Франція: в університеті Ліона – вибух і пожежа

Пожежа спалахнула у будівлі бібліотеки університету Ліона (Франція). Reuters повідомляє про щонайменше одного постраждалого. За даними інформагентства, поліція заявила про вибух газового балона на даху будівлі.

У соцмережах поширюють відео інциденту.

В університеті, тим часом, повідомили, що причиною інциденту стали будівельні роботи на території кампусу. За даними вишу, людей, що перебували навколо, евакуювали, зараз вогонь вдалося локалізувати.

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У Запоріжжі підтвердили смерть дитини від грипу

У Запоріжжі лабораторно підтверджено смерть від грипу дитини у віці близько двох місяців. Про це кореспонденту Радіо Свобода повідомили у Запорізькому обласному лабораторному Центрі МОЗ України.

Наразі це перший випадок смерті від грипу в регіоні з початку епідемічного сезону.

«Захворюваність зараз невисока. Епідпоріг не перевищений. Тобто були шкільні канікули, ми мали зниження, і за останній тиждень захворюваність на 34% нижче порога. Але разом з тим 29 грудня померла дитина. Дитині місяць і 24 дні, тобто немовля. Що треба заначити – родина благополучна, хоча і багатодітна, і у дитини не було жодних проявів, зі слів мами, ані грипу, ані ГРВІ. Жодних провіяв вона не бачила. Зі слів мами, він був абсолютно здоровий. Ліг спати з мамою і зранку вона виявила його мертвим. На розтині патологоанатомічний діагноз – пневмонія. І лабораторно потім вже з матеріалу підтвердили грип H3N2», –розповіла завідувач відділення організації епідеміологічних досліджень Запорізького обласного лабораторного Центру МОЗ України Марина Колерова.

За інформацією МОЗ, за другий тиждень 2019 року на грип та ГРВІ захворіли понад 176 тисяч людей, із них більше половини – діти.

Втім, у міністерстві запевняють, що про епідемію не йдеться: показник захворюваності на грип та ГРВІ становить 458,2 на 100 тисяч населення, що на 11,7 % менше епідемічного порогу по Україні. Водночас,зазначається, що епідемічні пороги перевищені в Чернігівській (на 34,2%), Житомирській (13,7%), Сумській (10,7%) та Одеській (2,0%) областях.

При цьому в Києві станом на 16 квітня тринадцять шкіл призупинили освітній процес через карантин (188 класів).

З початку епідемічного сезону зареєстровано 19 летальних випадків, з них 8 – за період з 7 по 13 січня, повідомляє МОЗ.

Грип – це гостре респіраторне захворювання, спричинене вірусом. Легко передається від людини до людини повітряно-крапельним шляхом.

Серед симптомів грипу – висока температура, яка тримається мінімум п’ять днів; лихоманка; головний біль; ломота у м’язах і суглобах; загальна слабкість; втрата апетиту, можливо, нудота; кашель, що може тривати більше двох тижнів; нежить.

Від того чи іншого штаму грипу можна вакцинуватися. За даними МОЗ,з початку епідемічного сезону проти грипу вакциновано 0,4% від загальної кількості населення країни

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Mayor’s Killing in Poland Sparks Anger Against Hate Speech

Poles on Wednesday heatedly condemned the power of hate speech to trigger real-life violence after the slaying of a popular liberal mayor, with many calling for stronger actions against those who threaten others.

Not only did the killer, an ex-convict, take the life of the 53-year-old Gdansk mayor, Pawel Adamowicz, but he stabbed him during a popular fundraising concert by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, which raises money for life-saving medical equipment. 

Both the mayor and the organization are prominent symbols of openness and tolerance, leaving many Poles to interpret the attack as a double blow to those values.

Assailant recently released from prison

Investigators are checking to see if the assailant, who was recently released from prison, has psychiatric problems. He stabbed Adamowicz three times in the heart and abdomen and told the crowd Sunday evening that it was revenge against Civic Platform, the now-opposition party that was in power when he was imprisoned for bank robberies. 

The brutal killing took place as Poland is more bitterly divided than at any time since it threw off communism 30 years ago, with massive amounts of hate speech and even death threats against prominent figures.

“Stop hate speech,” the major daily Rzeczpospolita wrote Wednesday in a front-page appeal, citing a “brutalization of public debate” and “a wave of hatred that spills both from traditional media and the internet.” 

