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  • Премію Європарламенту отримав фільм «Жінка на війні»

    Кінопремію LUX, що присуджує Європейський парламент, у 2018 році отримав фільм спільного виробництва Ісландії, Франції та України «Жінка на війні» (в українському варіанті також «Гірська жінка: на війні») режисера Бенедикта Ерлінгсонна.

    Картину-переможця визначають члени ЄП. Цього року до фіналу також вийшли фільми «Зворотний бік усього» режисера Міли Турайлич (Сербія, Франція, Катар) і «Стікс» Вольфганга Фішера (Німеччина, Австрія).

    Фільм має екологічну та феміністичну тематику і розповідає історію жінки, яка веде війно з алюмінієвою промисловістю на високогір’ї Ісландії.

    Премію LUX засновано у 2007 році з метою підтримки поширення європейської кінопродукції. Фільми-фіналісти за підтримки ЄС будуть субтитровані усіма офіційними мовами союзу. Європарламент також надасть підтримку для їх просування на міжнародному кіноринку.

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    14/11/2018

  • Метеорологічна зима почалася в Києві на місяць раніше, ніж минулого року – обсерваторія

    До Києва прийшла метеорологічна зима. Про це повідомили у Центральній геофізичній обсерваторії імені Бориса Срезневського.

    «13 листопада середньодобова температура повітря на метеостанції обсерваторії становила -3 градуси і за прогнозами Українського гідрометцентру від’ємні значення температури повітря будуть триматись і далі. Стійке зниження середньодобової температури нижче нуля свідчить про початок метеорологічної зими, яка в цьому році прийшла до столиці більше ніж на місяць раніше торішньої, адже тоді вона розпочалась 18 грудня», – розповіли у обсерваторії.

    Метеорологи зазначили, що нинішня зима на два тижні випередила і кліматичну норму.

    «Найраніше до Києва зима завітала 20 жовтня у 1920 році, а найпізніше – 29 грудня у 2015 році», – зазначили спеціалісти.

    Державна служба України з надзвичайних ситуацій 13 листопада попередила, що синоптики з 14 листопада прогнозують утворення снігового покриву до шести сантиметрів у центральній частині України, зокрема, на Київщині та в столиці.

    Сніг у Києві розпочався близько 9:00 14 листопада.

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    14/11/2018

  • May’s Brexit ‘Moment of Truth’

    Britain’s Theresa May scrambled Wednesday to sell to her Cabinet a draft Brexit divorce agreement British negotiators concluded after months of wrangling with their European Union counterparts.

    But the 500-page draft remains a source of deep dispute within Britain’s ruling Conservative party and also in the country’s parliament, which will have the final say on whether to approve it.

    As news emerged Tuesday that a text had been agreed, hardline Brexiteers lined up to attack the proposed agreement with former British foreign minister Boris Johnson, who resigned earlier this year, urging other ministers to join him in opposing the terms of the deal. Britain’s main opposition parties also announced their disapproval of the deal, which has not even been published yet. 

    The agreement, if approved by the Cabinet and subsequently the British parliament, would see Britain remaining in a customs union for several years with the EU after it formally exits the bloc in March, but with an unclear legal path to quitting the customs arrangement while a fuller trade deal is negotiating.

    Remaining in a customs union allows Britain and the EU to avoid introducing customs checks along the border separating Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and would also allow “frictionless trade” between Britain and its erstwhile partners in the EU.

    Tough sell

    But critics say it would reduce Britain to the status of a “vassal state” by requiring it to accept EU rules and regulations without having any say about them. It would also block Britain from signing trade deals with other countries while a trade agreement is concluded with the EU, which itself could take three or four years or even longer. Reaching trade deals independently with non-EU countries was a key selling point of Brexit for many who voted nearly two years ago in a referendum to relinquish EU membership.

    “This is just about as bad as it could possibly be,” Johnson fumed Tuesday to reporters in the corridors of the British House of Commons. Other Brexiteers joined him to denounce the proposed deal, one they are determined to sabotage and which runs, they say, contrary to the Conservative Party manifesto they fought an election on a year.

    “For the first time in a thousand years this place, this parliament will not have a say over the laws which govern this country. It is quite an incredible state of affairs,” Johnson added.

    “She hasn’t so much struck a deal as surrendered to Brussels… the UK will be a slave state,” said Conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg.

