Суд на 60 діб арештував підозрюваного в організації вбивства Бабченка

Шевченківський районний суд Києва арештував на 60 діб затриманого Бориса Германа, якого в СБУ вважають організатором планованого убивства російського журналіста Аркадія Бабченка.

Таким чином, суд задовольнив клопотання прокуратури про обрання Герману запобіжного заходу у вигляді тримання під вартою. 

У ході засідання підозрюваний заявив, що він співпрацює з контррозвідкою, проте представник прокуратури в коментарі Радіо Свобода повідомив, що Герман не є агентом департаменту контррозвідки. 

Читайте також: Українські контррозвідники втерли носа Путіну – Богдан про справу Бабченка

Германа захищає фірма адвоката Євгена Солодка, відомий також за справами Олександра Єфремова та Юрія Крисіна.

Увечері 29 травня поліція повідомила, що в Києві вбили російського опозиційного журналіста Аркадія Бабченка.

30 травня голова СБУ Василь Грицак повідомив, що вбивство було інсценуванням, а журналіст живий. Грицак стверджує, що спецслужбі вдалося розкрити план з підготовки вбивства журналіста. СБУ затримала громадянина України Г., якого, за словами Грицака, для організації вбивства найнялиросійські спецслужби.

Журналіст залишив свою батьківщину в лютому 2017 року, мав можливість жити в Празі, але обрав роботу ведучим на кримськотатарському телеканалі ATR у Києві. Він пояснював рішення виїхати з Росії інформацією про можливість відкриття кримінального провадження щодо нього.

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Прокуратура про заяву Германа щодо співпраці з контррозвідкою: він не був агентом

Прокуратура відкидає заяву підозрюваного у справі планованого убивства російського журналіста Аркадія Бабченка Бориса Германа про співпрацю з контррозвідкою. Про це в коментарі Радіо Свобода сказав прокурор Руслан Кравченко.

«На даний час вже перевірено, що він не був таємним чи нетаємним агентом департаменту контррозвідки СБУ», – заявив він.

Прокурор зауважив, що підозрюваний Герман після затримання відмовився від надання показів.

«Це перше, що ми почули від підозрюваного… після того, як ми проаналізували матеріали, докази, можна сказати, що це неправда. Цілком точно встановлено доказами, які на даний час зібрані, що це неправда», – сказав Кравченко. 

Сьогодні суд обирає запобіжний захід для Бориса Германа, якого в СБУ вважають організатором планованого убивства російського журналіста Аркадія Бабченка. 

Герман під час судового засідання заявив, що він співпрацює з контррозвідкою.

Читайте також: Затриманий ймовірний організатор «вбивства» Бабченка – 50-річний бізнесмен, екс-помічник регіонала – Схеми

Германа захищає фірма адвоката Євгена Солодка, відомий також за справами Олександра Єфремова та Юрія Крисіна.

Увечері 29 травня поліція повідомила, що в Києві вбили російського опозиційного журналіста Аркадія Бабченка.

30 травня голова СБУ Василь Грицак повідомив, що вбивство було інсценуванням, а журналіст живий. Грицак стверджує, що спецслужбі вдалося розкрити план з підготовки вбивства журналіста. СБУ затримала громадянина України Г., якого, за словами Грицака, для організації вбивства найняли російські спецслужби.

Журналіст залишив свою батьківщину в лютому 2017 року, мав можливість жити в Празі, але обрав роботу ведучим на кримськотатарському телеканалі ATR у Києві. Він пояснював рішення виїхати з Росії інформацією про можливість відкриття кримінального провадження щодо нього.

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Підозрюваний в організації вбивства Бабченка заявляє про співпрацю з контррозвідкою

Борис Герман, якого в СБУ вважають організатором планованого убивства російського журналіста Аркадія Бабченка, заявляє, що він співпрацює з контррозвідкою.

«Я співпрацюю зі внутрішньою розвідкою щодо виявлення на території України дій Росії для зміни української влади. Контррозвідка дала мені можливість і повноваження вивчати зв’язки, тобто вивчати потоки грошей, які приходять в Україну, через кого і кому… », – заявив він під час засідання суду, який обирає йому запобіжний захід.

