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СБУ прийняла відставку голови Запорізької ОДА Костянтина Бриля

Служба безпеки України прийняла відставку генерал-майора Костянтина Бриля, який одночасно займав посаду голови Запорізької обласної адміністрації. Про це представники відомства повідомили на сторінці у Facebook.

«Його рішення про звільнення у запас погодили голова Служби безпеки України Василь Грицак та президент України Петро Порошенко. Костянтин Бриль обрав для себе шлях держслужбовця та вирішив надалі служити Батьківщині на посаді голови Запорізької облдержадміністрації», – йдеться у повідомленні.

Депутат Верховної Ради з фракції «Блок Петра Порошенка» Вадим Кривохатько подав на Костянтина Бриля до суду з вимогою визнати протиправним неподання ним електронної декларації та зобов’язати подати таку за 2015 рік. Судовий розгляд почався 10 травня.

Раніше голова Запорізької ОДА заявив на запитання журналістів програми «Схеми», спільного проекту Радіо Свобода і каналу «UA:Перший», що не оприлюднювати декларацію йому наказала Служба безпеки України, чинним офіцером якої він був.

У СБУ у відповідь на запит програми «Схеми» заявили, що декларація голови Запорізької облдержадміністрації Костянтина Бриля відсутня на сайті НАЗК, оскільки він проходить військову службу у Службі безпеки України. У відомстві запевнили, що голова Запорізької ОДА Костянтин Бриль подав декларацію вчасно.

18 травня Костянтин Бриль заявив, що подав у відставку з лав СБУ за власним бажанням та звернувся до НАЗК за роз’ясненнями щодо механізму оприлюднення його е-декларації. Станом на 23 травня декларація вже була оприлюднена на сайті ОДА. 

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From Bitcoin to Big Business, Blockchain Technology Goes Mainstream

Bitcoin, the controversial digital currency, recently made headlines for reaching a record high valuation of more than $2,700, but perhaps the bigger growth potential lies in blockchain. The technology behind bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies is being explored by more conventional companies and businesses. VOA’s Tina Trinh reports from New York.

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Electricity, Water Cut as Turkey Rebuilds Sur, But Some Residents Remain

Sur, a central district in Diyarbakir that was destroyed in the monthslong clashes in 2015 between Turkish security forces and the youth branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), is finally being rebuilt.

But some families are refusing to leave their homes, saying a state-sponsored subsidy is too low. Power and water to the district have been cut, meaning families have no electricity and must carry water for their needs.

At night, the streets of Ali Pasa and Lalebey neighborhoods in Sur are mostly dark because of the power outage, with a few street lamps as the only light source. The residents gather under the lamps to talk about only one topic: the clearing out of the district.

Two neighborhoods have evacuated.

Some families who got subsidies left Sur for good. Other families, who said the subsidies were too low, sought legal help. But even as their lawsuits are making their way through the courts, some residents have been forced to leave. Still others have refused to abandon the city, which led to the government’s decision to cut power and water to Sur.

For those residents who remain, they carry water for their daily needs and sit under street lamps until they go to bed. It’s been three days, and the residents are frustrated.

Cemal Tayurak, who lives with 19 other people in one house, told VOA, “They’re forcing us to leave by cutting electricity and water. The subsidy they gave for my 135-square-meter house is 87,000 Turkish liras [U.S. $24,285]. Twenty people live here. Where can we go with this little money? We don’t know where to go, we’re desperate. We’re poor, that’s why we live here.”

Sitki Aktas says he’s tired of carrying water.

“You see how dirty we are. I couldn’t even pray. No water, no power. I have four kids living with me. We are 20 people in total,” Aktas said. “They gave 105,000 Turkish liras [U.S. $29,309]. Where can we go? I’m carrying water from the mosque since this morning.”

WATCH: Sur Residents Talk about their Inability to Leave

The women suffer more from the lack of water, because it limits what housework they can do.

Cahide Toprak told VOA that time doesn’t pass without electricity and water.

“I’m desperate,” Toprak said. “We all sit here. I don’t have any means to leave. We’ve collected our stuff and [are] waiting. Come see our situation in our house. The state, the municipality don’t give us water. What else can I say?”

For security reasons, the street lamps are still powered.

But as Ramadan, the holy month in Islam, is about to start, the residents are feeling more anxious. The lack of electricity and water will make it harder for them to fast.

PHOTOS: Some Sur Residents Remain After Electricity, Water Cut

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Climate Change, Migration, North Korea, Terrorism Dominate Trump’s 1st G-7 Meeting

U.S. President Donald Trump wanted to talk about North Korea and counterterrorism at his first summit with leaders of the world’s industrialized democracies. But his counterparts had other ideas, especially regarding climate change. VOA White House Bureau Chief Steve Herman reports from the G-7 summit in Taormina, Italy.

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EU: Turkey Tensions Ease on Erdogan Visit

A picture of a smiling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan flanked by EU President Donald Tusk and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker adorned much of Turkey’s pro-government media this week.

