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У російському Магнітогорську кількість загиблих внаслідок вибуху зросла до семи

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ЦВК перенесла виборчі дільниці з Росії до інших країн

Центральна виборча комісія ліквідувала виборчі дільниці на території Росії своєю постановою №274, яку оприлюднила 31 грудня.

П’ять виборчих дільниць у дипломатичних представництвах України на території Росії, які були затверджені ще 2012 року, відповідно до цієї постанови перестануть існувати.

Натомість ЦВК розширила межі своїх дільниць на територіях посольств України у Грузії, Фінляндії й Казахстані. Тепер за цими дільницями закріплені не лише межі відповідних держав, а й низки областей Росії.

Читайте також: Вибори-2019 стартують: яка технологія спрацює на тобі?

Згідно з постановою №67 від 2012 року, виборчі дільниці для українців, які перебували на території Росії, були розташовані в дипломатичних представництвах України у Москві, Санкт-Петербурзі, Новосибірську, Єкатеринбурзі і Ростові-на-Дону.

31 грудня 2018 року в Україні почалася передвиборча кампанія до виборів президента, які мають відбутися у березні 2019 року.

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China Factory Activity Shrinks for First Time in 2 Years

China’s factory activity shrank in December for the first time in more than two years, an official survey showed Monday, intensifying pressure on Beijing to reverse an economic slowdown as it enters trade talks with the Trump administration.

The purchasing managers’ index of the National Bureau of Statistics and an industry group, the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing, fell to 49.4 from November’s 50.0 on a 100-point scale. Any reading below 50 shows that activity is contracting. The December figure was the lowest since February 2016 and the first drop since July 2016.

 

In the quarter that ended in September, China’s economic growth sank to a post-global crisis low of 6.5 percent compared with a year earlier. The slowdown occurred despite government efforts to stem the downturn by ordering banks to lend more and by boosting spending on public works construction.

 

Forecasters expect annual growth of about 6.5 percent, down slightly from 2017’s 6.7 percent. But some industry segments, including auto and real estate sales, have suffered more serious declines.

 

“Downward pressure on the economy is still large,” economist Zhang Liqun said in a statement issued with the PMI.

 

Overall orders and exports both contracted, indicating that Chinese factories are suffering from weak demand at home and abroad. Exports to the United States kept growing at double-digit monthly rates through late 2018 despite President Donald Trump’s punitive tariffs. But growth in exports to the rest of the world fell sharply in November and forecasters expect American demand to weaken in early 2019.

 

That adds to complications for Chinese leaders who are trying to reverse a broad economic slowdown and avert politically dangerous job losses.

 

Chinese and U.S. envoys are due to meet in early January for negotiations that are intended to resolve their economically threatening trade war. Over the weekend, Trump sounded an optimistic note, tweeting that he had spoken with President Xi Jinping by phone.

 

“Deal is moving along very well,” Trump tweeted. “If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute. Big progress being made!”

 

But economists say the 90-day moratorium on new penalties that was agreed to by Trump and Xi on Dec. 1 is likely too little time to resolve their sprawling dispute.

 

Chinese economic activity already was weakening after Beijing tightened controls on bank lending in late 2017 to cool a debt boom. The downturn was more abrupt than expected, which prompted regulators to shift course and ease credit controls. But they moved gradually to avoid reigniting a rise in debt. Their measures have yet to put a floor under declining growth.

 

Chinese leaders promised at an annual economic planning meeting in mid-December to shore up growth with tax cuts, easier lending for entrepreneurs and other steps.

 

 

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Поліція Вінниці повідомляє про вбивство чотирьох людей, двоє з них – діти

У Вінниці розслідують вбивство двох жінок і дітей, повідомляє місцева поліція 31 грудня.

Згідно з заявою, мешканець міста, прийшовши додому, знайшов свою 63-річну матір, 30-річну дружину і семирічного сина без ознак життя. Ще одну дитину, трирічну дівчинку з ушкодженнями голови, госпіталізували, проте вона померла у лікарні.

За попередніми даними, всі жертви загинули від травм голови.

«На момент приїзду поліцейських в квартирі перебував чоловік, який викликав швидку. Його доставлено до відділу поліції для з’ясування усіх обставин. Слідство  відпрацьовує різні версії. Тривають слідчі дії», – повідомляє прес-служба поліції.

