Мюнхенська конференція з безпеки: Порошенко і Столтенберґ обговорили агресію Росії

«Обговорено шляхи посилення співпраці України з Альянсом у відповідь на існуючі загрози в акваторії Чорного та Азовського морів» – президент України

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ФСБ Росії перевіряє «на екстремізм» портрет Бандери, вилучений у проукраїнського активіста в Криму

Співробітники кримського главку ФСБ Росії перевіряють на екстремізм портрет одного з лідерів українського націоналістичного руху першої половини ХХ століття Степана Бандери і червоно-чорний прапор ОУН, які російські силовики вилучили в Криму 8 лютого під час обшуку у проукраїнського активіста Олега Приходька. Про це проекту Радіо Свобода Крим.Реалії 15 лютого розповів сам Приходько.

«Залишився у них портрет Степана Бандери і червоно-чорний прапор. «Експерти» ФСБ вивчають їх на екстремізм. Сказали, що ще зв’яжуться зі мною», – розповів Приходько.

Активіст повідомив, що йому повернули макети німецьких автоматів, українські прапори, стрічки та символіку української партії «Свобода». При цьому Приходьку не сказали, чи буде порушено стосовно нього кримінальну справу.

Він повідомив, що у нього розпитували, з якими журналістами і правозахисниками він спілкувався останнім часом. Але Приходько відмовився говорити, пославшись на статтю 51 Конституції Росії.

Публічних коментарів управління ФСБ Росії в Криму з цього приводу немає.

8 лютого співробітники кримського главку ФСБ провели обшук у Олега Приходька в селі Орехово Сакського району. Силовики вилучили у нього українську символіку, прапори партії «Свобода», червоно-чорні прапори, портрет Степана Бандери, техніку і домашні CD-диски. Після обшуку Приходька відвезли до Сімферополя, де допитували, розпитуючи про його діяльність і зв’язки на материковій частині України.

Слідчі дії йому пояснили тим, що напередодні невідомі зруйнували пам’ятник радянським солдатам у парку міста Саки. Приходько заперечує свою причетність до цього і заявляє, що не був у тому парку вже кілька років. Він пов’язує те, що відбувається зі своєю проукраїнською позицією та з тим, що раніше представляв в Сакському районі партію «Свобода», яка з 2014 року заборонена підконтрольними Росії кримською владою.

Російські силовики не коментують проведення обшуку у Приходька.

У червні 2016 року російські силовики затримували активіста за українські номерні знаки на автомобілі.

Після російської анексії в Криму почастішали масові обшуки у незалежних журналістів, громадських активістів, активістів кримськотатарського національного руху, членів Меджлісу кримськотатарського народу, а також кримських мусульман, підозрюваних у зв’язках із забороненою в Росії організацією «Хізб ут-Тахрір».

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Денісова написала листа Москальковій щодо одночасного доступу лікарів до Гриба і Вишинського

Уповноважена Верховної Ради з прав людини Людмила Денісова звернулася до російського омбудсмена Тетяни Москалькової із листом, в якому просить про синхронний доступ лікарів до обвинуваченого в Україні у держзраді керівника «РИА Новости-Україна» Кирила Вишинського і до обвинуваченого в Росії українця Павла Гриба.

«Під час спілкування з європейським дипломатом (директором Європейської служби зовнішньої дії з роботи з державами Східного партнерства та Росії Люком Девінем – ред.) мені стало відомо, що Москалькова хоче, щоб ми забезпечили доступ незалежних лікарів до Кирила Вишинського. У листі підтвердила, що не заперечуватиму, але за умови одночасного допуску лікарів до Павла Гриба, який знаходиться у надкритичному стані», – написала Денісова у Facebook.

Українська омбудсмен зазначила, що наразі чекає на реакцію від російської сторони на свою пропозицію.

13 лютого на зустрічі в Брюсселі з європейськими дипломатами Уповноважена Верховної Ради з прав людини Людмила Денісова озвучила пропозицію синхронного доступу лікарів до Кирила Вишинського і Павла Гриба.

