Почесний патріарх Православної церкви України Філарет звернувся до президента України Володимира Зеленського та Організації з безпеки та співробітництва в Європі через ліквідацію Української православної церкви Київського патріархату.

На думку Філарета, парафіян УПЦ КП «фактично силою змушують належати до іншої конфесії – Православної церкви України».

«Прошу вас силою міжнародного авторитету допомогти не допустити незаконну ліквідацію нашої церкви Міністерством культури України», – йдеться у зверненні Філарета до координатора проєктів ОБСЄ в Україні Генріка Вілладсена, яке датоване 30 липня.

У зверненні до Зеленського патріарх заявляє про «рейдерську атаку на майно УПЦ Київського патріархату», яку нібито очолює предстоятель Православної церкви України Епіфаній. Крім того, він розповів про процес ліквідації УПЦ КП та попросив у президента «безпосереднього втручання і припинення цього беззаконня».

27 липня Синод Православної церкви України вирішив припинити діяльність релігійної організації «Київська патріархія Української православної церкви Київського патріархату» шляхом приєднання до релігійної організації «Київська митрополія Української православної церкви (Православної церкви України)».

Міністерство культури повідомило, що про це зробили запис у Єдиному державному реєстрі юридичних осіб, фізичних осіб – підприємців та громадських формувань.

31 липня Філарет повідомив, що УПЦ КП подала до суду на Міністерство культури через зняття з реєстрації.

20 червня у Володимирському соборі Києва збори під головуванням почесного патріарха ПЦУ Філарета вирішили відновити існування ліквідованої церкви УПЦ КП і скасувати визнання Православної церкви України. У ПЦУ рішення цього зібрання одразу ж назвали юридично нікчемним.

15 грудня 2018 року у соборі Святої Софії в Києві відбувся об’єднавчий собор, на була створена помісну Православна церква України. Її предстоятелем обрали митрополита Епіфанія з дотеперішньої УПЦ КП. 6 січня у Стамбулі Вселенський патріарх Варфоломій урочисто вручив Епіфанію томос про визнання канонічної автокефалії ПЦУ. 3 лютого відбулася інтронізація Епіфанія.

9 травня почесний патріарх Православної церкви України Філарет заявив, що Українська православна церква Київського патріархату ще існує. Він також допустив відділення від ПЦУ Київського патріархату і заявив, що уповноважений скликати для цього церковний собор. Водночас Міністерство культури заявило, що УПЦ КП припинила існування.


Гуманітарна підгрупа в столиці Білорусі Мінську «готує все необхідне для звільнення людей», повідомила у Facebook Дарка Оліфер, речниця представника України в Тристоронній контактній групі в Мінську Леоніда Кучми.

«У гуманітарній підгрупі продовжують працювати над підтвердженням утримуваних осіб та готують все необхідне для подальшого звільнення людей», – написала Оліфер.

Вона додала, що активізована робота з пошуку зниклих безвісти.

«Найближчим часом буде узгоджено алгоритми ідентифікації та передачі залишків загиблих», – розповіла Оліфер.

Унаслідок конфлікту на сході України з квітня 2014 року, за оцінками ООН станом на 31 грудня 2018 року, загинули від 12 тисяч 800 до 13 тисяч людей.

Перемир’я, про які домовлялися на засіданнях Тристоронньої контактної групи в Мінську, порушувалися практично відразу. При цьому сторони заперечують свою вину в цих порушеннях і звинувачують противників у провокаціях.
27 грудня 2017 року на Донбасі між українською стороною і підтримуваними Росією бойовиками відбувся обмін утримуваними особами. Він був запланований за формулою «306 на 74». Українській стороні 27 грудня передали 74 людини, проте одна з них вирішила залишитися на непідконтрольній українській владі території. Київ передав бойовикам 233 людини.
17 липня в столиці Білорусі Мінську Тристороння контактна група з урегулювання конфлікту на Донбасі домовилася почати підготовку до обміну утримуваними особами: у гуманітарній підгрупі підтвердили місцеперебування 69 українців, яких Київ прагне звільнити з полону. Водночас у закладах української пенітенціарної служби перебуває 208 людей, яких запитують підтримувані Росією бойовики.


Причиною звільнення Андрія Козлова з Вищої кваліфікаційної комісії суддів України є відсутність у нього необхідного для виконання цієї роботи стажу професійної діяльності у сфері права не менш як 15 років. Про це йдеться в коментарі керівника секретаріату уповноваженого Верховної Ради з прав людини Людмили Левшун, наданому на прохання Радіо Свобода.

«Козлов Андрій Георгійович призначений членом Вищої кваліфікаційної комісії суддів України наказом Уповноваженого Верховної Ради України з прав людини від 26.10.2016 №346/к. У березні 2019 року до Уповноваженого надійшла скарга громадянина України щодо відсутності у Козлова А.Г. належного стажу діяльності у сфері права та відсутності у нього адвокатського свідоцтва», – вказано в коментарі.

Як ідеться в документі, Національна асоціація адвокатів України та Рада адвокатів Києва відповіли на запит секретаріату омбудсмена, що «в Єдиному реєстрі адвокатів України відомості стосовно Козлова А.Г. відсутні». Саме ці дані тали причиною звільнення Козлова з посади члена ВККСУ, наполягають у секретаріаті уповноваженого Верховної Ради з прав людини.

