Розділ: Фінанси

May 14th, 2021 by Vbiz

Kenya’s High Court ruled Thursday that a drive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to change the constitution was illegal, stopping what his critics have called a political move designed to check his deputy, whom he has fallen out with publicly.Parliament has already passed the proposed amendments, popularly known as the Building Bridges Initiative, which mark the biggest change to the East African nation’s government structure since a new constitution was adopted in 2010.But issuing a ruling on several challenges lodged by various parties, a five-judge bench of the court said Kenyatta had used a constitutional provision reserved for citizens to initiate the changes, making the process illegal.”The president cannot be both player and umpire in the same match,” said Jairus Ngaah, one of the judges.The government, which wants to hold a referendum after Kenyatta signs the bill into law, said it will appeal the ruling.Kenyatta says the bill promotes the sharing of power among competing ethnic groups to reduce cyclical election violence and is not targeting anyone.It will create 70 new constituencies, return the role of Cabinet ministers to elected members of Parliament and create several powerful new posts: a prime minister, two deputies and an official leader of the parliamentary opposition.Kenyatta initiated the changes with the backing of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, after the two made peace in January 2018 following a divisive presidential election the previous year in which the president beat Odinga.The rapprochement isolated Kenyatta’s deputy, William Ruto, who wants to succeed his boss when he steps down next year after serving the constitutionally allowed two, five-year terms.The constitutional amendments are partly designed to tame Ruto’s political ambitions by making it possible to cobble together an alliance against him, said John Githongo, a prominent anti-graft campaigner.”It is very clear that some of these alignments are to sideline him,” he said.Ruto’s allies have loudly opposed the constitutional changes bill in Parliament and outside.”I don’t think we have a constitutional problem in Kenya. … The biggest problem in Kenya is an economic problem,” Ndindi Nyoro, a pro-Ruto lawmaker, said on local Citizen TV.

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May 12th, 2021 by Vbiz

Iran’s former firebrand president will run again for office in upcoming elections in June, raising the possibility of a bolstered hardline leadership at a time of tense negotiations with the West. Thronged by shouting supporters, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad marched to a registration center at the Interior Ministry where he filled out registration forms. He held up his hands in a “V for Victory” salute, before addressing reporters. “My presence today for registration was based on demand by millions for my participation in the election,” he said, adding that the move also came after “considering the situation of the country, and the necessity for a revolution in the management of the country.” Ahmadinejad in recent years has tried to polish his hardline image into a more centrist candidacy, criticizing the government for mismanagement. The Holocaust-denying Ahmadinejad has previously been banned from running for the presidency by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2017, although then, he registered anyway. A constitutional watchdog, the Guardian Council ultimately disqualified him. Khamenei says he will not oppose the nomination of any candidate, although the electoral council may still block Ahmadinejad’s candidacy. In either case, the populist’s return to the political scene may energize discontent among hard-liners who seek a tougher stance against the west — particularly Israel and the U.S. Iran opened registration on Tuesday, kicking off the race as uncertainty looms over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers and tensions remain high with the West. President Hassan Rouhani can not run again due to term limits, yet with the poll just a month away no immediate favorite has emerged among the many rumored candidates. There also appears to be little interest in the vote by a public crushed by sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, many view the country’s hard-liners as ascendant — even as the U.S. under President Joe Biden tries to find a way to re-enter the atomic accord. Whoever wins the June 18 vote will take over from Rouhani, a relative moderate within the Islamic Republic whose two four-year terms began with Iran reaching the nuclear deal. His time in office now draws to a close with the accord unraveled after the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from it under President Donald Trump in 2018. Ahmadinejad pushed his nation into open confrontation with both the West over its nuclear program and its own people after his disputed 2009 re-election sparked the biggest mass protests since the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. Abroad, he became a caricature of Western perceptions of the Islamic Republic’s worst attributes, such as denying the Holocaust, insisting Iran had no gay or lesbian citizens and hinting Iran could build a nuclear weapon if it chose to do so. At home, however, the former Tehran mayor drew support from the countryside for his populist cash handouts and home-building programs. As his two-term presidency drew to a close and in his life after office, he also crossed the clear red line of Iran’s Shiite theocracy, directly challenging Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all matters of state. Ahmadinejad entered office in 2005 and left in 2013, after the election of President Hassan Rouhani, who would go onto to make the nuclear deal with world powers. Yet even out of office, Ahmadinejad sought to reinvigorate his political fortunes in public and on social media. 

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

May 10th, 2021 by Vbiz

Protesters set fire to trailers belonging to Iran’s consulate in Karbala on Sunday amid widespread anger over the killing of a prominent activist in the Iraqi city.  Ehab Wazni, who was active in the organization of anti-government protests that swept Iraq in October 2019, was shot overnight outside his home by unknown assailants.  His death sparked daylong protests in Karbala that saw demonstrators block roads and bridges with burning tires. Then Sunday night, dozens of protesters gathered outside the Iranian consulate, burning tires in front of the building and setting fire to several trailers parked outside, according to police officials and videos posted online. Similar scenes played out in November 2019 during protests in Baghdad and Iraq’s majority-Shiite provinces in the south, with protesters on at least one occasion scaling concrete barriers ringing the Iranian consulate in Karbala to bring down Iran’s flag and replace it with the Iraqi flag.  The popular protests that began in October 2019 and lasted for months were directed at a postwar political system and a class of elite leaders that Iraqis accuse of pillaging Iraq’s wealth while the country grows poorer. But protesters have also directed their rage at neighboring Iran and the powerful Iraqi Shiite militias tied to it. The protests in Karbala, Baghdad and cities across southern Iraq often turned violent, with security forces opening fire and protesters torching government buildings and headquarters of Iran-backed militias. Hundreds were killed, including the assassination of activists.  The protests have been largely dormant since the coronavirus pandemic.  

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May 10th, 2021 by Vbiz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that authorities “will not allow any extremists to destabilize the calm,” after several days of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israel police outside the Old City of Jerusalem.The Israeli leader told a Cabinet meeting that he had met with security officials and vowed to “enforce law and order decisively and responsibly.”He said Israel “will continue to maintain freedom of worship for all faiths, but we will not allow violent disturbances.”Dozens of Palestinians were wounded in violent confrontations with police in Jerusalem from Saturday night into Sunday, when Muslims marked Laylat al-Qadr, or the “night of destiny,” the holiest period of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The skirmishes occurred at the gates of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City, a site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, which is considered the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam.Jordan, in response to the violence, said Israel should respect worshippers and international law safeguarding Arab rights. Jordan’s King Abdullah said Israeli actions in the holy city were an escalation and called on Israel to end its “dangerous provocations.” On Sunday, police approved the annual Jerusalem Day parade, a flag-waving display to take place Monday to mark Israeli claims to all of Jerusalem. The parade will pass through Jerusalem’s Old City, part of east Jerusalem, which was captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.The annual event, viewed by some as provocative, is occurring at a particularly volatile time. A hearing in a court case over the planned evictions of several Palestinian families from a neighborhood in East Jerusalem has been delayed as Palestinian families sought the legal opinion from Israel’s attorney general. A lower court had found in favor of the claim by Jewish settlers to land where the Palestinian homes are located. The Israeli Supreme Court had been expected to hear appeals on Monday but agreed to hear from the attorney general, who may argue against the evictions, Reuters reported. A spokesman for the attorney general said a new hearing will be scheduled within 30 days. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said last week he “held (Israel) responsible for the dangerous developments and sinful attacks taking place in the holy city” and called on the United Nations Security Council to hold an urgent session on the issue. The president of the Security Council has scheduled a private discussion for Monday on the rising tensions in east Jerusalem around al-Aqsa. The United Nations has called on Israel to halt the evictions of Palestinians in east Jerusalem.In a tweet, the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry accused the Palestinians of using the threatened evictions to incite violence. Separately, the Islamic militant group Hamas has warned of retribution if the evictions go forward.U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke Sunday to his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat, “to express the United States’ serious concerns about the situation in Jerusalem” as well as concerns about the potential evictions of Palestinian families. Sullivan said the U.S. is committed to Israel’s security and to peace and stability in the Middle East, according to a White House statement.Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its unified capital. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of a future state.