“Erdogan got his picture of his handshake in Brussels, which is really only what he wanted,” said political science professor Cengiz Aktar, “because he is looking for legitimacy in his new position as strongman of Turkey.”

Erdogan’s narrow referendum victory extending his presidential powers remains mired in vote-rigging allegations. EU leaders, unlike U.S. President Donald Trump, had refrained from endorsing his success.

During the referendum campaign, Turkey’s relations with the EU plummeted, with Erdogan describing some EU members as behaving like Nazis because they refused to allow Turkish ministers to campaign among Turkish diaspora voters.

“The pictures that emerged with Juncker and Tusk suggest a reduction of tensions and a more relaxed atmosphere,” said Semih Idiz, political columnist of the Al Monitor website. But Idiz played down any talk of any new rapprochement in relations.

“Bottom line is nether side wants to go to some kind of nasty severance of ties or divorce. There are too many issues that require cooperation. I think they will muddle through, and I think that is the message that came out. Although both sides had theirs, in terms of issues that are important, the main thing is that they are not going to escalate tensions,” said Idiz.

“We discussed the need to cooperate,” Tusk said following the meeting in a tweet.

Turkey plays its part

Monday’s suicide bombing of a pop concert in Manchester, England, served as a reminder of Turkey’s importance in countering terrorism, with a Turkish official confirming the suspected bomber had traveled through Turkey to Britain. With Turkey bordering Syria and Iraq, Europe’s security forces depend heavily on Ankara in sharing intelligence and monitoring those traveling to Europe.

The EU is also dependent on Ankara to continue to honor last March’s agreement to stem the flood of refugees and migrants into Europe. “This is perhaps one of the few and certainly important pieces of leverage Ankara has over Brussels,” said Sinan Ulgen, visiting scholar at the Carnegie Institute in Brussels. “We have been hearing from Ankara over the past few months that if the EU does not fulfill its end of the bargain and does not deliver on visa freedom, even under current circumstances Turkey will not continue with the refugee deal.”

Before leaving for Brussels, Erdogan pointedly reminded the EU of its commitments. “We don’t aim to break away from the EU, but the EU shall take its responsibilities, too. The EU cannot see Turkey [as] a beggar. It does not have such a right,” he said.



Turkey crackdown to continue

Brussels insists any visa free travel is dependent on Ankara’s narrowing of its legal definition of terrorism to harmonize it with EU law. Tens of thousands of people in Turkey have been prosecuted for terrorism offenses in a crackdown since last July’s failed coup.

But Erdogan has ruled out any letup in the crackdown, or lifting of emergency rule introduced after the coup. On Friday, Ankara’s governor, under emergency powers, issued a decree imposing a night curfew on any acts of protests, including chanting or playing music, or issuing of press statements.

Tensions with Washington could also be a factor in Ankara’s wanting to avoid a collapse in EU ties. Trump’s decision to arm Syrian Kurdish fighters, considered by Ankara as terrorists, in their fight against Islamic State has strained bilateral ties. Those strains weren’t alleviated by Erdogan’s visit this month to Washington.

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US Economy Grows Slowly, But at Faster Pace Than First Thought

The U.S. economy expanded at a slightly faster pace than first estimated during the first quarter of this year.

The Commerce Department’s Friday report shows expansion at a 1.2 percent annual rate in January, February and March. That is nearly twice as fast as the preliminary estimate, but slower than the end of last year, and much more slowly than the 3 percent rate of expansion that the Trump administration says it will achieve.

Officials routinely revise growth estimates as more complete data becomes available.

Many experts say the economy is growing slowly because aging baby boomers are leaving the work force to retire, and productivity growth has been disappointingly slow.

The chief economist of PNC Bank, Gus Faucher, says growth is “bouncing back” in the second quarter. Faucher says he expects the U.S. economic growth will bounce around somewhat and expand at a 2.3 percent rate this year. Faucher also expects the growth rate to be about the same next year. 

A separate report shows new orders for manufactured goods declined in April. The seven-tenths of a percent decrease followed several months of gains.

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Trade, Climate Change on Agenda for G-7 Summit in Sicily

Leaders of the world’s rich nations braced for contentious talks with Donald Trump at a G-7 summit in Sicily Friday after the U.S. president lambasted NATO allies for not spending more on defense and accused Germany of “very bad” trade policies.

Trump’s confrontational remarks in Brussels, on the eve of the two-day summit in the Mediterranean resort town of Taormina, cast a pall over a meeting at which America’s partners had hoped to coax him into softening his stances on trade and climate change.

The summit will kick off with a ceremony at an ancient Greek theater perched on a cliff overlooking the sea, before the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States begin talks on terrorism, Syria, North Korea and the global economy.

Trump said Friday that North Korea was a “big problem,” but assured Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that issues surrounding the secretive Asian state would be resolved.

“It is very much on our minds. … It’s a big problem, it’s a world problem and it will be solved. At some point it will be solved. You can bet on that,” Trump said sitting alongside Abe in a bilateral meeting ahead of a Group of Seven summit.

North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threat is seen as a major security challenge for Trump, who has vowed to prevent the country from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile, a capability experts say Pyongyang could have some time after 2020. 

