У вересні з Києва стартує «поїзд до чотирьох столиць»

Пасажирський поїзд до чотирьох столиць за маршрутом Київ–Мінськ–Вільнюс–Рига буде запущений від 28 вересня цього року. Як повідомляє прес-служба Міністерства інфраструктури, про це заявив міністр Володимир Омелян 17 липня у Львові за результатами засідання міжурядової українсько-литовської комісії з питань торговельно-економічного і науково-технічного співробітництва.

За словами Омеляна, вступ у дію Угоди про асоціацію між Україною й Європейським союзом став додатковим імпульсом для активізації українсько-литовського двостороннього торговельного співробітництва.

«Минулорічний порядок денний, який був погоджений у Литві, дав результат цього року. Ми маємо потяг чотирьох столиць (Рига – Вільнюс – Мінськ – Київ), який стартує 28 вересня з Києва. Ми будемо мати пряме авіаційне сполучення між Вільнюсом і Львовом і низку інших перспективних проектів», – сказав Омелян.

Цього місяця в «Укрзалізниці» повідомили, що від початку року перевезли до країн Європейського союзу удвічі більше пасажирів порівняно з аналогічним періодом минулого року. У компанії додали, що зокрема, поїзди до Варшави і Перемишля завантажені практично на 90%.

Раніше прикордонники заявили про зростання кількості безвізових поїздок до країн Європейського союзу. Як повідомляла прес-служба Держприкордонслужба, «безвізом» користуються від 9 до 12 тисяч українців за добу. З початку дії «безвізу» і до кінця червня 2018 року в цілому зафіксовано понад 21 мільйон перетинів кордону ЄС громадянами України, додали в прикордонслужбі.

Читайте також: Що дасть Україні подальша «європеїзація»

11 червня 2017 року набрала чинності візова лібералізація для українців при короткотермінових подорожах до країн ЄС і «шенгену» (до 90 днів протягом кожних 180 днів без права працевлаштування). Безвізовий режим стосується всіх держав-членів Європейського союзу, крім Великої Британії й Ірландії, а також країн «шенгенської зони» з-поза меж ЄС. Цей режим наразі не стосується так званих «заморських володінь» Нідерландів і Франції.

Щоб скористатися безвізовим режимом з ЄС, українцям треба мати біометричний паспорт і, якщо попросять прикордонники – довести мету й умови поїздки, свою платоспроможність.

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Europe Rights Court Censures Russia Over Journalist Murder Probe

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday ordered Russia to pay 20,000 euros ($23,442) in damages to relatives of murdered investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, saying it had failed to carry out an effective investigation into her killing.

Politkovskaya, a critic of the Kremlin, was shot dead in her apartment block in Moscow in 2006 in a killing opposition leaders blamed on the Kremlin. Russian authorities denied any role in her death.

In response to the decision by the Strasbourg-based court, the Russian Justice Ministry said on its website that the ruling had not taken effect and could be appealed against by the ministry within three months.

The court, which polices the European Convention on Human Rights, said in its ruling: “The State had failed to abide by its obligations … to carry out an effective investigation and the length of the proceedings had been too long.”

“The Court found in particular that while the authorities had found and convicted a group of men who had directly carried out the contract killing of Ms Politkovskaya, they had failed to take adequate investigatory steps to find the person or persons who had commissioned the murder.”

Politkovskaya’s killing drew attention to the risks faced by Russians who challenge the authorities and deepened Western concerns for the rule of law under President Vladimir Putin, who was then serving his second term.

Five men were convicted in 2014 of her murder. The defendants were three Chechen brothers, one of whom was accused of shooting Politkovskaya in the lobby of her Moscow apartment building on October 7, 2006, as well as their uncle and a former police officer. In December 2012 another former policeman had also been found guilty in her murder.

Rights activists and relatives of Politkovskaya have said that justice will not be done until those who ordered her contract-style killing are identified and convicted.

 

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У Києві з ліхтаря зняли пітона

Команда порятунку тварин повідомляє, що 16 липня у Києві зняла із вуличного ліхтаря двометрового тигрового пітона.

«На вулиці Жилянській, 54 на ліхтарних опорі перехожі виявили пітона. Людина, яка виявила змію, звернулася в Команду порятунку тварин», – заявили рятувальники тварин.

Рятувальник зняв змію з ліхтаря за допомогою телескопічної палиці. Пр оце повідомили у поліцію.