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May 9th, 2021 by Vbiz

Last Mother’s Day, they celebrated with bacon and eggs over FaceTime. This time, Jean Codianni of Los Angeles flew to New Jersey to surprise her 74-year-old mother, now that both have been vaccinated against the disease that has stolen uncountable hugs and kisses around the world. “You forget how your mom smells, how she looks. It’s like, she never looks as beautiful as the last time you saw her,” Codianni said. “We understand how privileged we are, how lucky we are. Hundreds of thousands of people don’t get to celebrate Mother’s Day, or are celebrating it under a veil of grief.” Joyous reunions among vaccinated parents and children across the country marked this year’s Mother’s Day, the second one celebrated during the coronavirus pandemic. Some families separated by worries of transmitting the virus saw each other for the first time in more than a year, emboldened by their vaccinations, as many others grieved for mothers lost to the virus. For Pam Grimes, Mother’s Day last year remains a fuzzy yet “scary and depressing” memory, blurred together with the rest of the pandemic’s early months. In contrast, when her vaccinated adult grandchildren gathered at her Panama City, Florida, home to celebrate this year, they hugged and laughed and teased each other. “The whole world felt better,” Grimes said. Historian Andy Verhoff didn’t see his mother for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s. But for Mother’s Day, he drove from his home in Columbus, Ohio, to spend a day in rural Putnam County, Ohio, with her, stopping at the first historical marker they’d worked on together. Both mother and son were vaccinated, giving them the confidence to take their masks off, which made it feel like a normal, pre-pandemic day, Verhoff said. “We never let the mask get in the way of things,” Verhoff said. “It was just nice to not have my glasses fog up.” Some long-term care facilities across the country prepared for the special day by facilitating in-person visits, especially as some states have relaxed visitation rules in recent months given rising vaccination rates and dropping case numbers. In suburban Detroit, residents with dementia at Addington Place lately have been allowed to see visitors in person. But the big change Sunday was their ability to leave for a special meal with family members and return without being quarantined. Moms were also receiving roses from staff. “Residents can feel the energy now that families are coming in,” said Kelley Fulkerson, business office manager at Addington in Northville. “There is excitement among staff — and tears and excitement among families waiting to see loved ones.” St. Joseph of Harahan — an assisted living facility in Harahan, Louisiana — held a parking lot parade Friday with dozens of cars honking and family members yelling well wishes for Mother’s Day. Residents in masks sat behind caution tape and waved to loved ones whom they had waited to see for more than a year in some cases. Workers passed out balloons and flowers. Cathedral Village, a nursing home and rehabilitation center in Philadelphia, was spacing out weekend visits for Mother’s Day, said supervisor Hannah Han. Social workers were helping some families that wanted to take people home to celebrate. Visits in private rooms required masks and gowns. Mary Daniel, who last year took a job as a dishwasher so she could see her husband at a long-term care facility in Jacksonville, Florida, said holidays are important to maintain traditions with family. She said spouses and others should be recognized as essential caregivers who offer emotional support and be allowed inside. “We are seeing progress with people being allowed to see loved ones and visit or take them home for holidays, but we are still seeing individual facilities who refuse to follow the federal guidance on allowing visits,” said Daniel, who started a group called Caregivers for Compromise-Because Isolation Kills Too. Still, the virus limited the holiday this year for Winslow Swan, who served as his 83-year-old mother’s primary caretaker in Ellijay, Georgia, until last year, when health troubles forced him to move her into a nursing home in town during the middle of the pandemic. New COVID-19 cases in the past month have led to the facility to tighten its visitation restrictions, and Swan likely won’t see his mother for this year’s holiday, though he has considered an impromptu window visit. “It’s sad,” he said. “I know the room that’s she’s in and there is a possibility that I can find her and see her through the window.”

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

May 9th, 2021 by Vbiz

An out-of-control Chinese rocket is expected to reenter Earth’s atmosphere between 1:00 and 5:00 UTC Sunday, but experts do not know where debris from the craft will land or exactly when it will happen.Aerospace Corp. and Space-Track.org are following the rocket as it descends.Space-Track.org estimated Saturday evening that the rocket would reenter the atmosphere over the North Atlantic at 02:04 UTC (10:04 p.m. EDT), give or take one hour. Aerospace Corp. put it at 03:02 UTC 11:02 p.m. EDT), give or take two hours.Aerospace Corp. is a nonprofit corporation that operates a federally funded research-and-development center committed to space enterprise, according to its website. And Space-Track.org says it provides critical space situational awareness data for a worldwide space community.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Friday that the rocket was unlikely to cause damage.Wang told reporters in Beijing that the rocket would mostly burn up on reentry and “the probability of this process causing harm on the ground is extremely low.”He said China was closely following the rocket’s path toward Earth and would release any information about it in a “timely manner.”Carried space station moduleThe Long March 5B rocket was launched April 29 from Hainan Island. It was carrying a module for a planned Chinese space station. After the unmanned Tianhe module separated from the rocket, the nearly 21,000-kilogram rocket should have followed a planned reentry trajectory into the ocean. Because that did not happen as planned, the rocket will now make an uncontrolled reentry, and no one knows yet precisely where the debris will land.“U.S. Space Command is aware of and tracking the location of the Chinese Long March 5B in space, but its exact entry point into the Earth’s atmosphere cannot be pinpointed until within hours of its reentry,” Lieutenant Colonel Angela Webb, of U.S. Space Command Public Affairs, told CBS News.Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that “this rocket debris” is “almost the body of the rocket, as I understand it, almost intact, coming down, and we think Space Command believes somewhere around the 8th of May.”While the odds are good that any debris will fall into the ocean, debris from another Long March 5B rocket fell on parts of Ivory Coast in May 2020, causing damage to some buildings.Harvard-based astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell told Reuters that the debris could fall as far north as New York or as far south as Wellington, New Zealand.Speaking with reporters Thursday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the United States had no plans to try to shoot down the rocket.“We have the capability to do a lot of things, but we don’t have a plan to shoot it down as we speak,” Austin said.“We’re hopeful that it will land in a place where it won’t harm anyone. Hopefully in the ocean, or someplace like that,” he added.The launch of the Tianhe module was the first of 11 planned missions to build a Chinese space station.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

May 8th, 2021 by Vbiz

Will Pomeranz, deputy director of the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center, and Andrea Kendall-Taylor, senior fellow and director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) discuss with host Carol Castiel the significance of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Ukraine as Washington shores up support for the beleaguered former Soviet state as it faces Russian aggression in the East and as the US counters Russian malign activities with wide-ranging sanctions for Moscow’s interference in the 2020 US elections and hacking of government and private sector entities.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

May 8th, 2021 by Vbiz

Issues in the News moderator Kim Lewis discusses with VOA congressional correspondent Katherine Gypson and senior reporter for Marketplace, Nancy Marshall-Genzer, US President Joe Biden’s new vaccination goal and push to pass his infrastructure package, the GOP’s move to expel Congresswoman Liz Cheney from its leadership, Facebook’s decision to uphold a ban on former President Donald Trump for another six months, and more.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

