Daily Archives

21 Articles

Posted by Ukrap on

Пожежа в пансіонаті у Дніпрі: няні-санітарці обрали запобіжний захід – нічний домашній арешт

У справі про загибель п’ятьох жінок у пансіонаті наразі троє підозрюваних

Posted by Ukrap on

Саакашвілі у тюремній лікарні ненадовго знепритомнів – лікар

Уповноважена Верховної Ради з прав людини Людмила Денісова раніше заявила, що стан Саакашвілі критичний, і для збереження життя його треба перевести з медзакладу в’язниці до справжньої лікарні

Posted by Worldkrap on

Neutral Pronoun in French Dictionary Stirs Boisterous Debate

A nonbinary pronoun added to an esteemed French dictionary has ignited a fierce linguistic squabble in the country. 

Le Petit Robert introduced the word “iel” — an amalgamation of “il” (he) and “elle” (she) — to its online edition last month. While the term is gaining currency among young people, it is still far from being widely used, or even understood, by many French speakers. 

Though at first the change went mostly unnoticed, boisterous debate broke out this week in a nation that prides itself on its human rights tradition but that also fiercely protects its cultural heritage from foreign meddling. In one camp are the traditionalists, including some political leaders, who criticize the move as a sign that France is lurching toward an American-style “woke” ideology. In the other is a new generation of citizens who embrace nonbinary as the norm. 

“It is very important that dictionaries include the ‘iel’ pronoun in their referencing as it reflects how the use of the term is now well accepted,” said Dorah Simon Claude, 32, a doctoral student who identifies as “iel.” 

“It is,” Claude added, “also a way of confronting the Academie Francaise that stays in its conservative corner and continues to ignore and scorn users of the French language.” 

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer is not in the same camp. He went to Twitter on Wednesday to say that “inclusive writing is not the future of the French language.” The 56-year-old former law professor warned that schoolchildren should not use “iel” as a valid term despite its inclusion in Le Robert, seen as a linguistic authority on French since 1967. 

Francois Jolivet, a lawmaker from President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party, also made his distaste plain. Nonbinary pronouns are, he suggested, a worrying sign that France is embracing a “woke” ideology. 

Jolivet wrote a letter to the bastion of French language, the 400-year-old Academie Francaise, claiming that Le Robert’s “solitary campaign is an obvious ideological intrusion that undermines our common language and its influence.”

The general director of Le Robert editions, Charles Bimbenet, jumped to the dictionary’s defense Wednesday in a statement. Far from dictating which terms should be used, he said, Le Petit Robert was elucidating the word’s meaning, now that it is growing in currency nationwide. 

Since “the meaning of the word ‘iel’ cannot be understood by reading it alone,” Bimbenet said, “it seemed useful to us to specify its meaning for those who encounter it, whether they wish to use it or … reject it.” 

“Robert’s mission is to observe and report on the evolution of a changing and diverse French language,” he said. 

Warning on neutrality

In 2017, the Academie Francaise warned that moves to make French more gender neutral would create “a disunited language, with disparate expression, that can create confusion verging on illegibility.” 

Gendered languages like French are seen as a particular hurdle for advocates of nonbinary terms as all nouns are categorized as either masculine or feminine, unlike in English. 

Not all European countries are moving at the same speed as France. In Greece, where all nouns have not two, but three possible genders, there is no official nonbinary pronoun, but groups who support them suggest using “it.” 

In Spain, after Carmen Calvo, a former deputy prime minister and affirmed feminist, asked the Royal Spanish Academy to advise on the use of inclusive language in the Constitution, its reply the next year was crystal clear: “Inclusive language” means “the use of the masculine to refer to men and women.”

Posted by Ukrap on

Прикордонники відмовили у в’їзді в Україну 15 іноземцям, які прямували автобусом із Білорусі

Україна взагалі постала перед низкою викликів щодо безпеки своїх кордонів у звʼязку з військовою присутністю Росії біля кордонів з одного боку, і міграційною кризою на кордонах сусідніх Польщі та Білорусі – з іншого

Posted by Worldkrap on

Drug Regulator Says Europe Must Close Vaccination Gap to Stop COVID Surge

The European Union’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency, said Thursday that unvaccinated individuals account for much of the “fourth wave” of COVID-19 infections in the region and encouraged EU member nations to close the vaccination gap.

