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Зеленський підписав закони, що посилюють відповідальність за порушення вимог пожежної безпеки

За даними пресслужби президента, протягом останніх п’яти років в Україні виникло більш як 352 тисячі пожеж, що завдали прямих збитків на понад шість мільярдів гривень

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ВАКС арештував майно, вилучене під час обшуку у справі брата Вовка

За повідомленням, серед арештованого майна, зокрема, – антикваріат, документи на майно і великі обсяги готівки: понад 3,7 мільйона доларів, 840 тисяч євро, 20 тисяч фунтів, 230 тисяч гривень і 100 шекелів

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«Американським військовим пора додому»: Байден оголосив про повернення військ з Афганістану

За його словами, виведення 2,5 тисяч американських військових, які наразі залишаються в Афганістані, почнеться 1 травня

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US Can’t Justify Keeping Troops in Afghanistan , Biden Says

President Joe Biden is set to tell Americans on Wednesday that he is withdrawing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 because the country cannot justify staying there two decades after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.WATCH LIVE at 2:15 pm EDT “We went to Afghanistan because of a horrific attack that happened 20 years ago,” Biden says in excerpts of his address released by the White House. “That cannot explain why we should remain there in 2021.”“We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result,” Biden said.The U.S. leader said he is now the fourth president to oversee an American troop presence in Afghanistan — two Republicans and two Democrats — and vowed to not pass on the responsibility to a fifth.“After consulting closely with our allies and partners, with our military leaders and intelligence professionals, with our diplomats and development experts, and with Congress and (Vice President Kamala Harris), I have concluded that it is time to end America’s longest war. It is time for American troops to come home,” he says.He said the U.S. would continue its diplomatic and humanitarian work in Afghanistan and support the Kabul government.Biden said the U.S. and its allies would support training and help equip nearly 300,000 Afghan forces, as well as peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban fighters.Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Brussels Wednesday to discuss the withdrawal plans with NATO allies, and said the United States remains committed to Afghanistan’s future.“Together we have achieved the goals that we set out to achieve, and now it is time to bring our forces home,” Blinken said.FILE – U.S. soldiers load onto a Chinook helicopter to head out on a mission in Afghanistan, Jan. 15, 2019.Biden’s decision will keep 3,000 U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan beyond the May 1 deadline that had been agreed to in a deal Washington negotiated in Doha last year with the Taliban when Donald Trump was president.Taliban reacts
The Taliban on Wednesday said it wants all foreign forces out of Afghanistan “on the date specified in the Doha Agreement,” and that “if the agreement is adhered to, a pathway to addressing the remaining issues will also be found.”Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid added on Twitter, “If the agreement is breached and foreign forces fail to exit our country on the specified date, problems will certainly be compounded and those (who) failed to comply with the agreement will be held liable,”News of the U.S troop withdrawal plans had already prompted the Taliban to cancel its participation in a 10-day peace conference between Afghanistan’s warring sides later this month in Turkey.
Meanwhile, a pessimistic U.S. intelligence report predicted a peace deal is unlikely in the next year and the Taliban — an enemy of the democratically elected government of Afghanistan — will make battlefield gains.“The Afghan government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the coalition withdraws support,” said an unclassified version of the report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.Republicans react
Several prominent senators of the opposition Republican party are assailing Biden’s troop withdrawal decision.The Biden administration “plans to turn tail and abandon the fight in Afghanistan,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. “Precipitously withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake.”“A full withdrawal from Afghanistan is dumber than dirt and devilishly dangerous,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally. “President Biden will have, in essence, cancelled an insurance policy against another 9/11.”Biden’s decision is winning praise from those who believe the United States is no closer to winning the war today than it was more than a decade ago or would be in the future.“It has been harder in Washington to end a war than it is to start one,” said Quincy Institute Chief Executive Officer Lora Lumpe, a veteran humanitarian disarmament campaigner. “With this decision Biden has proven his ability to make the right calls even when they’re extremely difficult. The White House should be applauded for taking this off ramp from the 20-year-long war.”Ken Bredemeier and National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed to this report from Washington, Ayaz Gul from Islamabad.
 

