Жінка вперше прийняла присягу голови ЦРУ

Джина Гаспел стала першою жінкою, яка прийняла присягу голови Центрального розвідувального управління США.

«Я стою на плечах героїнь, які ніколи не мали публічного визнання, але служили натхненням для поколінь, які прийшли після них», – сказала Гаспел.

На її думку, ЦРУ має розширити свій рівень володіння іноземними мовами, зміцнювати партнерські зв’язки за кордоном та направити «більше офіцерів на закордонне поле».

17 травня Сенат США затвердив Гаспел на посаді директора Центрального розвідувального управління. За її кандидатуру проголосували 54 сенатори зі 100, 45 виступили проти.

Гаспел замінила на посаді директора ЦРУ Майка Помпео, який став державним секретарем США.

Читайте також: Що ми знаємо про нову кандидатку на посаду директора ЦРУ?

У 2002 році, через рік після терактів у США, які відбулися 11 вересня 2001 року, Гаспел була куратором програм тортур над підозрюваними у тероризмі. Її також вважають причетною до знищення відеодоказів брутального поводження з в’язнями в секретній тюрмі в Таїланді. У 2009 році президент Барак Обама своїм наказом припинив програми, за виконання яких відповідала, серед інших, Гаспел.

На слуханнях у Сенаті переважали питання про її участь у використанні розвідслужбами США таких методів, як імітація утоплення, які застосовувались при президенті Джорджі Буші-молодшому.

Гаспел обіцяла, що ніколи не відновить «розширені методи допиту» в агентстві, які часто засуджували як катування.

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Texas Holds Moment of Silence for School Shooting Victims

A moment of silence was held across the state of Texas Monday to honor the victims of the recent deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School.

Investigators are still trying to determine what led a gunman to open fire at the school last Friday, killing at least 10 people.  The suspected shooter, identified by law enforcement as student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, has been charged with capital murder.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said police found explosive devices, including a fire bomb, at the suspected shooter’s home and in a vehicle, as well as around the high school where the shooting took place.

 

Abbot said the suspect, who is in custody and waived his right to remain silent, originally intended to commit suicide following the shooting but told law enforcement after he was arrested that he didn’t have the courage to go through with it.

The governor said two guns were used in the attack, a shotgun and a .38 revolver. He said both guns were owned by the suspect’s father, but said it was not clear whether the father knew his son had taken the guns.

Among the victims are a substitute teacher and a foreign exchange student from Pakistan.

Santa Fe is located in southeastern Texas between the cities of Houston and Galveston.

 

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Чехія хоче прискорити працевлаштування українців – міністр

Міністерство праці і соціальних справ Чеської Республіки готує програму, яка дозволить значно прискорити працевлаштування українців. Про це 21 травня заявила міністр Ярослава Нємцова.

У Чехії зараз кількість вільних робочих місць досягла рекордного числа, незанятими є понад 260 тисяч місць, заявила міністр Ярослава Нємцова. Це передусім медичні сестри і працівники соціальної сфери, а також робітники середньої технічної кваліфікації, будівельники.

Міністр Ярослава Нємцова минулого тижня відвідала Україну, зокрема посольство Чехії в Україні, а також генеральне консульство у Львові, щоб домовитись про спрощення й прискорення процедури оформлення дозволу на роботу. Зокрема, передбачається збільшення кількості робочої сили з України з правом працевлаштування на два роки до 19 600 осіб. 

Наразі в Чеській Республіці працює 374 тисячі іноземців, з них 280 тисяч –громадяни ЄС, 94 тисячі – громадяни з інших країн Європи та Азії. Українці з цієї кількості становлять 70 тисяч.

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Texas Governor to Hold Talks on School Violence After Massacre

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday was set to hold a series of meetings on how to combat school violence, three days after a 17-year-old killed 10 people in the fourth-deadliest mass shooting at a public school in modern U.S. history.

The attack at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, came a little more than three months after a 19-year-old shot dead 17 students and educators at a Florida high school. That incident intensified a long-running national debate about gun rights and sparked a student-led movement under the slogan #NeverAgain.

Abbott, a Republican and staunch supporter of gun rights, called for a statewide moment of silence at 10 a.m. CDT (1500 GMT) on Monday.

