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IAAF: заборона Росії брати участь у міжнародних змаганнях буде продовжена

У Міжнародній асоціації легкоатлетичних федерацій (IAAF) заявляють, що Росія буде як і раніше відсторонена від міжнародних змагань, і, ймовірно, буде виключена з чемпіонату світу, запланованого на серпень у Лондоні.

Себастьян Коу, президент IAAF, заявив 6 лютого у Монако, що Росія до листопада навряд чи буде «повністю поновлена у правах».

Руне Андерсен, голова робочої групи IAAF, висловив схожу думку, зазначивши, що для поновлення Росія мусить виконати низку вимог.

Серія розслідувань ВАДА підтвердила існування в Росії підтримуваної державою системи вживання спортсменами допінгу з наступним приховуванням цих порушень. Це призвело, зокрема, до заборони участі російських легкоатлетів у всіх змаганнях під егідою Міжнародної федерації легкої атлетики (ІААФ). Після цього також понад 100 російських спортсменів у 2016 році були відсторонені від участі в Олімпійських іграх у Ріо-де-Жанейро.

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Faced with Blackouts, Pakistan’s Largest Public Park Goes Solar

Mushtaq Khan, a 48-year-old bank manager, used to enjoy his nightly jog in Islamabad’s huge Fatima Jinnah Park – until worsening power cuts two years ago began plunging him into darkness mid-stride, forcing him to run in the morning instead.

Now, however, new large-scale solar lighting for the Pakistani capital’s largest public park has let Khan return to his old schedule – and he no longer worries about running into porcupines or wild boar in the dark.

“After learning that a new solar system now provides uninterrupted power to the entire electric system round-the-clock, I have swapped back the jogging schedule from morning to evening,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation during a brief pause in his evening run.

In December, city authorities installed 3,400 solar panels on a 2.5-hectare parcel of the 300-hectare (750-acre) park, at a cost of $4.8 million.

The system aims to provide a constant power supply to one of the city’s key recreational attractions at a time when power cuts remain a major problem due to shortfalls on the grid.

The solar installation, which produces 870 kilowatts of electricity – enough to power the equivalent of 450 homes – runs water pumps and sprinkler systems for the park, and provides power for the offices of the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) and Capital Development Authority (CDA), both located within the park.

The initiative, financed with a grant from China, uses batteries to store solar energy to meet lighting and other electricity needs 24 hours a day, said IMC chairman Anser Aziz Sheikh.

Less work, more visitors

As solar energy extends the hours the park can be used – and powers irrigation to keep its flowers and other plants in top condition, as well as rides in the children’s playground – officials say visitors who had abandoned it are returning.

“We are seeing more and more visitors coming back to the park for recreational and physical fitness activities,” Sheikh said, noting that solar power “has restored life to the park.”

Around 50,000 people come to the open space weekly for exercise, sports, flower exhibitions and the panoramic view of the lush green Margalla hills nearby, CDA officials said.

Park gardener Karam Ali said solar power has made his job much easier, particularly now that the water pumps and sprinklers are no longer shut down by persistent power cuts.

“The new solar energy system is really marvelous and no less than a good friend,” he said. Power outages used to force employees to stay after hours to get their work done, without payment, he said, but that problem is now solved.

Similar solar installations could potentially play a wider role in Pakistan, which struggles with severe power shortages, particularly in the hot summer and cold winter months when air conditioning or heating are in demand and power cuts can last up to 20 hours a day, researchers say.

Only about two-thirds of the country’s nearly 200 million people have access to electricity, according to the World Bank.

To expand access and keep pace with economic and population growth, Pakistan needs to invest between 3.7 percent and 5.5 percent of its GDP each year in electricity generation, the bank says.

Putting money into renewable energy could reduce blackouts, improve health, boost the economy and help the country meet its goals to cut poverty and climate-changing emissions, energy researchers say.

Pakistan could produce as much as 2.9 million megawatts of power from solar, 340,000 megawatts from wind and 100,000 megawatts from hydropower if funds were available to build the infrastructure, according to Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) and World Bank studies.

With the costs of renewable energy falling fast, Pakistan’s Planning, Development and Reforms Ministry late last year announced plans to boost wind and solar power generation by the end of 2018.

