«Посадіть його»: активісти зібралися під судом у справі Манафорта у США

Кількадесят активістів зібралися під федеральним судом в американському штаті Вірджинія, де 31 липня розпочинається процес у справі Пола Манафорта. Вони підтримують розслідування імовірного втручання Росії в американські вибори, яке здійснюють слідчі під керівництвом спецпрокурора Роберта Мюллера, та закликають засудити колишнього радника Дональда Трампа.

Манафорт є першим із колишніх помічників чинного президента США, який постане перед судом. Федеральні слідчі, які розслідують втручання у вибори в 2016 році, висунули Манафорту звинувачення в банківському і податковому шахрайстві.

Ідеться, зокрема, про роботу Манафорта як політичного консультанта та лобіста на користь колишнього українського президента Віктора Януковича. Законодавство США не забороняє таку роботу, але вона має бути офіційно задекларована, а з отриманих грошей мають сплачуватися податки.

Читайте також: Спецпрокурор США: Манафорт заробив понад 60 мільйонів доларів як консультант в Україні

Як очікується, сторона обвинувачення вкаже на ту обставину, що витрати Манафорта на купівлю нерухомості і предмети розкоші не відповідали сумам, оголошеним у його податкових деклараціях. Манафорт, на думку слідства, ввів в оману кредиторів, запозичуючи десятки мільйонів доларів.

Процес, який розпочинається у Вірджинії, буде першим зі щонайменше двох. Другий має розпочатися у вересні в столичному окрузі Колумбія, головна увага цього процесу буде прикута до політичних питань. У червні 2016 року Манафорт був присутній на зустрічі функціонерів з оточення Трампа з громадянами Росії, які нібито мали у своєму розпорядженні компрометуючі матеріали щодо кандидата в президенти США від Демократичної партії Хілларі Клінтон.

Спеціальний прокурор Роберт Мюллер та його команда вже 14 місяців проводять розслідування ймовірного втручання Кремля у вибори в США.

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Геращенко: до Сенцова не пустили священника

Перший заступник голови Верховної Ради Ірина Геращенко заявляє, що до ув’язненого в Росії українського режисера Олега Сенцова не пустили священника.

«До Сенцова не пустили священника…якщо чесно, намагалася передати Олегу листа. На десятки моїх листів, які пересилала, надсилала, передавала через адвокатів і інших осіб – ніколи не було жодної відповіді. Можливо, вони ніколи й не доходили до Олега. Але ж яка підлість – не пустити українську омбудвумен, тепер – священника», – написала вона на своїй сторінці в Facebook.​

Читайте також: Активісти вимагають від Порошенка звіту про роботу зі звільнення політв’язнів

Напередодні Європейський суд з прав людини закликав засудженого в Росії українського режисера Олега Сенцова припинити голодування й прийняти будь-яке лікування, яке покращить його стан. Водночас суд вимагає від Росії невідкладно надати Сенцову необхідне лікування в медичній установі.

Український режисер Олег Сенцов був засуджений в Росії в серпні 2015 року на 20 років колонії суворого режиму за звинуваченням у плануванні терактів в анексованому Криму. Він провину не визнає. 14 травня Сенцов оголосив безстрокове голодування, вимагаючи звільнення українських політв’язнів у Росії.

Активісти в Україні і по всьому світу продовжують вимагати від Росії і її президента Володимира Путіна звільнити незаконно утримуваних українців. Акції проходять у різних країнах і на різних континентах під гаслами #FreeOlegSentsov і #SaveOlegSentsov.

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МОЗ оприлюднило список пляжів, де не рекомендують купатись

Міністерство охорони здоров’я України оприлюднило список водойм, у яких не рекомендовано купатись.

Як повідомляє прес-служба міністерства, до переліку увійшли 164 пляжі, де зафіксоване мікробне забруднення (лактопозитивні кишкові палички).

У списку пляжі з 18 областей України і міста Києва.

У середині липня у МОЗ повідомляли, що небезпечно купатися на 108 пляжах. 

 

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Tehran: Trump Wrong to Expect Saudis to Cover Loss of Iran Oil Supply

Iran said on Tuesday U.S. President Donald Trump was mistaken to expect Saudi Arabia and other oil producers to compensate for supply losses caused by U.S. sanctions on Iran, after OPEC production rose only modestly in July.