Abbott said he would talk with educators, parents and elected officials about ways to improve school security without infringing on the right to bear arms, protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“We need to do more than just pray for the victims and the families,” Abbott said on Friday at the school outside Houston following the attack. He said any legal changes considered would “protect Second Amendment rights.”

Abbott spokesman Stephen Chang said the governor was finalizing plans for the roundtables, including the dates and participants.

Mike Collier, a Democrat running for Texas lieutenant governor, expressed skepticism that the roundtables would lead to significant change.

“All I hear is talk. Talk is cheap,” Collier said on Twitter. “What we need is action.”

Murder charge

Police arrested Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, at the Santa Fe school following the rampage that they said he carried out with a shotgun and .38-caliber pistol. He has been charged with murder.

Two teachers and eight students, including Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheikh, 17, were killed in the attack, police said.

Her father, Aziz Sheikh, said on Monday he hoped the death of his daughter, who wanted to serve her country as a civil servant or diplomat, would spur gun control in the United States.

“Sabika’s case should become an example to change the gun laws,” Sheikh said in a phone interview from the family home in Karachi.

Classmates at the school described Pagourtzis as a quiet loner who played on the football team. The attacker wore a black trench coat to school even in the Texas heat on Friday.

Many of the aspects of the attack mirrored another American school shooting: The massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado in April 1999, when two teenage boys with weapons hidden under trench coats killed 12 students and one teacher.

In that attack, the teenagers had a shootout with police and ultimately committed suicide.

Police said Pagourtzis confessed to Friday’s killings after he was taken into custody but authorities have offered no motive yet for the massacre.

Pagourtzis’ family said in a statement it was “saddened and dismayed” by the shooting and “as shocked as anyone else” by the events. The family said it was cooperating with authorities.

Sadie Rodriguez, the mother of Santa Fe student Shana Fisher who was killed in the attack, has said in media accounts that her 16-year-old daughter had rejected four months of aggressive advances from Pagourtzis.

Fisher finally stood up to him and embarrassed him in class, her mother told the Los Angeles Times.

“A week later he opens fire on everyone he didn’t like,” she said. “Shana being the first one.”

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Держсекретар США Помпео анонсував «найпотужніші в історії санції» проти Ірану

Державний секретар США Майк Помпео заявив, що Вашингтон накладе на Іран «найпотужніші санкції в історії» і що їхня гострота тільки зростатиме, «аж поки режим не змінить свій курс».

Помпео встановив 12 умов для того, щоб Сполучені Штати погодились на нову ядерну угоду з Тегераном у виступі в Вашингтоні 21 травня в аналітичному центрі Heritage Foundation.

Його виступ відбувається майже через два тижні після того, як президент США Дональд Трамп заявив, що Вашингтон виходить із ядерної угоди 2015 року між Іраном та шістьма світовими державами.

Водночас, дати, коли санкції можуть бути запроваджені, він не назвав.

Раніше Росія, Китай, Велика Британія, Німеччина та Франція закликали Вашингтон залишатись відданим домовленостям 2015 року, заявивши, що це найкращий спосіб запобігти розвитку Іраном ядерної зброї.

Державний секретар США Майк Помпео заявив в інтерв’ю Fox News 13 травня, що Вашингтон готовий обговорити з європейськими партнерами та Тегераном більш широкомасштабну угоду з Іраном.

 

 

 

 

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Trump Claims New Accord with China on Trade Negotiations

U.S. President Donald Trump says American farmers will be big beneficiaries of more trade with China.

“Under our potential deal with China, they will purchase from our Great American Farmers practically as much as our Farmers can produce,” Trump said Monday on Twitter.

In another comment, he said China “has agreed to buy massive amounts of ADDITIONAL Farm/Agricultural Products – would be one of the best things to happen to our farmers in many years!”

The U.S. leader said one result of talks with China last week in Washington is barriers to U.S.-Chinese trade and tariffs on each country’s exports will “come down for (the) first time.”

President Trump’s tweets come a day after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the two nations have agreed to back away from imposing tough new tariffs on each other’s exports, after reaching a deal Saturday for Beijing to buy more American goods to “substantially reduce” the huge trade deficit with the United States.

Mnuchin told Fox News the world’s two biggest economic powers “made very meaningful progress and we agreed on a framework” to resolve trade issues. “So right now we have agreed to put the tariffs on hold while we try to execute the framework,” he said.

