Служба безпеки України закрила в’їзд в Україну видвореним зі США 60 громадянам Росії «за причетність до діяльності спецслужб країни-агресора», повідомила 31 березня прес-служба СБУ.

«Їхня діяльність визнана несумісною зі статусом дипломата. Заборона на п’ять років стосується 48 дипломатів посольства Росії та 12 осіб з Організації Об’єднаних Націй у Нью-Йорку, яких було вислано з США 26 березня», – ідеться в повідомленні.

Українська спецслужба нагадує, що 27 березня закрила в’їзд 23 громадянам Росії, причетним до розвідувальних служб РФ, яких видворено з Великої Британії у зв’язку з отруєнням Сергія Скрипаля та його дочки.

Президент США Дональд Трамп наказав вислати «десятки» російських офіцерів розвідки через отруєння в Британії колишнього подвійного шпигуна з Росії Сергія Скрипаля, повідомила прес-служба Білого дому 26 березня.

Екс-розвідника Сергія Скрипаля та його дочку Юлію виявили 4 березня непритомними на лавці в парку Солсбері на півдні Великої Британії. Пізніше британські слідчі встановили, що їх отруїли нервово-паралітичною речовиною з серії «Новачок», яку розробили в Росії (СРСР).

14 березня прем’єр-міністр Великої Британії Тереза Мей звинуватила Росію в отруєнні Скрипаля і його дочки й оголосила про вислання 23 російських дипломатів.

Згодом до вислання дипломатів або відкликання з Росії послів вдалися понад 30 країн, які таким чином висловили солідарність із Лондоном. Україна, яка оголосила небажаними особами 13 дипломатів, є на третьому місці за кількістю таких осіб – слідом за США та Великою Британією.


Президент України Петро Порошенко вважає, що особи, які підтримують проект будівництва газопроводу «Північний потік-2», «стають поплічниками президента РФ Путіна у його гібридних війнах». Про це Порошенко заявив у коментарі німецькому медіаконцерну Funke Media Group, інформує 31 березня прес-служба голови української держави.

«Переконаний, що спроба отруєння газом у Солсбері (отруєння екс-шпигуна Сергія Скрипаля, його дочки Юлії та британських громадян – ред.) матиме наслідки і для «Північного потоку-2». Проект газопроводу потребує перевірки «з економічної, політичної і моральної точки зору», – цитує прес-служба слова президента.

Порошенко вкотре заявив, що для Росії «Північний потік-2» є не «бізнес-проектом», а «інструментом політичного шантажу».

27 березня компанія Nord Stream 2 AG заявила про отримання дозволу на будівництво і експлуатацію газопроводу в німецькій виключній економічній зоні.

5 березня спікер німецького уряду Штеффен Зайберт заявив, що новий газопровід через Балтійське море в обхід України «є винятково комерційним проектом», однак додав, що «в інтересах Німеччини та Європи, щоб Україна продовжила відігравати роль у транзиті російського газу».

У США неодноразово заявляли, що «Північний потік-2» є об’єктом політизації енергетики і підриває спроби Європи стати менш залежною від російських ресурсів.

Проект «Північний потік-2» має постачати газ із родовищ на півночі Росії безпосередньо до Німеччини дном Балтійського моря, оминаючи традиційні транзитні маршрути через Україну і Польщу. Проект має розширити здатності вже збудованого першого «Північного потоку». Компанія Nord Stream 2 AG («Північний потік-2»), що займається плануванням будівництва, належить російському «Газпромові» на 100 відсотків через його філію у Нідерландах.


The U.S. government on Friday asked a judge to sentence Macau billionaire Ng Lap Seng to more than six years in prison, after his conviction last July for bribing two U.N. ambassadors to help him build a multibillion-dollar conference center.

Prosecutors made their request in a filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan and are also seeking a $2 million fine.

The request came four weeks after Ng’s lawyers urged that their 69-year-old client be sentenced to time served and allowed to return to his family in China.

Lawyers for Ng did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Ng’s sentencing by U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick is scheduled for May 11. Probation officials recommended a six-year prison term.

Macau project never built

Ng was convicted on all six counts he faced, including bribery, money laundering and corruption, after a four-week trial and less than a day of jury deliberations.