Global economy

“We will have a very robust discussion on trade and we will be talking about what free and open means,” White House economic adviser Gary Cohn told reporters late Thursday.

He also predicted “fairly robust” talks on whether Trump should honor a U.S. commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Trump, who dismissed man-made global warming a hoax during his election campaign, is not expected to decide at the summit whether he will stick with the Paris deal, negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama.

Even if a decision is not forthcoming, European leaders have signaled that they will push Trump hard on the Paris emissions deal, which has comprehensive support across the continent.

‘Very bad’

The summit, being held near Europe’s most active volcano, Mount Etna, is the final leg of a nine-day tour for Trump, his first foreign trip since becoming president, that started in the Middle East.

On Thursday in Brussels, with NATO leaders standing alongside him, he accused members of the military alliance of owing “massive amounts of money” to the United States and NATO, even though allied contributions are voluntary.

According to German media reports, he also condemned Germany for “very bad” trade policies in meetings with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk, signaling that he would take steps to limit the sales of German cars in the United States.

Juncker denied the reports Friday.

“He did not say that the Germans were behaving badly,” Juncker said in Sicily before the start of the G-7 summit. Juncker called the media reports exaggerated, saying it was “not true” that Trump had been aggressive towards Germany in the talks.

Trump will not be the only G7 newcomer. French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and British Prime Minister Theresa May will also be attending the elite club for the first time. 

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На святі останнього дзвоника Гройсман пообіцяв вчителям підтримку

Уряд продовжить підтримку українських учителів наступного року, заявив на святі останнього дзвоника у школі Броварів на Київщині прем’єр-міністр Володимир Гройсман.

«Хочу запевнити усіх вчителів України, що й у наступному році ви отримаєте підтримку українського уряду і бюджету. Ми будемо інвестувати в освіту для того, щоби ви спокійно могли робити свою справу і вкладати все найкраще в цих прекрасних молодих людей», – сказав Гройсман.

За його словами, цьогоріч уряд ухвалив рішення про збільшення зарплати вчителям на майже на 50%.

«Такого різкого підвищення ще не було ніколи, але це не є достатнім для того, щоб ми нарешті повернули повагу до вчительської професії», – додав Гройсман.

Випускникам шкіл очільник уряду побажав успіхів у досягненні мети.

Раніше очільник Міністерства науки і України Лілія Гриневич, яка сьогодні разом з Гройсманом у Броварах, заявляла, що у порівнянні з минулим роком, середня заробітна плата вчителів зросла на суму від 1200 до 1800 грн залежно від категорії.

Сьогодні, за традицією, в останню п’ятницю травня, в Україні «лінійка» або свято останнього дзвоника, що означає початок літніх канікул для школярів і вступні іспити для випускників.

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Turkish Forces Kill Nearly 30 Kurdish Militants

Turkish security forces killed 29 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in an operation in a mountainous area of eastern Turkey’s Agri and Van provinces, the Agri governor’s office said Friday.

Turkey’s army said Thursday three Turkish soldiers and a member of the state-sponsored village guard militia had been killed in the operation, launched in the Tendurek mountain area along the border of the two provinces, near the Iranian border.

A ceasefire between the Turkish state and the militants broke down in July 2015 and the southeast subsequently saw some of the worst violence since the PKK insurgency began in 1984.

More than 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, have been killed in the conflict. The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

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Журналісти показали маєток у Відні, де живе Фірташ

Український олігарх Дмитро Фірташ мешкає у Відні в розкішному маєтку неподалік від центру міста. Про це повідомляють журналісти програми «Схеми» (спільний проект Радіо Свобода та каналу «UA:Перший»), які відвідали Австрію і зняли, хто з українських політиків прилетів вітати олігарха з днем народження.

Будинок олігарха охороняють понад десять бодігардів. 

Також журналістам вдалось знайти фото інтер’єру будинку на сайті дизайнерської агенції. 

Відповідно до виписки з австрійського реєстру нерухомості, маєток зареєстрований на компанію S-Quad Handels- und Beteiligungs GmbH. 

У США Дмитра Фірташа звинувачують у справі про хабарі на суму близько 18,5 мільйонів доларів при отриманні ліцензії на видобуток титанової руди в Індії. Таке звинувачення затвердив суд присяжних у Чикаго 2013 року. Фірташ заперечує це звинувачення як абсурдне і безпідставне і називає його політично мотивованим. У Федеральному бюро розслідувань США заявляють, що це «абсолютно не політична справа».

В Іспанії Фірташа, за даними австрійських та іспанських ЗМІ, підозрюють у причетності до злочинної групи, що відмила гроші на суму в 10 мільйонів євро і пов’язана зі Степаном Черновецьким, сином колишнього мера Києва Леоніда Черновецького, який живе з родиною в Барселоні і звинувачення заперечує. Фірташ заперечує й це звинувачення.

В Україні поліція розслідує два кримінальні провадження, пов’язані з Дмитром Фірташем: щодо групи компаній Ostchem і колишніх керівників компанії «Нафтогаз України». У цих провадженнях він не має статусу підозрюваного.