China’s state-run news agency Xinhua quoted Vice Premier Liu He, who led Chinese negotiators in trade talks in Washington this past week, as saying, “The two sides reached a consensus, will not fight a trade war, and will stop increasing tariffs on each other.”

China’s state-run news agency Xinhua quoted Vice Premier Liu He, who led Chinese negotiators in trade talks in Washington, as saying, “The two sides reached a consensus, will not fight a trade war, and will stop increasing tariffs on each other.”

Explainer: What is a Trade War?

Negotiations to continue

Liu said the agreement was a “necessity;” but, he added, “At the same time, it must be realized that unfreezing the ice cannot be done in a day; solving the structural problems of the economic and trade relations between the two countries will take time.”

Trump had threatened to impose new tariffs on $150 billion worth of Chinese imports and Beijing had responded that it would do the same on American goods.

Mnuchin and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross would soon go to Beijing to negotiate on how China might buy more American goods to reduce the huge U.S. trade deficit with Beijing, which last year totaled $375 billion. The United States has signaled it wants to trim the deficit by $200 billion annually, but no figure was mentioned in the agreement reached over the weekend.

Philip Levy, senior fellow on the global economy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, tells VOA that while the U.S. and China have for now avoided a tariff war, the outcome of the trade talks remains unclear.

“I think the Trump administration will crow about the fact that they arranged for some additional sales. That really wasn’t the issue. It may have been in their minds, but in terms of what is in the national interest, it wasn’t,” he said.

Levy says the result is a managed trade solution that still does not answer the fundamental question of how a state-dominated economy the size of giant China fits into the global system. 

But Kudlow said there has been a lot of progress.

“You can see where we’re going next. As tariffs come down, the barriers come down, there will be more American exports,” he told ABC television, saying any agreement reached will be “good for American exports and good for Chinese growth.”

ZTE

One contentious point of conflict between the U.S. and China is the fate of ZTE, the giant technology Chinese company that has bought American-made components to build its consumer electronic devices.

The U.S. fined ZTE $1.2 billion last year for violating American bans on trade with Iran and North Korea. ZTE, however, said recently it was shutting down its manufacturing operations because it could no longer buy the American parts after the U.S. imposed a seven-year ban on the sale of the components.

Trump, at the behest of Chinese President Xi Jinping, a week ago “instructed” Commerce Secretary Ross to intervene to save the company and prevent the loss of Chinese jobs.

Even so, Kudlow said, “Do not expect ZTE to get off scot free. Ain’t going to happen.”

Ira Mellman and Kenneth Schwartz contributed to this article.

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Texas Muslims Mourn Pakistani Exchange Student Slain in School Shooting

Houston’s Muslim community gathered to offer prayers Sunday at the funeral service for a 17-year-old Pakistani exchange student killed in a mass shooting at her southeast Texas high school.

About 1,000 people, many with Pakistani roots and wearing traditional Muslim dress, converged on an Islamic center in Stafford to honor Sabika Sheikh, whose body was brought by hearse to the somber service from Santa Fe, the nearby small rural town where a student killed 10 people including eight students.

Among the mourners was the late teen’s first cousin who lives in the United States. She said Sheikh’s relatives are completely devastated.

“The family back home, we are in touch with them. They’re crying every moment. Her mother is in denial right now,” Shaheera al-Basid, a graduate student in the U.S. capital Washington, told AFP at the funeral service.

“It’s a shock we need our entire life to recover from,” the 26-year-old added.

Men lined up in rows offered traditional mourning prayers as Sheikh’s coffin, draped in the green and white flag of Pakistan, was brought into a small, cramped sanctuary.

Sheikh had been due to return home in mere weeks, in time for Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

‘Shock’

“It’s a shock, it’s so sad,” said realtor Ike Samad, 67, who was born in Pakistan but has lived here most of his adult life and raised his children as Americans.

“I came here just like her, as a student,” he recalled. “God forbid that could have happened to me when I was here. As a parent, it is just devastating.”

Samad also addressed the painful irony that a young woman from a country that many Americans associated with the war on terror in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington was killed in a country that millions around the world see as a bastion of freedom.

The attacks were a “tragedy, and tragedy sometimes teaches you life,” he said. “But it also revisits, and in this case very close to here.”

