Monthly Archives : March 2019

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Поліція: надійшло 649 заяв про порушення на виборах

31
Mar,2019

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Національна поліція України повідомляє, що станом на 15:00 отримала 649 заяв і повідомлень про правопорушення під час чергових виборів президента, які відбуваються 31 березня.

«11 повідомлень слідчі внесли до Єдиного реєстру досудових розслідувань», – йдеться в повідомленні поліції у Facebook.

Серед порушень, про які надійшли заяви – незаконна агітація, підкуп виборців, пошкодження бюлетеня, фотографування, повідомлення про замінування, спроба винесення бюлетеня.

У поліції уточнили, що на 15:00 найбільше заяв про порушення надійшло з Києва – 76; Донецької області – 66; Харківської – 61; Сумської – 50; Полтавської – 42; Дніпропетровської – 41; Одеської – 39; Луганської – 35; Вінницької – 26.

У відомстві додали, що, крім розпочатих за даними фактами 11 кримінальних проваджень, поліцейські склали чотири адміністративні протоколи.

В Україні 31 березня відбувається голосування на чергових виборах президента країни. Голосування закінчиться о 20:00. У бюлетень для голосування внесено прізвища 39 кандидатів.

За даними ЦВК, активність виборців станом на 15:00 склала 44,45%.

 

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На виборчу дільницю у Мінську не пустили представників російських ЗМІ

31
Mar,2019

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На закордонну дільницю для виборів президента України в Мінську не були допущені представники російських ЗМІ. Вони могли лише знімати за парканом посольства – таке рішення виборчої комісії, повідомив кореспондент Радіо Свобода. Кореспонденти російських агенцій ТАСС, «РИА-Новости», телеканалів «РЕН-ТВ» та «НТВ» знімали лише на вулиці, в тому числі опитували громадян України.

Натомість дільницю вільно могли відвідувати представники білоруських, українських та міжнародних ЗМІ.

Читайте також: Посол США в Україні прийшла на виборчу дільницю в Києві​

На території Білорусі зареєстровано 12 тисяч українських виборців, їх віднесено до двох дільниць: у посольстві України в Мінську та в Генеральному консульстві у Бресті.

Зазвичай у виборах беруть участь близько 10% українських громадян, які постійно проживають у Білорусі. Цього разу очікується вища явка, сказав Радіо Свобода посол України у Мінську Ігор Кизим.

Голова виборчої комісії, яка діє у Мінську при посольстві України, Оксана Врублевська розповіла Радіо Свобода, що станом на 12 годину у виборах взяв участь 241 виборець.

Читайте також: У Генштабі розповіли, як голосують в ООС​

В Україні 31 березня відбувається перший тур чергових виборів президента країни. Голосування закінчиться о 20:00. У бюлетень для голосування внесено прізвища 39 кандидатів.

На дільниці працюють спостерігачі від кандидатів та Всесвітнього конгресу українців. Зауважень станом на 12 годину дня не було.

Декілька осіб не змогли проголосувати через те, що не мали закордонних паспортів, тільки внутрішні. Члени комісії роз’яснили їм законодавство та порадили підготуватися до наступних виборів, отримавши нові документи.

Посол України у Мінську Ігор Кизим розповів Радіо Свобода, що у списках виборців у Білорусі є люди, котрі походять з Донбасу та Криму, які стоять на консульському обліку.

Кореспондент Радіо Свобода зустрів на дільниці у Мінську громадян, що походили з Криму та Донецька, переїхали до Білорусі ще до подій 2014 року, а також родину з Горлівки, яка два роки тому залишила свій дім у зв’язку з воєнними діями.

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ЦВК назвала дані про явку виборців станом на 15:00

31
Mar,2019

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Polls Open in Ukraine’s Presidential Election

31
Mar,2019

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The polls have opened and voters in Ukraine are casting their ballots Sunday in the first round of the country’s presidential election.

