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Suriname Protests Dutch Minister’s ‘Failed State’ Remark

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Suriname issued a protest note to the Netherlands on Thursday after the Dutch foreign minister said the South American nation was a “failed state” because of its ethnic diversity.

Stef Blok, a member of the conservative VVD party of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, has faced a firestorm of criticism over comments he made July 10 in The Hague that became public this week.

“This coarse accusation against peace and stability in the Republic of Suriname can only be intended to portray Suriname and its population negatively,” Suriname’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry, which summoned Dutch envoy Jaap Frederiks to receive the protest, added that the Netherlands was “seeking to isolate the Surinamese nation, with the possible agenda being the realization of a recolonization.”

Suriname, a former Dutch colony that became independent in 1975, has a mix of ethnicities including people of Indonesian, African and Dutch ancestry, as well indigenous peoples.

Blok had told a gathering of Dutch employees of international organizations that “Suriname is a failed state and that is very much linked to its ethnic composition.”

Lawmakers from several Dutch political parties, including all members of the governing coalition, demanded an explanation for Blok’s remarks.

In a statement issued through his Twitter account, Blok said his language was too strong and he regretted the offense it caused.

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US Seen Receiving Frosty Reception at G-20 Meeting

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in ЄС, Новини, Світ

The financial leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies meet in Buenos Aires this weekend for the first time since long-simmering trade tensions burst into the open when China and the United States put tariffs on $34 billion of each other’s goods.

The United States will seek to persuade Japan and the European Union to join it in taking a more aggressive stance against Chinese trade practices at the G-20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank presidents, according to a senior U.S. Treasury Department official who spoke on condition on anonymity.

But those efforts will be complicated by frustration over U.S. steel and aluminum import tariffs on the EU and Canada. Both responded with retaliatory tariffs in an escalating trade conflict that has shaken markets and threatens global growth.

“U.S. trading partners are unlikely to be in a conciliatory mood,” said Eswar Prasad, international trade professor at Cornell University and former head of the International Monetary Fund’s China Division. “[U.S.] hostile actions against long-standing trading partners and allies have weakened its economic and geopolitical influence.”

At the close of the last G-20 meeting in Argentina in March, the financial leaders representing 75 percent of world trade and 85 percent of gross domestic product released a joint statement that rejected protectionism and urged “further dialogue,” to little concrete effect.

Since then, the United States and China have slapped tariffs on $34 billion of each other’s imports and U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened further tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods unless Beijing agrees to change its intellectual property practices and high-technology industrial subsidy plans.

Trump has said the U.S. tariffs aim to close the $335 billion annual U.S. trade deficit with China.

U.S. Treasury Minister Steven Mnuchin has no plans for a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Buenos Aires, a U.S official said this week.

Growth concerns

Rising trade tensions have led to concerns within the Japanese government over currency volatility, said a senior Japanese G-20 official who declined to be named. Such volatility could prompt an appreciation in the safe-haven yen and threaten Japanese exports.

Trump’s metals tariffs prompted trade partners to retaliate with their own tariffs on U.S. goods ranging from whiskey to motorcycles. The United States has said it will challenge those tariffs at the World Trade Organization.

The EU finance ministers signed a joint text last week that will form their mandate for this weekend’s meeting, criticizing “unilateral” U.S. trade actions, Reuters reported. The ministers will stress that trade restrictions “hurt everyone,” a German official said.

In a briefing note prepared for the G-20 participants, the International Monetary Fund said if all of Trump’s threatened tariffs — and equal retaliation — went into effect, the global economy could lose up to 0.5 percent of GDP, or $430 billion, by 2020.

Global growth also may have peaked at 3.9 percent for 2018 and 2019, and downside risks have risen due to the tariff spat, the IMF said.

“While all countries will ultimately be worse off in a trade conflict, the U.S. economy is especially vulnerable,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde wrote in a blog post. “Policymakers can use this G-20 meeting to move past

self-defeating tit-for-tat tariffs.”

Trade is not on host country Argentina’s published agenda for the July 21-22 ministerial, which focuses on the “future of work” and infrastructure finance. But it will likely be discussed during a slot devoted to risks facing the global

economy, much as in March, according to an Argentine official involved in G-20 preparations, who asked not be named.