Правоохоронці відкрили кримінальне провадження за фактом умисного вбивства кількох людей. Ця стаття передбачає довічне позбавлення волі.

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Philippines Aims to Attract Investors Hit by Tariffs in Sino-US Trade War

Vietnam has earned a name as the chief haven for multinationals hoping to avoid the Sino-U.S. trade dispute of 2018. The Philippines, another Southeast Asian country that has pushed to pick up foreign investment, aims to follow suit.

The Philippines boasts young workers skilled in English, quick infrastructure upgrades and a tax system overhaul – though fuel prices and periodic political unrest may check progress, people familiar with the country say.

The government approved $17.2 billion in investments, up 47 percent over 2017, the Board of Investments announced on December 24. Those figures “blew past expectations,” the board said.

“We do have a market, a growing middle class and qualified workers, but there are economic and political factors that affect the level of confidence among investors, particularly foreign investors,” said Maria Ela Atienza, political science professor at University of the Philippines Diliman.

Perks in the Philippines

The Philippines would attract foreign investment in part because of its $169 billion infrastructure renewal, Atienza said. The rebuilding is set to run through 2022 and get funding partly by money from China and Japan.

“I’m sure the additional financing they’ve been offered is very helpful for them to develop their economy, and the Philippines knows it very much needs infrastructure development to become more competitive,” said Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit.

Though too early to say, new infrastructure might help develop energy sources and lower electricity prices that otherwise deter investors, the professor said.

Multinationals also consider the English language ability and other skills among workers, she said. Another sought-after skill: training in healthcare. Minimum wages for most manufacturers as well as in the service sectors will rise to $9.50 per day, on par with some of China’s lower pay.

“The workforce is still young, so whatever the needs of the new economy will be, the Philippines can provide, given its young workforce,” said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist with Banco de Oro UniBank in Metro.

A tax reform bill, if implemented in Manila, will lead to an “influx” of investment in manufacturing, he said. He was referring to part two of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, which would cut corporate income tax.

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority further helps secure investment by offering “facilitation,” said Carl Baker, director of programs with Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu.

China, Japan try it out

China topped the list of foreign investors in the Philippines in 2018 with $927 million worth of commitments, up from just $10 million a year ago, the government board said. Like multinationals, companies in China are looking to other countries as an export base that will not trip U.S. tariffs.

Japanese companies also expressed particular interest in the past year, Ravelas said.

In 2017, Seiko Epson opened a $143 million plant south of Manila. The plant will make projectors and inkjet printers. Around the same time, Shin-Etsu Magnetic Philippines, which produces magnets for electronic devices, opened its eighth plant in the country.

Foreign investors that produce exports in China face U.S. import tariffs on $250 billion worth of goods, one result of a trade dispute that consumed the past year. U.S. President Donald Trump regards China as an unfair trading partner.

Philippine officials have been drumming up support for foreign investment over the past half-decade as manufacturing costs rise in China.

Deterrents to investment

Investors have kept away from the Philippines because of its archipelagic location – hard for transport – limits on foreign ownership, and utility rates.

Electricity prices, a reflection of underlying energy costs, deter some investors as they top the rest of Southeast Asia except Singapore at $0.11 per kilowatt hour. Government officials are trying to develop new energy sources, including renewables, Ravelas noted. Foreign investors can own no more than 40% cap of land parcels, Philippine-based corporations or public utilities.

Philippine workers are more likely to be unionized than in other Asian countries, Atienza said. They tend to be “more vocal” in demands for higher pay compared to other Southeast Asian countries, she added.

Localized violence that may erupt ahead of midterm elections in May as well as the government’s struggle against Communist rebels in the countryside could put off hopeful investors, she said.

Among south and Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines will “gain the least” from the Sino-U.S. trade dispute, investment bank Natixis said in a research report December 4. It cites “expensive” electricity and “weak” business infrastructure.

Vietnam has earned a name through cheap land and labor, government openness to foreign investment and a growing list of free trade agreements. “There is significant competition from other ASEAN countries for attracting investors looking for an alternative to China-based manufacturing,” Baker said.

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Kim Jong Un Expected to Ring In 2019 With Big Policy Speech

Kim Jong Un will be keeping North Korea watchers busy on New Year’s Day, when he is expected to give his annual address laying out the country’s top priorities for the year ahead.

The speech, which is normally broadcast on North Korea’s state-run television network, is often the best gauge of what the North Korean leadership is focused on and what tone it will take in its dealings with the outside world.

