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  • Chairman of India’s Ailing Jet Airways Resigns

    The chairman of India’s private Jet Airways has quit amid mounting financial woes which have forced it to suspend 14 international routes and ground more than 80 planes.

    A statement by the airline says its board on Monday accepted the resignations of Chairman Naresh Goyal, his wife and a nominee of Gulf carrier Etihad Airways from the board. It said Goyal will also cease to be chairman.

    Goyal has been trying to obtain new funding from Etihad Airways, which holds a 24 percent stake in the airline, which was founded 27 years ago.

    The statement said the airline will receive 15 billion rupees ($217 million) in immediate funding under a recovery plan formulated by its creditors.

     

     

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    25/03/2019

  • Nike fined $14 Million for Blocking Cross-border Sales of Soccer Merchandise

    U.S. sportswear maker Nike was hit with a 12.5 million euro ($14.14 million) fine on Monday for blocking cross-border sales of soccer merchandise of some of Europe’s best-known clubs, the latest EU sanction against such restrictions.

    The European Commission said Nike’s illegal practices occurred between 2004 to 2017 and related to licensed merchandise for FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus, Inter Milan, AS Roma and the French Football Federation.

    The European Union case focused on Nike’s role as a licensor for making and distributing licensed merchandise featuring a soccer club’s brands and not its own trademarks.

    The sanction came after a two-year investigation triggered by a sector inquiry into e-commerce in the 28-country bloc. The EU wants to boost online trade and economic growth.

    European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Nike’s actions deprived soccer fans in other countries of the opportunity to buy their clubs’ merchandise such as mugs, bags, bed sheets, stationery and toys.

    “Nike prevented many of its licensees from selling these branded products in a different country leading to less choice and higher prices for consumers,” she said in a statement.

    Nike’s practices included clauses in contracts prohibiting out-of-territory sales by licensees and threats to end agreements if licensees ignored the clauses. Its fine was cut by 40 percent after it cooperated with the EU enforcer.

    ($1 = 0.8839 euros)

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    25/03/2019

  • У ніч перед виборами Україна перейде на літній час

    У ніч на 31 березня Україна перейде на літній час. О 3:00 за київським часом стрілки годинників переведуть на одну годину вперед.

    Переведення годинників регламентується постановою Кабінету міністрів від 1996 року.

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

    12 вересня Європейська комісія запропонувала країнам Європейського союзу назавжди відмовитися від сезонної зміни літнього і зимового часу з 2019 року; на початку березня 2019-го в Європарламенті запропонували перенести цей термін на 2021 рік.

    Згідно з пропозиціями, сезонне переведення годинників мало б бути скасоване у всьому Євросоюзі. Проте країнам-членам надається свобода вибору, за яким часом вони хочуть жити – поясним чи літнім.

    У 2011 році Верховна Рада України намагалася скасувати переведення годинників на зимовий час, щоб повторити схожий крок Росії, але ця постанова була скасована.

    В Україні літній час уперше формально з’явився 1916 року – його запровадила Австро-Угорщина, до якої входила західна частина України. 1917 року його запровадив і Тимчасовий уряд Російської республіки, до якої тоді належала інша, більша частина України.

    Після низки радянських експериментів із часом літній час стали знову регулярно застосовувати в Україні як на той час частині СРСР із 1981 року.

    На початку 1990-х років Україна експериментувала з відмовою від сезонного переходу на літній час, але потім відновила його 1992 року «з урахуванням порядку обчислення часу, що діє в країнах Європи», і «згідно з рекомендаціями Європейської економічної комісії ООН».

    Уперше перехід на літній час здійснили в кількох європейських країнах у 1916 році. Ідея полягає у кращому використанні світлого часу дня, а відтак в економії – в часи Першої світової війни йшлося про заощадження вугілля, в пізніші часи про електроенергію. Водночас такої економії практично немає в місцевостях, розташованих ближче до екватора, та у приполярних регіонах, де сезонний час не має економічного сенсу.

    Практика щорічного переходу на літній час і повернення на поясний застосовується зараз приблизно в 60 країнах, на всій їхній площі чи частково. При цьому близько 140 країн або ніколи не користувалися сезонним часом, або відмовилися від такої практики.

