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Канада продовжила мандат тренувальної військової місії в Україні до 2022 року

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Канада продовжила мандат тренувальної військової місії в Україні до березня 2022 року, повідомили міністр оборони Харджит Сінгх Сейджан та міністр закордонних справ Канади Христя Фріланд.

В уряді Канади пояснили продовження перебування в Україні тренувальної місії UNIFIER для українських військових поточною безпековою ситуацією в регіоні.

Канада вперше надіслала своїх військових в Україну у 2015 році, початковий план передбачав їхнє виведення наприкінці березня 2018 року. У місії беруть участь близько 200 канадських військових.

В уряді Канади стверджують, що в межах місії UNIFIER підготовку пройшли понад 10 800 українських військових.

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Порошенко: післязавтра відбудуться випробування ударних безпілотників

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«Безпілотні ударні літальні апарати значно збільшать бойові спроможності і Сил спеціальних операцій, і наших бойових підрозділів, щоб дати відсіч агресору»

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TI: президенту пропонують призначити 35 суддів Антикорупційного суду

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Вища рада правосуддя пропонує президенту України призначити 35 суддів Вищого антикорупційного суду, повідомила міжнародна антикорупційна організація Transparency International Ukraine.  

У поданні – 22 судді, 11 адвокатів і 2 науковців, які претендують на посади Антикорупційного суду та Апеляційної палати ВАС.

Згідно з повідомленням, ще по дві кандидатури до кожної з інстанцій поставили «на паузу». Рішення щодо адвокатів Євгена Крука та Маркіяна Галабали, а також викладачів Сергія Боднара та Володимира Цікала мають ухвалити до 28 березня.

В організації зазначили, що серед фіналістів – сім правників зі «списку 55 негідних», раніше опублікованого громадськими організаціями. Це судді Інна Білоус, Андрій Біцюк, Володимир Воронько, Віктор Маслов, Оксана Олійник та Валерія Чорна, адвокат Сергій Мойсак.

Конкурс до Вищого антикорупційного суду оголосили 2 серпня 2018 року. Вища кваліфікаційна комісія 6 березня оголосила результати конкурсу на 39 вакантних посад у Вищому антикорупційному суді.

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France Sacks Paris Police Chief After Weekend Riots    

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France has fired the Paris police chief and threatened to ban demonstrations on the city’s Champs-Elysees Monday after a weekend of rioting left stores ransacked and charred.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced Monday that Paris’ police chief Michel Delpuech, 66, who has been in the position since August 2017, will be replaced after an 18th straight weekend of “yellow vest” protests in the capital turned violent.

Philippe also announced new security measures following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and top security officials, including a ban on demonstrations on the city’s popular Champs-Elysees — a street of high-end shops popular among tourists — if violent groups were seen there.

Some 10,000 yellow vest demonstrators smashed and looted businesses on the iconic Champs Elysees and hurled cobble stones at police, who responded with tear gas and water cannons. Others participated in a peaceful climate march that brought together tens of thousand of people—underscoring the diffuse, unorganized complexity of the leaderless protest movement.

The months of yellow vest protests have slowed Macron’s reformist agenda. The protest movement, named after the fluorescent jackets French keep in their cars, has morphed well beyond its initial opposition to a planned fuel tax hike, to embrace a hodgepodge of grievances of a largely rural and working class France left behind.

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Putin Signs Into Law Bills Banning ‘Fake News,’ Insults

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President Vladimir Putin has signed legislation enabling Russian authorities to block websites and hand out punishment for “fake news” and material deemed insulting to the state or the public.

The two bills that critics see as part of a Kremlin effort to increase control over the Internet and stifle dissent were signed by the president on March 18, according to posts on the government portal for legal information.

The new legislation allows the authorities to block websites or internet accounts that publish what they deem to be “fake news” and penalize those who post material found to be insulting to state officials, state symbols, or Russian society.

