У ЄС обіцяють звернутися до СОТ через запровадження США мит на сталь і алюміній

У Євросоюзі обіцяють застосувати мита у відповідь і звернутися до СОТ через запровадження США з 1 червня високих мит на сталь і алюміній. 

«ЄС вважає, що ці односторонні тарифи США є невиправданими та суперечать правилам Світової організації торгівлі. Це протекціонізм, чистий і простий…», – йдеться у заяві голові Європейської Комісії Жан-Клода Юнкера.

Він зауважує, що Євросоюз демонстрував відкритість для обговорення шляхів вдосконалення двосторонніх торговельних відносин з США, але не погоджувався на переговори під тиском погроз. 

«Тепер США не залишає нам вибору, окрім як продовжити врегулювання спору в СОТ із застосуванням додаткових мит на низку імпорту з США. Ми будемо захищати інтереси ЄС у повній відповідності з міжнародним торговельним правом», – наголосив Юнкер.

Сполучені Штати Америки заявили, що з 1 червня запровадять ввізне мито на сталь з ЄС у розмірі 25 відсотків, а також 10 відсотків на алюміній. 

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Pope Vows ‘Never Again’ to Sex Abuse in Chile, Reopens Probe

Pope Francis on Thursday promised Chilean Catholics scarred by a culture of clergy sexual abuse that “never again” would the Church ignore them or the cover-up of abuse in their country, where a widespread scandal has devastated its credibility.

The pope issued the comments in a letter to all Chilean Catholics as the Vatican announced that Francis was sending his two top sexual abuse investigators back to the country to gather more information about the crisis there.

The Vatican’s most experienced sexual abuse investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, and Father Jordi Bertomeu, a Spaniard, had visited Chile earlier this year.

In the letter released by Chilean bishops, Francis also praised the victims of sexual abuse in the country for persevering in bringing the truth to light despite attempts by Church officials to discredit them.

“The ‘never again’ to a culture of abuse, and the system of cover-up that allowed it to perpetuate, calls on all of us to work towards a culture of carefulness in our relationships,” he said in the eight-page letter.

He described the Chilean scandal as a “painful open wound.” Hours before the letter was released in Chile, the Vatican said Scicluna and Bertomeu would concentrate on the diocese of Osorno in southern Chile, seat of a bishop who has been most caught up in the scandal.

A Vatican statement said the purpose of the trip, due to start in the next few days, was to “move forward in the process of reparation, and healing for victims of abuse.”

The two prepared a 2,300-page report for the pope after speaking to victims, witnesses and other Church members earlier this year.

On May 18, all of Chile’s 34 bishops offered to resign en masse after attending a crisis meeting with the pope in the Vatican about the cover-up of sexual abuse in the south American nation.

Francis has not yet said which resignations he will accept, if any. In his letter, the pope said the renewal of the Church hierarchy on its own would not bring the transformation needed in Chile, calling for unity in a time of crisis and a deepening of faith.

The scandal revolves around Father Fernando Karadima, who was found guilty in a Vatican investigation in 2011 of abusing boys in Santiago in the 1970s and 1980s. Now 87 and living in a nursing home in Chile, he has always denied any wrongdoing.

Victims accused Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno of having witnessed the abuse but doing nothing to stop it. Barros, who was one of those who offered to stand down, has denied the allegations.

During a visit to Chile in January, Francis staunchly defended Barros, denouncing accusations against him as “slander.”

But days after returning to Rome, the pope, citing new information, dispatched Scicluna and Bertomeu to Chile. Some of their findings were included in a damning 10-page document that was presented to the bishops when they came to Rome.

In April, the pope hosted three non-clerical victims who said they were abused by Karadima, and this weekend he will be meeting with priests who said they were abused by Karadima when they were young.

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Europe Responds Swiftly to US Tariffs, Threatens Retaliation

Reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from American trading partners — including the European Union — came fast and furious, with threats of retaliation and warnings they risk sparking a trans-Atlantic trade war.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the European bloc would respond by imposing penalties of its own on American exports.

