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Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol as It Seeks to Secure Presidency

Interpol is in danger of being politicized by Russia as the organization chooses a new president, according to Kremlin critics. 

A senior Russian police official is one of only two candidates put forward for the role of president of the organization, which coordinates police forces across the globe, in a vote scheduled Wednesday in Dubai. The winner of the election will replace Chinese national Meng Hongwei, who was detained in Beijing in September over corruption allegations. 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that the United States was supporting Kim Jong Yang of South Korea to lead the international police agency Interpol, pitting Washington against the Kremlin’s candidate, Maj. Gen.  Aleksandr Prokopchuk. 


Prokopchuk, who heads Russia’s national Interpol Bureau, is widely seen as the favorite to be elected president of the organization. Critics say in recent years Russia has abused Interpol’s so-called “red notice” system of international arrest warrants to pursue its political enemies. 

Among those targeted have been Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an exiled Russian businessman, and financier Bill Browder, the subject of six red notice requests by Russia, all of them thrown out by Interpol. The two men held a news conference Tuesday in London to highlight their concerns. 

“This is a perfect way for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to basically breathe the fear of God into all of his enemies, so that they know that they can’t even escape Russia if one of his guys is at the head of Interpol,” Browder told reporters. “The Interpol constitution has very specific rules, which forbid countries who are serial abusers from using the system. We intend to begin a legal process to have Russia suspended from their use of Interpol.” 

As chief executive of Hermitage Capital Management in Russia, Browder uncovered $230 million in tax fraud allegedly carried out by senior Russian officials. 

Browder’s investigating lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was arrested and beaten to death in police custody in 2009. Russian courts later convicted Magnitsky posthumously, and Browder in absentia, of stealing the money. Browder strongly denies the charges. 

This week, Russian prosecutors opened a new investigation into Browder, claiming he was involved in Magnitsky’s death and pledging to request another Interpol arrest warrant. 

“This hypothesis is highly likely to be true because Magnitsky was one of the closest accomplices of Browder in the crimes committed earlier,” said Mikhail Alexandrov, a spokesman for the Russian prosecutor general. 

Browder says the false accusation underscores the need to stop Russia from abusing Interpol. 

He was instrumental in campaigning for the United States to adopt the Magnitsky Act, which enables the withholding of visas and the freezing of assets of human rights offenders. Several Russians have been sanctioned under the act, and Browder says Putin is rattled. 

“He wants to stop me from advocating for Magnitsky Acts around the world,” Browder said Tuesday. “It was his government that ordered a terrorist attack in the U.K. using chemical weapons in Salisbury. It was his government that shot down MH17 [a Malaysian Airlines flight], killing 298 innocent individuals. It was his government that cheated and hacked in elections in the United States and Europe. And to put his representative in charge of the most important international crime-fighting organization is like putting the mafia in charge.” 

Moscow denies involvement in those crimes. 

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has written to Interpol to warn against the appointment of Prokopchuk, describing it as “akin to putting a fox in charge of a henhouse.” Ukraine and Lithuania have threatened to quit the organization if he is appointed. 

Interpol told VOA the president is democratically elected by its members, adding that the role does not involve the day-to-day running of the organization. Interpol did not respond directly to accusations of abuse of its red notice system by the Kremlin. 

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Russia Seeks to Secure Interpol Presidency

Interpol, the body that coordinates police forces across the globe, is in danger of being politicized by Russia, say prominent Kremlin critics. A senior Russian police official is one of only two candidates put forward for the role of president of the organization in a vote scheduled Wednesday in Dubai. Opponents say the Kremlin is abusing Interpol’s arrest warrants to pursue political enemies, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

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Retail Disappointments, Energy Decline Hit Wall Street

Stocks dropped again Tuesday as losses mounted for the world’s largest technology companies. Retailers also fell, and energy companies plunged with oil prices as the market sank back into the red for the year. 


Oil prices tumbled another 6.6 percent as Wall Street reacted to rising oil supplies and concerns that global economic growth will slow down, a worry that’s intensified because of the trade tensions between the U.S. and China. 