The parliament’s upper chamber, the Federation Council, approved the bills on March 13 after the lower chamber, the State Duma, gave final approval to the proposed legislation on March 7.

On March 11, the Russian Presidential Council for Development of Civil Society and Human Rights urged the upper house to send the bills back to the Duma to be reworked.

The presidential council, whose advice is often ignored by Putin, cited the European Convention on Human Rights and said freedom of expression cannot be restricted exclusively due to doubts about whether what is being expressed is true.

The new law empowers the prosecutor-general and his deputies to determine what constitutes fake news without a court decision, after which the state media and communications watchdog Roskomnadzor would block the site or account.

Fines, jail time

The law sets fines for publishing “fake news” at up to 100,000 rubles ($1,525) for individuals, 200,000 rubles for public officials, and 500,000 rubles for companies.

The law says publications officially registered with Roskomnadzor, including online media outlets, will be given a chance to remove reports deemed as fake news before their websites are blocked.

It says websites that are not registered with Roskomnadzor will be blocked without warning.

The law also establishes fines of up to 100,000 rubles for insulting the Russian authorities, government agencies, the state, the public, the flag, or the constitution.

Repeat offenders will face bigger fines and can be jailed for up to 15 days.

Roskomnadzor will give Internet users 24 hours to remove material deemed by the prosecutor-general or his deputies to be insulting to the state or society, and those that fail to do so will be blocked, the law says.

In January, after the State Duma approved the bills in their first readings, Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin said: “These are crazy bills.”

“How can they prohibit people from criticizing the authorities?” he added.

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Trump Assails News Accounts Linking Him to New Zealand Massacre

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President Donald Trump complained Monday that the U.S. national news media “is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand.”

He said on Twitter, “They will have to work very hard to prove that one. So Ridiculous!”  

Trump apparently was incensed that major U.S. news outlets reported that Brent Harris Tarrant, the Australian white supremacist accused in the massacre of 50 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, said in a manifesto he released Friday shortly before the attacks that he viewed Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose,” even though he did not support his policies.

Asked Friday after the attacks whether he sees an increase in white nationalism, Trump said, “I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess.”

Trump said he had not seen the manifesto.

The president has condemned the attack and voiced support for New Zealand.  But he has not commented on Tarrant’s apparent motive for allegedly carrying out the attacks — his avowed racism and hatred for immigrants and Muslims.

The White House on Sunday rejected any attempt to link Trump to Tarrant.

“The president is not a white supremacist,” acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told “Fox News Sunday.” “I’m not sure how many times we have to say that. Let’s take what happened in New Zealand for what it is: a terrible evil tragic act.”

Trump’s dismissal that white nationalism is on the rise renewed criticism that he has not voiced strong enough condemnation of white nationalists.

Trump was widely attacked in the aftermath of a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 when he equated white supremacists with counter-protesters, saying “both sides” were to blame and that there were “fine people” on both sides of the protest.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, one of numerous Democrats seeking the party’s presidential nomination to oppose Trump in the 2020 election, said on Twitter after the New Zealand attack, “Time and time again, this president has embraced and emboldened white supremacists and instead of condemning racist terrorists, he covers for them. This isn’t normal or acceptable.”

Mulvaney, in the Fox News interview, said, “I don’t think it’s fair to cast this person (Tarrant) as a supporter of Donald Trump any more than it is to look at his eco-terrorist passages in that manifesto and align him with (Democratic House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi or Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a Democratic congresswoman from New York.

“This was a disturbed individual, an evil person,” Mulvaney said.

Scott Brown, U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, told CNN that he gave no credence to Tarrant’s comments about Trump in the manifesto, saying the accused gunman “is rotten to the core.” Brown said he hopes Tarrant is convicted “as quickly as he can be,” and “lock him up and throw away the key.”

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US Wages Wide-Ranging Campaign to Block Huawei

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VOA’s Xu Ning contributed to this report.