May 8th, 2021 by Vbiz

Issues in the News moderator Kim Lewis discusses with VOA congressional correspondent Katherine Gypson and senior reporter for Marketplace, Nancy Marshall-Genzer, US President Joe Biden’s new vaccination goal and push to pass his infrastructure package, the GOP’s move to expel Congresswoman Liz Cheney from its leadership, Facebook’s decision to uphold a ban on former President Donald Trump for another six months, and more.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

May 8th, 2021 by Vbiz

The United States will join an international bid to stamp out violent extremism online, the White House said Friday, about two years after the Trump administration declined to do so.Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said Washington “will join the Christchurch Call to Action to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online, a global pledge by member governments and technology partners to work together to address terrorist and violent extremist content online.”The initiative is named after the New Zealand city where a far-right gunman massacred 51 people at two mosques in 2019 while broadcasting his rampage live on Facebook.”Countering the use of the internet by terrorists and violent extremists to radicalize and recruit is a significant priority for the United States,” Psaki said. “Joining the coalition of governments and companies that have endorsed the Christchurch Call to Action reinforces the need for collective action.”In 2019 the United States cited protecting free speech when it declined to join the call, led by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron, though Washington stressed that it did back the initiative’s aims.Psaki said free speech remains a concern.”The United States applauds language in the Christchurch Call emphasizing the importance of respecting human rights and the rule of law, including the protection of freedom of expression,” her statement said.”In joining the Christchurch Call, the United States will not take steps that would violate the freedoms of speech and association protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, nor violate reasonable expectations of privacy.”She said the U.S. would participate in a virtual summit on May 14.

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May 7th, 2021 by Vbiz

Police targeting drug traffickers raided a slum in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, and at least one officer and two dozen others died after being shot, authorities said.  The civil police’s press office confirmed the death of the officer and 24 alleged criminals in a message to The Associated Press.  A police helicopter flew low over the Jacarezinho favela as heavily armed men fled police by leaping from roof to roof, according to images shown on local television.  One woman told The Associated Press she saw police kill a badly wounded man, whom she described as helpless and unarmed, whom they found after he had fled into her house. Felipe Curi, a detective in Rio’s civil police, denied there had been any executions. “There were no suspects killed. They were all traffickers or criminals who tried to take the lives of our police officers, and there was no other alternative,” he said during a press conference. Police had to struggle to enter the favela because of concrete barriers built by the criminals, according to the detective. Shooting spread throughout the community. During the operation, several people Curi described as criminals invaded neighboring houses, trying to hide. Six were arrested, he said.  The police also seized 16 pistols, six rifles, a submachine gun, 12 grenades and a shotgun. Service on a subway line was suspended “due to intense shooting in the region,” according to a statement from the company that operates it. Earlier, two subway passengers were injured when a stray bullet shattered the glass of one car. Jacarezinho, one of the city’s most populous favelas, with some 40,000 residents, is dominated by the Comando Vermelho, one of Brazil’s leading criminal organizations. The police consider Jacarezinho to be one of the group’s headquarters. Thursday’s operation was aimed at investigating the recruitment of teenagers to hijack trains and commit other crimes, police said in a statement.  A group of about 50 residents in Jacarezinho poured into a narrow street on Thursday afternoon to follow members of the state legislature’s human rights commission as it conducted an inspection. They shouted “justice” while clapping their hands, and some raised their right fist into the air. Human Rights Watch Brazil said in a statement that the public prosecutor must immediately investigate possible police abuses. The police statement said the criminal gang has a “warlike structure of soldiers equipped with rifles, grenades, bulletproof vests, pistols, camouflaged clothing and other military accessories.” The Candido Mendes University’s Public Safety Observatory said that at least 12 police operations in Rio state this year have resulted in three or more deaths. Observatory director Silvia Ramos said Thursday’s raid was among the deadliest in the city’s recent history. Many of them appear to violate a ruling by Brazil’s Supreme Court last year that ordered the police to suspend operations during the pandemic, restricting them to “absolutely exceptional” situations. The Supreme Court declined to comment when asked by The Associated Press if Thursday’s operation would qualify. Rio police killed an average of more than five people a day during the first quarter of 2021, the most lethal start of a year since the state government began regularly releasing such data more than two decades ago, according to the Observatory. 

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May 7th, 2021 by Vbiz

World leaders welcomed the Biden administration’s announced support for waiving patent restrictions on COVID-19 vaccines, the so-called TRIPS waiver, at the World Trade Organization. While this could be a breakthrough in the global fight against the pandemic, as White House correspondent Patsy Widakuswara reports, it’s just the first step in a long and complicated process. 

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

May 6th, 2021 by Vbiz

A jury in Rome on Wednesday convicted two American friends in the 2019 slaying of a police officer in a tragic unraveling of a small-time drug deal gone bad, sentencing them to life in prison. The jury deliberated more than 12 hours before delivering the verdicts against Finnegan Lee Elder, 21, and Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, 20, handing them Italy’s stiffest sentence. Elder and Natale-Hjorth were indicted on charges of homicide, attempted extortion, assault, resisting a public official and carrying an attack-style knife without just cause. They were found guilty of all counts.  The slain officer’s widow, who held a photo of her dead husband while waiting for the verdict, sobbed and hugged his brother, Paolo. The defendants were led immediately out of the courtroom after the verdicts had been read. As Elder was being walked out, his father, Ethan Elder, called out, “Finnegan, I love you.” Prosecutors alleged that Elder stabbed Vice Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega 11 times with a knife that he brought with him on his trip to Europe from California and that Natale-Hjorth helped him hide the knife in their hotel room.  The July 26, 2019, killing of the officer from the storied Carabinieri paramilitary police corps shocked Italy. Cerciello Rega, 35, was mourned as a national hero. His widow, brother and partner were in the courtroom as the jury went into deliberations.  The two Californians were allowed out of steel-barred defendant cages inside the courtroom to sit with their lawyers before the case went to the jury, which consisted of the presiding judge, Marina Finiti, a second judge and six civilian jurors. “I’m stressed,” Elder said to one of his lawyers. Just before the brief court appearance, Elder took a crucifix he wears on a chain around his neck and kissed it. He also turned to his co-defendant, Natale-Hjorth, and held out the crucifix toward him through a glass partition, motioning heavenward.  Elder was joined in the courtroom by his parents. He and his father crossed their fingers toward each other for good luck after the jury went to deliberate. Natale-Hjorth was greeted by his Italian uncle, who lives in Italy.Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, center, is escorted by police officers during the trial for the slaying of an Italian plainclothes police officer, in Rome, May 5, 2021.Cerciello Rega had recently returned from a honeymoon when he was assigned, along with a plainclothes police partner, officer Andrea Varriale, to follow up on a reported extortion attempt.  Prosecution’s case Prosecutors contend the young Americans concocted a plot involving a stolen bag and cellphone after their failed attempt to buy cocaine with 80 euros ($96) in Rome’s Trastevere nightlife district. Natale-Hjorth and Elder testified they had paid for the cocaine but didn’t receive it. Both defendants contended they acted in self-defense.  During the trial, which began on Feb. 26, 2020, the Americans told the court they thought that Cerciello Rega and Varriale were thugs or mobsters out to assault them on a dark deserted street. The officers wore casual summer clothes and not uniforms, and the defendants insisted the officers never showed police badges.  Under Italian law, an accomplice in an alleged murder can also be charged with murder, even without materially doing the slaying. Prosecutor Maria Sabina Calabretta has demanded life imprisonment for both defendants.  Varriale, who suffered a back injury in a scuffle with Natale-Hjorth while his partner was grappling with Elder, testified that the officers did identify themselves as Carabinieri. At the time of the slaying, Elder was 19 and traveling through Europe without his family, while Natale-Hjorth, then 18, was spending the summer vacation with his Italian grandparents, who live near Rome. Former schoolmates from the San Francisco Bay area, the two had met up in Rome for what was supposed to be couple of days of sightseeing and nights out.  Prosecutors alleged that Elder thrust a 7-inch (18-centimeter) military-style attack knife repeatedly into Cerciello Rega, who bled profusely, like a “fountain,” Varriale had testified, and died shortly after in hospital.  Elder told the court that during the scuffle, the heavyset Cerciello Rega was on top of him on the ground, and Elder feared that he was being strangled. Elder said he pulled out the knife and stabbed him to avoid being killed, and when the officer didn’t immediately let him go, he stabbed again. After the stabbing, the Americans ran to their hotel room, where, according to Natale-Hjorth, Elder cleaned the knife and then asked him to hide it. Natale-Hjorth testified that he hid the knife behind a ceiling panel in their room, where police discovered it hours later. The drug deal The defendants had told the court that several hours before the stabbing, they attempted to buy cocaine in the Trastevere district. With the intervention of a go-between, they paid a dealer, but instead of cocaine, they received an aspirinlike tablet.  Before Natale-Hjorth could confront the dealer, a separate Carabinieri patrol in the neighborhood intervened, and all scattered. The Americans snatched the go-between’s knapsack in reprisal and used a cellphone inside to set up a meeting with the goal of exchanging the bag and the phone for the cash they had lost in the bad drug deal.  Meanwhile, Cerciello Rega, wearing a T-shirt and long shorts, and Varriale, in a polo shirt and jeans, headed out to follow up on what was described as a small-scale extortion attempt. They didn’t carry their service pistols.  From practically its start, the trial largely boiled down to the word of Varriale against that of the young American visitors. The victim’s widow, Rosa Maria Esilio, would sit in the front row, often clutching a photo of her husband. Photos of the newlyweds, with Cerciello Rega in his dress uniform after their wedding, were widely displayed in Italian media after the slaying. As the trial neared its end, one of Elder’s defense lawyers, Renato Borzone, argued in court that deep-set psychiatric problems, including a constant fear of being attacked, figured in the fatal stabbing. Borzone told the court his client saw a world filled with enemies due to psychiatric problems and that something “short-circuited” when Elder was confronted by the officer. 