На даний момент пітона передали приватному фахівцеві на тимчасове утримання. Його обіцяють повернути власникові, якщо той доведе, що змія належить йому, і розповість, яким чином вона опинилася на ліхтарі.

 

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Britain’s Official Brexit Campaign Fined for Campaign Violation

Britain’s Electoral Commission has fined the country’s official Brexit campaign group for violating campaign spending limits and referred the case to the police.

The commission said Tuesday that Vote Leave had exceeded its mandatory spending limit in its stunning victory in the 2016 referendum of $9.3 million by over $600,000.  It said Vote Leave worked with a BeLeave, a smaller pro-Brexit group, to get around campaign finance rules.

Bob Posner, the commission’s director of political finance and regulation, said there was substantial evidence that Vote Leave and BeLeave “worked to a common plan” and “did not declare their joint working.”

Posner said Vote Leave has been fined over $80,000 and referred the case to the police for false declarations of campaign spending.  

A spokesman for Vote Leave said the Electoral Commission’s report was filled with “a number of false accusations” and accused the commission of being “motivated by a political agenda.”

 

 

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Trump and Europe: Friend or Foe?

Europeans have reacted with a mixture of alarm and relief to Monday’s summit between President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

They are relieved the U.S. leader did not give away any aces but they remain queasy about Trump’s apparent eagerness to get on with the Russian leader while displaying to them a combativeness normally reserved for opponents rather than allies.

Their mood was downcast even before the summit kicked-off, disheartened by President Trump denouncing the European Union as a greater “foe” than Russia and China in a media interview just hours before the summit in Finland’s capital Helsinki.

Beforehand, there was alarm in Europe on whether the U.S. President would be lured by the more experienced and disciplined summiteer Putin into giving ground on the Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula or Moscow’s fomenting of rebellion in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. But the Russian president apparently secured no concessions on Crimea, no public promise to re-admit Russia into the G7, and no reversal on Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

And Trump maintained opposition to the Nord Stream 2 natural-gas pipeline, which will be increasing Russian energy exports to Germany.

But what Trump described as a “deeply productive dialogue” and a first step in improving strained relations between the U.S. and Russia has prompted accusations in Europe that, in his eagerness to be an international deal-maker, he overlooks Kremlin aggression — including alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 White House race.

The summit dominated the front pages of Europe’s newspapers Tuesday with Spain’s ABC running a full-page picture of the leaders of the world’s biggest nuclear-armed nations shaking hands, under the tart headline: “Trump and Putin: Such friends.” The paper said the two leaders had buried the Cold War and the issue of Russian interference in America’s election — at least “for now.”

Another Spanish newspaper, El País, said Trump was befriending Putin while bashing the EU. And Belgium’s Le Soir argued Trump had “aligned himself” with Putin over his own authorities on the subject of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Some newspapers were less indignant. Belgium’s De Morgen wrote that the leaders were “working on their relationship” in a story headlined: “On to a better future.”

But Britain’s Daily Telegraph, a newspaper that has generally been sympathetic to Trump, especially over his spats with Europe, said the U.S. leader’s aim to establish peace was laudable. At the same time, it warned the summit was a big win for the Kremlin.

“By affording him [Putin] the trappings of an equal partner Mr. Trump has given President Putin what he craved most: respect… The relationship has been reset without the Russians having to change anything,” the paper said in an editorial.

The reaction of European leaders and officials to Trump has been subdued. Few have gone public with their thoughts, preferring to stay out of the furious fight between the U.S. president and his critics in the U.S. over the summit. But privately there is indignation at Trump’s blaming the West as much as Russia for the strained relations, with German officials saying the summit advances their fears of a widening rift between Europe and Trump-led America.

Privately, they worry that Trump’s determination to forge a personal bond with Putin is adding to a shift in the dynamics of America’s relationship with Europe. “I am relieved there were no concessions,” said a senior British diplomat. “But it is unnerving to see the U.S. President being friendlier with Putin than with America’s traditional allies,” he said.

Speaking to Britain’s Sky News, Jeremy Greenstock, a former British ambassador to the U.N., said he regarded Trump’s effort to forge better relations with Putin a “good thing.” But faulted the U.S. leader, saying, “he is doing it naively and is taking too much from President Putin at face value.”

