaged in an intense trade war, having imposed punitive tariffs on each other totaling more than $360 billion in two-way trade.

The negotiations come after Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed at June’s G-20 summit to resurrect efforts to end the costly trade war over China’s technology ambitions and trade surplus.

China is resisting U.S. demands to abolish government-led plans for industrial leaders to enhance robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies.

The U.S. has complained China’s plans depend on the acquisition of foreign technology through theft or coercion.

Days prior to the Shanghai meeting, Trump threatened to withdraw recognition of China’s developing nation’s status at the World Trade Organization. China responded by saying the threat is indicative of the “arrogance and selfishness” of the U.S.

The U.S. delegation in Shanghai will be represented by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. They are due to meet with a Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He, who serves as the country’s economic czar.

 

 

 

 

UN Official Says War in Yemen Knocked Country Back 20 Years

A top U.N. official warned Monday that Yemen’s devastating five-year civil war has knocked the country back 20 years in terms of development and access to education.

Yemen was already the Arab world’s poorest nation before the war, which has killed tens of thousands of people. In 2014, rebels known as Houthis took over the capital, Sanaa, prompting a Saudi-led military intervention. The stalemated conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives, thrust millions to the brink of famine and spawned the world’s most devastating humanitarian crisis.
 
“Much of the Yemeni economy has collapsed. People literally do not have any money to buy food,” Achim Steiner, U.N. Development Program administrator, told The Associated Press.

“Thousands of schools are closed, millions of children aren’t able to attend school, missing a generation of education,” he said. “Yemen has lost… 20 years of development.”
 
Steiner recently returned from a visit to Yemen, including the strategic port city of Hodeida. He waned that one in every three Yemenis are at risk of starving to death, out of a population of 30 million.
 
In Hodeida, he said the U.N. Development Program has been working to remove land mines from Hodeida’s port, which handles 70 percent of Yemen’s food imports and humanitarian aid. He said he met with local authorities to create an agreement on “the priorities that are now needed in terms of repair spare parts, technologies that are needed in order to be able to allow the port to function again.”
 
Both sides of the conflict agreed in December to withdraw from Hodeida, considered an important first step toward ending the war. But the implementation of the U.N.-brokered deal has since been delayed, as the agreement was vague on who would control Hodeida’s key port facilities after the withdrawal, saying only that a “local force” would take over.
 
Steiner urged both sides to help U.N. agencies “deliver fast and with little obstruction, the kinds of services, support, food, medicines” that ordinary Yemenis need.

A boy and his sisters watch graffiti artists spray on a wall, commemorating the victims who were killed in Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Sanaa, Yemen, May 18, 2015.

“We would like to see that port up and running again in a matter of months. It can be done but only with the full cooperation of both sides,” he said.
 
Steiner said the UNDP in Yemen faces financial difficulties, as the pledges for humanitarian support in Yemen were close to $3 billion this year, but less than $1.1 billion has been delivered.
 
“We will have to stop programs, we will have to cut rations, and probably in the next two to three months, 21 support programs in the country have to be stopped,” he warned.

 

Ex-Tehran Mayor Sentenced to Death over Wife’s Murder

Former Tehran mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi was sentenced to death after being convicted of murdering his wife, the judiciary said Tuesday, after a high-profile case that received extensive media coverage.

A prominent reformist, Najafi was found guilty of shooting dead his second wife Mitra Ostad at their home in the capital on May 28, said Iran’s judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili.

According to Iranian media reports, her body was found in a bathtub after Najafi, 67, turned himself in and confessed to killing her.

“The charge sheet included premeditated murder, battery and possession of an illegal firearm,” Esmaili said, quoted by the judiciary’s official news agency Mizan Online.

“The court has established premeditated murder and passed the execution sentence,” he added.

Najafi was acquitted of the battery charge but received a two-year jail sentence for possessing the illegal firearm, the spokesman said without elaborating.

“The sentence is not yet final and can be appealed at the supreme court,” said Esmaili.

Ostad’s family had appealed for the Islamic law of retribution to be applied — an “eye for an eye” form of punishment which would see the death penalty served in this instance.