Сам Андрій Козлов в ефірі Радіо Свобода заявив, що надіслав до офісу омбудсмена всі документи, які підтверджують наявність у нього необхідного стажу.

У мережі Facebook Козлов вказав, що 29 липня був допитаний як потерпілий у справі про втручання в роботу Вищої кваліфікаційної комісії суддів України.

Про звільнення Козлова з посади члена ВККС стало відомо на початку липня. 26 липня Національне антикорупційне бюро України, Управління спеціальних розслідувань Генпрокуратури та СБУ повідомили про деталі розслідування можливого вчинення кримінальних правопорушень з боку голови та окремих суддів адмінсуду Києва (ОАСК).

Слідчі розповіли, що судді ОАСК втрутились у призначення членів ВККС за квотами Уповноваженого Верховної Ради з прав людини та Державної судової адміністрації. Із записів негласних слідчих розшукових дій випливає, що судді та омбудсмен Денісова нібито домовилися про призначення нею членів ВККС, які будуть лояльні до ОАСК. Натомість суд мав не підтримати позиції Національного агентства з питань запобігання корупції (НАЗК), яке звинуватило Людмилу Денісову в тому, що та не задекларувала кошти у 2016–2018 роках. Правоохоронці вважають, що судді адмінсуду Києва створювали штучні перешкоди в роботі ВККС, щоб уникнути обов’язкового кваліфікаційного оцінювання.


П’ятьох фігурантів другої сімферопольської «справи Хізб ут-Тахрір» етапували з Росії в СІЗО №1 Сімферополя для впізнання таємним свідком. Про це кореспонденту проекту Радіо Свобода Крим.Реалії розповів адвокат Маммет Мамбетов.

Іззет Абдуллаєв, Сейтвелієв Сейтабдієв, Акім Бекіров, Алім Карімов і Асан Янік пробудуть у слідчому ізоляторі як мінімум до кінця тижня.

«Ще 23 липня під час судового засідання по відеозв’язку Іззет мені повідомив, що його етапують із СІЗО в Шахтах в СІЗО Ростова. Через пару днів після цього керівник слідчої групи ФСБ, яка займається цією справою, повідомив мені, що Іззета і ще чотирьох фігурантів даної справи доставили з СІЗО Ростова в СІЗО Сімферополя для проведення слідчих дій», – розповів Мамбетов.

На слідчих діях відбувалося впізнання п’ятьох обвинувачених засекреченим свідком.

«Сьогодні (30 липня – ред.) в управлінні ФСБ було впізнання прихованим свідком мого підзахисного і ще чотирьох обвинувачених. Слідчі дії триватимуть мінімум до кінця тижня. Днями у нас буде продовження арешту. Воно, ймовірно, відбудеться в Криму. Після цього їх етапують назад в СІЗО, де вони раніше перебували», – додав він.

Після російської анексії Криму навесні 2014 року на півострові регулярно проходять обшуки у незалежних журналістів, громадських активістів, активістів кримськотатарського національного руху, членів Меджлісу кримськотатарського народу, а також кримських мусульман, підозрюваних у зв’язках із забороненою в Росії організацією «Хізб ут-Тахрір».


The first night of the second round of Democratic presidential candidate debates took place in Detroit Tuesday. The candidates answered questions on a range of issues, including health care, recent mass shootings, immigration and foreign trade.

Here are some quotes from each candidate:

Steve Bullock, in responding to a discussion on gun violence, discussed a personal story, saying: “I’m a gun owner, I hunt, like far too many people in America, I have been personally impacted by gun violence. I had an 11-year-old nephew, Jeremy, shot and killed on a playground. We need to start looking at this as a public health issue, not a political issue.”

Pete Buttigieg, who as South Bend, Indiana, mayor has been criticized for his handling of a recent racially tinged shooting, said about race: “As an urban mayor serving a diverse community, the racial divide lives within me. I’m not saying that I became mayor and racism or crime or poverty ended on my watch. But in our city, we have come together repeatedly to tackle challenges like the fact that far too many people were not getting the help they needed in their housing and so we directed it to a historically underinvested African American neighborhood. Right now in the wake of a police involved shooting, our community is moving from hurting to healing by making sure that the community can participate in things like revising the use of force policy, and making sure there are community voices on the board of safety that handles police matters.”

John Delaney, in criticizing health care plans by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, said: “We don’t have to go around and be the party of subtraction and telling half the country who has private health insurance that their health insurance is illegal. It’s also bad policy. It’ll under-fund the industry, many hospitals will close, and it’s bad politics. … Folks, we have a choice. We can go down the road that Senator Sanders and Senator Warren want to take us with bad policies like Medicare for All, free everything, and impossible promises that will turn off independent voters and get (President Donald) Trump re-elected.”

John Hickenlooper, in criticizing Senator Sanders’ health care plan, said: “I’m saying the policies of this notion that you’re going to take private insurance away from 180 million American, who many of them don’t want to give it, many of them do want to get rid of it, but some don’t, many don’t. The Green New Deal makes sure that every American’s guaranteed a government job if they want, that is a disaster. You might as well FedEx the election to Donald Trump. I think we have to focus on where Donald Trump is failing.”

Amy Klobuchar, answering a question on infrastructure, discusses the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, said: “I was just in Flint, and they are still drinking bottled water in that town, and that is outrageous, and my plan, and I am the first one that came out with an infrastructure plan and I did that because this is a bread and butter issue for people that are caught in traffic jams. I truly believe that if we’re going to move on infrastructure, climate change, you need a voice from the heartland.”

