Top Russian Diplomat Dismisses Czech Claims of Poison Plot 

Russia’s top diplomat on Thursday angrily dismissed media reports alleging a Russian plot to poison the mayor of Prague and another official in the Czech capital. Prague’s mayor Zdenek Hrib and Zhanna Nemtsova, daughter of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov smile after unveiling a sign renaming the square where the Russian Embassy is located in Prague, Feb. 27, 2020.Respekt weekly said in its latest edition published on Monday that Czech intelligence services suspected a Russian agent was sent to Prague three weeks ago to poison Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib and Prague 6 mayor Ondrej Kolar. The story was based on anonymous sources.  Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ridiculed the claims, saying that the notion that Czech authorities spotted a Russian man with powerful poison ricin and let him through doesn’t make any sense. Czech officials didn’t comment, but Kolar said in a television interview Tuesday that he has been under police protection because of “some facts that have been found, the fact that there’s a Russian here whose goal is to liquidate me.” He added that the alleged assassin was also targeting Hrib and Pavel Novotny, Prague’s Reporyje district mayor. Lavrov scoffed at the allegations. “They found a deadly poison and let him into the country?” he said at Thursday’s briefing. “Would any sound person believe in these fabrications.” Moscow and Prague have been at loggerheads for weeks after Kolar’s district removed the statue of Soviet World War II commander Ivan Konev whose armies liberated Prague from Nazi occupation. Officials in Prague 6 said the statue will be moved to a museum and a new monument honoring the city’s liberation will be installed in its place. The statue’s removal caused outrage in Russia, which has angrily lashed out at any attempts to diminish the nation’s decisive role in defeating the Nazis. Lavrov charged Thursday that the Prague authorities’ action violated a 1993 friendship treaty that carried a Czech pledge to protect memorials to Russian World War II heroes. 
 

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Britain Honors Fundraising WWII Vet on 100th Birthday

Britain Thursday went all out to honor the 100th birthday of a World War II veteran who has become a national hero for his $37 million fundraising effort for the nation’s health service.A retired engineer and captain in the British Army during World War II, Tom Moore wanted to do something nice for the National Health Service for the treatment he received after breaking his hip.Earlier this month he started an online campaign, pledging to do 100 laps – using his walker- around his 25-meter yard in exchange for donations. He had hoped to raise about $1,200. Instead, within days, he had raised millions.Since then his effort made “Captain Tom” a British celebrity, and the nation showed its appreciation Thursday.The Royal Air Force sent two World War II-era planes over his home. Congratulatory massages poured in from, among others, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prince Charles and England football captain Harry Kane. About 125,000 birthday cards came in from around the world, enough to fill a hall in his grandson’s school.Birthday cards are seen on display at Bedford School ahead of Captain Tom Moore’s 100th birthday in Bedford, Britain, April 28, 2020.And the British Army – with the approval of Queen Elizabeth – gave him an honorary promotion to colonel and replaced a medal he had received for his service but had lost.The Guiness Book of World Records says Moore set a record for most money raised by an individual charity walk.Moore said Thursday he was very moved by the outpouring of gratitude, and for being made an honorary colonel. He said “I’m still Captain Tom, that’s who I really am. But if people choose to call me ‘colonel’, well, thank you very much.” 

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McDonald’s Says 25% of Stores Closed as 1st Quarter Sales Fall