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UK’s New Brexit Envoy Optimistic as EU Warns of Brexit Crash

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London’s new Brexit minister said he was confident he could reach a deal, on his first trip to Brussels on Thursday as the EU warned business to get ready for Britain crashing out of the bloc without agreed terms to cushion the economic disruption.

Brexit campaigner Dominic Raab, appointed to the government last week after his predecessor quit over Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposals to stay close to EU trading rules, said Britain was ramping up preparations for a “no deal” but focused above all on selling her ideas to EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

The resignation of his predecessor David Davis and others, and May’s battles in parliament with pro- and anti-Brexit wings of her own Conservative Party, have led Brussels to wonder whether London is capable of agreeing any deal this year to avoid chaos when it leaves in March.

That, the EU’s executive European Commission insisted on Thursday, was not the reason for its warning on stepping up preparedness for a “no deal” or “cliff edge” Brexit.

Raab said Britain was on track and he would bring new “energy, vigor and vim” to talks as they get down to the wire to find a deal before EU leaders meet at a summit in October.

“We’ve only got 12 weeks really left to nail down the details of the agreement, so I set out our proposals,” Raab said after meeting Barnier. “I’m sure in good faith, if that energy and that ambition is reciprocated, as I’m confident it will be, we will get there.”

EU officials and diplomats still think some kind of deal, including a 21-month status quo transition period to allow further talks, is more likely than not, if only because the cost for both sides would be so high.

The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday EU countries would suffer long-term damage equivalent to about 1.5 percent of annual economic output if Britain leaves without a free trade deal.

“While the EU is working day and night for a deal ensuring an orderly withdrawal, the UK’s withdrawal will undoubtedly cause disruption, for example in business supply chains, whether or not there is a deal,” the Commission said in a statement.

“Preparedness is not a mistrust in the negotiations,” an EU official added, saying big firms seemed to be advancing in their plans but smaller companies which had never traded outside the single market before would face challenges in their paperwork.

A senior British regulator also warned Britain’s banks and insurers on Thursday to plan for a “hard” Brexit.

Barnier briefs

Barnier is due to report back on his meeting with Raab to ministers from the other 27 EU states on Friday.

Ahead of talks with Raab, Barnier said the EU was offering an “unprecedented” partnership on future trade relations and that maintaining a close partnership on security was “more important than ever given the geopolitical context.”

EU officials and diplomats have welcomed last week’s proposals as a welcome if overdue starting point for negotiations on an outline of post-Brexit relations that is to accompany a binding treaty on the immediate aspects of withdrawal. But Barnier will also be posing many questions on just how some issues, notably around customs and sharing regulatory standards would work.

Getting an outline on those is vital to solving the biggest obstacle to the urgent withdrawal treaty — how to avoid customs and other friction on the new EU-UK land border in Ireland.

Dublin and London say they are committed to avoiding a “hard border” but the EU is also determined to avoid creating a huge loophole in the external frontier of its single market and customs union.

With time running short and little sign of May quelling the revolts in her party, there has been renewed discussion among Brussels diplomats and officials about whether a deal can be done by October, or at the latest December, to allow parliaments on both sides to ratify a withdrawal treaty before March 29.

“When I see the dynamics in Westminster, I don’t think that there is, at this stage, a majority for whatever type of thing we could ever agree with them,” one senior EU official said.

However, while EU leaders have made no secret of being ready to extend the deadline for a few weeks, there are reservations about any longer delay, short of a U-turn in Britain and a call from London to call Brexit off.

Among problems for delaying Brexit is a European Parliament election in late May 2019 which would create questions over when  and how it could ratify a late Brexit deal, assuming Britain does not elect members to the new legislature.

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Путін звинуватив українську владу в можливому загостренні на Донбасі

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Президент Росії Володимир Путін звинувачує українську владу в недотриманні зобов’язань, що може спричинити загострення ситуації на південному сході України. Про це він сказав на нараді послів і постійних представників Росії в міжнародних організаціях, повідомляє сайт Кремля.