Over the past several weeks, the U.S. government has launched a seemingly unprecedented campaign to block the Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies from competing in the global rollout of next-generation 5G mobile networking technology, claiming that the company is effectively an arm of the Chinese intelligence services.

In an effort that has included top-level officials from the departments of State, Justice, Defense, Homeland Security, and Commerce, as well as the president himself, the Trump administration has taken steps to curtail Huawei’s ability to operate within the U.S. It has also mounted an extraordinary effort to convince U.S. allies to bar the firm from operating on their soil.

Huawei has long been viewed with suspicion and distrust in many corners of the global economy. The company has a documented history of industrial espionage, and its competitiveness on the global stage has been boosted by massive subsidies from the government in Beijing. Still, the scope of the U.S. government’s current offensive against the company is remarkable.

“Huawei has been accused of many things for a very long time. This is nothing new. What is unique is the extent of the pressure campaign,” said Michael Murphree, assistant professor of International Business at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business. “In the grand scheme of international technology competition, this is certainly a very strong effort against a specific firm.”

The push to keep Huawei from playing a major role in the rollout of 5G comes at a time when the U.S. and China are in talks to end a costly trade war that the U.S. launched last year with the imposition of tariffs against hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese exports. In another unprecedented move, President Donald Trump has even tied at least one of the government’s actions against Huawei — a federal indictment in which the company’s chief financial officer has been named — as a potential bargaining chip in trade discussions.

A corporate spokesman for Huawei declined to comment on the Trump Administration’s aggressive tactics.

The case against Huawei

U.S. officials cite a number of reasons to treat Huawei with extreme suspicion, some of them well-documented, others less so.

Top of the list is a National Intelligence law passed in China in 2017 that gives government intelligence services broad and open-ended powers to demand the cooperation of businesses operating in China in intelligence gathering efforts. U.S. policymakers argue that this presents an unambiguous threat to national security.

“In America we can’t even get Apple to crack open an iPhone for the FBI,” Florida Senator Marco Rubio said in a March 13 appearance on Fox Business Network. “In China, Huawei has to give the Chinese anything they ask for.” He added, “They should not be in business in America.”

And while Huawei has strongly denied that it operates as an arm of the Chinese intelligence services, at least two recent international espionage cases have come uncomfortably close to the firm.

 In January, the Polish government arrested a Huawei executive on charges of spying for China. The company itself has not been charged in the case, and Huawei announced that the employee, a sales manager, had been fired.

Early last year, the French newspaper Le Monde Afrique reported that over the course of several years, the computer systems in the Chinese-financed headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa were secretly transmitting data toservers in Shanghai every night, and that listening devices had been discovered implanted in the building. It was later revealed that the primary supplier of information and communications technology to the project had been Huawei.

No proof has ever been put forward that Huawei was involved in the data theft, and African Union officials have declined to go on the record confirming that the information transfers ever occurred.

One of the most frequent concerns expressed by U.S. officials about Huawei is the least substantiated: the idea that the company could install secret “backdoor” access to communications equipment that would give the Chinese government ready access to sensitive communications, or even enable Beijing to shut down communications in another country at will.

It’s a claim that Ren Zhengfei, Huawei’s 74-year-old founder and president, has personally ridiculed. The government would never make that request, and Huawei would never comply, he told the BBC recently. “Our sales revenues are now hundreds of billions of dollars. We are not going to risk the disgust of our country and our customers all over the world because of something like that. We will lose all our business. I’m not going to take that risk.”

The public battle over Huawei’s image

The sheer number of fronts on which the U.S. federal government is currently engaging with Huawei, sometimes very aggressively, is notable.

The most high-profile of these is a federal indictment of the company naming its Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, in an alleged scheme to deceive U.S. officials in order to bypass U.S. sanctions on Iran. Meng was arrested in Canada at the request of U.S. prosecutors, and the Justice Department is seeking her extradition in order to have her face trial in New York. At the same time, a second federal indictment accusing the company of stealing trade secrets, was unsealed in the state of Washington.