19-річний на той час Павло Гриб був затриманий 24 серпня 2017 року під час поїздки до Білорусі. Згодом він опинився в слідчому ізоляторі в Краснодарі. У Росії Гриба звинуватили в сприянні в терористичній діяльності. Справу Гриба передали для розгляду в Північно-Кавказький окружний військовий суд, він був етапований з Краснодара в Ростов-на-Дону. Судові слухання почалися в липні 2018 року, підсудний заперечує звинувачення. У листопаді Північно-Кавказький окружний військовий суд продовжив арешт Павла Гриба до 24 квітня 2019 року.

30 січня 2019 року голова МЗС України Павло Клімкін заявив, що стан здоров’я українця критичний, до того ж за час перебування в СІЗО в нього з’явилися «нові складні захворювання».

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Amazon’s Exit Could Scare Off Tech Companies From New York

Amazon jilted New York City on Valentine’s Day, scrapping plans to build a massive headquarters campus in Queens amid fierce opposition from politicians angry about nearly $3 billion in tax breaks and the company’s anti-union stance.

With millions of jobs and a bustling economy, New York can withstand the blow, but experts say the decision by the e-commerce giant to walk away and take with it 25,000 promised jobs could scare off other companies considering moving to or expanding in the city, which wants to be seen as the Silicon Valley of the East Coast.

“One of the real risks here is the message we send to companies that want to come to New York and expand to New York,” said Julie Samuels, the executive director of industry group Tech: NYC. “We’re really playing with fire right now.”

In November, Amazon selected New York City and Crystal City, Virginia, as the winners of a secretive, yearlong process in which more than 230 North American cities bid to become the home of the Seattle-based company’s second headquarters.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo heralded the city’s selection at the time as the biggest boon yet to its burgeoning tech economy and underscored that the deal would generate billions of dollars for improving transit, schools and housing.

Opposition came swiftly though, as details started to emerge.

Critics complained about public subsidies that were offered to Amazon and chafed at some of the conditions of the deal, such as the company’s demand for access to a helipad. Some pleaded for the deal to be renegotiated or scrapped altogether.

“We knew this was going south from the moment it was announced,” said Thomas Stringer, a site selection adviser for big companies. “If this was done right, all the elected officials would have been out there touting how great it was. When you didn’t see that happen, you knew something was wrong.”

Stringer, a managing director of the consulting firm BDO USA LLP, said city and state officials need to rethink the secrecy with which they approached the negotiations. Community leaders and potential critics were kept in the dark, only to be blindsided when details became public.

“It’s time to hit the reset button and say, “What did we do wrong?”‘ Stringer said. “This is fumbling at the 1-yard line.”

Amazon said in a statement Thursday its commitment to New York City required “positive, collaborative relationships” with state and local officials and that a number of them had “made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward.”

Not that Amazon is blameless, experts say.

Joe Parilla, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, said the company’s high-profile bidding process may have stoked the backlash. Companies usually search for new locations quietly, in part to avoid the kind of opposition Amazon received.

“They had this huge competition, and the media covered it really aggressively, and a bunch of cities responded,” Parilla said. “What did you expect? It gave the opposition a much bigger platform.”

Richard Florida, an urban studies professor and critic of Amazon’s initial search process, said the company should have expected to feel the heat when it selected New York, a city known for its neighborhood activism.

“At the end of the day, this is going to hurt Amazon,” said Florida, head of the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute. “This is going to embolden people who don’t like corporate welfare across the country.”

Other tech companies have been keeping New York City’s tech economy churning without making much of a fuss.

Google is spending $2.4 billion to build up its Manhattan campus. Cloud-computing company Salesforce has plastered its name on Verizon’s former headquarters in midtown, and music streaming service Spotify is gobbling up space at the World Trade Center complex.

Despite higher costs, New York City remains attractive to tech companies because of its vast, diverse talent pool, world-class educational and cultural institutions and access to other industries, such as Wall Street capital and Madison Avenue ad dollars.

