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PayPal Dumps Alex Jones, Infowars

PayPal, the digital payments company, says it has cut business ties with far-right media personality Alex Jones and his Infowars website.

A PayPal spokesman said Friday, “We undertook an extensive review of the Infowars sites, and found instances that promoted hate or discriminatory intolerance against certain communities and religions, which run counter to our core value of inclusion.”

Infowars said the move is a ploy aimed at sabotaging Jones’ online influence just weeks ahead of the midterm elections.

In recent months, several other companies, including  Apple, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have either dumped or limited their connection with Jones.

Jones is one of the country’s most controversial media figures, known for saying the President George W. Bush White House was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He also called the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting a fake. Some of the parents of the murdered children are suing Jones.

 

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Призначена Росією влада Армянська планує скасувати режим надзвичайної ситуації 23 вересня

Режим надзвичайної ситуації в Армянську, запроваджений 14 вересня через погіршення екологічної ситуації внаслідок викидів хімічних речовин на заводі «Кримський титан», планують скасувати 23 вересня. Про це, як інформує сайт проекту Радіо Свобода Крим.Реалії, повідомив призначений Росією голова адміністрації міста Василь Теліженко.

«Якщо ситуація не зміниться і всі показники залишаться в нормі, плануємо завтра (23 вересня – ред.) скасувати режим надзвичайної ситуації», – цитує Теліженка російське агентство «РИА Новости».

За його словами, в понеділок-вівторок з санаторіїв повертатимуться діти, і, швидше за все, в середу вже відновиться навчальний процес.

Теліженко також зазначив, що ситуація в місті залишається стабільною, показники хімічних речовин в повітрі перебувають в межах норми.

Напередодні підконтрольний Росії оперативний штаб із ситуації з викидами шкідливих речовин в Армянську рекомендував призначеній Росією владі міста скасувати режим надзвичайної ситуації.

В ніч із 23 на 24 серпня в Армянську стався викид невідомої речовини.

Російська влада окупованого Криму заявляє, що причиною викидів шкідливої речовини на півночі півострова є випаровування вмісту кислотонакопичувача, використовуваного підприємством «Кримський титан».

Водночас у Міноборони України наполягають, що викид хімічних речовин на території анексованого Криму стався через військових Збройних сил Росії, які на тренуваннях обстріляли відстійники відходів титанового й содового заводів.

13 вересня в Армянську стався повторний викид шкідливих речовин, і їхня концентрація у повітрі перевищила допустиму норму в п’ять разів.

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Верховна Рада розгляне мовні законопроекти у перший тиждень жовтня – Парубій

«Буду пропонувати, щоб ми розглянути усі законопроекти, вибрали один – і на його основі ухвалили базовий, фундаментальний закон про мову в Україні»

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Синоптики попереджають про «дощі та справжнє осіннє похолодання»

Вдень 22 вересня у західних областях України, а 23-24 вересня по всій території країни очікується різка зміна погодних умов: пройдуть дощі, подекуди з грозами, посилення вітру до 15-22 метрів за секунду, попереджає Державна служба з надзвичайних ситуацій з посиланням на дані Українського гідрометцентру.

«22 вересня в Карпатському регіоні, 23 вересня у північній частині країни – місцями сильні дощі; в Україні значне зниження температури вночі до 6 – 12°, вдень до 12 – 18°; 23-24 вересня на високогір’ї Карпат – дощ, місцями з мокрим снігом, температура вночі та вдень 1 – 6° тепла. На Київщині 23-24 вересня очікується різка зміна погодних умов: пройдуть дощі (вночі 23 вересня місцями сильні дощі, грози), посилення вітру до 15-20 метрів за секунду; значне зниження температури вночі до 6-11°, вдень до 12-17°», – мовиться у повідомленні ДСНС.

Синоптик Наталка Діденко додає у Facebook: «Вже на кордоні нашому західному атмосферний фронт: несе дощі та осіннє справжнє похолодання»

Напередодні Укргідрометцентр повідомив, що в Україні 23 вересня характер погоди зміниться: пройдуть дощі, в північній частині вночі місцями очікується сильний дощ із грозою. Температура знизиться: вночі 6 – 13°, на крайньому півдні 11 – 16°, удень 12 – 17°, в південних і східних областях 18 – 23°. Вітер західний, північно-західний. На високогір’ї Карпат прогнозується дощ, місцями з мокрим снігом, температура вночі та вдень 1 – 6° тепла.

