Fans Gather in New York, Los Angeles to Bid Aretha Goodbye

Fans of Aretha Franklin came together at New York City’s landmark Apollo Theater and on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday to pay their respects to the Queen of Soul, singing along to her hits and sharing memories of her remarkable career.

Franklin, known for such classic songs as “Respect” and “Chain of Fools,” died at home in Detroit on Thursday at the age of 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, her family said.

“My heart feels empty,” said Sheila Black, 51, outside the Apollo, not far from where she grew up in Harlem, as she recalled listening to Franklin’s “Another Night Without You” to get over heartbreak. “Her music will live forever. I’m just so sad that we had to lose her.”

Billy Mitchell, the Apollo’s historian, said the landmark theater would likely hold a tribute to one of its most beloved performers.

“We’re sad but we’re very grateful to have had someone like Aretha Franklin in our lifetime,” said Mitchell, known as “Mr. Apollo.”

Inducted to the Apollo’s Walk of Fame in 2010, Franklin performed there more than a dozen times, most recently in 2010.

Her June 1971 “homecoming” show “drove fans to near-hysteria,” according to the theater.

“Aretha’s legacy should be excellence in music,” Mitchell said. “There’s a reason why she’s queen. You don’t get to get that title by being mediocre.”

Lou Adams, 77, who had seen Franklin perform at the Apollo, said she was one of the greats. “It’s an experience you can’t explain; you have to feel,” he said of the concert.

Fans gathered at Franklin’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, leaving flowers and candles and sharing tributes to the entertainer.

“Every time one of her songs comes on, everyone sings along, everyone knows the lyrics and… her songs give you that power, like that confidence to step out into the world and to feel, as a woman and as a black woman, like, that you are beautiful and that you can do it,” said Chelsea Monroe, 29.

Crystal Carpenter, 56, said she grew up listening to Franklin in the late 60s and early 70s.

“And my mom bought this album back in ’71 and now I have it,” Carpenter said, holding a copy of Franklin’s ‘Amazing Grace,’ which was recorded live in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.

“I love her gospel, secular, everything,” Carpenter said. “She was the queen.”

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Little Leaguers Connect With Translate, Fortnite, Facebook

Outfielder Rolando Rodriguez from Panama heard a reporter’s question, but he doesn’t speak English. So Georgia shortstop Tai Peete helped him out, pecking the words into Google Translate to ask about how young baseball players are sharing technology during the Little League World Series.

“It was easier than expected,” Rodriguez said of the language barrier, speaking through an interpreter.

So goes life in the International Grove, the dorms where 16 teams all are staying during the double-elimination tournament in pursuit of a world title. Apps and even video games are making it easier for the boys to communicate and get to know each other — making smartphones a key part rather than a distraction during their moment of a lifetime.

Eight teams are from U.S. states while the other teams represent various countries around the world and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.  Players are using Translate to input questions in their native languages and let other players read or hear them in one of more than 100 languages.

Trading pins

That’s changing some of the tournament’s traditions. For example, each team has pins that they are given to trade with other teams. While body language used to go a long way in this process, players are using technology to directly ask for trades.

No words actually need to be spoken aloud, but the kids still are helping fellow baseball players pronounce the words, learning a little bit of a new language in the process.

“I talked to the Mexico team,” Peete said. “I was talking about Little League and they couldn’t pronounce it, so I was helping them.”

Even with better technology, language and cultural barriers still exist.

It’s “a lot harder than I thought,” said Lee Jae-hyeok of South Korea, who noted through a human interpreter that players also were using Facebook to connect.

The days leading up to the start of the series on Thursday consisted of practices, interviews and hanging out in the players village. For the duration of the tournament, each team from the U.S. bracket shares a dorm with one of the international teams. The rooms have bunk beds and TVs, but no Wi-Fi.

They do have a game room, however, which allows players to get their video game fix in a more social way.

Arcade games, table tennis

The space has arcade games, including bowling and motorcycle simulators, but also activities like table tennis. Peete taught the tailgate favorite cornhole to the Australian club.

One common thread for most of the boys: Fortnite, the massively popular, multiplayer shootout video game. They don’t have their consoles but they can still play on their phones and try to impress each other with renditions of the famous dances done by the game’s characters.

But the reason for their visit to Pennsylvania loomed.

“Can we play a [baseball] game?” Peete asked a volunteer at the Little League complex before the tournament started, suggesting that maybe the whole World Series could be moved up.

“There’s nothing else to do,” he said.

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Ukraine Demands 15-Year Sentence for Ousted President

Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office on Thursday said had it demanded a 15-year prison sentence for former President Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him of “betraying his nation” to Russia. 

Pro-Moscow Yanukovych has lived in exile in Russia since he was ousted in a Western-backed popular uprising in 2014, and it is highly unlikely he will ever face trial as the two countries remain locked in a bitter standoff.