    31 березня в Україні відбудуться вибори президента.

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    25/03/2019

  • How Will Foreign Investment Change Vietnam’s Economy?

    Vietnam’s cheap workers might not be the country’s stars for much longer: low wages helped to propel the communist nation to some of the fastest growth rates in the world, but analysts say it needs a new economic model now.

    After a slow recovery from the Vietnam War, the Southeast Asian country saw gross domestic product rise year after year from the 1990s on. That was built on the back of low-cost labor and factory-driven exports, as well as companies’ increasing tie-ins to foreign investment.

    Vietnam is currently at a turning point, looking back at simple exports like rice and Reeboks that helped it develop, and looking forward to a more advanced economy along the lines of Taiwan or South Korea. Locals do not want “Made in Vietnam” to signal low quality. They also want to integrate into global trade, without the backlash against globalization seen among populist voters from Europe to the United States.

    “What has been working in the past 30 years may not necessarily work in the future,” said Ousmane Dione, the World Bank director in Vietnam. “The impacts of initial institutional and structural reforms seem to have reached their limit.”

    He was referring to the Doi Moi reforms that began three decades ago, when Vietnam started to introduce more and more traits of a market economy into its system, like private ownership of firms and houses. Hanoi is conducting a review of how well Doi Moi turned out, and how to chart an economic path for the next three decades.

    Advisers have put forward ideas of how the new economy could look in Vietnam, among which are three common themes: the internet and other high-tech sectors will dominate; businesses will move into services and other value-added industries rather than physical goods; and employees will constantly update their skills through life-long learning.

    For example, Vietnamese factory hands are accustomed to assembling phones and cars, but could they one day move up the value chain, such as by providing tech support to people who buy these products?

    On the technology side, Vietnam could do more to collaborate with the rest of Southeast Asia, according to Pham Hong Hai, CEO of HSBC Vietnam. That may range from ensuring electronic payments go off without a hitch across borders, to cooperating on a response to cyber threats, he said.

    “Businesses are crying out for tangible developments that will smoothen intra-regional trade,” Hai said. Vietnam “should continue the momentum to further integrate into the region and gain most benefits from globalization.”

    Left Behind?

    The other vital theme has to do with the workforce, making sure its productivity and skill levels improve. Millions of Vietnamese now rely on entry-level jobs to make a living, whether it’s gluing together wallets at a factory, or picking coffee cherries on a farm.

    That was the work that used to attract foreign investors to the country in droves, but not all of those jobs will last. So groups from government agencies to charities are enacting education and training programs to equip locals with skills for the future.

    This is meant not just to increase job security, but also to prevent Vietnamese from feeling left behind or bitter if jobs get off-shored to cheaper countries. Vietnam hopes to avoid the populist resentment of other parts of the world, as well as the trade protectionism that has created.

    To that end Vietnam is turning to partners like Australia, which has supported projects that allow the fruits of economic success to be spread more widely.

    Vietnam set out on a new “chapter that embraces innovation, promotes bold reform, and helps Vietnam achieve its ambitious development goals,” said Craig Chittick, the Australian ambassador in the country of 100 million people.

    His government has backed programs in Vietnam like the KOTO center, which teaches hospitality skills to street children, as well as a contest to invent technologies useful to rural women and a forum to promote impact investing. The idea is that not all groups have benefited from past economic growth, but there is still a chance to change that in the new Vietnam.

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    25/03/2019

  • Українським полярникам вручили копію томосу, яку зберігатимуть на станції «Академік Вернадський»

    Українські полярники виявили бажання створити осередок ПЦУ в Антаркдиді – Євген Дикий

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    25/03/2019

  • Проекту Радіо Свобода Крим.Реалії п’ять років

    Крим.Реалії – кримський проект української служби Радіо Свобода, що стартував у березні 2014 року, в перші дні окупації й анексії Росією Кримського півострова, відзначає 5-річчя.

    Перший російськомовний сайт Крым.Реалии побачив світ 25 березня 2014 року, а україномовний Крим.Реалії і сайт кримськотатарською мовою Qırım.Aqiqat – на початку квітня того ж року.

