ДСНС попереджає про надзвичайну пожежну небезпеку

Протягом вихідних на території України, окрім високогірної частини Карпат, переважатиме надзвичайний рівень пожежної небезпеки, попереджає Державна служба з надзвичайних ситуацій.

«Крім того, 27-28 травня на території Київської області, у районі Чорнобиля, Тетерева, Баришівки, Миронівки та Борисполя надзвичайний (5 класу) рівень пожежної небезпеки, а на решті території області високий (4 класу) рівень пожежної небезпеки. В цей же період у Києві очікується високий (4 класу) рівень пожежної небезпеки», – мовиться у повідомленні на сайті відомства.

Як прогнозують синоптики,цього року літо в Україні буде досить спекотним, однак очікуються різкі перепади температури й вологості.

 


Парубій: Україна розраховує на підтримку Грузією української помісної церкви

«Ми дуже розраховуємо на підтримку і патріарха, і Грузинської православної церкви прагнення України і усіх українців до створення української православної автокефальної церкви»


Trump’s ‘Phony’ Source a White House Official

President Donald Trump accused The New York Times on Saturday of inventing a source for a story who, in fact, was a White House official conducting a briefing for reporters under the condition that the official not be named.

Trump tweeted that the Times quoted an official “who doesn’t exist” and referenced a line in the story about a possible summit with North Korea, which read: “a senior White House official told reporters that even if the meeting were reinstated, holding it on June 12 would be impossible, given the lack of time and the amount of planning needed.”

Said Trump: “WRONG AGAIN! Use real people, not phony sources.”

The Times reported in a story about the tweet that it had cited “a senior White House official speaking to a large group of reporters in the White House briefing room.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the use of unnamed sources and labeled information related by unnamed officials “fake news.” Still, his White House regularly arranges briefings with officials who demand anonymity before relaying information, a practice also used by previous administrations.

At the briefing, which was attended by The Associated Press, the official cast doubt on the feasibility of a June 12 summit.

“I think that the main point, I suppose, is that the ball is in North Korea’s court right now. There’s really not a lot of time,” the official said. “There’s a certain amount of actual dialogue that needs to take place at the working level with your counterparts to ensure that the agenda is clear in the minds of those two leaders when they sit down to actually meet and talk and negotiate and hopefully make a deal. And June 12 is in 10 minutes.”

The White House press office invited reporters to the background briefing, both to attend in person or to call-in and insisted that the official not be named. The AP reporter in attendance questioned why the briefing was not on the record, meaning that the official’s name could be used. The official said the president had been talking publicly during the day, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and that the briefing was intended to provide “background context.”


Beyond Wedding Cake: LGBT Cases for Supreme Court

A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the Supreme Court’s highly anticipated decision in the case of a Colorado baker who would not create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Courts are engaged in two broad types of cases on this issue, weighing whether sex discrimination laws apply to LGBT people and also whether businesses can assert religious objections to avoid complying with anti-discrimination measures in serving customers, hiring and firing employees, providing health care and placing children with foster or adoptive parents.

The outcome of baker Jack Phillips’ fight at the Supreme Court could indicate how willing the justices are to carve out exceptions to anti-discrimination laws; that’s something the court has refused to do in the areas of race and sex.

The result was hard to predict based on arguments in December. But however the justices rule, it won’t be their last word on the topic.

Boost from Trump

Religious conservatives have gotten a big boost from the Trump administration, which has taken a more restrictive view of LGBT rights and intervened on their side in several cases, including Phillips’.

“There is a constellation of hugely significant cases that are likely to be heard by the court in the near future and those are going to significantly shape the legal landscape going forward,” said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Several legal disputes are pending over wedding services, similar to the Phillips case. Video producers, graphic artists and florists are among business owners who say they oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds and don’t want to participate in same-sex weddings. They live in the 21 states that have anti-discrimination laws that specifically include gay and lesbian people.

In California and Texas, courts are dealing with lawsuits over the refusal of hospitals, citing religious beliefs, to perform hysterectomies on people transitioning from female to male. In Michigan, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the state’s practice of allowing faith-based child placement agencies to reject same-sex couples.

Stark differences

Advocates of both sides see the essence of these cases in starkly different terms.

“What the religious right is asking for is a new rule specific to same-sex couples that would not only affect same-sex couples but also carve a hole in nondiscrimination laws that could affect all communities,” said Camilla Taylor, director of constitutional litigation at Lambda Legal, which supports civil rights for LGBT people.

