Колишній міністр закордонних справ Румунії став заступником очільника НАТО

Колишній міністр закордонних справ Румунії Мірча Джоане став заступником генерального секретаря НАТО Єнса Столтенберґа.

Північноатлантичний альянс заявляє, що Джоане «є переконаним прибічником трансатлантичних зв’язків і принесе великий досвід роботи як державний діяч і дипломат». Він стане першим румуном на посаді заступника очільника НАТО та замінить американку Роуз Гетемюллер.

61-річний Джоане раніше очолював Соціал-демократичну партію Румунії. У 2000-2004 році працював міністром закордонних справ. У 2009 він балотувався на посаду президента, але мінімально поступився Траяну Бесеско в другому турі.

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Колишній міністр закордонних справ Румунії став заступником очільника НАТО

Колишній міністр закордонних справ Румунії Мірча Джоане став заступником генерального секретаря НАТО Єнса Столтенберґа.

Північноатлантичний альянс заявляє, що Джоане «є переконаним прибічником трансатлантичних зв’язків і принесе великий досвід роботи як державний діяч і дипломат». Він стане першим румуном на посаді заступника очільника НАТО та замінить американку Роуз Гетемюллер.

61-річний Джоане раніше очолював Соціал-демократичну партію Румунії. У 2000-2004 році працював міністром закордонних справ. У 2009 він балотувався на посаду президента, але мінімально поступився Траяну Бесеско в другому турі.

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Португалія припинила видавати візи громадянам Ірану

Міністерство закордонних справ Португалії припинило видавати візи громадянам Ірану та посилило охорону свого консульства в Тегерані.

Візи припинили видавати тимчасово, для надання іранцям проїзних документів застосовуватимуть альтернативні механізми. У своїй заяві міністерство наголошує, що рішення не є «політичним».

15 липня міністр закордонних справ Португалії Августо Сантуш Сілва розповів парламентському комітету, що тимчасове припинення видачі віз спричинене невказаними «безпековими причинами».

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Португалія припинила видавати візи громадянам Ірану

Міністерство закордонних справ Португалії припинило видавати візи громадянам Ірану та посилило охорону свого консульства в Тегерані.

Візи припинили видавати тимчасово, для надання іранцям проїзних документів застосовуватимуть альтернативні механізми. У своїй заяві міністерство наголошує, що рішення не є «політичним».

15 липня міністр закордонних справ Португалії Августо Сантуш Сілва розповів парламентському комітету, що тимчасове припинення видачі віз спричинене невказаними «безпековими причинами».

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Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Dies at 99

John Paul Stevens, who served on the Supreme Court for nearly 35 years and became its leading liberal, has died. He was 99.

Stevens’ influence was felt on issues including abortion rights, protecting consumers and placing limits on the death penalty. He led the high court’s decision to allow terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay to plead for their freedom in U.S. courts.

As a federal appeals court judge in Chicago, Stevens was considered a moderate when Republican President Gerald Ford nominated him. On the Supreme Court he became known as an independent thinker and a voice for ordinary people against powerful interests.

He retired in June 2010 at age 90, the second oldest justice in the court’s history.

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AP Explains: Questions and Answers on New US Asylum Ban

A major immigration policy shift took effect Tuesday to deny asylum to anyone who shows up on the Mexican border after traveling through another country.

The dramatic move will likely have the biggest impact on Guatemalans and Hondurans, who must pass through Mexico to reach the U.S. by land. Together, they account for most Border Patrol arrests, and they tend to travel in families. The change drew an immediate lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center in federal court in San Francisco.

Here are some answers to questions about the policy, how Europe has confronted similar challenges, and how Mexico and Central American nations have responded.

How does the new policy work?

Asylum-seekers must pass an initial screening called a “credible fear” interview, a hurdle that a vast majority clear. Under the new policy, they would fail the test unless they sought asylum in at least one transit country and were denied. They would be placed in fast-track deportation proceedings and flown to their home countries at U.S. expense.

FILE – Central American migrants walk along the highway near the border with Guatemala, as they continue their journey trying to reach the U.S., in Tapachula, Mexico, Oct. 21, 2018.

There are exceptions and ways around the rule.

People fleeing persecution can apply for other forms of humanitarian protection that are similar to asylum but much harder to get. Applicants must pass an initial screening called a “reasonable fear” interview, which means that a U.S. official finds they are “more likely than not” to win their cases. The “credible fear” standard for asylum requires only that there is a “significant possibility” of winning.

There are other disadvantages. Unlike asylum, people who obtain “withholding of removal” status or protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture cannot bring relatives or be put on a path to citizenship. The anti-torture convention holds out a possibility of being sent to a third country where they would not be tortured or even sent back to their home countries if conditions improve.

