«Один літак (імовірно, Су-34), одну крилату ракету, шість БпЛА ОТР»
«Один літак (імовірно, Су-34), одну крилату ракету, шість БпЛА ОТР»
A hands-off approach to moderating content at Elon Musk’s Twitter could clash with ambitious new laws in Europe meant to protect users from disinformation, hate speech and other harmful material.
Musk, who describes himself as a “free speech absolutist,” pledged to buy Twitter for $44 billion this week, with European Union officials and digital campaigners quick to say that any focus on free speech to the detriment of online safety would not fly after the 27-nation bloc solidified its status as a global leader in the effort to rein in the power of tech giants.
“If his approach will be ‘just stop moderating it,’ he will likely find himself in a lot of legal trouble in the EU,” said Jan Penfrat, senior policy adviser at digital rights group EDRi.
Musk will soon be confronted with Europe’s Digital Services Act, which will require big tech companies like Twitter, Google and Facebook parent Meta to police their platforms more strictly or face billions in fines.
Officials agreed just days ago on the landmark legislation, expected to take effect by 2024. It’s unclear how soon it could spark a similar crackdown elsewhere, with U.S. lawmakers divided on efforts to address competition, online privacy, disinformation and more.
That means the job of reining in a Musk-led Twitter could fall to Europe — something officials signaled they’re ready for.
“Be it cars or social media, any company operating in Europe needs to comply with our rules — regardless of their shareholding,” Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, tweeted Tuesday. “Mr Musk knows this well. He is familiar with European rules on automotive, and will quickly adapt to the Digital Services Act.”
Musk’s plans for Twitter haven’t been fleshed out beyond a few ideas for new features, opening its algorithm to public inspection and defeating “bots” posing as real users.
France’s digital minister, Cedric O, said Musk has “interesting things” that he wants to push for Twitter, “but let’s remember that #DigitalServicesAct — and therefore the obligation to fight misinformation, online hate, etc. — will apply regardless of the ideology of its owner.”
EU Green Party lawmaker Alexandra Geese, who was involved in negotiating the law, said, “Elon Musk’s idea of free speech without content moderation would exclude large parts of the population from public discourse,” such as women and people of color.
Twitter declined to comment. Musk tweeted that “the extreme antibody reaction from those who fear free speech says it all.” He added that by free speech, he means “that which matches the law” and that he’s against censorship going “far beyond the law.”
The United Kingdom also has an online safety law in the works that threatens senior managers at tech companies with prison if they don’t comply. Users would get more power to block anonymous trolls, and tech companies would be forced to proactively take down illegal content.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office stressed the need for Twitter to remain “responsible” and protect users.
“Regardless of ownership, all social media platforms must be responsible,” Johnson spokesman Max Blain said Tuesday.
Need seen for cleanup
Damian Collins, a British lawmaker who led a parliamentary committee working on the bill, said that if Musk really wants to make Twitter a free speech haven, “he will need to clean up the digital town square.”
Collins said Twitter has become a place where users are drowned out by coordinated armies of “bot” accounts spreading disinformation and division and that users refrain from expressing themselves “because of the hate and abuse they will receive.”
The laws in the U.K. and EU target such abuse. Under the EU’s Digital Services Act, tech companies must put in place systems so illegal content can be easily flagged for swift removal.
Experts said Twitter will have to go beyond taking down clearly defined illegal content like hate speech, terrorism and child sexual abuse and grapple with material that falls into a gray zone.
The law includes requirements for big tech platforms to carry out annual risk assessments to determine how much their products and design choices contribute to the spread of divisive material that can affect issues like health or public debate.
“This is all about assessing to what extent your users are seeing, for example, Russian propaganda in the context of the Ukraine war,” online harassment or COVID-19 misinformation, said Mathias Vermeulen, public policy director at data rights agency AWO.
Violations would incur fines of up to 6% of a company’s global annual revenue. Repeat offenders can be banned from the EU.
The Digital Services Act also requires tech companies to be more transparent by giving regulators and researchers access to data on how their systems recommend content to users.
