Режисер Віктор Косаківський виступив у Венеції на підтримку Сенцова

Російський режисер-документаліст Віктор Косаківський на Венеційському кінофестивалі 1 вересня виступив на підтримку українського режисера Олега Сенцова, який тримає голодування у російській колонії.

Косаківський прийшов на прес-конференцію з нагоди прем’єри його фільму «Акварелла» у футболці з цифрами «111» – стільки днів тримає голодування Сенцов. За словами режисера, це не політичний жест, а прагнення нагадати про долю колеги. Косаківський висловив сподівання, що російська влада звільнить із в’язниці Сенцова з гуманітарних міркувань.

Читайте також: Я робитиму все, щоб Нобелівська премія миру потрапила в руки Сенцова – Валенса

Олег Сенцов засуджений в Росії на 20 років ув’язнення за звинуваченням у підготовці терактів в анексованому Криму. Режисер відкидає звинувачення. Від 14 травня він тримає голодування, вимагаючи звільнити з російських в’язниць українських політв’язнів.

За даними правозахисників, на території Росії й анексованого нею Криму перебувають 70 українських політв’язнів.

DeVos: No Plans to Act on Funding to Arm Teachers

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says she has “no intention of taking any action” regarding any possible use of federal funds to arm teachers or provide them with firearms training.

DeVos’ comments came Friday after a top official in her department, asked about arming teachers, said states and local jurisdictions always “had the flexibility” to decide how to use federal education funds.

Frank Brogan, assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education, said arming educators “is a good example of a profoundly personal decision on the part of a school or a school district or even a state.” President Donald Trump and DeVos have said that schools may benefit from having armed teachers and should have that option.

DeVos not authorized

DeVos said Friday that “Congress did not authorize me or the Department to make those decisions” about arming teachers or training them on the use of firearms.

Her comments were in a letter to Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott, the top Democrat on the House committee overseeing education, and were posted by the department on Twitter.

“I will not take any action that would expand or restrict the responsibilities and flexibilities granted to state and local education agencies by Congress,” DeVos wrote.

Democrats and education groups have argued, however, that the funds are intended for academics, not guns.

DeVos heads a federal commission on school safety that was formed after the deadly Valentine’s Day shooting at a Florida high school.

An early draft of the commission’s report recommends that states and communities determine “based on the unique circumstances of each school” whether to arm its security personnel and teachers to be able to respond to violence. The draft’s section on training school personnel was reviewed by AP.

Official cites Texas program

In an interview with The Associated Press Thursday, Brogan cited the “school marshal” program in Texas where school employees can volunteer to carry weapons on campuses after undergoing training. Educators from some remote rural schools also told the panel that they rely on armed school personnel because the police may take too long to arrive. Others, however, argued that arming teachers is dangerous and could make schools feel like prisons.

Brogan said the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan law that shifts education authority to states, provides about $1 billion in annual funding for various school needs, including 20 percent specifically set aside for school safety.

“The people at the local level who’ve been there for years could make the decisions about what services to purchase, what equipment to buy to fulfill the general broad obligations laid out in that law,” he said.

The debate arose earlier this month after a small rural school district in Oklahoma and the state of Texas asked the department to clarify what the funds can be used for.

“The position is: You have the language … the language was written specifically to and always interpreted to mean ‘this is your money,”’ Brogan said.

Democratic lawmakers and teachers blasted the idea, accusing the Trump administration of acting in the interests of the National Rifle Association, and several congressmen called for legislation that would prohibit the use of those funds for guns.

Sex Abuse Claims Increase Urgency to Reunite Immigrant Families

The Trump administration is under increasing pressure to speed up the reunification of immigrant families it separated at the Mexican border, following allegations three youngsters were sexually abused while in U.S. custody.

The government of El Salvador said the three, ages 12 to 17, were victimized at shelters in Arizona, and it asked the U.S. to make their return a priority.

“May they leave the shelters as soon as possible, because it is there that they are the most vulnerable,” Deputy Foreign Relations Minister Liduvina Magarin said in San Salvador on Thursday.

Deadline a month ago

The U.S. government already is facing heavy criticism over its slow pace in reuniting more than 2,600 children who were separated from their parents last spring before the Trump administration agreed to stop the practice. Most have since been reunited, but hundreds remain apart more than a month after the deadline set by a judge.