За його словами, він співпрацює з контррозвідкою близько півроку.

Читайте також: Затриманий ймовірний організатор «вбивства» Бабченка – 50-річний бізнесмен, екс-помічник регіонала – Схеми

«Я не маю ніяких негативних емоцій до Бабченка, не маю претензій до Цимбалюка…Цимбалюк був обраний для цієї місії контррозвідкою…коли він обирався на цю роль, усі знали, що він піде до СБУ… що буде інсценування, це все було відомо. Для того, щоб узяти інформацію з російського джерела, нам потрібно було зробити якусь імітацію роботи, щоб мати довіру. Після цього вони надали нам список з тридцяти людей, який передали контррозвідці», – заявив Герман, додавши, що це не було озвучено раніше, тому що є велика кількість «кротів у цих підрозділах».

Підтверджень цієї інформації з інших джерел немає.

Шевченківський районний суд Києва зараз обирає запобіжний захід  Борису Герману.

Читайте також: Українські контррозвідники втерли носа Путіну – Богдан про справу Бабченка

Германа захищає фірма адвоката Євгена Солодка, відомий також за справами Олександра Єфремова та Юрія Крисіна.

Увечері 29 травня поліція повідомила, що в Києві вбили російського опозиційного журналіста Аркадія Бабченка.

30 травня голова СБУ Василь Грицак повідомив, що вбивство було інсценуванням, а журналіст живий. Грицак стверджує, що спецслужбі вдалося розкрити план з підготовки вбивства журналіста. СБУ затримала громадянина України Г., якого, за словами Грицака, для організації вбивства найняли російські спецслужби.

Журналіст залишив свою батьківщину в лютому 2017 року, мав можливість жити в Празі, але обрав роботу ведучим на кримськотатарському телеканалі ATR у Києві. Він пояснював рішення виїхати з Росії інформацією про можливість відкриття кримінального провадження щодо нього.

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Ukraine: Reporter’s Fake Murder Involved Pig’s Blood, Morgue

A Russian journalist, who helped stage his own death to avoid an alleged Russian plot to murder him, says the operation involved pig’s blood and him being transported to a morgue.

Ukrainian authorities disclosed Wednesday they planned his mock death after learning Russian security officials supposedly had ordered his murder a month ago.

In his first detailed accounting of the sting since its revelation, Arkady Babchenko said at a news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, he could have chosen not to participate when he was approached about a month ago. Instead, he promptly agreed.

“I said, ‘Great!’ Why have you been waiting for a month?”

Babchenko said after he arrived at the morgue, he changed his clothes and began watching the news.  

A Kremlin spokesman said Thursday that Russia is glad Babchenko is alive, but called the staging of his death “strange.”

The prominent Russian war correspondent and Kremlin critic had been reported to be shot dead in the stairwell of his Kyiv apartment building on Tuesday. But Babchenko stunned reporters when he appeared alive and well Wednesday as Ukrainian security officials explained the death had been faked.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday he did not know if the result of the case justified the actions taken, and that the situation does not change Russia’s view that Ukraine is a dangerous place for journalists.

Reporters Without Borders condemned Babchenko’s fake death, saying it was “distressing and regrettable” for Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) to play with the truth.

“Was such a scheme really necessary? There can be no grounds for faking a journalist’s death,” said the group’s secretary-general Christophe Deloire.

On the ethics of the operation

Babchenko responded to the criticism in front of his colleagues Thursday at a news conference in Kyiv.

“Do you want to survive or do you want to preserve the ethics, morals, purity and spiritual standards of your profession? You are welcome to preserve the ethics, morals and purity of your profession. I chose the option to survive.”

At a televised briefing Wednesday, SBU chief Vasyl Hrytsak stood alongside Babchenko as he recounted events leading up to the foiled assassination attempt.

The operation began with a tip from an anonymous source who said an unidentified Ukrainian national had been inquiring about buying weapons for a contract killing in Kyiv, which triggered the SBU probe.  Officials said he had been asked to find and hire someone to carry out the assassination.

During the negotiations, Hrytsak said, the man claimed Russia’s Secret Service had offered him $40,000 to organize and carry out the hit. He said the suspect was a former separatist fighter who had fought in eastern Ukraine.