Musk has similar thoughts, saying his plans include “making the algorithms open source to increase trust.”
Penfrat said it’s a great idea that could pave the way to a new ecosystem of ranking and recommendation options.
But he panned another Musk idea — “authenticating all humans” — saying that taking away anonymity or pseudonyms from people, including society’s most marginalized, was the dream of every autocrat.
Elon Musk’s request to scrap a settlement with securities regulators over 2018 tweets claiming he had the funding to take Tesla private was denied by a federal judge in New York.
Judge Lewis Liman on Wednesday also denied a motion to nullify subpoenas of Musk seeking information about possible violations of his settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Musk had asked the court to throw out the settlement, which required that his tweets be approved by a Tesla attorney. The SEC is investigating whether the Tesla CEO violated the settlement with tweets last November asking Twitter followers if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock.
The whole dispute stems from an October 2018 agreement with the SEC in which Musk and Tesla each agreed to pay $20 million in civil fines over Musk’s tweets about having the money to take Tesla private at $420 per share.
The funding was far from secured and the electric vehicle company remains public, but Tesla’s stock price jumped. The settlement specified governance changes, including Musk’s ouster as board chairman, as well as pre-approval of his tweets.
Musk attorney Alex Spiro contended in court motions that the SEC was trampling on Musk’s right to free speech.
World leaders and U.S. political and foreign policy elite paid their respects Wednesday to the late Madeleine Albright, the child refugee from war-torn Europe who rose to become America’s first female secretary of state.
Led by President Joe Biden and former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, the man who picked Albright to be his top diplomat and the highest-ranking woman ever in the U.S. government at that time, some 1,400 mourners gathered to celebrate her life and accomplishments at Washington National Cathedral.
Albright died of cancer last month at age 84, prompting an outpouring of condolences from around the world that also hailed her support for democracy and human rights. Besides the current and former presidents, the service was attended by at least three of her successors as secretary of state along with other current and former Cabinet members, foreign diplomats, lawmakers and an array of others who knew her.
Biden, who delivered a tribute to Albright, said her name was synonymous with the idea that America is “a force for good in the world.”
“In the 20th and 21st century, freedom had no greater champion than Madeleine Korbel Albright,” Biden said. “Today we honor a truly proud American who made all of us prouder to be Americans.”
Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also were scheduled to deliver tributes at the service, while the current secretary of state, Antony Blinken, and former secretaries Condoleezza Rice and John Kerry were slated to attend. Other top current officials expected to be present included Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, CIA Director Bill Burns, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Mark Milley and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan. The members of the VIP audience were masked, as Albright’s family had requested.
Foreign dignitaries invited to the funeral included the presidents of Georgia and Kosovo and senior officials from Colombia, Bosnia and the Czech Republic.
Albright was born in what was then Czechoslovakia, but her family fled twice, first from the Nazis and then from Soviet rule. They ended up in the United States, where she studied at Wellesley College and rose through the ranks of Democratic Party foreign policy circles to become ambassador to the United Nations. Bill Clinton selected her as secretary of state in 1996 for his second term.
Although never in line for the presidency because of her foreign birth, Albright was near universally admired for breaking a glass ceiling, even by her political detractors.
As a Czech refugee who saw the horrors of both Nazi Germany and the Iron Curtain, she was not a dove. She played a leading role in pressing for the Clinton administration to get involved militarily in the conflict in Kosovo. “My mindset is Munich,” she said frequently, referring to the German city where the Western allies abandoned her homeland to the Nazis.
As secretary of state, Albright played a key role in persuading Clinton to go to war against the Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic over his treatment of Kosovar Albanians in 1999. As U.N. ambassador, she advocated a tough U.S. foreign policy, particularly in the case of Milosevic’s treatment of Bosnia. NATO’s intervention in Kosovo was eventually dubbed “Madeleine’s War.”
She also took a hard line on Cuba, famously saying at the United Nations that the 1996 Cuban shootdown of a civilian plane was not “cojones” but rather “cowardice.”