Beto O’Rourke, who lives in the border town of El Paso, Texas, in explaining his stance on decriminalizing border crossings by undocumented immigrants, said: “In my administration, after we have waived citizenship fees for green card holders, more than 9 million of our fellow Americans, free Dreamers who many fear of deportation, and stop criminally prosecuting families and children for seeking asylum and refuge, and for-profit detention, and so that no family has to make that 2,000-mile journey, then I expect that people who come here follow our laws and we reserve the right to criminally prosecute them.” 

Tim Ryan, who said he agrees in part with President Trump’s use of tariffs against China, saying: “I think President Trump was onto something when he talked about China. China has been abusing the economic system for a long time. They steal intellectual property. They subsidize goods. They eroded manufacturing. We transfer our wealth of the middle class either up to the top 1% or to China for them to build the military. So I think we need some targeted response against China.”

Bernie Sanders, in explaining his climate change agenda, said: “To win this election and to defeat Donald Trump, which by the way, in my view is not going to be easy, we need to have a campaign of energy and excitement and of vision. … I get a little bit tired of Democrats afraid of big ideas. Republicans are not afraid of big ideas. They could give a trillion dollars in tax breaks to billionaires and profitable corporations. … On this issue, my friends, there is no choice, we have got to be super aggressive if we love our children and if we want to leave them a planet that is healthy and is habitable. … What that means is we got to take on the fossil fuel industry.”

Elizabeth Warren, on a night when North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles, explained her position on the use of nuclear weapons, saying: “The United States is not going to use nuclear weapons preemptively. We need to say so to the entire world. It reduces the likelihood someone miscalculates or misunderstands. Our first responsibility is to keep ourselves safe. And what’s happening right now with Donald Trump is they keep expanding the different ways we have nuclear weapons. The different ways they can be used puts us all at risk.”

Marianne Williamson, in defending her plan to offer up to $500 billion in reparations to the U.S. descendants of enslaved Africans, said: “It is time for us to simply realize that this country will not heal. All that a country is a collection of people. People heal when there’s deep truth-telling. We need to recognize when it comes to the economic gap between blacks and whites in America, it does come from a great injustice that has never been dealt with. That great injustice has had to do with the fact that there was 250 years of slavery, followed by another 100 years of domestic terrorism.”


Генеральне консульство Росії в Одесі направило ноту Міністерству закордонних справ України з вимогою роз’яснень щодо арешту російського танкера NEYMA. Про це повідомляє агентство ТАСС.

«Офіційних документів щодо танкера ми не отримали. Генеральне консульство РФ в Одесі направило в МЗС України ноту з проханням прояснити ситуацію», – цитує агентство російське посольство в Україні.

25 липня в СБУ повідомили, що слідчі Служби безпеки України і військової прокуратури затримали в Ізмаїлі російський танкер, який блокував українські військові кораблі біля Керченської протоки в листопаді 2018 року, коли Росія захопила три українські військові судна і 24 моряків.

За даними СБУ, після подій 2018 року російські власники змінили назву танкера на Nika Spirit.

Згодом екіпаж танкера із 10 моряків відпустили. У Службі безпеки пояснили, що моряки не порушували закон.

Приморський районний суд Одеси перевірив правомірність дій військових прокурорів і слідчих СБУ під час обшуку 25 липня в порту Ізмаїл російського танкера Neyma і наклав на судно арешт.


Christy Lee contributed to this report which originated on VOA’s Korean Service.

The National Defense University, an institution funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, has published a journal article suggesting Washington should share its nuclear tactical missiles with Japan and South Korea to deter North Korea’s growing nuclear threat to East Asia and the U.S. 

“The United States should strongly consider … sharing of nonstrategic nuclear capabilities during times of crisis with select Asia-Pacific partners, specially Japan and the Republic of Korea,” according to “Twenty-First Century Nuclear Deterrence,” published by the university in the current issue of Joint Force Quarterly (JFQ). The Republic of Korea is the official name for South Korea.

Publication guidelines on the university’s site say “The views expressed by this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.”

Sharing American nuclear capabilities with Japan and South Korea would involve deploying its nuclear weapons in the territories of its two allies in East Asia so that the weapons can be used in such time as a nuclear war, as the U.S. does with five member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organizations (NATO), according to the article. 

Japan and South Korea are under the U.S. nuclear umbrella that promises defense against threats. The U.S. maintains military bases in both countries, which are currently embroiled in a trade dispute colored by historical animosities. 

The article’s release on July 25 coincided with North Korea’s launch of two short-range missiles. Then, early Wednesday local time, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that North Korea launched multiple unidentified projectiles off the east coast of its Hodo Peninsula.

The four authors, who serve in the U.S. army, navy, and air force, suggest U.S. nuclear weapons deployed in Japan and South Korea would be used for exigent purposes during war but would mainly serve as an extended deterrence against North Korea’s use of nuclear weapons in peacetime, effectively preventing it from launching a nuclear attack. 

The article suggests American nuclear sharing with Japan and South Korea could be undertaken in a manner similar to an agreement the U.S. signed with five NATO member states. 

US weapons

Currently, the U.S. shares approximately 180 tactical nuclear weapons such as B61 nuclear bombs with Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey

NATO is a multilateral alliance now composed of 29 member-states from North America and Europe established in 1949 by 12 countries to serve as a collective defense against emerging threats in the region. 