SBU investigators then recruited Babchenko into the sting operation designed to catch Russian agents in the act of conducting an extrajudicial killing on foreign soil.

Investigators said the intermediary who had been tasked with hiring the gunman was in custody, and officials said they had additional hard evidence linking Russia’s secret service to the assassination plot, though they did not provide details.

Apologies

Addressing reporters, Babchenko told his family he was sorry for faking his own death.

 

“I’d like to apologize for everything you’ve had to go through,” he said. “I’ve been at the funeral of many friends and colleagues, and I know this nauseating feeling. Sorry for putting you through this, but there was no other way.

 

“Special apologies to my wife for the hell she’s been through these two days,” he added. “Olya, forgive me, please, but there was no other option.”

 

Police reports that followed initial reports of the shooting say it was Babchenko’s wife who discovered him lying in a pool of blood at the entrance of their Kyiv apartment.

It is not clear whether his wife was involved in the sting.

“As far as I know, this operation took two months to prepare,” Babchenko told the briefing. “They saved my life. I want to say thank you.”

Tuesday’s news of the shooting shocked the Ukrainian capital, prompting Kyiv and Moscow officials to blame each for the reporter’s death.

 

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman suggested Russia had orchestrated the killing, while Kremlin spokesman Peskov rejected that claim.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said after Babchenko’s reappearance Wednesday that Ukrainian officials had circulated a false story for purposes of “propaganda.”

Kyiv police and officials from Ukraine’s Interior Ministry had announced on Tuesday that Babchenko had died in an ambulance on the way to a hospital after being shot in the back at his home in Kyiv, where he has lived in exile since August 2017.

News of the 41-year-old’s reported death had shocked colleagues and added to tension between Moscow and Kyiv, whose ties have been badly damaged by Russia’s seizure of Crimea and backing for separatist militants in a devastating war in eastern Ukraine.

This story originated in VOA’s Ukrainian Service; some reporting by AP and RFE/RL.

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European Court: Romania, Lithuania Hosted CIA Secret Jails

The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that Romania and Lithuania allowed the detention and abuse of a Saudi and a Palestinian at secret U.S. prisons.

The Strasbourg, France-based court said Thursday that Abd al-Rahim Al Nashiri, a Saudi national later sent to Guantanamo Bay, was detained and abused in Romania between Sept. 2003 and Oct. 2005, and urged Romania to investigate and punish perpetrators.

The court concluded that Al-Nashiri was blindfolded, hooded, shackled, kept in solitary confinement, and subjected to loud noise and bright light during his detention at the CIA prison in Romania.

Romania denies hosting such CIA facilities. There was no immediate reaction from the government.

The court said Al Nashiri and Zubaydah were both considered “high-value detainees” taken by the CIA at the start of the U.S.-led “war on terror.”

Al Nashiri’s lawyer, Amrit Singh, called the ruling “a sharp rebuke to Romania’s shameful attempts” to conceal its hosting of a secret CIA prison.She was the lead lawyer on the case with the New York-based Open Society Justice Initiative.

Singh also noted the court’s decision in light of the appointment of new CIA Director Gina Haspel, who supervised a covert detention site in Thailand where terror suspects, including al-Nashiri, were waterboarded, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning.

“The European court’s ruling is critical for upholding standards of international law — that torture is absolutely prohibited and those involved in torture must be held to account,” said Singh. “It stands in stark contrast to the United States’ decision to promote Gina Haspel to CIA Director despite her role in my client’s torture.”

 The court also said that Lithuania hosted a secret CIA detention facility from February 2005 to March 2006 where Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian suspected of being a planner for the Sept. 11 attacks, was detained.

It ruled that Lithuania allowed him to be moved to another CIA detention site in Afghanistan, “exposing him to further ill-treatment.” He is currently detained at Guantanamo Bay and has not been charged.

Lithuanian authorities said they would consider appealing the court’s decision and may also investigate the claims again.