The top three of the 39 candidates are: a comedian who plays the role of the president in a television comedy series, the incumbent president, and a former prime minister, who is running for president for the third time.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy is seeking to prove life can indeed imitate art. He is the protagonist of a long-running popular series called the “Servant of the People” in which he plays a teacher who unexpectedly finds himself president after a student posts on YouTube one of his rants denouncing the elite.

President Petro Poroshenko has the support of just 13.7 percent of the voters, according to a recent poll by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology. The 53-year-old billionaire dubbed the chocolate king because of his confectionery business has been accused by opponents of running schemes to buy votes, especially in small towns where the pull of political paternalism is strong.

Yulia Tymoshenko became Ukraine’s prime minister after the 2004 Orange Revolution. She was arrested in 2011, charged with abusing power in a natural gas deal. She was released in 2014 and ran for president, but lost to Poroshenko.

None of the candidates is expected to win a majority of the vote in the first round. The top two winners in Sunday’s vote will face off in a second round of voting.

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Slovaks Elect Newcomer Caputova as President

31
Mar,2019

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A liberal environmental activist has been elected as the first female president of Slovakia.

Relative newcomer Zuzana Caputova had 58 percent of the vote with almost 95 percent of returns counted in Saturday’s runoff election, topping European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic, who had 42 percent.

Sefcovic conceded defeat and congratulated his rival.

“I’m extremely happy about the result,” Caputova said. “It’s an extremely strong mandate for me,” she said.

“Zuzana, Zuzana,” her supporters chanted.

Political newcomer

Caputova, 45, has little experience in politics and attracted voters who are appalled by corruption and mainstream politics.

She only recently became vice chairman of the Progressive Slovakia, a party so new it has not had a chance to run in parliamentary elections. Caputova resigned from her party post after winning the first round of the presidential vote two weeks ago.

She becomes Slovakia’s fifth president since the country gained independence after the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

​Rising star in Slovakia

The president of the nation of 5.4 million people has the power to pick the prime minister, appoint Constitutional Court judges and veto laws. Parliament can override the veto with a simple majority, however. The government is led by the prime minister, who possesses most executive powers.

A lawyer by profession, Caputova is a rising star of Slovak politics. She became known for leading a successful fight against a toxic waste dump in her hometown of Pezinok, for which she received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2016.

A divorced mother of two, she is in favor of gay rights and opposes a ban on abortion in this conservative Roman Catholic country.

She was also part of a campaign in 2017 that led to the annulment of pardons granted by former authoritarian Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar.

Sefcovic, 52, is a career diplomat who was supported by the leftist Smer-Social Democracy party led by former populist Prime Minister Robert Fico, a major force in Slovak politics that was tarnished by corruption scandals. He campaigned on a traditional family values ticket.

Popular incumbent Andrej Kiska, who did not stand for a second term, backed Caputova in the vote.

​Street protests of corruption

The two had supported the massive anti-government street protests last year triggered by the slayings of an investigative reporter and his fiancee that led to the fall of Fico’s coalition government. Investigators have linked Jan Kuciak’s death to his work probing possible widespread government corruption.

Fico’s party suffered losses in local elections in November, the first votes since the largest demonstrations in the country since the anti-Communist Velvet Revolution of 1989.

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World Turns Off Lights for Earth Hour 

31
Mar,2019

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The Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House, the Brandenburg Gate, the Acropolis and many more iconic landmarks went dark at 8:30 p.m. local time, Saturday night, for Earth Hour, an annual call for local action on climate change.

Earth Hour is the brain child of the World Wildlife Fund.

“By going dark for Earth Hour, we can show steadfast commitment to protecting our families, our communities and our planet from the dangerous effects of a warming world,” said Lou Leonard, WWF senior vice president, climate and energy. “The rising demand for energy, food and water means this problem is only going to worsen, unless we act now.”

Individuals and companies around the world participated in the hour-long demonstration to show their support for the fight against climate change and the conservation of the natural world.

WWF said Earth’s “rich biodiversity, the vast web of life that connects the health of oceans, rivers and forests to the prosperity of communities and nations, is threatened.”