    За п’ять років сайти кримського проекту відвідали понад 115 мільйонів читачів, з яких, ймовірно, близько чверті – кримчани. Також читачі переглянули понад 200 мільйонів сторінок. Ютуб-канал «Крим.Реалії», створений у листопаді 2014 року, зараз має майже 65 тисяч передплатників, 58 мільйонів переглядів відео і майже 250 мільйонів хвилин переглянутого відео.

    Починаючи з червня 2014 року, кримська команда готує дві щотижневі телевізійні програми з унікальним кримським контентом – «Крим.Реалії» для загальнонаціональних та регіональних телеканалів і «Крым.Реалии», що виходить на міжнародному супутниковому телеканалі «Настоящее время» і в кабельних мережах більш ніж 25 країн Східної Європи та Центральної Азії.

    У вересні 2015 року кримська команда запустила Радіо Крим.Реалії, що транслює свої передачі на середніх хвилях 549 АМ на більшу частину території Криму, південний схід України і передгірні райони Північного Кавказу Росії, а з вересня 2017 року – цілодобовий канал Радіо Крим.Реалії на частоті 105,9 FM, який можна слухати на північному сході Криму.

    Крим.Реалії також представлений у більшості провідних соціальних мереж. 

    До початку спроб російської влади блокувати сайт у Криму в 2016 року, російська дослідницька організація Медіалогія протягом трьох років вносила Крим.Реалії у трійку найбільш цитованих кримських інтернет-ресурсів.

    Через тиск і погрози понад півсотні журналістів, які співпрацювали з Крим.Реалії, були змушені залишити межі Кримського півострова або припинити таку співпрацю.

    Відомий кримський публіцист і журналіст Микола Семена, який співпрацював з Крим.Реалії, був засуджений підконтрольним Росії кримським судом до 2,5 років умовно із забороною на 3 роки займатися публічною (в тому числі журналістської) діяльністю. За публікацію на сайті Крим.Реалії його звинуватили у посяганні на територіальну цілісність Росії.

    Ще два кримські громадські журналісти – Наріман Мемедемінов і Сервер Мустафаєв, які передавали інформацію Крим.Реалії, були заарештовані російською владою і зараз переслідуються за звинуваченням у тероризмі й екстремізмі.

    У будинках шести журналістів із Сімферополя, Севастополя та Ялти, яких російська влада підозрювала у співпраці з Крим.Реалії, в 2016 році представники ФСБ Росії провели обшуки та вилучили оргтехніку.

    Кільком українським журналістам, які співпрацювали з Крим.Реалії, російська влада заборонила в’їзд на Кримський півострів, а окремих – змусили залишити його. Останній випадок – на початку 2019 року ФСБ заборонила в’їзд до Криму на 10 років фотокореспонденту Крим.Реалії Аліні Смутко. Низка кримських журналістів зазнали і продовжують зазнавати цькування в російських і місцевих ЗМІ через припущення, що вони публікуються в Крим.Реалії.

    За словами головного редактора Володимира Притули, Крим.Реалії продовжують працювати для кримчан, незважаючи на протидію з боку російської влади на півострові. «Журналісти Крим.Реалії і далі надають своїй аудиторії те, що їй недоступно з місцевих засобів інформації: новини без цензури, відповідальний обмін думками, відкрите обговорення проблем», – сказав Притула.

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    25/03/2019

  • Mueller Vindicates Trump Claim of ‘No Collusion’

    In a big legal and political win for U.S. President Donald Trump, Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded in his final report that there was no evidence that Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign or anyone associated with it colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the vote, according to a summary of the confidential report released on Sunday by Attorney General William Barr.