In 2012, Obama awarded Albright the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, saying her life was an inspiration to all Americans.
Born Marie Jana Korbel in Prague on May 15, 1937, she was the daughter of a diplomat, Joseph Korbel. The family was Jewish and converted to Roman Catholicism when she was 5. Three of her Jewish grandparents died in concentration camps.
Albright was an internationalist whose point of view was shaped in part by her background. Her family fled Czechoslovakia in 1939 as the Nazis took over their country, and she spent the war years in London.
After the war, as the Soviet Union took over vast chunks of Eastern Europe, her father brought the family to the United States. They settled in Denver, where her father taught at the University of Denver. One of Korbel’s best students was Rice, who would later succeed his daughter as secretary of state.
Albright graduated from Wellesley College in 1959. She worked as a journalist and later studied international relations at Columbia University, where she earned a master’s degree in 1968 and a Ph.D. in 1976. She then entered politics and what was at the time the male-dominated world of foreign policy professionals.
П’ятеро психологів Офісу омбудсмена не справляються з навантаженням
«Херсонщина – це зона ризикованого землеробства» – за словами голови ОВА, влада запропонувала аграріям утриматися від весняних робіт
Президент Росії назвав такі удари «відповідно-зустрічними». Цей термін вживається у військових доктринах у зв’язку із застосуванням ядерної зброї
The World Health Organization says the war in Ukraine has interrupted lifesaving immunizations in Ukraine, setting back years of progress in countering vaccine preventable diseases.
This is World Immunization Week, a time to celebrate the marvel of vaccines that have saved the lives of countless millions. WHO spokesman Bhanu Bhatnagar spoke about vaccinations at an immunization center in Rivne Oblast, a Ukrainian province near the border with Belarus.
The center is in a technical college that has been repurposed into a home for some 100 internally displaced people. Bhatnagar says he has come here to support the Ukrainian Health Ministry’s rollout of routine and catch-up immunizations for children, adolescents and adults.
“There are many children streaming through. Parents are bringing their children to catch-up on really important lifesaving, potentially life-saving immunizations from measles, to polio, to diphtheria, tetanus, and, as well the COVID-19 vaccine. … Internally displaced people are vulnerable. They have been forced from their homes. The health system is in crisis mode and many of them do not have access to health care.”
Bhatnagar says health needs do not stop in a time of war and it is important to keep up immunization activities, especially during the pandemic. Before the war, he says Ukraine was a poster child when it came to health care reform – and was making great strides in preventing vaccine preventable diseases.
Unfortunately, he says this progress has been derailed. He notes there was a polio outbreak in the country just before the war started. He says a rollout of polio vaccines that began February first was disrupted due to the conflict.
“So, that is why again it is really important that we get a polio vaccine into children’s arms. Even one child with polio means that every child is threatened, any under or unvaccinated child…But at this time only 44 percent of the targeted children have been reached with a polio vaccine and that is approximately 69,000 children.”
The WHO spokesman says COVID-19 vaccines continue to be rolled out despite the challenges of the war. However, the country only has 40 percent coverage across the board, which, he says, is lower than average for the rest of the European region.
Latest reports put the number of coronavirus cases at nearly five million, including more than 108,000 deaths.
The United States and Russia exchanged high-profile prisoners on Wednesday even as the two countries remain sharply at odds over Moscow’s two-month invasion of Ukraine.
Russia freed Trevor Reed, a former U.S. Marine jailed in Russia since 2019 after Russian authorities said he assaulted a police officer when he was detained after a heavy night of drinking and later sentenced to nine years in prison.
Reed’s family had maintained his innocence.
In turn, the U.S. released Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot serving a 20-year sentence in Connecticut for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. after he was arrested in Liberia in 2010 and extradited to the U.S.
While the prisoner swap was unusual, a senior U.S. official described it as a unilateral piece of diplomacy.
“The discussions with the Russians that led to this exchange were strictly limited to these topics, not a broader diplomatic conversation,” the official said.