It is the Meng case that President Trump has suggested he might use as leverage in ongoing trade talks. Speaking to reporters at the White House last month, he said, “We’re going to be discussing all of that during the course of the next couple of weeks. We’ll be talking to the U.S. attorneys. We’ll be talking to the attorney general. We’ll be making that decision. Right now, it’s not something we’ve discussed.”

There have also been active efforts to dissuade other countries from doing business with Huawei.

Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned U.S. allies that if they use Huawei telecommunications equipment in their critical infrastructure, they will lose access to some intelligence collected by the United States “If a country adopts this and puts it in some of their critical information systems, we won’t be able to share information with them, we won’t be able to work alongside them,” Pompeo said in an interview with Fox Business Network.

On March 8, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany sent a letter to the German minister for economic affairs, reiterating the U.S. government’s concern about the potential for backdoors in Huawei systems and the threat of tampering during complex software updates. He said that U.S. intelligence sharing would be significantly scaled back if Germany uses Huawei products in its new telecommunications systems.

In February, the U.S. government sent a large delegation to MWC Barcelona, the telecommunications industry’s biggest trade show, where they publicly excoriated the company as “duplicitous and deceitful.” The U.S. delegation included officials from the departments of State, Commerce, and Defense, as well as Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. Also there were officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development, who made it clear that foreign aid dollars from the U.S. will not be available to help fund purchases from Chinese telecom firms.

In addition, a law signed by President Trump last year bars the federal government from buying equipment from Huawei and smaller Chinese telecom company ZTE. Trump has additionally floated the possibility of an executive order that would block Huawei from any participation at all in U.S 5G networks.

Huawei is fighting back, filing a lawsuit this month that claims it was unfairly banned from U.S. government computer networks. Deng Cheng, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, said the lawsuit may be aimed at determining what information the U.S. government is using to make its case.

 “There is information that the intelligence community may have that isn’t necessarily going to be made public,” he said. “What is admissible in court is not always the same as the information that is actually available. So I’m not really sure how this court case will even be adjudicated.”

Huawei’s lawsuit is likely also partly aimed at improving the firm’s reputation at a time when it is under siege by American officials.

The risk of pushback from China

At a time when the United States relations with even its closest traditional allies is under strain, Washington’s seemingly unilateral demand that a major global supplier be effectively shut out of an enormous marketplace is an audacious request.

For one thing, it is complicated by the fact that for countries and companies anxious to take advantage of 5G wireless technology, there may not be a ready substitute for the Chinese firm.

This seems to be reflected in recent reports that U.S. allies, in Europe, India, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere, are showing real resistance to U.S, demands. A report in the New York Times late Sunday said that in Europe, the general sense is that any risk posed by Huawei is manageable through monitoring and selective use of the company’s products. The story noted that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s response to the U.S. was a terse message that Germans would be “defining our standards for ourselves.”

And of course, there is always the possibility — even the likelihood — of Chinese retaliation against countries that accede to the United States’ requests. And in China, where the media is largely controlled by the Communist Party, and access to international news services is sharply limited, that retaliation would likely have widespread public support.

“The very strong perception is that Huawei is a great Chinese company that has done extraordinary things to move to the global frontier, in some respects to the head of the pack, and it is being unfairly treated and held back by the United States for specious reasons,” said Lester Ross, the partner-in-charge of the Beijing office of U.S. law firm Wilmer Hale.

 

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Trump Attacks General Motors for Laying Off Auto Workers

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U.S. President Donald Trump is attacking General Motors, the country’s biggest automaker, for costing 5,400 factory workers their jobs when it closed a manufacturing plant where it built a compact model car that Americans were increasingly not interested in buying.