“Today is a bad day for world trade,” said Cecilia Malmström, the European trade commissioner. EU officials previously informed the World Trade Organization of the bloc’s plan to levy duties on $7.2 billion worth of U.S. exports if the Trump administration proceeded with threats to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum.

Canadian and Mexican officials also threatened retaliatory responses but have as yet not indicated which U.S. products they will target. Both countries had hoped that the White House would continue to exempt them from the tariffs. 

National security cited

Europe, along with Canada and Mexico, had been granted a temporary reprieve from the U.S. tariffs after they were unveiled in March by Trump, who said the levies were needed to stem the flood of cheap steel and aluminum into the U.S. and that to impose them was a national security priority.

In Europe, there was disappointment, but less surprise. 

Juncker called the U.S. action “unjustified” and said Europeans had no alternative but to respond with tariffs of their own and to lodge a case against Washington with the World Trade Organization in Geneva. “We will defend the union’s interests, in full compliance with international trade law,” he said.

The EU had already publicly announced that in the event tariffs did go ahead, it would impose levies on Levi-made jeans, Harley-Davidson motorbikes and bourbon whiskey.

British officials appeared the most alarmed. The government of Theresa May had pinned post-Brexit hopes on securing a trade deal with the U.S., and the imposition of tariffs on steel is adding to fears that negotiating a quick trade liberalization agreement with Trump looks increasingly unlikely.

“We are deeply disappointed that the U.S. has decided to apply tariffs to steel and aluminum imports from the EU on national security grounds,” a government spokesman said. “The U.K. and other European Union countries are close allies of the U.S. and should be permanently and fully exempted.”

Discussion at summit

He said the British prime minister planned to raise the tariffs with the U.S. president personally in Canada at a scheduled G-7 summit of the seven largest advanced economies. That summit is likely to be a frosty affair, much like last year’s in Taormina, Sicily. 

With a week to go before the June 7-8 summit, there’s still no final agreement on the agenda, British and Italian officials said. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had earmarked climate change, women’s rights and economic growth as key issues, but there has been pushback from Washington. Thursday’s tariff announcement by the White House will further complicate agreeing on a G-7 agenda.

German reaction to the announcement of the tariffs was among the fiercest. Chancellor Angela Merkel dubbed them “illegal.” Manfred Weber, a key ally of the German chancellor and leader of the biggest bloc in the European Parliament, accused the Trump administration of treating American allies as enemies.

“If President Trump decides to treat Europe as an enemy, we will have no choice but to defend European industry, European jobs, European interests,” he said. “Europe does not want a trade conflict. We believe in a fair trade regime from which everybody benefits.” 

Wilbur Ross, U.S. commerce secretary, who’s in Europe and has been pressing the EU to make concessions to avert the tariffs, dismissed threats of a trade war, saying retaliation would have no impact on the U.S. economy. He held out hope that the tariffs could be eliminated, saying, “There’s potential flexibility going forward. The fact that we took a tariff action does not mean there cannot be a negotiation.” 

Business leaders cautious

Some European business leaders have urged their national leaders to be restrained in response, fearing a tit-for-tat spiral could be triggered quickly. Britain’s Confederation of British Industry warned against overreaction, saying no one would win on either side of the Atlantic if a major trade war erupted.

The director of UK Steel, Gareth Stace, said he feared there was clear potential for a damaging trade war.

“Since President Trump stated his plans to impose blanket tariffs on steel imports almost three months ago, the U.K. steel sector had hoped for the best, but still feared the worst. With the expiration of the EU exemption now confirmed to take effect tomorrow [June 1], unfortunately, our pessimism was justified, and we will now see damage not only to the U.K. steel sector but also the U.S. economy.” 

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Данія заборонила носити нікаб і бурку в громадських місцях

Парламент Данії заборонив носіння в громадських місцях одягу, що закриває обличчя, включаючи нікаб і бурку.

Заборона набуває чинності з 1 серпня. За порушення закону перші три рази загрожує штраф у розмірі однієї тисячі данських крон (близько 160 доларів). За четверте порушення штраф може бути збільшений до десяти тисяч крон (1600 доларів). Закон поширюється як на жителів Данії, так і на туристів.