“I have no doubt that this wave emboldened the murderer of Pawel Adamowicz to act,” wrote editor Boguslaw Chrabota. “Even today, with the entire country in mourning … internet trolls are congratulating the murderer, making him into a national hero, demanding a repeat of such acts.”

Other mayors threatened

​Other city mayors who, like Adamowicz, have also received death threats appealed Wednesday to justice officials to more effectively prosecute such activity.

Adamowicz was a longtime member of the Civic Platform party but left it in 2015. He died on Monday, leaving behind a wife and two daughters, aged 8 and 15. 

“Hatred killed Pawel. A hatred that was insane, a hatred that was well-organized,” Grzegorz Schetyna, the head of the Civic Platform, said Wednesday during a session of parliament that began with a moment of silence and prayers for Adamowicz.

Poland’s ruling party leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, was not present at the session, a gesture that critics denounced as a sign of disrespect. Kaczynski’s spokeswoman said his absence was just a “coincidence.” 

The charity that Adamowicz supported is Poland’s largest nonprofit organization and has become a model of civic engagement and humanitarianism in its 27 years. Founder Jerzy Owsiak is also a prominent liberal voice who has sparred verbally with members of the country’s right-wing ruling party, Law and Justice.

Broadcaster suspended

Just last week, state television, TVP, which is government controlled, ran an animation that depicted Owsiak in a defamatory manner. The broadcaster apologized after an outcry, while the head of the news program has been indefinitely suspended.

In the wake of Adamowicz’s death, Owsiak resigned from his position, citing police inaction despite threats against him.

Wednesday evening, a crowd gathered outside TVP’s main editorial office in Warsaw in protest following a Monday evening report on Adamowicz’s death that seemed to put all blame for all the aggression in the country solely on Civic Platform officials. Meanwhile, pressure mounted on the ruling party to fire the head of TVP. In its main evening news report, TVP said its staff was also being targeted by hate speech and threats.

Adamowicz was also an object of hate for far-right extremists for his support for migrants and gay rights. In 2017, after he voiced support for bringing wounded Syrian children for medical treatment in Gdansk, the far-right group All-Polish Youth issued a symbolic “political death notice” for him and several other liberal leaders.

Prosecutors had dropped that investigation. On Wednesday, Adam Bodnar, an independent state official for human rights, said he was sending a request to the prosecutor general to reopen a list of frozen hate crime cases.

Since Adamowicz’s killing, police in Poland have arrested several suspects threatening to kill public figures, including Donald Tusk, the former Polish prime minister who is now president of the European Council.

Family joins mourners

On Wednesday evening in Gdansk, Adamowicz’s wife, Magdalena Adamowicz, and elder daughter, Antonina, joined thousands of mourners who formed a large heart with candles. They thanked the people of the city for their support. The widow also urged people to be good to each other, saying her husband loved everyone.

“I love you, daddy, very much and forever,” his tearful daughter said in the family’s first public appearance since the killing. “I love you, Pawel,” his wife said while embracing her daughter.

Gdansk officials said Adamowicz’s funeral Mass would take place at noon Saturday and that he would be buried in St. Mary’s Basilica, a Gothic brick church where other prominent city figures were laid to rest.

Among those signing a condolence book was ex-president Lech Walesa, a democracy leader who founded the anti-communist Solidarity movement in Gdansk shipyard in 1980 and later won the Nobel Peace prize.

“Farewell, my friend, in this vale,” the 75-year-old Walesa wrote. “We will meet soon in a better place.”

 

                  

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Giant US Bank Reveals 29 Percent Pay Gap Between Men, Women

Female employees at Citigroup Inc around the world are paid just 71 percent of what men earn, the giant bank said on Wednesday, declaring its intentions to close its gender pay gap.

A Citigroup shareholder group that sought data on the pay gap said the bank is the first U.S. company to disclose such figures.

The U.S.-based bank employs more than 200,000 people in more than 100 countries, and more than half those employees are female, it said.

Tackling the 29 percent gap means increasing the number of women in senior and higher-paying roles, promoting women to at least 40 percent of assistant vice president through managing director jobs, Citigroup said in a statement.

Citigroup said it disclosed the data in response to a shareholder proposal from Arjuna Capital, an investment management firm.

The bank said its “raw pay gap” showed median pay for females globally was 71 percent of the median for men.

The raw gap measures the difference in median total compensation not adjusted for job function, level and geography.