    Conservatives’ future at stake

    The stakes couldn’t be higher for Theresa May. The draft agreement, May’s fate as Prime Minister and the longevity of the Conservative government are all hanging in the balance. The consequences of the process to get the draft agreement approved are difficult to guess and could end up sinking May, the Conservative government and even Brexit itself. “I don’t think anyone knows, to be truthful,” said Labour lawmaker Chuka Umunna.

    May’s minority government relies on the votes in the House of Commons on a handful of lawmakers from a quirky Protestant-based Unionist party, which is also opposed to the draft deal.

    Without the backing of the Democratic Unionist Party, and faced with an inevitable revolt by dozen of Conservative lawmakers, May will need to persuade opposition lawmakers to break with their party leaderships by arguing her deal is the best Britain can get.

    Second vote?

    But an increasing number of opposition lawmakers are jumping on the bandwagon of the People’s Vote movement, which is calling for a second Brexit referendum. Recent opinion polls suggest a majority of voters now, especially in traditional Labour heartlands, many of which voted in June 2016 for Brexit, now want Britain to retain EU membership, fearing the economic fallout from departure.

    But even before seeking next month parliamentary backing for the draft customs union deal, May has to persuade her cabinet to back her — and that is not even a sure thing. On Tuesday — ahead of a full cabinet meeting called for Wednesday afternoon — May took a leaf out of the playbook of her Conservative predecessor Margaret Thatcher, who in 1990 called in ministers one by one to place them on the spot and demand their support. However, the tactic backfired on Thatcher and she was forced to resign. 

    Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith predicts May’s days will be numbered if she fails to reverse course and decides not to pursue a cleaner break from the EU. “If the cabinet agrees it, the party certainly won’t,” he said. Conservative lawmakers who want Britain to remain in the EU are also publicly opposing the draft agreement, placing May in a tight political vice.

    Leave-supporting ministers were coming under intense pressure from hardline Brexiteers in the hours leading up to the cabinet meeting to reject the deal. They pointed to a leaked EU document outlining a strategy to force Britain to accept an almost permanent alignment with its rules and regulations governing state aid, environmental protection and workers’ rights.

    In a note to EU ambassadors, Sabine Weyand, a deputy EU negotiator, said the customs union will form the basis for Britain’s future trade deal with the bloc. “They must align their rules but the EU will retain all the controls. UK wants a lot more from the future relationship, so EU retains leverage,” she wrote. 

     

     

     

     

     

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    14/11/2018

  • МОЗ: майже 1,3 мільйона людей в Україні мають діабет

    Майже 1,3 мільйона українців мають діабет, повідомляє Міністерство охорони здоров’я 14 листопада, у Світовий день боротьби з діабетом.

    «Ці показники щороку зростають. Більшість цих випадків – діабет ІІ типу», – пише МОЗ.

    За даними медиків, у 80% випадків діабету ІІ-го типу можна запобігти, якщо вести здоровий спосіб життя.

    Ще 196 тисяч українців мають діабет І типу, що потребує щоденної інсулінотерапії. Як повідомляє Мінохорони здоров’я, нині усі пацієнти отримують потрібний їм інсулін безкоштовно або з невеликою доплатою – у аптеці за рецептом лікаря. Дві третини відшкодування вартості інсулінів відбувається коштом державного бюджету, решта — має дофінансовуватись з місцевого.

    Сьогодні стартувала річна кампанія діабетичної просвіти під назвою «Діабет стосується кожної сім’ї».

    14 листопада у світі відзначають День боротьби з цукровим діабетом. Понад 425 мільйонів людей у світі мають такий діагноз.

    Діабет – це хронічне захворювання, при якому підшлункова залоза не виробляє достатньої кількості інсуліну (діабет І типу) або ж організм не може ефективно використовувати вироблений інсулін (діабет ІІ типу). Інсулін – це гормон, який регулює рівень цукру (глюкози) у крові.

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    14/11/2018

  • Inside the FedEx Hub: How Packages Arrive at Your Door

    Several hundred private cargo planes in the United States deliver millions of packages per year. The FedEx superhub in Memphis Tennessee works around the clock to get parcels delivered to customers and hopefully – on time. VOA’s Lesia Bakalets traveled to Memphis to learn what part of day is the busiest for the FedEx team and how quickly they can load a plane.