Najafi’s trial received detailed coverage in state media where scandals related to politicians rarely appear on television.

A mathematician, professor and veteran politician, Najafi had previously served as President Hassan Rouhani’s economic adviser and education minister.

He was elected Tehran mayor in August 2017, but resigned the following April after facing criticism from conservatives for attending a dance performed by schoolgirls.

Najafi married Ostad without divorcing his first wife, unusual in Iran where polygamy is legal but socially frowned upon.

Some of Iran’s ultra-conservatives said the case showed the “moral bankruptcy” of reformists, while reformists accused the conservative-dominated state television of bias in its coverage and highlighting the case for political ends.

 

Українські льотчики посадили вертоліт на кратер найактивнішого вулкану Африки – Міноборони

У Демократичній Республіці Конго екіпаж вертольоту «Мі-8» українського національного контингенту Місії ООН висадив науковців на кратер найактивнішого вулкану Африки – Ньямлагіра, повідомило Міністерство оборони України. Висота вулкану сягає трьох кілометрів.

«У цей час, а саме у ранкові години, на які був запланований політ, повітряні маси у районі вулканів-сусідів Ньямлагіра та Ньїрагонго є досить нестабільними. Спостерігається доволі серйозна турбулентність. Навіть під час елементарного, на перший погляд, завдання, а саме польоту навколо кратеру вулкану, нам довелося зіштовхнутися із сильним попутним вітром, швидкість якого сягала 90 км/год», – розповів льотчик-снайпер підполковник Володимир Прокопенко.

Через кілька годин екіпаж у складі Прокопенка та командира загону полковника Івана Шоломія забрав науковців із вулкану.

18-й окремий вертолітний загін виконує завдання у складі місії ООН на території Демократичної республіки Конго з грудня 2012 року.

Помпео заявив, що Трамп хоче скоротити кількість військ в Афганістані до листопада 2020 року

Державний секретар США Майк Помпео заявив, що президент Дональд Трамп хоче скоротити кількість американських та союзних військ в Афганістані до наступних президентських виборів у листопаді 2020 року.

«Він однозначний: припинити нескінченні війни, скоротити кількість, зменшити… Ми сподіваємося, що загалом потреба в бойових силах в регіоні зменшиться», – сказав Помпео.

Він вважає, що існує «реальний прогрес» у мирних переговорах із екстремістським угрупованням «Талібан».

Наразі в Афганістані перебуває близько 14 тисяч американських військових.

Вбивство Гандзюк: ГПУ повідомила, що термін запобіжного заходу Павловському закінчився

Термін запобіжного заходу Ігорю Павловському, якого підозрюють в організації вбивства активістки Катерини Гандзюк, уже завершився, повідомив речник Генеральної прокуратури України Андрій Лисенко в коментарі УНІАН.

Він зазначив, що прокурори не подавали клопотання про продовження дії запобіжного заходу через стан його здоров’я.

28 липня Павловський відвідав матч між київським «Динамо» та донецьким «Шахтарем» в Одесі.

Адвокат батька Гандзюк Євгенія Закревська розповіла, що прокуратура не інформує її про судові засідання у справі Павловського, про його запобіжний захід та інші слідчі дії. Усе це сталося після того, як справу Павловського було відокремлено в окреме провадження від основної справи вбивства активістки, каже адвокат.

«Тому його поява на футболі – це логічна кульмінація всього, що відбувалося останнім часом», – вважає Закревська.

Ігоря Павловського, колишнього помічника народного депутата від фракції «Блок Петра Порошенка» Миколи Паламарчука в Херсоні, підозрюють в організації замаху на Катерину Гандзюк. 26 квітня суд відпустив його під домашній арешт.

Чиновниця Херсонської міської ради, активістка Катерина Гандзюк померла 4 листопада 2018 року. Це сталося через три місяці після того, як її облили концентрованою сірчаною кислотою у Херсоні.

Після смерті жінки справу перекваліфікували на «умисне вбивство», однак згодом ГПУ змінила кваліфікацію підозрюваного у замовленні злочину Владислава Мангера на «умисне тілесне ушкодження, вчинене способом, що має характер особливого мучення, або вчинене групою осіб, а також з метою залякування потерпілого або інших осіб, або вчинене на замовлення, або спричинило смерть потерпілого».