«Серйозні ризики загострення ситуації зберігається на південному сході України. Причини, по-суті, ті самі: недотримання сьогоднішньою українською владою взятих на себе зобов’язань, відмова від мирного вирішення конфлікту. Усі сценарії розраховуються силовим шляхом», – сказав російський президент.

За його словами, мінський комплекс заходів залишається реальною основою для політичного врегулювання кризової ситуації.

Путін також попередив, що Росія буде реагувати пропорційно на можливий вступ до НАТО України і Грузії, що він назвав «агресивними кроками, які становлять пряму загрозу Росії».

«Нашим колегам, які грають на загострення, прагнуть включити у тому числі, скажімо, Україну або Грузію у «військову орбіту» альянсу, слід було би замислитись над можливими наслідками такої безвідповідальної політики», – заявив він.

Про те, що можливий вступ у НАТО України і Грузії «є прямою загрозою національній безпеці» Росії, Володимир Путін заявляв також в інтерв’ю американському телеканалу Fox News після зустрічі з президентом США Дональдом Трампом.

Коментуючи цю заяву, генеральний секретар НАТО Єнс Столтенберґ заявив, що Росія не має жодного права ухвалювати рішення від імені своїх сусідніх держав і що членство Грузії в НАТО для Росії не є ні «загрозою», ні «провокацією».

В оприлюдненій 11 липня підсумковій декларації саміту НАТО, який 11-12 липня проходив у Брюсселі, Північноатлантичний альянс наголосив, що рішення Бухарестського саміту щодо того, що Грузія і Україна стануть членами НАТО, залишаються чинними.

Президент України Петро Порошенко назвав важливим запевнення НАТО у збереженні «відчинених дверей» для України і Грузії і наголосив, що Київ не питатиме чийогось дозволу з приводу вступу в альянс.

28 червня Петро Порошенко повідомив, що найближчим часом внесе до Верховної Ради поправки до Конституції, в яких запропонує закріпити мету щодо членства України в ЄС і НАТО. 

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Суд ООН нагадав Росії про обов’язок скасувати заборону діяльності Меджлісу – МЗС

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Міжнародний Суд ООН нагадав Росії про зобов’язання скасувати заборону діяльності Меджлісу кримських татар, повідомляє Міністерство закордонних справ.

За повідомленням, сьогодні Міжнародний Суд ООН поінформував українську сторону про свою позицію щодо виконання Росією наказу суду від 19 квітня 2017 року, яким Москву зобов’язав «утримуватися від обмежень на права кримськотатарського народу зберігати свої представницькі інституції, включаючи Меджліс».

«Російська Федерація порушила цей дуже чіткий наказ і так і не зняла свою заборону діяльності Меджлісу, яку вперше було введено в квітні 2016 року. В своїх листах до сторін Суд підтвердив обов’язковість виконання цього наказу та зобов’язав Росію до 18 січня 2019 року поінформувати щодо конкретно вжитих кроків, спрямованих на виконання цього Наказу», – йдеться у повідомленні.

Україна закликає Росію виконати свої міжнародні зобов’язання шляхом скасування заборони діяльності Меджлісу, наголошують у МЗС.

Читайте також: МЗС у зверненні до суду ООН просить вплинути на Росію у справі Меджлісу

Меджліс кримськотатарського народу був заборонений на території Росії й анексованого Криму 26 квітня 2016 року рішенням підконтрольного Кремлю Верховного суду Криму. Захист Меджлісу направив апеляцію до Верховного суду Росії, проте 29 вересня 2016 року її відхилили.

19 квітня 2017 року Міжнародний суд виніс проміжну ухвалу за позовом України проти Росії. Суд у Гаазі не підтримав вимоги Києва щодо тимчасових заходів проти Росії в рамках Конвенції стосовно заборони фінансування тероризму. Проте Москву зобов’язали припинити обмеження прав кримських татар і етнічних українців, відновити Меджліс та навчання українською мовою в анексованому Криму.

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Апеляційний суд залишив незмінним вирок «кримському дезертиру» Баранову – ГПУ

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Апеляційний суд Києва залишив незмінним вирок – 13 років ув’язнення – колишньому українському військовослужбовцю Олександру Баранову, звинуваченому у держзраді і дезертирстві, повідомляє Генеральна прокуратура України.