McDonald’s says it has likely reached the trough of global restaurant closures due to COVID-19, with 25% still shuttered. But business has been slow to return as lockdown orders continue to disrupt consumers’ routines.McDonald’s said Thursday its sales fell 6% to $4.71 billion in the January-March period. Declines have persisted in April.“We’re now operating in a completely different world,” McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a conference call with investors.Worldwide, 75% of the fast food giant’s 39,000 stores are open. Kempczinski said locations are gradually reopening according to local regulations.In China, where 25% of stores were closed in February, nearly all have reopened; 99% of U.S. stores are open as well, offering limited menus and takeout food. But most stores remain closed in some key markets like France, the United Kingdom and Italy.When stores do reopen, business is generally slow, especially at breakfast, McDonald’s said. In China, for example, same-store sales — or sales at locations open at least a year — were down 20% in the first quarter. Those declines narrowed in April, but were still in the mid-teens. U.S. same-store sales were down 20% in April, slightly better than the 25% declines in the last part of March.And even at stores that remained open through the crisis, business has changed. Before the pandemic, drive-thru made up two-thirds of McDonald’s U.S. sales. Now, drive-thru accounts for 90% of sales. In Canada, delivery sales have shot up 40%. In Australia, stores are selling milk, eggs and other grocery items in addition to food.Kempczinski said McDonald’s is well-positioned as business returns, since customers are craving routine, comfort food and value. When one restaurant recently reopened in Austria, there was a two-mile line of customers waiting for food.“There’s a desire to return to familiar favorites,” he said.Kempczinski said there have been no disruptions to food, packaging or equipment supplies despite the coronavirus-related shutdown of some meat processing plants in the U.S.McDonald’s started the year strong. Through February, its same-store sales were up 7.2% worldwide and 8.1% in the U.S. But sales tumbled in March as global lockdowns took hold. McDonald’s ended the quarter with same-store sales down 3.4%.McDonald’s said earlier investments in digital ordering and delivery have helped it weather declines in in-store traffic. Around 25,000 McDonald’s worldwide now offer delivery, while 20,000 let customers order and pay on their mobile phones.The company said it is supporting franchisees by deferring rent and royalties in most markets around the world. That has amounted to $1 billion in assistance, McDonald’s said. The company has also obtained more than 120 million face masks for its employees.Chicago-based McDonald’s said its first-quarter earnings fell 17% to $1.11 billion, or $1.47 per share. That fell short of the $1.57 per share that Wall Street forecast, according to analysts polled by FactSet.The company shored up its finances in March by raising $6.5 billion in debt markets. It also plans to conserve cash by reducing the number of new restaurant openings this year. McDonald’s has withdrawn its 2020 financial guidance and its long-term outlook.McDonald’s shares fell 2% to $183.35 in morning trading.
 

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Fauci Cautions About Reopening US Businesses Too Quickly

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the lead U.S. coronavirus expert, warned Thursday against reopening the country too quickly for fear of giving the pandemic new life.As some U.S. state governors are moving to reopen commerce, Fauci urged them to “go very slowly” if they do not have the capability to do contact tracing of known coronavirus patients.“You can’t just leap over things and get into a situation where you’re really tempting a rebound,” Fauci told NBC’s “Today” show. “That’s the thing I get concerned about. I hope they don’t do that.”Several state governors have said in recent days that restaurants, retail stores, hair and nail salons, bowling alleys and other establishments can begin to reopen if they want.  As April turns to May on Friday, President Donald Trump says he is ending the federal request that Americans maintain at least a two-meter physical distance from other people.“They’ll be fading out because now the governors are doing it,” Trump told reporters Wednesday.Fauci said states looking to reopen commerce should follow federal guidelines and only begin to reopen if they have a two-week decline in the number of new coronavirus cases, a standard some states have not met.Laura Haque eats lunch with her family at Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar on the day restaurants and theaters were allowed to reopen to the public in Smyrna, Georgia, April 27, 2020.Fauci said states must be able to identify, isolate and contact trace people who test positive because “there will be blips — there’s no doubt.”He said he is working with the Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” project to try to develop a coronavirus vaccine as quickly as possible.Fauci agreed that it was “in the realm of possibility” for hundreds of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses to be ready by January.“We want to go quickly, but we want to make sure it’s safe and it’s effective,” he said. “I think that is doable if things fall in the right place.“We’re going to start ramping up production with the companies involved, and you do that at risk. In other words, you don’t wait until you get an answer before you start manufacturing — assuming it’s going to work,” he said. “And if it does, then you can scale up and hopefully get to that timeline” of massive production by early 2021. 