У справі про замах на Гандзюк були затримані підозрювані у виконанні і організації нападу, але замовників офіційно не встановили.

Sailing to America: Teen to Bring Her Climate Activism to US

Greta Thunberg,  the Swedish teenager whose social media-savvy brand of eco-activism has inspired tens of thousands of students in Europe to skip classes and protest for faster action against climate change, said Monday that she plans to take her message to America the old-fashioned way: by boat.

The 16-year-old tweeted that she’ll sail across the Atlantic aboard a high-tech racing yacht, leaving Britain next month to attend U.N. climate summits in New York in September and Santiago, Chile, in December.

Thunberg told The Associated Press ahead of her announcement that she spent months trying to figure out how to travel to the U.S. without using planes, which she has long shunned because of their high greenhouse gas emissions.

Cruise ships are also notoriously big polluters, while sailors rarely brave the Atlantic in August because of hurricane risks.

“Taking a boat to North America is basically impossible,” she said in an interview during her weekly “Fridays for Future” protest outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm. “I have had countless people helping me, trying to contact different boats.”

Thunberg plans to take a year off from school to keep raising awareness of climate change and pressuring world leaders to step up efforts to curb global warming.

Since starting her “school strikes” in August 2018, the daughter of an actor and an opera singer has appeared before policymakers at last year’s U.N. climate conference in Poland and harangued business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She also met with Pope Francis, who praised Thunberg’s efforts and encouraged her to continue campaigning.

Although little-known in the United States, Thunberg has arguably become the figurehead for a new generation of European eco-activists worried that they’ll suffer the fallout from their parents’ and grandparents’ unwillingness to take strong actions to combat climate change.
“This past year, my life has turned upside down,” Thunberg told the AP. “Every day is an adventure, basically. Sometimes I have to pinch myself and say `Is this really real? Has this actually been happening?’ Because it has all happened so fast and it’s hard to keep up with everything.

“In a way, I am more optimistic, because people are slowly waking up and people are becoming more aware of the situation. This whole `Fridays for Future’ movement is very hopeful,” she said. “But also … one year has passed and still almost nothing has happened.”

Her visibility has made Thunberg a target for those who reject the overwhelming consensus among scientists that climate change is being driven by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, released by the burning of fossil fuels.
 
“I don’t care about hate and threats from climate crisis deniers,” she said. “I just ignore them.”
Thunberg said she’s unsure how her message will be received in the United States, where there’s broad opposition to the kind of radical measures scientists say are required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century compared with pre-industrial times.

“I will just try to go on as I have before,” the young Swede said.”Just always refer to the science and we’ll just see what happens.”

Thunberg wouldn’t rule out meeting with President Donald Trump, who wants the U.S. to withdraw from the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord, but appeared doubtful such an encounter would happen because she thinks it would be “just a waste of time.”

“As it looks now, I don’t think so, because I have nothing to say to him,” she told the AP. “He obviously doesn’t listen to the science and the scientists. So why should I, a child with no proper education, be able to convince him?”
 
Aside from attending a summit hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the global body’s annual assembly on Sept. 23, Thunberg plans to take part in several climate protests in New York. The British band The 1975s has released an album with a short essay by Thunberg set to music. It ends with her declaring “it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel.”

Thunberg stressed that she rejects violence, citing her school strikes for climate as the kind of action she backs. Last week she deleted a tweet showing her wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Antifascist All Stars,” after some accused her of supporting far-left extremists.

“You can rebel in different ways,” she said. “Civil disobedience is rebelling. As long as it’s peaceful, of course.”

After New York, Thunberg intends to travel to the annual U.N. climate conference in December, held in Chile this year, with stops in Canada, Mexico and other countries along the way, traveling by train and bus.

The yacht she’ll be crossing the Atlantic with is a far cry from the Viking ships that first brought Scandinavians to America. Captained by yachtsman Boris Herrmann, the 60-foot (18-meter) Malizia II is fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines to generate zero-carbon electricity on board.