Fast track for solar

“These energy plans are being implemented on a fast-track basis in Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan provinces, which account for 80 percent of the total solar and wind energy generation potential,” said Amjad Ali Awan, chief executive of the AEDB.

The longer-term aim is to boost renewable energy from 5 percent to 25 percent of the country’s energy mix by 2030, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Ahsan Iqbal, federal minister for planning, development and reforms, said the government hoped to replicate solar projects like that in Fatima Jinnah Park.

The project “is convincing us to work with provincial governments to provide solar power to similar public parks, to lessen the load on the national grid and save the budget spent on hefty electricity bills in these public parks,” he said.

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В Авдіївці повстю відновлене тепло- і водопостачання – ДСНС

В Авдіївці Донецької області повністю відновили тепло- і водопостачання, повідомляють у Державній службі з надзвичайних ситуацій.

«Станом на 20:30 6 лютого в Авдіївці відновлено тепло- та водопостачання для мешканців міста. До централізованого електропостачання підключені всі жителі Авдіївки», – мовиться у повідомленні.

Разом з тим, за інформацією ДСНС, електропостачання й досі відсутнє у 5 населених пунктах Ясинуватського району (селах Тоненьке, Північне, Веселе, Водяне і Кам’янка), розташованих біля Авдіївки.

У понеділок в Авдіївці також відновили роботу школи і дитсадки.

Загострення ситуації на Донбасі, зокрема через бої поблизу Авдіївки, спостерігається з 29 січня. Сторони конфлікту звинувачують одна одну у спричиненні боїв і повідомляють про загиблих і поранених, як серед бійців, так і серед цивільних.

Протягом тижня в Авдіївці не було електропостачання. Були проблеми з водопостачанням – воду надавали за графіком. 5 лютого в Авдіївці вдалося відновити електропостачання.

В останні дні в Авдіївці спостерігається певне затишшя.

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Чеські працедавці хочуть прискорити процедуру працевлаштування українців

Конфедерація союзів працедавців і підприємців Чехії 6 лютого звернулася з закликом до уряду країни прискорити процес працевлаштування українців.

Програма працевлаштування громадян України була започаткована у серпні 2016 року, але, як заявив президент Конфедерації Ян Влеснер, якого цитують чеські ЗМІ, ситуація «невтішна, оскільки вже зараз і аж до червня набрана встановлена кількість працівників, переважно через консульство у Львові». Але, каже він, час на оформлення поданих заяв – 8 місяців, надто розтягнений.

«Вісім місяців – це час, який не можна собі уявити, не можуть наші працедавці чекати 8 місяців на схвалення рішення щодо працівника, що має приїхати до Чеської Республіки», – зазначив Ян Влеснер.

Так само, каже він, не може чекати і підприємець на працівника 8 місяців, тому що має виконувати свої домовленості. «Підприємець має працювати у відповідності до договорів, виконувати свою роботу як з погляду термінів, так і якості роботи. Ось чому ми звернулись до Міністерства закордонних справ щодо збільшення кількість працівників на 4 особи у Генеральному консульстві у Львові», – наголосив Ян Влеснер.

Питання щодо збільшення кількості працівників з України і прискоренням процесу оформлення поданих заяв розглядатиметься на засіданні уряду Чехії 8 лютого. 

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China’s First Large Homemade Passenger Jet to Fly in 2017

After years of delays, China’s first large homemade passenger jetliner will take to the air for its maiden flight in the first half of this year, state media reported Monday.

State-owned aircraft maker Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd., or Comac, based in Shanghai, has nearly completed work on the 175-passenger C919, the ruling Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily reported.

The C919 was originally due to fly in 2015, but has been beset by delays blamed on manufacturing problems. It is now scheduled to enter service in 2019, aimed at competing with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, along with the Russian Irkut MC-21.

Airbus and Boeing say the market for new aircraft will be worth more than $5 trillion over the next 20 years. Industry experts say China faces a tough slog capturing a significant share of that market, even with government support. Comac has 517 orders for the C919.

Company officials couldn’t immediately be reached.

