У головному соборі Чехії ялинку прикрасили написами із назвами окупованих міст Донбасу — посол

У Соборі святого Віта у Празі ялинку прикрасили у кольорах українського прапора — листівками із написами окупованих міст на Донбасі, повідомив посол України в Чехії Євген Перебийніс.

«Прага. Головний собор Чехії — Собор святого Віта. Новорічна ялинка в кольорах українського прапора. Замість прикрас — назви українських міст на Донбасі, окупованих Росією. Дякуємо за підтримку! Вони обов’язково будуть звільнені. Слава Україні! З Новим роком!», — написав посол у Facebook і опублікував фото.

Частина населених пунктів Донецької і Луганської областей України перебуває під контролем підтримуваних Росією бойовиків внаслідок збройного конфлікту, що почався на Донбасі у квітні 2014 року.


Понад 10 тисяч правоохоронців в Україні охоронятимуть порядок у Новорічну ніч — поліція

Безпеку і порядок у Новорічну ніч по всій Україні гарантуватимуть понад десять тисяч правоохоронців, поліцейських і нацгвардійців, повідомляє прес-служба Нацполіції.

«Особовий склад поліції в державі переведено на посилений варіант несення служби», — йдеться в повідомленні.

За даними правоохоронців, масові заходи з нагоди святкування Нового року відбудуться на території 722 населених пунктів. Орієнтовано участь у заходах візьмуть понад 1,6 мільйона громадян. 

У Києві на службу заступили близько 1500 правоохоронців, серед них – вибухотехніки та кінологи, додали в поліції.


2018 Starts With a Bang as Fireworks Around the World Greet New Year

Thousands braved a frigid New York night to celebrate the start of 2018 in Times Square, an annual celebration that dates back to 1904.

Tarana Burke, a social activist who started the #MeToo movement to draw attention to sexual abuse, pushed the button that started the famed ball drop – a hallmark of the New York celebration for 110 years.2017 saw a sea change in attitudes and awareness of sexual assault and sexual harassment, as millions of people used the hashtag to show how pervasive abuse is in the wake of accusations made against dozens of high profile men, including celebrities, members of Congress and business leaders.

“We need to go into the new year as a new beginning, with a new set of commitments to a better world,” Burke told the New York Daily News.

As they do each year, the crowd counted down as the crystal ball slid down a pole, arriving at the bottom as 2018 began, accompanied by confetti and fireworks. 

Hundreds of thousands of people – watched over by thousands of police and other security personnel – crowded the square, despite temperatures around -12 C (10 degrees Fahrenheit). 

“Our toes are frozen, so we’re just dealing with it by dancing,” Remle Scott told the Associated Press. She traveled to New York with her boyfriend from San Diego to ring in the new year. 

The frosty festivities in Times Square included performances by Mariah Carey, Sugarland and Nick Jonas.

Fireworks around the world

In London, fireworks and the sound of Big Ben – the massive bell in the Elizabeth Tower clock – welcomed the start of 2018 for about 100,000 revelers near the River Thames.Big Ben has been silent since August, when a renovation project on the clock began.It’s not scheduled to return to regular service for about four years.

Fireworks were also part of the celebrations in Paris and Moscow.In the Russian capitol, fireworks lit up the sky over the Kremlin, while in Paris the display was held at the Arc de Triomphe.

Thousands gathered around Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor to watch a 10-minute musical firework display, which included “shooting stars” fired from rooftops and revelers dancing to “Auld Lang Syne.”

In the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, over 400 couples participated in a New Year’s mass wedding provided for free by authorities.

Nearly 1.5 million people gathered to watch a rainbow fireworks display above Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge and the opera house, as the country celebrated legalizing gay marriage.

Security tight

In preparation for celebrations in cities around the world, hundreds of thousands of law enforcement, military and security officials are being deployed to keep New Year’s Eve revelers safe.

In Australia, officials were out in full force on the ground, air and sea as part of the largest security operation in the country. Police in Melbourne last month arrested a man for planning to shoot revelers on New Year’s Eve.

In the United States, New York City officials used two-step screening, snipers, street closures and specially trained dogs to secure Times Square.

Library of Congress Will No Longer Collect Every Tweet Created

The U.S. Library of Congress says it will no longer collect every single tweet published on Twitter as it has been doing for the past 12 years. 

The library said this week that it can no longer collect everything across the entire social media platform because of recent changes Twitter has made, including allowing longer tweets, photos and videos. 

It said in a blog post this week that its first objective with collecting and archiving tweets was “to document the emergence of online social media for future generations.” The library says it has fulfilled that objective and no longer needs to be a “comprehensive” collector of tweets. 

The Library of Congress said it will still collect and archive tweets in the future, but will do so on a more selective basis. It said going forward “the tweets collected and archived will be thematic and event-based, including events such as elections, or themes of ongoing national interest, e.g. public policy.”

The library said it generally does not collect media comprehensively, but said it made an exception for public tweets when the social media platform was first developed. 

The library said it will keep its previous archive of tweets from 2006-2017 to help people understand the rise of social media and to offer insight into the public mood during that time. “Throughout its history, the Library has seized opportunities to collect snapshots of unique moments in human history and preserve them for future generations,” it said.