The fund also reports that wildlife populations monitored by WWF “have experienced an average decline of 60 percent in less than a single person’s lifetime, and many unique and precious species are at risk of vanishing forever.”

“We have to ask ourselves what we’re willing to do after the lights come back on,” Leonard said. “If we embrace bold solutions, we still have time to stabilize the climate and safeguard our communities and the diverse wildlife, ecosystems and natural resources that sustain us all.”

“We are the first generation to know we are destroying the world,” WWF said. “And we could be the last that can do anything about it.”

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НАБУ долучило до офіційного розслідування записи розмов депутата Кононенка, які передали «Схеми»

30
Mar,2019

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Національна антикорупційне бюро України долучить до офіційного розслідування про корупцію в сфері енергетики записи розмов, які передали «Схеми» – на них депутат Ігор Кононенко, екс-голови правління ПрАТ «ХК «Енергомережа» і колишній депутат Дмитро Крючков і бізнесмени Суркіси обговорюють схеми з виведення сотень мільйонів гривень з декількох українських обленерго. Ці аудіозаписи на прохання «Схем» були верифіковані американськими спеціалістами, які співпрацюють з урядом США, та оприлюднені у фільмі-розслідуванні.

«Аудіозаписи та інші матеріали, оприлюднені в розслідуванні «Схем» про корупцію в енергетиці, будуть долучені до кримінального провадження, яке розслідують детективи НАБУ», – повідомили в Бюро і додали, що записи стали матеріалами провадження щодо зловживань із боку посадовців низки обленерго, в результаті яких інтересам держави завдано збитків на понад 1,2 млрд. грн. 

Раніше «Схеми» розповіли, що депутат Ігор Кононенко, екс-голова правління ПрАТ «ХК «Енергомережа» і колишній депутат Дмитро Крючков і бізнесмени Суркіси ймовірно причетні до схем з виведення сотень мільйонів гривень з декількох обленерго, контрольний пакет акцій в яких належить державі. Організація однієї з наймасштабніших афер у сфері енергетики останніх років обговорюється на записах телефонних розмов бізнесмена Дмитра Крючкова, які отримала редакція «Схем». 

Ці записи були верифіковані за допомогою західної експертизи, проведеної на прохання журналістів «Схем» спеціалістами Національного центру медіа-експертиз Університету Колорадо в Денвері, який співпрацює з урядом США.

Журналісти проаналізували телефоні розмови, співставивши з відкритими даними, документами та реальними подіями, які стосуються періоду весни-літа 2015 року. Під час спілкування фігуранти обговорюють у тому числі незаконні способи отримання та збереження контролю над обласними енергопостачальними компаніями «Запоріжжяобленерго», «Черкасиобленерго» та «Харківобленерго», контрольні пакети акцій в яких належать державі в особі Фонду державного майна України. Також багато розмов стосуються розподілу між учасниками схеми значних сум готівкою.

НАБУ проводить офіційне розслідування про розкрадання коштів «Запоріжжяобленерго», у рамках якого вже повідомила про підозру бізнесмену Дмитру Крючкову. За словами детектива, бюро також вивчає причетність до схеми Ігоря Кононенка та братів Суркісів, останніх раніше вже викликали на допит. У записах, оприлюднених журналістами, співрозмовники, у тому числі, обговорюють і цю оборудку.

Після виходу розслідування «Схем» дІгор Кононенко депутат заявив, що готує позов на Радіо Свобода до закордонного суду.

У свою чергу, журналісти проекту Радіо Свобода «Схеми» зазначають, що не бояться суду, бо ретельно перевірили наведені у своєму розслідуванні факти.

 

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US, China Face Off Over 5G in Cambodia

30
Mar,2019

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For techies and phone geeks, Digital Cambodia 2019 was the place to be.

More than a dozen high school students clustered at the booth for Cellcard, Cambodia’s leading mobile operator. Under the booth’s 5G sign, they played video games on their phones.

