Прем’єр-міністр Франції Едуард Філіп 18 березня оголосив про заборону акцій протесту «жовтих жилетів» на Єлисейських полях та в деяких інших районах Парижа, щоб запобігти насильству.
За його словами, заборона на акції протесту триватиме протягом невизначеного терміну в районах, які «найбільше постраждали» від насильства в Парижі, а також у Бордо і Тулузі.
Мирні санкціоновані протести будуть дозволені в інших місцях, додав Філіпп.
Він також оголосив про перегляд політики безпеки, що дозволить поліції проявити «більшу ініціативу» на місцях, щоб вжити заходів проти заворушників. Очікується, що сили безпеки почнуть використовувати безпілотники і відеоспостереження.
Прем’єр-міністр Франції повідомив, що 20 березня президент Емманюєль Макрон зніме з посади главу паризької поліції, 66-річного Мішеля Дельпюша, і замінить його Дідьє Лаллементом.
Рух «жовтих жилетів», який почався в листопаді 2018 року як протест проти підвищення тарифів на паливо, зараз об’єднує противників курсу французької влади, у тому числі вкрай лівих і крайніх правих. «Жовті жилети» традиційно проводять демонстрації по суботах. І хоча останнім часом кількість учасників і рівень насилля були на нижчому рівні, протести 16 жовтня завершилися розгромом та підпалами магазинів, банків і ресторанів на Єлисейських полях.
Редакції ряду недержавних ЗМІ Білорусі вирішили не надсилати своїх журналістів на прес-конференцію посла Росії в цій країні Михайла Бабича, присвячену річниці анексії Криму, повідомляє БелаПАН.
Прес-конференція, присвячена «п’ятиріччю входження Криму до складу Російської Федерації», відбулася 18 березня в прес-центрі російського агентства Sputnik у Мінську.
«З огляду на заявлену тему прес-конференції, ми не хочемо, щоб присутність наших журналістів там була витлумачена нашими читачами як підтримка однієї з позицій щодо подій у Криму в 2014 році. Крім того, позиція Росії в цій темі широко і давно відома», – пояснили свою позицію редакції.
Заяву підписали головні редактори порталу Tut.by, «Європейського радіо для Білорусі», видань «Наша ніва» та «Народная воля», інформаційної компанії БелаПАН.
У 2014 році Москва окупувала український Крим і заявила про входження півострова до складу Росії. Світова спільнота засудила цей крок і не погодилася з ним, Генеральна асамблея ООН двома резолюціями підтвердила український статус Криму і відкинула претензії Росії, а також визнала її державою-окупантом. У Москві кажуть про нібито законність анексії Криму – всупереч міжнародному праву.
Прихильники лідера опозиції Венесуели Хуана Гуайдо взяли під контроль три дипломатичні об’єкти своєї країни у Сполучених Штатах, повідомив 18 березня призначений Гуайдо посол у США Карлос Веккіо. За його словами, йдеться про дві будівлі, що належать міністерству оборони Венесуели у Вашингтоні, і консульська установу в Нью-Йорку. Веккіо заявив, що опозиція планує «найближчими днями» взяти під контроль і посольство Венесуели у Вашингтоні.
«Ми повертаємо і захищаємо активи венесуельського народу, щоб не дати режиму узурпатора продовжити красти і нищити його, як це було останні 20 років», – сказав Веккіо.
Хорхе Арреаза, міністр закордонних справ Венесуели в уряді Ніколаса Мадуро, назвав події «насильницькою і незаконною окупацією». У Мадуро назвали цю акцію «надзвичайно серйозним порушенням міжнародних зобов’язань уряду США».
Представник Держдепартаменту США підтвердив, що адміністрація США підтримала цей крок.
Сполучені Штати і близько 50 інших країн визнають Гуайдо тимчасовим президентом Венесуели. Росія і Китай входять в числа країн, що підтримують Мадуро.
