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20 лютого українці на Олімпіаді змагатимуться у лижному двоборстві та біатлоні

20 лютого збірна України на олімпіаді у Пхьончхані змагатиметься у двох дисциплінах – лижному двоборстві та біатлоні.

О 12:00 у лижному двоборстві виступатиме Віктор Пасічник. Спочатку українець змагатиметься у дисципліні – великий трамплін, після цього – індивідуальній гонці на 10 кілометрів.

О 13:15 стартує змішана естафета з біатлону. Склад української команди – Ірина Варвинець, Юлія Джима, Артем Прима та Дмитро Підручний.

На сьогодні у командному заліку Олімпіади лідирує збірна Норвегії, яка здобула вже 28 нагород. На її рахунку 11 золотих, 9 срібних та 8 бронзових медалей.

Україна на 18-му місці, позаду російські спортсмени та збірна Китаю.

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French Jazz Violinist Didier Lockwood Dies Suddenly at 62

French jazz violinist Didier Lockwood, whose eclectic career spanned more than four decades and the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls, has died. He was 62.

 

Lockwood’s agent, Christophe Deghelt, said in a statement on Twitter that Lockwood died suddenly Sunday, a day after he performed in Paris.

 

President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute Monday to the musician he called a “friend and partner of the greatest” and said possessed “influence, open-mindedness and immense musical talent” that will be missed.

 

As a composer and an improviser while performing, Lockwood enjoyed crossing musical genres, from jazz-rock to classical. He was known for experimenting with different sounds on the electric violin.

 

He’s survived by his wife, French soprano Patricia Petibon, and three daughters.

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Without City Jobs, Tech-savvy Kenyan Youth Head Back to Farm

When Francis Njoroge graduated with an engineering degree in Nairobi, he expected to earn a six-figure salary. Instead he found himself working as an electrician on a three-month contract, for 20,000 Kenyan shillings (about $200) per month.

Realizing permanent and well-paid jobs were hard to come by in the Kenyan capital, he decided to move back to his parents’ farm in Kimandi, a village about 150km away, and start his own business planting and selling tree seedlings.

“My parents are tea and maize farmers and always managed to pay our school fees,” Njoroge told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, walking around the farm in dark blue overalls.

“So I thought rather than be frustrated in my job or not even have one, why not go into something I know will bring me money?”

Njoroge is not alone. Kenya has the highest rate of youth joblessness in East Africa, according to the World Bank, with nearly one in five young people who are eligible for work not finding jobs.

Poor job prospects and low pay in cities are pushing thousands of unemployed young people to return home and take up farming, said David Mugambi, a lecturer at Chuka University in central Kenya.

“Young people are increasingly realizing that farming can pay off,” he explained.

Njoroge used his savings to buy seeds from the Kenya Forestry Research Institute after realizing there was a shortage of seedlings among local farmers.

“At first I was making 7,000 shillings ($70) a month by selling tree seedlings to a community organization,” he added.

“Three years later, I now earn more than 10 times that amount.”

Tech-savvy youth

Kenyan youth are not only turning to farming, they are bringing their digital skills with them to rural areas, according to Mugambi.

“For example, tech-savvy youth are very good at using mobile apps that tell them when to plant or what fertilizers to use,” he said.

Knowing very little about tree seedlings, Njoroge joined a WhatsApp group of 30 fellow farmers to learn about issues like growing conditions and fertilizers.

“I take pictures of my produce, upload them to WhatsApp with a price tag, and then take calls from interested buyers,” he explained.

Like Njoroge, Phillip Muriithi, a teaching graduate from Kenyatta University, left Nairobi to return to his parents’ farm about 200km northeast of the city, and now grow tomatoes and cabbages.

“I wanted to become a high school teacher but without a job or income I felt like a balloon drifting to nowhere,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, standing in the middle of a field of green tomatoes in Mitunguu, central Kenya.

“Living in the city was so expensive,” he added. “But with farming I was assured of food, a small income, and didn’t have to pay rent.”

Muriithi also uses his mobile to keep a record of costs, fertilizers and profit, and to market his produce on WhatsApp groups.

“My phone allows me to reach a wider audience than if I were travelling to the market — it’s just made farming a lot easier,” he added.

More funds and support

The Kenyan government is trying to promote entrepreneurship among young people by improving their access to credit, said Mugambi.