No other metropolitan area in the U.S. has as many computer-related jobs as New York City, which has 225,600, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Washington, Boston, Atlanta and Dallas each have a greater concentration of their workers in tech.

In the New York area, the average computer-related job pays roughly $104,000 a year, about $15,000 above the national average. Still, that’s about $20,000 less than in San Francisco.

Even after cancelling its headquarters project, Amazon still has 5,000 employees in New York City, not counting Whole Foods.

“New York has actually done a really great job of growing and supporting its tech ecosystem, and I’m confident that will continue,” Samuels said. “Today we took a step back, but I would not put the nail in the coffin of tech in New York City.”

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Amazon’s Exit Could Scare Off Tech Companies From New York

Amazon jilted New York City on Valentine’s Day, scrapping plans to build a massive headquarters campus in Queens amid fierce opposition from politicians angry about nearly $3 billion in tax breaks and the company’s anti-union stance.

With millions of jobs and a bustling economy, New York can withstand the blow, but experts say the decision by the e-commerce giant to walk away and take with it 25,000 promised jobs could scare off other companies considering moving to or expanding in the city, which wants to be seen as the Silicon Valley of the East Coast.

“One of the real risks here is the message we send to companies that want to come to New York and expand to New York,” said Julie Samuels, the executive director of industry group Tech: NYC. “We’re really playing with fire right now.”

In November, Amazon selected New York City and Crystal City, Virginia, as the winners of a secretive, yearlong process in which more than 230 North American cities bid to become the home of the Seattle-based company’s second headquarters.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo heralded the city’s selection at the time as the biggest boon yet to its burgeoning tech economy and underscored that the deal would generate billions of dollars for improving transit, schools and housing.

Opposition came swiftly though, as details started to emerge.

Critics complained about public subsidies that were offered to Amazon and chafed at some of the conditions of the deal, such as the company’s demand for access to a helipad. Some pleaded for the deal to be renegotiated or scrapped altogether.

“We knew this was going south from the moment it was announced,” said Thomas Stringer, a site selection adviser for big companies. “If this was done right, all the elected officials would have been out there touting how great it was. When you didn’t see that happen, you knew something was wrong.”

Stringer, a managing director of the consulting firm BDO USA LLP, said city and state officials need to rethink the secrecy with which they approached the negotiations. Community leaders and potential critics were kept in the dark, only to be blindsided when details became public.

“It’s time to hit the reset button and say, “What did we do wrong?”‘ Stringer said. “This is fumbling at the 1-yard line.”

Amazon said in a statement Thursday its commitment to New York City required “positive, collaborative relationships” with state and local officials and that a number of them had “made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward.”

Not that Amazon is blameless, experts say.

Joe Parilla, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, said the company’s high-profile bidding process may have stoked the backlash. Companies usually search for new locations quietly, in part to avoid the kind of opposition Amazon received.

“They had this huge competition, and the media covered it really aggressively, and a bunch of cities responded,” Parilla said. “What did you expect? It gave the opposition a much bigger platform.”

Richard Florida, an urban studies professor and critic of Amazon’s initial search process, said the company should have expected to feel the heat when it selected New York, a city known for its neighborhood activism.

“At the end of the day, this is going to hurt Amazon,” said Florida, head of the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute. “This is going to embolden people who don’t like corporate welfare across the country.”

Other tech companies have been keeping New York City’s tech economy churning without making much of a fuss.

Google is spending $2.4 billion to build up its Manhattan campus. Cloud-computing company Salesforce has plastered its name on Verizon’s former headquarters in midtown, and music streaming service Spotify is gobbling up space at the World Trade Center complex.

Despite higher costs, New York City remains attractive to tech companies because of its vast, diverse talent pool, world-class educational and cultural institutions and access to other industries, such as Wall Street capital and Madison Avenue ad dollars.

No other metropolitan area in the U.S. has as many computer-related jobs as New York City, which has 225,600, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Washington, Boston, Atlanta and Dallas each have a greater concentration of their workers in tech.

In the New York area, the average computer-related job pays roughly $104,000 a year, about $15,000 above the national average. Still, that’s about $20,000 less than in San Francisco.

