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Землетрус у Вірменії 1988 року показав і сутність СРСР. 30 років по тому

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Поїзд «Мукачево-Будапешт» вирушить у перший рейс 9 грудня

Перший рейс поїзда «Мукачево-Будапешт» відбудеться 9 грудня. Про це повідомив глава «Укрзалізниці» Євген Кравцов.

«Це буде щоденний прямий безпересадковий маршрут. Рухомий склад, що курсуватиме євроколією, належить Угорським залізницям. Ми зі свого боку збудували окрему платформу, відремонтували колію, засоби сигналізації та зв’язку», – зазначив Кравцов.

Потяг вирушатиме з Будапешту о 7:23, а до Мукачева прибуватиме о 15:20. З України потяг відправлятиметься о 12:30, у Будапешті він буде о 18:37. Квиток коштуватиме близько 23 євро.

«Наразі ведемо переговори із колегами з Чехії та Словаччини для запуску маршруту до Праги», – зазначив Кравцов.

Відносини між Україною та Угорщиною загострилися у зв’язку з новим українським законом про освіту, який набрав чинності 28 вересня 2017 року. Офіційний Будапешт побачив порушення прав угорської меншини у нормі закону щодо обов’язкового отримання освіти державною мовою. Через це Угорщина блокує зустрічі в рамках співпраці України з ЄС і НАТО.

Офіційний Київ ці звинувачення відкидає.

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Єврокомісар закликав Росію відпустити Сенцова, щоб він зміг отримати премію Сахарова

Єврокомісар Йоганнес Ган закликав Росію відпустити українського режисера Олега Сенцова, щоб він зміг особисто отримати премію Сахарова.

«Наступного тижня український кінорежисер Олег Сенцов буде нагороджений премією Сахарова Європейського парламенту. Засуджений на 20 років в’язниці, він не зможе отримати премію особисто. Тому я повторюся: Дайте Сенцову отримати Сахарова», – написав Ган у Twitter.

Сенцову присудили премію 25 жовтня. Церемонія нагородження повинна відбутися в Страсбурзі 12 грудня.

Сенцов і кримський анархіст Олександр Кольченко були затримані представниками російських спецслужб в анексованому Криму в травні 2014 року за звинуваченням в організації терактів на півострові. У серпні 2015 року суд у російському Ростові-на-Дону засудив Сенцова до 20 років колонії суворого режиму. Кольченко отримав 10 років колонії. Обидва свою провину не визнали.

Правозахисний центр «Меморіал» вніс Сенцова і Кольченка в список політв’язнів.

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Seoul Creates a New Cycle of Waste

In South Korea’s capital of Seoul, there’s a waste problem. In April, the metropolitan area had an overabundance of plastic and vinyl waste because companies charged with recycling those materials refused to collect them because of low returns.

As a result, the untreated recycled goods were piled throughout Seoul’s residential areas. Discussions and consultations were held between officials and the companies, and after roughly two weeks the refuse was removed. But longer term, the problem remains unsolved, despite some innovative efforts to deal with the waste.

Officials have turned to “upcycling” to resolve the situation and address future concerns.

Limits to recycling

The Seoul Upcycling Plaza (SUP), a five-story building in Seongdong-gu, is home for the process of collecting, sorting, breaking down products into reusable raw materials and selling “upcycled goods.” There are 35 upcycling social enterprises that have been chosen after a competition to begin this process.

“There is a certain limit in recycling; break, grind the material and recycle it,” said SUP director Yoon Dayyoung. “It is necessary to upcycle that creates new value to the disposal so people can take benefits.”

Seoul plans to recycle more than 70 percent of its plastics by 2030. To this end, the official said, “We will supply dismantled raw materials that can be used for producing upcycle goods to the citizens via Material Bank. People can find more than 400 [types] of materials and be able to purchase it for their purpose.”

New business opportunities

The majority of companies moving into the upcycling business are craft studios that produce specialty items with the collected materials. These include origami kits made from used milk packs, plates derived from flattened wine bottles and accessories using discarded banners. Visitors can buy products or, if they choose, participate in producing the items.

An onsite service center also repairs broken electronic devices with components taken from other machines that are no longer functional, thus extending the life of original materials and reducing waste. Onlookers in this area will see not only local brands, but also well-known imports.