Jim Campbell of the Christian public interest law firm Alliance Defending Freedom said the cases will determine whether “people like Jack Phillips who believe marriage is the union of a man and a woman, that they too have a legitimate place in public life. Or does he have to hide or ignore those beliefs when he’s participating in the public square?” ADF represents Phillips at the Supreme Court.

Civil rights complaints

The other category of cases concerns protections for LGBT people under civil rights law. One case expected to reach the court this summer involves a Michigan funeral home that fired an employee who disclosed that she was transitioning from male to female and dressed as a woman.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the firing constituted sex discrimination under federal civil rights law. That court is one of several that have applied anti-sex discrimination provisions to transgender people, but the Supreme Court has yet to take up a case.

The funeral home argues in part that Congress was not thinking about transgender people when it included sex discrimination in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. A trial judge had ruled for the funeral home, saying it was entitled to a religious exemption from the civil rights law.

“Congress has not weighed in to say sex includes gender identity. We should certainly make sure that’s a conscious choice of Congress and not just the overexpansion of the law by courts,” Campbell said. ADF also represents the funeral home.

In just the past week, two federal courts ruled in favor of transgender students who want to use school facilities that correspond to their sexual identity. Those cases turn on whether the prohibition on sex discrimination in education applies to transgender people. Appeals in both cases are possible.

In the past 13 months, federal appeals courts in Chicago and New York also have ruled that gay and lesbian employees are entitled to protection from discrimination under Title VII. Those courts overruled earlier decisions. Title VII does not specifically mention sexual orientation, but the courts said it was covered under the ban on sex bias.

Trump changes course

The Obama administration had supported treating LGBT discrimination claims as sex discrimination, but the Trump administration has changed course. In the New York case, for instance, the Trump administration filed a legal brief arguing that Title VII was not intended to provide protections to gay workers. It also withdrew Obama-era guidance to educators to treat claims of transgender students as sex discrimination.

There is no appeal pending or expected on the sexual orientation issue, and there is no guarantee that the court will take up the funeral home’s appeal over transgender discrimination.

Changes on the court

The trend in the lower courts has been in favor of extending civil rights protections to LGBT employees and students. Their prospects at the Supreme Court may be harder to discern, not least because it’s unclear whether the court’s composition will change soon.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, 81, has been the subject of retirement speculation, though he has not indicated he is planning to retire. When Justice Stephen Breyer turns 80 in August, he will join Kennedy and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, as octogenarians on the bench.

If President Donald Trump were to replace any of those justices, the court probably would be much less receptive to LGBT rights. Even the landmark gay marriage ruling in 2015 that Kennedy wrote was a 5-4 decision.

“We’re very concerned about the composition of the federal bench. Under the Trump administration, we’ve seen a number of federal nominees who have been ideologues, who have taken positions about the very right to exist of LGBT people that is simply inconsistent with fitness to serve as a federal judge,” Taylor of Lambda Legal said.

The ADF’s Campbell said even with the current justices, he holds out some hope that the court would not extend anti-discrimination protections. 

“Justice Kennedy has undoubtedly been the person who has decided the major LGBT cases, but to my knowledge he hasn’t weighed in some of these other issues,” he said.


В анексованому Криму знову відмовилися відкрити справу за фактом загибелі Веджіє Кашка – Полозов

Управління Слідчого комітету Росії в анексованому нею українському Криму повторно відмовилося відкрити кримінальне провадження за фактом загибелі ветерана кримськотатарського національного руху Веджіє Кашка. Про це повідомив російський адвокат Микола Полозов у Facebook.

 

Адвокат зазначив, що в лютому 2018 року підконтрольне Росії слідство відмовлялося порушувати кримінальну справу за фактом смерті Кашка на підставі відсутності обставин, передбачених частиною 1 статті 105 (вбивство), частиною 1 статті 109 (спричинення смерті з необережності), частиною 4 статті 111 (навмисне заподіяння тяжкої шкоди здоров’ю, що призвело з необережності до смерті потерпілого) Кримінального кодексу Росії.

«Слідчий вказав як підставу своєї відмови в порушенні цих кримінальних справ природні причини смерті Веджіє Кашка, засновуючи свій висновок на результатах судово-медичної експертизи. Після моєї заяви про ознайомлення з матеріалами перевірки, в тому числі з результатами судмедекспертизи, постанова була скасована, а перевірка відновилася», – повідомив адвокат.

Полозов зазначив, що під час перевірки провели кілька експертиз, після чого слідчий виніс нову постанову про відмову в порушенні кримінальної справи. Також слідство не порушило кримінальної справи стосовно лікаря швидкої медичної допомоги за статтею «заподіяння смерті з необережності внаслідок неналежного виконання особою своїх професійних обов’язків».