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Ponzi Schemer Bernard Madoff Dies, Says Federal Bureau of Prisons

Bernard Madoff, who was convicted for running the largest known Ponzi scheme in history, died Wednesday in federal prison where he was serving a 150-year sentence, the Bureau of Prisons said. He was 82. Madoff had been suffering from chronic kidney failure and several other medical ailments. He had been held at a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, after being sentenced in June 2009 to a 150-year term for engineering a fraud estimated as high as $64.8 billion. Madoff’s thousands of victims, large and small, included individuals, charities, pension funds and hedge funds. Among those he betrayed were the actors Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick and John Malkovich; baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax; and a charity associated with director Steven Spielberg. Owners of the New York Mets, longtime Madoff clients, struggled for years to field a good baseball team because of losses they suffered. “We thought he was God. We trusted everything in his hands,” Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, whose foundation lost $15.2 million, said in 2009. Some victims lost everything. Many came from the Jewish community, where Madoff had been a major philanthropist. Madoff’s crimes were revealed to authorities in 2008 by his two sons, who were not part of the scheme. FILE – A photojournalist shoots video of items belonging to Bernard Madoff during a media preview of the U.S. Marshals Service “Madoff II Auction” in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Nov. 10, 2010.The fraud exposed holes at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which through incompetence or neglect botched a half-dozen examinations. “There were several times that I met with the SEC and thought, ‘They got me,'” Madoff told lawyers in a prison interview, according to ABC News. Madoff had been the largest market-maker on the Nasdaq, once serving as its non-executive chairman. His brokerage firm was located in a midtown Manhattan tower known as the Lipstick Building. Employees there said they felt like part of Madoff’s family. They did not know he was running his fraud on a different floor. Only a trusted few did. In a typical Ponzi scheme, money from newer investors is used to pay sums owed to earlier investors. Madoff said his fraud began in the early 1990s, but prosecutors and many victims believe it started earlier. Investors were entranced by the steady, double-digit annual gains that Madoff seemed to generate, and which others found impossible to explain or duplicate. The money helped Madoff and his wife, Ruth, enjoy luxuries such as a Manhattan penthouse, a French villa and expensive cars and yachts, with a combined net worth of about $825 million. But no one from Madoff’s immediate family was in the Manhattan courtroom when U.S. District Judge Denny Chin sentenced him. And no family, friends or supporters submitted letters attesting to his good character or deeds in support of leniency.  
 
