Кличко: Київ впорався з подоланням наслідків негоди

Міський голова Києва Віталій Кличко заявив, що столичні служби впоралися з подоланням наслідків негоди, про що свідчить безперебійна робота комунального транспорту.

«Зараз ми бачимо, що на переважній кількості вулиць транспорт рухається нормально. Але є місця, де люди безвідповідально кидають свої автівки на узбіччях і заважають прибирати сніг, спричиняють затори», – сказав Кличко під час оперативної наради.

Він доручив керівникам районів і комунальних служб бути готовими до більш потужних опадів.

Автомобілі, що заважатимуть розчищати дороги від снігу, як заявили у мерії, евакуйовуватимуть.

Крім того, ввечері 28 лютого та зранку (з 5:00 до 10:00) 1 березня буде обмежено в’їзд великовагового та великовантажного транспорту в столицю.

За даними Укргідрометцентру,  1 березня в Україні, крім заходу, внаслідок переміщення активного циклону очікуються складні погоді умови: в більшості областей сильний сніг, хуртовини, снігові замети, вночі на Миколаївщині, Кіровоградщині, Дніпропетровщині та Полтавщині дуже сильні снігопади; на  Приазов’ї подекуди налипання мокрого снігу та ожеледь; вночі та вранці пориви вітру 15-20 м/с, на дорогах країни ожеледиця. Денна температура повітря -10-12° на Заході, на решті території – в середньому -4-6 морозу. У Києві 1 березня снігопад і -5-7° морозу вдень.

З обмороженням до медиків на Одещині звернулись 3 людини – ОДА

За минулу добу на Одещині три людини звернулись до лікарів з обмороженнями кінцівок рук та ніг, йдеться в повідомленні на сайті Одеської облдержадміністрації. Повідомляється, що в Балтському районі області обмороження кінцівок ніг зазнав підліток.

«На території регіону розгорнуто вже 222 пункти обігріву. З них 217 –стаціонарні, де люди можуть погрітися, отримати першу допомогу, гарячий чай. Ще два мобільні пункти функціонують в Одесі та по одному в Ізмаїлі, Білгород-Дністровському та Подільську», – йдеться в повідомленні.

За даними Одеської ОДА, до пунктів обігріву звернулися понад 200 людей.

На 28 лютого в Одеській області оголосили штормове попередження. Найближчої ночі і завтра вдень у регіоні прогнозують снігопади й ожеледицю.

 

На виставці у Турині італійські фоторепортери розповідають про війну на Донбасі

15 фотознімків із зони бойових дій на Донбасі представлені в італійському Турині на виставці, присвяченій воєнним конфліктам. Експозиція, що відкрилася 28 лютого, демонструє 110 світлин італійських фоторепортерів Роберта Травана і Паоло Сіккарді, які працювали у різних «гарячих точках» світу.

«Ми зібрали ці роботи, щоб показати широкому загалу в Італії маловідомі конфлікти, і драматична війна в Україні – одна з таких тем, практично вилучених з місцевого інформаційного простору», – повідомив Радіо Свобода  ініціатор виставки Роберто Траван, журналіст La Stampa і незалежний фотограф. Він представив фотороботи, зроблені в Україні протягом 2015-2017 років.

На листівці-афіші заходу – фотографія українського бійця Сергія з автоматом на шиї і хрестом у кишені на тлі зруйнованої промислової зони поблизу міста Авдіївка Донецької області 2017 року. Через місяць після зйомки солдат загинув під час мінометного обстрілу.

«Ця світлина найкраще відображає зміст експозиції: релігійні символи часто поєднані із символами війни – хрест і автомат Калашникова. На війні і військові, і цивільні люди вірять, моляться, просять у Бога порятунку», – зауважив Роберто Траван.

За його словами, він з колегою намагається представити малообговорюваний аспект збройних конфліктів: віра у Бога і обов’язок боротися.

За плечима італійського репортера досвід роботи у Косові, Афганістані, Нагірному Карабасі, в Африці.