Trump said on Twitter he talked with Mary Barra, GM’s chief executive, on Sunday, telling her he was “not happy” that the automaker closed the manufacturing plant in the industrial heartland of the country in Lordstown, Ohio, where GM manufactured the Chevrolet Cruze, a smaller car the company says is still popular overseas but not in the U.S.

He said he was miffed that the Lordstown plant was closed earlier this month “when everything else in our Country is BOOMING. I asked her to sell it or do something quickly.”

The plant closure was an indication that prosperity is uneven geographically across the U.S., the world’s largest economy.

But with Trump facing several investigations surrounding his 2016 presidential campaign and his actions during the first 26 months of his presidency, he is counting on the country’s mostly robust economy as a key talking point to voters that he should be re-elected to another four-year term in the November 2020 election.

He wrote on Twitter that he is not happy about the closure.

Trump on Monday tweeted that GM, the fourth biggest automaker in the world, and the UAW are opening negotiations on a new contract in September and October.

But he demanded, “Why wait, start them now! I want jobs to stay in the U.S.A. and want Lordstown (Ohio), in one of the best economies in our history, opened or sold to a company who will open it up fast!”

About 4,500 workers at the Lordstown plant lost their jobs over the last two years as sales of the Cruze model declined sharply, along with another 900 at nearby car parts suppliers.

A small portion of the laid-off workers have found jobs at other GM plants far from the Ohio plant that was closed.

Some of the unemployed workers have sought retraining for new jobs, but often found their years of work on a manufacturing assembly line do not readily translate into the ability to handle jobs where newer technology-related skills are needed.

Annual sales of the Cruze in North America peaked at 273,000 in 2014, but last year totaled just 142,000, as Americans are buying fewer passenger cars and instead opting to purchase bigger sport utility vehicles or pickup trucks.

Even as it closed the Lordstown plant, GM is continuing to manufacture the Cruze model in Mexico, Argentina and China, where the wages it pays workers are substantially less than the wages it was paying the Lordstown employees.

GM says Cruze sales in foreign countries have remained stable, fallen less sharply than in the U.S.. or even increased, as is the case in South America.

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Путін відвідає окупований Крим 18 березня

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Президент Росії Володимир Путін планує приїхати до окупованого Криму 18 березня, щоб відзначити п’яту річницю того, що сам російський лідер назвав у 2014 році «поверненням у рідну гавань». Кремль 17 березня повідомив, що Путін відвідає Сімферополь і Севастополь.

Україна та Захід засудили дії Росії як незаконну анексію, що призвело до санкцій проти російських фізичних та юридичних осіб.

Голова дипломатії Європейського союзу Федеріка Моґеріні напередодні різко розкритикувала Кремль за «незаконну» анексію Криму і повторила «непохитну» прихильність ЄС до суверенітету та територіальної цілісності України.

Анексія півострова «залишається прямим викликом для міжнародної безпеки, з серйозними наслідками для міжнародного правового порядку, який захищає територіальну цілісність, єдність і суверенітет усіх держав», – заявила Моґеріні 17 березня.

Вона звинуватила Москву в погіршенні ситуації з правами людини в Криму, стверджуючи, що жителі півострова «стикаються з систематичними обмеженнями основних свобод», а права кримських татар «серйозно порушені».

15 березня Сполучені Штати разом з Європейським союзом і Канадою запровадили нові санкції проти понад десятка російських чиновників, бізнесменів та юридичних осіб у відповідь на «триваючу агресію в Україні».

З квітня 2014 року українські урядові сили ведуть боротьбу з підтримуваними Росією бойовиками на Донбасі, в результаті збройного конфлікту загинули близько 13 тисяч людей, чверть із яких цивільні.

У листопаді 2018 року Росія захопила три українські кораблі і 24 члени їхніх екіпажів у Чорному морі біля Керченської протоки, яка з’єднує Чорне і Азовське море. Українські військові моряки перебувають у СІЗО в Москві. Західні держави наполягають на їхньому звільненні, Україна вважає їх військовополоненими. 