The C919 is part of China’s efforts to develop a homegrown aviation industry in one of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing air travel markets. China currently relies heavily on foreign-made aircraft.

Last June, the ARJ21-700, China’s first homemade regional jet, made its debut flight carrying 70 passengers. The jet is one of a series of initiatives launched by the party to transform China from the world’s low-cost factory into a creator of profitable technology in aviation, clean energy and other fields.

The ARJ21, also made by Comac, is a rival to aircraft made by Bombardier Inc. of Canada and Brazil’s Embraer SA.

 

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China Ex-Deputy Intelligence Chief Graft Probe Proceeding

The corruption investigation into a former Chinese deputy intelligence chief is proceeding, prosecutors said Monday, signaling President Xi Jinping’s determination to continue targeting high-level officials as part of his sweeping anti-graft campaign.

The supreme state prosecutor’s office said that Ma Jian, a former vice minister of state security, has been placed under “compulsory measures.”

The term can refer to arrest, detention, bail pending trial or house arrest. The proceedings in such investigations are shrouded in secrecy and Ma is believed to have already been under initial investigation for about two years.

Prosecutors say Ma, who was in charge of counterespionage, is suspected of having taken bribes in return for favors and abusing his position to help his relatives’ businesses. He’s also accused of interfering with law enforcement and judicial activities, secreting away money and property relating to his case, and arranging for exit permits for his family members.

Reports in the widely respected Chinese magazine Caixin, which were later reprinted by state media, said investigators found that Ma had been keeping six mistresses with whom he’d had a pair of sons, and owned a half-dozen mansions in Beijing.

Ma, who had worked in the Ministry of State Security for three decades, was expelled from the ruling Communist Party in December, placing him in line for prosecution and almost certain conviction.

High-level officials such as former Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang have received sentences of up to life in prison as President Xi seeks to purge the ruling party of corrupt officials seen as diminishing its standing among the public and weakening its mandate to rule.

Though broadly popular among the public, the campaign is seen by some as a tool for Xi to eliminate political rivals and strengthen his hold on power.

 

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World’s Longest Flight Touches Down in New Zealand

A Qatar Airways jet touched down in Auckland, New Zealand Monday,  shattering the record for the world’s longest flight by distance.

The Boeing 777 took off from Doha, Qatar and was in the sky for 14,535 kilometers before landing in New Zealand.

The old record was set by an Emirates Airlines Dubai to Auckland flight, a 14,200 kilometer journey.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker called his company’s flight “an important milestone.”

The jet was in the sky for 16 hours, 23 minutes. It carried four pilots and 15 cabin crew members who served the passengers 1,100 cups of tea and coffee, 2,000 cold drinks and 1,036 meals.

As is the custom with inaugural flights, the plane was greeted in Auckland with water cannons.

The Qatar Airways record may be short-lived. Singapore Airlines has said it plans to institute non-stop service between Singapore and New York — a distance of 15,323 kilometers.

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Afghan Diplomat Killed by His Guard in Pakistan

An Afghan diplomat was shot and killed by his security guard inside the consulate in the Pakistani port city of Karachi on Monday, officials said.

Mohammad Zaki Abdu, the third secretary at the consulate, died of his wounds shortly after the shooting, according to the consulate’s spokesman, Haris Khan.

“We were working at our office when we heard gunshots,” he said. “Everybody was running in panic.”

The guard, identified only as an Afghan national named Rahatullah, was taken into custody, said Pakistani police official Azad Khan.

Both officials said the motive behind the killing was not yet known.

Pakistan has long been a hotbed of Islamic militancy. Foreign missions are provided extra security and also frequently hire their own private guards.

Rahatullah was the slain diplomat’s personal bodyguard, and it wasn’t clear whether the Afghan Consulate had hired him officially, said Khan, the police official.

Noor Wali Khan Noor, a Foreign Ministry official in Kabul, said a delegation from the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad has been dispatched to Karachi to investigate the incident.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office said police intervened immediately after the shooting, which took place in the lobby of the consulate.

It said Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry spoke by phone with the Afghan ambassador to offer condolences and assistance in the investigation.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have long accused each other of tolerating Islamic militants who operate along their porous border.