«На війні скрізь бачиш страждання. Перебуваючи у зоні бойових дій на Донбасі, мене дуже вразило почуття національної належності серед українських бійців і численних волонтерів, які їм невтомно допомагають протягом такого тривалого часу. Загальне відчуття солідарності між цими людьми і солдатами вражає», – розповів Радіо Свобода фоторепортер Роберто Траван.

Фотовиставка «Arma il prossimo tuo. Storie di uomini, conflitti, religioni» буде відкрита протягом двох місяців (з 1 березня до 1 травня 2018) у Національному музеї Рисорджименто, одному з найвідвідуваніших місць у Турині.

Artificial Intelligence Poses Big Threat to Society, Warn Leading Scientists

Artificial Intelligence is on the cusp of transforming our world in ways many of us can barely imagine. While there’s much excitement about emerging technologies, a new report by 26 of the world’s leading AI researchers warns of the potential dangers that could emerge over the coming decade, as AI systems begin to surpass levels of human performance.

Automated hacking is identified as one of the most imminent applications of AI, especially so-called “phishing” attacks.

“That part used to take a lot of human effort – you had to study your target, make a profile of them, craft a particular message – that’s known as phishing. We are now getting to the point where we can train computers to do the same thing. So you can model someone’s topics of interest or preferences, their writing style, the writing style of a close friend, and have a machine automatically create a message that looks a lot like something they would click on,” says report co-author Shahar Avin of the Center for the Study of Existential Risk at Britain’s University of Cambridge.

In an era of so-called “fake news,” the implications of AI for media and journalism are also profound.

Programmers from the University of Washington last year built an AI algorithm to create a video of Barack Obama, allowing them to program the “fake” former president to say anything they wished. It’s just the start, says Avin.

“You create videos and audio recordings that are pixel to pixel indistinguishable from real videos and real audio of people. We will need new technical measures. Maybe some kind of digital signatures, to be able to verify sources.”

There is much excitement over technology such as self-driving AI cars, with big tech companies alongside giant car makers vying to be the first to market. The systems, however, are only as secure as the environments in which they operate.

“You can have a car that is as good and better at navigating the world than your average driver. But you put some stickers on a ‘Stop’ sign and it thinks it’s ‘Go at 55 miles per hour.’ As long as we haven’t fixed that problem, we might have systems that are very safe, but are not secure. We could have a world filled with robotic systems that are very useful and very safe, but are also open to an attack by a malicious actor who knows what they are doing,” adds Avin.

The report warns that the proliferation of drones and other robotic systems could allow attackers “to deploy or re-purpose such systems for harmful ends, such as crashing fleets of autonomous vehicles, turning commercial drones into face-targeting missiles or holding critical infrastructure to ransom.”

He says AI use in warfare is widely seen as one of the most disturbing possibilities, with so-called ‘killer robots’ and decision-making taken out of the hands of humans.

“You want to have an edge over your opponent by deploying lots and lots of sensors, lots and lots of small robotic systems, all of them giving you terabytes of information about what’s happening on the battlefield. And no human would be in a position to aggregate that information, so you would start having decision recommendation systems. At this point, do you still have meaningful human control?”

There is also the danger of AI being used in mass surveillance, especially by oppressive regimes.

The researchers stress the many positive applications of AI; however, they note that it is a dual-use technology, and assert that AI researchers and engineers should be proactive about the potential for its misuse.

The authors say AI itself will likely provide many of the solutions to the problems they identify.

 

Report: Harper Lee Estate Transferred to Trust

The will of “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee is public following a lawsuit by The New York Times, but details on her estate remain a secret.

The Times reports the will unsealed Tuesday shows most of Lee’s assets were transferred into a trust days before her death two years ago in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama.

 

But the contents of her estate remain private because trust documents are private.

 

A probate court sealed the will of the famously private writer following her death, and the newspaper filed suit in 2016 to have the document made public. The suit argued that Lee’s desire for privacy wasn’t sufficient legal reason to keep her will hidden from public view.

 

Records show the estate recently dropped its opposition to unsealing the will.