For 2019, it will be parsed carefully for clues about Kim’s thinking on denuclearization talks with Washington and a second summit with President Donald Trump, relations with South Korea and Pyongyang’s efforts to get out from under international sanctions as it tries to build up its domestic economy.

A look at Kim’s plate for the coming year:

The economy

This is Kim’s primary concern. He made that clear in his 2018 News Year’s address and his government has been hammering it home ever since.

In his first televised speech, at a military parade in 2012, Kim vowed the nation would never again have to tighten its belts, a reference to the economic hardships it has faced, including a disastrous famine in the 1990s.

While they remain isolated and unable to travel or experience foreign media freely, North Koreans are aware of the yawning prosperity gap between themselves, South Korea and China. Kim has tried to address that by initiating infrastructure projects in major cities, building up the capital and allowing — if not overtly supporting — the spread of the market economy. What’s not clear is how far he is willing to go with the kind of fundamental, systemic reforms needed to really ensure sustainable growth.

North Korea has hinted it wants to join the World Trade Organization and be more a part of the global economic community. But that would also require some risky moves — like increased transparency and commitment to global rules and norms. A big question is how much control Kim is willing to relinquish in exchange for prosperity.       

North Korea is entering the fourth year of a five-year economic plan that Kim announced with great fanfare at a rare congress of his ruling party in 2016. If precedent is any indication, he will go into some detail outlining, sector by sector, the country’s successes so far and emphasizing what remains to be done. This part of the speech is usually couched in deliberately vague, broad or aspirational language and is directed at the domestic party leadership.

But if Kim is serious about change, this could be where he drops some important hints.

The nukes

North Korea is still standing firmly behind the agreements it made with Trump at the Singapore summit.

The problem is that North Korea’s interpretation of what they agreed to is at odds with that of the Trump administration.

Kim never agreed to unilaterally throw away his hard-won nuclear arsenal, which he maintains is a necessary deterrent to the threat of an attack by the United States. The North’s moratorium on nuclear tests and long-range missile launches also isn’t part of the summit agreement and there is no explicit promise in the Singapore joint statement that the North won’t continue producing or developing its missiles.

So while the missiles have stopped flying for now, there’s still a lot up in the air.           

Kim agreed the North would “work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” But from the North’s perspective, it must include the removal of what it has always claimed is the reason why it has nukes in the first place — the threat of a U.S. nuclear attack. While not directly criticizing Trump, a tactic it is likely to stick with until it sees the overall process as seriously off the rails, the North has tried to play him against his advisers while it pushes for security guarantees and sanctions relief.  

The bottom line is that North Korea hasn’t given up much since Singapore. And it doesn’t think Washington has, either.

Trump has said a second summit could be held soon. The New Year’s speech gives Kim a golden opportunity to set the goalposts and to try to further detach Trump from his advisers.           

The South

In contrast to Pyongyang’s dealings with Washington, relations between North and South Korea have seen a major thaw.

With three leaders’ summits in 2018 and dozens of other meetings, the Koreas have opened a liaison office in the North Korean border town of Kaesong, created border buffers and no-fly zones to reduce military tensions, and jointly surveyed North Korea’s outdated railways and roads with the goal of connecting them with the South. They even vowed to make a bid to jointly host the 2032 Summer Olympics.

But Seoul cannot proceed without the removal of U.S.-led international sanctions. While President Moon Jae-in sees inter-Korean reconciliation as a crucial part of nuclear diplomacy, his enthusiasm for engagement has caused discomfort in Washington. Pyongyang, meanwhile, has already begun expressing its frustration with the slowdown in inter-Korean projects and demanded that Seoul break from Washington’s lead.

Some analysts expect Kim to further try to drive a wedge between the allies with a nationalistic call for stronger inter-Korean cooperation, while painting Washington as a bad-faith actor refusing to take corresponding measures to the North’s unilateral dismantlement of a nuclear test site and the suspension of nuclear and long-range missile tests.

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Колишній чільний командувач США в Афганістані застеріг щодо виведення військ

Колишній чільний командувач сил США в Афганістані застеріг щодо можливого масштабного виведення з цієї країни американських військ, яке, за повідомленнями, обмірковують у Білому домі.

Як сказав генерал у відставці Станлі МакКрістал, значне скорочення чисельності військ США в Афганістані зашкодить мирним переговорам афганського уряду і американських посередників із ісламістським рухом «Талібан», похитне довіру Кабула до США і позбавить Вашингтон «найбільшого важеля впливу» в Афганістані.