With those adjustments, women are paid an average of 99 percent of what men are paid, it said.

“We have work to do, but we’re on a path that I’m confident will allow us to make meaningful progress,” Sara Wechter, head of human resources, said in a statement.

In the United States overall, women last year working full-time year-round earned 80 percent of what men earned, according to commonly cited data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Congress outlawed pay discrimination based on gender in 1963, yet public debate over why wages still lag drastically for women has snowballed in recent years.

Globally, the World Economic Forum reported an economic gap of 58 percent between the sexes for 2016, costing the global economy $1.2 trillion annually.

Last January, Citigroup said it was increasing compensation for women and minorities to bridge pay gaps in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, becoming the first big U.S. bank to respond to a shareholder push to analyze and disclose its gender pay gap.

This past year it expanded its pay equity review beyond those three countries to its workforce globally, it said.

 

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Ex-Marine Held in Russia on Spying Charge Gets Prison Visit 

The brother of a former U.S. Marine with multiple citizenships says Irish government representatives have visited Paul Whelan at the Russian prison where he is being held on an espionage charge.

David Whelan said in a Wednesday statement that according to diplomatic staff members from Ireland, conditions were good in the Moscow prison where his brother was detained. The statement said U.S. officials were expected to visit Thursday; the U.S. ambassador saw him on Jan. 2.  

Whelan was detained Dec. 28 and charged with spying, which carries a potential sentence of 20 years upon conviction. Russian officials have not released details of the allegations against him.

Whelan, who was living in Michigan and working as global security director for a U.S. company, also holds British and Canadian citizenships.

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Busiest US Port Sets All-Time Cargo Record in 2018

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Wednesday said they set all-time records for moving cargo in 2018, after U.S. retailers and manufacturers pulled forward imports to avoid higher tariffs on Chinese goods. The Port of Los Angeles, North America’s busiest container port, handled 9.46 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last year, the most in its 111-year history and 1.2 percent more than in 2017.

The neighboring Port of Long Beach processed more than 8 million TEUs for the first time last year, after container cargo totals jumped 7 percent from 2017.

“This is a rush of cargo based on political trade policy,” said Gene Seroka, executive director for the Port of Los Angeles, where direct trade with China accounted for just over half of the $284 billion in cargo the port handled in 2017. “Many people were fearful that we were going to go from a 10 percent tariff on certain items to 25 percent on January 1,” Seroka said.

The U.S. and China in late November agreed to a 90-day cease-fire in their bitter trade war. Under that deal, the U.S. will keep tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports at 10 percent.

That news came after many importers sped up orders for everything from apparel to auto parts to avoid the higher tariffs.

The cargo surge at Los Angeles/Long Beach and other major U.S. ports spurred disruptions that are rippling through the supply chain. U.S. warehouses are stuffed to the rafters, forcing some importers to delay port cargo pickups or to park containers in parking lots.

The National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates’ Global Port Tracker expect 2018 imports to jump 5.3 percent to a record 21.6 million TEUs. They also project cooling in the early months of 2019, as imports typically soften due to a post-holiday drop in demand and Lunar New Year factory shutdowns in Asia.

“We’ll see a little bit of a lull during Lunar New Year and thereafter. That in and of itself will allow us to catch up,” Seroka said.

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US Senate Upholds Lifting Sanctions on Russian’s Companies   

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday narrowly upheld a Trump administration plan to lift sanctions against three companies linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

 

Eleven Republicans in the Senate joined Democrats in an effort to enforce the sanctions against the giant aluminum firm Rusal and two companion companies, but their effort failed on a 57-42 vote, three short of the number needed to advance the measure. 

 

Numerous lawmakers had questioned the U.S. Treasury Department’s decision in December to lift the sanctions that were imposed on Deripaska’s core businesses — Rusal; its parent, En+; and the power firm EuroSibEnergo — in response to Moscow’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014. 

 

Treasury argued that it was appropriate to lift the sanctions imposed last April because Deripaska had committed to curtailing his ownership of the companies and sever his control.   

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week that Deripaska remains under sanctions, “his property and interests remain blocked, and any companies he controls are also sanctioned.” 

 

In pushing for the sanctions to be enforced, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said, “For a very long time, the Republican Party predicated its foreign policy on taking a tougher line against Russia and Putin. In so many campaigns for president, we Democrats were accused of not being tough enough on the Russians.”  