Technology companies were hit after the Trump administration proposed new national security regulations that could limit exports of high-tech products in fields such as quantum computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence. 


Retailers also skidded. Target’s profit disappointed investors as it spends more money to revamp its stores and its website, while Ross Stores, TJX and Kohl’s also fell on disappointing forecasts. 


The S&P 500 index lost 48.84 points, or 1.8 percent, to 2,641.89. The Dow Jones industrial average sank 551.80 points, or 2.2 percent, to 24,465.64. 


The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 119.65 points, or 1.7 percent, to 6,908.82. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks shed 27.53 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,469.01. 


The Dow industrials have lost 3.7 percent in the last two days, and the S&P 500 is off 3.4 percent. The Nasdaq is off 4.7 percent. The S&P 500 index has fallen 9.9 percent from the record high it set exactly two months ago. 


Investors are measuring several headwinds and increasingly playing it safe. The global economy is showing signs of weakening, with the United States, China and Europe all facing the rising threat of a slowdown, which can hurt demand for commodities such as oil and threaten company profits. Trade tensions between the U.S. and China appear to be getting worse instead of improving, contributing to the sell-off in tech stocks and multinational industrial companies. 


For much of this year, investors were hopeful the U.S. and China would easily resolve their differences on trade. That hope has faded in the last two months. While U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet this month at a gathering of the Group of 20 major economies, the proposed limits on tech exports were one more reason to worry. 


“A resolution doesn’t seem to be coming in the short term,” said Katie Nixon, the chief investment officer for Northern Trust Wealth Management. “A lot of the companies that are front and center [like] Alphabet, Apple, IBM … could be significantly limited in the way they export their technology.” 


Apple fell 4.8 percent to $176.98 and is down 23.7 percent from the peak it reached Oct. 3, though it’s still up almost 5 percent this year. Microsoft lost 2.8 percent to $101.71 and IBM fell 2.6 percent to $117.20. 


As the tech giants swoon, investors have lately turned to safer bets such as utilities, real estate companies and makers of household goods. They’ve also sought the safety of U.S. Treasuries. 


The price of oil has been falling sharply in recent weeks and is now down 30 percent since Oct. 3. 


Saudi Arabia and other countries started producing more oil after the Trump administration announced renewed sanctions on Iran, Nixon noted. The administration granted waivers to several countries that allowed them to continue importing oil from Iran, creating a supply glut that pushed prices dramatically lower. 


Nixon said OPEC countries will probably cut back on oil production, but some investors are worried that the buildup in crude stockpiles is a sign the global economy isn’t doing as well as expected. 


Earnings from retailers didn’t help investors’ mood. Target plunged 10.5 percent to $69.03 after reporting earnings that missed Wall Street’s estimates because of higher expenses. Ross Stores, TJX and Kohl’s also fell on disappointing forecasts. 


Tech stocks were among the biggest losers in Europe, too. Nokia and Ericsson, two top suppliers of telecom networks, each fell about 3 percent. European indexes fell, with Germany’s DAX index dropping 1.6 percent and the French CAC 30 falling 1.2 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.8 percent. 


Stocks also declined in Asia. Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 1.1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 2 percent. 


Benchmark U.S. crude lost 6.6 percent to $53.43 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 6.4 percent to $62.53 per barrel in London. Oil prices have nosedived since early October. 


Wholesale gasoline fell 5.5 percent to $1.50 a gallon and heating oil skidded 4.6 percent to $1.99 a gallon. Natural gas dipped 3.8 percent to $4.52 per 1,000 cubic feet. 


Bond prices were steady. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 3.06 percent. 


Gold slipped 0.3 percent to $1,221.20 an ounce. Silver fell 0.9 percent to $14.27 an ounce. Copper slid 1.2 percent to $2.77 a pound. 


The dollar fell to 112.40 yen from 112.54 yen. The euro fell to $1.1399 from $1.1453. 