“It (Reed’s release) represents no change, zero, to our approach to the appalling violence in Ukraine” being carried out by Russia.
Officials would not say where the prisoner exchange occurred, but in the hours before it took place, news accounts identified a plane belonging to Russia’s federal security service as flying to the Turkish capital Ankara. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons also updated its website to reflect that Yaroshenko was no longer imprisoned.
Reed’s parents, Joey and Paula Reed, had long pursued the release of their son, with newspaper ads and signs outside the White House. Their campaign caught the eye of White House officials and they met late last month with President Joe Biden.
“Our family has been living a nightmare. Today, our prayers have been answered and Trevor is safely on his way back to the United States,” Reed’s family said in a statement.
As the release of the two prisoners was announced in Moscow and Washington, Biden said in a statement, “I heard in the voices of Trevor’s parents how much they’ve worried about his health and missed his presence. And I was delighted to be able to share with them the good news about Trevor’s freedom.”
The U.S. leader added, “His safe return is a testament to the priority my administration places on bringing home Americans held hostage and wrongfully detained abroad. We won’t stop until Paul Whelan and others join Trevor in the loving arms of family and friends.”
Other Americans are still being jailed by Russia, including Whelan, a Michigan corporate security executive being held on espionage-related charges that his family contends are bogus, and professional basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained in February after authorities said a search of her bag revealed a cannabis derivative.
Biden said in his statement that the “negotiations that allowed us to bring Trevor home required difficult decisions that I do not take lightly,” although he did not elaborate.
U.S. officials over the years have warily reviewed prisoner swaps for fear that they may encourage more hostage-taking overseas of Americans in hopes of securing the release of foreigners convicted of crimes in the U.S.
VOA’s Nike Ching contributed to this story.
Russia’s Gazprom halted gas supplies Wednesday to Poland and Bulgaria, the latest step in the economic fight linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia has demanded that European nations, many of which rely on Russia for large portions of energy supplies, pay for natural gas in Russia’s currency, the ruble.
Gazprom said Wednesday that Poland and Bulgaria had not done so and would therefore have their gas supplies suspended.
Polish and Bulgarian officials said the Gazprom move amounted to breach of contract.
A number of European Union members have moved to lessen or eliminate their dependence on Russian energy, including by seeking other sources and boosting their use of renewable energy.
“Gazprom’s announcement is another attempt by Russia to blackmail us with gas,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday. “We are prepared for this scenario. We are mapping out our coordinated EU response.”
Russia’s defense ministry said Wednesday its forces carried out missile strikes overnight that destroyed 59 targets in Ukraine, including “hangars with a large batch of foreign weapons and ammunition” sent by the United States and European countries to aid Ukraine’s military.
The United States and its allies signaled Tuesday they are moving swiftly and powerfully to support Ukrainian forces and escalate pressure on Russia’s economy.
The United States at first “needed weeks” to move military equipment and munitions to Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but it now often dispatches new armaments to the Ukrainians within three days.
Blinken said since he and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv over the weekend, the two countries were “largely aligned in what they say they need and what we think we’re able to provide.”
Germany’s government said Tuesday it would send heavy weapons to Ukraine for the first time. Austin, meeting at a U.S. air base in Germany with officials from 40 countries, including NATO members, said Russian President Vladimir Putin “never imagined the whole world would rally behind Ukraine so swiftly and surely.”
“We’re seeing more support every day” to combat the Russian invasion, he said Tuesday. “We don’t have any time to waste. We’ve got to move at the speed of war.”
The White House said Germany’s decision signaled unprecedented unity in the face of Russian aggression.
“The announcement by Germany is in line with announcements we’ve seen by a number of European countries in providing assistance they have never before provided, which is part of the significance here,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. “So, this is an unprecedented change to provide lethal aid to another country, and that’s the significance here from Germany. But I’d also note that Norway provided Mistral anti-aircraft missiles, that a number of countries have provided types of assistance that they have never done in the past, and that really speaks to the significant unity of NATO.”