IOC Reinstates Russia’s Membership

The International Olympic Committee has reinstated Russia’s membership after suspending it over state-sponsored doping allegations.

“The Russian Olympic Committee has had its rights fully restored,” said Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee.

The IOC had banned Russian athletes from competing under the country’s flag during the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea because of allegations Russia ran a state-sponsored doping program during the last Winter Olympics, in Sochi in 2014. However, the Olympic Committee allowed more than 160 Russians to compete individually at the 2018 Games.

Two of the Russian athletes failed drug tests at the Pyeongchang Games. However, the IOC said Wednesday that all remaining test results were negative.

“The IOC can confirm that all the remaining results are negative. Therefore, as stated in the Executive Board decision of 25th February, the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee is automatically lifted with immediate effect,” an IOC statement said.

Russia repeatedly has denied it carried out a doping operation.  

UN Sets Up ‘Helpline’ to Fight Sexual Harassment Among its Own

The United Nations has set up a 24-hour helpline to fight sexual harassment among its staff in the workplace as part of its Zero Tolerance policy regarding sexual exploitation and abuse. 

The so-called “Speak Up” hotline is part of the U.N. Secretary-General’s wider initiative to fight sexual harassment and to support victims and witnesses.  U.N. spokeswoman in Geneva, Alessandra Vellucci, explains U.N. staff can call the helpline 24 hours a day to speak confidentially to a trained, impartial person about problems of sexual abuse and to provide information.

She says the United Nations also is creating a specialized team to investigate cases of sexual harassment.

“Particular attention of this would be on increasing the number of female investigators,” she said. “So, basically we are strengthening our tools to answer to this problem and put victims at the core of our action.”

While the United Nations can deal with internal problems of sexual harassment, Vellucci says the organization has no control over the behavior of U.N. peacekeepers.  She says it is ultimately the responsibility of the member state of the soldiers accused of sexual misconduct to investigate and prosecute these crimes.

Officials from U.N. agencies condemned the recent reports that local workers and private charities were trading food and other assistance for sexual favors from Syrian women.  U.N. refugee spokesman Andrej Mahecic calls the practice despicable and dehumanizing.

“But the mere suggestion that the U.N. can somehow control the situation in a war zone and the implied conclusion that we can somehow turn this on and off is rather simplistic,” said Mahecic. “It is disconnected from the reality of what an aid operation looks like in an open and fierce conflict.”

The UNHCR and other U.N. aid agencies say their partners must adhere to a strict code of conduct, which covers sexual exploitation and abuse.  They say any U.N. personnel found to be in breach of the code would be subject to disciplinary measures, including dismissal from service.

A DC Dig at Russia: Avenue in Front of Embassy Renamed for Activist

The Russian Embassy in Washington has a new address, at least symbolically.

A one-block section of Wisconsin Avenue directly in front of the embassy was officially renamed Boris Nemtsov Plaza on Tuesday, in what amounts to a D.C.-sponsored effort to troll the Russian government.

A former deputy prime minister, Nemtsov became an opposition activist and vocal public critic of President Vladimir Putin. He was shot dead while walking on a bridge near the Kremlin three years ago.

The move to rename the street started in the U.S. Congress at the urging of Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, and others.

“This serves as an enduring reminder to Vladimir Putin and those who support him that they cannot use murder and intimidation to suppress dissent,” Rubio said.

Such politicized street-naming games are not new to Washington. In recent years, there have been moves to name the street on which China’s embassy is located after famed Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died in prison in 2017. Members of Congress have also supported a similar effort to rename a portion of the road that is home to Cuba’s embassy after Oswaldo Paya, a pro-democracy activist who died in a 2012 car accident that some believe may have been set up by the Cuban government.

Tribute to Sakharov

And this isn’t even the first time that Russia has been targeted by provocative street naming. Back in the Cold War days, when what was then the Soviet embassy was located on 16th Street, the city named a portion of the street after famed dissident Andrei Sakharov.