Several Pakistani-American youths also attended the funeral service, including Danyal Zakaria of nearby Sugar Land, Texas.

The 17-year-old said it was “truly mind-blowing” that an exchange student his age could be cut down in cold blood at a US school.

“This nation is known to be safe,” he said. “If America is not safe, then where is?”

 

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US Aid Chief to Myanmar: Take ‘Concrete Steps’ on Rohingya Rights

The U.S. government’s aid chief urged Myanmar on Sunday to take concrete steps” to guarantee the rights of Rohingya Muslims and to show sincerity in that endeavor in order to encourage hundreds of thousands who have fled the country to return.

Mark Green, administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), ended his three-day visit to Myanmar touring Rohingya and Rakhine communities in western Rakhine State, including a camp for displaced Rohingya people.

Green said the refugees, whom he met during the previous leg of the trip in camps in Bangladesh, are fearful and while they want to return, they are asking for their rights and security to be guaranteed before making the decision to come back.

“That reinforces the importance here of clear signs of sincerity of the government’s stated position of welcoming back

Rohingya in a safe, secure and dignified manner,” Green told reporters.

“We would strongly encourage the government to take those concrete steps which are a demonstration of the ability for Rohingya to return under those conditions,” Green said.

He said the government could show the refugees in Bangladesh it is sincere by taking “clear actions” with the tens of thousands of Rohingya displaced in previous bouts of violence now stuck in crowded camps in squalid conditions in Rakhine.

Green said he was “struck by the sense of hopelessness that so many Muslims nearby feel – the lack of access to health care, education, ability to move, access to livelihoods … that kind of hopelessness is obviously disturbing — it’s also something that has to be addressed.”

Green has said the United States would provide $44 million in additional aid for the Rohingya and vulnerable populations in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh from Myanmar to escape an army crackdown since August, launched in response to Rohingya insurgent attacks. Refugees have reported murder, rape and arson by Myanmar troops.

Washington has called the army response ethnic cleansing — a charge Myanmar denies, saying its security forces have been

waging a legitimate counterinsurgency operation against “Bengali terrorists.”

After meeting Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi in the capital Naypyitaw and civil society leaders in the main city Yangon on Friday and Saturday, Green met local government officials in Rakhine and toured villages and camps over the weekend.

On Sunday, he went to Muslim and Buddhist villages in the Rathedaung township in the north of the violence-torn state. He then met camp leaders in Thet Kae Pyin camp for nearly 6,000 Rohingya, a short drive from state capital Sittwe.

“We don’t have the luxury of time. We really do need all of us to see positive steps forward and we stand ready to help,” Green said.

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Washington Digests US-China Trade Announcement

Washington is digesting China’s stated intention to purchase more American goods and reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, last week’s talks between U.S. and Chinese negotiators did not yield specific commitments from Beijing in dollar figures, sparking criticism from some lawmakers in Washington.

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Російському мільярдеру Абрамовичу не продовжують візу в Британії – ЗМІ

Російський мільярдер, власник лондонського футбольного клубу «Челсі» Роман Абрамович пропустив фінал кубка Англії з футболу, у якому його команда обіграла «Манчестер Юнайтед», у зв’язку із закінченням терміну дії британської візи, повідомляють британські і російські ЗМІ.

Британське The Bell з посиланням на знайомого Абрамовича та двох представників його близького оточення пише, що термін дії візи закінчився три тижні тому, зараз бізнесмен очікує на нову.

Речник мільярдера заявив агентству ТАСС, що не може коментувати цю інформацію, оскільки питання візи – «особисте».

Читайте також: Чому від «Новачка» немає протиотрути. Ексклюзивне інтерв’ю із розробником

Журнал Forbes ставить Абрамовича на 140 місце в рейтингу найбагатших людей світу. Його остатки оцінюють у 10,8 мільярда доларів.

Деякі британьскі посадовці закликали запровадити санкції проти заможних росіян, які живуть у Великій Британії. Це сталося після отруєння колишнього російського подвійного шпигуна Сергія Скрипаля та його дочки Юлії. Лондон стверджує, що вони були отруєні нервово-паралітичною речовиною «Новачок», розробленою в Росії. Москва це заперечує.

Наразі обох Скрипалів виписали з лікарні.

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