Coming on the back of a pre-summit interview during which Trump described the EU as a “foe,” European officials and analysts are still scrambling to understand what he meant and whether the U.S. and Europe are set on a path of separation.

Some officials console themselves by saying Trump seems to use “foe” and “competitor” as interchangeable. And they point to the formal paperwork of diplomacy as more reassuring, like the 23-page communique agreed at last week’s NATO summit, which reaffirmed the alliance’s principle of collective defense and rebuked Russia.

“We are confronted with that dilemma that we have often had with the Trump administration,” said Mark Leonard of the European Council for Foreign Relations.

“The president is a raging bull, he makes all sorts of statements, yet the policy beneath him doesn’t look that dramatically different than traditional American policy. And so people are left trying to figure out who they should believe — the policy or the President of the United States.”

In some ways, the Europeans have no alternative but to hold fast to the idea that the transatlantic relationship remains solid — their security assumptions are based on it and they are not ready to go it alone, say analysts.

In the margins of last week’s summit, U.S. senators and government officials went out of their way to reassure America’s formal European allies and to soothe frayed nerves, saying they should discount Trump’s freewheeling statements and not interpret them at face value, arguing it is the way he wheels-and-deals, pursuing tactics of disruption to get what he wants. “It isn’t personal; it is business, I was told by a White House aide,” a European minister told VOA.

Cutting through Trump’s transactional approach, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis reaffirmed the “unbreakable trans-Atlantic bond,” underscoring after NATO’s tumultuous summit Washington’s enduring commitment to peace and prosperity on the European continent at a meeting of southern European security ministers in Zagreb, Croatia.

But some European officials see an emerging trend with U.S. policy decisions and actual decisions being colored — or telegraphed — by the presidential tweets, pointing to Trump’s early social-media threats of a trade war with Europe and his subsequent hiking of tariffs on imported European metals.

“President Trump has personally made criticism of Europe, and particularly the European Union, pivotal to his foreign policy,” according to Robin Niblett of Britain’s Chatham House. “Europe is the poster child for his thesis that America has been taken advantage of for the past 30 years,” Niblett said in an expert comment posted on the Chatham House web-site.

“Trump doesn’t believe in allies,” argued Mark Leonard in a podcast. “If you think about America First and you think about the transactional approach, it means you work with the countries you can work with at that moment. You don’t really have long-term relationships. Allies are a problem. They are sort of like relatives who show up at your house to borrow money and stay all day and won’t leave your pool,” he says.

 

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За день до подорожчання метро пасажири поповнили картки на майже 6 мільйонів поїздок

У переддень подорожчання проїзду в громадському транспорті Києва, 13 липня, пасажири пасажири поповнили свої картки метро на 5 мільйонів 971 тисячу 525 поїздок, повідомляє прес-служба метрополітену в Twitter.

«Із них – 4 мільйони 568 тисяч 800 поїздок за тарифом 4,5 гривні», – йдеться в повідомленні.

Речниця метрополітену Наталка Макогон додала, що таким чином «люди зекономили понад 10 мільйонів гривень».

Читайте також: Підвищення вартості проїзду в громадському транспорті Києва. Яке ж економічне обґрунтування?

Зростання ціни проїзду в київському метрополітені з 14 липня стало причиною масштабних черг до кас. Пасажири поспішають придбати жетони за чинними станом на 13 липня цінами – 5 гривень за поїздку. Із 14 жетон подорожчав до 8 гривень.

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The Go-Go’s on Their Legacy and Advice for Other Rockers

Go-Go’s guitarist Jane Wiedlin has five simple words of advice for female rock bands — “Write. Write. Write. Write. Write,” she said.

 

“I think the world needs a lot more women that are really taking charge of their whole career and image, instead of women being picked by men and then songs get written for them and players played for them,” Wiedlin said. “I just would like to see a little bit more wholly, self-realized female artists. I know there’s some out there. But I want more.”

 

Wiedlin joined other members of her pioneering all-female band on a Broadway stage last week to welcome “Head Over Heels,” the musical based on the band’s infectious hits. They treated the audience to a two-song set at curtain call.

 

“Head Over Heels” weaves the Go-Go’s tunes — “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” and other hits with deep cuts and lead singer Belinda Carlisle’s subsequent singles — to tell an updated take on Sir Philip Sidney’s “Arcadia.” It’s an Elizabethan tale about a royal family trying to escape an oracle’s prophecy of doom, using Shakespearean conventions and reveals and mistaken identities.