The Uwezo fund, for example, provides youth with grants and interest-free loans of up to 500,000 shillings (about $5,000) to set up their own business.

But more investment is needed to make farming attractive to a wider range of young people, Mugambi added.

“Many youth still see returning home as a failure and farming as a lowly affair,” he said.

Njoroge agrees, saying his friends tried to discourage him from going into farming, which they saw as the preserve of “older, uneducated folk.”

Some regret making the switch to farming. Mary Wanjiku, a teaching graduate from Chuka University, who went home to grow tomatoes and onions, said her experience turned into a “nightmare.”

“The little capital I had got used up in buying fertilizers, manure and seeds, and I nearly lost my entire tomato harvest to an attack by bacteria wilt,” she said, adding that she now sells second-hand clothes instead.

Muriithi’s advice is to “start small” to minimize any disappointment.

“I was really scared of failing so started with only a small chunk of land for the first two years,” he said. “But now my father is convinced of my success, he lets me use most of his eight-acre piece of land.”

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За 4 роки було звільнено 48 суддів, які виносили рішення у справах Майдану – адвокат родин Героїв Небесної сотні

За чотири роки Вища рада правосуддя звільнила 48 суддів, які виносили рішення у справах активістів Євромайдану, повідомив під час круглого столу адвокат родин Героїв Небесної сотні, учасник Громадської ради доброчесності Роман Маселко.

За його словами, загалом у різних регіонах суддів, які ухвалювали рішення у справах активістів Революції гідності, – понад 351 особа.

«На сьогодні їхні процеси Вища рада правосуддя закінчила. Результати наступні: є подання на звільнення 51 судді, або 15% від загальної кількості. Практично звільнено зараз 48 суддів. Судді під час Майдану очевидно виносили неправосудні рішення. Я нагадаю, що усі поїздки до Межигір’я атомайданівців базуються на повністю сфальшованих документах, рішення про взяття під варту зазвичай теж базують на сфальшованих документах», – сказав Маселко.

За його словами, п’ятеро суддів відсторонили від роботи. А у справах 204 суддів, тобто 58% від загальної кількості, відмовили у відкритті провадження, зазначив Маселко.

«Тут або закінчувалися строки притягнення до відповідальності, або Вища рада правосуддя вирішила, що порушення є незначні. По 80-ти суддях Вища рада правосуддя відкрила провадження, але вирішила, що карати не потрібно – 23%. По інших близько 40 суддів ухвалювалися інші рішення – або поверталися заяви, або залишалися без розгляду, або передавалися у Вищу кваліфікаційну комісію, тобто вони також уникали будь-якої відповідальності», – додав він.

У лютому 2014 року під час сутичок протестувальників із силовиками в центрі Києва загинули понад 100 людей, сотні були поранені, найбільше– 20 лютого. Більшість людей загинули від куль снайперів. Згодом загиблих учасників акцій протесту стали називати Небесної сотнею. За даними Генпрокуратури, всього під час Євромайдану потерпіли 2,5 тисячі людей. За даними МВС, від 18 лютого по 2 березня 2014 року під час виконання службових обов’язків у центрі Києва загинули також 17 силовиків.

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Egyptian Firm to Buy $15 Billion in Israeli Natural Gas

An Egyptian company will buy $15 billion of Israeli natural gas in two 10-year agreements announced on Monday, marking a major export deal that Israel hopes will strengthen diplomatic ties.

The partners in Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan offshore gas fields said they have signed with private Egyptian firm Dolphinus Holdings to supply a total of around 64 billion cubic meters of gas over a decade – with half coming from each field and the proceeds split equally between them.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the agreements would “strengthen our economy (and) strengthen regional ties.” His energy minister Yuval Steinitz called it the most significant export deal with Egypt since the neighbors signed their historic peace treaty in 1979.

Israel’s Delek Group and Texas-based Noble Energy have led both gas projects.

“Egypt is becoming a real gas hub,” Yossi Abu, CEO of Delek subsidiary Delek Drilling, told Reuters. “This deal is the first deal of potentially more to come.”

The partners have also been trying to finalize a long-term export deal with a Royal Dutch Shell plant in Egypt.

An Egyptian government official, who declined to be identified, said the deal did not mean Egypt itself would import any gas from abroad.

“International private companies will import gas from abroad in the framework of their own needs, and will liquefy and export them again,” the official said, without elaborating.