Hak Kimheng, a ninth grade student in Phnom Penh, said his mom bought him a Samsung smartphone a few months ago, when he moved to the capital city from nearby Kandal province to live with his uncle while attending school. Like moms everywhere, she thought the smartphone would help her stay in touch with her son.

But smartphones being smartphones and kids being kids, Hak Kimheng, 16, has used it to set up an account on Facebook, Cambodia’s favorite social media platform. He’s also downloaded Khmer Academy, a tutoring app filled with math, physics and chemistry lessons.

And for one hour a day, Hak Kimheng watches soccer on the YouTube app he downloaded. While it’s better than nothing, the internet connection is “slow … and the video image is not clear,” he said.  “I want it to be faster. … It’ll be good to have 5G.”

Not far from the Cellcard booth, Cambodian government officials, ASEAN telecom and IT ministers, businesspeople, telecom and tech company representatives gathered for the opening ceremonies of Digital Cambodia 2019. The event, which ran from March 15 to March 17, attracted more than 100 speakers from throughout Southeast Asia, high level officials, businesspeople, researchers and telecom company representatives.

The discussions focused on 5G, which, with speeds as much as 100 times faster than 4G, will mean better soccer viewing for Hak Kimheng and faster connections for all users. But 5G will also be central to a world of smart cities filled with smart homes and offices replete with devices connected to the “internet of things” humming along amid torrents of personal, business and official data.

‘A milestone year’

David Li, CEO of Cambodian operations for the Chinese company, Huawei, which is facing challenges over security from the U.S., spoke first, promising to “help Cambodia obtain better digital technology to improve social productivity and national economy.”

Government ministers, one from finance and economy and one from posts and telecommunication, listened as Li continued, pointing out that Huawei Technologies Cambodia launched in 1999. “We have been operating 2G, 3G, 4G, and now we’re heading toward 5G,” he said.

“Currently we are the only industry vendor that can provide the intertwined 5G system. I believe this year 2019 will be a milestone year for 5G in Cambodia,” Li said.

While this next generation of mobile networks will take years to roll out, the U.S. and China are in a race over whose technology will set the standards for 5G networks, something which will have immediate commercial value and carry longer term strategic implications for developing the dominant platform for 6G.

Citing concern that Huawei is, like all Chinese companies, linked to the Beijing government, the U.S. has been urging allies not to let Huawei build their 5G networks. But in countries like Thailand, which is Cambodia’s neighbor and a U.S. ally, Huawei is building and testing a 5G network because authorities said its low cost trumped U.S. pressure.

Huawei has long maintained it doesn’t provide back doors for the Chinese government, pointing out the lack of evidence to support the allegations, according to Bloomberg.

William Carter, deputy director of the Technology Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said earlier this month that any country doing business with Huawei on 5G will have to deal with the risk of Chinese influence.

“And the question will be to what extent is that concern enough to overcome the price advantage and the service advantages and the integrated financing advantages doing business with Huawei,” he said.

Rich market

As more private businesses and government services move toward cashless payment and online data access, Cambodia is emerging as a rich market for 5G telecoms. Approximately 13.6 million people, or 82 percent of Cambodians, use the internet, and about 7 million use Facebook, the number of mobile subscriptions is around 19.5 million by January 2019, or 120 percent penetration, according to the Ministry of Posts.

Sok Puthyvuth, secretary of state at the posts and telecommunication told VOA Khmer that Cambodia is eager for 5G, urging private companies, including mobile operators and internet companies, “to make 5G available across the country.”

Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata, one of Cambodia’s mobile telecommunications operators, told VOA Khmer only that the company is preparing for a 5G rollout, because users’ data consumption is overwhelming the 4.5G network. “We see an immediate need to come out with the next evolution of technology … at some point this year.”

Cellcard CEO Ian Watson, said the company is targeting a commercial launch of 5G services in the second quarter of 2019.

Tram IvTek, Cambodia’s minister of Posts and Telecommunications said at the opening ceremony of Digital Cambodia that the government “is strongly committed to connecting the country and to ensure the benefits of ICT (information and communications technology) reach the remotest corners as well as the most vulnerable communities” by 2020.