 

But now, Schumer said, “it seems that acquiescence to [President Donald Trump], a fear of breaking with the president, has held back too many of my Republican colleagues from supporting this resolution.” 

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky reiterated that Deripaska’s influence over the companies was being limited and called the vote a “Democratic stunt,” even as the 11 Republicans joined Democrats in the unsuccessful effort to overturn Treasury’s action. 

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Палата громад парламенту Британії відхилила вотум недовіри до уряду Мей

Палата громад парламенту Великої Британії відхилила вотум недовіри до уряду прем’єр-міністра Терези Мей.

Проти рішення проголосували 325 парламентарів, «за» – 306.

Після цього Мей заявила, що хоче сьогодні вночі розпочати переговори з лідерами опозиції стосовно альтернативного плану виходу Британії з Європейського союзу.

Напередодні, 15 січня, Палата громад Великої Британії відкинула запропонований Терезою Мей план виходу країни з Євросоюзу. Проти угоди з Брюсселем висловилися 432 депутати, підтримали документ 202 законодавці.

У листопаді 2018 року уряд Мей погодив угоду з Брюсселем, яка встановлює, що Британія вийде з Європейського союзу в березні 2019 року, однак цей документ повинен був затвердити британський парламент.

Лейбористи, ліберальні демократи, демократична юніоністська партія й деякі депутати з Консервативної партії, до якої належить і Мей, виступили проти угоди.

Велика Британія має вийти з ЄС до 29 березня. Щодо цього висловилися на референдумі 2016 року з перевагою менш ніж у чотири відсотків прихильники виходу Великої Британії з Євросоюзу.

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США почнуть вихід із ракетного договору на початку лютого – Держдепартамент

Сполучені Штати Америки почнуть вихід із Договору про ліквідацію ракет середньої і малої далекосяжності (INF) 2 лютого, повідомила заступник державного секретаря США з контролю за озброєннями та міжнародної безпеки Андреа Томпсон у штаб-квартирі НАТО в столиці Бельгії Брюсселі.

«Ми не змогли учора вийти на новий рівень з Росією», – сказала Томпсон, коментуючи зустріч із представниками МЗС Росії 15 січня в швейцарській Женеві.

За її словами, США не бачать «знаків», що Росія піде на угоду з Вашингтоном.

Міністр закордонних справ Росії Сергій Лавров, зі свого боку, заявляв, що Сполучені Штати не розглянули належним чином пропозицій Москви, щоб зберегти договір і запобігти новій гонці озброєнь у Європі.

Сполучені Штати переконували, що вийдуть із договору про ліквідацію ракет малої і середньої дальності часів Холодної війни, якщо Росія не повернеться до виконання умов угоди впродовж 60 днів. Державний секретар США Майк Помпео оголосив про це рішення 4 грудня 2018 року після того, як учасники саміту НАТО в Брюсселі підтримали звинувачення США на адресу Москви у порушенні положень договору, укладеного у 1987 році.

Росія, зі свого боку, заявляє про відсутність доказів порушень нею положень договору.

Члени НАТО вважають, що Росія розробила і взяла на озброєння ракетну систему 9М729, порушуючи ракетний договір.

Договір про ліквідацію ракет середньої і меншої дальності, підписаний в 1987 році, ліквідував цілий клас ракет наземного базування, як звичайних, так і ядерних, із дальністю дії від 500 до 5,5 тисячі кілометрів.

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UK Businesses Brace for No-Deal Brexit

Brexit has British business owners on edge — and that is great news for Lovespace, a storage and warehousing company outside London.

Lovespace, which collects boxes from customers, stores them and then returns the goods when needed, says revenue from businesses doubled over the past year and inquiries quadrupled as enterprises large and small began stockpiling inventory because of concerns they will be cut off from suppliers if Britain leaves the European Union without an agreement on future trading relations.

“People are working out how to store stuff — how to get things to their own customers as the year progresses,” CEO Steve Folwell said as workers moved boxes around the company’s 20,000 square-foot (1,860 square-meter) warehouse in Dunstable, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) northwest of London. “There’s uncertainty because of Brexit and there’s a lack of trust in the political process at the moment.”

The risk of a no-deal Brexit is increasing amid widespread opposition to the divorce agreement Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU. While May says her deal is the only way to ensure that trade continues to flow smoothly after Britain leaves the bloc on March 29, U.K. lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected the agreement late Tuesday because opponents fear it will leave the country tied to the EU for years to come.