The new policy also spares victims of “a severe form” of human trafficking.

How has Europe dealt with similar challenges?

The 28-member European Union applies a safe-third-country system internally. Asylum-seekers are supposed to apply for protection in the first EU country they enter. If an asylum-seeker in Germany, for example, is found to have entered Italy first, that person can in many cases be sent back to Italy to have their claim processed there. 
 
This system was suspended temporarily in 2015, when about 1 million migrants entered Europe irregularly, mainly by crossing from Turkey to the Greek islands before making their way through the Balkans and on to central and northern Europe.

There is also debate in Europe about which countries outside the EU can be considered safe third countries. Turkey was presumed to be a safe third country under a 2016 deal that helped reduce the migrant flow to Europe. But human rights groups questioned whether Turkey offered adequate protection to refugees.

So far, efforts to create an EU-wide list of safe third countries have not been successful. EU members make such decisions individually.

What do Mexico and Central American nations think?

Mexico has resisted U.S. efforts to become a safe third country for people fleeing persecution who are headed to the U.S. On Monday, Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Mexico would not negotiate on the matter without congressional authorization.

FILE -The words “Tijuana, Mexico” stand on the Mexican side of the border with the U.S. where migrants wait to apply for asylum in the U.S., in Tijuana, Mexico, June 9, 2019.

As part of a deal to head off threatened U.S. tariffs, Mexico has, however, agreed to U.S. expansion of a program under which thousands of asylum-seekers from third countries have been forced to wait in Mexico while their claims are considered in backlogged U.S. courts. Mexico has also assigned some 6,000 members of the new National Guard to support immigration enforcement.

Under the U.S.-Mexico deal, if migration flows do not diminish significantly, both parties would enter into new talks on sharing responsibility for processing asylum claims, perhaps as part of a broader regional agreement.

Central America’s “Northern Triangle” countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have largely been silent on migration and done little beyond blaming political opponents for the problem (Honduras) or doing publicity campaigns to warn people of the dangerous journey (El Salvador).

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales was reportedly close to signing a third-country deal with Washington — which aides have denied. But on Sunday the Constitutional Court blocked it. A planned meeting between Morales and U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington on Monday was abruptly called off. 
 
Are Mexico and the Northern Triangle safe?

The new U.S. policy does not require that transit countries be safe, but the lawsuit filed Tuesday says Mexico and Guatemala are not, citing U.S. government statements.

Gangs such as MS-13 and 18th Street are widespread in the Northern Triangle, particularly in El Salvador and Honduras. The gangs are the de facto authority in large swaths of terrain, and they extort businesses and workers. They are known to forcibly recruit teens and young men to join their ranks, and girls and young women to become “girlfriends.” In either case, saying no can mean a death sentence.

Something as innocuous as walking in the wrong neighborhood, wearing the wrong clothes or being on the wrong bus at the wrong time can get a person killed.

Honduras and El Salvador have some of the world’s highest murder rates. Last year El Salvador had a homicide rate of 50.3 per 100,000 people, down half from an eye-popping 103 per 100,000 people in 2015. Honduras’ murder rate last year was 41 per 100,000 inhabitants, after peaking at 86 in 2011.

All three of the Central American nations also struggle with high poverty and scarce employment opportunities — factors that not only drive emigration but would also make it hard for refugees to build stable lives there.

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Planned Parenthood to Defy Trump Abortion Referral Rule

Federally funded family planning clinics, including Planned Parenthood, are defying the Trump administration’s ban on referring women for abortions, drawing a line against what they say amounts to keeping patients in the dark about legitimate health care options.

“We are not going to comply with a regulation that would require health care providers to not give full information to their patients,” Jacqueline Ayers, the group’s top lobbyist, said in an interview Tuesday. “We believe as a health care provider it is wrong to withhold health care information from patients.”

The fallout from the confrontation between the Trump administration and the clinics remains to be seen, but groups like the American Medical Association have been warning that many low-income women could lose access to basic services like contraception. Planned Parenthood’s announcement came on a day when it also replaced its president, although it’s unclear if there was any connection.

The Department of Health and Human Services formally notified the clinics Monday that it will begin enforcing the new regulation banning abortion referrals, along with a requirement that clinics maintain separate finances from facilities that provide abortions. The rule is being challenged in federal court, but the administration says there is currently no legal obstacle to enforcing it.

It’s part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to remake government policy on reproductive health.

In a statement, HHS did not address Planned Parenthood’s decision, but said the agency is committed to working with clinics so they can comply with the new rules. While abortion referrals are prohibited, HHS noted that clinicians can still offer neutral “nondirective counseling” on abortion.