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Europe’s Employment Aid Keeps Jobs from Vanishing — for Now 

Christian Etchebest’s Parisian bistro is a shadow of its usual bustling self. Five lunch specials sit in neat paper bags on the bar awaiting takeout customers — a tiny fraction of his normal midday business before the coronavirus. A skeleton staff rotates in daily at La Cantine du Troquet near the banks of the Seine River, just blocks from the Eiffel Tower. One day they packaged a streamlined version of his Basque menu: sausages with a celery and beetroot remoulade, mashed potatoes and a dessert of strawberries with lemon sauce. Yet Etchebest isn’t facing bankruptcy — not yet anyway — thanks to a French government program that lets him put staff on reduced hours and makes up most of their lost salary, on the condition they are not fired. That is giving him a chance to keep his team together, awaiting the day when restrictions are lifted and sit-down meals are again allowed at this restaurant and his six others across Paris.  Similar programs are keeping hard-hit businesses across Europe afloat, preventing millions of workers from losing their jobs  and income for now, and thousands of bosses from seeing their trained staff scatter. Some 11.3 million workers in France are getting up to 84% of net salary. The government estimates the cost at 24 billion euros ($26 billion), with half of all private sector employees expected to take part. FILE – Femke Zimmerman, manager of Brasserie Berlage, a cafe and restaurant nestled in the manicured gardens of The Hague’s historic art deco Kunstmuseum, poses for a portrait as she prepares the restaurant for reopening, April 24, 2020.Femke Zimmermann, manager of Brasserie Berlage in The Hague in the Netherlands, has her eye on re-opening even as she spends most days at home looking after her 1-year-old and 5-year-old sons while the restaurant’s owners pay her with government help.  For now, she is not overly worried about losing her job. She stays in contact with her team and asked them to come in to give the restaurant a two-day spring clean.  “They hate sitting at home. They want to do something for the business,” she said. Athens waiter George Sakkas, 26, is getting by on a Greek government program that lets businesses suspend workers’ contracts and replaces their pay with a flat stipend of 800 euros ($870). Businesses that take the help cannot fire staff.  “The stipend definitely helped,” he said, noting the amount was roughly what he would make anyway.  “In the beginning we didn’t know about the stipend, so [the closing] hit us very badly,” he said. “When the stipend arrived it gave us some breathing space.” 

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«Будеш знімати, тебе тут не стане!» – як зустрічають журналістів хами з «Волинської оптової бази» в Києві

«Будеш знімати, тебе тут не стане!» – як зустрічають журналістів хами з київських ринків.

Уряд дозволив ринкам працювати, втім за умови жорсткого дотримання санітарно-епідеміологічних вимог. Серед них: обов’язковість масок, антисептик на вході, наявність щитків між продавцем і покупцем, дистанція між продавцями у три метри, дезінфекція торгових поверхонь кожні три години і контроль чисельності: не більше однієї людини на 10 квадратних метрів площі. Ми відправилися на ринки, аби у прямому ефірі поспілкуватися із покупцями та продавцями щодо оновлених державою правил.

«Волинська оптова база» працювала і під час карантину, адже є місцем гуртових продовольчих закупівель, але працює і як роздрібний ринок. Не всі працівники охоче спілкувалися з журналістами, деякі одягали маски лише коли бачили камеру. В одному з павільйонів продавець навіть перейшов до погроз журналістам!!!
 

 
 
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Волна поднимается: комуняки Пекина играют в молчанку и пытаются прикинуться шлангом

Волна поднимается: комуняки Пекина играют в молчанку и пытаются прикинуться шлангом
 

 
 
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Обиженный карлик пукин «палит» контору за конторой в попытках снять “животворящие” санкции…

Обиженный карлик пукин «палит» контору за конторой в попытках снять “животворящие” санкции…

Это что же в россии такое происходит, что им просто-таки «срочно» надо «снять санкции»..?
 

 
 
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