«Для подальшого розслідування обставин загибелі Кашка необхідно детально, із залученням фахівців, вивчити всі проведені судово-медичні експертизи й інші документи, зібрані слідством у матеріалі перевірки. Однак із лютого цей матеріал недоступний. До травня він перебував у дослідчому провадженні слідчого за відновленою перевіркою й уже майже місяць перебуває в російській прокуратурі у Криму», – написав Полозов.

Він додав, що подав слідчому повторну заяву про ознайомлення з матеріалом перевірки.

«Незалежно від процесуальних і бюрократичних маніпуляцій, що затягують процес розслідування справи Кашка, здійснюваних російською адміністрацією, воно триватиме до вичерпного встановлення всіх обставин», – підкреслив адвокат.

На початку лютого Полозов розпочав незалежне розслідування загибелі Веджіє Кашка в Криму 2017 року. За його словами, смерть Кашка – «наслідок надмірного й непропорційного застосування до неї сили з боку тих російських силовиків, які здійснювали її незаконне затримання».

У Сімферополі 23 листопада 2017 року російські силовики затримали групу кримських татар – Кязіма Аметова, Асана Чапуха, Руслана Трубача і Бекіра Дегерменджі. Їх звинувачують у вимаганні у громадянина Туреччини. При затриманні цих людей російськими силовиками стало зле ветерану кримськотатарського національного руху Веджіє Кашка. Пізніше стало відомо, що жінка померла.

23 листопада президент України Петро Порошенко засудив затримання активістів російськими силовиками в анексованому Криму, під час яких померла ветеран кримськотатарського національного руху Веджіє Кашка, та заявив: «Ми не збираємося з цим миритися. Росія має нести відповідальність за ці жахливі кроки. Хочу наголосити, що єдина форма захисту кримськотатарського народу – це звільнення Криму від російських окупантів»

Прокуратура АРК, що базується на материковій частині України, відкрила кримінальні провадження за фактами проведення незаконних обшуків, затримань і смерті ветерана кримськотатарського національного руху Веджіє Кашка.

Веджіє Кашка – ветеран кримськотатарського національного руху. Вона народилася 1934 року в селі Ускут (нині Привітне), неподалік від Алушти. Після депортації кримськотатарського народу 1944 року Веджіє Кашка проживала з сім’єю в Узбекистані. У 1950-і роки разом зі своїм чоловіком Бекіром жінка приєдналася до національного руху кримських татар.


VOA Persian Interviews Secretary Pompeo on Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined the Trump administration’s efforts to end Iran’s nuclear program in an exclusive interview with VOA’s Persian service. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports, Thursday’s conversation also covered recent protests in Iran and the administration’s efforts to free Americans detained by Iran.


For Trump, There’s Always a ‘New Deal’ on the Horizon

Though U.S. President Donald Trump decided Thursday to not hold direct talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump has suggested he’s open to talks down the road, if relations improve. That offer of new talks, on his terms, is part of a pattern for Trump when it comes to negotiations. And it’s something that has had mixed results, as VOA’s Bill Gallo reports.


US Sen. Corker Meets with Venezuela’s President Maduro

The chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday, less than a week after the embattled socialist leader was re-elected in a vote the U.S. condemned and he kicked out the top American diplomat in the country.

The visit appeared to be an attempt by Sen. Bob Corker to push for the release of Joshua Holt, a U.S. citizen who has been held for two years in a Caracas jail without a trial on what he has called trumped-up weapons charges.

Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, was seen live on state TV shaking hands with Maduro and being greeted by first lady Cilia Flores as he entered the presidential palace. He left an hour later, and neither the senator nor the president made any statements.

Maduro easily won a second, six-year term in Sunday’s election, which was criticized by the U.S. and other nations as a “sham” after several of his key rivals were barred from running. After his victory, Maduro expelled U.S. charge d’affaires Todd Robinson and his deputy for allegedly conspiring to sabotage the vote by pressuring opposition parties to boycott the election, which had the lowest voter turnout in decades.

Corker was accompanied by an aide, Caleb McCarry, who led backchannel talks earlier this year with a close associate of Maduro aimed at securing the release of Holt.

Speculation on social media

Holt, a 26-year-old from Utah, traveled to Venezuela in June 2016 to marry a woman he had met online while looking for Spanish-speaking Mormons to help him improve his Spanish. He was arrested after police said they found an assault rifle and grenades during a raid on the public housing complex where the couple lived. He has denied the charge.