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May 3rd, 2021 by Vbiz

While the pandemic has been a source of grief, it has not stopped joyful events from happening – including thousands of babies being born in this difficult time. Photographer Annе Geddes, creator of the Joy project, is encouraging women from around the world to send her pictures of their newborns for publication – and a pick-me-up. Anna Nelson has the story, narrated by Anna Rice.Camera: Natalia Latukhina, Max Avloshenko, Dmitrii Vershinin   
 

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

May 3rd, 2021 by Vbiz

The results of a new poll show that vaccine hesitancy worldwide poses a risk to ending the COVID-19 pandemic for good. In 79 out of 117 countries A man arrives to get a dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital, in Ankara, Turkey, May 1, 2021.Vaccination is not the only factor in herd immunity. Natural infections also contribute. Some countries in which vaccine rollout is under way are seeing sharp declines in cases long before vaccines reach 70% of the population. But questions remain about the strength of the immune response to natural infection, its length and whether emerging variants can overcome it. Many of these questions remain unanswered concerning the COVID-19 vaccines as well. The ‘moveable middle’ The survey was conducted before vaccines began to roll out anywhere. Attitudes have probably shifted somewhat already, Ray said, as hundreds of millions of shots have been given and media coverage has been widespread.  The United States is a good example of how opinions change once vaccination starts. But it also shows the limits of how much can change.  Gallup conducted the U.S. portion of the global poll between August and October. At the time, about 46% of Americans said they would not be vaccinated.  Gallup’s most recent survey, in March, shows that figure has fallen to 26%. The biggest change, according to a separate poll, was among people who said they would “wait and see” whether they would get vaccinated.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, in December, nearly 2 in 5 people said they would wait and see, while only 1 in 3 said they would get a vaccine as soon as possible.By March, the “wait and see” group had shrunk to 17%, while more than half said that they had already gotten their shots or would as soon as possible. Outright refusals did not change much, on the other hand, decreasing from 15% in December to 13% in March.  “We focus on this movable middle,” said behavioral scientist Rupali Limaye with the International Vaccine Access Center at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  She said in every country, some people are ready to roll up their sleeves right away and some are dead set against it. But “a huge proportion of the population … is just ambivalent (about vaccines), meaning they need a nudge in one direction or the other.” Trust In some countries, people are hesitant because they do not trust the government, Gallup’s Ray said.  Trust in government is low in the countries of the former Soviet Union, for example, and residents were far less likely to say that they would take the vaccine.  But that is not the whole story, she added. Among Russians who were confident in their government, 49% still said that they would not take it. Some of the reluctance is about vaccines in general. Ray had worked on another poll, the 2018 Wellcome Global Monitor, that examined attitudes toward vaccines, among other things. Not surprisingly, there is a lot of overlap between those countries in which a low percentage of people in the Wellcome poll said that vaccines were safe and those countries in which a high percentage in the new survey said that they would refuse vaccines. In Eastern Europe, for example, only 40% of people told the Wellcome poll that vaccines were safe. Ten of the 20 countries in which the majority of those polled would refuse the vaccine are in Eastern Europe.  Another factor: In Eastern Europe especially, “misinformation is through the roof,” Limaye said, “which has caused another whole wrench in the plan.” Unfortunately, in much of the world, she said, “they’re not getting a lot of pro-vaccine messages right now … (because) the vaccine is not available in the vast majority of the world.”  Creating demand for a product that is not available is not helpful, so “right now we’re in a bit of a weird holding pattern,” she said. 

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

May 3rd, 2021 by Vbiz

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that differences between New Zealand and China are becoming harder to reconcile as Beijing’s role in the world grows and changes.
 
In a speech at the China Business Summit in Auckland, Ardern said there are things on which China and New Zealand “do not, cannot, and will not agree”, but added these differences need not define their relationship.
 
“It will not have escaped the attention of anyone here that as China’s role in the world grows and changes, the differences between our systems – and the interests and values that shape those systems – are becoming harder to reconcile,” Ardern said.
 
“This is a challenge that we, and many other countries across the Indo Pacific region, but also in Europe and other regions, are also grappling with,” she added.
 
The comments come as New Zealand faces pressure from some elements among Western allies over its reluctance to use the Five Eyes intelligence and security alliance, which includes Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States as well as New Zealand, to criticize Beijing.
 
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said last month she was uncomfortable expanding the role of Five Eyes.
 
China, New Zealand’s largest trading partner, has accused the Five Eyes of ganging up on China by issuing statements on Hong Kong and the treatment of ethnic Muslim Uyhgurs in Xinjiang.
 
Ardern said New Zealand would continue to speak about these issues individually as well as through its partners. Managing the relationship with China is not always going to be easy and “there can be no guarantees”, Ardern added.
 
China is engaged in a diplomatic row with Australia and has imposed trade restrictions after Canberra lobbied for an international inquiry into the source of the coronavirus. Beijing denies the curbs are reprisals, saying reduced imports of Australian products are the result of buyers’ own decisions.
 
Ardern said how China treats its partners is important.
 