American nuclear weapons have been deployed to the five NATO countries since the mid-1950s in an arrangement known as nuclear sharing.  Nuclear sharing allows these countries without nuclear weapons to use American deployed nuclear weapons in case of war at which time the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) will be disabled. 

The NPT, which entered into force in 1970, prohibits signatory states from transferring and accepting direct and indirect control of nuclear weapons.

The JFQ article came out as the process of denuclearization diplomacy with Pyongyang, stalled since the Hanoi summit in February, has started to inch forward.

In June, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump met for an impromptu summit at the inter-Korean border in June where they agreed to resume denuclearization efforts. North Korea has been reluctant to engage in the working-level negotiations since Hanoi where Washington rejected Pyongyang’s demand for sanctions lift.

The JFQ authors highlighted that the U.S. may face “difficulties in shaping [North Korean] behavior” if it does not give up its nuclear program.

“If left unchecked, North Korea will continue to threaten the East Asian region and perhaps one day the United States itself,” they noted.

North Korea threat

On June 25, North Korea fired what South Korea called new types of short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, the body of water between the Korean peninsula and Japan, rattling the East Asian countries.

The next day, Pyongyang said it had tested a new type of “tactical guided weapon” intended to send a “solemn warning” to South Korea to end its joint military exercises with the U.S.

North Korea said the weapons it tested had “rapid anti-firepower capability” and “low altitude gliding and leaping flight orbit…which would be hard to intercept.”  

In May, North Korea tested three short-range missiles off its east coast that experts considered to be similar to a Russian Iskander, a nuclear loadable short-range ballistic missile.

The article said, “Considering North Korea’s history of aggressive nuclear rhetoric and recent missile tests,” sharing U.S. nuclear weapons with its regional allies “would provide renewed physical evidence of U.S. resolve.”

The article also stated that nuclear sharing with Japan and South Korea will strengthen a “military partnership through joint-regional exercises” necessary to deter North Korea.

However, according to Gary Samore, former White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction during the Obama administration, the time may not be ripe for the U.S. to propose nuclear sharing with Seoul and Tokyo because of an on-going trade row between the two

“My sense is that [in] both South Korea and Japan, there is very little political support for such a step at this time,” said Samore, currently senior fellow at the Harvard Belfer Center’s Korea Project. “It could change, but, for now, I think it would be very controversial.”

Seoul and Tokyo have been involved in a trade dispute after Japan placed export restrictions on three high-tech items South Korean companies use to manufacture parts used in smart phones and other high-tech devices. The trade dispute is widely seen as rooted in Korean anger at Japan for decades of colonization and occupation from 1910 until Japan’s 1945 surrender to the U.S. to end World War II. During that period, many Japanese companies used Korean forced labor. 

Boycotts against Japanese-made products have been widespread in Seoul, and Japan has rejected Seoul’s call for talks to resolve the dispute. 

Samore said, “There may come a time when the domestic politics in South Korea and Japan have changed especially when North Korea continues to maintain and advance nuclear weapons and (a) ballistic missile program.” He added, “And then at that point it would make more sense.”


Story updated on July 31, at 12:18 am.

U.S. health care policies took center stage Tuesday night at the Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, with more moderate challengers attacking Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, the leading progressives looking to oust President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Warren and Sanders have both called for a sweeping end to the country’s current health care system centered on private company insurance plans offered to 150 million workers through their employers. But their views were under attack almost from the start of the debate on a theater stage in Detroit, Michigan, the country’s auto industry hub.

“We don’t have to go around and be the party of subtraction and telling half the country who has private health insurance that their health insurance is illegal,” former Maryland Congressman John Delaney said. “It’s also bad policy. It’ll under-fund the industry, many hospitals will close, and it’s bad politics.”

Often political allies

Warren, a former Harvard law professor, and Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, are friends of long-standing and often political allies. They now are both looking for votes from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. Both defended their position calling for a government-run health care system.

“This is not radical,” Sanders of Vermont shouted at one point, noting that numerous other Western societies already have adopted government-run systems. “I get a little tired of Democrats who are afraid of big ideas.”

Warren of Massachusetts rebuffed the critics, saying, “I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.” 

But their challengers lobbed multiple attacks at the pair, saying their proposals would, over four years or longer, upend the long-standing U.S. health care system, including government-subsidized insurance for moderate and low-income families under the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who has called for more incremental health care policy changes, said, “I have bold ideas, but they are grounded in reality.”

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. talk during a break in the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said that Democrats had picked up 40 seats in the House of Representatives in the 2018 mid-term elections and not one of them had pushed for the Warren-Sanders Medicare for All plan.

“I’m a little more pragmatic,” Hickenlooper declared.

‘Recipe for disaster’

Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan called for a plan allowing Americans to buy into government-run insurance if they want to, but said that closing down the insurance industry “is a recipe for disaster,” especially among union members who would face the loss of hard-won health care benefits through collective bargaining.

The moderate candidates also attacked Sanders and Warren on immigration issues, even as several candidates assailed Trump’s immigration policies, including his since-abandoned practice of separating migrant children from their parents.

The moderate challengers criticized Sanders and Warren for proposing to end the filing of criminal charges against the thousands of undocumented migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexican border.