Thunberg will also be accompanied on the two-week journey by a filmmaker, her father Svante and Pierre Casiraghi, the grandson of Monaco’s late Prince Rainier III and American actress Grace Kelly.

“I haven’t experienced anything like this before,” Thunberg said, a giggle breaking her normally serious demeanor. “I think this will be a trip to remember.”

Thunberg will be setting a very high bar for the activists and leaders from outside the Americas who are attending the U.N. climate conferences, almost all of whom will likely be coming by plane.

“I’m not saying that people should stop flying,” she said. “I’m just saying it needs to be easier to be climate neutral.”

US, China Revive Trade Talks With Low Hopes for Progress

Two months after U.S.-Chinese talks aimed at ending a tariff war broke down, both sides are trying to temper hopes for a breakthrough when negotiations resume Tuesday on an array of disputes that has grown to include tension over China’s tech giant Huawei.
 
Rhetoric has hardened despite the June agreement by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to revive efforts to end the costly fight over China’s technology ambitions and trade surplus.
 
“I don’t know if they’re going to make a deal,” Trump said Friday. “Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. I don’t care.” He repeated his claim that the United States is prospering by “taking in tens of billions of dollars” from his tariff hikes on Chinese products. In reality, those are paid by U.S. companies and consumers who buy Chinese goods.
 
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are due to meet Tuesday and Wednesday in Shanghai with a delegation led by China’s economy czar, Vice Premier Liu He.
 
Chinese leaders are resisting U.S. pressure to roll back plans for government-led development of industry leaders in robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies. Washington complains those efforts depend on stealing or pressuring foreign companies to hand over technology. Some American officials worry the U.S. is losing its lead.
 
For their part, American negotiators have resisted Beijing’s demand that they remove all punitive tariffs immediately. Washington wants to keep some in place to ensure China keeps its promises.
 
“The same issues that caused the talks to break down are still there,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics.
 
“Neither side seems any closer to offering major concessions,” said Evans-Pritchard. “It’s very hard to see how they can reach a deal this time if they were unable to do that in March.”
 
U.S. priorities include “industrial policy issues such as intellectual property rights, forced technology transfer and subsidies for [Chinese] state-owned enterprises,” said Jeff Moon, a former U.S. diplomat and trade official who specialized in China. “Enforcing any agreements is also a top priority.”
 
Economists are warning that with both sides still far apart, the truce is fragile.
 
After talks broke down in May, the Trump administration imposed curbs on U.S. technology sales to Huawei, the biggest global maker of network gear for phone companies and the No. 2 smartphone brand. U.S. officials view Huawei as a national security threat and warn that its equipment could be used for cyberespionage.
 
Beijing retaliated by announcing it would create its own list of “unreliable entities” subject to unspecified controls. Authorities have yet to announce which companies might be targeted.
 
On the eve of the talks, the Chinese government accused Washington on Monday of “arrogance and selfishness” after Trump pressed for the World Trade Organization to stop allowing Beijing and other governments to receive more lenient treatment as developing economies.
 
Trump told Lighthizer in a memo Friday the he wants the WTO to prevent member governments from claiming developing country status if their economies do not need beneficial treatment. Developing countries are allowed more time to open their economies and more leeway to subsidize exports.
 
China needs that status to “achieve real trade fairness,” said a foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying.

The Trump administration’s remarks “have further exposed its wayward arrogance and selfishness,” Hua said.
 
Trump has suggested he would consider easing up on Huawei if it meant getting a better trade deal.
 
“Trump — in his eagerness to find negotiating leverage — linked national security and trade with regard to Huawei to create a new bargaining chip,” Moon said. Members of Congress from both parties likely would object to any concessions on Huawei.
 
The tariff hikes are battering exporters on both sides and disrupting trade in goods from soybeans to medical devices. China’s imports of American goods fell 31.4% in June from a year ago while exports to the United States fell 7.8%.
 
Mnuchin is usually upbeat in public about the talks. But he tried to temper hopes when he announced plans for the Shanghai meeting, telling broadcaster CNBC that negotiators face “a lot of issues” and he expects to hold more talks, probably in Washington.
 