With about 400 affiliated clinics, Planned Parenthood is the largest provider in the federal family planning program for low-income women, known as Title X. The program does not pay for abortions, but until now clinics had been able to refer women for the procedure. Planned Parenthood clinics have long been a target for religious and social conservatives closely allied with the administration because the clinics separately provide abortions.

Emergency funding

Planned Parenthood acted after its Illinois affiliate and an independent provider, Maine Family Planning, announced they were dropping out of the federal program. Planned Parenthood also abruptly announced the departure of its president, physician Leana Wen, who cited “philosophical differences” in a letter to the staff. Political organizer Alexis McGill Johnson was named as acting president.

FILE – Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen speaks during a protest against abortion bans outside the Supreme Court in Washington, May 21, 2019. Wen, who became the president in November 2018, was forced out of her job July 16, 2019.

Ayers said Tuesday that Planned Parenthood clinics will stop accepting federal money and tap emergency funding as they press Congress and the courts to reverse the administration’s ban. She said she’s not sure how long that backup funding will last.

The federal family planning program serves about 4 million women annually through independent clinics. Taxpayers provide about $260 million a year in grants to clinics. But that money by law cannot be used pay for abortions.

Court cases

The family planning rule is being challenged around the country in court cases that have yet to resolve the core issues involved. However, a nationwide preliminary injunction that had blocked the administration was recently set aside, allowing HHS to begin enforcing the rule.

Other administration regulations tangled up in court would allow employers to opt out of offering free birth control to female workers on the basis of religious or moral objections and would grant health care professionals wider leeway to opt out of procedures that offend their religious or moral scruples.

Abortion opponents welcomed the Trump administration’s action.

The religious conservative Family Research Council said in a statement the rule would “draw a bright line between abortion and family planning programs” and cheered the news that clinics that had been longtime participants are dropping out. That’s “freeing up funding opportunities for clinics that do not promote or perform abortions,” the statement said.

Social conservatives are a bulwark of President Donald Trump’s political base.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but federal laws prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the woman.

Another requirement of the Trump administration’s rule, to take effect next year, would bar clinics and abortion providers from sharing physical space.

Abortion rate

The AMA is among the professional groups opposed to the administration’s policy, saying it could affect low-income women’s access to basic medical care, including birth control, cancer screenings, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

Religious conservatives see the regulation as a means to end what they call an indirect taxpayer subsidy of abortion providers.

Although abortion remains politically divisive, the U.S. abortion rate has dropped significantly, from about 29 per 1,000 women of reproductive age in 1980 to about 15 per 1,000 in 2014. Better contraception, fewer unintended pregnancies and state restrictions may have played a role, according to a recent scientific report. Polls show most Americans do not want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion.

The Trump administration’s policy echoes a Reagan-era regulation that barred clinics from even discussing abortion with women. It never went into effect as written, although the Supreme Court ruled it was appropriate.

The policy was rescinded under President Bill Clinton, and a new rule took effect requiring “nondirective” counseling to include a full range of options for women. The Trump administration is now rolling back the Clinton requirement.

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На засіданні Ради безпеки ООН про український мовний закон країни Заходу посперечалися з Росією

США, Британія та Франція закликали Росією припинити «окупацію» українського Криму

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Міністр оборони Німеччини стала першим лідером-жінкою Єврокомісії – рішення ЄП

Депутати Європарламенту на засіданні 16 липня в Страсбурзі підтримали кандидатуру міністра оборони Німеччини Урсули фон дер Лаєн на посаді президента Єврокомісії.

За це рішення проголосували 383 євродепутатів за необхідних 374.

На початку липня кадидатуру фон дер Лаєн на посаду, яку досі обіймав Жан-Клод Юнкер, запропонував голова Європейської ради Дональд Туск.

Вона буде першою жінкою на посаді президента Єврокомісії, як і свого часу, в грудні 2013 року, вона стала першою жінкою, яка очолила Міністерство оборони Німеччини.

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СБУ наразі не фіксувала фактів втручання Росії у виборчий процес

Служба безпеки України наразі не фіксувала фактів втручання Росії у виборчий процес перед достроковими парламентськими виборами в Україні, заявив тимчасовий виконувач обов’язків голови СБУ Іван Баканов.

«Станом на зараз – ні», – сказав Баканов. 

Він розповів, що українські профільні служби та відомства завчасно готувалися і відпрацьовували на навчаннях шляхи протидії можливому кібервтручанню у роботу серверів Центральної виборчої комісії під час парламентських виборів.

Дострокові вибори народних депутатів заплановані на 21 липня.

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