Раніше українські та західні синоптики також попереджали про різку зміну погоди в неділю.

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Senator Gives Kavanaugh Accuser More Time to Decide About Testimony 

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley has given the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault until 2:30 p.m. Saturday to decide if she will testify next week, according to a report in The New York Times.

The newspaper reported that Grassley sent an email to Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyers that said the Senate panel “absolutely must hear by 2:30 p.m.” about Ford’s decision.

The Senate committee had given Ford until 10 p.m. Friday to make a decision, but her lawyer asked for a one-day extension minutes before the Friday deadline.

Grassley announced the extension on Twitter in a post with an apologetic tone that was addressed to Kavanaugh.

Lawyers for Ford have said she wants to testify before a Senate panel next week, but only if her safety is ensured. According to U.S. media reports, attorney Debra Katz said in an email to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Ford wishes to testify “provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety.”

Katz said her client has gotten death threats, and Ford and her family have been forced from their California home.

Grassley, a Republican, has scheduled a hearing for Monday for both Ford and Kavanaugh to appear to tell their stories.

But Katz wrote that “Monday’s date is not possible and the committee’s insistence that it occur then is arbitrary in any event.”

Katz said Ford’s “strong preference” is that “a full investigation” be completed before she testifies. She had earlier called for the FBI to look into the charges against Kavanaugh.

Trump tweets

On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump questioned the integrity of Ford, posting on Twitter that “if the attack … was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed” with police.

Trump also accused “radical left wing politicians” of attacking Kavanaugh, who Ford said sexually assaulted her at a house party 36 years ago.

Late Thursday, the White House released a letter from Kavanaugh to Grassley in which he said he wants to tell his side in a Monday hearing.

“I will be there. I continue to want a hearing as soon as possible so that I can clear my name,” he wrote.

Media reports say Kavanaugh has also received what law enforcement officials say are credible death threats.

Confirmation seemed certain

Trump chose Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.

His approval by the Judiciary Committee and the Republican-majority Senate appeared to be an almost certainty until The Washington Post published its interview with Ford, who is now a California psychology professor.

She alleged a “stumbling drunk” 17-year-old Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a Maryland house party in 1982 when both were in high school. She said Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and groped her, putting his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream, before she managed to escape.

Kavanaugh has adamantly denied the charges, saying he has never done any such thing to Ford or any other woman.

​Supporters for both sides

Women who say they have known and worked with Kavanaugh throughout his legal career say he has been respectful and fair in dealing with them. Dozens of women who support Kavanaugh held a Washington news conference Friday.

Sara Fagen, who described herself as a friend and former colleague of Kavanaugh, said she and the other women at the news conference believe the allegation is untrue.

“The reason that we know that this allegation is false is because we know Brett Kavanaugh,” Fagen said.

Women who attended Holton-Arms High School in Bethesda, Maryland, with Ford signed a letter in support of her that was personally delivered Thursday to Republican Senator and Holton-Arms alumna Shelley Moore Capito. Organizers said it was signed by more than 1,000 former students.

“We believe Dr. Blasey Ford and are grateful that she came forward to tell her story,” the letter said. “Dr. Blasey Ford’s experience is all too consistent with stories we heard and lived while attending Holton. Many of us are survivors ourselves.”

Republican lawmakers are trying to win Senate confirmation for Kavanaugh ahead of the court’s start of a new term on Oct. 1, or if not by then, ahead of the Nov. 6 nationwide congressional elections, to show Republican voters they have made good on campaign promises to place conservative judges like Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.

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US Agency Endorses Plan to Block New Mining Near Yellowstone

U.S. officials recommended approval on Friday of a plan to block new mining claims for 20 years on the forested public lands that make up Yellowstone National Park’s mountainous northern boundary.

Regional Forester Leanne Marten submitted a letter to the Bureau of Land Management endorsing the plan to withdraw 30,000 acres (12,140 hectares) in Montana’s Paradise Valley and the Gardiner Basin from new claims for gold, silver, platinum and other minerals, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Marna Daley said.

A final decision is up to the office of U.S. Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke, who favors the withdrawal. Zinke said in a statement that it could be finalized in coming weeks.