The comments, from Iran’s OPEC governor, came a day after a Reuters survey showed OPEC production rose by 70,000 barrels per day in July. Saudi production increased but was offset by a decline in Iranian supply due to the restart of U.S. sanctions, the survey found.

“It seems President Trump has been taken hostage by Saudi Arabia and a few producers when they claimed they can replace 2.5 million barrels per day of Iranian exports, encouraging him to take action against Iran,” Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told Reuters. “Now they and Russia sell more oil and more expensively. Not even from their incremental production but their stocks.”

He said oil prices, which Trump has been pressuring the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to bring down by raising output, will rise unless the United States grants waivers to buyers of Iranian crude.

“They are also calling for the use of the U.S. SPR [Strategic Petroleum Reserve]. This will also mean higher prices. U.S. waivers to our clients if they come is due to the failure of bluffers [Saudi and the other producers] and, if not given, will again push the prices higher,” he said.

“So they hanged him [Trump] on the wall. Now they want to have a mega OPEC, congratulations to President Trump, Russia and Saudi Arabia.”

OPEC governors represent their respective country on the organization’s board of governors and are typically the second most senior person in a country’s OPEC delegation after the oil minister.

“The longer-term solution, Mr President, is to support and facilitate capacity building in all countries, proportionate to their reserves of oil and gas. And we will remain the biggest opportunity,” Kazempour said.

 

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Трамп: США обговорюють з ЄС будівництво портів для прийому газу

Євросоюз обговорює зі США будівництво портів для прийому американського скрапленого природного газу. Про це 30 липня у Вашингтоні під час спільної прес-конференції з прем’єр-міністром Італії повідомив президент США Дональд Трамп.

За його словами, йдеться про 9-11 портів. За їх будівництво ЄС має заплатити самостійно.

Американський президент й інші представники його адміністрації критикували проект «Північний потік-2». Частина країн ЄС і Україна прямо закликали заблокувати його спорудження, стверджуючи, що він поставить під загрозу енергетичну безпеку України та Євросоюзу.

Читайте також: «Північний потік-2»: чи дійсно Німеччина грає на боці Росії

У будівництві газопроводу, який має пройти з Росії до Німеччини дном Балтійського моря, беруть участь, зокрема, компанії з Німеччини і Австрії. Влада в цих країнах стверджує, що йдеться про суто економічний проект. Канцлер Німеччини Анґела Меркель, однак, заявила, що робота газопроводу можлива лише в разі, якщо Росія не припинить транзит газу через Україну.

 

 

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Речниця Лукашенка заперечила чутки про його інсульт

Речниця президента Білорусі Наталія Ейсмонт заперечила повідомлення про те, що Олександр Лукашенко шпиталізований з інсультом.

Про хворобу білоруського лідера 30 липня першим повідомив російський анонімний Telegram-канал «Незыгарь», який спеціалізується на політичних «зливах», а потім український сайт Dsnews.ua. У публікації останнього зазначалося, що Олександр Лукашенко від 28 липня не з’являвся на публічних заходах. А 26 липня він повинен був приїхати в Гомель, однак візит не відбувся.

Наталія Ейсмонт сказала кореспондентові Радіо Свобода, що бачила цю інформацію, але вона не відповідає дійсності.

«Я можу прокоментувати тільки так, що це повна нісенітниця. Це ж першоджерело українське. Я навіть не розумію, звідки вони це все взяли. В суботу у Олександра Григоровича була велика зустріч із керівництвом китайської корпорації CITIC Group. Це була публічна зустріч. Одне слово – нісенітниця – і більше нічого коментувати не буду. Олександр Григорович перебуває абсолютно в робочому режимі», – сказала прес-секретар президента Білорусі.

Лукашенко є президентом Білорусі від 1994 року. Правозахисники кажуть, що Лукашенко утримує владу шляхом придушення інакомислення і потенційних опонентів.

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Yugolsav Architects ‘Concrete Utopia’ on Display in New York

After the devastation of World War Two, architects in Yugoslavia got to work helping to rebuild the country which straddled the Cold War divide between the East and West. The architecture reflects styles from both sides and the architects’ vision of the future. The Museum of Modern Art in New York examines their work in an exhibit called “Toward a Concrete Utopia.” Ardita Dunellari has the story.

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50 Years on, McDonald’s and Fast-Food Evolve Around Big Mac

McDonald’s is fighting to hold onto customers as the Big Mac turns 50, but it isn’t changing the makings of its most famous burger.