    That finding was emphatic, and validated Trump’s long-standing insistence that “there was no collusion” between his campaign and Russian hackers and meddlers who sought to change the outcome of Trump’s presidential battle with Democrat Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state. Using Mueller’s own words, the Barr letter stated that “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

    But on the question of whether Trump obstructed justice in the course of the investigation, Mueller reached no conclusion and punted the decision to Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to a letter Barr wrote to top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate judiciary committees summarizing the report’s “principal conclusions.” Complicating Mueller’s challenge in getting to the bottom of the question was Trump’s refusal to answer questions under oath and instead provide written answers. Barr and Rosenstein – who appointed Mueller as Special Counsel and oversaw the investigation– concluded that the evidence developed during the investigation “is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”

    That finding is certain to be a key bone of contention for congressional Democrats who are investigating Trump and his administration, especially given the Special Counsel’s assertion that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, tweeted that “The fact that Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report & documentation be made public without any further delay.”

    ​Mueller submitted his report to Barr late Friday, nearly two years after he was appointed to investigate allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election and collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. 

    After combing through the report over the weekend, Barr submitted a four-page letter to Congress absolving Trump of any collusion with the Russians or obstruction of justice in blocking the criminal investigation. Barr’s letter was made public shortly after it was delivered to Congress. 

    “It was complete and total exoneration,” Trump told reporters in Florida before returning to Washington Sunday afternoon. “This was an illegal takedown that failed and hopefully somebody is going to be looking at their other side.”

    Here are five key take-aways from Barr’s summary of the Mueller report:

    Trump was right: There was no collusion

    The central question before Mueller was whether members of the Trump campaign or any other Americans conspired with Russians to tip the 2016 campaign in favor of the real estate tycoon. On that score, the Mueller report delivers a categorical vindication of the president. 

    While Mueller’s investigators uncovered evidence of Russian meddling in the U.S. election, “[the] investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” the summary quotes Mueller as writing.

    ​The special counsel interpreted “coordination” fairly broadly to include both tacit and express agreements.But he found no evidence that members of the Trump campaign accepted offers of help from Russian operatives. “There was really an affirmative ‘No’” said Eric Jaso, a former associate special counsel for the Whitewater affair during former President Bill Clinton’s administration and now a partner at the Spiro Harrison law firm.“If they’d gone along and said yes, that would have fallen under the tacit agreement category.”

    Mueller punts obstruction of justice question

    Mueller’s decision to punt the question of obstruction of justice struck many legal experts as unusual. 

    The Special Counsel took up the question after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey over the Russia investigation and after Comey claimed that Trump had asked him to stop investigating his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn. 

    But Mueller drew no conclusion about whether Trump’s actions during the investigation amounted to obstruction of justice, according to the Barr summary. 

    “Instead, for each one of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as ‘difficult issues’ of” whether Trump obstructed justice, Barr wrote.

    With Mueller leaving the matter unresolved, it was left to the attorney general to make a determination. Barr wrote that after consulting with Justice Department officials, he and Rosenstein concluded that there was not enough evidence that Trump had committed obstruction of justice. The determination, he added, was made irrespective of a long-standing Justice Department guidance that a sitting president can’t be indicted.

    ​Before taking the helm of the Justice Department last month, Barr had written critically of the Mueller probe and called the investigation of Trump for possible obstruction of justice “fatally flawed.”

    Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called the decision “concerning” and said he’ll ask Barr to testify before the panel in the near future. 

    Jaso said the fact that Barr made the determination in concert with Rosenstein provides Barr with political cover.

    “He can’t be just painted as a toady of the president,” Jaso said. 

    No additional indictments

    The Special Counsel investigation led to the indictments of 37 individuals and entities, mostly Russian operatives and a handful of former Trump associates. In the run-up to the Mueller report, speculation was rife that the Special Counsel would announce new indictments against individuals in the president’s orbit. 

    But Barr’s summary says the Special Counsel does not recommend any additional indictments in his report and says that there are no indictments under seal that have yet to be made public. 

    A redacted version in the works 

    The full extent of Mueller’s findings, including evidence concerning obstruction of justice, will remain unknowable until a more complete version of the report is released. In his letter, Barr indicated that he’ll share a redacted version of the full report at a future date.Barr said that he’s asked the Special Counsel to identify confidential information that must be kept classified and that as soon as “that process is complete, I will be in a position to move forward expeditiously in determining” what can be released. Democrats are demanding full disclosure and vowing to compel the attorney general to comply.