Is it enough?

Despite the efforts of those in the upcycle sector, the concept does not yet appear to have enough momentum to be sustainable. Many of the studios and suppliers produce the upcycled products manually and don’t have enough manpower for production on a large scale. In addition, some people are disappointed by the fact that upcycled products are not as inexpensive as initially hoped.

But at Touch4Good, which upcycles banners and billboards into fashionable handbags and accessories, Park Mi-hyeon says it’s important to think about the process properly. She says that upcycling is more akin to creating craft or custom goods rather than mass producing items.

Park has been running various upcycling projects since 2008 and operates the material research institute for upcycling. According to Park, most upcycling material has to be manually sorted, and the procedure to refurbish it is also done by hand.

“If you consider upcycling simply as a commodity, you cannot fully appreciate its value. This process enhances the value of the goods,” Park said.

She asserts there is a great deal of potential in the upcycling market in South Korea and points to the more than 200 companies operating in the sector.

​Stop the waste

However, environmental experts suggest it is more significant to reduce the amount of plastic being used than to develop upcycling. Even the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency has a web page devoted to reducing, reusing, and recycling waste.

In Seoul, to encourage reducing waste, Starbucks, the American coffee chain, has eliminated the use of plastic straws and replaced them with paper alternatives. Other restaurants have also done away with plastic straws and have encouraged patrons to bring in their own or are using metal or bamboo straws instead.

In terms of reducing waste, other eateries have banned plastic straws and are encouraging the use of personal mugs instead of disposables. Single-use plastic bags are also banned in supermarkets.

“Korea has too many people for its limited land space; hence disposal, incineration, and landfill, those measures cannot be the alternative option in Korea,” said Hong Su-yeol, the head of Resource Recycling Consulting. “Moreover, even in the case of upcycling, it still less than perfect as the processing capability is limited.”

Hong added, “It is hard to raise the rate of recycling more than 90 percent in near future. For the pending issues, we need to introduce some means like usage ban and regulation.”

Seoul also plans to regulate the use of disposable products in the public sector from 2020 to cut the consumption of disposable products.

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If Brunei Takes China’s Energy Deal, Neighbors May Follow

Brunei, an oil-rich nation in Southeast Asia, watched with near horror as world energy prices fell from 2014 to 2016. Reserves were running out. Its lifeblood of 80 years at stake, the tiny, wealthy country is looking for other sources of prosperity.

China is offering to be a source, and it’s China that stands to prosper politically.

Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to support joint exploration with Brunei for oil and gas, likely in a rectangular block of the South China Sea extending from the Bruneian coastline on the island of Borneo. That’s Brunei’s exclusive economic zone, but China says some of it falls under its flag.

A deal would help Beijing by showing skeptics in Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam that ties with China pay off despite sovereignty disputes like who should rule Brunei’s exclusive economic zone.

“China’s saying, ‘We’re promoting joint development, we’re willing to cooperate, it’s win-win for everybody,’” said Carl Thayer, professor emeritus with the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Without a better name around Southeast Asia, China risks more pressure from an alliance including Australia, India, Japan and the United States. Those countries, more militarily powerful as a unit than China, want Beijing to quit expanding control in the disputed sea over objections from smaller Asian governments whose economic zones overlap Chinese claims.

​Brunei as a model

China has invested about $4.1 billion in Brunei. There’s an energy equipment service contract, to start, and Chinese companies built a 2,680-meter-long sea bridge. One offered $79 million worth of bonds earlier this year to fund a petrochemical plant. A $3.4 billion oil refinery is in the planning stages.

“Any deal that China has with ASEAN would be a good role model. It’s like the onion skin being peeled off one by one and it makes (a) good business case for China that they are interested in the commercial part of it,” said Eduardo Araral, associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s public policy school. ASEAN refers to the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“For Brunei the good thing is they don’t have to fend off China,” he said.

Energy makes up some 60 percent of the Bruneian GDP. The economy shrank 2.5 percent in 2016 before rising 1.3 percent last year along with world energy prices, but much of the undersea fuel near Brunei’s coasts is tapped out.