Prosecutors accused him of paying more than $1 million of bribes to officials including the late former U.N. General Assembly President John Ashe.

They said Ng hoped the conference center, which was never built, would pave the way for luxury housing, hotels, a shopping mall, marinas and a heliport, turning Macau into the “Geneva of Asia” and winning himself fame and greater riches.

“The defendant, a sophisticated, international businessman, repeatedly used his wealth and power to seek to corrupt decision-making at the United Nations,” prosecutors said in Friday’s filing. “That was a choice. It warrants substantial and meaningful punishment.”

Defense seeks leniency

Defense lawyers have said Ng’s goals were consistent with the types of public-private partnerships that the United Nations favors, and that other diplomats abused Ng’s trust.

In their sentencing request, they called it “far more reasonable” to conclude that Ng’s motivations were patriotic and philanthropic.

They also said there was “no chance of recidivism,” and that Ng could assure the court that once in China, he would not seek to return to the United States or conduct business there.

Ng has been allowed to live in his Manhattan apartment under 24-hour guard on $50 million bail. He was arrested in 2015.


A Louisiana police chief said Friday that he had fired the white officer who fatally shot a black man during a struggle outside a convenience store nearly two years ago, a killing that set off widespread protests.

Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul announced Officer Blane Salamoni’s firing less than a week after Louisiana’s attorney general ruled out criminal charges in Alton Sterling’s July 2016 shooting death.

Paul also suspended Officer Howie Lake II, the other officer involved in the deadly confrontation, for three days. Lake helped wrestle Sterling to the ground but did not fire his weapon that night.

“My decision was not based on politics,” Paul said during a news conference. “It was not based on emotions. It was based on the facts of the case.”

Both officers had remained on paid administrative leave since the shooting.

Police also released body camera footage and other videos of the officers’ deadly encounter with Sterling.

In the body camera footage of the encounter, an officer can be heard repeatedly using profanity as he shouts at Sterling and at one point threatens to shoot him in the head as Sterling asks what he did.

When Sterling complains that the officers are hurting him, one of the officers says to use a Taser on him, and an electric buzzing can be heard. The officer believed to be Salamoni then runs at Sterling, tackling him as the camera footage blurs with motion.

Someone yells, “He’s got a gun,” then gunshots ring out.

Salamoni shot Sterling six times during a struggle outside the Triple S Food Mart, where the 37-year-old black man was selling homemade CDs. Lake helped wrestle Sterling to the ground but didn’t fire his weapon.

After the shooting — as Sterling lies on the ground — an officer can be heard using profanity to say Sterling was stupid.

Gun recovered

The officers recovered a loaded revolver from Sterling’s pocket. As a convicted felon, Sterling could not legally carry a gun.

L. Chris Stewart, an attorney representing two of Sterling’s five children, said the newly released videos showed that Salamoni attacked Sterling without provocation, “like a wild dog.”

“The most obvious thing that stands out is Alton wasn’t fighting back at all,” Stewart said. “He’s trying to defuse it the whole time.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced Tuesday that his office would not charge either officer with state crimes. The Justice Department ruled out federal criminal charges last May.

Sterling’s death inflamed racial tensions in the state’s capital and led to protests in which nearly 200 people were arrested.

In June 2017, Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome called on Paul’s predecessor, Carl Dabadie Jr., to fire Salamoni. Dabadie refused, saying it would be improper and premature because the shooting remained under investigation.

Paul said Tuesday that he and three deputy chiefs would preside over a disciplinary hearing — closed to the public — before imposing any punishment. He detailed the results of that hearing at a news conference.

Salamoni’s attorney, John McLindon, had said Tuesday that he expected the officer to be fired. He called it “grossly unfair” that a disciplinary hearing was planned less than a week after the end of the criminal investigations. Lake’s attorney, Kyle Kershaw, said his client’s actions complied with department procedures.

Salamoni had served as a Baton Rouge police officer for four years before the shooting; Lake was a three-year veteran of the force. 

Two cellphone videos of the incident quickly spread on social media after the shooting.


A new poll shows that only 1 in 10 African-Americans thinks the United States has achieved all the goals of the civil rights movement, nearly 50 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

The poll by the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released Friday shows that a majority of African-Americans believe there has been little or no progress on a range of civil rights issues, including fair coverage by the media, political representation and equal economic opportunities. 