“The fact that we actually made it to Broadway feels like it’s kind of a miracle. And also, super unlikely for a band that started 40 years ago as a punk rock band. So, it’s pretty thrilling,” Wiedlin said.

 

The Grammy-nominated Go-Go’s helped pave the way for future female artists and notably sang and played their own songs, but Carlisle stops short of feeling like a role model.

 

“I don’t like that term. I don’t think we’ve ever thought of ourselves as role models. We just did the work and got on with it,” she said. “It’s weird that there aren’t more Go-Go’s that have come along. I don’t know why, but for whatever reason.”

 

The Go-Go’s have no plans to tour, but Wiedlin claims it’s not the end of the band.

 

“In 2016, we did a no-more-touring tour, and basically, we announced we were not going to be touring anymore, which for some reason most people thought that meant we were breaking up. But we’re not broken up,” Wiedlin said.

 

She said the band will continue to work together, and separately, as well as perform in situations she deems, “exciting.” And having time can lead to cool projects, like the Broadway show.

 

“We were all to the point where touring is just a bit too much, so we are very happy to be focused on the musical ‘Head Over Heels’ right now,” she said. “There’s plenty of stuff in the future for us, both together and apart.”

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‘Mamma Mia!’ Sing-along Returns with Star-studded Sequel Premiere

Amid olive trees and plenty of ABBA tunes, the musical world of “Mamma Mia” took over a London theater on Monday for the film sequel’s world premiere with Oscar winner Meryl Streep and pop diva Cher among the attendees.

Ten years after the movie version of the hit theater musical, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” sees old faces return and new ones join the ABBA sing-along set on a picturesque Greek island where stars belt out tracks by the hugely popular Swedish band.

The plot follows on from the first film, which grossed over $600 million at the box office, but this time has flashbacks explaining how Meryl Streep’s character Donna arrived in Greece.

While fans have highly anticipated the sequel, ABBA founding members Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus said they were not so keen on the idea at first.

“We were kind of protective of the first one because we were very proud of it, it was very good and it became kind of a cult movie … and we thought what’s the point of risking … taking away from that legacy, so we were reluctant,” Ulvaeus told Reuters.

But the film writers’ idea of making the movie a sequel and prequel at the same time helped change their minds, he said.

“I laughed out loud many times when I read (the script’s first draft). It was funny, it was moving so we said go ahead and here we are.”

Chanting “Waterloo,” “Super Trouper” and “Dancing Queen,” fans cheered as Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried and Christine Baranski – who starred in the 2008 film – arrived.

The sequel’s cast additions include Lily James, who plays the younger Donna, and Cher, who portrays Donna’s mother.

“I don’t know what I was expecting but I walked onto the set and I just thought everyone’s just having fun,” Cher said.

Like the first film, the sequel has plenty of colorful and comic scenes. It also has touching moments, cast members said.

“It’s a great time for this movie to be out in the world, because we’re all feeling a little down about the world right now,” Baranski said. “I think people are going to be transported to this beautiful Greek island with all these beloved characters and all these fabulous songs.”

“Mamma Mia!” the musical originated more than 20 years ago and has gone on to have productions around the world with generations of fans still singing and dancing to ABBA songs some 40 years after their release.

“It’s so humbling and I’m grateful but I cannot say I understand quite how that happened. It’s kind of a miracle,” Ulvaeus said of the band’s success. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think that these songs that we wrote would last for such a long time.”

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Stevie Nicks and LeAnn Rimes Share Heartbreak in New Duet

Stevie Nicks cried on her living room floor when she first saw LeAnn Rimes perform “Borrowed” on her TV in 2013.

 

The song, about an intimate, yet fleeting romance between Rimes and her lover, came out on Rimes’ “Spitfire” album when Nicks became enamored with it. The Fleetwood Mac singer knew then that she wanted to sing it with Rimes someday.

 

“It was very easy for me to try to be in that same sad, deeply tragic, passionate place where she was when she wrote that song because I had been there. I had lived there for a long time,” Nicks said in an interview with The Associated Press from Mexico, where she was on vacation.

 

Nicks heard from mutual friend and producer Darrell Brown, who co-wrote “Borrowed,” that Rimes was planning to touch up some of her hits for her “Re-Imagined” EP, and she jumped at the chance to record a duet version with Rimes.