Shortly after Corker’s meeting with Maduro, social media in Venezuela lit up with speculation that Holt and his wife, Thamara Caleno, would be released as a good will gesture to improve relations, much as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did by freeing three American detainees.

In a previous visit to Caracas in 2015, Corker was shunned by Maduro after having been promised a meeting with the president. Upon his return to Washington, Corker blasted Maduro’s government, saying its “flawed economic policies and political system” had put Venezuela on a “destructive path.”

There was no immediate comment from Corker’s office about the nature of his latest visit.

​Other senators 

Last month, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, also met with Maduro to press for Holt’s release.

The Maduro government has been seeking contacts in the U.S. to stave off the threat of crippling oil sanctions that could further damage an economy already staggering from hyperinflation and widespread shortages.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, an outspoken critic of Maduro who has President Donald Trump’s ear on Venezuela, played down Corker’s visit.

“Any U.S. Senator can meet with whoever they want,” Rubio tweeted. “But no matter how many senators dictator (at)NicolasMaduro gets to meet with him, U.S. sanctions will go away when Maduro leaves & democracy returns.”

Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez described Maduro’s conversation with Corker as “very good meeting, good news for the Venezuelan people” but gave no details of what the two discussed.

A close Maduro ally, socialist party boss Diosdado Cabello, accused Holt of being the CIA’s spy chief in Latin America after the prisoner appeared in a video last week pleading for help, saying his life had been threatened during a riot by inmates in the Caracas jail where he and dozens of Maduro’s opponents are being held.

Before he left Venezuela on Thursday on Maduro’s orders, Robinson had been pushing unsuccessfully to see Holt.

However, on Friday, U.S. officials were allowed entry to the prison, according to a message posted by Holt’s mother, Laurie Holt, on her Facebook page. She said her son “was in good spirits,” except for discomfort from dozens of mosquito bites. She said his visitors gave him bug repellant.


Emails Show Collaboration Among EPA, Climate-change Deniers

Newly released emails show senior Environmental Protection Agency officials collaborating with a conservative group that dismisses climate change to rally like-minded people for public hearings on science and global warming, counter negative news coverage and tout Administrator Scott Pruitt’s stewardship of the agency. 

The emails were obtained by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Southern Environmental Law Center through the Freedom of Information Act. 

The emails show John Kokus, EPA’s deputy associate administrator for public affairs, repeatedly reached out to the conservative Heartland Institute.

EPA spokesman Lincoln Ferguson says the Heartland Institute is one of a broad range of groups the agency engages with.

Heartland’s Tim Huelskamp says it will continue to work with Pruitt and the EPA against a “radical climate alarmism agenda.”


Judge Declines to Dismiss Manafort’s False-Statement Charge

U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, lost a bid on Friday to have certain criminal charges filed against him by special counsel Robert Mueller dismissed.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over Manafort’s case in Washington, said in a ruling that she would not dismiss one of the charges against Manafort related to false statements concerning whether he was required to register as a foreign agent for Ukraine’s then pro-Russia government.

However, she said the arguments his attorneys made regarding dismissing one of the charges could be re-examined after his criminal trial later this year.

A spokesman for Manafort declined to comment on the ruling.

Jackson’s ruling marked yet another setback for Manafort. Earlier this month, the same judge refused to dismiss the entire indictment after Manafort’s lawyers argued unsuccessfully that Mueller had overstepped his prosecutorial powers.

Manafort is facing two indictments, this one in Washington and another in Virginia, which both arose from Mueller’s investigation into potential collusion between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.

Manafort is the most senior member of Trump’s campaign to be indicted, though the charges do not relate to campaign activities.

In both cases, Manafort’s lawyers claimed that the indictments should be dismissed on the ground that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein violated Justice Department rules when he tapped Mueller in May 2017 and gave him too much power.

Manafort’s lawyers also filed more targeted requests to dismiss certain charges in the Washington case on more technical legal ground.

They argued that Jackson should dismiss one of two charges against him related to false statements because they target the same underlying offense and are therefore “multiplicitous” and violate the double-jeopardy clause of the U.S. Constitution. That clause prohibits charging a person twice for the same offense.

One of the charges in the indictment relates to making false statements, and the other alleges he violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act when he filed false documents with the Justice Department.

Jackson said that in prior cases it was found that it is possible to violate one of these laws without violating the other and they are not necessarily redundant charges.

She added that, in light of these circumstances, it would be better to “defer this determination until after the trial.”

She has yet to rule on a third request by Manafort to dismiss a money-laundering charge.



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