During its regular COVID-19 briefing at EMA headquarters in Amsterdam, EMA biological threats chief Marco Cavaleri told reporters that in EU states, unvaccinated people, particularly those over the age of 50, are most likely to be hospitalized with severe COVID-19, be placed in intensive care or die.

Cavaleri urged member nations, especially those with “unacceptably low” vaccination rates, to “close this gap and make sure that as many people as possible will get vaccinated.”

Cavaleri said the data they have collected continues to show, as expected,  vaccine booster shots restore protection against infection and disease.

He said the EMA continues to recommend boosters be administered six months after full vaccination but that member states may offer the booster earlier.

The EMA chief said the agency will take up consideration Friday of Pfizer’s new COVID-19 treatment pill for emergency authorization. Last week, the agency said it would fast-track approval for Merck’s oral COVID-19 treatment, as well.

Cavaleri said these different classes of medicines and approaches  represent a range of options for treating COVID-19. But he stressed the need to continue implementing public health measures, such as social distancing, hygiene practices and the wearing of face masks, “so that we protect ourselves and others.”

Some information for this report came from Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

Posted by Worldkrap on

Blinken to Discuss US-Africa Policy During Stop in Nigeria

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets in Abuja Thursday with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama and other officials to discuss furthering cooperation on global health security, expanding energy access and economic growth, and revitalizing democracy, according to the U.S. State Department. 

Nigeria is the second of three African countries Blinken will visit over a five-day period. On Friday, the top U.S. diplomat will deliver a major speech in Nigeria on the Biden administration’s Africa policy. 

Democracy was a key topic of Blinken’s first stop in Kenya Wednesday, telling a group of human rights activists Wednesday in Nairobi that the world is undergoing a “recession” of democracy. He warned that “even vibrant democracies like Kenya” have become increasingly vulnerable to misinformation, corruption, political violence and voter intimidation.

“The United States is hardly immune from this challenge,” Blinken said in an apparent reference to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-president Donald Trump in an attempt to force lawmakers to disqualify Joe Biden’s victory in last November’s presidential election. “We’ve seen how fragile our own democracy can be.”

Before Blinken’s departure from Nairobi, he announced that the United States was removing Nigeria from a list of nations that violate religious freedom.

Blinken’s African tour, which concludes with a visit to Senegal, is partially aimed at raising America’s profile as a key player in the region as it competes with China.

Despite its large contributions of money and vaccines to contain COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, the United States has had little success in gaining influence in the region.

Some information for this report came from Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

Posted by Worldkrap on

New York to Charge Drivers for Pollution, Congestion

Someday soon, drivers entering downtown Manhattan can expect to pay for the pollution and traffic jams they cause.

Congestion pricing is a way that places such as Stockholm and Singapore are trying to unclog streets and clean up their air by making it more expensive for drivers to bring dirty vehicles into town.

With traffic bringing many cities to a standstill, air pollution killing an estimated 4 million people per year, and concerns about climate change growing, interest in finding ways to clean up transportation is increasing worldwide.

Economists love congestion pricing. Drivers? Not so much.

But voters in cities that have tried it have come to accept it.

The policy typically works by drawing a border around a city’s downtown business district and charging vehicles to cross the border. Some cities have gone beyond congestion charges and impose extra fees based on the vehicle model’s pollution levels.

London keeps track of vehicles with a network of cameras that photograph license plates. In other cities, cars carry electronic tags. Some cities, rather than identifying individual vehicles, simply bar vehicles on certain days based on license plate numbers.

Free roads aren’t free

New York City has begun holding public meetings to work out its congestion pricing plan, the first in the United States.

Under current proposals, drivers would pay between $9 and $23 to drive passenger vehicles south of Central Park, with some exceptions.

The money raised would go toward improving the city’s public transit system.