Justice Minister Elvinas Jankevicius told reporters that “we will take a decision after carefully examining,” the ruling. Vytautas Bakas, the chairman of the parliamentary committee for national security and defense, said he would propose opening a new probe.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, however, contradicted the justice minister and said in a statement that the small Baltic country’s “reputation damage is done,” adding that Lithuania “thus will have to execute a court judgment” and pay Zubaydah 130,000 euros ($152,000). She has regularly clashed with the Lithuanian government and forced a minister to resign after expressing her distrust.

Amnesty International called the rulings “a key milestone in holding European governments accountable for their involvement in illegal CIA activities in the aftermath” of the 9/11 attacks.

Roisin Pillay, director of the International Council of Jurists’ Europe and Central Asia Program claimed that “many other European governments colluded with the U.S. to illegally transfer, `disappear’ and torture people during rendition operations and must also be held accountable.”

A 2009 investigation in Lithuania concluded that the country’s intelligence agency helped the CIA set up two small detention centers there, but did not determine whether the facilities were actually used in the interrogation of terrorism suspects.

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Turkey’s Erdogan Ramps Up Nationalist Rhetoric

Conspiracy theories have long been a feature of cultural and political life in Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been adept, say his political foes, in using them to stoke a long-held fear by Turks of the malevolence of foreign powers determined to “demolish” the country.   

But in the run-up to the June 24 snap presidential and parliamentary elections, Erdogan and his aides seem more eager than ever, say his opponents, to paint Turkey as beset by shadowy outside forces and to blame foreign governments for all of Turkey’s woes.

Those include a calamitous slide in the value of the lira, which has lost 17 percent of its value against the dollar since the start of 2018.

Speaking to Turkey’s private broadcaster A Haber Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu blamed the plunge in the Turkish lira on an organized campaign masterminded abroad – including by Turkey’s NATO allies.

“They began working on how they could demolish Turkey through its economy after the July 15 coup attempt failed. We have managed to repel these attacks with minimum damage by taking precautions,” Cavusoglu said, referring to the failed overthrow attempt of 2016.

“Some countries are in this scheme, as well as financial institutions and the interest rate lobby. These include some Muslim countries, too. I will not name names here, I am only drawing the framework,” he added.

An organized foreign-based campaign to attack the lira isn’t seen as the cause for the crash in the value of Turkey’s currency by economists. European powers are more often than not cited by Erdogan and his followers as the main plotters. But economists say weakening the lira isn’t in European interests – quite the reverse in fact, given that the plummeting currency is threatening to spark a Europe-wide financial crisis because Italian, Spanish and French banks have lent billions to Turkish companies, which are now struggling to service their dollar-denominated loans.

“European banks are vulnerable to a worsening crisis in Turkey,” Charles Gave, a strategist at the independent analysis house GaveKal, has warned. “When it comes to major defaults in Turkey, it takes little imagination to predict new banking turmoil in Europe,” he added.

Economists point to Erdogan’s habit of interfering with the decisions of the country’s central bank, and his months-long refusal to allow interest rate hikes, which are unpopular with his supporters, for the perilous crash in the lira.

Keeping interest rates low for years fueled a business boom good for key supporters, and consolidating his support base is key, if Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) are to win the elections. But the plummeting lira has prompted even some traditional AKP voters to question Erdogan’s handling of the economy, say analysts, although a recent poll suggests that 42 percent of Turks agree with Erdogan’s explanation for its fall.

It’s not just the economy

But it isn’t just the drop in the value of Turkey’s currency that is being blamed on plots hatched overseas by conspiratorial foreigners. As the election campaign has unfolded, the Turkish president and AKP stalwarts have painted in ever more vivid colors how the U.S., Europeans and the “Jewish lobby” are all aiming to wreck the Turkish state, argues Abdullah Bozkurt of the Stockholm Center for Freedom, an advocacy group founded by Turkish journalists in exile.

It is part of an “election strategy to suppress the talk of growing economic troubles, which is a major vulnerability for Erdogan during the election campaign” and to stir up nationalist emotions to draw attention “away from issues such as the deficit in democracy, human rights violations, the state of emergency, good governance, corruption and economic woes,” he says.

Amid signs that the AKP is struggling in the run-up to next month’s elections, Erdogan and his party stalwarts have been ratcheting up conspiracy theories and playing on fears about foreign powers and so-called fifth columnists, say analysts and his political rivals.