The United States is not alone in such trolling. There is a long history of both national and municipal governments trying to score political points by renaming streets to irritate other countries.

During the Vietnam War, India renamed the street where the U.S. consulate in Kolkata is located after North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh. Iran and Egypt had no diplomatic ties for decades, and restored them only after Iranian officials agreed in 2004 to change the name of a Tehran street that had been named after the man who assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. 

More recently, some Russian politicians have suggested retaliating for the Nemtsov change by renaming a street outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow “North American Dead End.”

The decision to create Boris Nemtsov Plaza also represents a rare moment of harmony between Congress and Washington’s city government, which normally chafes under the federal government’s oversight power over all District of Columbia decisions.

Turned to D.C. Council

When the original street-renaming bill stalled in the Senate, Rubio turned to the D.C. Council for help. Councilwoman Mary Cheh agreed to sponsor the bill, which breezed through the council in January after public hearings that included testimony from Nemtsov’s daughter, Zhanna Nemtsova.

Cheh on Tuesday noted that Moscow police have prevented Nemtsov supporters from maintaining a shrine at the site of his killing, repeatedly clearing away candles and flowers from the bridge.

“This commemoration will not be removed,” Cheh said. “Let them steal the candles. Let them steal the flowers. They can never steal his memory.”

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, the nonvoting representative of Washington in Congress, noted with satisfaction that the council was able to quickly accomplish what the Senate couldn’t.

“We might have been here in time for next year’s anniversary [of Nemtsov’s killing] if we were dependent on the Congress,” she said.

Several speakers, including Rubio, took the opportunity to criticize Putin, not only for his repression of dissent but also for Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Rubio condemned both Putin’s “aggressive policies inside Russia” and his “effort to interfere in the democratic process inside the United States.”

Deluge of Oscars Politics Began With Brando

Should any of this year’s winners at the Oscars use the occasion to promote a political cause, you can thank — or blame — Marlon Brando.

Brando’s role as Vito Corleone in The Godfather remains a signature performance in movie history. But his response to winning an Academy Award was truly groundbreaking.

Upending a decades-long tradition of tears, nervous humor, thank-yous and general goodwill, he sent actress Sacheen Littlefeather in his place to the 1973 ceremony to protest Hollywood’s treatment of American Indians.

In the years since, winners have brought up everything from climate change (Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant, 2016) to abortion (John Irving, screenplay winner in 2000) to equal pay for women (Patricia Arquette, best supporting actress winner in 2015 for Boyhood).

“Speeches for a long time were relatively quiet in part because of the control of the studio system,” said James Piazza, who with Gail Kinn wrote The Academy Awards: The Complete History of Oscar, published in 2002. “There had been some controversy, like when George C. Scott refused his Oscar for Patton [which came out in 1970]. But Brando’s speech really broke the mold.”

Producers for this year’s Oscars show have said they want to emphasize the movies themselves, but between the #MeToo movement and Hollywood’s general disdain for President Donald Trump, political or social statements appear likely at the March 4 ceremony.

Salutes for speaking out

Winners at January’s Golden Globes citing the treatment of women included Laura Dern and Reese Witherspoon, who thanked “everyone who broke their silence this year.” Honorary Globe winner Oprah Winfrey, in a speech that had some encouraging her to run for president, noted that “women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up. Their time is up.”

Before Brando, winners avoided making news even if the time was right and the audience never bigger. Gregory Peck, who won for best actor in 1963 as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, said nothing about the film’s racial theme even though he frequently spoke about it in interviews. When Sidney Poitier became the first black to win best actor, for Lilies of the Field in 1964, he spoke of the “long journey” that brought him to the stage, but otherwise made no comment on his milestone.

When Jane Fonda, the most politicized of actresses, won for Klute in 1972, her speech was brief and uneventful. “There’s a great deal to say, but I’m not going to say it tonight,” she stated. “I would just like to thank you very much.”

Political movements from anti-communism to civil rights were mostly ignored in their time. According to the movie academy’s database of Oscar speeches, the term “McCarthyism” was not used until 2014, when Harry Belafonte mentioned it upon receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. “Vietnam” was not spoken until the ceremony held April 8, 1975, just weeks before North Vietnamese troops overran Saigon.