Держсекретар США Майк Помпео 14 березня заявив, що всі дипломати і співробітники США покинули Венесуелу. Гуайдо, який очолює контрольовані опозицією Національні збори, оголосив себе тимчасовим президентом Венесуели в січні.
Ніколас Мадуро, який вступив на посаду в 2013 році після смерті Уго Чавеса, був приведений до присяги на другий термін у січні після весняних виборів 2018 року. Опозиція бойкотувала голосування, заявила про фальсифікації, що і призвело до масових вуличних протестів.
In every generation, young people have led movements for social change. Some were successful, others were not. The latest student movement to make headlines began last year, as students skipped classes on Fridays to pressure world leaders to take action on climate. Their coordinated global protest this past Friday was the largest to date. Markus Meyer-Gehlen has more on youth activism.
Chimpanzees are second only to humans as the most complex and diverse of the large primates. But a new report from a large group of scientists including the Wildlife Conservation Society, say that humans are threatening the culture of our closest cousins. VOA’s Kevin Enochs reports.
Yogita has to fetch water up to six times a day – sometimes going out in the middle of the night – from a hand pump about half a kilometer from her house in India’s Madhya Pradesh state, leaving her baby son with a neighbor.
In the summer, her husband cycles three kilometers to get the family’s water, and shouts at the 25-year-old if she cannot prepare meals at the right time because she is out getting water.
“I haven’t eaten anything all day as fetching water was the most important task at hand,” she said in a report from international charity WaterAid showing the impact of global consumption on water-short communities worldwide.
Exports of crops – like coffee, rice, avocados and cotton – are important sources of income for many countries.
But large amounts of water are used to produce them, even as poor communities struggle to get enough for their basic needs, a situation made worse by climate change, WaterAid said in the report published on Tuesday.
The world must ensure “the push for economic development through exports of food and clothing does not imperil current and future generations’ access to water”, said WaterAid UK Chief Executive Tim Wainwright ahead of World Water Day on March 22.
India, for example, is the world’s third largest exporter of groundwater, accounting for 12 percent of the global total.
Meanwhile, the rate of depletion of its groundwater jumped by 23 percent between 2000 and 2010, and as many as 1 billion of its people live in water-scarce areas, WaterAid said.
Under global development goals agreed in 2015, governments pledged to provide access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030.
But three in 10 people, or just over 2 billion, still do not have a “safely managed” service, meaning a water source on the premises – such as a piped supply or a well – free from fecal and chemical contamination.
In India, the government has done “reasonably well” in providing clean water close to people’s homes, WaterAid India Chief Executive VK Madhavan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Yet three-quarters of households still do not have water on tap, and there is a major problem with contamination by arsenic, nitrates, fluoride and salt, he added.
Priorities for the Indian government are to improve water quality and expand a pilot project to provide piped water in villages from 115 districts to the whole country, he said.
Poor pay more
The 2019 U.N. World Water Development Report, also launched on Tuesday, said that while safe, clean drinking water and sanitation are human rights, the world is not on track to provide those things to everyone by 2030.
People who are poor or marginalized due to gender, age, ethnicity or religious identity are also more likely to have limited access to proper water and sanitation, the report noted.
It explores how to help three groups in that category: families living in urban slums, smallholder farmers in rural areas, and people uprooted by conflicts and disasters.
Editor-in-chief Rick Connor of UNESCO said that in cities, rich homes with piped water tended to pay far less per liter, while the poor in slums often had to buy water from trucks, kiosks and other vendors, shelling out 10 to 20 times more.
“The misperception is that they don’t have water because they can’t afford it – and that is completely wrong,” with some spending up to 30 percent of their salaries on water, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Policies to ease that financial pressure include putting in stand-pipes shared by several households, and designing tariffs and giving rebates to make water more affordable.
In rural areas, one key solution is rainwater harvesting and storage systems to tide communities over in a drought and provide water to irrigate crops, such as a U.N.-backed program called “1 million cisterns for the Sahel” in West Africa.