В повідомленні прокуратури прізвище засудженого не зазначене, проте всі дані вказують на те, що йдеться про Баранова.

У ГПУ нагадують, що вироком Подільського райсуду Києва колишнього військовослужбовця Збройних сил України за вчинення кримінальних правопорушень, передбачених частиною 1 статті 111, частиною 1 статті 408 Кримінального кодексу України, засуджено до реального позбавлення волі строком на 13 років з позбавленням військового звання «молодший сержант».

«Доведено, що військовослужбовець, проходячи службу в одній з військових частин, дислокованих на території Автономної Республіки Крим, під час окупації півострова не виконав наказ про прибуття до нового місця служби і залишився на окупованій території, тим самим вчинивши дезертирство, у зв’язку з чим був оголошений у розшук. У подальшому засуджений проходив військову службу в Збройних силах Російської Федерації, а у листопаді 2016 року був затриманий на території України правоохоронними органами», – зазначили у Генпрокуратурі.

Олександра Баранова і його товариша по службі Максима Одинцова затримали 20 листопада 2016 року на адміністративному кордоні з Кримом у «буферній зоні» поруч із пропускним пунктом «Чонгар».

Російська влада розцінює затримання Баранова й Одинцова як «викрадення» своїх військовослужбовців. Слідчий комітет Росії відкрив у зв’язку з цим кримінальну справу.

Читайте також: Засудити й відпустити: на кого можуть обміняти «кримських дезертирів» Одинцова та Баранова

8 лютого 2018 р. Подільський райсуд Києва засудив Баранова до 13 років позбавлення волі. 6 лютого 2018 року до 14 років позбавлення волі було засуджено також Одинцова. Обидва свою провину не визнали.

Прізвища Баранова та Одинцова фігурують у списку 23 росіян, яких українська влада готова обміняти на українських громадян, засуджених у Росії. Цей список на початку липня озвучила представник України в гуманітарній підгрупі Тристоронньої контактної групи з урегулювання ситуації на Донбасі Ірина Геращенко.

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Report: Asia-Pacific Factories Lead in Using Digital Technology

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Бізнес, Новини, Фінанси

She may not be the warmest waitress, but she serves a nice, hot cup of “Joe” at a café on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City.

Though this robotic barista is still getting help from her human counterpart, she is a signal that Asia is ahead of the curve in embracing new technologies ahead of the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

A recent report from PwC Global, a professional services firm, studied 1,155 manufacturing businesses based on how much they were embracing and incorporating innovations in technology, from drones to 3-D printing.

Across the board, companies in the Asia-Pacific region scored higher than their counterparts elsewhere in the world.

In Thailand, for instance, manufacturing companies have widely adopted new technologies to transform their operations.

“Many are using robots to assemble products at their factories to rely less on human labor, reduce costs, and boost overall efficiency,” said Vilaiporn Taweelappontong, consulting lead partner at PwC Thailand.

​ASEAN catches up

The report graded firms based on questions about the kinds of tools they were introducing into their workplaces. For example, manufacturers were asked if they made use of virtual reality; 44 percent in the Asia Pacific said they did compared with 34 percent in the United States and 19 percent in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

The regional group Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reports that small and medium enterprises are using new technology to catch up to bigger rivals.

“Digitization is enabling SMEs across ASEAN to participate in cross-border trade, allowing them to grow and scale their businesses while reducing costs,” said Bidhan Roy, a general manager at Cisco Systems Pte Ltd.

​Benefits of youth

Observers say the Asia-Pacific region benefits from its youth.

The relatively young population means people are amenable to different work environments and business operations, as well as having a keen interest in using new technology.

Another advantage? The region’s economies are also somewhat young, with many just opening up to global trade in the last two decades. In addition its underdeveloped infrastructure has the ability to adapt for future needs, like public transit or drone deliveries.

“Asian companies have the advantage of setting up robust digital operations from essentially a blank slate in terms of factory automation, workforce, and even organizational IT [information technology] networks as a whole,” the PwC report said.