“We hope that China too sees it in its own core interests to act in the world in ways that are consistent with its responsibilities as a growing power, including as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council,” she added.  
 

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May 2nd, 2021 by Vbiz

It’s probably best if you prepare yourself before you look down from the Arouca Bridge.The narrow footbridge suspended across a river canyon in northern Portugal claims to be the world’s longest pedestrian bridge and was officially inaugurated Sunday.The Arouca Bridge offers a half-kilometer (almost 1,700-foot) walk across its span, along a metal walkway suspended from cables. Some 175 meters (574 feet) below, the Paiva River flows through a waterfall.Arouca lies 300 kilometers (186 miles) north of Lisbon, the Portuguese capital. Local residents took a first walk on the bridge last week. Many were thrilled — even as some admitted it was a little unnerving to feel so high up and exposed.Guinness World Records says on its website that the world’s longest suspension bridge for pedestrians is Japan’s Kokonoe Yume Bridge, which opened in 2006 and spans 390 meters (1,280 feet). But the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge, which opened in the Swiss Alps in 2017, challenges that mark at 494 meters (1,621 feet).The Arouca Bridge cost 2.3 million euros ($2.8 million) to build. Children younger than 6 are not allowed on it and all visits will be accompanied by guides. 
 

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May 2nd, 2021 by Vbiz

Eli Broad, the billionaire philanthropist, contemporary art collector and entrepreneur who co-founded homebuilding pioneer Kaufman and Broad Inc. and launched financial services giant SunAmerica Inc., died Friday in Los Angeles. He was 87.Suzi Emmerling, a spokesperson for the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, confirmed his death to The Associated Press. Emmerling said Broad died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a long illness. No services have been announced.The New York Times first reported his death.”As a businessman Eli saw around corners, as a philanthropist he saw the problems in the world and tried to fix them, as a citizen he saw the possibility in our shared community, and as a husband, father and friend he saw the potential in each of us,” Gerun Riley, president of the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, said in a statement Friday.It was Broad who provided much of the money and willpower used to reshape Los Angeles’ once moribund downtown into a burgeoning area of expensive lofts, fancy dining establishments and civic structures like the landmark Walt Disney Concert Hall. He opened his own eponymous contemporary art museum and art lending library, the Broad, in 2015 in the city’s downtown next to Disney Hall.”Eli Broad, simply put, was L.A.’s most influential private citizen of his generation,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Twitter. “He loved this city as deeply as anyone I have ever known.”Business opportunitiesAs a young accountant in the 1950s, Broad saw opportunity in the booming real estate market. He quit his job and partnered with developer Donald Kaufman and began building starter homes for first-time buyers eager to claim their slice of the American Dream. The company eventually became KB Home, one of the most successful home developers in the nation.Nearly 30 years later, Broad spotted opportunity once more and transformed the company’s insurance arm into a retirement savings conglomerate that catered to the financial needs of aging baby boomers.In the process, Broad became one of the nation’s wealthiest men, with a financial net worth estimated by Forbes magazine Friday at $6.9 billion.He also gained a reputation for being a driven, tenacious dealmaker.”If you play it safe all of the time, you don’t get very far,” Broad told Investor’s Business Daily in 2005.Civic involvementOutside work, Broad used his wealth and status to bring about civic, educational, scientific and cultural improvement projects, particularly in Los Angeles. The New York native had moved to the city’s tony Brentwood section in 1963. His charitable foundations donated millions to such projects, particularly those aimed at improving public education, and established endowments at several universities across the nation.In the 1990s, Broad led the campaign to help raise money to build the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall and was a major underwriter of Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art, among other institutions. An avid art hound since the 1960s, Broad had a collection estimated to be worth $500 million in 2003.In 1984, he established the Broad Art Foundation to lend works from his collection for public viewing.A decade later, he famously purchased Roy Lichtenstein’s “I … I’m Sorry” for $2.5 million at an auction with a credit card and donated the more than 2 million frequent flier points he racked up to students at the California Institute for the Arts. In 2008, with his money, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened its new Broad Contemporary Art Museum featuring works from Broad’s collection.Broad also exercised considerable political muscle. A Democrat, he led the push to lure the party’s national convention in 2000 to Los Angeles. He sometimes split with his party, however, most notably in 1972 when, disillusioned with Sen. George McGovern’s campaign, he served as co-chair of Democrats for Nixon.Years after Nixon resigned the presidency in disgrace, Broad told Los Angeles Magazine that his efforts on Nixon’s behalf were something “I hate to admit to.” But it wasn’t the last time he would support a Republican. He also backed his close friend, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, with whom he shared a mutual vision of public school reform.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) lauded Broad and his wife, Edythe, for their philanthropic efforts.”Their leadership to support our schools, advance scientific and medical research and ensure that all have access to the arts leaves a lasting and remarkable legacy,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Our entire nation is particularly indebted to the Broads for their commitment to supporting the arts, which they knew to be an essential, unifying force in the world.”Immigrant sonThe son of Lithuanian immigrants, Broad was born June 6, 1933, in New York City but was raised in Detroit. His father was a house painter and small-business owner.Broad earned his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in 1954. In 1991, he endowed the university’s Eli Broad College of Business and Eli Broad Graduate School of Management.At 20, he passed Michigan’s certified public accountant exam, becoming the youngest person at the time to do so. The following year, he married his hometown sweetheart, Edythe. The couple had two sons, Jeffrey and Gary. His wife and sons survive him, according to the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.Eager to leave school and start his career, Broad began working for several clients, including Kaufman. Soon Broad took note of the real estate market and began studying the field, reading industry journals and using his accounting know-how to analyze the business. He gradually became convinced there was money to be made.In 1957, at the age of 23, he went into business with Kaufman, selling homes in the suburbs of Detroit. The first homes sold for about $12,000, about 10% less than competitors because they were built without customary basements and in about half the time.Kaufman and Broad took their approach West, first to Arizona then California. They relocated the company’s corporate headquarters to Los Angeles in 1963, two years after it became the first homebuilder to go public.In 1971, Broad bought an insurance company as a hedge against the boom and bust cycles of the housing market. Broad began doing research on the insurance market and saw financial planning for retirees as a better business. He began shifting the subsidiary’s focus toward selling annuities and other retirement savings products.The company was renamed SunAmerica in 1989, with Broad as its chairman and chief executive. In 1998, New York-based American International Group acquired SunAmerica for $16.5 billion.Two years later, Broad stepped down as chief, but retained the title of chairman.In recent years, Broad spent much of his time engaged in philanthropic work through his foundations, advocating for public education reform, promoting the rebirth of Los Angeles’ downtown as a commercial and residential center and other causes.In 1999, the Broads founded the Broad Foundation, which committed more than $500 million toward improving urban public education in its first five years.Broad took a CEO’s approach, believing that troubled schools often could be vastly improved if they were better managed by their principals.”These are huge enterprises,” Broad said of urban school districts in an interview with Forbes magazine in 2003. “You don’t start at the bottom. You start at the top.” 

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May 1st, 2021 by Vbiz

The U.S. and NATO formally began withdrawing their last troops from Afghanistan Saturday, according to White House and military officials, bringing America’s longest war closer to an end.  
 
U.S. President Joe Biden set May 1 as the official date on which the remaining troops would begin pulling out, although the military has been flying equipment out of the country in recent weeks.  
 
There are between 2,500-3,500 U.S. troops and about 7,000 NATO troops remaining in Afghanistan, the last of whom will leave by the end of the summer.
 
Afghan security forces are on high alert for possible attacks on the troops by an emboldened Taliban as they complete the withdrawal, ushering in a new era of uncertainty in the country.
 