The U.S. defense secretary also said allies supporting Ukraine would meet monthly to coordinate further aid. As he opened the talks, he said the aim was to “help Ukraine to win the fight against Russia’s unjust invasion and to help build up Ukraine for tomorrow’s challenges.”
Austin also rebuked Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for suggesting that the war could evolve into a nuclear conflict between Russia and the West.
“We certainly will do everything in our power … to make sure it doesn’t spin out of control,” Austin said. “Nobody wants to see a nuclear war. Nobody can win it,” he said, adding that “it’s unhelpful and dangerous to rattle sabers” over a nuclear threat.
Austin’s appeal to allies for more help for Ukraine came a day after he said the U.S. objective in supporting Ukraine was to leave Russia with a “weakened” military. He described Russian casualties so far as “pretty substantial,” with some military analysts saying as many as 20,000 Russian troops have died.
Moscow accused the West of carrying out a proxy war against Russia by sending more munitions to Ukraine and warned of a “considerable” risk that the fighting could evolve into a nuclear conflict.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met Tuesday in Moscow with Putin and Lavrov in an attempt to broker a cease-fire agreement, even as Russia launched new attacks on eastern and southern Ukraine. Guterres then headed to Ukraine, stopping first in Poland to meet with that nation’s president in a city along the Ukrainian border used as a base for American troops and humanitarian efforts.
During the two-hour meeting with Guterres in the Russian capital, Putin agreed “in principle” to allow the U.N. and the International Committee of the Red Cross to assist with the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal iron and steel plant in Mariupol, said Stephane Dujarric, Guterres’ spokesman.
The U.N. chief said that while Russia and the U.N. had “different interpretations of what’s happening in Ukraine,” there was still the possibility for a serious conversation about working to minimize suffering and “end the war as soon as possible.”
Guterres said he wanted to further address the wider impacts of the conflict on the world’s most vulnerable populations amid rising food and energy prices.
Lavrov welcomed Guterres and the U.N.’s desire for dialogue, while accusing Western governments of flouting principles of multilateralism and instead undertaking a unilateral approach to the world.
Russia’s “goals are primarily to protect the civilian population, and here we are ready to cooperate with our colleagues from the U.N. to alleviate the plight of the civilian population,” Lavrov said.
But Ukrainian officials say Russian forces have repeatedly blocked the attempted creation of humanitarian corridors to let civilians escape from the devastation of Mariupol.
Also on Tuesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said American diplomats have taken concrete steps to reestablish a U.S. diplomatic presence in Ukraine.
“I can confirm that the deputy chief of mission and members of the embassy team traveled to Lviv, Ukraine, today, where they were able to continue our close collaboration with key Ukrainian partners,” he said. “Today, they met with interlocutors from the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
National security correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed to this report. Some information came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.
За словами радника голови ОП, причини руйнування воєнної інфраструктури прикордонних областей Росії можуть бути абсолютно різними
Після другого обстрілу фосфорними боєприпасами війська РФ завдали по Авдіївці авіаудару
Урсула фон дер Ляєн вважає, що це «невиправдано і неприпустимо», а також свідчить про ненадійність Росії як постачальника газу.
President Joe Biden will eulogize former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at her funeral Wednesday at the Washington National Cathedral.
The invitation-only service will be livestreamed beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern time.
“When I think of Madeleine, I will always remember her fervent faith that ‘America is the indispensable nation,'” Biden wrote in a statement after Albright’s death last month.
Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also will give speeches, along with Albright’s three daughters. Musicians Chris Botti, Judy Collins, and Herbie Hancock will perform.
Albright, who died last month at age 84, was nominated by President Clinton in 1996 as the country’s 64th secretary of state and the first woman to serve in that position. She had previously served as his U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
An immigrant from Prague, Czechoslovakia, she helped steer Western foreign policy in the aftermath of the Cold War, in addition to promoting human rights and democracy around the world.
During an interview on “PBS NewsHour” last month, President Clinton said that Albright “represented America’s best possible future.”