Baby steps

But more is needed to make these companies successful.

Cisco Systems’ Roy noted that small and medium firms “are at varying stages of maturity in terms of digital adoption” and could use collaboration with governments and corporations.

PwC Thailand’s Vilaiporn agreed on the benefit of collaboration.

“Thailand 4.0 will only be successful if both the government and private sectors understand their roles in fostering investment and focusing on research and development, as well as equipping the workforce with necessary skill sets and capabilities,” he said.

The “4.0” refers to the latest industrial revolution, which goes beyond mechanization and automation. It entails business processes becoming more efficient through a comprehensive application of technology, from smart devices to machine learning.

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State Department Denounces Russia’s Demand to Interrogate Americans, Trump Does Not

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The U.S. State Department denounced Russia’s request to question several U.S. citizens in exchange for allowing a U.S. investigator to interrogate 12 Russians indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for their efforts to derail the 2016 presidential election. Among the Americans the Kremlin wants to interrogate is a former U.S. ambassador to Russia. The White House said Wednesday the president has not ruled out allowing Russian officials to question Americans. VOA’S Zlatica Hoke reports.

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Trump Demands Release of US Pastor Imprisoned in Turkey

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in ЄС, Новини, Світ

U.S. President Donald Trump is calling on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to release an American pastor who has been in prison for two years awaiting trial on terrorism charges.

A Turkish court Wednesday ordered Andrew Brunson to remain in jail until his next hearing on October 12. Brunson was arrested in 2016 and charged with supporting followers of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has been blamed by Ankara for the failed 2016 coup against President Erdogan. Brunson is also accused of assisting the outlawed Kurdish insurgent group PKK.

Trump called Brunson’s continued detention “a total disgrace” in a post on Twitter hours after the court hearing. “He has been held hostage far too long,” the president tweeted. “@RT_Erdogan should do something to free this wonderful Christian husband & father. He has done nothing wrong, and his family needs him!”

Trump reportedly raised the pastor’s case in a telephone call Monday with his Turkish counterpart. 

Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Philip Kosnett, U.S. charge d’affaires in Turkey, expressed disappointment with the decision.

“I’ve read the indictment; I’ve attended three hearings. I don’t believe that there is any indication that Pastor Brunson is guilty of any sort of criminal or terrorist activity,” Kosnett said. “Our government remains deeply concerned about his status, as well as the status of other American citizens and local Turkish employees of the U.S. diplomatic mission who have been detained under the state of emergency rules.”

Kosnett, speaking before the court decision, had warned of the damaging effect of the case on U.S.-Turkish relations.

In Washington, a State Department official said the United States has been closely engaged with the Turkish government on Brunson’s case and repeated calls for his release.

“We have seen no credible evidence that Mr. Brunson is guilty of these crimes. The case against him is built on anonymous accusations and speculation,” the official told VOA in a statement. “We strongly believe that he is innocent, and we call on the Turkish government to resolve his case in a timely, transparent, and fair manner.”

Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, who is chairman of the Helsinki Commission, an independent U.S. government agency that monitors democracy and human rights in Europe, said, “The cruelty of today’s decision is astonishing.

“By extending Pastor Brunson’s indefinite detention and setting his next trial date for mid-October, the Turkish government has declared its intention to keep this innocent man in jail past the two-year anniversary of his arrest without conviction or any credible evidence against him. There is no room in NATO for hostage-taking. Pastor Brunson should be freed immediately,” Wicker added.

The 50-year-old Brunson has lived in Turkey for more than two decades. The North Carolina native worked as a pastor serving a small Protestant congregation in the western Turkish City of Izmir, close to the town of Aliaga, where he is now on trial. Brunson has spent much of his incarceration in solitary confinement. Brunson describes the charges against him as “shameful and disgusting.”

Last month, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jeanne Shaheen also pressed for Brunson’s release in a meeting with Erdogan in Ankara.

The U.S. Congress is threatening to introduce sanctions on Turkey if the pastor is not released. 