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    14/11/2018

  • Stung by Election Losses, House GOP Weighs Leadership Choice

    Frustration, finger-pointing and questions spilled over a closed-door meeting of House Republicans Tuesday night as lawmakers sorted through an election defeat that cost them the majority and began considering new leadership for their shrunken minority.

    Republicans complained about the unpopularity of the GOP tax law they blamed for losses in New York and other key states, some attendees told reporters after the meeting. Some in the meeting said Republicans should have tried harder to fulfill President Donald Trump’s priorities, like funding for the border wall with Mexico. They also warned that they need a new fundraising mechanism to compete with the small-dollar online donors that powered Democrats to victory.

    “There’s a little rawness still,” Rep. Mark Walker, R-S.C., who is running unopposed for a down-ballot position as vice chair of the GOP conference, told reporters outside the meeting room. “But there’s an opportunity for us to come together and get single-focused on the message.”

    With the speaker’s gavel now out of reach, GOP Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Trump ally, is poised to take over as minority leader. But the Californian has struggled in the past to build support from conservatives. He faces a longshot challenge from Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus who has support from outside conservative groups and got a second-look during a nearly two-hour candidate forum Tuesday.

    Trump has stayed largely on the sidelines ahead of closed-door elections Wednesday that will determine party leadership not only for House Republicans, but also for Senate Democrats and Republicans, and set the tone for the new Congress. Voting for the biggest race, Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s bid to return as the Democrats’ nominee for speaker, is later this month.

    Jordan told reporters that he made a pitch to his colleagues at a sometimes-tense session in the Capitol basement based on three questions: “Why’d we lose, how do we get it back and what we’re up against.”

    The former college wrestling champ said he told Republicans they need a fighter to confront Pelosi and her new majority.

    “I think we’re entering a world we haven’t really seen,” he said, rattling off the names of the Democratic chairmen who are poised to investigate Trump. “It’s going to take an attitude and an intensity about standing up for the truth and fighting.”

    Most GOP lawmakers, though, prefer McCarthy’s more affable approach, and he remained favored to win Wednesday. Accompanied by his wife, McCarthy entered the meeting room, telling reporters, “We’ve got a plan.”

    GOP Whip Steve Scalise, the Louisiana Republican who was gravely wounded in last year’s congressional baseball practice shooting and is running unopposed for another term in leadership, said McCarthy “knows what he needs to do” to win over his colleagues – and win back the majority – and is well-positioned to do both.

    “You always look in the mirror and see what you can do better,” Scalise said as he entered the room. Republicans, he said, “need to do a better job of letting people know what we stand for.”

    Rounding out the GOP leadership team will be Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who wants to bring a more aggressive stance to the GOP’s communications and messaging strategy in the No. 3 spot.

    In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to win another term, but the most interesting race is for the No. 5 spot, where Republicans are poised to elect their first woman to leadership in almost a decade, as they try to smooth the optics of a GOP side that’s dominated by men.

    Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer has made a bid for that spot “to help bring our party’s big tent together.” She faces GOP Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa.

    The rest of the GOP line-up is expected to shuffle slightly. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the GOP whip, is being forced out by term limits. That allows Sen. John Thune of South Dakota to move up to the No. 2 spot. Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri take over the third- and fourth-ranking spots.

    Senate Democrats are keeping their team headed by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, even though one of the two new Democratic senators-elect, Krysten Sinema of Arizona, has said she wouldn’t vote for him.

    Newly elected Republicans will cast their first votes during closed-door meetings Wednesday even before they’re sworn into office as part of the new Congress in January.

    Dan Meuser, a new Republican from Pennsylvania, said he’s talked with both McCarthy and Jordan in recent days about their plans for the new minority and has been giving his vote “a lot of thought.”

    “I would say I have not made a decision yet,” said Meuser at freshman orientation. He said he’s “gotten close with Kevin McCarthy. I think very highly of him. I think he’s a very good conservative, he’s showed a lot of leadership. He’s certainly earned the position. On the same note, I think Jim Jordan’s a smart, tough, focused individual. So I respect him as well. So, yeah, we’ll see.”

    And some just want to avoid more infighting as Republicans return to the minority for the first time in eight years.

    “Whoever loses needs to get behind whoever wins,” said Rep. Steve Palazzo, R-Miss.