Aun Pornmoniroth, minister of economy and finance in a March 12 workshop on Cambodia’s digital economy, suggested it will take “five to 10 years or more to set up a complete digital economy and turn Cambodia’s economy into a technological leader.”

Meas Po, undersecretary of state at Ministry of Post, said the government has yet to decide which company it will partner with for building the 5G infrastructure but it has not ruled out Huawei or other Chinese companies. “In our country, we have our protective system, in other countries, they have theirs. We don’t allow anyone to just freely hack our data.”

Protecting privacy

Smart Axiata’s Hundt said his company wanted to a partner that would “guarantee to us that the equipment is solid and sound [and] our users’ data is safeguarded and the network is fully secured from cyber-security perspectives.”

Nguon Somaly, who earned a master’s degree in law and technology at Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia, has written extensively on data privacy in Cambodia. She contends Cambodian social media users don’t have the data privacy concerns of users in the U.S. and Europe.

“Cambodian youths don’t really care about privacy [on social media], but people in [the] EU are concerned about their data privacy,” said Somaly, referring to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which restricts how personal data is collected and handled.

“That is money and it can be analyzed and generate income,” Somaly said. “China is not a free country and privacy is not their priority. Their priority is to generate business opportunities and income.”

Xu Ning, a reporter with VOA’s Mandarin Service, contributed to this report from Washington, D.C.

 

 

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Адвокат підтвердив, що Балух перебуває в колонії у Тверській області Росії

30
Mar,2019

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Правозахисники стверджують, що Балух став жертвою репресій за свою проукраїнську позицію

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В СБУ повідомили про роботу патрулів спецпризначення на транспортних об’єктах по всій країні

30
Mar,2019

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У Службі безпеки України повідомили про початок патрулювання бійцями окремого підрозділу спецслужби транспортних об’єктів у всіх регіонах напередодні дня виборів президента України.

«Бійці спецпідрозділу ЦСО «А» СБУ розпочали патрулювання вулиць, вокзалів, автостанцій та аеропортів по всій Україні», – йдеться в повідомленні СБУ.

За даними відомства, голова СБУ Василь Грицак запевнив, що, крім спецпризначенців, до патрулювання також залучили бойові машини та безпілотну авіацію.

Напередодні у МВС повідомляли, що безпеку голосування на виборах президента гарантуватимуть понад 135 тисяч правоохоронців.

Вибори президента України відбудуться 31 березня. Для перемоги кандидат повинен здобути понад 50 відсотків голосів. Якщо цього не станеться, 21 квітня відбудеться другий тур виборів, у якому зустрінуться два кандидати з найбільшою підтримкою.

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3 Migrants Charged in Malta in Hijacking of Ship at Sea

30
Mar,2019

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Three teenage migrants have been charged in Malta with seizing control of a merchant ship and using force and intimidation, a crime considered a terrorist activity under Maltese law.

 

One of the accused was identified by the court during the arraignment Saturday as Abdalla Bari, a 19-year-old from Guinea. The other two are 15 and 16, and as minors could not be named. One is also from Guinea and the other from Ivory Coast.

 

They are suspects in the hijacking in the Mediterranean this week of the El Hiblu 1, an oil tanker. The captain has said that migrants that his crew had rescued began rioting and took control of his ship when they saw it was returning to Libya, forcing it to turn north toward Europe.

 

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Slovakia Votes in 2nd Round of Presidential Poll

30
Mar,2019

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Voters in Slovakia are heading to the polls Saturday in round two of the country’s presidential election.

Zuzana Caputova, a 45-year-old environmental lawyer who champions gay rights and opposes Slovakia’s ban on abortion, won over 40 percent of the ballots in the first round of the vote two weeks ago.

AFP, the French news agency, reports that recent polls indicate she may gain at least 60 percent of the vote in Saturday’s race.