The company is celebrating the 1968 national launch of the double-decker sandwich whose ingredients of “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions and a sesame seed bun” were seared into American memories by a TV jingle. But the milestone comes as the company reduces its number of U.S. stores. McDonald’s said Thursday that customers are visiting less often. Other trendy burger options are reaching into the heartland.

The “Golden Arches” still have a massive global reach, and the McDonald’s brand of cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets and french fries remains recognizable around the world. But on its critical home turf, the company is toiling to stay relevant. Kale now appears in salads, fresh has replaced frozen beef patties in Quarter Pounders, and some stores now offer ordering kiosks, food delivery and barista-style cafes.

The milestone for the Big Mac shows how much McDonald’s and the rest of fast-food have evolved around it.

“Clearly, we’ve gotten a little more sophisticated in our menu development,” McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a phone interview.

As with many of its popular and long-lasting menu items, the idea for the Big Mac came from a franchisee.

In 1967, Michael James “Jim” Delligatti lobbied the company to let him test the burger at his Pittsburgh restaurants. Later, he acknowledged the Big Mac’s similarity to a popular sandwich sold by the Big Boy chain.

“This wasn’t like discovering the light bulb. The bulb was already there. All I did was screw it in the socket,” Delligatti said, according to “Behind the Arches.”

McDonald’s agreed to let Delligatti sell the sandwich at a single location, on the condition that he use the company’s standard bun. It didn’t work. Delligatti tried a bigger sesame seed bun, and the burger soon lifted sales by more than 12 percent.

After similar results at more stores, the Big Mac was added to the national menu in 1968. Other ideas from franchisees that hit the big time include the Filet-O-Fish, Egg McMuffin, Apple Pie (once deep-fried but now baked), and the Shamrock Shake.

“The company has benefited from the ingenuity of its small business men,” wrote Ray Kroc, who transformed the McDonald’s into a global franchise, in his book, “Grinding It Out.”

Franchisees still play an important role, driving the recent switch to fresh from frozen for the beef in Quarter Pounders, Easterbrook says. They also participate in menu development, which in the U.S. has included a series of cooking tweaks intended to improve taste.

Messing with a signature menu item can be taboo, but keeping the Big Mac unchanged comes with its own risks. Newer chains such as Shake Shack and Five Guys offer burgers that can make the Big Mac seem outdated. Even White Castle is modernizing, recently adding plant-based “Impossible Burger” sliders at some locations.

A McDonald’s franchisee fretted in 2016 that only one out of five millennials has tried the Big Mac. The Big Mac had “gotten less relevant,” the franchisee wrote in a memo, according to the Wall Street Journal.

McDonald’s then ran promotions designed to introduce the Big Mac to more people. Those kind of periodic campaigns should help keep the Big Mac relevant for years to come, says Mike Delligatti, the son of the Big Mac inventor, who died in 2016.

“What iconic sandwich do you know that can beat the Big Mac as far as longevity?” said Delligatti, himself a McDonald’s franchisee.

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Crime or Right? Some Danish Muslims to Defy Face Veil Ban

On August 1, when face veils are banned in Denmark, Sabina will not be leaving her niqab at home. Instead, she will be defying the law and taking to the street in protest.

In May, the Danish parliament banned the wearing of face veils in public, joining France and some other European countries to uphold what some politicians say are secular and democratic values.

But Sabina, 21, who is studying to be a teacher, has joined forces with other Muslim women who wear the veil to form Kvinder I Dialog (Women in Dialogue) to protest and raise awareness about why women should be allowed to express their identity in that way.

“I won’t take my niqab off. If I must take it off, I want to do it because it is a reflection of my own choice,” she said.

Like the other women interviewed for this article, Sabina did not wish to have her surname published for fear of harassment.

The niqab wearers who plan to protest on August 1 will be joined by non-niqab-wearing Muslim women and also non-Muslim Danes, most of whom plan to wear face coverings at the rally.

“Everybody wants to define what Danish values are,” said Meryem, 20, who was born in Denmark to Turkish parents and has been wearing the niqab since before meeting her husband, who supports her right to wear it but feels life could be easier without.

“I believe that you have to integrate yourself in society, that you should get an education and so forth. But I don’t think wearing a niqab means you can’t engage yourself in Danish values,” said Meryem, who has a place to study molecular medicine at Aarhus University.