The Trump administration’s support is notable given the president’s outspoken advocacy for the mining industry and his criticism of government regulations said to stifle economic development. The proposal has received bipartisan backing in Montana, with Democrats and Republicans alike eager to cast themselves as protectors of the natural beauty of the Yellowstone region.

The rocky peaks and forested stream valleys covered by the withdrawal attract skiers, hikers and other recreational users. It’s an area where grizzly bears, wolves and other wildlife roam back and forth across the Yellowstone border — and where the scars of historical mining still are visible on some hillsides.

The Forest Service recommendation follows concerns among business owners, residents and local officials that two proposed mining projects north of Yellowstone could damage waterways and hurt tourism, a mainstay of the local economy. 

Those two projects would not be directly affected because the companies behind them have already made their mining claims, the companies have said. But others have said the new move could discourage investment into those project.

About 1.7 million people drove through the area last year, and withdrawing the land from new mining development would help protect the areas for wildlife and recreation, according to U.S. Forest Service officials.

The withdrawal includes only public lands, not existing mining claims or exploration on private lands. It’s been in the works since 2016 under Zinke’s predecessor, former Interior Sec. Sally Jewell.

“I’ve always said there are places where it is appropriate to mine and places where it isn’t. The Paradise Valley is one of those unique places,” Zinke said.

Montana Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines said the areas covered by the withdrawal were “truly special places that deserve protection.” 

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, called on Daines to support legislation sponsored by Tester that would make the withdrawal permanent. Tester’s bill was introduced last year and is currently before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, of which Daines is a member.

An identical bill sponsored by Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte is pending in the House.

The mining industry opposes putting the public land off limits. Backers of the withdrawal want it made permanent. 

Under the proposal, government officials have estimated that 81 acres (33 hectares) would still be disturbed by mining and 4.5 miles (7 kilometers) of new roads would be built, according to a Forest Service analysis completed in March. That compares to an estimated 130 acres (53 hectares) of land disturbed by mining and 7 miles (11 kilometers) of roads over 20 years if the withdrawal were not enacted.

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Trump Hits Pause on Controversial Release of Classified Russia Probe Material

Just days after ordering the controversial declassification of materials related to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, President Donald Trump in a sweeping and quick reversal of an order has put the release of the documents on hold. 

In a pair of Friday morning tweets, Trump said he had met with the Justice Department concerning declassification of unredacted documents from the Russia investigation. 

Federal law enforcement officials were reluctant to release material from an ongoing investigation, including part of a secret court order to monitor a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page.

Also of deep concern to officials is the declassification of the interviews conducted for the application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. 

“The odds that a high-level resignation threat (Wray, Rosenstein?) wasn’t behind this are slim to none,” tweeted Ned Price, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer, who was a spokesman for the National Security Council in the preceding administration of Barack Obama. 

There has been no comment from either Christopher Wray, who is the director of the FBI, or Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who oversees the investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. 

“The president continues to project a rudimentary understanding of his authority and how government bureaucracy actually works,” according to Bradley Moss, an attorney specializing in national security matters and the deputy executive director of the James Madison Project. “He effectively ordered the declassification of materials and then retracted it mere days later, deferring to the inspector general to handle the tasks, something the IG never does.” 

The president also has ordered the public release of text messages exchanged among several former high-level Justice Department and FBI officials. 

In the end, if the inspector general — already looking into how the special counsel’s investigation has been handled — does not reach a conclusion Trump desires, the president in his Friday tweets indicated he will override the review process and again move to declassify the materials. 

“This isn’t declassification in the interest of transparency or national security,” Moss told VOA. “This is declassification by personal whim.” 

The top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Adam Schiff, says Trump has acknowledged strenuous objections by the Justice Department and U.S. allies, and that the president already had known “the release of these documents would cross a ‘red line,’ potentially compromising sources and methods and hindering the investigation.”

Schiff added that Trump, the White House Counsel and his personal lawyers are still seeking access to the material “for the corrupt purpose of discrediting the Special Counsel — we cannot allow that.”

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Rosenstein Denies He Proposed Secretly Taping Trump

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein denied a New York Times report Friday that he floated the idea of using the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump as unfit for office and suggested secretly recording the president to expose the chaos in the administration.

 

The Times cited several people, who were not named, who described the episodes that came in the spring of 2017 after FBI Director James Comey was fired. The newspaper’s sources also included people who were briefed on memos written by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

“The New York Times’ story is inaccurate and factually incorrect,” Rosenstein said in a statement. “I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own personal agenda. But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”

The 25th Amendment to the Constitution spells out that a president can be declared “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” upon a majority vote of the vice president and the Cabinet.