“I believed when I started this problem, this crime, that it would be something I would be able to work my way out of, but that became impossible,” Madoff told the court. “As hard as I tried, the deeper I dug myself into a hole.” Madoff also addressed victims in attendance, saying, “I am sorry. I know that doesn’t help you.” Keeping up appearances Bernard Lawrence Madoff was born on April 29, 1938, in the New York City borough of Queens and grew up there as the son of European immigrants who ran a brokerage out of their house. Madoff graduated from Hofstra University in 1960 and briefly attended Brooklyn Law School before quitting. That same year, he started Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, using his $500 in savings and office space borrowed from his father-in-law, Madoff told New York magazine in 2011. Madoff started small, selling penny stocks in the over-the-counter market. By the early 1970s, he had become one of the five original broker-dealers in the Nasdaq trading system. Madoff advocated for greater market competition, at a time the New York Stock Exchange still dominated trading and became an early force in electronic trading. At times friendly and charming, and at others aloof, Madoff had a penchant for neatness that some viewed as an obsession. Madoff’s offices were decorated in black and shades of gray, with little paperwork or objects visible on employee desks, and he coordinated several wedding rings with his wristwatches. Market-making served Madoff well in the 1980s and 1990s, when he and his rivals could profit from buying a stock at $5 and selling it for $5.125, for example. Profitability declined once decimalization became standard, but Madoff’s brokerage operation provided financial support for his fraud. Clients were told they would make money through a “split-strike conversion strategy,” in which Madoff would buy a basket of large stocks to mirror the Standard & Poor’s 100 index and reduce risk by purchasing and selling options on that index. Madoff looked successful, and customers were happy. But it wasn’t real. Prosecutors said Madoff and his staff sent clients fake confirmations for trades he never executed, and fake account statements to document gains he never made. Madoff admitted to sometimes dipping into his account at JPMorgan Chase to pay customers who wanted their money back. Questions mount Suspicions began surfacing in the early 1990s, when Madoff’s name came up in a SEC probe of a now-defunct Florida accounting firm, Avellino & Bienes. In 2001, a Barron’s article noted skepticism on Wall Street about Madoff, including that he might be using his market-making operation to “smooth” returns for investors. Madoff demurred. “It’s a proprietary strategy. I can’t go into it in great detail,” he said, while dismissing the Barron’s theory as ridiculous. FILE – Independent financial fraud investigator Harry Markopolos testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 4, 2009.More questions were raised as a whistleblower, financial analyst Harry Markopolos, began pressing the SEC to stop Madoff. From 1992 to 2008, the SEC received six complaints raising “significant red flags” about Madoff and whether he was trading anything, but never took even basic steps to figure out what he was doing, its inspector general David Kotz later said. It all came crashing down in the fall of 2008, as the global financial crisis struck, and many investors demanded to cash out. Unable to fulfill $7 billion of redemption requests, Madoff confessed to sons Mark and Andrew that his investment advisory business was “one big lie.” The sons went to the authorities and Madoff was arrested on December 11, 2008, one day after his company’s Christmas party. Three months later, he pleaded guilty to 11 criminal counts including fraud, money laundering and perjury. Madoff initially maintained that the fraud was his alone, but prosecutors ended up winning 15 convictions or guilty pleas. These included a guilty plea from Madoff’s younger brother Peter, the firm’s chief compliance officer, who received 10 years in prison. The only trial ended with convictions and prison terms for five former Madoff employees. Prosecutors got a major boost after winning the cooperation of Frank DiPascali, Madoff’s longtime financial chief, who died in 2015 of lung cancer. Ruth Madoff was not charged. She said she felt her husband had betrayed her after nearly a half-century of marriage. Many were skeptical of her claim she knew nothing about the fraud. Prosecutors let Ruth Madoff keep $2.5 million. Payback Within days of Madoff’s arrest, efforts began to try to recoup money for people who invested with him or with third parties that sent their money to his firm. A large portion of these sums came from a $7.2 billion settlement with the estate of Jeffry Picower, a longtime Madoff investor from Florida. The pain for Madoff’s family did not end with the patriarch’s imprisonment. Tormented by his father’s actions and by lawsuits, Mark Madoff, the older son, hanged himself with a dog leash at age 46 on December 11, 2010, the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. 
 
In September 2014, Andrew Madoff died of cancer, at age 48.As his health worsened, Madoff sought an early, “compassionate release” from prison. Chin rejected that request in June 2020, agreeing with prosecutors that prison interviews where Madoff played down his crimes showed he “never fully accepted responsibility” for them. In the New York magazine article, Madoff made clear he believed he changed how Wall Street operated, and many victims might have lost more money in the markets had they not heard of him. But he said he would not make excuses for his fraud and had come to terms with his crimes and pariah status. “It is what it is,” he said. 
 

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EU Makes Deal with Pfizer-BioNTech for 50 Million More Vaccine Doses

European Commission President Urusula Von der Leyen Wednesday announced the European Union has reached a deal with pharmaceutical partners Pfizer-BioNTech for 50 million additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine, to be delivered in the coming months.
At a news briefing in Brussels, Von der Leyen said the new deal means the EU will have obtained 250 million doses. She said the bloc is negotiating a third contract with the partners for 1.8 billion doses to be delivered in 2022 and 2023.  
She said the deal will “not only include the production of vaccines, but also the essential components. All of that will be based in the European Union.”
Von der Leyen said 100 million doses have been administered in the 27-nation EU bloc already, saying this is “a milestone we can be proud of.”   
But, noting issues with AstraZeneca, and this week, the Johnson & Johnson shots, the European Commission president said many factors can disrupt the planned delivery schedules of vaccines.
 
She said, “It is therefore important to act swiftly, anticipate, and adjust whenever it is possible, and we are doing everything in our power to support Europe’s vaccination rollout.”
Several European nations suspended administering the AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of rare cases of blood clots. Tuesday, U.S. health regulators recommended pausing inoculations with Johnson & Johnson’s product because of similar reports.

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Міжбанк: гривня відіграла втрати, зафіксовані 13 квітня

Національний банк України ще не встиг відреагувати на зміну тренду міжбанку, тому встановив опівдні довідкове значення курсу 28 гривень рівно за долар

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Кличко: жорсткий карантин у Києві триватиме до кінця квітня