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Should Media Avoid Naming the Gunmen in Mass Shootings?

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A few months after teen shooters killed 12 classmates and her father at Columbine High School, Coni Sanders was standing in line at a grocery store with her young daughter when they came face to face with the magazine cover.

It showed the two gunmen who had carried out one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. Sanders realized that few people knew much about her father, who saved countless lives. But virtually everyone knew the names and the tiniest of details about the attackers who carried out the carnage.

In the decades since Columbine, a growing movement has urged news organizations to refrain from naming the shooters in mass slayings and to cease the steady drumbeat of biographical information about them. Critics say giving the assailants notoriety offers little to help understand the attacks and instead fuels celebrity-style coverage that only encourages future attacks.

The 1999 Colorado attack continues to motivate mass shooters, including the two men who this week stormed their former school in Brazil, killing seven people.

The gunman who attacked two mosques in New Zealand on Friday, killing at least 49 people, was said to have been inspired by the man who in 2015 killed nine black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Adam Lankford, a criminologist at the University of Alabama, who has studied the influence of media coverage on future shooters, said it’s vitally important to avoid excessive coverage of gunmen.

“A lot of these shooters want to be treated like celebrities. They want to be famous. So the key is to not give them that treatment,” he said.

The notion hit close to home for Sanders. Seemingly everywhere she turned — the grocery store, a restaurant, a newspaper or magazine — she would see the faces of the Columbine attackers and hear or read about them. Even in her own home, she was bombarded with their deeds on TV.

Everyone knew their names. “And if you said the two together, they automatically knew it was Columbine,” Sanders said. “The media was so fascinated — and so was our country and the world — that they really grasped onto this every detail. Time and time again, we couldn’t escape it.”

Criminologists who study mass shootings say the vast majority of shooters are seeking infamy and soak up the coverage as a guide.

Just four days after the 2017 Las Vegas concert shooting, which stands as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, Lankford published a paper urging journalists to refrain from using shooters’ names or going into exhaustive detail about their crimes.

These attackers, he argued, are trying to outdo previous shooters with higher death tolls. Media coverage serves only to encourage copycats.

Late last year, the Trump administration’s federal Commission on School Safety called on the media to refrain from reporting the names and photos of mass shooters. It was one of the rare moments when gun-rights advocates and gun-control activists agreed.

“To suggest that the media alone is to blame or is primarily at fault for this epidemic of mass shootings would vastly oversimply this issue,” said Adam Skaggs, chief counsel for the Giffords Law Center, which works to curb gun violence.

Skaggs said he is “somewhat sympathetic to journalists’ impulse to cover clearly important and newsworthy events and to get at the truth. … But there’s a balance that can be struck between ensuring the public has enough information … and not giving undue attention to perpetrators of heinous acts.”

Studies show a contagion effect from coverage of both homicides and suicides.

The Columbine shooters, in particular, have an almost cult-like status, with some followers seeking to emulate their trench-coat attire and expressing admiration for their crime, which some have attributed to bullying. The gunman in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting kept a detailed journal of decades’ worth of mass shootings.

James Alan Fox, a professor at Northeastern University who has studied mass shootings, said naming shooters is not the problem. Instead, he blamed over-the-top coverage that includes irrelevant details about the killers, such as their writings and their backgrounds, that “unnecessarily humanizes them.”

“We sometimes come to know more about them — their interests and their disappointments — than we do about our next-door neighbors,” Fox said.

Law enforcement agencies have taken a lead, most recently with the Aurora, Illinois, police chief, who uttered just once the name of the gunman who killed five co-workers and wounded five officers last month.

“I said his name one time for the media, and I will never let it cross my lips again,” Chief Kristen Ziman said in a Facebook post.

Some media, most notably CNN’s Anderson Cooper, have made a point of avoiding using the name of these gunmen.