“We’ve got 100,000 people showing up at the border right now,” said Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. “If we decriminalize entry, if we give free health care to everyone, we’ll have multiples of that.” He said that by effectively encouraging migration to the United States, “You are playing into Donald Trump’s hands.”

Ryan said, “If you want to come into the country, you should at least ring the doorbell.”

Sanders answered that he does not think that immigrants should be prosecuted, saying, “If a mother and a child walk thousands of miles on a dangerous path, in my view, they are not criminals.”

Warren called for civil penalties, not criminal charges against migrants arriving in the U.S. “The point is not about criminalization,” she said. “That has given Donald Trump the tool to break families apart.”

Throughout the night, the candidates sparred over foreign policy, Warren’s controversial plan for a wealth tax and debt-free college, payment of reparations to the U.S. descendants of slaves, trade, the city of Flint, Michigan’s prolonged drinking water crisis, and even the age of the candidates. Buttigieg, who is 37, stood next to Sanders, who is 77, and was asked by CNN’s Don Lemon whether Sanders was too old to be president.

Buttigieg demurred, saying, “I don’t care how old you are, I care about your vision. … We need the kind of vision that’s going to win. We can’t have the kind of vision that says, ‘Back to normal.'”

Sanders readily agreed with Buttigieg, boasting of the ideas he has advocated to dramatically alter the health care system and bring the pharmaceutical and insurance industries to heel. 

First of two nights

Tuesday’s debate, lasting more than 2.5 hours, was the first of two nights with two groups of 10 Democratic candidates sparring with each other over domestic and foreign policy differences, but more importantly trying to make the case that they are the party’s best hope to defeat Trump when he seeks re-election in 2020.

Trump’s relentless attacks on Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, a prominent African American political leader, and the predominantly black city of Baltimore that he represents, drew sharp criticism from some of the Democratic presidential candidates.

“Donald Trump disgraces the office of the presidency every single day,” Warren said. Klobuchar added: “I don’t think anyone can justify what this president is doing.”

The two debates are occurring six months ahead of the Democratic Party’s first presidential nominating contests. The debates could prove pivotal in both winnowing the field, forcing the weakest challengers out of the race before the next debate in mid-September, and in solidifying the list of front-runners. It largely depends on who is perceived by pundits in the post-debate analyses as making a plausible case to be the Democratic standard-bearer, or, conversely, flubbing their opportunity on CNN’s nationally televised broadcasts.

On Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden, currently the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in national surveys of Democrats and some independents, will be at center stage. Some party stalwarts say he is the more moderate, center-left, politically safe choice to take on the unpredictable Trump, whose populist base of conservative voters remains strong.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks during the National Urban League Conference, Thursday, July 25, 2019, in Indianapolis.

Tuesday’s debaters never mentioned Biden, even though all of them would eventually have to overtake him to win the Democratic nomination.

Biden had a shaky first debate performance a month ago, faltering as California Sen. Kamala Harris challenged him to explain his opposition three decades ago to forced busing of schoolchildren to racially desegregate public schools. Harris said that she, as a black woman and the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, benefited from such a busing program to attend a better school while growing up in California.

Biden, a fixture on the U.S. political scene for four decades, and Harris, a former state attorney general before winning election to the Senate, will be standing alongside each other on the debate stage. Biden is promising a more robust performance than in the first debate, saying, “I’m not going to be as polite this time.” 

But questions remain about Biden’s standing, whether at 76 he is too old to lead the country, even though Trump is 73, and whether Democratic voters want a candidate with more progressive views than Biden on health care, prevention of crime, migrant immigration at the U.S.-Mexican border and other issues.

Some analysts think Biden’s top standing in national polls is at least partly a reflection of name recognition, from his 36 years as a U.S. senator, two unsuccessful runs for the presidency and two terms as vice president under former President Barack Obama.

Tough-on-crime legislation

On the same stage Wednesday, Biden is also likely to face a challenge from Sen. Cory Booker, an African American former mayor of Newark, New Jersey.

Booker has assailed Biden’s support 25 years ago for get-tough-on-crime legislation that led to the disproportionate imprisonment of black defendants.

Biden recently offered a new criminal justice plan, reversing key provisions of the 1994 measure, such as ending the stricter sentencing for crack cocaine versus powder cocaine. Booker scoffed that Biden was hardly the best candidate to lay out a new criminal justice plan and has called for slashing mandatory minimum sentences.

Despite Biden’s first debate stumbles, the ranks of the top Democratic candidates have changed little in national surveys.

Biden remains ahead of three challengers, all U.S. senators: Sanders, from the Northeastern state of Vermont; Warren, from neighboring Massachusetts, and Harris. Booker has edged up a bit in the polling, while South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has slipped a notch. The remaining candidates are far down the ranks and struggling to gain a foothold.

A new Quinnipiac University national poll this week shows Biden leading the pack with 34% of Democrats and independents leaning Democratic, followed by Warren at 15%, Harris with 12% and Sanders with 11%.

Biden claims he has the best chance of making the Republican Trump the country’s first single-term president in nearly three decades, denying him a second four years in the White House. 

National surveys, 15 months ahead of the Nov. 3, 2020, election, consistently show Biden winning a hypothetical match-up over Trump, whose voter approval ratings remain mired in the mid-40% range. Sanders often defeats Trump as well, although not by Biden’s margin, while surveys show the other top Democrats potentially locked in tight, either-or outcomes with Trump.