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Товариський матч збірних України і Туреччини закінчився нічиєю

Товариський матч збірних України і Туреччини з футболу 20 листопада завершився внічию з рахунком 0:0.

Зустріч відбувалася в турецькому курортному місті Анталії.

16 листопада збірна України, яка достроково забезпечила собі перше місце в групі Ліги націй, розгромно поступилася у Словаччині – 1:4. Команда Шевченка у тому матчі грала напіврезервним складом.

Перемога над українцями не допомогла словакам залишитися в дивізіоні В Ліги націй – 19 листопада ця команда поступилася на виїзді принциповим суперникам чехам (0:1). Таким чином, збірна України завершила турнір з дев’ятьма очками, чехи здобули шість, словаки – три.

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Boeing Cancels Call to Discuss Issues With Its Newest Plane 

Analysts say Boeing Co. is canceling a conference call that it scheduled to discuss issues around its newest plane, which has come under scrutiny since a deadly crash in Indonesia. 

The company didn’t immediately give an explanation Tuesday. 

CFRA Research analyst Jim Corridore said canceling the call as “a bad look for the company” when it’s facing questions about potential problems with sensors on the 737 MAX. 

U.S. airline pilots say they weren’t told about a new feature that could pitch the nose down automatically if sensors indicate the plane is about to stall. 

On Oct. 29, a Lion Air MAX 8 plunged into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board. 

Boeing shares are down about 13 percent since Nov. 9. 

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British Top Diplomat Meets Jailed UK-Iranian’s Family

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Tuesday that he met with the family of jailed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe during his visit to Iran.

“No child should have to go this long without their mother,” Hunt wrote on Twitter alongside photos of him with Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s four-year-old daughter Gabriella.

He also met her mother and brother during his brief visit to Tehran on Monday, and pressed for her release during his meeting with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“British-Iranian dual nationals wrongly imprisoned must be freed,” Hunt tweeted later on Monday.

“I’ve pressed hard on this today – innocent people should not be turned into diplomatic pawns.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation – the media organization’s philanthropic arm – was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016.

She is serving a five-year jail sentence for sedition – and has denied all charges filed against her.


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Україна відкриватиме Дитяче Євробачення-2018

Україна відкриватиме Дитяче Євробачення-2018. Як йдеться на сайті конкурсу, першою з піснею Say love виступить 11-річна українка Дарина Красновецька.

Всього в конкурсі беруть участь представники 20 країн. Напередодні у білоруському Мінську відбулася офіційна церемонія відкриття Дитячого Євробачення-2018.

Дитячий пісенний конкурс «Євробачення» – щорічний міжнародний конкурс для дітей віком до 15 років, у якому беруть участь по одному представнику від кожної з країн-членів Європейської мовної спілки.

2 серпня суспільний мовник повідомив, що попри недофінансування, Україна все ж візьме участь у Дитячому Євробаченні-2018.

Дитячий пісенний конкурс «Євробачення» – щорічний міжнародний конкурс для дітей віком до 15 років, у якому беруть участь по одному представнику від кожної з країн-членів Європейської мовної спілки. Торік на «Дитячому Євробаченні» у Тбілісі перемогла співачка з Росії Поліна Богусевич.

Цього року фінал конкурсу відбудеться 25 листопада в столиці Білорусі Мінську.

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Українці найкраще серед історичних постатей ставляться до Хмельницького – соцопитування

Українці серед історичних постатей найкраще ставляться до гетьмана Богдана Хмельницького, свідчать дані опитування соціологічної групи «Рейтинг».

Позитивне ставлення до Хмельницького висловили 73% респондентів. 68% опитаних добре ставляться до історика, голови Центральної ради Української центральної ради Михайла Грушевського.

Згідно з дослідженням, 47% і 43% мають позитивне ставлення до генерального секретаря ЦК КПРС Леоніда Брежнєва та царя Петра І (негативне 39% та 26% відповідно). До голови Організації українських націоналістів Степана Бандери позитивно ставляться 36% (негативно – 34%), до голови Директорії УНР Симона Петлюри як позитивно, так і негативно ставляться по 30% респондентів.