    Thorough investigation

    Defenders of the Mueller investigation found a measure of vindication in the thoroughness with which the veteran prosecutor and former FBI director carried out the probe. According to Barr’s letter, the Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses. 

    By all accounts, Mueller left no stones untouched in his dogged effort to probe whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow and whether the president sought to impede the investigation that followed. 

    But Mueller appears to have steered clear of one line of inquiry that the president had said was off limits: Trump’s finances and whether the president’s business interests in Russia led him and his campaign into collusion. 

    “It does not say that thirdly or furthermore we investigated whether the Trump campaign or Trump himself had a desire to ingratiate himself with the Russians which somehow made him vulnerable to this effort,” Jaso said.

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    25/03/2019

  • Trump: Mueller Acted Honorably in Clearing Him of Links to Russia

    U.S. President Donald Trump, after deriding special counsel Robert Mueller for months about his investigation into Trump’s 2016 campaign links to Russia, said Monday that the prosecutor had acted honorably by clearing him of allegations that he colluded with Moscow.

    “Yes, he did,” Trump said at the White House.

    The U.S. leader had dozens of times called the probe a “witch hunt,” but said Mueller’s conclusion was “100 percent the way it should have gone.”

    But Trump was defiant the day after Attorney General William Barr released a summary of Mueller’s report on the 22-month investigation, saying, “We can never, ever let this happen to another president again.”

    Trump said law enforcement officials who opened the investigation before Mueller’s probe started in May 2017 did “so many evil things” that they should now be held to account in a new investigation. He called their actions “treasonous.”

    Trump, sitting alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, did not address Mueller’s indecision on whether Trump obstructed justice by trying to thwart the investigation. Trump said releasing the full Mueller report “wouldn’t bother me at all.”

    Barr said in a letter to top U.S. lawmakers that Mueller concluded that Trump and his campaign did not conspire with Moscow to help him win the White House. But on obstruction, Barr said, “The report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided charges against Trump were not warranted.

    Barr wrote, “To obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acting with corrupt intent engaged in obstructive conduct.”

    Mueller had been investigating, among other Trump actions as president, whether his 2017 firing of James Comey, then the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation leading the Russia investigation before Mueller was appointed, was intended to thwart the Russia probe.

    Before Trump spoke, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed vindication for Trump, calling Barr’s accounting of the Mueller report “a complete and total exoneration.”

    Sanders, appearing on NBC’s Today Show and CNN, said the American public now knows “there was no collusion” between Russia and the Trump campaign to help him win the election three years ago and that he did not obstruct justice by trying to thwart the Mueller probe.

    Barr said the decision that there was no legitimate obstruction case against Trump was not based on long-standing Justice Department policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

    “It’s hard to obstruct a crime that never took place,” Sanders told CNN, although such obstruction crimes have on occasion been prosecuted in the United States.

    Sanders told NBC the Mueller investigation was “frankly something that should never have happened.  This is a two-year waste of taxpayer time and dollars. They spent over $25 million just to find out there was nothing there.  This should never happen to another president.”

    Trump has often attacked the Mueller investigation, but Sanders declined to say the president owed him an apology after the prosecutor cleared Trump of the collusion allegations.

    “The Democrats and the liberal media owe the president and they owe the American people an apology,” Sanders said. “They wasted two years and created a massive disruption and distraction from things that impact people’s everyday lives.”

    Trump told reporters Sunday that the probe was “the most ridiculous thing I ever heard … it’s a shame our country had to go through this … it’s a shame the president had to go through this before I even got elected — this was an illegal takedown that failed and hopefully somebody is going to look at the other side.”

    Opposition Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives, and Democratic presidential candidates seeking their party’s nomination to oppose Trump in the 2020 election, are demanding Barr release the full Mueller report and the thousands of pieces of evidence his investigators collected. But it is not clear how much of the report Barr plans to disclose, pending review of confidential information in it.

    Some lawmakers say they also plan to try to force Barr to testify about his decision that Trump should not be charged with obstruction of justice and also to have Mueller testify about his investigation.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, said he hopes Barr will testify before his panel and “release as much as possible” of the Mueller report.