 “China and the United States will face tough negotiations. The gap between their current positions is very big,” said the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily.
 
Washington “still hopes to force Chinese concessions,” the newspaper said. It rejected “destructive surgery on China’s economic system” and called on Washington “not to deny the legitimacy of China’s demands.”
 
China agreed earlier to narrow its multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the United States by purchasing more American soybeans, natural gas and other exports. But it revoked that pledge after one of Trump’s tariff hikes last year.
 
Chinese leaders have grown more skittish, saying any agreement must be “balanced,” reflecting frustration that American officials would portray the talks as a victory for Washington, with China bearing the costs.
 
“If the responsibilities all come from China, it is not an agreement but a surrender,” said Tu Xinquan, director of the China Institute of International Trade and Economics.
 
Moon, who runs the China Moon Strategies consultancy, dismissed Beijing’s call for balance as “an excuse to object to reforming even the most protectionist aspects of China’s trade policy.”
 
Trump’s demands for changes in Chinese industrial policy strike at the heart of a state-led development model the ruling Communist Party sees as a path to prosperity and greater global influence.
 
The decision to add Huawei Technologies Ltd. to a U.S. “entity list” that limits exports threatens China’s first global tech brand.
 
Huawei, which reported $105 billion in sales in 2018, relies heavily on U.S. components and technology. Its founder said losing access to them could cut its projected revenue by $30 billion over the next two years.
 
That has fueled Communist Party suspicions Washington’s wants to “contain” China, making it harder for Xi to offer concessions, Evans-Pritchard said.
 
The trade fight takes place against a backdrop of tensions over China’s strategic ambitions.
 
Last week, Beijing accused Washington of undermining global stability after a U.S. warship sailed through the strait that separates the mainland from Taiwan, the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its territory.
 
China’s government made a new promise to buy American farm goods after Trump agreed ahead of his June meeting with Xi to allow some sales to Huawei.
 
Trump later accused Beijing of backtracking, saying on Twitter, “China is letting us down.”
 
Beijing tried to mollify Trump last week by announcing Chinese companies were ready to negotiate with American suppliers of agricultural products.
 
Asked whether U.S. curbs on Huawei must be lifted for trade talks to make progress, a government spokesman, Gao Feng, called on Washington to “stop using erroneous government measures to suppress Chinese enterprises.”

Israel’s Arab Parties Unite, Aim for Gains in Upcoming Vote

Israel’s four Arab political parties formalized a merger on Monday ahead of September elections, hoping to boost turnout among the minority that comprises a fifth of the country’s population.
 
The Palestinian nationalist Balad party announced late Sunday night that it would join a reunited Joint List of Arab parties, months after infighting fragmented the political alliance.
 
Ayman Odeh, head of the Hadash party, said Monday that now that the parties have reunited, they can address the “great challenge” facing the country’s Arab minority.
 
Israel’s Arab population mainly consists of Palestinians who remained in Israel after its creation in 1948 and their descendants. They largely identify with the Palestinians, and have long complained of discrimination.
 
Israeli electoral polls published last week projected that the Joint List could become the third largest party in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, after the September 17 elections.
 
The four factions first united in 2015, earning 13 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. But infighting later split the Joint List into two parties, which only won a combined 10 seats amid low Arab turnout in April’s election. Around 49% of Arabs cast ballots, down from 64% in the 2015 election.
 
Israel faces an unprecedented repeat election in September after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a majority coalition government. Instead, his ruling Likud party advanced a bill to dissolve parliament, sending Israelis to the polls for a second time in 2019.
 
The Joint List merger came days before this week’s deadline for Israeli political parties to finalize their lineups before the elections.
 
Last week, former prime minister Ehud Barak and the left-wing Meretz party announced the formation of a merger to form the Democratic Union, whose stated aim is to oust Netanyahu, who became Israel’s longest-serving prime minister earlier this month.
 
Former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who assumed the leadership of her New Right party last week, is negotiating a union with a constellation of religious nationalist parties headed by Education Minister Rafi Peretz. The New Right party failed to win enough votes in April’s election to enter the Knesset.