No winner said the words “civil rights” until George Clooney in 2006, as he accepted a supporting actor Oscar for Syriana. Vanessa Redgrave’s fiery 1978 acceptance speech was the first time a winner said “fascism” or “anti-Semitism.”

​Comments linked to movies

Political or social comments were often safely connected to the movie. Celeste Holm, who won best supporting actress in 1948 for Gentleman’s Agreement, referred indirectly to the film’s message of religious tolerance. Rod Steiger won best actor in 1968 for the racial drama In the Heat of the Night and thanked his co-star, Poitier, for giving him the “knowledge and understanding of prejudice.” The ceremony was held just days after the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., whose name was never cited by Oscar winners in his lifetime, and Steiger ended by invoking a civil rights anthem: “And we shall overcome.”

Hollywood is liberal-land, but the academy often squirms at political speeches. Redgrave was greeted with boos when she assailed “Zionist hoodlums” while accepting the Oscar for Julia, a response to criticism from far-right Jews for narrating a documentary about the Palestinians. She was rebutted the same night: Paddy Chayevsky, giving the award for best screenplay, declared that he was “sick and tired of people exploiting the Academy Awards for the propagation of their own propaganda.”

Producer Bert Schneider and director Peter Davis, collaborators on the 1974 Oscar-winning Vietnam War documentary Hearts and Minds, both condemned the war by name (they were the first winners to do so), welcomed North Vietnam’s impending victory and even read a telegram from the Viet Cong. An enraged Bob Hope, an Oscar presenter and longtime Republican, prepared a statement and gave it to Frank Sinatra, who was to introduce the screenplay award: “The academy is saying, ‘We are not responsible for any political references made on the program, and we are sorry they had to take place this evening.’ ” 

​Moore draws boos

In 2003, Michael Moore received a mixed response after his documentary on guns, Bowling for Columbine, won for best documentary. The filmmaker ascended the stage to a standing ovation, but the mood soon shifted as he attacked George W. Bush as a “fictitious president” and charged him with sending soldiers to Iraq for “fictitious reasons.” The boos were loud enough for host Steve Martin to joke that “right now, the teamsters are helping Michael Moore into the trunk of his limo.”

Sometimes, the academy tries to head off any statements before they’re made. Whoopi Goldberg, host of the 1994 show, hurried out a list of causes during her opening monologue.

“Save the whales. Save the spotted owl. Gay rights. Men’s rights. Women’s rights. Human rights. Feed the homeless. More gun control. Free the Chinese dissidents. Peace in Bosnia. Health care reform. Choose choice. ACT UP. More AIDS research,” she said, before throwing in jokes about Sinatra, Lorena Bobbitt and earthquakes.

The audience laughed and cheered.

Turkish Parliament Strips Status of Two More Pro-Kurdish Lawmakers

Turkey’s parliament stripped two lawmakers from a pro-Kurdish party of their parliamentary status on Tuesday for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and sharing a picture of a fighter who fought alongside a Kurdish militia in Syria.

The move further reduced the parliamentary strength of the Democratic People’s Party (HDP), the second-largest opposition party in the chamber. The party’s seats fell to 50 from 59 it won in the last election, and nine other HDP lawmakers are in detention and could also be stripped of their status.

Ahmet Yildirim, member of parliament for the eastern province of Mus, lost his seat after he was jailed for 14 months for insulting Erdogan.

Ibrahim Ayhan, a representative of the southeastern town of Sanliurfa, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for sharing online the photo of a Turkish citizen who died in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane while fighting Islamic State. He was convicted of sharing terrorist propaganda.

The court rulings to strip the two lawmakers of their status were read out in parliament following their conviction.

“Our people will not accept this!” the HDP said in a tweet.

The government says the HDP is an affiliate of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged an armed insurgency in the largely Kurdish southeast for more than three decades. The HDP denies direct links to the PKK.