Aside from Biden, Harris and Booker, the Wednesday debate stage also includes former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, entrepreneur Andrew Yang and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Five other Democratic candidates did not qualify for the Detroit debates, but the 20 who did had to have collected campaign donations from at least 65,000 individuals and hit a 1% threshold in at least three separate polls.

It gets tougher to appear on the stage at the third debate six weeks from now. To qualify then, candidates must have 130,000 campaign contributors and at least 2 percent support in four polls.

Only seven of this week’s 20 debaters have already met the third debate criteria: Biden, Harris, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Booker and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke.


The body of notorious 1930s gangster John Dillinger is expected to be exhumed from an Indianapolis cemetery in September more than 85 years after he was killed by FBI agents outside a Chicago theater.

The Indiana State Department of Health approved a permit July 3 sought by Dillinger’s nephew, Michael C. Thompson, to have the body exhumed from Crown Hill Cemetery and reinterred there.

The permit doesn’t give a reason for the request, and Thompson couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

 The Indianapolis-born Dillinger was one of America’s most notorious criminals. He and his gang pulled off a bloody string of bank robberies across the Midwest in the 1930s. The FBI says that Dillinger’s gang killed 10 people, but Dillinger was never convicted of murder.

Dillinger was awaiting trial in the slaying of an East Chicago police officer when he escaped from jail in Crown Point, Indiana, in March 1934 with a gun carved out of wood. While on the run, he underwent plastic surgery to alter his face and was said to have tried to remove his fingerprints with acid.

Dillinger, who was portrayed by Johnny Depp in the 2009 movie “Public Enemies,” was fatally shot in July 1934 by FBI agents outside the Biograph theater in Chicago after he was betrayed by a woman who became known in the papers as the “Lady in Red.”

Indiana health department spokeswoman Jeni O’Malley said that based on the permit, the agency expects Dillinger’s body will be exhumed and reinterred on Sept. 16 — the date listed on the document.

“In terms of the way the permit reads that’s what it signals,” she said Tuesday.

Crown Hill Cemetery spokeswoman Crystal King said the cemetery has no information about the plans to exhume Dillinger, whose grave is an attraction at the hilltop graveyard on Indianapolis’ near north side.

Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday for Jeffery Scalf, whose grandmother was Dillinger’s half-sister, and for Savanah Light, the funeral director whose name is listed on the permit.

 

                   .


American rapper A$AP Rocky pleaded not guilty to assault as his trial in Sweden opened Tuesday, a month after a street fight that landed him in jail and became a topic of U.S.-Swedish diplomacy. 

Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, is accused with two others of beating a 19-year-old man in Stockholm on June 30. Prosecutors played video footage in court that showed Mayers throwing a young man to the ground. 

Wearing sweatpants and a green T-shirt in court, Mayers, 30, pleaded not guilty to an assault charge that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison. He says he acted in self-defense. 

The Grammy-nominated artist’s ongoing detention in Sweden this month prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to personally intervene on his behalf. Mayers nevertheless remained behind bars, angering Trump. 

FILE – A$AP Rocky arrives at an event in Beverly Hills, Calif., Feb. 9, 2019.

Swedish news agency TT said Trump sent the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs to Stockholm to monitor the court proceedings and to show support for Mayers. 

Special envoy Robert O’Brien was seen at Stockholm District Court on Tuesday. Ruth Newman, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, told TT that O’Brien was in Sweden “to look after the well-being of American citizens, which is always our top priority.” 

A$AP Rocky’s mother, Renee Black, also attended the proceedings. She has said she was convinced her son was not guilty.

“This is a nightmare,” Black was quoted by Swedish media as saying.

Competing narratives 

Prosecutors and defense lawyers presented competing narratives on the trial’s opening day of what happened the night of the fight.  

Prosecutors said 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari and a friend got into an argument with Mayers and one of his bodyguards near a fast-food restaurant where the rapper’s entourage had eaten. 

Mayers has published videos on his Instagram account that showed him repeatedly pleading with Jafari and his friend to stop following him and his associates.

Defense lawyer Slobodan Jovicic stressed Tuesday that the rapper and his entourage “didn’t want any trouble” and alleged that Jafari and his friend had exhibited “aggressive and deeply provocative behavior.” 

A$AP Rocky previously encountered violent situations on streets because of his fame and “there are some people who don’t always wish him well,” Jovicic said.

“He’s has been harassed in the past. In this case, the bodyguard made the assessment that these people [Jafari and his friend] should move on … and not to come close,” the lawyer said.

Prosecutors alleged in court documents that Mayers and the two other men facing charges beat and kicked Jafari while he was on the ground. Jafari also was hit with parts of or a whole bottle, they alleged. The court file includes photos of Jafari’s cuts, bruises and blood-stained clothes.

Another lawyer representing A$AP Rocky in Sweden, Martin Persson, told public broadcaster SVT that he would present new evidence, including facts that would show “no bottle has been used to hit or injure anyone.” 

Any physical aggression by Mayers and his co-defendants was “within the limits of the law,” Persson said. 

Celebrity following

The rapper was jailed on July 3 and remains in custody. The case drew the attention of American celebrities like Kim Kardashian West and Mayers’ fellow recording artists, including Sean “Diddy” Combs and Justin Bieber. A social media campaign for his release, called #JusticeForRocky, was created soon after his arrest.