The U.S. and NATO allies entered the South Asian country on October 7, 2001, to find al-Qaida perpetrators of the September 11, 2001, terrorists attack on the U.S. who being were protected by Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders.
 
Two months later, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and his fighters were on the run. He was located and killed in 2011 by U.S. Navy SEALS in neighboring Pakistan.
 
More than 47,240 Afghan civilians have been killed in the 20-year war, according to the Costs of War project at Brown University. Between 66,000 to 69,000 Afghan troops have been killed.
 
Some 2,442 U.S. troops have been killed, according to the U.S. Defense Department, along with an estimated 3,800 U.S. private security contractors.  
 
More than 1,140 troops from NATO countries have been killed.
 
The U.S. is estimated to have spent more than $2 trillion in Afghanistan during the course of the war, according to the Costs of War project. 

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

May 1st, 2021 by Vbiz

John Fortier, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and Jim Kessler, senior vice president for policy at Third Way, spar over US President Joe Biden’s 100 days in office and to what extent the closely divided Senate will pass a version of his expansive infrastructure package and other pending legislation dealing with gun violence, immigration and police reform with host Carol Castiel.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

May 1st, 2021 by Vbiz

Issues in the News moderator Kim Lewis discusses with Dan Raviv, columnist for Newsday and Steve Redisch, VOA executive editor the highlights of President Joe Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress, the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, the latest on COVID-19 vaccines as infection rates and deaths surge in India, and the controversial new report by Human Rights Watch that accuses Israel of apartheid and persecution of Palestinians.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

May 1st, 2021 by Vbiz

Issues in the News moderator Kim Lewis discusses with Dan Raviv, columnist for Newsday and Steve Redisch, VOA executive editor the highlights of President Joe Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress, the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, the latest on COVID-19 vaccines as infection rates and deaths surge in India, and the controversial new report by Human Rights Watch that accuses Israel of apartheid and persecution of Palestinians.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

May 1st, 2021 by Vbiz

A medical board appointed to investigate the death of Diego Maradona has concluded that the soccer star’s medical team acted in an “inappropriate, deficient and reckless manner,” according to a copy of the report shared with Reuters on Friday.Maradona’s death in November last year rocked the South American nation where he was revered, prompting a period of mourning and angry finger-pointing about who was to blame after the icon’s yearslong battle with addiction and ill health.Argentine prosecutors launched investigations shortly after Maradona’s death at age 60 from heart failure at a house near Buenos Aires, including ordering searches of properties of his personal doctor and probing others involved in his care.Maradona, nicknamed “D10S,” a play on the Spanish word for god, and “Pelusa” for his prominent mane of hair, had battled alcohol and drug addiction for many years and had undergone brain surgery in November.In March this year, a medical board appointed by the Justice Ministry met to analyze allegations that members of the health team who attended Maradona did not treat him adequately.”The action of the health team in charge of treating DAM [Diego Armando Maradona] was inadequate, deficient and reckless,” said the medical board report dated Friday and shared with Reuters by a source close to the investigation.The report said Maradona had become seriously unwell and was dying for around 12 hours before his death at around midday on November 25.”He presented unequivocal signs of a prolonged agonizing period, so we conclude that the patient was not properly monitored from 00:30 on 11/25/2020,” the report added.Reuters could not reach prosecutors and lawyers involved in the case for comment on Friday.Maradona, a champion with Argentina in the 1986 World Cup, played for Barcelona, Napoli, Seville, Boca Juniors and Argentinos Juniors, and is widely heralded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

May 1st, 2021 by Vbiz

Russia on Friday barred eight officials from European Union countries from entering the country in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russian citizens by the EU.Russia’s foreign ministry said those banned included Vera Jourova, vice president for values and transparency at the executive European Commission, David Sassoli, the president of the European parliament, and Jacques Maire, a member of the French delegation at the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.”The European Union continues to pursue its policy of illegitimate, unilateral restrictive measures against Russian citizens and organizations,” the ministry said in a statement.It accused the EU of “openly and deliberately” undermining the independence of Russia’s domestic and foreign policy.Sassoli, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council chief Charles Michel said in a joint statement they condemned Russia’s “unacceptable” action in “the strongest possible terms” and said it showed Moscow had chosen a path of confrontation with the bloc.”The EU reserves the right to take appropriate measures in response to the Russian authorities’ decision,” they saidSassoli said in a tweet that no sanctions or intimidation would stop the parliament or him defending human rights, freedom and democracy.”Threats will not silence us. As Tolstoy wrote, there is no greatness where there is no truth,” his tweet read.Russia banned three officials from the Baltic states: Ivars Abolins, chairman of Latvia’s National Electronic Media Council, Maris Baltins, director of the Latvian State Language Center, and Ilmar Tomusk, head of Estonia’s Language Inspectorate.It also banned Jorg Raupach, Berlin’s public prosecutor, and Asa Scott of the Swedish Defence Research Agency.Scott was among officials who said Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny had been poisoned in Russia with a Soviet-era nerve agent.Navalny recovered from the poisoning in Germany and was detained upon his return to Russia in January, and sentenced in February to 2-1/2 years in prison for parole violations on an earlier embezzlement conviction that he says was politically motivated.The EU imposed sanctions in March on two Russians accused of persecuting gay and lesbian people in the southern Russian region of Chechnya. The EU also imposed sanctions on four senior Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin in March.

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April 30th, 2021 by Vbiz

The daily tally of COVID-19 cases in India continues to climb toward the 400,000 mark. Friday, the health ministry reported 386,693 new infections. The daily toll of new cases has been over 300,000 for nine consecutive days. Indian media are reporting that some public health experts believe that the actual tally of new infections may be at least five times higher than the official count.Aid from the U.S. and other countries arrived in India on Friday. U.S. assistance includes oxygen supplies, rapid diagnostic tests, and vaccine manufacturing materials.The second wave of the coronavirus has pushed India’s health care system to the brink of collapse, with hospitals at full capacity and an acute shortage of oxygen aggravating an already desperate situation. Many parks and parking lots have been converted into makeshift crematories that are working day and night to burn dead bodies.Indian public health experts have blamed the spread on more contagious variants of the virus, plus the easing of restrictions on large crowds when the outbreak appeared to be under control earlier this year.Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization’s European regional director, warned Thursday that “It is very important to realize that the situation in India can happen anywhere … when personal protection measures are being relaxed, when there are mass gatherings, when there are more contagious variants and the vaccination coverage is still low. This can basically create a perfect storm in any country.”Only the U.S. has more COVID cases than India. The U.S. has more than 32 million infections, while India has 18.3 million, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.More than a quarter of British health care workers are wary of the COVID-19 vaccine. Reasons for their reluctance included several conspiracy theories and the lack of people of color in vaccine trials.Vaccine maker Pfizer has begun exporting doses manufactured at one of its U.S. plants according to a report filed by Reuters. Reuters reports the vaccines went to Mexico.Meanwhile, the head of Australia’s drug regulatory agency said Thursday there is no evidence the AstraZeneca vaccine was responsible for the deaths of two people shortly after their inoculations.Two men in North South Wales state, including one in his 70s, died within days after receiving the vaccine.John Skerritt, the head of the government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration, told reporters the men’s deaths are being investigated, but said “the current evidence does not suggest a likely association” between the deaths and the vaccination.The AstraZeneca vaccine has had a troubled rollout across the world, with many nations suspending its use after reports first surfaced of a severe side effect that combines blood clots with low platelet counts following inoculation, including a handful of deaths.