Several members of Congress have accused Turkey of hostage taking by seeking to use Brunson as diplomatic leverage. Adding to Congress’ anger, three local employees of U.S. diplomatic missions in Turkey are also being held on terrorism charges. Ankara strongly denies allegations of hostage taking, maintaining that the cases are a matter for the courts. 

Observers warn the continued detention of Brunson now increases the likelihood of Washington imposing measures against Ankara.

“It’s (the Brunson case) very important because it’s already an obstacle and sticking point between the countries, having prompted the discussion about sanctions against Turkey,” political columnist Semih Idiz of Al-Monitor said. “Senators are coming to Turkey and Trump referring to Brunson as a hostage. Tensions will increase, calls for sanctions against Turkey will increase, and the downward spiral in relations will continue (if the trial continues).”

The blocking of the U.S. sale to Turkey of a new F-35 fighter is a move that has been threatened by Congress. 

Turkish financial markets fell heavily on the news of Brunson’s ongoing detention. The falls reversed earlier gains stoked by the expectation of the pastor’s release and the hope of improved U.S.-Turkish relations.

Erdogan and his advisers have linked the Brunson case to calls to extradite Gulen in connection with the 2016 coup attempt. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Sunday U.S. authorities were cooperating in investigating Gulen and his followers. Observers, however, say the detention of Brunson suggests Ankara could be looking for more concessions from Washington.

Erdogan could release Brunson under the presidential power to free jailed foreign citizens if it is deemed to be in the country’s national interest.

The ongoing jailing of Brunson comes as analysts point out the two countries were making tentative progress on a number of disputes. In the past few months, there have been intense diplomatic efforts to resolve differences over Syria and Ankara’s controversial purchase of a Russian S-400 missile system. Observers warn if Congress carries out its threat to sanction Turkey over Brunson’s jailing, it will likely add to broader diplomatic tensions.

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White House, State Differ Over Putin Interview Offer

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in ЄС, Новини, Світ

The White House and the State Department are at odds over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to allow the U.S. access to Russians accused of election meddling in return for interviews of Americans accused by the Kremlin of unspecified crimes.

Even as the White House said the offer, made by Putin to President Donald Trump at their summit in Helsinki on Monday, was under consideration, the State Department called Russia’s allegations against the Americans “absurd,” suggesting that any questioning of them would not be countenanced by the U.S. The Russian claims against the Americans, including former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, relate to allegations of fraud and corruption.

WATCH: State Department Denounces Russia’s Demand to Interrogate Americans, Trump Does Not

“The overall assertions that have come out of the Russian government are absolutely absurd: the fact that they want to question 11 American citizens and the assertions that the Russian government is making about those American citizens,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters.

McFaul tweeted Wednesday: “I hope the White House corrects the record and denounces in categorical terms this ridiculous request from Putin. Not doing so creates moral equivalency between a legitimacy US indictment of Russian intelligence officers and a crazy, completely fabricated story invented by Putin.”

Nauert noted that a U.S. federal court had rejected Russia’s charges regarding British businessman and vocal Kremlin critic Bill Browder. She said Russian authorities already know the U.S. position. Browder was a driving force behind a U.S. law targeting Russian officials over human rights abuses.

“We do not stand by those assertions that the Russian government makes,” Nauert said. “The prosecutor general in Russia is well aware that the United States has rejected Russian allegations in this regard. … We continue to urge Russian authorities to work with the U.S. Department of Justice to pursue those in Russia who in fact perpetrated the fraudulent scheme that Russia refers to that targeted not only Mr. Browder, but also his company and … the Russian people as a whole.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray was similarly dismissive. Speaking Wednesday at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, he said Putin’s offer was “not high on our list of investigative techniques.”

Wray and Nauert’s comments stood in sharp contrast to those of White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who held open the possibility that what Trump called “an incredible offer” is being weighed.

“The president’s going to meet with his team, and we’ll let you know when we have an announcement on that,” she said, adding that neither Trump nor anyone else in the administration had committed to accepting the offer.

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50 Years After Concorde, US Start-Up Eyes Supersonic Future

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Бізнес, Новини, Фінанси

Luxury air travel faster than the speed of sound: A US start-up is aiming to revive commercial supersonic flight 50 years after the ill-fated Concorde first took to the skies.