“Viktor Yanukovych betrayed his nation. He betrayed his army. At the most difficult time for the country and the people,” prosecutors said in court, according to a statement.

“He left the country at the mercy of fate and fled into the arms of the aggressor,” it said. “Without a drop of remorse, in order to please the enemy, he did everything in his power for Ukrainian territory to be seized by the aggressor.”

Yanukovych sparked massive protests when he ditched an association accord with the European Union and then fled to Russia in early 2014 after a bloody crackdown in Kyiv failed to quell the demonstrations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin later revealed this was made possible by a special operation organized by Moscow to exfiltrate Yanukovych. 

After Yanukovych fled Ukraine, Moscow annexed the country’s Crimean Peninsula and war erupted between Kyiv and Russian-backed rebels in the east of the country.

Since then, the fighting has cost 10,000 lives despite repeated international efforts to forge a lasting cease-fire.

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Finance Minister: Turkey Will Emerge Stronger from Lira Crisis Despite Row with US

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak assured international investors on Thursday that Turkey would emerge stronger from its currency crisis, insisting its banks were healthy and signalling it could ride out a dispute with the United States.

In a conference call with thousands of investors and economists, Albayrak — who is President Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law — said Turkey fully understood and recognised all its domestic challenges but was dealing with what he described as a market anomaly.

With Ankara locked in a complex rift with Washington, he also played down a decision by President Donald Trump to double tariffs on imports of Turkish metals. Washington later said it was ready to impose further economic sanctions on Turkey.

Many countries had been the target of similar U.S. trade measures, Albayrak said, and Turkey would navigate this period with other parties such as Germany, Russia and China.

Turkey, he said, has no plans to seek help from the International Monetary Fund or impose capital controls to stop money flowing abroad in response to the recent collapse of its lira currency.  Before he spoke, the lira strengthened more than 3 percent, despite signs that the dispute with the United States is as wide as ever.

The lira held steady during Albayrak’s conference call but later weakened when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States was prepared to levy more sanctions on Turkey if detained American pastor Andrew Brunson was not freed.

The Turkish currency was trading at 5.85 at 1740 GMT, more than 1 percent stronger on the day. Turkey’s sovereign dollar bonds extended their gains.

The lira hit a record low of 7.24 to the dollar earlier this week, down 40 percent this year, as investors fretted over Erdogan’s influence over monetary policy and the row with the United States.

Turkey’s foreign minister said Ankara did not want any problems with Washington.

“We can solve issues with the United States very easily, but not with the current approach,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told a news conference in Ankara late on Thursday.

Facing Turkey’s gravest currency crisis since 2001 in his first month in the job, Albayrak has the daunting task of persuading investors that the economy is not hostage to political interference.

Albayrak, a 40-year-old former company executive with a doctorate in finance, said Turkey would not hesitate to provide support to the banking sector. The banks were capable of managing the volatility, and there had been no major flow of cash out of deposits lately, he added.

Qatari pledge

Economists gave Albayrak’s comments a qualified welcome, and praised his ambition to get inflation down into single figures next year from above 15 percent now. But his father-in-law’s opposition to higher interest rates may complicate that quest.

“He said all the right things, but it’s one thing saying them and another thing doing them,” said Sailesh Lad at AXA Investment Managers. “He said capital controls weren’t part of the agenda, and never will be. I think a lot of the market liked hearing that.”

The lira gained some support from the announcement late on Wednesday of a Qatari pledge to invest $15 billion in Turkey. Trump has used trade tariffs in a series of disputes ranging from with Turkey and China to the European Union.

In a sign that Turkey may hope to make common cause with other affected countries, Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone on Thursday, discussing developing economic and trade ties and boosting bilateral investment, a Turkish presidential source said.

Albayrak will also meet his German counterpart Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Sept. 21.

However, in a potential complication, a foreign ministry source in Berlin said Turkish police had arrested a German citizen. ARD TV reported the man was accused of “terrorist propaganda” after criticising the government on social media.

In another element of the row with Washington, a U.S. court sentenced a senior executive of state-owned Turkish lender Halkbank to 32 months in prison in May for taking part in a scheme to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions. That case has increased speculation that the bank itself could be fined for sanctions-busting.

Halkbank has said all of its transactions were lawful and Albayrak played down the risk. “We are not expecting any fines on Halkbank for sure,” he said. “But hypothetically speaking, …if one of our public banks need help, the government will stand strong by it for sure.”

The White House said on Wednesday that it would not remove steel tariffs on Turkey, appearing to give Ankara little incentive to work for the release of Brunson, a pastor on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges.

Washington wants the evangelical Christian freed but Turkish officials say the case is a matter for the courts.