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April 29th, 2021 by Vbiz

It’s been a tense few days in Jerusalem and along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. In Jerusalem, Israeli police and Palestinians have clashed repeatedly, and in Gaza, Palestinians fired dozens of rockets at southern Israel, provoking Israeli airstrikes. The heightened tensions during the holy month of Ramadan have people on both sides worried, as Linda Gradstein reports from Jerusalem.Camera: Ricki Rosen.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 28th, 2021 by Vbiz

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s in-person commissioning of three major warships on Friday represents a bold step toward tightening naval control over contested Asian seas and another pushback against growing U.S. influence in the region, analysts believe.  State media in Beijing say the three vessels, described as a destroyer, a nuclear-powered strategic ballistic missile submarine and an amphibious assault ship, formally entered the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy. The “unprecedented” commissioning “represents the rapid development of the PLA Navy and Chinese shipbuilding industry amid the grave military struggle pressure China is facing,” the Beijing-based Global Times reported. Chinese officials see the ships as a new way to help deter the United States from sending its own vessels to the seas near China’s coasts, warn other Asian countries who contest Beijing’s maritime sovereignty and slowly gain military control inside the “first island chain,” say some analysts. The chain runs from the Kuril Islands of Russia through Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines. Particularly at stake is the South China Sea, a 3.5 million-square-kilometer waterway contested by China and five other, militarily weaker nations: Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. The sea stretches from Hong Kong south to Borneo. “The commissioning of those ships and the fact that Xi Jinping himself went to baptize the new naval units is a way to announce to the region and the world that the PLA Navy has evolved into a combined, multifunctional and efficient marine combat force capable of near coast defense, near seas active defense and far seas operations alike,” said Fabrizio Bozzato, senior research fellow at the Tokyo-based Sasakawa Peace Foundation’s Ocean Policy Research Institute.A Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier wearing a protective face mask stands guard in front of the Great Hall of the People before the second plenary session of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), in Beijing, May 25, 2020.Chinese officials cite historical usage records to back their claims to about 90% of the sea, which is prized for fisheries and undersea fossil fuel reserves. China has alarmed the other Asian claimants by developing islets in the sea for military infrastructure and sending previously deployed ships into their exclusive economic zones. China has the strongest armed forces in Asia, prompting the other maritime claimants to look toward the United States for support as China becomes bolder offshore.  Concern in Beijing that former U.S. President Donald Trump might have been planning an attack in the disputed sea or near Taiwan drove China to warn current President Joe Biden that it’s up for “any challenge,” said Yun Sun, East Asia Program senior associate at the Stimson Center in Washington. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii confirmed with VOA that 10 U.S. warships reached the South China Sea last year following 10 in 2019. Just five were logged in each of the two years before 2019.    Beijing’s highly publicized ship deployment was aimed first at showing Chinese people their country has added strength and “material wealth” under Xi, Sun said. The rest of the world was supposed to notice for a different reason she said.     “The other message, to the outside world, is a deterrence message, that any country in the Chinese view intervening in the South China Sea issue should pay attention to China’s strengthening maritime military capability and also be prepared for the consequences of any potential transgression in the Chinese eyes,” Sun said. The three ships won’t necessarily scare Southeast Asian claimants to the disputed sea as much as any moves that suggest China might harm oil and gas equipment in the waterway’s exclusive economic zones, said Shariman Lockman, senior foreign policy and security studies analyst with the Institute of Strategic and International Studies in Malaysia. Malaysia is a particularly active explorer for undersea fuels. “For us, the oil and gas sector is all important, so if there is any indication whatsoever that indicates that they are to remove structures from waters, that sort of stuff worries people,” he said.  China eventually wants to “break through” the first island chain, said Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow with the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. He said adding naval power is one way to advance that cause, which could be a long process. As of 2012, the Chinese navy had 512 ships, according to the British think tank International Institute of Strategic Studies. It now has more than 700 ships, the database Globalfirepower.com says.  “The Chinese way of doing things is much more nuanced,” Oh said, comparing it to other powers. “I wouldn’t say subtle but certainly nuanced – ‘if I can’t get my way the hard way, then I would do it the soft way.’ Then they’d do more if they can get away with it.” 

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April 25th, 2021 by Vbiz

In March, one of the world’s biggest container ships became stuck in Egypt’s Suez Canal, creating a commercial logjam and spikes in the cost of oil. At a training facility in France, mariners are learning how to avoid a similar predicament.  VOA’s Arash Arabasadi has more.

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April 25th, 2021 by Vbiz

Armenians in the Middle East, in modern-day Armenia and in other parts of the world on Saturday marked the 106th anniversary of the beginning of what historians call the Armenian genocide.Hundreds gathered at the Armenian Patriarchate north of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, for the observance. The head of the Armenian Orthodox Church of Cilicia, Aram I, delivered a eulogy for the victims. Paul Haidostian, president of Haigazian University in Beirut, told VOA he attended the three-hour memorial service, in which the patriarch expressed his thanks to U.S. President Joe Biden for recognizing the mass killings of Armenians as genocide.Historians say an estimated 1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Empire — the predecessor to modern-day Turkey — between 1915 and 1923.The genocide, said Haidostian, officially began with the arrests of leading Armenian political figures and intellectuals in the Ottoman capital, Constantinople, in 1915.”The reason they mention April 24 [is] symbolic, in a way, because in Constantinople a few hundred leaders and politicians — Armenian leaders and intellectuals — were arrested and deported and killed, and then it was followed by systematic attacks all over the country,” he said.Country’s character changedHaidostian added that “the end result was that Armenians were either killed or kicked out of their historic lands … basically changing the character of eastern Turkey and Anatolia … and leaving a very different country with a totally different people.”The large Armenian community in Aleppo, Syria, commemorated the mass killings, while a marching band paraded through the streets of the city and waved burning torches as dusk fell over the region. Armenians also marked the event in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and the mostly Armenian town of Kessab, near the Turkish border.People line up to lay flowers at the monument to the victims of mass killings by Ottoman Turks, to commemorate the 106th anniversary of the massacre, in Yerevan, Armenia, April 24, 2021.Demetrios Orologas, a Greek writer living in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, told VOA that Armenians paid tribute at the genocide memorial, laying wreaths and playing music to honor the victims.Parts of Orologas’ own Greek family were also expelled from the formerly Greek city of Smyrna, which Kemal Ataturk, a military leader who became the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey, burned in 1923. Orologas’ mother and her family were forced into exile in Greece after the calamity.”Not only the event was terrible, but also the wars that came after … [my family] became refugees, they became outcasts, they lost their homes, they lost their fortunes and they lived for years under a regime that was not friendly to them,” he said.Biden officially recognized the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide in a statement Saturday, 106 years to the day after the first Armenians were killed.

