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Росія: Путін підписав закон про штрафи за незгадування статусу ЗМІ-«іноагента» при цитуванні

Штрафи можуть накласти на журналістів або редакції ЗМІ, які не вказали в публікаціях в інтернеті на статус цитованих ними «ЗМІ – іноземних агентів».

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Наглядова рада «Нафтогазу» оголосила про відставку після нестатутної зміни керівництва компанії

Кабінет міністрів змінив керівництво компанії, оминувши передбачене статутом виключне право наглядової ради ініціювати такі зміни

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У ЄС засудили санкції Росії проти посадовців Євросоюзу і залишили собі право на відповідь

Раніше 30 квітня МЗС Росії оголосило, що закриває в’їзд на територію країни восьми посадовцям Європейського союзу і країн-членів ЄС

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Blinken Heads to Ukraine After Russia Sends 150K Troops to Border

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading to Ukraine next week as Washington coordinates closely with Kyiv over Russia’s recent military buildup along Ukraine border.  
 
Blinken will travel to Ukraine on May 5-6, “where he will meet with President Zelensky, Foreign Minister Kuleba, other officials, and representatives of Ukrainian civil society to reaffirm unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement Friday.
 
The United States is keeping a close watch on Russia’s movement after Moscow announced last Thursday that it would begin withdrawing its troops from the border of Ukraine.   
 
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said this week it is too soon to tell and are taking at face value Russia’s claims they are pulling everybody back, while noting “some departure of some [Russia] forces away from Ukraine.”US Keeping Wary Eye on Russian Troops Near UkrainePentagon says too soon to know if the threat from Moscow’s largest military buildup since it seized Crimea in 2014 is truly over Senior American and European Union officials had said roughly 150,000 Russian troops massed along the border of Ukraine and in Crimea, more troops in the area than seven years ago when Russia invaded and seized Crimea in 2014.  
 
The U.S. has reaffirmed its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrities, urging the Russian Government to immediately cease all aggressive activity in and around Ukraine.
 
Blinken’s trip to Ukraine would be his first as the U.S. secretary of state. In Kyiv, he “will also encourage continued progress on Ukraine’s institutional reform agenda, particularly anti-corruption action, which is key to securing Ukraine’s democratic institutions, economic prosperity, and Euro-Atlantic future,” said Price in the Friday statement.
Prior to traveling to Ukraine, the chief U.S. diplomat will attend a G-7 foreign ministers meeting in London from May 3-5, which is the first in-person such gathering in two years since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.  
 
“The United States will discuss how we can work with other countries to address the key geopolitical issues we face as we build back better from this pandemic,” said the State Department spokesman. “Tackling the COVID-19 and climate crises will feature prominently on the agenda, as will advancing economic growth, human rights, food security, gender equality, and women’s and girls’ empowerment.”
 
While in Britain, Blinken will also meet with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Raab “to discuss shared U.S.-U.K. priorities.”
 
In addition to G-7 countries, officials from Australia, India, South Africa, South Korea, and Brunei, in its capacity as Chair of ASEAN, will join the G-7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ meeting as guests. Price said, “these meetings will lay the groundwork for the 46th Leaders’ Summit in Cornwall in June.”VOA’s Jeff Seldin contributed to this report.
 

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Posted by Worldkrap on

Stimulus Checks Boost US Consumer Spending in March

U.S. consumer spending rebounded in March amid a surge in income as households received additional COVID-19 pandemic relief money from the government, building a strong foundation for a further acceleration in consumption in the second quarter.
 
Other data Friday showed labor costs jumped by the most in 14 years in the first quarter, driven by a pick-up in wage growth as companies competed for workers to boost production. The White House’s massive $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus and rapidly improving public health are unleashing pent-up demand.
 
“While we aren’t completely out of the woods yet, today’s report shows the beginning of an economic rebound,” said Brendan Coughlin, head of consumer banking at Citizens in Boston. “Assuming no setback in the continued rollout of the vaccines, U.S. consumers are well-positioned in the second half of the year to stimulate strong economic growth across the country.”
 
Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased 4.2% last month after falling 1.0% in February, the Commerce Department said. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast consumer spending would increase 4.1%.
 
The data was included in Thursday’s gross domestic product report for the first quarter, which showed growth shooting up at a 6.4% annualized rate in the first three months of the year after rising at a 4.3% pace in the fourth quarter. Consumer spending powered ahead at a 10.7% rate last quarter.
 
Most Americans in the middle- and low-income brackets received one-time $1,400 stimulus checks last month, which were part of the pandemic rescue package approved in March. That boosted personal income 21.1% after a decline of 7.0% in February.
 
A chunk of the cash was stashed away, with the saving rate soaring to 27.6% from 13.9% in February. Households have amassed at least $2 trillion in excess savings, which could provide a powerful tailwind for consumer spending this year and beyond.
 
Wages are also rising. In a separate report on Friday, the Labor Department said its Employment Cost Index, the broadest measure of labor costs, jumped 0.9% in the first quarter. That was the largest rise since the second quarter of 2007 and followed a 0.7% gain in the October-December quarter.
 