    Mueller charged 25 Russians with election interference, although they are unlikely to ever stand trial because the United States and Russia do not have an extradition treaty. He also has secured guilty pleas or won convictions for a variety of offenses against six Trump aides and advisers, including the president’s one-time campaign manager, Paul Manafort; his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn; and his longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

    Barr’s summary noted that during the nearly two-year-long investigation, Mueller had 19 lawyers and 40 FBI agents working with him, issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, talked to about 500 witnesses, and carried out nearly 500 search warrants.

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    25/03/2019

  • Analysis: A Cloud Lifts Over Trump, but at a Cost

    The cloud that has hung over President Donald Trump since the day he walked into the White House has been lifted.

    Yes, special counsel Robert Mueller left open the question of whether Trump tried to obstruct the investigation. Yes, separate federal probes still put Trump and his associates in legal jeopardy. And yes, Democrats will spend the coming months pushing for more details from Mueller, all while launching new probes into Trump’s administration and businesses.

    But at its core, Mueller’s investigation gave the president what he wanted: public affirmation that he and his campaign did not coordinate with Russia to win the 2016 election. After spending months tweeting “No collusion,” Trump had been proven right.

    The findings, summarized Sunday by the Justice Department , are sure to embolden Trump as he plunges into his re-election campaign, armed now with new fodder to claim the investigation was little more than a politically motivated effort to undermine his presidency.

    “It’s a shame that our country had to go through this,” Trump said. “To be honest, it’s a shame that your president has had to go through this.”

    Mueller’s investigation stretched on for nearly two years, enveloping Trump’s presidency in a cloud of uncertainty and sending him into frequent fits of rage. The scope of the probe was sweeping: Mueller issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, obtained nearly 500 search warrants and interviewed 500 witnesses, including some of the president’s closest advisers.

    And Trump’s ultimate vindication on the question of collusion with Russia came at a steep cost.

    The investigation took down his campaign chairman, his White House national security adviser and his longtime lawyer. It revealed the extent of Moscow’s desire to swing the 2016 contest toward Trump, as well as Trump’s pursuit of business deals in Russia deep into the campaign. And the Justice Department didn’t explain why so many Trump associates lied throughout the investigation.

    But in the end, Mueller concluded that those lies were not an effort to obscure a criminal conspiracy by Trump and his advisers to work with Russia. There was smoke, and plenty of it — including an eyebrow-raising meeting between Trump’s son and a Russian lawyer — but ultimately, no fire.

    “Good day for the rule of law. Great day for President Trump and his team,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “Bad day for those hoping the Mueller investigation would take President Trump down.”

    Democrats quickly sought to puncture Trump and fellow Republicans’ jubilation, vowing to subpoena Mueller’s full report, which remains a secret. After spending years questioning Trump’s ties to Moscow, the Democrats’ focus is shifting to the question Mueller pointedly left unanswered: whether Trump obstructed the investigation by firing FBI Director James Comey and dictating a misleading statement about his son’s meeting with the Russian lawyer.

    “The fact that special counsel Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay,” House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement.

    The fight for those documents will be lengthy and contentious, particularly against the backdrop of the 2020 presidential election. It will involve complex debates over the rules that govern special counsel investigations, which put a member of Trump’s Cabinet in charge of summarizing Mueller’s findings for the public, and a president’s right to keep his private discussions out of the public eye.

    Previewing the case Democrats will make to get more details about Trump’s actions, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., declared: “Executive privilege cannot be used to shield or hide wrongdoing.”

    For Trump and his associates, the argument will be far simpler: Democrats already tried to go after the president once and failed.

    “Just as important a victory as this is for President Trump, this is a crushing defeat for Democrats and members of the media who have pushed the collusion delusion myth for the past two years. That officially ends today,” said Jason Miller, a former Trump campaign official.

    Trump’s legal troubles are far from over. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are pursuing at least two criminal inquiries involving the president or people in his orbit, one involving his inaugural committee and another focused on the hush-money scandal that led his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to plead guilty last year to campaign finance violations. New York Attorney General Letitia James is also looking into whether Trump exaggerated his wealth when seeking loans for real estate projects and a failed bid to buy the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.