Maros Sefcovic came in a distant second in the first round with 18.7 percent of the vote.  The 52-year-old European Commission vice president built his campaign on traditional family-oriented policies.  He is backed by the ruling Smer-SD party.

If Caputova wins, she would be the Central European country’s first ever female president.

Incumbent President Andrej Kiska is not standing for a second five-year term.

 

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In Elections, Turkey’s Opposition Hopes to Capitalize on Erdogan’s Woes

30
Mar,2019

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On Sunday Turkey holds critical local elections, with control of the country’s main cities up for grabs. With inflation soaring and recession threatening, the election may pose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan biggest challenge.

A week ahead of Sunday’s polls Erdogan rallied hundreds of thousands in his hometown of Istanbul, in a bid to consolidate his voting base.

Even though Erdogan is not up for election, he is leading the campaign, aware his AK Party’s more than decade-long grip on most of Turkey’s main cities is under threat.

Since Erdogan won Istanbul’s mayorship in 1994, a victory that served as a springboard for him to dominate Turkish politics, the city has been his unassailable power base. However, the latest opinion polls indicate the outcome of Istanbul local elections is too close call.

‘All the poverty’

In Istanbul’s Gungoren district, people line up for state-subsidized food in a small local park, which is overshadowed by a vast, idle construction site.

“I see Gungoren as worse now, then how it once was. Is that right?” said CHP Istanbul mayoral candidate Ekrem Imamoglu, addressing a crowd from the roof of his campaign bus.

“Yes,” shout the people, waving CHP flags.

“All the poverty that a person can experience exists here,” Imamoglu said, “there are no green areas, there is no social life, it is a district that is left deprived of all the richness of life. We will take care of that.”

Gungoren in the past strongly backed Erdogan’s AK Party, but people are angry.

“We are retired people, by the 15th of the month our pension is finished, after that we are hungry,” said Seniye, who wears a religious headscarf.

​Pensioners hurting

There is still strong support for Erdogan by people who believe AKP can still deliver. 

“We are very hopeful about the elections. We just came here to see who is this Imamoglu because our path and choice is solid: We say AK Party,” said one man, who did not want to give his name.

With the Istanbul local election the closest in decades, the outcome could be in the hands of the pro-Kurdish HD Party.

​HDP strategy

Erdogan accuses the HDP of being a terrorist party, claiming it’s linked to the outlawed Kurdish separatist group the PKK, a charge the party denies.

Since the 2015 collapse of peace talks with the PKK, thousands of HDP officials have been arrested, along with elected mayors, parliamentary deputies, and its leaders.

Ahead of the local elections, the HDP says the crackdown has intensified, particularly in western cities.

The growing pressure saw the party, in a surprise move, decide not to contest mayoral elections in Turkey’s main western cities, focusing its efforts in the predominantly Kurdish region.

“This pressure we are facing of arrests means we have to come up with new methods to resist,” said Ertugrul Kurkcu, honorary president of the HDP.

“That is why in the seven main western cities outside the Kurdish region, we are calling on our supporters to vote for the opposition to help voters defeat Tayyip Erdogan,” he said.

He said “our supporters are voting for the opposition not because they like them, but for the strategic reason of defeating Erdogan.”

 

WATCH: Turkey’s Opposition Hopes to Capitalize on Erdogan’s Woes

​Second largest opposition party

The HDP is Turkey’s second largest opposition party and accounts for as much as 10 percent of the vote in Turkey’s main cities. However, it is far from certain that all its party supporters will heed their leadership’s call to back the CHP opposition.

“The HDP’s supporters, there are secular people, liberals and of course in the party, there are conservative, religious, and rightist Kurds,” said professor Baris Doster of Marmara University.

“I think that the liberals, the seculars, the social democrat supporters of HDP, they will vote for the opposition CHP,” he said. “The conservatives, the rightist voters of the HDP, will vote for Erdogan’s party, or they will stay at home.”

The HDP is working hard to persuade its supporters to go to the polls Sunday and vote against Erdogan’s AKP.