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    14/11/2018

  • Fuel Shortages the New Normal in Venezuela as Oil Industry Unravels

    With chronic shortages of basic goods afflicting her native Venezuela, Veronica Perez used to drive from supermarket to supermarket in her grey Chevrolet Aveo searching for food.

    But the 54-year-old engineer has abandoned the practice because of shortages of something that should be abundant in a country with the world’s largest oil reserves: gasoline.

    “I only do what is absolutely necessary, nothing else,” said Perez, who lives in the industrial city of Valencia. She said she had stopped going to Venezuela’s Caribbean coast, just 20 miles (32 km) away.

    Snaking, hours-long lines and gas station closures have long afflicted Venezuela’s border regions. Fuel smuggling to neighboring countries is common, the result of generous subsidies from state-run oil company PDVSA that allow Venezuelans to fill their tank 20,000 times for the price of one kilo (2.2 pounds) of cheese.

    But in late October and early November, cities in the populous central region of the country like Valencia and the capital Caracas were hit by a rare wave of shortages, due to plunging crude production and a dramatic drop in refineries’ fuel output as the socialist-run economy suffers its fifth year of recession.

    Venezuela produced more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude last year but by September output had fallen to just 1.4 million bpd. So far in 2018, Venezuela produced an average of 1.53 million bpd, the lowest in nearly seven decades, according to figures reported to OPEC.

    Bottlenecks for transporting fuel from refineries, distribution centers and ports to gas stations have also worsened, exacerbating the shortages.

    PDVSA did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did Venezuela’s oil and communications ministries.

    Relatively normal supply has since been restored in Caracas and Valencia after unusually long outages but the episode has forced Venezuelans to alter their daily habits.

    That could hit an economy seen shrinking by double digits in 2018. For Venezuelans coping with a lack of food and medicine, blackouts and hyperinflation, the gasoline shortages could also increase frustration with already-unpopular President Nicolas Maduro.

    “My new headache is fearing I might run out of gasoline,” said Elena Bustamante, a 34-year-old English teacher in Valencia. “It has changed my life enormously.”

    Production Shortfall

    Venezuela’s economy has shrunk by more than half since Maduro took office in 2013. The contraction has been driven by a collapse in the price of crude and falling oil sales, which account for more than 90 percent of Venezuelan exports.

    Three million Venezuelans have emigrated – or around one-tenth of the population – mostly in the past three years, according to the United Nations.

    Despite a sharp drop in domestic demand due to the recession, Venezuela’s collapsing oil industry is struggling to produce enough gasoline.

    Fuel demand was expected to fall to 325,000 bpd in October, half the volume of a decade ago, but PDVSA expected to be able to supply only 270,000 bpd, according to a company planning document seen by Reuters.

    A gasoline price hike – promised by Maduro in August under a reform package – could further reduce demand but it has yet to take effect.

    Venezuela’s declining oil production has its roots in years of underinvestment. U.S. sanctions have complicated financing.

    The refining sector, designed to produce 1.3 million bpd of fuel, is severely hobbled. It is operating at just one-third of capacity, according to experts and union sources.

    Its largest refinery, Amuay, is delivering just 70,000 bpd of gasoline despite having the capacity to produce 645,000 bpd of fuel, according to union leader Ivan Freites and another person close to PDVSA who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    PDVSA has tried to make up for this by boosting fuel imports, buying about half of the gasoline the country needs, according to internal company figures.

    In the first eight months of 2018, Venezuela imported an average of 125,000 bpd from the United States, up 76 percent from the same period a year earlier, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show.

    But delays in unloading fuel cargoes have contributed to shortages, since Venezuelan oil ports are more oriented toward exports than imports, according to traders, shippers, PDVSA sources and Refinitiv Eikon data.

    One tanker bringing imported gasoline mixed with ethanol was contaminated with high levels of water, forcing PDVSA to withdraw the product from distribution centers, a company source said, directly contributing to the shortages in Caracas.

    The incident was the result of PDVSA seeking fuel from “unreliable suppliers,” in part because the U.S. sanctions have left many companies unwilling to do business with Venezuela, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    The shortages last week prevented Andres Merida, a 29-year-old freelance publicist in Valencia, from attending client meetings.