The Associated Press names suspects identified by law enforcement in major crimes. However, in cases in which the crime is carried out seeking publicity, the AP strives to restrict the mention of the name to the minimum needed to inform the public, while avoiding descriptions that might serve a criminal’s desire for publicity or self-glorification, said John Daniszewski, the AP’s vice president and editor-at-large for standards.

For Caren and Tom Teves, the cause is personal. Their son Alex was among those killed in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater in 2012.

They were both traveling out of state when the shooting happened, and it took 15 hours for them to learn the fate of their son. During those hours, they heard repeatedly about the shooter but virtually nothing about the victims.

Not long after, they created the No Notoriety movement, encouraging media to stick to reporting relevant facts rather than the smallest of biographical details. They also recommend publishing images of the shooter in places that are not prominent, steering clear of “hero” poses or images showing them holding weapons, and not publishing any manifestos.

“We never say don’t use the name. What we say is use the name responsibly and don’t turn them into anti-heroes,” Tom Teves said. “Let’s portray them for what they are: They’re horrible human beings that are completely skewed in their perception of reality, and their one claim to fortune is sneaking up behind you and shooting you.”

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Жителі Москви вийшли на одиничні пікети проти анексії Криму – фото

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Їхні учасники тримали плакати: «Крим – це Україна», «Крим вам замість пенсій», «Список Олега Сенцова» та інші

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Міноборони Канади в річницю анексії Криму: «ми разом з Україною проти російської агресії»

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«Ми разом з українським народом виступаємо проти російської агресії»

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Serbia President Vows to Defend Law and Order Amid Protests

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Serbia’s president pledged Sunday to defend the country’s law and order a day after opposition supporters stormed the national TV station, protesting what they called his autocratic rule and biased grip on the country’s media.

The opposition clashes with police on Saturday and Sunday in Belgrade, the capital, were first major incidents after months of peaceful protests against populist President Aleksandar Vucic. The demonstrators are demanding his resignation, fair elections and a free media.

As Vucic held a news conference Sunday in the presidency building in downtown Belgrade, thousands of opposition supporters gathered in front demanding his resignation and trapping him in the building for a few hours.

Skirmishes with riot police were reported, including officers firing tear gas against the protesters who sought to form a human chain around the presidency to prevent Vucic from leaving the building.

The pro-government Pink TV showed a photo of Vucic playing chess with the interior minister apparently inside the presidency. Vucic posted a video message on Instagram, saying “I’m here and I won’t move from a place they want to occupy.”

Later, he was seen leaving the building as most of the protesters dispersed from the scene.

“They (protesters) have no power, can do nothing … as you can see, they have no courage, no courage for anything,” Vucic said as he got into his car. “Nothing will come of it, nothing.”

Police said they were attacked and arrested several demonstrators. The interior minister said the protest leaders must be “processed” as soon as possible.

The crowd, however, chanted “He is finished!” at Vucic, which was the slogan of the October 2000 uprising that led to the ouster of late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, architect of the country’s bloody wars with its neighbors during the early 1990s.

During his televised address, Vucic repeatedly branded opposition leaders as “fascists, hooligans and thieves.”

“There will be no more violence,” Vucic said. “Serbia is a democratic country, a country of law and order and Serbia will know how to respond.”

Vucic tried to downplay the protesters’ numbers, insisting that only about 1,000 people had gathered, saying “they think they have the right, 1,000 of them, to determine the fate of the country.”

He has also claimed support from outside the capital, saying people are ready to come to Belgrade to defend him.

Serbian riot police on Saturday night removed hundreds of people, including opposition leaders, who stormed the state-run TV headquarters in Belgrade to denounce the broadcaster, whose reporting they consider highly biased.

Serbia’s weekly anti-government protests began after thugs beat up an opposition politician in November. A former extreme nationalist, Vucic now says he wants to lead Serbia into the European Union.