A person who was in the room at the time, and provided a statement through the Justice Department, said Rosenstein’s comment was “sarcastic” and that he “never discussed any intention of recording a conversation with the president.”

The newspaper reported that Rosenstein, frustrated with the hiring process for a new FBI director after Comey’s firing, offered to wear a “wire” and secretly record the president when he visited the White House. He also suggested that McCabe could also perhaps record Trump, the newspaper said.

McCabe’s lawyer, Michael Bromwich, said in a statement that his client had drafted memos to “memorialize significant discussions he had with high level officials and preserved them so he would have an accurate, contemporaneous record of those discussions.”

 

McCabe’s memos, which were later turned over to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, had remained at the FBI until McCabe was ousted in January and McCabe doesn’t know how any reporters could’ve obtained those memos, Bromwich said.

Rosenstein has been a target of Trump’s ire since appointing Robert Mueller as a Justice Department special counsel to investigate potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

He chose Mueller for the job one week after he laid the groundwork for the firing of Comey by writing a memo that criticized Comey’s handling of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server. The White House initially held up that memo as justification for Comey’s firing, though Trump himself has said he was thinking about “this Russia thing” when he made the move.

 

As deputy attorney general, Rosenstein oversees Mueller’s work and has made two public announcements of indictments brought by the special counsel — one against Russians accused of hacking into Democratic email accounts, the other against Russians accused of running a social media troll farm to sway public opinion.

 

On Friday, Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr., tweeted the Times’ story and said: “Shocked!!! Absolutely Shocked!!! Ohhh, who are we kidding at this point? No one is shocked that these guys would do anything in their power to undermine @realdonaldtrump.”

 

The story elicited an immediate response from members of Congress.

 

Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican who chairs the conservative Freedom Caucus, said in a tweet that “if this story is true, it underscores a gravely troubling culture at FBI/DOJ and the need for FULL transparency.”

 

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the Times story “must not be used as a pretext for the corrupt purpose of firing Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein in order install an official who will allow the president to interfere with the special counsel’s investigation.”

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У Каліфорнії заборонили пластикові трубочки, але зробили винятки

В американському штаті Каліфорнія з 1 січня 2019 року буде заборонено роздавати пластикові трубочки до напоїв у ресторанах. Закон ухвалений для боротьби із забрудненням Світового океану відходами з пластмаси.

Заборона на пластикові трубочки не стосуватиметься ресторанів швидкого харчування. В інших закладах трубочку можна буде отримати, лише особисто звернувшись до офіціанта. Порушники закону будуть зобов’язані заплатити штраф до 300 доларів. Каліфорнія стала першим штатом, який запроваджкє заборону на використання одноразових трубочок для пиття.

За даними екологів, у 2012 році кількість пластикового сміття у Світовому океані становила приблизно 165 мільйонів тонн. У 2014 році на поверхні океану лежало 268 940 тонн пластику. Загальна кількість окремих частин відходів з пластмаси становить понад п’ять трильйонів.

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Україна – друга в світі за швидкістю відкриття даних

Україна стала одним із лідерів за швидкістю розкриття даних за рейтингом Open Data Barometer. Дослідження, на основі якого укладено перелік, охоплює перелік з липня 2016 по вересень 2017 року.

Згідно з рейтингом, Україна ділить друге місце за швидкістю розвитку відкритих даних з Колумбією та Кореєю. З моменту публікації першого видання рейтингу вона наростила в ньому 25 балів.

У загальному рейтингу відкритості даних Україна на 17 місці – в неї 47 балів із можливих 100. Як зазначають укладачі Open Data Barometer, українська влада публікує відкриті дані в усіх галузях, які охоплює проект:

мапа
право власності на землю
демографічні відомості
бюджет
урядові видатки
реєстрація підприємств
законодавча діяльність
графік громадського транспорту
міжнародна торгівля
освіта
статистика злочинності
стан довкілля
виборча діяльність
публічні угоди

Однак при цьому не всі набори даних доступні в усіх популярних форматах і мають належну якість. Також укладачі рейтингу оцінюють, наскільки легко знайти масив даних і як часто його оновлюють.

На першому місці в рейтингу – Англія та Канада.

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