    “I had someone who used to take me from place to place but in light of the gasoline issue he would not give me a lift even when I offered to pay him,” he said. “He said he would prefer to save the gasoline and guarantee it for himself.”

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    14/11/2018

  • US Senator Graham Says Supports Mueller Bill, Urges Vote

    Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said on Tuesday he supported a bill that would protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from any politically motivated firings and would urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on it.

    “I would certainly vote for it,” Graham told reporters of the bill, which he supported when it passed the Senate Judiciary in April.

    “I don’t see any movement to get rid of Mueller. But it probably would be good to have this legislation in place just for the future,” he said.

    McConnell told reporters in Kentucky last week he did not think legislation was necessary because he did not think Mueller was in danger.

    Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said he also supported the bill but would not lobby McConnell to allow the measure to move forward.

    “Every bill that comes out of my committee, I’d like to see a vote. But whether it comes up will be up to the leader and I’m not going to lobby the leader,” Grassley told reporters on Tuesday. “If it comes up, I’ll vote on it. And I think it ought to pass.”

    Trump last week forced out Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general in charge of overseeing Mueller and his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign.

    Whitaker has described Mueller’s probe as being too wide-ranging. Trump denies that he or his associates colluded with Russia, and Moscow says it did not interfere in the election.

    Graham, who said last year that there would be “holy hell to pay” if Sessions was fired, predicted that Trump would move to oust Sessions after the midterms and appoint someone with whom he had a better relationship.

    Democrats and some Republicans worry Trump’s firing of Sessions means he is maneuvering to fire or significantly restrain the special counsel.

    Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who is retiring, and Democratic Senator Chris Coons have pledged to seek a floor vote on a bill to shield Mueller as soon as Congress resumed this week after a recess for the Nov. 6 elections.

    The Justice Department said on Monday night that Whitaker would consult with ethics officials about any matters that could require him to recuse himself.

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    14/11/2018

  • Trumps to Skip Kennedy Center Honors for 2nd Straight Year

    For the second straight year, President Donald Trump will not be attending the Kennedy Center Honors celebrating cultural achievement.

     

    Neither Trump nor first lady Melania Trump will be at the Dec. 2 event, Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s director of communications, said Tuesday.

     

    Grisham also told The Associated Press it was “not likely” any new winners of the National Medal of Arts, National Humanities Medal or National Medal of Science would be announced before the end of the year. She said the remaining weeks of 2018 are “the busiest time of the year for the East Wing.”

     

    Tuesday’s announcements continue the Trump administration’s unprecedented distance from the arts and science communities. No arts or humanities medals have been announced or handed out since September 2016, when Barack Obama was president — the longest gap by months since the awards were established in the mid-1980s. No science medals have been given since May 2016.

    A former head of the National Endowment for the Arts, which oversees the nominating process for the arts medal, said he was dismayed.

     

    “The current administration’s disregard for culture and scholarship, as well as presidential tradition, is an embarrassment,” Dana Gioia, chairman of the NEA from 2003 to 2009, told the AP.

    Other presidents, including Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, have missed Kennedy Center ceremonies. Trump is the first to miss them twice.

     

    Grisham cited scheduling conflicts: Trump is scheduled to attend the G20 summit in Argentina at the end of the month. Had he come to the Kennedy Center, it’s unlikely he would have been warmly welcomed by at least some of the honorees, who include Cher and “Hamilton” playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, both sharp critics.

     

    Last year, honoree Norman Lear said he would boycott the event if Trump was there. The White House then announced the president and first lady would not be going “to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.”

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    14/11/2018

  • Amazon Splits 2nd HQ Between NYC, DC Suburb

    Amazon says it will split its long-awaited second headquarters between New York City and and Crystal City, part of Arlington, Virginia, as well as open a new facility in Nashville, Tennessee.

    “These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come,” CEO and founder Jeff Bezos said Tuesday in an official press release.

    The new headquarters will split the 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in local investments Amazon promised while taking bids from cities across the country, while adding 5,000 more for its new “Operations Center of Excellence” in Nashville.  In return, Amazon will receive incentives of about $1.5 billion from New York City and $573 million from Arlington.

    The announcement marks the end of a year-long search for Amazon’s “H2,” as it came to be known.  The online retail giant narrowed a list of 238 initial applicants to 20 finalists, including Boston, Chicago and Miami.  