It is not a new AKP tactic. The failed July 2016 military coup, which Erdogan and his aides say was masterminded by a U.S.-based Turkish cleric, has also been “linked” by Erdogan to the CIA and other foreign intelligence agencies as well as Western research organizations.

A U.S. pastor, Andrew Brunson, is currently on trial, accused by Turkish authorities of being a spy and of conspiring with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, to carve out a Christian Kurdish mini-state in Turkey. Brunson says he never engaged in politics and analysts say the charges are implausible.

To some extent the AKP playbook in this election run-up is similar to the electoral tactics employed in 2015, according to analysts. But the difference this time, they say, is in intensity and degree with Erdogan and his ministers seemingly eager to pick as many fights with Western governments as they can and in the process to strain ties to breaking point.

‘Deliberately risking a confrontation’

“Erdogan is deliberately risking a confrontation with Turkey’s allies, friends and trading partners,” according to Bozkurt.

This week, Turkish officials launched a ferocious attack on French President Emmanuel Macron for his defense of French magazine Le Point, which splashed a photo of Erdogan on its May 24 edition dubbing him a “dictator.” Le Point editors said they had been targeted for harassment by Erdogan supporters, prompting Macron to condemn the intimidation as unacceptable. “You cannot put a price on freedom of the press, without it, it’s dictatorship,” the French leader tweeted.

Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik slammed Macron. “French magazine Le Point circulated a hate crime and attacked our president with dark propaganda,” Celik tweeted. “How long have hate crimes been freedom of the press? Is it proper for Macron when the same style, hate speech and black propaganda are used against him?”

On a visit to London in mid-May, Erdogan focused his ire on U.S. President Donald Trump, baiting him and lambasting him during an event at Chatham House for moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and saying the United States had lost its mediating role in the Mideast. Other U.S. allies in the region have also disapproved of the U.S. embassy’s relocation, but have been more restrained in their criticism.

At times it has appeared as if AKP candidates are running against the West – not domestic opponents. In a campaign speech Thursday, AKP minister Veysel Eroglu promised supporters: “I swear to you we’ll overtake Britain, Germany and France. We are on the rise and they are in decline. Allah is with Turkish nation. Therefore don’t worry, we’ll succeed on this with God’s help.”

The increasing anti-Western rhetoric, rampant nationalism and conspiracy-spotting is seeping into what would normally be non-political areas. In recent weeks pro-government journalists have targeted Netflix, the movie-streaming company, claiming that the popular series Casa de Papel contains subliminal themes designed to foment “an economic coup d’etat, political assassinations, a wave of terror attacks.”

And Istanbul taxi drivers have accused Uber rivals of having ties to dark overseas powers.

 

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US Slaps Tariffs on Steel, Aluminum from EU, Canada, Mexico

The United States is escalating trans-Atlantic and North American trade tensions, imposing a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico that will go into effect on Friday.

 

The move is prompting immediate retaliatory tariffs from the Europeans – expected to target such iconic American products as Harley Davidson motorcycles and Levi’s jeans, as well as Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey.

“We look forward to continued negotiations, both with Canada and Mexico on the one hand, and with the European Commission on the other hand, because there are other issues that we also need to get resolved,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters in a telephone briefing on Thursday.

“This is a bad day for world trade,” responded European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who announced there is “no choice” but to proceed with a World Trade Organization dispute settlement case and additional duties on numerous U.S. imports.

“We will defend the EU’s interests, in full compliance with international trade law,” Juncker added.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said the tariffs are needed for national security, claiming current trade deals harm U.S. companies and cost America jobs.

The U.S. also negotiated voluntary export limits from South Korea, Argentina, Australia and Brazil, said the commerce secretary.

The U.S. also negotiated quotas or volume limits on other countries such as South Korea, Argentina, Australia and Brazil instead of tariffs, Ross told reporters.

Ross, in Paris, interviewed after the announcement on CNBC, brushed off retaliatory moves by Europe on $3 billion worth of American goods, saying “it’s a tiny, tiny fraction of one percent” of trade.

Ross, a banker known for restructuring failed companies prior to joining Trump’s Cabinet, also predicted America’s trading partners “will get over this in due course.”