Her death was “an immense loss to the world in a time when we need the lessons of her life the most,” President Clinton said in a statement.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story gave the incorrect year Albright was nominated to be Secretary of State. President Bill Clinton nominated Albright for the role in 1996; the U.S. Senate confirmed her in 1997.
The road toward Chernobyl is littered with Russian soldiers’ discarded ration boxes and occasional empty bullet shells in a subtle but harrowing warning of the invasion’s terrible risk for the infamous nuclear site.
Tuesday marked the 36th anniversary of what is considered the worst ever nuclear disaster, and there was relief the hulking so-called sarcophagus covering the reactor’s radioactivity remains was back under Ukrainian control.
Soldiers cradling their assault rifles watched over checkpoints, including one with an effigy dressed in Russian fatigues and a gas mask, that guard the way from Kyiv to the sprawling site near the border with Belarus.
Yet concerns are far from dissipated for nuclear sites in Ukraine because Russia’s invasion of its neighbor is grinding on.
Authorities said Tuesday that missiles had flown low over a nuclear power station in a close call in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia.
“They (Chernobyl staff) carried on their work, in spite (of) all of the difficulties. … They got the situation stable, so to speak, in this sense the worst was of course avoided,” U.N. atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi told reporters upon his arrival at Chernobyl.
“We don’t have peace yet, so we have to continue. The situation is not stable. We have to be on alert,” he added, noting the invasion was “very, very dangerous.”
The plant, which fell into Russian hands on the day Moscow’s troops began their invasion in February, suffered a power and communications outage that stirred fears of a possible new calamity at the site.
Those worries stretch back to the events of April 26, 1986, when Chernobyl’s number four reactor exploded, causing the world’s worst nuclear accident that killed hundreds and spread radioactive contamination west across Europe.
‘Ice Cream Chernobyl’
The reactor number four building is now encased in a massive double sarcophagus to limit radioactive contamination, and an area spanning 30 kilometers (18.5 miles) around the plant is considered the exclusion zone that is essentially uninhabited, nuclear authorities say.
Rows of aging and abandoned-looking apartment buildings dot the road into the site and yet some have bright curtains and plants in the windows, while a kiosk labeled “Chernobyl Tour Info” greets people on their way to the plant.
The bullet hole-shattered glass of the nuclear-yellow painted hut bears the signs of the war launched on February 24 that has prompted international condemnation of Russia and backing for Ukraine.
In a sign from a more tourist-friendly time, “Ice Cream Chernobyl” is emblazoned on the side of a refrigerator at the kiosk, with a graphic of a vanilla cone and the radiation warning symbol side-by-side.
Planned to stay
The Russian troops that could easily have rolled past the stand on their way south toward Kyiv had planned to stay in Chernobyl, Ukrainian officials said.
The soldiers dug trenches and set up camps, but in areas like the so-called “Red Forest,” named for the color its trees turned after being hit by a heavy dose of radiation in Chernobyl’s 1986 meltdown.
“Areas with high radiation levels remain here still, but the contamination was moved around due to the actions of Russian occupiers who were using heavy military vehicles,” Ukraine’s Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky told journalists visiting Chernobyl.
It’s a site that has drawn significant international interest because of the scale of the disaster. The original Soviet-era sarcophagus deteriorated over the years so a new one was built over it and was completed in 2019.
But for some in the area, risk is just a fact of life.
“If they (the Russians) wanted to blow it up, they could blow it up when they ran away,” noted Valeriy Slutsky, 75, who said he was present for the power station’s 1986 disaster.
“Maybe I’m used to it (radiation),” he added with a shrug.
«Станом на зараз у нас немає інформації про «прильоти», руйнування інфраструктури, постраждалих або збиті ракети»
Це перші сповіщення про зупинки постачання після того, як Путін заявив, що «недружні» іноземні покупці повинні платити за російський газ у рублях
У результаті удару знищили зенітно-ракетний комплекс «Стріла-10»