У групі «Рейтинг» зазначили, що опитування проводили серед 2000 повнолітніх респондентів шляхом особистого формалізованого інтерв’ю в період з 20 до 29 жовтня. Помилка репрезентативності дослідження не більше 2,2%.

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Безвіз, волонтери, війна: експерти проаналізували наслідки Революції гідності

Фонд «Демократичні ініціативи імені Ілька Кучеріва» до п’ятої річниці від початку Революції гідності провів опитування незалежних експертів щодо перемог і поразок Майдану. В опитування взяли участь 80 українських аналітиків, політологів, громадських активістів та представників ЗМІ, повідомила на презентації дослідження директорка Фонду Ірина Бекешкіна.

«Більшість експертів характеризують Євромайдан як Революцію гідності, революцію за демократизацію та європейський вибір України. П’ятий рік поспіль серед експертів побутує думка, що Майдан досяг перемоги. Водночас головною нереалізованою метою Революції гідності експерти називають те, що не відбулося перезавантаження влади, оновлення принципів її діяльності, не вдалося подолати корупцію тощо», – зазначила Бекешкіна.

За її словами, серед найбільших позитивних наслідків Майдану експерти назвали підписання угоди про асоціацію між Україною та ЄС, запровадження з боку Євросоюзу безвізового режиму для українців, активізацію громадянського суспільства та волонтерського руху. Серед негативних наслідків експерти назвали втрату Україною територіальної цілісності внаслідок збройної агресії Росії, економічний спад та зниження рівня життя населення.

Завідувач відділу Інституту філософії НАН України, виконавчий директор Фонду «Відродження» у 1998–2017 роках Євген Бистрицький також зауважив, що українські експерти на п’ятому році після Майдану відзначають зниження рівня комунікацій між владою і громадянським суспільством та «усамітнення влади від громадськості».

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Trump Due to Review Khashoggi Killing Report

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to review a full report from his administration Tuesday about the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey last month.

Multiple U.S. news agencies have cited U.S. intelligence officials saying the Central Intelligence Agency has concluded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the October 2 killing.

The State Department said publicly Saturday no final conclusions had been reached.

Saudi officials have denied the crown prince had anything to do with Khashoggi’s killing, and Trump has called reports blaming the crown prince as “premature.”

A Saudi prosecutor cleared the crown prince of wrongdoing last week while calling for the death penalty for five men, announcing indictments against 11. The prosecutor said a total of 21 people had been detained in connection with the killing.

Germany’s foreign minister said Monday that Berlin will ban 18 Saudi nationals from entering Europe’s border-free Schengen zone because of their alleged links to Khashoggi’s killing. Heiko Maas said he had consulted with France and Britain before announcing the ban. 

“There are more questions than answers in this case, with the crime itself and who is behind it,” Mass said on the sidelines of a European Union meeting in Brussels. 

​Trump says he has been fully briefed on an audio recording of the killing of the dissident Saudi journalist inside Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul last month, but has no intention of listening to it because of the violence it depicts.

“It’s a suffering tape. It’s a terrible tape,” Trump told the Fox News cable television station in a White House interview that was recorded Friday.

“It’s very violent, very vicious and terrible,” Trump said.

Asked in the Fox interview if the crown prince lied to him about his involvement, Trump replied, “I don’t know. Who can really know?” adding, “He told me that he had nothing to do with it. He told me that, I would say, maybe five times at different points, as recently as a few days ago.”

Fox interviewer Chris Wallace asked Trump whether he would go along with moves in Congress to cut off U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen or halt arms sales to Riyadh.

Trump said it depends, “I want to see Yemen end. It takes two to tango and Iran has to end also. I want Saudi to stop, but I want Iran to stop also.”

Khashoggi, who wrote opinion columns for The Post and was a critic of the Saudi crown prince, was killed at the Saudi consulate while he was trying to get documents for his planned marriage to a Turkish woman.