“The United States is taking on the whole world in trade and it’s not going to go well,” predicted Simon Lester, trade policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute.

‘Not very cataclysmic’

The U.S. trade action has spooked investors, sending key U.S. stock indexes down in Thursday morning trading.

The drop is “not very cataclysmic in any event,” responded Ross in the CNBC interview.

Reacting to that comment, Lester told VOA News that while “we’re not talking about the end of the world, that’s true, but it’s still bad for the economy.”

Expected higher prices for U.S. consumers on some products is only one side of the equation, according to Ross, who noted that steel and aluminum makers in the United States are adding employment and opening facilities as a result of the U.S. government action.

“You can create a few jobs, however, you’re going to lose more in the process” as consuming industries will be placed at a disadvantage of paying more for raw materials compared to their foreign competitors, according to Lester.

“We are deeply disappointed that the U.S. has decided to apply tariffs to steel and aluminum imports from the EU on national security grounds,” according to a statement from the British government. “The UK and other European Union countries are close allies of the U.S. and should be permanently and fully exempted from the American measures on steel and aluminum.”

The Confederation of British Industry, representing 190,000 businesses in the United Kingdom, immediately appealed to the EU to “avoid any disproportionate escalation” by taking retaliatory actions.

‘No winners’

“There are no winners in a trade war, which will damage prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic,” said CBI International Director Ben Digby in a statement. “These tariffs could lead to a protectionist domino effect, damaging firms, employees and consumers in the USA, UK and many other trading partners.”

 

Prior to Ross’ announcement, Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, declared “protectionism and isolation against free trade mustn’t regain the upper hand.”  

Maas spoke at a news conference on Thursday alongside his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, saying neither Berlin nor Beijing had an interest in “turning back the clocks when it comes to trade policy.”

 

Wang stressed the importance of the two countries’ common interests when it comes to finance and security policies and said China would continue to open its markets for its trade partners.

 

German’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, during a visit to Lisbon, Portugal, on Thursday said the 28-nation European Union has made plain to the United States that such tariffs are incompatible with World Trade Organization rules.

 

Trump, in March, announced the United States would impose such tariffs but he granted an exemptions that expire Friday to the EU and other U.S. allies.

France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, who met Ross earlier on Thursday, says the U.S. shouldn’t see global trade like the Wild West or the “gunfight at the OK Corral.”

 

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Данія заборонила носити нікаб і бурку в громадських місцях

Парламент Данії заборонив носіння в громадських місцях одягу, що закриває обличчя, включаючи нікаб і бурку.

Заборона набуває чинності з 1 серпня. За порушення закону перші три рази загрожує штраф у розмірі однієї тисячі данських крон (близько 160 доларів). За четверте порушення штраф може бути збільшений до десяти тисяч крон (1600 доларів). Закон поширюється як на жителів Данії, так і на туристів.

Amnesty International розкритикувала ухвалення нового закону, назвавши його порушенням прав мусульманських жінок. В уряді Данії при цьому відзначають, що нова заборона не обмежує право носити хіджаби або інший релігійний одяг.

Міністр юстиції Данії Папе Поульсен раніше заявляв, що «мати закрите обличчя у громадських місцях є несумісним із цінностями данського суспільства».

Упродовж останніх років носіння одягу й головних уборів, що закривають обличчя, вже було заборонене, зокрема в Бельгії, Австрії, Франції, Болгарії, Нідерландах і в південному регіоні Німеччини Баварії.

 

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Автор Радіо Свобода в Туркменистані вийшов із в’язниці

Автор Радіо Вільна Європа – Радіо Свобода Сапармамед Непескулієв вийшов із в’язниці в Туркменистані після того, як відбув 3-річне покарання за звинуваченнями, пов’язаними з наркотиками. Ці звинувачення правозахисники засудили як політично мотивовані.

«Насамперед Сапармамед ніколи не мав потрапляти за ґрати. Права журналістів захищають міжнародні конвенції, підписантом яких є Туркменистан. Злочином тут є ув’язнення Сапармамеда, а не його журналістські матеріали», – заявив президент Радіо Свобода Том Кент.