Without an agreement on future relations, 40 years of free trade between Britain and the EU would be replaced by tariffs, border inspections and other non-tariff barriers, with potentially devastating impacts on the British economy. The government’s own contingency plans raise the specter of lengthy border delays that could cause shortages of food and medicine, and the Bank of England predicts gross domestic product could shrink by as much as 8 percent this year.

“Businesses would face new costs and tariffs,” said Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industries, which represents 190,000 businesses. “Our ports would be disrupted, separating firms from the parts they need to supply their customers.”

Among those taking precautions is Richard Ellison, the founder of Wanderlust Wine, who imports wines from small producers off the beaten track. Worried that supplies to his customers could be interrupted, he’s stocked up in advance to brace for disruption at the border and the potential for an increase in paperwork.

“Everything will have to be checked at the border,” he said, explaining his precautions. “We bought quite a lot in advance — an extra pallet or two to tide us over.”

Companies ranging from supermarket giant Tesco, which imports food from continental suppliers, to carmakers like Ford, who rely on European parts to feed British production lines, have been lobbying politicians for clarity about future trading relations ever since U.K. voters backed leaving the EU in a June 2016 referendum. Now they are taking action to ensure they can continue to operate in the event no deal is reached.

A survey of U.K. manufacturers found that stockpiles of both finished goods and raw materials rose at near-record rates in December as businesses prepared for a possible disruption in supplies, according to the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.

More than 60 percent of U.K. manufacturers are preparing to stockpile goods and 29 percent have already begun to do so, according to a November survey of 242 companies by EEF, the manufacturers’ organization. Some are even erecting new buildings to increase storage capacity.

“They are looking for places to store stuff,” said Francesco Arcangeli, the EEF’s economist. “They are looking for space. They are creating new space. That never happened before.”

Charlie Pool, CEO of Stowga, which loosely describes itself as the Airbnb of British warehousing, said customers looking for storage space searched the company’s site 10,000 times in December, up from an average of 3,000 a month. Businesses are sometimes even paying deposits to secure their bookings, which isn’t standard practice, Pool said, comparing it to paying for a hotel before arrival.

“The data we have is proving that stockpiling for Brexit is definitely a thing,” he said. “It’s happening now.”

That is driving up the cost of storage space. The average price to store a pallet of goods jumped to 2.10 pounds ($2.71) a week last month from 1.85 pounds in September. Pool said he wouldn’t be surprised if exceeded 3 pounds should a no-deal Brexit become a reality. That would still be relatively cheap compared with the cost of not getting products to the end consumers, he said.

The dangers of Brexit to business are evident even for storage companies like Lovespace. Despite the boom in revenue, a potential investor pulled back last year because of the uncertainty caused by Britain’s exit from the EU.

The investor said “it seems awfully complex to me,” Folwell said. “People are looking at the U.K. as a bit of a basket case at the moment.”

 

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Американські солдати загинули внаслідок вибуху в Сирії – коаліція

Американські солдати загинули внаслідок вибуху на півночі Сирії, повідомила у Twitter очолювана США коаліція, яка протистоїть екстремістському угрупованню «Ісламська держава».

«Військовослужбовці США вбиті унаслідок вибуху під час звичного патрулювання в Сирії сьогодні. Ми продовжуємо збирати інформацію й поділимося додатковими деталями згодом», – заявили в коаліції.

Агентство Reuters із посиланням на неназваного американського посадовця заявило, що через вибух у місті Манбіджі загинули четверо військових США, ще троє поранені.

Сирійська моніторингова група, зі свого боку, повідомляла про понад десяток вбитих і поранених унаслідок вибуху.

Базована в Британії Сирійська обсерваторія з прав людини заявляє про 16 загиблих, включно із п’ятьома підтримуваними США сирійськими військовими. Правозахисники додають, що дев’ять цивільних та інших людей були поранені.

Пов’язаний з бойовиками «Ісламської держави» сайт інформує, що на патруль напав смертник.

Президент США Дональд Трамп у відеозверненні 19 грудня 2018 року заявив, що війська США в Сирії «виводяться всі, і виводяться вже зараз». Тоді очікували, що війська виведуть за кілька тижнів, приблизно за два місяці. Це рішення викликало різку критику і серед політичних діячів, і серед військових.

14 січня Трамп офіційно заявив про початок виведення американських військ із Сирії.

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