Trump also weighed in, asking for a phone call with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and offering to personally guarantee the rapper’s bail. The two leaders spoke, but Lofven stressed he couldn’t interfere in a legal case.

Sweden doesn’t let people facing criminal charges out on bail, and A$AP Rocky stayed behind bars. Once Mayers was charged, Trump criticized the prime minister on Twitter “for being unable to act.”

“We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem! #FreeRocky,” Trump tweeted. 

The trial was held in a secure courtroom “because of strong interest from the media and the public,” the Stockholm District Court said. 

Taking photographs and video was prohibited. The court set aside two more days for the trial. Witnesses are expected to testify Thursday.  


Children on either side of the U.S.-Mexico border had a chance to play together, despite the physical barriers that divide them. 

Two California professors installed three pink seesaws through the steel border fence on the outskirts of El Paso in Texas and Ciudad Juarez in Mexico.

Ronald Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an associate design professor at San Jose State University, first came up with the concept of Teetertotter Wall for the border more than 10 years ago. This week, they saw it become a reality.

“The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S.-Mexico relations, and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side,” Rael said on Instagram.

In a video posted on social media, children and adults on both sides of the fence could be seen playing and interacting. Rael said the event was about bringing “joy, excitement and togetherness at the border wall.”

“The symbolism of the seesaw is just magical,” said Claudia Tristan, director of Latinx messaging for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.

“A border fence will not keep us from our neighbors,” she wrote on Twitter.

The symbolism of the seesaw is just magical. A #Border fence will not keep us from our neighbors. Que bella idea usar un subibajas para unir las comunidades de ambas naciones. https://t.co/iJTAj08vZB

— Claudia Tristán (@tristan_claudia) July 29, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump has long promised to build a physical barrier along the country’s southern border to keep out people trying to cross into the U.S. illegally. 

Late last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the administration could use some $2.5 billion of Pentagon funds to build sections of a border wall with Mexico.


Кримськотатарський активіст Едем Бекіров збирається голодувати, якщо його справу відправлять для розгляду в місто Красноперекопськ на півночі анексованого Росією Криму, заявив у Facebook адвокат Іслям Веліляєв, який відвідав заарештованого в СІЗО Сімферополя.

За його словами, Бекіров вважає, що не витримає етапування до Красноперекопька.

Адвокат описав стан здоров’я Бекірова як «стабільно критичний».

«Протягом 10 днів не міг встати з нар через защемлення нерва і сильного болю в спині. Болить серце, мучить задишка і ядуха. Відчуття нестачі свіжого повітря Щодня вводять ін’єкцію інсуліну і дають діабетичні препарати», – розповів Веліляєв.

23 липня уповноважена Верховної Ради з прав людини Людмила Денісова звернулася до російського омбудсмена Тетяни Москалькової через стан здоров’я Бекірова.

Російські слідчі відмовляються його шпиталізувати, попри рішення Європейського суду з прав людини.

Бекірова в анексованому Криму обвинувачують у незаконному зберіганні боєприпасів і вибухівки. Він відкидає обвинувачення.

Жителя селища Новоолексіївка Херсонської області Едема Бекірова російські силовики затримали на в’їзді в анексований Крим вранці 12 грудня 2018 року. Відомо, що він прямував до Криму для відвідування 78-річної матері та родичів. Підконтрольний Кремлю Київський районний суд Сімферополя заарештував Бекірова.


As U.S.-China trade talks are set to begin, U.S. President Donald Trump is warning China against negotiating a deal after the 2020 U.S. presidential election  — declaring a delayed agreement would be less attractive than a deal reached in the near term.

“The problem with them waiting … is that if & when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now … or no deal at all,” Trump said in a post Tuesday on Twitter.

…to ripoff the USA, even bigger and better than ever before. The problem with them waiting, however, is that if & when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now…or no deal at all. We have all the cards, our past leaders never got it!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2019

The tweet came as U.S. and Chinese officials gathered in Shanghai to revive talks, with both sides trying to temper expectations for a breakthrough.

The world’s two largest economies are engaged in an intense trade war, having imposed punitive tariffs on each other totaling more than $360 billion in two-way trade.

The negotiations come after Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed at June’s G-20 summit to resurrect efforts to end the costly trade war over China’s technology ambitions and trade surplus.

China is resisting U.S. demands to abolish government-led plans for industrial leaders to enhance robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies.

The U.S. has complained China’s plans depend on the acquisition of foreign technology through theft or coercion.

Days prior to the Shanghai meeting, Trump threatened to withdraw recognition of China’s developing nation’s status at the World Trade Organization. China responded by saying the threat is indicative of the “arrogance and selfishness” of the U.S.

The U.S. delegation in Shanghai will be represented by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. They are due to meet with a Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He, who serves as the country’s economic czar.

 

 

 

 


The move to dismantle the Jason scientific panel follows other Trump administration efforts to abolish or delay the work of independent groups that have been a staple of the U.S. government for decades.

U.S. officials say many panels simply add bureaucracy and costs. Opponents of the closures see the change as a move to silence outside criticism in areas of significant public concern.

“This White House has set the tone that science is unimportant if it conflicts with their political positions,” said Linton Brooks, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration from 2002 to 2007 and now a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

A Department of Justice panel studying forensic science, for instance, was disbanded in April 2017 within three months of Trump taking office. The panel was unpopular with some prosecutors and tough-on-crime proponents because it highlighted concerns over law enforcement techniques used to prosecute criminals, such as the use of bite marks to identify people and expert analysis of hair follicles and smudged fingerprints. The DOJ said the panel was never intended to be permanent, and that its work is being continued in-house.