“The Twitter Archive may prove to be one of this generation’s most significant legacies to future generations. Future generations will learn much about this rich period in our history, the information flows, and social and political forces that help define the current generation,” it said.

Журнал Ring назвав Ломаченка найкращим боксером, а бій Кличко-Джошуа – поєдинком року

«За 89-річну історію нагороди «Боєць року» жоден боксер ніколи її не отримував, маючи таку невелику кількість боїв, як Василь Ломаченко»

Fugitive Catalonian Leader Seeks Talks With Spain

Catalonia’s fugitive former president has called for Spanish authorities to open negotiations regarding the restitution of what he calls his “legitimate government.”

Carles Puigdemont said via social media channels from Brussels on Saturday that Spain should “recognize the election results of Dec. 21 and start negotiating politically with the legitimate government of Catalonia.”

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy deposed Puigdemont and his Cabinet after Catalonia’s regional parliament voted in favor of a declaration of independence from the rest of the country in October.

But pro-secession parties, including one led by Puigdemont, won the most seats in elections last week.

Puigdemont fled to Belgium to avoid a judicial investigation into suspicions of rebellion by him and his government. He did not say Saturday if he plans to return to Spain, where an arrest warrants awaits him.

Rajoy said Friday that he plans to convene Catalonia’s newly elected parliament Jan. 17.

In-house rules of Catalonia’s parliament require that a candidate to form a government be present.

Polish Climbers Attempt Record Winter Ascent of K2

A group of Polish mountaineers set off for northern Pakistan on Sunday to attempt to be the first to scale K2, the world’s second highest peak, in wintertime.

K2, in the Karakorum mountains along the border between China and Pakistan, is notorious for high winds, steep and icy slopes — and high fatality rates for climbers. In winter months, scant snowfall means the summit approach can turn into bare ice.

More than 70 people have died climbing the peak, many of them at the Bottleneck, where a wrong step can send a climber hurtling off the South Face, where bodies are unlikely to be recovered.

Team member Adam Bielecki, 34, told Reuters that the chance to make history is a “strong motivation” for the Polish group.

Polish climbers have written a “beautiful chapter” of exploring peaks of more than 8,000 meters (26,247 feet), and scaling K2 in winter would “the last chapter of this book.”

The Polish team includes 13 mountaineers led by Krzysztof Wielicki, 67, who in 2003 headed a winter expedition of K2 that was unable to clear the 8,000 meter threshold.

K2, slightly shorter than Mount Everest, is 8,611 meters (28,251 feet) high.

Wielicki told Reuters that his team would begin their ascent on Jan. 8 or 9 and, if successful, expect to return to base camp by mid-March.

Pakistan is a hot destination for climbers. It rivals Nepal for the number of peaks higher 7,000 meters (22,966 feet) and it has five of the world’s 14 summits higher than 8,000 meters.

Bielecki said the group expects to be away from home for around three months.

“If you ask me what’s the hardest part of the expedition or what I fear the most, it’s actually the separation from my family,” he said.

May Says 2018 Brexit Progress Will Renew British Pride

Prime Minister Theresa May said 2018 would be a year of “renewed confidence and pride” for Britain as it confronts the challenges of negotiating Brexit, in her New Year’s message out Sunday.

Divorce talks between London and Brussels are set to move on to transition arrangements, trade and security next year as Britain prepares to leave the European Union in March 2019.

May said 2017 had been a year of progress for Britain as it struck agreements on its departure bill, Northern Ireland and the rights of EU citizens, in the first phase of Brexit negotiations.

“I believe 2018 can be a year of renewed confidence and pride in our country,” the premier said, “a year in which we continue to make good progress towards a successful Brexit deal, an economy that’s fit for the future, and a stronger and fairer society for everyone.

“And whatever challenges we may face, I know we will overcome them by standing united as one proud union of nations and people.”

However, the British Chambers of Commerce, which represents thousands of firms across the country, warned that business was losing patience while waiting for clarity on what will happen once Britain leaves the EU.

“Businesses want answers,” director general Adam Marshall told The Observer newspaper. “Getting the twin challenges of Brexit and the economic fundamentals right will require leadership, consistency and clarity — after a year in which business has been dismayed by what it sees as division and disorganization.”

Vow on harassment, prejudice

May said 2017 had been a year of progress in which her Brexit objectives had been pursued with a steady purpose.

“Making a success of Brexit is crucial, but it will not be the limit of our ambitions,” she said.

The prime minister said she wanted a “balanced approach” to public spending, reducing Britain’s debt pile while investing in schools, hospitals and state health care.

May also said she wanted to sweep harassment from the workplace and “eliminate all prejudice and discrimination from our society.”

Internationally, she said Britain would work to tackle extremism, climate change and plastic waste in the oceans.

Meanwhile, opposition Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn said the prospect of a “new Britain” was “closer than ever before.”

“We are a government in waiting, while the Conservatives are weak and divided and stuck in an outdated rut,” the veteran leftist said.

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable used his New Year’s message to push for a second referendum on EU membership.

“There’s still time to offer people the choice of an exit from Brexit,” he said.