“Some supporters were unhappy about the decision not to stand for office,” said Gul Demir HDP’s co-leader of Istanbul’s Kadikoy district.

“However, I believe in this election campaign period we could explain ourselves to our base. In Turkish we have a saying, ‘great minds think alike.’ What is obvious is that we have entered a very heavy fascist system. It feels like the last exit before the bridge.

“If we lose these elections, if we don’t strike a blow to Erdogan, I don’t believe there will be elections in Turkey again,” Demir said.

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US Uses Obscure Agency to Target Chinese Foreign Investments

30
Mar,2019

0

For decades, it was virtually unknown outside a small circle of investors, corporate lawyers and government officials. 

 

But in recent years, the small interagency body known as the Committee for Investment in the United States has grown in prominence, propelled by a U.S. desire to use it as an instrument of national security and foreign policy. 

 

This week, the panel made headlines after it reportedly directed Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech to divest itself of Grindr, a popular gay dating app, because of concern the user data it collects could be used to blackmail military and intelligence personnel. 

 

Operating out of the Treasury Department, the nine-member CFIUS (pronounced Cy-fius) reviews foreign investments in U.S. businesses to determine whether they pose a national security threat.  

Notification was voluntary

 

Until last year, notifying the panel about such investments was voluntary, something Kunlun and California-based Grindr took advantage of when they closed a deal in 2016.  

 

But given growing U.S. concern about Chinese companies with ties to Beijing buying businesses in sensitive U.S. industries, the committee’s rare intervention to undo the deal was hardly a surprise, said Harry Broadman, a former CFIUS member.   

 

“I think anyone who was surprised by the decision really didn’t understand the legislative history, legislative landscape and the politics” of CFIUS, said Broadman, who is now a partner and chair of the emerging markets practice at consulting firm Berkley Research Group. 

 

The action by CFIUS is the latest in a series aimed at Chinese companies investing in the U.S. tech sector and comes as the Trump administration wages a global campaign against  telecom giant Huawei Technologies and remains locked in a trade dispute with Beijing. The U.S. says the state-linked company could gain access to critical telecom infrastructure and is urging allies to bar it from participating in their new 5G networks.   

While the administration has yet to formulate a policy on Huawei, the world’s largest supplier of telecom equipment, the latest CFIUS action underscores how the U.S. is increasingly turning to the body to restrict Chinese investments across a broad swath of U.S. technology companies.  

 

“CFIUS is one of the few tools that the government has that can be used on a case-by-case basis to try to untangle [a] web of dependencies and solve potential national security issues, and the government has become increasingly willing to use that tool more aggressively,” said Joshua Gruenspecht, an attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Washington, who represents companies before the committee. 

 

CFIUS’s history has long been intertwined with politics and periodic public backlash against foreign investment in the U.S.  

 

OPEC investments

In 1975 it was congressional concern over the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) investments in U.S. stocks and bonds that led President Gerald Ford to set up the committee through an executive order. It was tasked with monitoring the impact of foreign investment in the United States but had little other authority.  

 

In the years that followed, backlash against foreign acquisitions of certain U.S. firms led Congress to beef up the agency.  

 

In 1988, spurred in part by a Japanese attempt to buy a U.S. semiconductor firm, Congress enshrined CFIUS in law, granting the president the authority to block mergers and acquisitions that threatened national security.  

 

In 2007, outrage over CFIUS’s decision to approve the sale of management operations of six key U.S. ports to a Dubai port operator led Congress to pass new legislation, broadening the definition of national security and requiring greater scrutiny by CFIUS of certain types of foreign direct investment, according to the Congressional Research Service.  

 

But by far the biggest change to how CFIUS reviews and approves foreign transactions came last summer when Congress passed the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018. 

 

Slated to be fully implemented in 2020, the new law vastly expanded CFIUS’s jurisdiction and authority, requiring foreign companies that take even a non-controlling stake in a sensitive U.S. business to get the committee’s clearance.  

 

While the new law did not mention China by name, concern about Chinese investments and national security dominated the debate that led to its enactment. 