Shares in Delek Drilling were up 23 percent on the news and Delek Group shares were up 17 percent. Barclays analyst Tavy Rosner said weakness seen in Israeli gas shares over the past several months was due to investors being skeptical that gas exports would ever take place. “We believe today’s announcement will pave the way to a re-rating of the shares,” he said.

Leviathan, located about 80 miles (130 km) west of Haifa, was discovered in December 2010 and is scheduled to start producing by the end of 2019.

Exports from Tamar, which began production in 2013, are expected to start under the deal some time between the second half of 2020 and the end of 2021.

Dolphinus, Delek said, is a natural gas trade company that plans to supply large industrial and commercial consumers in Egypt. It added that Egypt had amended regulations last week to allow private groups to import gas.

The companies did not give a date for when supplies to Egypt were expected to start. The means of delivering the gas to Egypt still needs to be settled.

One export option, Delek said in a statement, was to supply the gas through an old pipeline built by East Mediterranean Gas (EMG) originally designed to send gas in the other direction.

Egypt had once sold gas to Israel, but the deal collapsed in 2012 after months of attacks on the pipeline by militants in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

Another option would be to use a pipeline being built as part of a separate deal to sell gas from Leviathan to Jordan.

The export agreements are conditioned upon receipt of regulatory and government approvals in Israel and in Egypt.

Noble and Delek Drilling together control 85 percent of Leviathan, with the rest held by Ratio Oil.

They are joined in Tamar by Isramco Negev, Tamar Petroleum – a spin-off of Delek – and two other small partners.

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Anti-Corruption Police Arrest Latvian Central Bank Chief

Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis assured the country and Europe “there is no sign of danger,” after anti-corruption police arrested the head of the Latvian central bank Saturday.

“For now, neither I, nor any other official, has any reason to interfere with the work of the Corruption Prevention Bureau,” Kucinskis said.

Neither Kucinskis nor the police gave any reason why central bank governor Ilmars Rimsevics was arrested. But a police spokeswoman said there will be an announcement “as soon as possible.”

The Latvian government plans an emergency meeting Monday.

Along with heading the Baltic nation’s central bank, Rimsevics is also one of 19 governors on the European Central Bank.

The U.S. Treasury Department has proposed sanctions against a major Latvian bank for alleged money laundering linked to North Korea’s weapons program.

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5 Killed in Shooting Outside Church in Russia’s Dagestan Region

Russian news reports say a gunman has opened fire on people leaving a church service in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan, killing and least five people and wounding four others.

The Tass news agency said the shooting occurred Sunday outside a church in the town of Kizlyar.  The assailant was killed by police.

“The shooter was shot dead,” Kizlyar’s Mayor Alexander Shuvalov told Tass, adding that two police officers were among those wounded.

The motive for the shooting is not known.

Dagestan is a predominantly Muslim region between Chechnya and the Caspian Sea.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

 

 

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Macron’s Ideas on Reform of Islam Draw Fire

Six months ago after a string of jihadist-inspired attacks in London and Manchester, British Prime Minister Theresa May said the time had come to have “embarrassing conversations” about Islam’s place in Britain.

Her comment was sparked by claims that the country’s Muslims weren’t doing enough to counter extremism and jihadist propaganda.

So far, mired in Brexit controversy, the British government hasn’t started a debate in earnest. But on the other side of the English Channel, French President Emmanuel Macron is proposing a root-and-branch reform of Islam in France — a project being closed watched by the British and by other Europeans.

Macron’s goals, he said, are to preserve “national cohesion” and to counter Islamic fundamentalism. Another key reform goal is to halt the influence of Arab states on France’s 6 million Muslims by way of the funding of mosques and paying clerics.

French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux told reporters last week that although they have not finalized reform plans, the training of Islamic clerics and their funding “are at the heart of the manner in which we are rethinking the relationship between the Republic and Islam.”

“Why is the question of funding of Islam central for us? Because today, we know that the funding comes from foreign countries, and it is not desirable to have a religion in France funded by foreign countries who in fact will be defending their interests. And so, it’s a political Islam,” he said.

The plans being considered by the French president — including requiring imams to pass courses on secularism, civil liberties and theology, and the appointment of a chief imam as the sole religious authority over French Muslims — are drawing fire from some socialist politicians and Muslim leaders.