The ECI is widely viewed by policymakers and economists as one of the better measures of labor market slack and a predictor of core inflation as it adjusts for composition and job quality changes. Last quarter’s increase was driven by a 1.0% rise in wages, which followed a 0.8% increase in the fourth quarter.
 
Despite employment being 8.4 million jobs below its peak in February 2020, businesses are struggling to find qualified workers as they rush to meet the robust domestic demand. U.S. stocks opened lower after a recent rally. The dollar rose against a basket of currencies. U.S. Treasury prices were largely unchanged.
 Inflation rising
 
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday acknowledged the worker shortage saying, “One big factor would be schools aren’t open yet, so there’s still people who are at home taking care of their children, and would like to be back in the workforce, but can’t be yet.”
 
Higher wages, if the worker scarcity persists, could contribute to a boost in inflation this year.
 
The strengthening demand and the dropping of last year’s weak readings from the calculation lifted inflation last month. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding the volatile food and energy component increased 0.4%after edging up 0.1% in February. In the 12 months through March, the so-called core PCE price index increased 1.8%, the most since February 2020, after gaining 1.4% in February.
 
The core PCE price index is the Fed’s preferred inflation measure for its 2% target, which is a flexible average.
 
Powell reiterated Wednesday that while he anticipated some upward pressure on prices, “an episode of one-time price increases as the economy reopens is not the same thing as, and is not likely to lead to, persistently higher year-over-year inflation into the future.”
 
Households last month spent more on motor vehicles and recreational goods like games and toys. They also visited restaurants. Spending on services is expected to accelerate in the months ahead as vaccinated Americans travel among other activities after more than a year of being cooped up at home.
 
When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending rebounded 3.6% last month after falling 1.2% in February. The recovery in the so-called real consumer spending sets consumption on a higher growth trajectory heading into the second quarter.
 
Most economists expect double-digit growth this quarter, which would position the economy to achieve growth of at least 7%, which would be the fastest since 1984. The economy contracted 3.5% in 2020, its worst performance in 74 years.

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Turkish Government Under Fire Over COVID-19 Alcohol Ban

The Turkish government’s decision to ban alcohol sales as part of a nearly three-week lockdown to contain COVID-19 is causing a political storm, with opponents accusing the Islamic-rooted government of using the pandemic to pursue a religious agenda.   The alcohol ban is part of a national lockdown that took effect Thursday and will end on May 17. The ban is stoking tensions and suspicion over the Islamist roots of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who critics accuse of seeking to undermine the 90-year-old secular state, said columnist Mehves Evin of the Duvar news portal. “Erdogan’s government, it’s like trying all the little ways to change the way, he thinks it’s the right way for people to live. Meaning, for example, the way they are building up the Imam Hatip religious schools. The way they are encouraging more and more students to go to those schools, actually is social engineering. So with the alcohol ban, it is actually also the same thing,” Evin said.  A customer shops for alcoholic beverages at a supermarket ahead of a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Istanbul, April 29, 2021.The government denies such accusations. But with the ban coinciding with the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, such denials have done little to quell the controversy.  The head of Turkey’s trader’s association, Bendeki Palandoken, called for the ban’s reversal, asking if is it possible to demand an alcohol ban in a developed and democratic country of law, which is integrated with Europe, and has many foreign customers, as well. The ban is also being challenged in Turkey’s high courts. But the government is vigorously defending the controls, noting that other countries, like South Africa, imposed similar restrictions.  Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Thursday there would be no exemptions and no backing down. The alcohol shops will endure this sacrifice, as everyone else will, he added. But numerous shops are starting to challenge the ban by selling alcohol, with many people posting pictures of their purchases on social media. “Don’t touch my alcohol” is among this week’s Turkish Twitter top trending hashtags.   
 

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Russia Releases Video of Black Sea Military Drills

Russia’s defense ministry released video Friday of its warships firing rockets during military drills in the Black Sea, the Reuters news agency reported Friday.
 
The drills were conducted earlier this week amid rising tensions between Russia and the west over Russia’s military buildup near the border it shares with Ukraine.  
 
Russia said the troop buildup was part of drills it planned in response to what it said was NATO’s threatening behavior. Last week, Russia ordered a pullback of some troops from the border area.  
 
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy during a May 5-6 visit to Ukraine “to reaffirm unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression,” Blinken’s spokesman, Ned Price, said in a statement.
 Blinken Heads to Ukraine After Russia Sends 150K Troops to Border Trip aims to ‘reaffirm unwavering US support for country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in face of Russia’s ongoing aggression,’ State Department saysRussia began naval combat drills Tuesday as the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Hamilton was entering the Black Sea to work with NATO and other allies in the area.
 
Russia’s Black Sea fleet said its Moskva cruiser would participate in live-fire exercises with other Russian ships and military helicopters, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.
 
The drill took place as fighting in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed troops escalated sharply since January, despite a cease-fire that took effect last July.
 
The conflict began when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, since killing some 14,000 people, according to Ukraine’s government.

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Туреччина схвалила екстрене використання російської вакцини від коронавірусу «Спутнік V»

Днями міністр охорони здоров’я повідомляв, що Туреччина отримає 50 мільйонів доз «Спутніка V» протягом наступних шести місяців