    The process drew outrageous publicity stunts from local officials trying to attract attention to their bids and and cushy offers of heavy tax breaks and rebuilt infrastructure to accommodate the Seattle-based company.

    Hiring will begin next year.  Amazon has said jobs in both cities will have average annual salaries of $150,000.  The new headquarters are expected to bring high-paying jobs and tax revenue, but critics anticipate local property values soaring into unaffordability and congested local infrastructure.

     

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    13/11/2018

  • Incoming House Members Prep for Dos and Don’ts on The Hill

    Don’t hire someone you can’t fire, like the son of a campaign donor or the child of the mayor. No matter what you may have said during the campaign about changing Congress, hire enough Hill veterans to make the office run smoothly. And make sure the person answering the phone sounds like folks from back home.

    That’s only some of the advice headed for the historic class of House freshmen of both major political parties streaming into Washington this week for orientation on the nuts and bolts underpinning a job like none other.

    Under tight security, new members and their staffs pulled up in front of a hotel near the Capitol on Tuesday. A bank of cameras and a table marked “luggage drop-off” awaited their arrivals in the morning chill.

    “I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on,” said Rep.-elect Tim Burchett, Republican-Tennessee, a former member of the state legislature. “I figure that we’re the small fish in a very big pond right now.”

    They are a younger generation of lawmakers — including a record number of women — arriving flush with victory and optimism. The Democrats are ready to take on President Donald Trump in the biggest and most diverse class of new lawmakers since Watergate.

    “I hope that we are ushering in a new era,” one of the class stars, Massachusetts Rep.-elect Ayanna Pressley, said Monday.

    They are psyched — if not exactly unified. Even among the new Democrats, there’s an uncomfortable vote looming on whether Rep. Nancy Pelosi, former speaker of the House, should lead them. Rep.-elect Mikie Sherrill, Democrat-New Jersey, on Monday became the latest House Democrat newcomer to say she won’t vote for Pelosi because she wants “new leadership.” Pelosi has said she expects to become speaker again.

    Pressley and several of her classmates made their Washington debut on Monday in a packed news conference whose setting suggested as much about the new majority’s intentions as the agenda they described. Gathered in the atrium of the AFL-CIO down the street from the White House, they appeared as the newest members of the ascendant House Progressive Caucus, dedicated to universal health care and new climate policy. The incoming majority, including a gain of at least 32 seats, will be fighting a Republican-led

    Senate and a president with a history of tweeting trouble for people who displease him.

    And the newly elected Republicans are on the same side as Trump, at least in theory.

    But for both parties of newcomers, those big questions are for later. The first votes on Pelosi, for example, won’t unfold until after Thanksgiving. And the new Congress, the 116th session, doesn’t convene until Jan. 3.

    Now, for many newcomers, it’s a scramble to stand up offices in the warren of Capitol Hill and back home in House districts that each represent more than 700,000 people. Every office has a budget. And every freshman who doesn’t already have a home in pricey Washington will have to figure out how to rent an apartment, or maybe just keep a rollaway bed in the office, on a $174,000 salary.

    “We focus on getting them to appreciate that there are certain activities that they have to do in the next 90 days,” said Bradford Fitch, president and CEO of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Congressional Management Foundation, which is among those briefing new members.

    The new crop of lawmakers includes a lot of firsts.

    For the first time, two Native American women are headed to the House, in addition to two Muslim congresswomen-elect. Massachusetts and Connecticut also will send black women to Congress as firsts for their states.

    But not every freshman is new to Washington.

    Rep.-elect Donna Shalala of Florida was health and human services secretary to president Bill Clinton.

    Former NFL linebacker Colin Allred of Texas is a civil rights lawyer who worked in president Barack Obama’s housing department. Andy Kim, a New Jersey Democrat, is an Obama administration alumnus who served as a civilian adviser in Iraq.

    Whatever their background, every newly elected member is heading for a job as one of 435 colleagues in Washington juggling what can sometimes be a seven-day-a-week job of votes, constituent requests and committee meetings. All the while, those who intend to return are already thinking about — and soon will be fundraising for — their 2020 re-election campaigns.

    But first things first, Fitch said. At the progressive caucus briefing for new members on Monday, he handed out a 300-page book, “Setting Course: A Congressional Management Guide,” updated for the incoming Congress. It sets out everything from hiring a core staff in November and December to the culture of Congress.