Before the Trump administration reversed course, many of the parents had been deported to their home countries while their children remained in shelters in the U.S.

Attorneys for the U.S. government and the immigrant families discussed how to accelerate the process at a hearing Friday in San Diego in front of U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, who set the deadline.

Magarin gave few details on the three cases other than to say they involved “sexual violations, sexual abuses.” She said her government is ready with lawyers and psychologists to help the families, adding: “The psychological and emotional impact is forever.”

“It’s unbelievable that children who were fleeing violence here were met in the United States with the worst violence a child could encounter,” said Cesar Rios, director of the Salvadoran Migrant Institute.

More information is needed to investigate, the U.S. Department Health and Human Services said in a statement Friday, that adding that “without additional details, we are unable to confirm or deny these allegations took place” at a facility overseen by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. It contracts with nonprofits and other third parties to run shelters for unaccompanied minors arriving at the border.

Administration asks ACLU to find the families

In trying to reunite families, the Trump administration has put the onus on the American Civil Liberties Union, asking that the organization use its “considerable resources” to find parents in their home countries, mostly Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

The governments of those countries and nonprofit organizations have been trying to locate the families. Those efforts have included posting public notices and putting hotline numbers on billboards in the hope a parent missing a child might see the signs and call.

“Every day that these children are separated and left in government facilities does more damage,” said Lee Gelernt, an ACLU attorney representing separated families. “Even if the facilities were palaces, the separation of young children from their parents causes potentially permanent trauma.”

The government and ACLU indicated in the hearing Friday that the process should start to speed up.

200 cases could be resolved soon

Gelernt told the judge as many as 200 cases could be resolved in the next week or two. Those include families who want to be reunited in their home countries and those who want to waive their right to reunification and keep their child in the United States to pursue asylum.

The judge also said the administration can expedite cases where families have expressed the desire for the child to be sent back and not worry about it violating a temporary halt on deportations of families seeking asylum.

Justice Department attorney Scott Stewart said the government wants to remove any roadblocks.

“There are a lot of folks that want to move forward with reunification,” he told the judge.

Parents increasingly anxious

More than 300 parents who have been deported are waiting for their sons and daughters to be returned to them in their homelands. Many are growing increasingly anxious.

Among them is Evelin Roxana Meyer, whose 11-year-old son, Eduardo Almendarez Meyer, was told this week that he won’t be leaving the U.S. until Nov. 27. He has been held at a government-contracted shelter in Brownsville, Texas, since he was separated from his father in early June.

The boy’s mother said her husband was told when he signed his deportation papers that his son would be waiting for him in Honduras.

“Now it’ll be six months before we see him? Oh my God,” Meyer said Friday, crying during a telephone interview from her hometown of La Union. “I don’t know why it’s taking so long. My son is worried. He tells me, ‘More time here, Mommy? Oh, no. Why?’ I don’t know what to tell him.”

Child psychologist Barbara Van Dahlen, founder of Give an Hour, a network of mental health professions that is offering to counsel the separated families, said the reports of abuse are likely to worsen the immigrant parents’ anxieties.

“I can’t imagine the stress, the anxiety, the terror, if I was separated from my child, and then the thought that possibly some of these kids are being abused,” Van Dahlen said. “It would be so debilitating and destructive that it would be hard for some parents to function.”

US Cuts Funding to UN Agency Helping Palestinian Refugees

The Trump administration has cut funding to the U.N. agency that helps Palestinian refugees, calling the organization “irredeemably flawed.”

The U.S. State Department ended decades of support to the organization Friday, saying “the administration has carefully reviewed the issue and determined that the United States will not make additional contributions to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency).”

Chris Gunness, a UNRWA spokesman, said his organization rejects “in the strongest possible terms the criticism that UNRWA’s schools, health centers, and emergency assistance programs are ‘irredeemably flawed.’” He said the World Bank has described UNRWA’s activities as “global public good” and “recognized us for running one of the most effective school systems in the region, in which students regularly outperform their peers in public schools.”

“We are extremely grateful for the widespread solidarity,” Gunness said, “that our unprecedented situation has generated and the generosity of many donors that has allowed us to open the school year on time for 526,000 girls and boys this very week.”