Like Sabina, Meryem plans to defy the law, keep her niqab on and protest the ban.

Under the law, police will be able to instruct women to remove their veils or order them to leave public areas. Justice Minister Soren Pape Poulsen said officers would fine them and tell them to go home.

Fines will range from 1,000 Danish crowns ($160) for a first offense to 10,000 crowns for a fourth violation.

“I feel this law legitimizes acts of hatred but, on the other hand, I feel people have become more aware of what is going on. I get more smiles on the street and people are asking me more questions,” said Ayah, 37.

Mathias Vidas Olsen, who makes reproductions of Viking-age jewelry, is supporting the campaign by making special bracelets and giving the proceeds to Kvinder I Dialog.

“I’m not for or against the niqab,” the 29-year-old Copenhagen man said. “I’m for the right of the people to wear whatever they want whether they be a Muslim or a punk.

“I see this as the government reaching in to places they don’t belong and as a cheap hit on an already stigmatized group to score cheap political points,” he said.

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Accusations Fly as US Firms Seek to Avoid Trump’s Steel Tariff

U.S. companies seeking to be exempted from President Donald Trump’s tariff on imported steel are accusing American steel manufacturers of spreading inaccurate and misleading information, and they fear it may torpedo their requests.

Robert Miller, president and CEO of NLMK USA, said objections raised by U.S. Steel and Nucor to his bid for a waiver are “literal untruths.” He said his company, which imports huge slabs of steel from Russia, has already paid $80 million in duties and will be forced out of business if it isn’t excused from the 25 percent tariff. U.S. Steel and Nucor are two of the country’s largest steel producers.

“They ought to be ashamed of themselves,” said Miller, who employs more than 1,100 people at mills in Pennsylvania and Indiana.

Miller’s resentment, echoed by several other executives, is evidence of the backlash over how the Commerce Department is evaluating their requests to avoid the duty on steel imports. They fear the agency will be swayed by opposition from U.S. Steel, Nucor and other domestic steel suppliers that say they’ve been unfairly hurt by a glut of imports and back Trump’s tariff.

U.S. Steel said its objections are based on detailed information about the dimensions and chemistry of the steel included in the requests. “We read what is publicly posted and respond,” said spokeswoman Meghan Cox. Nucor did not reply to requests for comment.

The 20,000-plus waiver applications that the Commerce Department has received illustrate the chaos and uncertainty ignited by Trump’s trade war against America’s allies and adversaries. It’s a battle that critics of his trade policy, including a number of Republican lawmakers, have warned is misguided and will end up harming U.S. businesses.

Trump and European leaders agreed this past Wednesday not to escalate their dispute over trade, but the tariff on steel and a separate duty on aluminum imports remains in place as the U.S. and Europe aim for a broader trade agreement. The metal taxes would continue to hit U.S. trading partners such as Canada, Mexico and Japan even if the U.S. and the EU forge a deal.

Miller bristled over insistence by Nucor and U.S. Steel that steel slab is readily available in the United States. “That’s just not true,” he said.

His company isn’t the only one looking overseas for a product described as being consistently in short supply. California Steel Industries, a mill east of Los Angeles in Fontana, described the slab shortage as “acute” on the West Coast and declared that its waiver request is critical to its survival.

Aiming to rebuild the U.S. steel industry, Trump relied on a rarely used 1962 law that empowers him to impose tariffs on particular imports if the Commerce Department determines those goods threaten national security. He added a twist: Companies could be excused from the tariff if they could show, for example, that U.S. manufacturers don’t make the metal they need in sufficient quantities.

But there are hurdles to clear on the path to securing an exemption. A single company may have to file dozens of separate requests to account for even slight variations in the metal it’s buying. That means a mountain of paperwork to be filled out precisely. If not, the request is at risk of being rejected as incomplete. All this can be time-consuming and expensive, especially for smaller businesses.

The requests are open to objections. The Commerce Department posts the exemption requests online to allow third parties to offer comments — even from competitors who have an interest in seeing a rival’s request denied. But objections are frequently being submitted just as the comment period closes, undercutting the requester’s ability to fire back.

Willie Chiang, executive vice president of Plains All American Pipeline, told the House Ways and Means subcommittee on trade last week that his company had no opportunity to respond to objections that contained “incorrect information” before the Commerce Department denied its exclusion request. Chiang didn’t say who submitted the inaccurate information.