A Central Intelligence Agency panel of historians that advises the agency on declassification issues was put on hold this year. That move followed tensions over a new policy members said reduced the amount of material being declassified, said Columbia University professor Robert Jervis, the outgoing chair of the Historical Declassification Advisory Panel for the CIA.

CIA spokeswoman Sara Lichterman said the panel would be reconstituted with new members and begin meeting again later this year. “The CIA is committed to the public release of historical information, and the Historical Review Panel will remain an important and valuable resource,” she said.

Trump aides in the White House Office of Public Liaison ordered a second panel of historians disbanded in 2017, said panel chair Richard Immerman, a Temple University history professor. The administration reversed course after the State Department said the panel had been created by Congressional statute and could not be disbanded by the White House. The group, the State Department Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, ensures that the official record of U.S. foreign policy is a “thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record.”

“There was grave concern about the politicization of the committee,” said Immerman.

Members of a State Department panel dealing with nuclear nonproliferation, the Independent Security Advisory Board, were told in 2018 the panel had been suspended, members said. It provides independent insight on arms control, disarmament and international security.

The panel’s charter calls for it to meet four times a year, but it hasn’t met since November 30, 2016. A State Department spokeswoman said the board remains active.

Two Navy committees, the Naval Research Advisory Committee and the Secretary of the Navy Advisory Panel, learned in February they were being disbanded. “This decision is in line with the Defense Department’s goal to improve the utility of advisory committees,” said Joshua Kelsey, a spokesman for Navy Secretary Richard Spencer.


U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a charge of assault on the first day of a trial in Sweden that has drawn international attention and prompted President Donald Trump to intervene on the artist’s behalf.

The 30-year-old performer, producer and model, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was detained on July 3 in connection with a street brawl in Stockholm in the early hours of June 30, and later charged with assault causing actual bodily harm.

Mayers’ lawyer said his client, sitting next to him in prison clothes of a green t-shirt and trousers, pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault and had acted in self defence.
Both Mayers and the plaintiff, a 19-year-old man, will face cross-examination later on Tuesday.

Mayers has said the plaintiff provoked him and two companions who have also been charged with assault. If convicted at Stockholm district court, they could face up to two years in jail.

FILE – A$AP Rocky poses for a portrait to promote the film “Monster” at the Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 22, 2018, in Park City, Utah.

His detention before his trial has prompted angry responses from fans as well as from several artists and other celebrities ranging from Kim Kardashian to rocker Rod Stewart.
Trump had asked Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to help free Mayers, and later tweeted messages saying he was “very disappointed” in Lofven and demanding: “Treat Americans fairly!” Trump had said he would personally vouch for Mayers’ bail.
Sweden does not have a bail system.

Lofven has said he will not influence the rapper’s case.

Sweden’s judiciary is independent of the political system.

Mayers, best known for his song “Praise the Lord”, was in Stockholm for a concert. He has had to cancel several scheduled shows across Europe due to his detention.
Before his arrest, Mayers uploaded videos on Instagram of the moments before the alleged assault, saying two men were following his team and that he did not want any trouble.
Mayers shot to fame with his 2011 debut “Live.Love.A$AP”.

His latest album, “Testing”, reached the No. 4 spot on the Billboard 200 charts on its release last year.


Президент України Володимир Зеленський розглядає кількох претендентів на посаду голови Київської міської державної адміністрації, зокрема і нинішнього керівника, мера Києва Віталія Кличка, заявив керівник Офісу президента Андрій Богдан.

«На сьогоднішній день, наскільки мені відомо, є декілька кандидатур, але це політичне рішення і політична відповідальність президента. На зустрічах із паном Кличком, я йому говорив, що він – теж один із претендентів, оскільки він – відома публічна особа. І якщо народ і влада побачать, що справи в Києві змінилися, то він може бути перепризначений», – сказав Богдан 30 липня в Києві.

При цьому, відповідаючи на запитання, чи перепризначать Кличка після його звільнення з посади голови КМДА, як цього вимагає рішення Конституційного суду від 2003 року, Богдан зауважив, що вказане рішення КСУ не стосується законів про місцеві міські адміністрації і про місто Київ, які змінювалися.

Богдан заявив, що Кличко був призначений головою Київської міськадміністрації, згідно з Конституцією і законами України, і складає свої повноваження, як і всі голови місцевих державних адміністрацій, перед новообраним президентом.

24 липня речник прем’єр-міністра Василь Рябчук повідомив, що Кабінет міністрів отримав прохання від президента Зеленського звільнити Віталія Кличка з посади голови Київської міської державної адміністрації. Сам мер Києва заявив, що «здаватися не буде».

Згідно з Конституцією, голову Київської міської державної адміністрації призначає і звільняє президент за поданням уряду. Водночас відповідно до рішення Конституційного суду, Київську міську державну адміністрацію має очолювати лише особа, обрана Київським міським головою.

Віталій Кличко вперше обраний Київським міським головою з 5 червня 2014 року. Посаду голови КМДА він обіймає з 25 червня.

Кабмін має намір на найближчому засіданні розглянути подання на звільнення Кличка, повідомив минулого тижня прем’єр Володимир Гройсман.