A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the agency enjoys the “full confidence” of the Secretary-General and that Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl, UNRWA’s chief, “has led a rapid, innovative and tireless effort to overcome the unexpected financial crisis UNRWA has faced this year.”

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.N. agency’s “endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years.”

UNRWA provides health care, education and social services to Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The agency says it provides services to about 5 million Palestinian refugees, most of whom are descendants of Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes during the war that led to Israel’s establishment in 1948.

The United States supplies nearly 30 percent of the total budget of UNRWA and donated $355 million to the agency in 2016. However, in January, the Trump administration withheld $65 million it had been due to provide UNRWA and released only $60 million in funds.

Last week, the Trump administration announced it would cut more than $200 million in economic aid to the Palestinians, following a review of the funding for projects in the West Bank and Gaza. A senior State Department official said the decision took into account the challenges the international community faces in providing assistance to Gaza, where “Hamas control endangers the lives of Gaza’s citizens and degrades an already dire humanitarian and economic situation.”

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that runs Gaza, seized the coastal territory in 2007 from the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority. That led to Israel and Egypt placing severe economic restrictions on the region.

Under the Trump administration, Washington has taken a number of actions that have angered the Palestinians, including recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December and moving the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv in May. The Palestinian leadership has been boycotting Washington’s peace efforts since the Jerusalem announcement.

Світоліна вийшла в четверте коло US Open

Перша ракетка України і сьома у світі Еліна Світоліна успішно подолала третій раунд відкритого чемпіонату США з тенісу. У двох партіях за 1 годину 8 хвилин українка здолала опір китаянки Цян Ван – 6:4, 6:4.

Попри перемогу в двох сетах, Світоліна мала ускладнення в цій зустрічі. В першій партії, ведучи в рахунку 4:0, вона дозволила суперниці до мінімуму скоротити відставання, а на початку другої поступалася 0:2.

Також читайте: Теніс: Цуренко обіграла другу ракетку світу і вийшла в третє коло US Open

У четвертому колі US Open Еліна Світоліна гратиме з 19-ю сіяною у Нью-Йорку латвійкою Анастасією Севастовою, яка в третьому раунді в трьох сетах перемогла росіянку Катерину Макарову – 4:6, 6:1, 6:2.

John McCain Lies in State at US Capitol for Final Farewell

The remains of the late Senator John McCain are lying in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda Friday as Americans continue to mourn the loss of the long-time legislator and war hero.

McCain’s remains were flown Thursday to Washington from Arizona, the southwestern U.S. state he represented in Congress since he was first elected in 1982.

Hundreds of members of Congress are expected to attend a ceremony in the rotunda, an honor that has been bestowed upon just 30 Americans throughout the country’s history. McCain’s coffin will rest on a wooden platform known as a catafalque, which was first used in 1865 to support the casket of assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

President Donald Trump was not invited to Friday’s ceremony or McCain’s funeral on Saturday, a decision viewed by many as a rebuke of Trump. A bitter feud between Trump and the two- time presidential hopeful took root during Trump’s 2016 campaign, when he mocked McCain for getting captured during the Vietnam War and said McCain was not a war hero.

Vice President Mike Pence will, instead, speak at the ceremony and other administration officials will be present, as will McCain’s widow, Cindy, his seven children and his 106-year-old mother, Roberta McCain.

After Friday’s ceremony, McCain will lie in state for the rest of the day for public viewing in the rotunda, where his flag-draped coffin will be presided over by a Capitol Hill Guard of Honor.

Two former presidents, Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama, will deliver remarks at Saturday’s memorial service at the National Cathedral in Washington.

McCain lost the Republican presidential nomination to Bush in 2000 and the presidential election to Obama in 2008.

The former aviator who was a prisoner of war for more than five years will be buried Sunday at his college alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy in nearby Annapolis, Maryland.

McCain died last Saturday at age 81 after a year-long battle with brain cancer.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday described his old friend as a man who lived by an ageless code of honor, courage and duty for his country.

Three former NATO secretaries general have called for the alliance’s new $1.4 billion Brussels-based headquarters to be named McCain.

“Despite his being a U.S. Senator, across Europe we all felt that John McCain III was one of our own,” they said in a letter to the British paper The Times.