The idea behind congestion pricing is to make people pay for something that they generally think of as free but isn’t, said Williams College economist Matthew Gibson.

“When I decide to travel a mile on an unpriced public road, I’m not thinking about the cost I’m imposing on other members of society in the form of accident risk, air pollution and congestion,” he said.

Congestion pricing imposes that cost. If the cost is high enough, drivers will look for alternatives such as public transportation, carpooling, biking or walking.

Studies have found that congestion pricing does work for the most part. But it needs to evolve.

For example, in 2008, Milan started charging high-pollution vehicles a fee to enter the city’s central business district. It worked. Traffic cleared up — for a while.

Drivers did what the policy intended for them to do: They replaced their old, dirty vehicles with newer, cleaner ones. And they hit the roads again. Traffic came back.

So, in 2012, the city imposed a congestion fee on all vehicles.

A glimpse at how effective the policy was came when an Italian court put it on hold temporarily in the middle of 2012.

Traffic spiked immediately.

Researchers found that the congestion fee was reducing traffic by 14.5% and lowering air pollution between 6% and 17% — a big drop, considering the pollution fee had already cleaned up vehicle emissions.

Congestion and pollution fees don’t always do much to clear the air, experts say. Sometimes other pollution sources, such as coal-fired power plants or heavy industries, cause more pollution than vehicles, for example. And sometimes other measures, such as increasing vehicle efficiency standards, may make the impact of the fees less obvious.

Winning over voters

What is obvious, studies have found, is how congestion and pollution fees clear the roads.

In Milan, for example, “the immediate result was the reduction of traffic congestion,” said Bocconi University economist Edoardo Croci. “It is an immediate and evident impact that people notice.”

That impact has persuaded voters to keep these policies, even though most were opposed to them at first.

Milan’s pollution fee was not popular when officials proposed it. But voters agreed to expand the fee to all vehicles in 2012 after they saw how the pollution fee had cleared the streets.

The same thing happened in Stockholm. Solid majorities opposed a congestion fee when the city launched a six-month pilot program in 2006. But voters approved it permanently after the pilot ended.

“The initial opposition was only because of the fear of something new,” Croci said. “But once the advantages were evident, most people were in favor of the charge.”

Both cities invested heavily in public transit before the fees kicked in.

That’s critical, experts say. The policy won’t work if people don’t have another option besides driving.

A hard sell in U.S.?

While New York City has an extensive public transit system, congestion pricing “might be a much harder pitch to make for other large U.S. cities,” said economics Ph.D. candidate Matt Tarduno at the University of California, Berkeley.

In sprawling cities such as Los Angeles or Phoenix, he said, “people would say, ‘Well, I don’t want to pay this toll, and if I don’t pay the toll and can’t drive, what else am I going to do?'”

Without good alternatives, congestion fees can hit the poor disproportionately. Critics note that rich people can afford to drive polluting cars downtown if they want.

New York City plans to exempt people earning less than $60,000 per year.

It’s a balancing act, Tarduno said. Lower-income drivers tend to drive older and less efficient cars, which can make the policy less effective.

New York is planning a lengthy public review process, followed by months more to roll out the program. It may be another two years before Manhattan drivers start paying for their pollution and congestion.

Posted by Worldkrap on

G-7 Urges Belarus to End Migrant Crisis

The G-7 group of nations condemned what it called the Belarus government’s “orchestration of irregular migration across its borders” Thursday, as neighboring Poland reported new attempts to cross its border.

“We call on the regime to cease immediately its aggressive and exploitative campaign in order to prevent further deaths and suffering,” the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States said in a joint statement. “International organizations need to be provided with immediate and unhindered access to deliver humanitarian assistance.”

European countries accuse Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko of pushing thousands of migrants, mostly from the Middle East, to cross the border illegally in retaliation for European Union sanctions punishing Belarus for cracking down on pro-democracy protesters. Belarus has denied orchestrating the gathering of migrants at the border.

The G-7 said Thursday that Belarus is trying to “deflect attention” from its violations of international law and human rights. The statement expressed solidarity with Poland as well as two other neighbors of Belarus-Lithuania and Latvia.

Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.