Brunei keeps quiet about the sovereignty problem with China even as fellow Southeast Asian states Vietnam and Malaysia, under new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, speak out. China takes Brunei’s silence as goodwill and a vote for more ties with China’s $12 trillion economy, the world’s second largest.

In late November the Chinese president met Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah in the Southeast Asian leader’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan. The leaders agreed to “support relevant enterprises of the two countries to cooperate in the areas of maritime oil and gas resources,” China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported Nov. 20.

Brunei has just 430,000 people but sits on 1.5 billion barrels of crude oil reserves plus 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas beneath the seabed, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The Philippines may be next for a China deal. In November Manila and Beijing signed a memorandum of understanding that establishes a process to do joint offshore oil and gas exploration. Malaysia leads in the South China Sea with access to reserves of 5 billion barrels of crude oil and 80 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Search for equity

Whether other countries trust China as an energy exploration partner depends on how a Brunei deal takes shape. It should be done under the laws of both sides and international agreements, South China Sea analysts say.

“You have to find out under whose law, under whose jurisdiction this kind of joint exploration (takes place),” said Termsak Chalermpalanupap, a fellow with the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore. “In the past, it was always under Chinese law, under Chinese jurisdiction, which implied that everything in the South China Sea belongs to China. That’s the main objection.”

A deal with Brunei consistent with a China-ASEAN maritime code of conduct would help Beijing’s cause, said Carl Baker, director of programs with the think tank Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu. The code, still being negotiated, would spell out how to avoid mishaps despite sovereignty issues. China might also consider deferring its claims, he said.

China, backed by Asia’s strongest armed forces, has upset the other five maritime claimants by building up small islets for military use and passing coast guard ships through disputed tracts.

“If China could convince Brunei to undertake joint exploration in a disputed area, it would certainly help set a precedent for others,” Baker said.

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New Zealand China Scholar ‘Targeted’ by Beijing

An academic who has been exposing the back-door methods of the Chinese seeking to influence New Zealand politics as well as the country’s media and universities says she is being targeted and harassed by Beijing.

Professor Anne-Marie Brady has asked for government protection after suffering what she describes as a yearlong campaign of intimidation by Beijing, saying she fears for her security and the safety of her family.

And more than 150 China experts from universities and think tanks around the world are supporting her appeal for protection, urging New Zealand’s government to assign a security detail to Brady, an expert in Chinese politics at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.

“Brady has become the target of a series of incidents which, taken together with attacks from party-directed media, are consistent with an intimidation campaign,” the experts say. “New Zealand authorities have been less than forthcoming in their support for a prominent scholar targeted by a foreign power, at times even adopting a dismissive posture — an attitude appreciated by PRC [China’s] state media.”

Ugly tactics

Last February, Brady’s home and university office were broken into, and laptops and a thumb drive containing her research were stolen. Last month, the tires on her car were tampered with and a mechanic warned her if she had stopped at high-speed, the car would have spun out of control.

Brady says she was targeted after the publication of her “Magic Weapons” study detailing Beijing’s influence on public life in New Zealand. She told an Australian parliamentary committee earlier this year that China was seeking to infiltrate New Zealand party politics, media and education in a bid to shape public opinion, warning both Australia and New Zealand appear to have been singled out as “test zones” for China’s “covert, corrupting and coercive activities.”

New Zealand’s police and intelligence service are investigating the break-ins and car tampering. Brady says she has made multiple requests for protection. Police officials say they have some “positive lines of inquiry,” and Interpol is now involved but declined to comment further.

Attempts to influence

In her study, Brady says China has an integrated global strategy “to guide, buy or coerce political influence abroad … on a larger scale than that being carried out by any other nation” with efforts underway to infiltrate political and foreign affairs circles as well to utilize the Chinese diaspora in order to “turn them into propaganda bases for Beijing.” Chinese populations can sometimes be used as a cover for intelligence activities, she warned.

“China’s foreign influence activities have the potential to undermine the sovereignty and integrity of the political system of targeted states,” she wrote. She says Chinese President Xi Jinping “has led a massive expansion of efforts to shape foreign public opinion in order to influence the decision-making of foreign governments and societies.”

The title of her study, “Magic Weapons,” is a reference to the description Xi Jinping gave for using individuals and organizations outside China to promote the interests of the Communist Party.