«Вважаю, що найбільша помилка у плані президента (США Дональда Трампа), про який повідомили, – що саме в той час, коли ми починаємо переговори з «Талібаном», він, по суті, віддає найбільший важіль впливу, який ми маємо. Якщо ми скажемо «Талібанові», що ми повністю виходимо до такої-то дати, … їхнє бажання піти на домовленість різко впаде», – сказав МакКрістал в ефірі передачі “This Week” телеканалу ABC.

За його словами, такий крок також зашкодить відносинам між Вашингтоном і Кабулом у час, коли посадовці США намагаються підштовхнути талібів до мирних переговорів із афганським урядом.

«Звичайно, мене непокоїть питання довіри афганського народу, бо, врешті, саме вона вирішить, хто переможе в Афганістані… І я думаю, що ми, мабуть, похитнули її – ми похитнули віру в нас як у союзників, на яких можна розраховувати», – сказав колишній командувач (2009–2010) Міжнародних сил сприяння безпеці – багатонаціональних військ під проводом НАТО в Афганістані, ветеран Збройних сил США з 34-річним стажем.

Понад тиждень тому засоби інформації у США повідомляли, що президент Дональд Трамп розглядає можливість значного виведення американських військ, які нині перебувають в Афганістані. Нині там цих військ, у допоміжних і навчально-тренувальних ролях, – близько 14 тисяч. Афганські силовики попередили, що таке виведення поставить під загрозу все ще погано навчені і недообладнані урядові війська.

Білий дім не став коментувати ті повідомлення.

Вони з’явилися невдовзі по тому, як Трамп оголосив про виведення всіх військ США з Сирії – той крок викликав різку критику з боку законодавців, і демократів, і республіканців, а також із боку колишніх посадовців США.

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Journalist Group: 94 Slayings of Media Staff in 2018

An international trade association says on-the-job slayings of journalists and news media staff rose again in 2018 following an overall decline during the past half-dozen years.

The International Federation of Journalists said in an annual report set for release Monday that 94 journalists and media workers died in targeted killings, bomb attacks and conflict crossfire this year, 12 more than in 2017.

Before the declines seen in five of the past six years, 121 people working for news organizations were slain in 2012. Since the federation started its annual count in 1990, the year with the most work-related killings, 155, was 2006.

The deadliest country for people who work in the news media this year was Afghanistan, where 16 of the killings occurred. Mexico was next, with 11. Yemen had nine media slayings and Syria eight in 2018.

Beyond the tragedy of lives lost, such killings affect the pursuit of truth and sharing of information in communities and countries where they happen, the president of the International Federation of Journalists said.

“Journalists are targeted because they are witnesses,” the group’s president, Philippe Leruth, told The Associated Press. “And the result of this, when a journalist or many journalists are killed in a country, you see an increase of self-censorship.”

Iraq, where 309 media professionals were killed over the past quarter-century, long topped the federation’s annual list. The federation identified a photojournalist as the one victim in the country this year.

While 2018 brought a worldwide increase, the total remained in the double digits for a second year running. The total of 155 in.

The IFJ connects some 600,000 media professionals from 187 trade unions and associations in more than 140 countries. The group said the new report showed that journalists face dangers apart from the risks of reporting from war zones and covering extremist movements.

“There were other factors, such as the increasing intolerance to independent reporting, populism, rampant corruption and crime, as well as the breakdown of law and order,” the Brussels-based group said in a statement.

Suddenly high on the list, in sixth place, was the United States with five killings. On June 28, a gunman in Annapolis, Maryland, opened fire in the newsroom of the Capital Gazette newspaper and fatally shot four journalists and a sales associate. The man had threatened the newspaper after losing a defamation lawsuit.

The Oct. 2 slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who lived in self-imposed exile in the United States, had worldwide impact. He went to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to formalize a divorce so he could marry his Turkish fiance, but instead was strangled and dismembered there – allegedly by Saudi agents.

Khashoggi wrote critically of Saudi Arabia’s royal regime, and the alleged involvement of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the journalist’s slaying has put the governments of other countries under pressure to sever economic and political ties.

“Jamal Khashoggi was a very well-known figure, but you know, the most shocking statistic is that we know that nine of 10 journalist murders remain unpunished in the world,” Leruth said.