In a letter, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who served in the top post from 2009-2014, George Robertson (1999-2003) and Javier Solana (1995-1999) have supported the tribute to the Arizona Republican’s work in “promoting transatlantic unity.”

The letter, published Thursday, reads: “As three former secretary-generals of NATO, we believe that the transatlantic alliance is the cornerstone of a stable, peaceful and free world. Few things symbolize this alliance, and the enduring benefits of American global leadership, more vividly than the life and work of John McCain.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed he received the request to name the new NATO headquarters after Senator John McCain.

“This proposal will be studied carefully,” said NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescuin in a statement.

McCain lost the Republican presidential nomination to Bush in 2000 and the presidential election to Obama in 2008.

The former aviator who was a prisoner of war for more than five years will be buried Sunday at his college alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy in nearby Annapolis, Maryland.

McCain died last Saturday at age 81 after a year-long battle with brain cancer.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday described his old friend as a man who lived by an ageless code of honor, courage and duty for his country.

“Character is destiny, John had character,” Biden said at a funeral service for the 81-year-old McCain in the Arizona capital of Phoenix.



У ЄС хочуть відмовитись від переведення годинників на літній і зимовий час – Юнкер

У Європейському союзі мають намір відмовитися від переведення годинників на зимовий і літній час – про це повідомив голова Єврокомісії Жан-Клод Юнкер 31 серпня в ефірі німецького телеканалу ZDF.

Він прокоментував підсумки опитування, в якому більшість жителів ЄС виступили за скасування переведення стрілок годинника. Питання поставлять на обговорення в керівництві Єврокомісії.

«Рішення буде ухвалене сьогодні», – заявив Юнкер.

У разі схвалення Єврокомісією пропозиції її мають затвердити Європарламент і країни-члени Євросоюзу.

Зазначається, що в неофіційному онлайн-опитуванні щодо скасування переведення часу взяли участь 4,6 мільйона осіб, що стало найбільшим в історії. Водночас це лише 0,86 відсотка від усього населення ЄС. Серед них понад 80% підтримали перехід на єдиний літній час, тобто за збереження протягом усього року літнього часу, зсунутого на годину вперед порівняно з поясним.

Практика щорічного переходу на літній час і повернення на поясний застосовується зараз у майже 75 країнах чи територіях світу, на всій їхній площі чи частково. При цьому близько 180 країн чи територій не користуються сезонним часом.

Ті, хто підтримує літній час, стверджують, що довші години денного світла влітку допомагають економити енергію і підвищити продуктивність. Супротивники кажуть, що це має короткостроковий негативний вплив на здоров’я людей. Європейська комісія також встановила, що часові зміни дають мінімальну економію енергії.

В Україні зміна часу відбувається разом із усім Європейським союзом і більшістю країн Європи двічі на рік: в останню неділю березня країна переходить на літній час, а кожної останньої неділі жовтня повертається на зимовий, тобто свій поясний час.

Переведення годинників регламентується постановою Кабінету міністрів від 1996 року.

Теніс: Цуренко обіграла другу ракетку світу і вийшла в третє коло US Open

Українська тенісистка Леся Цуренко вийшла до третього кола відкритого чемпіонату США US Open у Нью-Йорку. У двох сетах вона здолала другу ракетку світу, представницю Данії Каролін Возняцкі – 6:4, 6:2.

Для українки це найбільша перемога у кар’єрі – вона вперше перемогла суперницю з топ-5.

У третьому колі Цуренко зустрінеться з чеською спортсменкою Катериною Синяковою.

У третьому колі в Нью-Йорку зіграє ще одна українська тенісистка – Еліна Світоліна, у наступному матчі вона зіграє проти китаянки Ван Цяй.

Human Rights Watch: змушувати пенсіонерів виїздити з окупованих територій заради пенсії – дискримінація

Уряд повинен відмовитися від процедури, яка вимагає від пенсіонерів виїжджати на підконтрольну уряду територію і реєструватися задля отримання соціальних виплат – правозахисники

Mourners Pay Final Respects to Aretha Franklin at Public Viewing

Thousands of mourners have come to pay their respects to music legend Aretha Franklin, who will be laid to rest Friday in Detroit, Michigan. A star-studded roster of performers and speakers are scheduled to attend. From Washington, VOA’s Jill Craig has more.

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