 

“There is no mistake that both the congressional intent and the executive intent has a clear eye on the role of China in the transactions,” Broadman said. 

Threats to ‘technological superiority’

 

Under interim rules issued by the Treasury Department last fall, investments in U.S. businesses that develop and manufacture “critical technologies” in one or more of 27 designated industries are now subject to review by CFIUS. Most of the covered technologies are already subject to U.S. export controls. The designated industries are sectors where foreign investment “threatens to undermine U.S. technological superiority that is critical to U.S. national security,” according to the Treasury Department. They range from semiconductor machinery to aircraft manufacturing.  

 

The new regulations mean that foreign companies seeking to invest in any of these technologies and industries must notify CFIUS at least 45 days prior to closing a deal. CFIUS will then have 30 days to clear the deal, propose a conditional approval or reject it outright. If parties to a transaction do not withdraw in response to CFIUS’s concerns, the president will be given 15 days to block it.   

To date, U.S. presidents have blocked five deals — four of them involving Chinese companies. One was blocked by the late President George H.W. Bush in 1990, two by former President Barack Obama in 2012 and 2016, and two by President Donald Trump. 

 

The number is deceptively small. A far greater number of deals are simply withdrawn by parties after they don’t get timely clearance or CFIUS opens a formal investigation. According to the Treasury Department, of the 942 notices of transactions filed with CFIUS between 2009 and 2016, 107 were withdrawn during the review or after an investigation.  

 

In recent years, CFIUS has reviewed between 200 and 250 cases per year, according to Gruenspecht. But the number is likely to exceed 2,000 a year under the new CFIUS regime, he added.  

 

The tighter scrutiny has raised questions about whether the new law strikes the right balance between encouraging foreign investment and protecting national security.  

 

“I think the short answer is it’s too early to tell,” Gruenspecht said. However, he added, if the new law “becomes a recipe for taking foreign investment off the table for whole realms of new emerging technology, that crosses a lot of boundaries.” 

Concern in Europe

The U.S. is not the only country toughening screening measures for foreign investment. In December, the European Union proposed a new regulation for members to adopt “CFIUS-like” foreign investment review processes. 

Gruenspecht said that while foreign investors are not  “thrilled” about the additional CFIUS scrutiny, “a lot of Western nations are also saying, actually, ‘We totally understand the rational behind CFIUS and we’re looking to implement our own internal versions of CFIUS ourselves.’ ”

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В Україні завершилася агітація перед виборами 31 березня

30
Mar,2019

0

ЦВК нагадала кандидатам на посаду президента, що з 00:00 30 березня забороняються будь-які агітаційні заходи і розміщення рекламних матеріалів

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Денісова вимагає від Росії повідомити, куди вивезли заарештованих кримських татар

29
Mar,2019

0

Український омбудсмен Людмила Денісова вимагає від російської колеги Тетяни Москалькової встановити місце перебування заарештованих в окупованому Криму кримськотатарських активістів. Про це Денісова повідомила у Facebook 29 березня.

«Є підозра, що частину з них або всіх кримських татар вивезли до міста Ростов-на-Дону або до міста Москва. У своїх листах я висловила прохання встановити місце перебування громадян України та поінформувати мене за результатами», – написала Денисова.

29 березня заарештованих у Криму 23-х кримськотатарських активістів вивезли до Росії, повідомила російський омбудсмен Криму Людмила Лубіна. Ще одного активіста, якого російські силовики розшукували з 27 березня, було затримано 29 березня.

27 березня в анексованому Криму російські силовики влаштували обшуки в будинках кримськотатарських активістів і затримали понад 20 людей, включно з тими, хто прийшов підтримати кримських татар, у чиїх домівках влаштували обшуки. Тих, що знімали обшуки, зарештували на 5 діб та оштрафували. До 15 травня ж заарештували затриманих за підозрою у буцімто причетності до забороненої на території Росії і в анексованому нею Криму організації «Хізб ут-Тахрір».

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