Shortly before Brady’s study, Yang Jian, a New Zealand member of parliament born in China, was accused of having links to Chinese intelligence and failing to reveal a decade he spent teaching at China’s top linguistics academy for military intelligence officers.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she “supports and defends the legal right to academic freedom,” but has declined to comment further on Brady’s claims of a harassment campaign before police have concluded their investigation.

China responds

The Chinese embassy in New Zealand says Beijing has not been targeting Brady. And it says Beijing isn’t involved in any hostile acts against the country.

“Speculations on China’s role in New Zealand politics are totally groundless,” it said in a statement.

But academics, rights activists and journalists have maintained a drumbeat of support for Brady. In their open letter, the China experts from around the world say under Xi Jinping’s rule domestic repression has increased, “as illustrated by the fate of hundreds of human rights lawyers and activists rounded up.” They say China scholars overseas are also being targeted.

“Another form of this escalation are the unprecedented attacks on foreign scholars and researchers of contemporary China, be it in the form of Cultural Revolution-style in-class harassment for their views and opinions, denial of visas, threatened or actual libel suits or, in some cases, detentions during research visits in mainland China,” it says.

China’s expanding influence has prompted the alarm of several Western governments and their spy agencies. In June, Australia’s parliament approved new national security legislation, following disclosures of Beijing-linked political donations. New Zealand has also been rocked by a political donations scandal.

In October, the Trump administration sharpened its criticism of Chinese interference in the United States, issuing warnings about Chinese influence in American higher education.

“Beijing provides generous funding to universities, think tanks and scholars, with the understanding that they will avoid ideas that the Communist Party finds dangerous or offensive,” U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech at the Hudson Institute in Washington.

“China experts in particular know that their visas will be delayed or denied if their research contradicts Beijing’s talking points,” he said. The Chinese government has denied the accusations.

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Молдова передала Україні головування в ГУАМ

Молдова 6 грудня передала Україні головування у Організації за демократію та економічний розвиток (ГУАМ).

Про це повідомляє міністерство закордонних справ та європейської інтеграції Молдови за підсумками засідання глав зовнішньополітичних відомств країн ГУАМ, що відбулося на полях засідання Міністерської ради ОБСЄ у Мілані.

«Переконаний, що традиція, яка існує в рамках ГУАМ, працювати на основі консенсусу дась змогу державам-членам Організації продовжити плідну та взаємовигідну співпрацю, як на регіональному, так і на міжнародному рівні”, – цитує міністерство слова глави відомства Тудора Ульяновського.

Міністр побажав успіху українським колегам, висловивши впевненість, що ГУАМ буде зміцнювати співробітництво на користь країн-членів та їх громадян.

У 2017 році у Києві пройшов перший за дев’ять років саміт ГУАМ.

Організація за демократію та економічний розвиток ГУАМ із участю Грузії, України, Азербайджану і Молдови була заснована 1997 року. Із 1999 по 2005-й до організації також входив Узбекистан, і тоді вона звалася ГУУАМ. Але це об’єднання так і не стало постійно активною міжнародною організацією, переживши кілька сплесків активності і періодів застою.

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Протягом листопада у портах Криму зафіксовано 11 танкерів та вантажних суден-порушників – МінТОТ

З 1 по 30 листопада до портів окупованого Криму зайшли 11 суден-порушників. Про це повідомили у Міністерстві з питань тимчасово окупованих територій і внутрішньо переміщених осіб.

За даними МінТОТ, усі судна були під прапором Росії. Загалом вони 28 разів зайшли до портів Севастополя та Керчі.

«Окрім того на рейді в акваторіях портів Севастополя та Керчі, що використовуються для стоянки, зафіксовано 13 суден, серед яких 10 – під прапорами Російської Федерації та по одному під прапорами Белізу, Молдови та Республіки Того», – ідеться у повідомленні.

22 жовтня у міністерстві зазначили, що від початку поточного року кількість заходів суден іноземних держав до портів окупованого Росією Криму зменшилась

За законодавством України, морські порти, розташовані в окупованому Росією Криму (Євпаторія, Керч, Севастополь, Феодосія, Ялта) є закритими для судноплавства.