Як повідомляє туркменська служба Радіо Свобода, Непескулієва відпустили 19 травня.

Непескулієв зник 7 липня 2015 року. Після того тривалий час про нього нічого не було відомо. Пізніше суд визнав журналіста винним за звинуваченнями, пов’язаними з наркотиками.

Правозахисники заявляють, що ці звинувачення сфабрикували як помсту за його журналістську діяльність. Робоча група ООН у справі необґрунтованих затримань визначила затримання Непескулієва саме як необґрунтоване й оголосила, що журналіста позбавили свободи «за мирне здійснення свого права на свободу висловлювання».

Непескулієв у відеорепортажах для Радіо Свобода документував зруйновану інфраструктуру й економічну нерівність на заході Туркменистану.

Фізичних нападів, погроз і судових переслідувань за звинуваченнями, які вважають безпідставними, зазнавали й багато інших журналістів і дописувачів Радіо Свобода в Туркменистані.

У звіті правозахисної організації Freedom House 2017 року Туркменистан за рівнем свободи преси визнаний «не вільним»: він розташований у самому кінці переліку поруч із Північною Кореєю з 98 штрафними балами зі 100 можливих.

 

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США запровадили чергові санкції проти Ірану

Міністерство фінансів США запровадило нові санкції проти трьох іранських організацій і шести громадян Ірану. Про це йдеться в повідомленні, опублікованому на сайті міністерства 30 травня.

За даними відомства, ці організації й фізичні особи відповідальні за серйозні порушення у сфері прав людини.

До списку увійшли проурядова група «Ансар-е Хезболла», в’язниця «Евін» у Тегерані і підтримувана урядом компанія-розробник мобільних додатків Hanista Programming Group. Під обмеження потрапили троє лідерів «Ансар-е Хезболли», двоє урядовців, відповідальних за цензуру, і директор іранського державного мовлення IRIB.

У заяві Міністерства фінансів вказано, що Тегеран тратить національні ресурси, що належать іранському народу, і використовує їх для придушення свободи слова і цензури.

Читайте також: Що далі? Які можливості має Іран після виходу США з «ядерної угоди»

8 травня президент США Дональд Трамп оголосив про вихід Сполучених Штатів з ядерного угоди з Іраном. Він також попередив про поновлення проти Ірану санкцій, знятих у рамках угоди.

В Ірані розкритикували рішення і заявили, що готові відновити ядерні роботи.

Угода, підписана в 2015 році Великою Британією, Німеччиною, Китаєм, Росією, Францією і США з одного боку й Іраном – з іншого, передбачала зняття з Тегерана економічних санкцій США і Євросоюзу в обмін на згортання іранською владою ядерної програми.

 

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Oregon’s Marijuana Story a Cautionary Tale for California

When Oregon lawmakers created the state’s legal marijuana program, they had one goal in mind above all else: to persuade illicit pot growers to leave the black market.

That meant low barriers to entry that also targeted long-standing medical marijuana growers, whose product is not taxed. As a result, weed production boomed — with a bitter consequence.

Now, marijuana prices here are in free fall, and the craft cannabis farmers who put Oregon on the map decades before broad legalization say they are in peril of losing their now-legal businesses as the market adjusts.

Oregon regulators on Wednesday announced they will stop processing new applications for marijuana licenses in two weeks to address a severe backlog and ask state lawmakers to take up the issue next year.

​California takes heed

Experts say the dizzying evolution of Oregon’s marijuana industry may well be a cautionary tale for California, where a similar regulatory structure could mean an oversupply on a much larger scale.

“For the way the program is set up, the state just wants to get as many people in as possible, and they make no bones about it,” Hilary Bricken, a Los Angeles-based attorney specializing in marijuana business law, said of California. “Most of these companies will fail as a result of oversaturation.”

A staggering inventory

Oregon has nearly 1 million pounds (453,600 kilograms) of marijuana flower, commonly called bud, in its inventory, a staggering amount for a state with about 4 million people. Producers told The Associated Press wholesale prices fell more than 50 percent in the past year; a study by the state’s Office of Economic Analysis found the retail cost of a gram of marijuana fell from $14 in 2015 to $7 in 2017.