Amnesty International розкритикувала ухвалення нового закону, назвавши його порушенням прав мусульманських жінок. В уряді Данії при цьому відзначають, що нова заборона не обмежує право носити хіджаби або інший релігійний одяг.

Міністр юстиції Данії Папе Поульсен раніше заявляв, що «мати закрите обличчя у громадських місцях є несумісним із цінностями данського суспільства».

Упродовж останніх років носіння одягу й головних уборів, що закривають обличчя, вже було заборонене, зокрема в Бельгії, Австрії, Франції, Болгарії, Нідерландах і в південному регіоні Німеччини Баварії.

 

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Автор Радіо Свобода в Туркменистані вийшов із в’язниці

Автор Радіо Вільна Європа – Радіо Свобода Сапармамед Непескулієв вийшов із в’язниці в Туркменистані після того, як відбув 3-річне покарання за звинуваченнями, пов’язаними з наркотиками. Ці звинувачення правозахисники засудили як політично мотивовані.

«Насамперед Сапармамед ніколи не мав потрапляти за ґрати. Права журналістів захищають міжнародні конвенції, підписантом яких є Туркменистан. Злочином тут є ув’язнення Сапармамеда, а не його журналістські матеріали», – заявив президент Радіо Свобода Том Кент.

Як повідомляє туркменська служба Радіо Свобода, Непескулієва відпустили 19 травня.

Непескулієв зник 7 липня 2015 року. Після того тривалий час про нього нічого не було відомо. Пізніше суд визнав журналіста винним за звинуваченнями, пов’язаними з наркотиками.

Правозахисники заявляють, що ці звинувачення сфабрикували як помсту за його журналістську діяльність. Робоча група ООН у справі необґрунтованих затримань визначила затримання Непескулієва саме як необґрунтоване й оголосила, що журналіста позбавили свободи «за мирне здійснення свого права на свободу висловлювання».

Непескулієв у відеорепортажах для Радіо Свобода документував зруйновану інфраструктуру й економічну нерівність на заході Туркменистану.

Фізичних нападів, погроз і судових переслідувань за звинуваченнями, які вважають безпідставними, зазнавали й багато інших журналістів і дописувачів Радіо Свобода в Туркменистані.

У звіті правозахисної організації Freedom House 2017 року Туркменистан за рівнем свободи преси визнаний «не вільним»: він розташований у самому кінці переліку поруч із Північною Кореєю з 98 штрафними балами зі 100 можливих.

 

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Gravity Could Be Source of Sustainable Energy

In today’s energy-hungry world, scientists are constantly revisiting every renewable resource looking for ways to increase efficiency. One researcher in the Netherlands believes even gravity can be harnessed to produce free electricity on a scale sufficient to power small appliances. VOA’s George Putic has more.

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Trump Ramps Up Rhetoric Against Special Counsel Probe

U.S. President Donald Trump has ramped up his campaign to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe in the eyes of the American people. Mueller has not responded to Trump’s attacks as he works to compile what is expected to be an exhaustive report on Russian election meddling, the actions of Trump’s inner circle, and whether the president obstructed justice. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.

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Denuclearization of N. Korea Probably Unachievable, Experts Say

Amid a flurry of rapidly evolving diplomatic activities aimed at reviving the summit between Washington and Pyongyang, experts contacted by VOA’s Korean Service say that completely denuclearizing North Korea probably is unachievable.

“I think it is very difficult to know if these negotiations will lead to North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons,” said David Albright, a former U.N. nuclear inspector and nuclear proliferation analyst at the Institute for Science and International Security. “The problem is that North Korea entered into negotiations twice now where that was the goal but never really intended to accomplish that goal.”

Last week, President Donald Trump canceled the summit in a letter addressed to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, citing Pyongyang’s “tremendous anger” and “open hostility” toward Washington. Then North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, a longtime nuclear negotiator and senior diplomat, said in a statement carried by state media that the North was willing to sit for talks with the U.S. “at any time in any format.” Trump responded that talks regarding the summit scheduled to take place in Singapore on June 12 were “going very, very well.”