    Chapter One talks about Dos and Don’ts of these first days. Do learn to delegate, for example. Don’t “skip the House/Senate orientations and party organizational activities.”

    And don’t “try to do everything.”

    During this period, “they don’t have to come up with a solution to the Middle East crisis,” Fitch said.

     

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    13/11/2018

  • Trump Assails France, Macron in Salvo of Tweets

    U.S. President Donald Trump launched verbal assaults Tuesday on France and President Emmanuel Macron, citing his low voter approval ratings and attacking French tariffs on U.S. wine exports and failure to meet NATO’s defense spending goal.

    “Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia,” Trump said first in a salvo of Twitter comments. “But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!” 

    Trump has frequently attacked U.S. allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the West’s main defense alliance forged after World War II, for not yet meeting its 2024 goal of each country spending 2 percent of their national economies on defense, chiefly weapons and armed forces.

    Eight of the 29 NATO countries are now meeting the 2 percent goal. French defense spending is at 1.82 percent of its gross domestic product, but Paris has announced plans to gradually boost military funding to reach the NATO goal by 2025. By comparison, U.S. defense spending is at 3.1 percent of its world-leading $19.4-trillion economy.

    Trump has declared himself a “nationalist,” with an America First outlook on international relations. But Macron, with Trump listening nearby at Sunday’s centenary of the end of World War I in Paris, deplored rising nationalism throughout the world, declaring it a “betrayal of patriotism.”

    Trump retorted Tuesday, “The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of almost 10%. He was just trying to get onto another subject. By the way, there is no country more Nationalist than France, very proud people-and rightfully so! MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!”

    Trump, whose family business empire includes a Virginia vineyard that sells a variety of wines, also complained about French tariffs on U.S. wine exports.

    France does charge higher tariffs on U.S. wines, but the monetary difference is relatively small, with five- to 14-cent tariffs on bottles of French wine imported into the U.S. versus 11 to 29 cents on U.S. exported wines headed to France.

    Social media critics of Trump in the U.S. have mocked him for skipping a Saturday visit to a U.S. cemetery of World War I casualties because it was raining. Other world leaders in Paris visited their national cemeteries the same day and Trump White House chief of staff John Kelly, accompanied by other U.S. officials, made it to the American graveyard to lay a wreath honoring the war dead.

    By way of explanation, Trump tweeted, “By the way, when the helicopter couldn’t fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility, I suggested driving. Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown. Speech next day at American Cemetary in pouring rain! Little reported-Fake News!”

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    13/11/2018

  • Why Wait? Democrats Openly Flirt With 2020 White House Bids

    In the days after the midterm election, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker worked the phones with Democratic luminaries in Iowa. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock courted high-dollar donors in New York. Other Democrats openly mused about their White House ambitions on live television.

    Motivated by an urgency to unseat President Donald Trump and the prospect of a historically large primary field, Democrats see little incentive to delay or downplay their 2020 presidential hopes. Their more transparent approach is upending one of Washington’s favorite “will they or won’t they” parlor games and pushed the campaign calendar up earlier than ever before.  

    “No one is waiting for anyone in the race to run for president,” said Jim Messina, who managed President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign. “Those days are long, long over.”

    Running for president used to involve a familiar routine, with potential candidates spending months publicly demurring about their ambitions and professing to be content in their current roles. Advisers labored to keep meetings with donors and potential staff under wraps ahead of formal, carefully choreographed campaign announcements.

    This time around, many Democrats believe it would be too risky to wait much longer before making their intentions known, particularly those with lower national profiles who could quickly be overshadowed by a field that could have more than two dozen candidates.

    There are practicalities to consider, given the limited supply of money and top-flight staff available to run a campaign. But another driving factor is more visceral: Democrats are simply eager to take on the president.

    “This is starting very fast,” said former Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky. She said that given the imperative to beat Trump, “it kind of needs to.”

    Two long-shot Democrats have already declared their candidacy.  

    West Virginia state Sen. Richard Ojeda, a retired Army paratrooper who lost a race for Congress last week, announced his plans to run for president on Monday. Ojeda joins Maryland Rep. John Delaney, who has been running for the Democratic nomination since July 2017, and has already traveled to Iowa 19 times and made 12 trips to New Hampshire.