The pastor row is one of several between the NATO allies, including diverging interests in Syria and U.S. objections to Ankara’s ambition to buy Russian defence systems, that have contributed to instability in Turkish financial markets.

Economic war

Erdogan has repeatedly told Turks to exchange gold and hard currency into lira, saying the country was involved in an economic war with enemies.

However, Turks appeared not to be heeding his appeal. Central bank data showed foreign currency deposits held by local investors rose to $159.9 billion in the week to Aug. 10, from $158.6 billion a week earlier.

Erdogan has called for a boycott of U.S. electronic goods and Turkish media have given extensive coverage to anti-U.S. protests, including videos on social media showing Turks apparently burning dollar bills and destroying iPhones.

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Aretha Franklin Leaves a Powerful Civil Rights Legacy

Aretha Franklin, who was born and rose to fame during the segregation era and went on to sing at the inauguration of the first black president, often used her talent, fortune and platform to inspire millions of black Americans and support the fight for racial equality.

“She not only provided the soundtrack for the civil rights movement, Aretha’s music transcended race, nationality and religion and helped people from all backgrounds to recognize what they had in common,” said longtime civil rights leader the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery.

Franklin, who died Thursday at 76, was a close confidante of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and a financial lifeline to the civil rights organization he co-founded, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

​Father’s commitment

The Queen of Soul’s commitment to civil rights was instilled by her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, who also knew King and preached social justice from his pulpit at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit.

The church, in fact, was the first place King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963. Among those in the congregation were Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. It was Jackson who later urged the civil rights leader to “tell them about the dream, Martin” at the March on Washington, where he delivered the oration for which he is most famous.

Franklin recorded “Respect” on Valentine’s Day 1967. Black Americans had won federal legislation outlawing segregation and protecting their voting rights, particularly in the Deep South.

But blacks were still a year away from the Fair Housing Act. And just months after the song was recorded, urban centers, including Franklin’s hometown of Detroit, would burn, exposing police brutality and unequal living conditions and job opportunities.

Financial backer

“Her songs were songs of the movement,” Andrew Young, the former King lieutenant and U.N. ambassador, said Thursday. “R-E-S-P-E-C-T. … That’s basically what we wanted. The movement was about respect.”

The SCLC often struggled financially, but Franklin played a vital role in keeping the movement afloat.

“Almost every time we needed money, there were two people we could always count on: Aretha Franklin and Harry Belafonte,” Young said. “They would get together and have a concert, and that would put us back on our feet.”

Strong faith

King and Franklin were like spiritual siblings, sharing a bond rooted in their Christian faith, Young said. King would often ask Franklin to sing his favorite songs, “Amazing Grace” or “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” When King was assassinated in 1968, Franklin sang “Precious Lord” at his funeral in Atlanta.

Franklin’s “Amazing Grace” was also a comfort to the Rev. Al Sharpton when he was a boy. He recalled that his mother would play the song nonstop in their Brooklyn home after his father left.

As an adult and an activist, Sharpton became friends with the soul singer. He noted her unwavering faith, which she brought with her on stage to every performance.

“Whether it was the White House, Radio City Music Hall or the Apollo Theater, she always did gospel numbers,” Sharpton said. “She was unapologetically a hardcore, faith-believing Baptist. At the height of her career, she cut a gospel album. Who does that? Her faith is what motivated her.”

Committed to social justice

Long after the civil rights movement ended, Franklin remained committed to social justice, helping Sharpton as he began his organization, the National Action Network, in New York. She would call Sharpton for updates on the emerging Black Lives Matter movement, asking about such cases as those of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner.

“She gave so much to so many people, from Dr. King, to Mandela, to Barack Obama,” said Rev. Jesse Jackson, a longtime friend who visited her the day before her death.

Her presence and influence were as valuable to the movement as her financial contributions, Sharpton said.

“To have someone like that that involved and interested … was a statement,” he said. “It gave all the credibility in the world. Others had celebrity, but she had gravity and respect.”

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Держкіно: в Україні починають знімати шпигунський трилер «Спадок брехні»

В Україні починається виробництво шпигунського трилера «Спадок брехні», повідомляє Державне агентство України з питань кіно.

За даними Держкіно, режисером і автором сценарію українсько-британського проекту є Адріан Бол.

У стрічці йтиметься про колишнього оперативника ЦРУ США, який змушений знову взятися за зброю, щоб домогтися зізнання агента ФСБ та врятувати життя дочки.

Над фільмом працюватиме міжнародна команда фахівців – з України, Польщі, Італії та Великої Британії.

Завершити роботу над фільмом планують у 2020 році.

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Уряд затвердив знання і вміння, які повинен мати вчитель початкової школи

Міністерство соціальної політики затвердило професійний стандарт вчителя початкової школи, що визначає його компетентності, знання і вміння. Про це повідомляє Міністерство освіти і науки, яке підготувало стандарт.