On Wednesday night, Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. On Thursday, they are expected to discuss final details of denuclearization talks for the summit, which is now expected to take place as anticipated in June.

Talks before the US summit

In Singapore, a U.S. summit preparatory team headed by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin has been coordinating summit logistics since Monday alongside Kim Chang Son, chief of staff to the North Korean leader.

And in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) along the border between South Korea and North Korea, a U.S. delegation headed by Sung Kim, the current ambassador to the Philippines and former ambassador to South Korea between 2011 and 2014, and a North Korean delegation led by Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui are set to meet for the second time this week.

Against this diplomatic backdrop, VOA’s Korean Service contacted 30 analysts, who unanimously said that Pyongyang will not yield to Washington’s demand to abandon its nuclear weapons program completely. Here are some key comments from the experts. 

Analysts

Douglas Paal, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, thinks Pyongyang might agree in principle to give up its nuclear weapons and missiles at the summit talks with the U.S., but it could easily make excuses later and delay the process, especially if sanctions are relaxed. Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign has led international efforts to impose sanctions banning 90 percent of the North’s trade.

Howard Stoffer, who served as deputy director of U.N. counterterrorism committee, also said the North could agree to completely denuclearize at the summit but the differences between Washington and Pyongyang over the pace of denuclearization could hamper the talks. Stoffer speculated the negotiations could stall if Pyongyang insists on its “phased” approach and demands that Washington make concessions as it takes steps to denuclearize. 

“If they come in and say, ‘No we are going to have to take something,’ then I don’t think there is going to be a negotiation,”  Stoffer said.

Pyongyang has said it prefers a “phased and synchronized” process of taking incremental steps toward denuclearization, expecting those steps to be matched by certain concessions from the U.S.

Washington, on the other hand, indicated it wants a one-shot denuclearization process that could be achieved rather quickly.  

Michael Fuchs, former deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs during the Barack Obama administration, said there is a very low probability that North Korea will give up its entire nuclear arsenal in a short period of time, adding the Trump administration must have realistic expectations.

According to James Jeffrey, who served as deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration, a realistic goal for the U.S. would be to obtain an agreement from the North that it will dismantle its nuclear weapons and facilities continuously over time by promising the North additional sanctions will not be imposed on the regime. He said North Korea will never agree to have its complete nuclear weapons packed up and shipped out of the country. 

Experts think Kim will most likely agree to give up a part of North Korea’s  program instead of all of it, which is what the U.S. is expected to ask.

Ken Gause, director of International Affairs Group at the Center for Naval Analyses, said Kim, knowing that a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization is impossible unless his regime collapses or is invaded, could try to hide a part of the program while declaring that the North has dismantled its program. 

North Korea will try to maintain its nuclear program in some capacity, said Ralph Cossa, president of the Pacific Forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He said that during negotiations, Pyongyang will agree to give up part of its weapons in exchange for economic support.

The process of give-and-take negotiation strategy that the North is expected to push for is all too familiar according to Gary Samore, White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction in the Obama administration.

“We have all been through this experience before so it is very hard to take Kim Jong Un seriously,” Samore said. “But the argument in [South] Korea is that he is different than his father and his grandfather, and he is very genuine about giving up its nuclear weapons in order for reform and to revive the economy. But as far as I can tell, that is not based on any evidence beyond Kim Jong Un’s statements, which I don’t think are very plausible.”

Evans Revere, a former State Department official who negotiated with North Korea, said at best, Pyongyang will discuss denuclearization in ambiguous terms and agree to decrease the capacity of its inter-continental ballistic missiles and allow inspectors in to its Yongbyon nuclear facility. Revere said North Korea wants to weaken the U.S.-South Korea alliance and it is not truly interested in denuclearization. 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday the U.S. is preparing for the summit to proceed. 

“We’re moving forward, and we’ll be prepared either way. And we’re planning as if it is happening,” she said.

Christy Lee contributed to this report, which originated on the VOA Korean Service.

 

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