They argue government meddling in the training of Muslim clerics and interference in Islamic religious affairs would undermine the principles of freedom of conscience and the separation of church and state, underpinnings of the French state’s strict brand of secularism known as laïcité, which is enshrined in a1905 law.

Macron has been rebuked by some key Muslim leaders, including the head of an organization set up more than a decade ago to encourage the development of a homegrown form of Islam more in tune with traditional French values.

“The Muslim faith is a religion, and as such, takes care of its own household affairs. The last thing you want is the state to act as guardian,” Ahmet Ogras, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), told Reuters.

Macron has said he won’t unveil a detailed reform proposal until wide consultations take place, but left-wing critics say his ideas risk undermining the state’s religious neutrality and will pull the French government into the management of religion.

“The president’s plans to restructure Islam in France call into question the 1905 law separating church and state,” said Benoît Schenckenburger, an adviser to left-wing leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a challenger in last year’s presidential elections. “The state cannot influence the organization of Islamic institutions, cannot meddle in the training of imams and cannot weigh in on how Islam in France is to be financed.”

Critics point out that Macron never talks about the state managing Catholic and Protestant churches or overseeing how Judaism is exercised. But those supporting Macron say French Catholics, Protestants and Jews accept laïcité and that no threats to the state are being mounted from within their communities.

And Griveaux said the state has no alternative but to get more involved — “because you have at the same time preaching that is completely incompatible with the values of the Republic, and you have mosques that are places of radicalization.”

On the right of the political spectrum, some resistance is also emerging. National Front critics of the reform idea fear, too, that Macron risks undermining the very idea of laïcité and will be forced to amend the 1905 law underpinning it. National Front leader Marine Le Pen has called the idea of doing that “unbearable, inadmissible.”

In a television interview she argued the influence of mainly Gulf states on French Muslims could be curtailed by imposing a “total cessation of foreign financing of mosques.”

Macron first announced his intention to reform French Islam in an interview a week ago with the French newspaper Journal du Dimanche.

“What I’d like to get done in the first half of 2018 is set down markers on the entire way in which Islam is organized in France,” he said.

France isn’t alone among European states in struggling to formulate ideas about how to counter jihadists, harmonize Islam with Western ideals and to come up with ways of encouraging greater integration of Muslims.

He has drawn praise from British conservatives frustrated with what they argue is a muddled approach by the May government.

Last month, the British government withheld its support of an elementary school’s decision to ban young Muslim girls wearing the hijab to class, prompting an outcry from conservative lawmakers. Comparing May and Macron, historian Gavin Mortimer argued in the conservative Spectator magazine that Britain’s approach is “one of confusion.”

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US-Russia Dispute Forms Backdrop for Tense Munich Security Conference

Moscow has dismissed U.S. charges against several Russian citizens and companies for meddling in the 2016 presidential election as “blather.” Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov questioned the evidence. The charges have formed a tense backdrop to the conference, which has focused on growing threats to global security, as Henry Ridgwell reports from Munich.

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Український математик Володимир Дрінфельд відзначений премією Вольфа

Премію Вольфа у галузі математичних наук за 2018 рік присуджено членові-кореспонденту Національної Академії наук України Володимиру Дрінфельду та його співавтору Александеру Бейлінсону, які працюють в університеті американського міста Чикаго, повідомляє сайт НАНУ.

Таким чином відзначений цикл їхніх інноваційних робіт із алгебраїчної геометрії, теорії зображень і математичної фізики, вказано в повідомленні.

Український математик, член-кореспондент НАН України Володимир Дрінфельд (народився 14 лютого 1954 року) впродовж тривалого часу працював у Фізико-технічному інституті низьких температур імені Б.І. Вєркіна НАН України (Харків). Він відомий завдяки тому, що збагатив світову науку видатними результатами в галузі алгебраїчної геометрії над полями додатної характеристики, математичної фізики й теорії деформацій алгебраїчних структур. Ці результати стали основою нових розділів сучасної математичної науки – теорії модулів Дрінфельда та теорії квантових груп.

Премії фундації імені Вольфа було засновано у 1978 році. Ними щорічно відзначають 5–6 діячів у кількох галузях сучасної науки, зокрема й математики, а також у кількох видах мистецтв. Для лауреатів-математиків, поряд із медаллю Філдса, такі премії є найпрестижнішими відзнаками видатних досягнень.