За повідомленням, у документі чітко виписана загальна інформація про стандарт, навчання і професійний розвиток вчителя, а також конкретний перелік його функцій. Їх визначено вісім:

Планування і здійснення освітнього процесу
Забезпечення і підтримка навчання, виховання і розвитку учнів в освітньому середовищі та родині
Створення освітнього середовища
Рефлексія та професійний саморозвиток
Проведення педагогічних досліджень
Надання методичної допомоги колегам з питань навчання, розвитку, виховання й соціалізації учнів початкових класів закладу загальної середньої освіти
Узагальнення власного педагогічного досвіду та його презентація педагогічній спільноті
Оцінювання результатів роботи вчителів початкових класів закладу загальної середньої освіти.

Професійний стандарт вчителя початкових класів став першим профстандартом в Україні, який затвердили на національному рівні, додали у МОН.

Читайте також: Знову до школи. Скільки коштує підготувати школяра до навчання?

«Це вперше не тільки на національному рівні затверджено професійний стандарт, а й докладно, по-поличках розкладено, яку кваліфікацію повинна мати людина, що хоче бути або працює вчителем. У цьому документі немає розмитих формулювань, кожна компетентність, знання, вміння чітко виписані. Й це дуже важливо, адже так ми дали абсолютно новий інструмент і для роботодавців, і для університетів, що готують майбутніх педагогів», – пояснила міністр освіти і науки України Лілія Гриневич.

Стандарт може використовуватися для оцінювання кваліфікації вчителя під час його прийняття на роботу, атестації чи сертифікації, присвоєння категорії.

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Київ: рух на Хрещатику 16 серпня перекриють на дві години через репетицію параду

16 серпня на Хрещатику у Києві через репетицію параду перекриють рух на дві години, повідомляє міська влада.

Як повідомляє сайт мерії, обмеження в русі будуть від 22:00 до півночі.

7 серпня військові вже тренувалися перед військовим парадом до Дня Незалежності. Тоді за репетицією спостерігав міністр оборони Степан Полторак.

Він сказав, що у параді візьмуть участь 4,5 тисячі військовослужбовців і 250 одиниць військової техніки.

Генеральну репетицію проведуть 22 серпня.

24 серпня Україна відзначатиме 27-му річницю Незалежності.

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Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin Dies

Musical icon Aretha Franklin, known by millions around the world as the Queen of Soul, is dead at the age of 76. The American singer — who had been ill for a while — was considered one of the country’s greatest musical artists. She sold millions of albums, received numerous honors and awards — including 18 Grammys — and was loved by generations of fans, artists and celebrities the world over. VOA’s Julie Taboh has more.

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‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin Dies

Aretha Franklin, the American singer known to millions of fans around the world as the “Queen of Soul,” has died at the age of 76.

Franklin passed away Thursday in her hometown of Detroit, where she had been under hospice care after a long battle with cancer.

Born March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee, Franklin was raised in Detroit, where her father, C.L. Franklin, was a popular preacher. Her talent was recognized at a young age as she played piano and sang hymns at his church services.

Franklin moved into pop and jazz music at age 18 on the Columbia Records label. But her real breakthrough came in 1967 on Atlantic Records, which allowed her to sing with her natural gospel intensity for the first time.

She rocketed to national fame that year with a series of hit singles, including “Chain of Fools,” “A Natural Woman,” and her most famous song, “Respect,” her first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song was written by singer-songwriter Otis Redding, who died the year it was released in 1967. But Franklin transformed the song into an anthem for blacks and women by rewriting some of the lyrics and adding lines that spelled out the title: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.”

She eventually racked up more than 110 entries in Billboard magazine’s charts, the most by any woman in the magazine’s history. In 1987, Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

She also recorded popular and acclaimed albums such as “Amazing Grace” and “Young, Gifted and Black.”

After a downturn in the late 1970s, Franklin’s career rebounded with an appearance in the 1980 film “The Blues Brothers” and a new series of hits, including “Freeway of Love.”

Franklin struggled with weight and health problems, but even in her older years, her soaring voice remained a thing of wonder.

In 2009, she sang at President Barack Obama’s first inauguration, thrilling the crowd with a rendition of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”

She made headlines again in 2016 when she sang a four-and-a-half-minute rendition of the U.S. national anthem before a Detroit Lions football game.

Paul McCartney was among those paying tribute to Franklin on Thursday.  “Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever,” he said on Twitter.

Elton John said “The loss of @ArethaFranklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists.” 

President Donald Trump said “The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead. She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!”

Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle sent “prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song.”  

“Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience.  In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect,” the Obamas said in a statement. “Aretha may have passed on to a better place, but the gift of her music remains to inspire us all.  May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.”

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