 

“Being able to have another artist really kind of get you on so many levels in that authenticity and from that space is really magical,” said Rimes.

 

The new version, released last month, balances Nicks’ soft croon to Rimes’ striking vocals. Like in the previous version, a cool and fading steel guitar compliments the rhythmic melody and calming percussion.

 

Even though Nicks has been singing and recording long before Rimes was on the scene, she said working with her is like going to singing college.

 

“She doesn’t brush over anything,” said 70-year-old Nicks. “You have to sing every single word with her; otherwise it won’t be a good duet because she would leave you in the dust.”

 

Rimes, 35, became a star as a teen and launched hits such as “Blue,” “How Do I Live” and “Can’t Fight the Moonlight.” She won the best new artist Grammy at age 14.

 

Both singers come from different musical backgrounds. Nicks is a rock ‘n’ roll magnate from Phoenix and Rimes has country roots in Texas, but their voices reflect on a shared passion where heartbreak isn’t bound by place, time or genre.

 

Rimes said she came up with the idea for the song during an emotionally troubling moment on an airplane when she noticed someone reading a tabloid magazine with her on the cover. She started to cry when the stranger’s husband came to her comfort.

 

“I honestly feel like that guy was an angel,” she said. “Some things came over me at that moment and I just remember thinking that title (“Borrowed”) to myself.”

 

The first line of the song came to Rimes: “I know you’re not mine. Only borrowed.” From there, she took it to the studio where she fleshed out the rest of the tune.

 

“It’s a very honest, authentic moment and capturing a piece of me that I really didn’t know existed until I wrote this song,” said Rimes.

 

Rimes is currently on a summer tour and Nicks is hitting the road with Fleetwood Mac in the fall. Both singers said they hope to perform the song together someday.

 

“I would love to do a record with LeAnn,” said Nicks. “I’m hoping that for some reason we’ll get to go onstage and sing this song together.”

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Scarlett Johansson Film Exit Spotlights Lack of Transgender Actors on Screen

Scarlett Johansson’s decision to pull out of a film role playing an American gangster who was born a woman but identified as male could kickstart a drive to get more transgender actors on screen, film insiders and LGBT campaigners said on Monday.

Hollywood star Johansson had agreed to play Dante “Tex” Gill in the film Rub & Tug, but last week said she had decided to leave the role after realizing the casting was “insensitive.”

Her initial casting sparked a backlash on social media as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community criticized the lack of opportunities for transgender actors.

“Trans exclusion in the media is endemic and not something that’s going to change without pressure on the industry,” said Lily Madigan, a transgender activist and women’s rights official for Britain’s opposition Labour Party.

“My hope is the attention brought to the issue by this recent event will be enough to kick-start a more diverse casting standard,” Madigan told Reuters.

Hollywood has long favored casting non-transgender actors in gender fluid roles, including Jared Leto who won an Oscar for playing a transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club, and Jeffrey Tambor who has nabbed several awards for playing a father who transitions to a woman in the television series Transparent.

Juno Roche, an author and transgender rights campaigner, said there would be “absolute outrage” if a white actor was cast to play a black person.

“It just seems completely illogical,” she said of casting of Johansson as Gill, a real-life crime kingpin who used a massage parlor as a front for prostitution during the 1970s and 1980s.

None of the 109 movies released by Hollywood’s seven biggest studios in 2017 included a transgender character, according to data from U.S-based LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD.

“One of the issues we tend to have is people who are openly trans only being considered for trans role,” said Ian Manborde, equality and diversity organizer at Equity, a Britain-based trade union for actors and performers.

“The issue is that some people [who have transitioned] might not want to identify or self-identify as trans. There is still a stigma within the sector,” he said, adding that Equity planned to advise industry employers on how to treat transgender actors.

Filming has yet to begin on Rub & Tug and no replacement for Johansson was immediately announced.

“I can now only hope that the part goes to a trans person or — at the very least — someone who identifies as a member of the LGBTQI [queer and intersex] community,” said Rebecca Root, one of the only openly transgender actresses in Britain.

From the Johansson controversy to Chilean actress Daniela Vega becoming the first transgender presenter at the Oscars and a Cannes Film Festival award for Girl — about a transgender teenage girl’s quest to become a ballerina — this year has seen debates on transgender representation in film come to the fore.

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