Blake Scholl, the former Amazon staffer who co-founded Boom Supersonic, delivered the pledge this week in front of a fully-restored Concorde jet at the Brooklands aviation and motor museum in Weybridge, southwest of London.

The company aims to manufacture a prototype 55-seater business jet next year but its plans have been met with scepticism in some quarters.

“The story of Concorde is the story of a journey started but not completed — and we want to pick up on it,” Scholl said at an event that coincided with the nearby Farnborough Airshow.

“Today … the world is more linked than it’s ever been before and the need for improved human connection has never been greater.

“At Boom, we are inspired at what was accomplished half a century ago,” he added, speaking in front of a former British Airways Concorde.

Boom Supersonic’s early backers include Richard Branson and Japan Airlines, and other players are eyeing the same segment.

Speaking to AFP at Farnborough on Wednesday, Scholl indicated that the air tickets could be beyond the reach of some.

“What we’ve been able to do thanks to advances in aerodynamics and materials and engines is offer a high speed flight for the same price you pay in business class today,” he said. 

He said this works out to around $5,000 (4,300 euros) round-trip across the Atlantic.

“Now I know that might sounds like a lot, because it is, but it’s actually the same price you pay for a lay flat bed on airlines today,” he said.

‘Baby Boom’

Boom Supersonic’s aircraft, dubbed Baby Boom, is expected by the company to fly for the first time next year.

The company is making its debut at Farnborough and hopes to produce its new-generation jets in the mid-2020s or later, with the aim of slashing journey times by half.

The proposed aircraft has a maximum flying range of 8,334 kilometres (5,167 miles) at a speed of Mach 2.2 or 2,335 kilometres per hour.

If it takes off, it would be the first supersonic passenger aircraft since Concorde took its final flight in 2003.

The Concorde was retired following an accident in 2000 in which a Concorde crashed shortly after takeoff from Paris, killing 113 people.

“The one accident that did happen on Concord actually happened on the runway,” Scholl told AFP on Wednesday.

“It had nothing to do with high-speed flight so there’s no actual barrier to creating a highly safe, efficient supersonic airplane and we have super high standards for safety.

“We’ll be going through the same safety testing process that every other aircraft goes through and the FAA (US Federal Aviation Administration) and EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) will not let our airplane fly unless we pass a very high safety bar.”Some analysts meanwhile remain sceptical over the push back into supersonic, with consumer demand booming for cheap low-cost carriers.

“Supersonic is not what passengers or airlines want right now,” said Strategic Aero analyst Saj Ahmad.

Ahmad said supersonic jets were “very unattractive” because of high start-up development costs, considerations about noise pollution and high prices as well as limited capacity.

‘Untried and untested’

Independent air transport consultant John Strickland noted supersonic travel was unproven commercially.

“If there is an economic downturn or something happens where the market for business class traffic drains away, then you have nothing else left to do with that aircraft,” Strickland said.

“I think it’s going to be some time before we see whether it can establish a large viable market … in the way that Concorde never managed to do.”

These concerns have not stopped interest from other players.

US aerospace giant Boeing had last month unveiled its “hypersonic” airliner concept, which it hopes will fly at Mach 5 — or five times the speed of sound — when it arrives on the scene in 20 to 30 years.

And in April, NASA inked a deal for US giant Lockheed Martin to develop a supersonic “X-plane.”

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Депутат Журжій подав заяву про складення повноважень

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Влада, Новини, Україна

Народний депутат України від об’єднання «Самопоміч» Андрій Журжій подав заяву про складення депутатських повноважень.

У своїй заяві Журжій написав, що парламент входить у передвиборчий період, наслідком цього є «відкат та зупинення ключових економічних реформ», в таких умовах ефективне виконання депутатських обов’язків є неможливим. 

У 2019 році в Україні мають відбутися чергові президентські і парламентські вибори – у березні і жовтні.

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Конгресмени закликали Трампа протистояти агресії Росії проти України – заява

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Влада, Новини, Україна

«Незаконне вторгнення Росії до України є нападом на мир та безпеку Європи, що спричинило смерті тисяч українців і змусило мільйони людей залишити свої домівки»