“The intent here is to restrict imports on a broad scale,” said Richard Chriss, executive director of the American Institute for International Steel, a free trade group opposed to tariffs. “It wouldn’t make sense from the administration’s perspective to design a process that readily granted exclusions.”

The Commerce Department declined to comment for this story.

Department officials have so far made public only a small number of their rulings.

An analysis of the numbers by the office of Rep. Jackie Walorski, an Indiana Republican and one of the most vocal opponents of the steel tariff on Capitol Hill, shows that 760 requests have been approved while 552 have been denied. The department hasn’t yet approved a waiver request that triggered objections, according to Walorski’s review.

The congresswoman’s office also examined the more than 5,600 publicly available comments and found they were submitted on average about four days before the end of the 30-day comment period. More than 50 percent of the comments weren’t delivered until 48 hours or less before the comment window closed. It took department an average of nine days to post comments online after receiving them, according to the analysis. The most prolific commenters were Nucor and U.S. Steel with 1,064 and 1,009, respectively.

A waiver request Seneca Foods Corporation submitted for tinplated steel it had already agreed to purchase from China was among the denials. U.S. Steel had objected, calling the tinplate a “standard product” that’s readily available in the United States. In fact, U.S. Steel said it currently supplies the material to Seneca Foods, the nation’s largest vegetable canner.

The New York-based Seneca Foods declined to comment. But in its waiver application, the company said domestically made tinplate “is of inferior quality to imported material.” Seneca Foods also said it’s unclear, at best, if U.S. suppliers have the ability or willingness to expand their production in the long term to meet the company’s annual demand for the material.

Philadelphia-based Crown Cork & Seal, a manufacturer of metal packaging for food and beverages, submitted a sharply worded attachment to its waiver application that anticipated pushback from domestic manufacturers. American steel mills, the document said, cannot meet aggregate demand for tinplate and have no plans to increase their capacity.

“We anticipate the U.S. mills will attempt to rebut this statement when they object to this exclusion request, but we encourage the Department of Commerce to see through their manipulative attempt to exploit the rules of the exclusion request process,” the application said.

Daniel Shackell, Crown Cork & Seal’s vice president for steel sourcing, said he’s not optimistic about the company’s chances of getting all 70 of its waiver requests approved. Eight have been granted so far primarily because the metal specified in those requests is not made in the United States. Twelve others have been denied, leaving 50 still to be decided.

“It’s hard not to interpret that the Commerce Department wants domestic suppliers to have an edge,” Shackell said.

Jay Zidell, president of Tube Forgings of America, a small company in Portland, Oregon, said he’s filed 54 exclusion requests and U.S. Steel has objected to 38 of them. U.S. Steel declared it is “willing and ready to satisfy” Tube Forgings’ demands for carbon steel tubing. But Zidell said the comments ignored past problems with metal quality and workmanship that led his company to sever a prior relationship with U.S. Steel.

Still, he’s worried the Commerce Department won’t approve all of the requests. Tube Forgings already has spent $600,000 on tariffs, he said, and may be on the hook for much more than that.

“The entire system is just screwed up,” Zidell said.

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Italy’s PM Plans to Organize Conference on Stabilizing Libya

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Monday he was organizing a conference to look for ways to stabilize Libya, a main departure point for migrants from North Africa trying to reach Europe.

“In agreement with President (Donald) Trump, I’m going to organize a conference on Libya,” Conte told reporters at the White House after meeting with the U.S. president.

“We would like to deal (with) and discuss all of the issues related to the Libyan people, involving all of the stakeholders, actors, protagonists in the whole of the Mediterranean,” said Conte, who took office last month promising a crackdown on immigration.

Italy has told its allies it wants to hold an international conference on Libya this autumn and Conte was eager to get Trump’s blessing for the gathering at their meeting on Monday.

Italy is competing with neighboring France over how best to deal with Libya, which has been wracked by violence for years.

Conte believes a conference in Rome, backed by the United States, will help Rome establish itself as the major interlocutor for Libya’s warring factions.

After their meeting, Conte said Trump had agreed Italy would become “a reference point in Europe and the main interlocutor for the main issues that need to be faced … with particular reference to Libya.”

“We are going to discuss economic aspects, but also social aspects: the need for protection of civil rights; the problem of constitutional process – of issuing and passing laws so as to enable Libya, in particular, to get to democratic elections in a condition of the utmost stability,” Conte said.

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