    But in the hours after Mueller’s findings were released, those investigations appeared to be a world away for Trump. As he walked into the White House Sunday night, he pumped his fist to a group of supporters and declared, “America is the greatest place on earth, the greatest place on earth.”

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    25/03/2019

  • AG Barr’s Letter Summarizing Special Counsel’s Report

           The text of Attorney General William Barr’s letter to congressional lawmakers outlining the principal conclusions reached by the special counsel in the Russia probe (with footnotes below):

     

           March 24, 2019

     

           Dear Chairman Graham, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Ranking Member Collins:

     

           As a supplement to the notification provided on Friday, March 22, 2019, I am writing today to advise you of the principal conclusions reached by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and to inform you about the status of my initial review of the report he has prepared.

     

           THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S REPORT

     

           On Friday, the Special Counsel submitted to me a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions'' he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c). This report is entitledReport on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” Although my review is ongoing, I believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.

     

           The report explains that the Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, and others associated with it, conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or sought to obstruct the related federal investigations. In the report, the Special Counsel noted that, in completing his investigation, he employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.

     

           The Special Counsel obtained a number of indictments and convictions of individuals and entities in connection with his investigation, all of which have been publicly disclosed. During the course of his investigation, the Special Counsel also referred several matters to other offices for further action. The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public. Below, I summarize the principal conclusions set out in the Special Counsel’s report.

     

           Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. The Special Counsel’s report is divided into two parts. The first describes the results of the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The report outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts. The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel’s investigation was whether any Americans – including individuals associated with the Trump campaign – joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “(T)he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” (1)

     

           The Special Counsel’s investigation determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election. As noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.

     

           The second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election. The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election. But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.

     

           Obstruction of Justice. The report’s second part addresses a number of actions by the President – most of which have been the subject of public reporting – that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of-justice concerns. After making a thorough factual investigation'' into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion - one way or the other - as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views asdifficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

     

           The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. Over the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel’s office engaged in discussions with certain Department officials regarding many of the legal and factual matters at issue in the Special Counsel’s obstruction investigation. After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president. (2)

     

           In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department’s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of- justice offense.

     

           STATUS OF THE DEPARTMENT’S REVIEW

     

           The relevant regulations contemplate that the Special Counsel’s report will be a “confidential report” to the Attorney General. See Office of Special Counsel, 64 Fed. Reg. 37,038,37,040-41 (July 9,1999). As I have previously stated, however, I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.

     

           Based on my discussions with the Special Counsel and my initial review, it is apparent that the report contains material that is or could be subject to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e), which imposes restrictions on the use and disclosure of information relating to “matter(s) occurring before (a) grand jury.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)(2)(B). Rule 6(e) generally limits disclosure of certain grand jury information in a criminal investigation and prosecution. Id. Disclosure of 6(e) material beyond the strict limits set forth in the rule is a crime in certain circumstances. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 401(3). This restriction protects the integrity of grand jury proceedings and ensures that the unique and invaluable investigative powers of a grand jury are used strictly for their intended criminal justice function.

     

           Given these restrictions, the schedule for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the Department can identify the 6(e) material that by law cannot be made public. I have requested the assistance of the Special Counsel in identifying all 6(e) information contained in the report as quickly as possible. Separately, I also must identify any information that could impact other ongoing matters, including those that the Special Counsel has referred to other offices. As soon as that process is complete, I will be in a position to move forward expeditiously in determining what can be released in light of applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.

     

           (asterisk)  (asterisk)  (asterisk)

     

           As I observed in my initial notification, the Special Counsel regulations provide that the Attorney General may determine that public release of' notifications to your respective Committeeswould be in the public interest.” 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(c). I have so determined, and I will disclose this letter to the public after delivering it to you.

     

           Sincerely,

     

           William P. Barr

     

           Attorney General

     

           (1) In assessing potential conspiracy charges, the Special Counsel also considered whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated'' with Russian election interference activities. The Special Counsel definedcoordination” as an “agreement_tacit or express_between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.”