For refugees, meanwhile, aid agencies are increasingly trying to provide water supplies and sanitation in ways that also benefit local people and avoid tensions, Connor said.
In northern Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, for example, the government and agencies rehabilitated wells, and fixed up water and wastewater systems for Syrian refugees and communities nearby, easing pressure on limited resources, the report said.
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.далі →
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.
Oil producer group OPEC on Monday scrapped its planned meeting in April and will decide instead whether to extend output cuts in June, once the market has assessed the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran and the crisis in Venezuela.
A ministerial panel of OPEC and its allies recommended that they cancel the extraordinary meeting scheduled for April 17-18 and hold the next regular talks on June 25-26.
The energy minister of OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, said the market was looking oversupplied until the end of the year but that April would be too early for any decision on output policy.
“The consensus we heard… is that April will be premature to make any production decision for the second half,” the Saudi minister, Khalid al-Falih, said.
“As long as the levels of inventories are rising and we are far from normal levels, we will stay the course, guiding the market towards balance,” he added.
The United States has been increasing its own oil exports in recent months while imposing sanctions on OPEC members Venezuela and Iran in an effort to reduce those two countries’ shipments to global markets.
Washington’s policies have introduced a new level of complication for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as it struggles to predict global supply and demand.
“We are not under pressure except by the market,” Falih told reporters before the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting in the Azeri capital, Baku, when asked whether he was under U.S. pressure to raise output.
U.S. President Donald Trump has been a vocal critic of OPEC, blaming it for high oil prices.
Trump’s sanctions policies have been the key factor behind a price rally, many OPEC members say, having removed more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian and Venezuelan crude from the market.
Brent oil prices hit a 2019 peak above $68 per barrel last week. Saudi Arabia needs a price of around $85 per barrel to balance its budget.
OPEC and its allies agreed in December to cut output by 1.2 million bpd — 1.2 percent of global demand — during the first half of this year in an effort to boost prices.
The JMMC, which also includes non-OPEC Russia, monitors the oil market and conformity with supply cuts.
Asked if he had been updated on whether Washington would extend its waivers for buyers of Iranian crude, which are due to end in May, Falih said: “Until we see it hurting consumers, until we see the impact on inventory, we are not going to change course.”
Inventory levels and oil investments are the two main factors guiding OPEC’s action, Falih said, adding that oil industry estimates show that $11 trillion of investments will be needed over the coming two decades to meet demand growth.
Oil inventories in developed countries continue to fluctuate, he said.
“Our goal is to bring global inventory levels down to more normal levels — and even more importantly, to proactively protect against a glut,” he said.
“Another important metric is the state of oil investments… we are not seeing an investment trend that will get us even closer to the required figures.”далі →
Нападник донецького футбольного клубу «Шахтар» Жуніор Мораєс отримав українське громадянство, повідомляє 18 березня офіційний сайт гірників.
Відповідний указ підписав президент України Петро Порошенко.
«Мораєс отримає український паспорт і відтепер зможе виступати за національну збірну країни. 22 березня «жовто-сині» стартують у кваліфікації Євро-2020 виїзним поєдинком з португальцями в Лісабоні, а 25 березня зустрінуться з Люксембургом», – ідеться в повідомленні.
31-річний Жуніор Мораєс розпочинав кар’єру в бразильських клубах «Сантос», «Понте-Прета» й «Санту-Андре», потім грав у румунській «Глорії» та болгарському ЦСКА. Улітку 2012 року перебрався до України: провів по три сезони за донецький «Металург» і київське «Динамо». У червні 2018 року підписав контракт із «Шахтарем». Найкращий бомбардир поточного чемпіонату (16 м’ячів). Загалом в Українській прем’єр-лізі провів 138 матчів, забив 73 голи.
Мораєс зможе приєднатися в збірній України до ще одного екс-бразильця, півзвхисника Марлоса, який також представляє донецький «Шахтар».