The poll found that African-Americans were most pessimistic about the criminal justice system, with three-quarters saying there has been little or no progress on fair treatment by police. 

It found only one area — voting rights — where majorities of African-Americans believe a lot of progress or some progress has been made for racial equality since the civil rights movement. 

Thirty percent of Americans — 35 percent of whites and just 8 percent of blacks — said all or most of the goals of the civil rights movement have been achieved, according to the poll. Most of the remainder said partial progress has been achieved.

The poll shows that whites are more likely than blacks to think there has been progress in every area asked about in the poll.

Seventy-nine percent of African-Americans said blacks continue to face disadvantages to getting ahead in the United States, while only 44 percent of whites said the same. 

The poll also broke down the respondents by political party and found that 54 percent of Republicans compared to just 14 percent of Democrats think most or all of the goals of the civil rights movement have been achieved.

King was shot and killed on April 4, 1968, while he was at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray, a segregationist, pleaded guilty of the killing and spent his life in prison before his death in 1998. 

The AP-NORC poll contacted 1,337 adults for the survey on February 15-19. 


Russian ships are skulking around underwater communications cables, causing the U.S. and its allies to worry the Kremlin might be taking information warfare to new depths.

Is Moscow interested in cutting or tapping the cables? Does it want the West to worry it might? Is there a more innocent explanation? Unsurprisingly, Russia isn’t saying.

But whatever Moscow’s intentions, U.S. and Western officials are increasingly troubled by their rival’s interest in the 400 fiber-optic cables that carry most of world’s calls, emails and texts, as well as $10 trillion worth of daily financial transactions.

“We’ve seen activity in the Russian navy, and particularly undersea in their submarine activity, that we haven’t seen since the ’80s,” General Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of the U.S. European Command, told Congress this month.

Without undersea cables, a bank in Asian countries couldn’t send money to Saudi Arabia to pay for oil. U.S. military leaders would struggle to communicate with troops fighting extremists in Afghanistan and the Middle East. A student in Europe wouldn’t be able to Skype his parents in the United States.

Small passageways

All this information is transmitted along tiny glass fibers encased in undersea cables that, in some cases, are little bigger than a garden hose. All told, there are 620,000 miles of fiber-optic cable running under the sea, enough to loop around Earth nearly 25 times.

Most lines are owned by private telecommunications companies, including giants like Google and Microsoft. Their locations are easily identified on public maps, with swirling lines that look like spaghetti. While cutting one cable might have limited impact, severing several simultaneously or at choke points could cause a major outage.

The Russians “are doing their homework and, in the event of a crisis or conflict with them, they might do rotten things to us,” said Michael Kofman, a Russian military expert at nonprofit research group CNA Corp.

It’s not Moscow’s warships and submarines that are making NATO and U.S. officials uneasy. It’s Russia’s Main Directorate of Deep Sea Research, whose specialized surface ships, submarines, underwater drones and minisubs conduct reconnaissance, underwater salvage and other work.

One ship run by the directorate is the Yantar. It’s a modest, 354-foot oceanographic vessel that holds a crew of about 60. It most recently was off South America’s coast helping Argentina search for a lost submarine.

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, the Russian parliament’s publication, last October said the Yantar has equipment “designed for deep-sea tracking” and “connecting to top-secret communication cables.” The publication said that in September 2015, the Yantar was near Kings Bay, Georgia, home to a U.S. submarine base, “collecting information about the equipment on American submarines, including underwater sensors and the unified [U.S. military] information network.” Rossiya, a Russian state TV network, has said the Yantar not only can connect to top-secret cables but also can cut them and “jam underwater sensors with a special system.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Preparing for sabotage

There is no hard evidence that the ship is engaged in nefarious activity, said Steffan Watkins, an information technology security consultant in Canada tracking the ship. But he wonders what the ship is doing when it’s stopped over critical cables or when its Automatic Identification System tracking transponder isn’t on.

Of the Yantar’s crew, he said: “I don’t think these are the actual guys who are doing any sabotage. I think they’re laying the groundwork for future operations.”

Members of Congress are wondering, too. 