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April 25th, 2021 by Vbiz

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree allowing the country to limit the number of Russians employed at embassies of countries determined to be unfriendly, or to ban their employment entirely.The measure, announced by the Kremlin on Friday, comes amid a flurry of expulsions of Russian diplomats from the United States and European countries and Moscow’s retaliatory expulsions.The decree directs the government to draw up a list of countries determined to be unfriendly. It would affect not only those countries’ embassies, but consular offices and offices of state institutions.The United States last week expelled 10 Russian diplomats in connection with interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election and for involvement in the SolarWind hack of federal agencies.The Czech Republic last week expelled 18 Russian envoys they labeled as spies, prompting Russia to send 20 Czech diplomats home. That devastated Czech Embassy operations in Moscow, prompting Czech authorities on Thursday to order 63 more Russian diplomats to leave so that both countries had the same number of staff in their respective embassies.Poland last week said it was expelling three Russians and Moscow expelled five in retaliation. The Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia ordered a total of four Russian envoys to leave.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 24th, 2021 by Vbiz

A World Health Organization study finds 90% of 135 countries and territories surveyed report COVID-19 has disrupted access to essential health services.The U.N. agency’s report says little has changed since WHO issued its first survey in August on the pandemic’s impact on health care. The one bright spot, the current survey found, is that the magnitude and extent of disruptions to health care has decreased globally. In 2020, countries reported about half of essential health services were disrupted. In the first three months of this year, WHO reports just over one third of services are now being disrupted.   WHO reports people in low- and middle-income countries experience the greatest difficulty in getting health care. The most frequently disrupted health services include routine immunization, treatment for mental disorders, cancer screening and treatment, family planning and contraception, and urgent dental care.WHO group leader for vaccine safety, Patrick Zuber, says the survey’s main finding is that more than a year into the pandemic, COVID-19 disruptions to health services persist globally.  “The main reason for those disruptions is a lack of enough health workforce to address additional demands related to COVID-19…. Addressing the health work force limitations is likely to be a game changer in the response and future strengthening of the health systems,” Zuber said.Health workers are crucial in caring for and treating people infected with the coronavirus. They are a crucial element in the diagnostic, therapeutic and vaccination efforts underway to end the pandemic.Jim Campbell, the director of WHO’s Health Workforce Department, says there are not enough health workers to deal with COVID-19 patients and those with other ailments. This, he says, has resulted in a global scramble for their services.“There are, we estimate, more than 4 million infections of health care workers since the pandemic started. For every time one of those health workers is infected, there is somebody absent from work. Staff absentees also, with infections, with deaths with burnout and stress … and we see that has a detrimental impact,” Campbell said.WHO recommends a number of steps to address health care disruptions. In addition to recruitment of more staff, WHO advises sending patients to other care facilities, providing home-based care, and replacing in-person consultations with telemedicine.
 

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 24th, 2021 by Vbiz

On this edition of Encounter, Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and Ron Harris, professor of journalism at Howard University and co-author of the book: “The Black and the Blue,” talk with host Carol Castiel about whether the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, for the murder of George Floyd last May will catalyze systemic reform in policing in America by not only enacting legislation such as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, but also by addressing training, recruitment, and excessive use of force against minorities and changing the culture of policing from a warrior to a guardian/public-security model. 

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 24th, 2021 by Vbiz

The United States is deploying a P-8 Poseidon aircraft to assist in the search and rescue operation for a missing Indonesian navy submarine lost in the Bali Sea, as hopes fade for the 53 crew who are expected to have run out of oxygen early Saturday.The Indonesian navy said it was sending search helicopters and ships to the area where contact was lost with the 44-year-old KRI Nanggala-402 submarine on Wednesday as it prepared to conduct a torpedo drill.Australia has also deployed a sonar-equipped frigate with a helicopter to help the submarine hunt, while a deep submergence rescue vessel is on route from India, as concerns grow that the submarine might have been crushed by water pressure.”The possibility of it having fallen underneath its maximum diving depth thereby leading to the implosion of the submarine will have to be considered,” said Collin Koh, Research Fellow at the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies.If the submarine was still intact, Indonesian officials said on Friday it would only have enough air to last until around dawn on Saturday if equipment was functioning properly.”So far we haven’t found it… but with the equipment available we should be able to find the location,” Achmad Riad, a spokesperson for the Indonesian military, told a news conference.Koh said the assumption that the submarine had 72 hours of oxygen was optimistic given the submarine’s limited ability to generate oxygen due to its conventional power generation.”So, there’s a possibility…oxygen might have already run out,” said Koh.Indonesia’s navy said it was investigating whether the submarine lost power during a dive and could not carry out emergency procedures as it descended to a depth of 600-700 meters, well beyond its survivable limits.An object with “high magnetic force” had been spotted “floating” at a depth of 50-100 meters, Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Yudo Margono said on Friday, and an aerial search had earlier spotted an oil spill near the submarine’s last location.The diesel-electric powered submarine could withstand a depth of up to 500 meters, but anything more could be fatal, navy spokesperson Julius Widjojono said.Experts like Koh say Indonesia will have to expand the area of search again if the magnetic anomaly is proven not to be the vessel and warn that if the submarine is lost at an “extreme depth,” it might be possible to retrieve.The Bali Sea can reach depths of more than 1,500 meters.One of the people on board was the commander of the Indonesian submarine fleet, Harry Setiawan.Late Friday, the Pentagon said U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had spoken with his Indonesian counterpart Prabowo Subianto and offered additional support, which could include undersea search assets.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 24th, 2021 by Vbiz

Issues in the News moderator Kim Lewis talks with Marketplace correspondent Kimberly Adams and VOA senior TV correspondent Chris Simkins about the significance of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s conviction of murder in the death of George Floyd, a verdict which resonated around the world. They also discussed the ramifications of US President Joe Biden’s virtual summit on climate change, which gathered more than 40 world leaders to discuss the urgency of addressing global warming.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 23rd, 2021 by Vbiz

Since coronavirus pandemic began many Americans have gotten more used to make their own meals at home. But that doesn’t mean people do not want a great restaurant meal from time to time. Karina Bafradzhian reports.
Camera: Andrey Degtyarev and Artyom Kokhan

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси

April 23rd, 2021 by Vbiz

Drought conditions now cover 85% of Mexico, and residents of the nation’s central region said Thursday that lakes and reservoirs are simply drying up, including the country’s second-largest body of fresh water.The mayor of Mexico City said the drought was the worst in 30 years, and the problem can be seen at the reservoirs that store water from other states to supply the capital.Some of them, like the Villa Victoria reservoir west of the capital, are at one-third of their normal capacity, with a month and a half to go before any significant rain is expected.Isais Salgado, 60, was trying to fill his water tank truck at Villa Victoria, a task that normally takes him just half an hour. On Thursday he estimated it was taking 3½ hours to pump water into his 10,000-liter tanker.”The reservoir is drying up,” Salgado said. “If they keep pumping water out, by May it will be completely dry, and the fish will die.”Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said that as the drought worsened, more people tended to water their lawns and gardens, which worsens the problem.The capital’s 9 million inhabitants rely on reservoirs such as Villa Victoria and two others — which together are at about 44% capacity — for a quarter of their water; most of the rest comes from wells within city limits. But the city’s own water table is dropping, and leaky pipes waste much of what is brought into the city.Rogelio Angeles Hernandez, 61, has been fishing the waters of Villa Victoria for the past 30 years. He isn’t so much worried about his own catch; in past dry seasons, residents could cart fish off in wheelbarrows as water levels receded.But tourism at reservoirs, such as Valle de Bravo further to the west, has been hit by falling water levels.In the end, it is the capital that is really going to suffer.”Fishing is the same, but the real impact will be on the people in Mexico City, who are going to get less water,” Angeles Hernandez said.Further to the west, in Michoacan state, the country is at risk of losing its second-largest lake, Lake Cuitzeo, where about 70% of the lake bed is now dry. The main culprit is drought, but residents say that roads built across the shallow lake and diversion of water for human use have also played a role.Michoacan Governor Silvano Aureoles said so much of the lake has dried up that shoreline communities now suffer dust storms. He said communities might have to start planting vegetation on the lake bed to prevent them.In a petition to the government, residents of communities around the lake said only six of 19 fish species once present in Cuitzeo now remain. They said the dust storms had caused tens of thousands of respiratory and intestinal infections among residents.

Posted in Бізнес, Нерухомість, Новини, Фінанси