The oversupply can be traced largely to state lawmakers’ and regulators’ earliest decisions to shape the industry.

They were acutely aware of Oregon’s entrenched history of providing top-drawer pot to the black market nationwide, as well as a concentration of small farmers who had years of cultivation experience in the legal, but largely unregulated, medical pot program.

Getting those growers into the system was critical if a legitimate industry was to flourish, said Sen. Ginny Burdick, a Portland Democrat who co-chaired a committee created to implement the voter-approved legalization measure.

Lawmakers decided not to cap licenses; to allow businesses to apply for multiple licenses; and to implement relatively inexpensive licensing fees.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which issues licenses, announced Wednesday it will put aside applications for new licenses received after June 15 until a backlog of pending applications is cleared out. The decision comes after U.S. Attorney Billy Williams challenged state officials to address Oregon’s oversupply problem.

“In my view, and frankly in the view of those in the industry that I’ve heard from, it’s a failing of the state for not stepping back and taking a look at where this industry is at following legalization,” Williams told the AP in a phone interview.

But those in the industry supported the initial decisions that led to the oversupply, Burdick said.

“We really tried to focus on policies that would rein in the medical industry and snuff out the black market as much as possible,” Burdick said.

​Consolidation

Lawmakers also quickly backtracked on a rule requiring marijuana businesses have a majority ownership by someone with Oregon residency after entrepreneurs complained it was hard to secure startup money. That change opened the door to out-of-state companies with deep pockets that could begin consolidating the industry.

The state has granted 1,001 producer licenses and has another 950 in process as of last week. State officials worry if they cut off licensing entirely or turn away those already in the application process, they’ll get sued or encourage illegal trade.

Some of the same parameters are taking shape in California, equally known for black-market pot from its Emerald Triangle region.

The rules now in effect there place caps only on certain, medium-sized growing licenses. In some cases, companies have acquired dozens of growing licenses, which can be operated on the same or adjoining parcels. The growers association is suing to block those rules, fearing they will open the way for vast farms that will drive out smaller cultivators.

Beau Whitney, senior economist at national cannabis analytics firm New Frontier Data, said he’s seeing California prices fall.

In contrast, Washington knew oversupply could draw federal attention and was more conservative about licensing. As the market matured, its regulators eased growing limits, but the state never experienced an oversupply crisis.

Colorado has no caps on licenses, but strict rules designed to limit oversupply allow the state to curtail a growers’ farm size based on past crop yields, existing inventory, sales deals and other factors.

Chain stores

In Oregon, cannabis retail chains are emerging to take advantage of the shake-up.

A company called Nectar has 13 stores around the state, with three more on tap, and says on its website it is buying up for-sale dispensaries too. Canada-based Golden Leaf Holdings bought the successful Oregon startup Chalice and has six stores around Portland, with another slated to open.

William Simpson, Chalice’s founder and Golden Leaf Holdings CEO, is expanding into Northern California, Nevada and Canada. Simpson welcomes criticism that he’s dumbing down cannabis the same way Starbucks brought coffee to a mass market.

“If you take Chalice like Starbucks, it’s a known quantity, it’s a brand that people know and trust,” he said.

Amy Margolis, executive director of the Oregon Cannabis Association, says that capping licenses would only spur even more consolidation in the long-term. The state is currently working on a study that should provide data and more insight into what lies ahead.

“I don’t think that everything in this state is motivated by struggle and failure,” she said. “I’m very interested to see … how this market settles itself and (in) being able to do that from a little less of a reactionary place.”

​Craft growers

For now, Oregon’s smaller marijuana businesses are trying to stay afloat.

A newly formed group will launch an ad campaign this fall to tell Oregonians why they should pay more for mom-and-pop cannabis. Adam Smith, who founded the Oregon Craft Cannabis Alliance, believes 70 percent of Oregon’s small growers and retailers will go out of business if consumers don’t respond.

“We could turn around in three to four years and realize that 10 to 12 major companies own a majority of the Oregon industry and that none of it is really based here anymore,” he said. “The Oregon brand is really all about authenticity. It’s about people with their hands in the dirt, making something they love as well as they can. How do we save that?”

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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.”

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