    Delaney said he believes that his early start will help put him at an advantage ahead of would-be rivals.

    “We not only know what the talent is, but they know us and they know about our message,” said Delaney, whose campaign currently has about 10 staffers in Iowa. He expects that number to grow to at least 20 by January and 100 by June.

    Higher-profile Democrats have also started to lift the veil on their White House hopes.

    On Monday, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, said he was “seriously looking at” a presidential campaign, saying in an interview that his election to a third term shows “a strong progressive can win.” He called his Senate campaign “a blueprint for our nation in 2020.”

    Restoring ‘moral decency’

    New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was also up front about her White House ambitions, telling ABC’s “The View” Monday that she was indeed considering a campaign.

    “I believe right now every one of us should figure out how we can do whatever we can with our time, with our talents, to restore that moral decency, that moral compass and that truth of who we are as Americans,” Gillibrand said.

    Unlike in 2016, when Hillary Clinton’s shadow loomed large over the party, Democrats enter the 2020 campaign without a clear favorite. Former vice president Joe Biden occupies the most similar role, with broad name recognition and a deep political network.

    But Biden associates say he is still conflicted about whether to run, and he has pointedly said other would-be 2020 candidates should not defer to his plans. Biden is expected to make a decision by January.

    Booker has been among the most aggressive in courting supporters in early-voting states. After the midterms, he called each member of the Iowa Democratic statewide ticket, for whom the New Jersey senator campaigned ahead of the midterm, the day after the election.

    Booker was in touch with former Gov. Tom Vilsack, a veteran Democrat in the early-voting state, as well as candidates and operatives in other early-voting states he visited this fall.

    California Sen. Kamala Harris, who would be considered an early favorite in the White House race, also called candidates she campaigned for in early-voting presidential states, including Deidre DeJear, who was Iowa’s first African-American woman nominated for statewide office but lost in her bid for secretary of state.

    Montana’s Bullock, who has made several stops in Iowa this year, traveled to New York after Election Day to meet with potential donors. Though Bullock has a lower profile than many possible Democratic contenders, he has an experienced team of political advisers, including chief of staff Tom Lopach — the former executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee — and Nick Baldick, a veteran Democratic strategist.

    Bullock also sent a staffer to Iowa to work for Tim Gannon, who lost his race for state agriculture secretary last week, a move aimed at giving Bullock an early foothold in the crucial caucus state.

    And while the midterms showed that Trump remains a powerful force in the GOP, at least two Republicans are considering taking Trump on: retiring Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and outgoing Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

    Kasich will be in New Hampshire on Thursday for a speech at a First Amendment event. Ahead of his remarks, Kasich will have private meetings with several prominent New Hampshire Republicans, including state and county GOP chairs.

     

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    13/11/2018

  • У Києві встановлять 3D-моделі історичних пам’яток для людей із вадами зору

    2019 року з’явиться 3D-модель Софійського собору на п’єдесталі з білого мармуру і табличками з текстом Брайля й описом об’єкту

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    13/11/2018

  • Тренери збірної України назвали склад на перший етап Кубка світу з біатлону

    Тренерські штаби чоловічої та жіночої команд України назвали склади для участі в першому етапі Кубка світу, який із 2 до 9 грудня прийме словенська Поклюка. Про це 13 листопада повідомляє телеканал XSport.

    Жіноча команда складатиметься з олімпійських чемпіонок Юлії Джими, Віти Семеренко, Валентини Семеренко, Олени Підгрушної, до яких приєдналися Анастасія Меркушина та Юлія Журавок.

    Серед чоловіків змагатимуться Дмитро Підручний, Артем Прима, Сергій Семенов, Артем Тищенко, Віталій Кільчицький.

    Програма етапу в Поклюці, який відкриває сезон, є ширшою, ніж зазвичай на етапах кубка світу. У ній є одразу п’ять видів гонок: одиночна і класична змішані естафети, індивідуальні гонки, спринти і гонки переслідування. Саме тому тренери обох команд вирішили включити в склад на одну людину більше, ніж це передбачає квота збірної на деякі види гонок. У цьому сезоні в гонці з роздільним стартом збірна України має право виставляти чотирьох чоловіків і п’ять жінок.

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    13/11/2018