     

           (2) See A Sitting President’s Amenability to Indictment and Criminal Prosecution, 24 Op. O.L.C. 222 (2000).

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    25/03/2019

  • Key Findings of the Mueller Report

    U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr released a summary Sunday of special counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report into allegations that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential election.

    Here are the main findings of the two-year investigation the president regularly denounced as a witch hunt, before claiming vindication upon its completion.

    Collusion

    Mueller found that there was conclusive evidence that Russia did interfere in the election, both through a coordinated campaign of disinformation and by hacking emails from Hillary Clinton’s election team.

    In a letter to lawmakers, Barr said that Mueller found that there had been “multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

    But quoting directly from Mueller’s report, Barr said that the special counsel’s investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

    Obstruction

    Many observers had predicted the biggest danger to Trump came from a possible accusation of obstruction of justice, particularly over his decision to sack the FBI Director James Comey, who headed the investigation before Mueller.

    But Barr said that the evidence outlined in Mueller’s report “is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”

    “In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgement, constitute obstructive conduct,” Barr added in his letter.

    But while Barr — who was appointed by Trump — concluded that the president had not obstructed justice, he acknowledged that Mueller himself was inconclusive on the question of obstruction.

    “The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion — one way or another — as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction,” he said.

    “The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not condluce that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.'”

    No more indictments

    Trump’s former national security advisor Mike Flynn, his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and his campaign chairman Paul Manafort are among the 34 individuals already indicted by Mueller but they will be the last, according to Barr.

    “The report does not recommend any further indictments nor did the special counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public,” Barr said in his letter to the heads of the Senate and House judiciary committees.

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    25/03/2019

  • Копію томосу ПЦУ відвезуть до Антарктиди

    Голосування про перехід до ПЦУ проведуть під час ротації української антарктичної експедиції. Копію томосу зберігатимуть в тамтешній капличці

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    24/03/2019

  • Нацбанк України створив пам’ятні монети з нагоди надання томосу ПЦУ

    Їх відкарбував український Монетний двір. Монети продовжують серію «Духовні скарби України»

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    24/03/2019

  • Пункт пропуску в Золотому на Луганщині відкрили тільки з українського боку – Наєв

    Пункт пропуску через лінію розмежування у селищі Золотому на Луганщині відкрили тільки в односторонньому порядку, цитує штаб української воєнної операції на Донбасі командувача об’єднаних сил Сергія Наєва.

    «Українська влада звернулась до тристоронньої контактної групи та міжнародної моніторингової місії ОБСЄ з вимогою щодо забезпечення діяльності КПВВ «Золоте». Проте окупаційна влада вкотре красномовно довела ворожість своїх намірів, повне нехтування принципів моралі та гуманітарного права, не давши громадянам України, які бажають скористатись КПВВ «Золоте», гарантій безпеки», – заявив він.

    Як повідомляється, угруповання «ЛНР» не пропускає людей на підтконтрольну їй територію.

    Сьогодні вранці Державна прикордонна служба України повідомила про відновлення роботи пункту пропуску через лінію розмежування поблизу селища Золоте на Луганщині. Але як висловилося відомство, ніхто через КПВВ станом на публікацію повідомлення (близько восьмої ранку) не проходив.

    Українська сторона кілька разів намагалася відкрити пункт пропуску у Золотому, оскільки у Луганській області наразі працює лише один КПВВ поблизу Станиці Луганської. Він піший та передбачає перехід через аварійний міст. Але угруповання «ЛНР» виступає проти.

    Читайте також: Чотири проблеми переселенців на п’ятому році війни на Донбасі

    Ватажок угруповання Леонід Пасічник заявив, що це рішення української влади є «провокацією», а пункт пропуску бойовики відкриють тільки після того, як рішення про це ухвалять на переговорах Тристоронньої контактної групи в Мінську.

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    24/03/2019

  • Blair House: A look Inside the US President’s Guest House

    The U.S. President’s Guest House, commonly known as Blair House, has played a significant role in the history of American diplomacy. Milena Gjorgjievska visited the unique place and learned more about whom it has hosted and what events it has witnessed since it was built in 1824.

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    24/03/2019