Even after cancelling its headquarters project, Amazon still has 5,000 employees in New York City, not counting Whole Foods.

“New York has actually done a really great job of growing and supporting its tech ecosystem, and I’m confident that will continue,” Samuels said. “Today we took a step back, but I would not put the nail in the coffin of tech in New York City.”

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Chinese Leader Meets with US Trade Delegation in Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping met Friday with members of the U.S. trade delegation in Beijing where China and the U.S. are attempting to hammer out a trade deal.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin posted on Twitter Friday that he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had “productive meetings with China’s Vice Premier Liu He.”

Another round of negotiations between the two countries will continue next week in Wahington, Chinese state media reported.

Earlier, a top White House economic adviser expressed confidence in the U.S. – China trade negotiations in Beijing.

“The vibe in Beijing is good,” National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told reporters at the White House Thursday.

Kudlow provided few details but said the U.S. delegation led by Lighthizer was “covering all ground.”

“That’s a very good sign and they’re just soldiering on, so I like that story,” Kudlow said, “And I will stay with the phrase, the vibe is good.”

Negotiators are working to strike a deal by March 1, to avoid a rise in U.S. tariffs on $200 million worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent. President Donald Trump suggested earlier this week that if talks are seeing signs of progress, that deadline could be pushed back.

When asked Thursday if there would be an extension, Kudlow said, “No such decision has been made so far.”

Analysts such as William Reinsch, a former president of the National Foreign trade Council and senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, say the talks are complicated by the three main areas under negotiation.

“Market access, which I think is well on the way to completion. Some Chinese offers on intellectual property, which I think they are not going to offer what we want…And some compliance in enforcement matters.”

Reinsch told VOA’s Mandarin service that U.S. negotiators are specifically seeking ways to hold China accountable for the commitments it makes in any deal.

Munich security conference

 

While American and Chinese negotiators continue talks in Beijing, both countries are setting up for another potential face-off in Europe.

 

The U.S. and China are sending large delegations to Friday’s Munich Security Conference in Germany, a high-level conference on international security policy. Vice President Mike Pence leads the U.S. delegation while Politburo member Yang Jiechi will be the most senior Chinese official.

Yang Jiechi is heading the largest-ever Chinese delegation to the conference traditionally attended by the U.S. and its European allies. He is pushing back against Washington’s campaign pressing Europe to exclude Chinese tech giant Huawei from taking part in constructing 5G mobile networks in the region.

U.S. officials say allowing the Chinese company to build the next generation of wireless communications in Europe will enhance the Chinese government’s surveillance powers, threatening European security.

Although the technology behind 5G is complex, Brad Setser, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and former deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Treasury Department, said the decisions for European countries is simple.

“Given the nature of modern telecommunication, countries do have to make a choice about whether or not they believe that Huawei, given its relationship, not an ownership relationship, with Chinese government, can be trusted to provide the backbone of their future telecommunication system.”

Both Pence and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned allies in Poland and other Central European countries this week on the dangers of closer ties with Beijing and collaboration with Chinese firms. In Budapest, Hungary on Monday, Pompeo said American companies might scale back European operations if countries continue to do business with Huawei.

Huawei has repeatedly denied its products could be used for espionage.

U.S. prosecutors have filed charges against Huawei including bank fraud, violating sanctions against Iran, and stealing trade secrets. The company refuted these accusations and rejected charges against its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is currently on bail in Canada following her arrest in December.

This year’s Munich Security Conference topics include the “great power competition” between the United States, China, and Russia. Conference organizers have listed US-China tensions as one of their top 10 security issues of 2019.

VOA’s Mandarin Service reporter Jingxun Li contributed to this report

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Mars Opportunity Rover Ends Nearly 15 Years of Discovery

The Mars Opportunity Rover landed on the Red Planet’s surface in 2004 for a 90-day mission of exploration. More than 14 years later, NASA has finally closed the book on this tiny rover that wandered across Mars sending back troves of information. VOA’s Kevin Enochs reports.

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