Representative Joe Courtney, a Connecticut Democrat on a House subcommittee on sea power, said of the Russians, “The mere fact that they are clearly tracking the cables and prowling around the cables shows that they are doing something.”

Democratic Senator Gary Peters of Michigan, an Armed Services Committee member, said Moscow’s goal appears to be to “disrupt the normal channels of communication and create an environment of misinformation and distrust.”

The Yantar’s movements have previously raised eyebrows.

On October 18, 2016, a Syrian telecom company ordered emergency maintenance to repair a cable in the Mediterranean that provides internet connectivity to several countries, including Syria, Libya and Lebanon. The Yantar arrived in the area the day before the four-day maintenance began. It left two days before the maintenance ended. It’s unknown what work it did while there.

Watkins described another episode on November 5, 2016, when a submarine cable linking Persian Gulf nations experienced outages in Iran. Hours later, the Yantar left Oman and headed to an area about 60 miles west of the Iranian port city of Bushehr, where the cable runs ashore. Connectivity was restored just hours before the Yantar arrived on November 9. The boat stayed stationary over the site for several more days.

Undersea cables have been targets before.

At the beginning of World War I, Britain cut a handful of German underwater communications cables and tapped the rerouted traffic for intelligence. In the Cold War, the U.S. Navy sent American divers deep into the Sea of Okhotsk off the Russian coast to install a device to record Soviet communications, hoping to learn more about the U.S.S.R.’s submarine-launched nuclear capability.

Eavesdropping by spies

More recently, British and American intelligence agencies have eavesdropped on fiber-optic cables, according to documents released by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor.

In 2007, Vietnamese authorities confiscated ships carrying miles of fiber-optic cable that thieves salvaged from the sea for profit. The heist disrupted service for several months. And in 2013, Egyptian officials arrested three scuba divers off Alexandria for attempting to cut a cable stretching from France to Singapore. Five years on, questions remain about the attack on a cable responsible for about a third of all internet traffic between Egypt and Europe.

Despite the relatively few publicly known incidents of sabotage, most outages are due to accidents.

Two hundred or so cable-related outages take place each year. Most occur when ship anchors snap cables or commercial fishing equipment snags the lines. Others break during tsunamis, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

But even accidental cuts can harm U.S. military operations. 

In 2008 in Iraq, unmanned U.S. surveillance flights nearly screeched to a halt one day at Balad Air Base, not because of enemy mortar attacks or dusty winds. An anchor had snagged a cable hundreds of miles away from the base, situated in the “Sunni Triangle” northwest of Baghdad.

The severed cable had linked controllers based in the United States with unmanned aircraft flying intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions for coalition forces in the skies over Iraq, said retired Air Force Colonel Dave Lujan of Hampton, Virginia.

“Say you’re operating a remote-controlled car and all of a sudden you can’t control it,” said Lujan, who was deputy commander of the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group at the base when the little-publicized outage lasted for two to three days. “That’s a big impact,” he said, describing how U.S. pilots had to fly the missions instead.


«Чому з 2014 року американський презент досі стоїть в порту Балтимора, а не служить українським Військово-морським силам в акваторії Чорного моря?»


Американський штат Массачусетс визнав геноцидом Голодомор 1932-1933 років на теренах України, повідомило українське посольство в США 29 березня.

У прокламації, яку оприлюднило дипломатичне представництво України, йдеться: «Я, Чарльз Бейкер, губернатор штату Массачусетс, проголошую березень 2018 року місяцем пам’яті геноциду в Україні».

У посольстві зазначили, що Массачусетс став дев’ятим американським штатом, який визнав Голодомор геноцидом. Раніше це зробили у Вашингтоні, Вісконсині, Іллінойсі, Мічигані, Нью-Джерсі, Нью-Йорку, Орегоні та Пенсильванії.

У листопаді 2006 року Верховна Рада України визнала Голодомор 1932–1933 років геноцидом українського народу. Наразі Голодомор визнали геноцидом 24 країни світу, а ще в низці країн – органи влади їхніх окремих територіальних одиниць.

Україна з посиланням на дані науково-демографічної експертизи стверджує, що загальна кількість людських втрат від Голодомору 1932–33 років становить майже 4 мільйони осіб, а втрати українців у частині ненароджених становлять понад 6 мільйонів.