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Posted by Ukrap on

Китай: Сі Цзіньпін підписав указ про «невоєнне» використання армії

Це викликає побоювання, що Пекін може готуватися до вторгнення на Тайвань

Posted by Ukrap on

Ліга націй УЄФА: Україна зіграла внічию з Ірландією

М’ячі у ворота суперників відправили Артем Довбик і Натан Коллінз

Posted by Worldkrap on

US Open Will Allow Russian, Belarusian Tennis Players

Citing “concern about holding individual athletes accountable for the actions and decisions of their governments,” the U.S. Tennis Association will let Russian and Belarusian tennis players participate in the U.S. Open later this summer.

Wimbledon will still maintain the ban on those athletes, which will include the world’s No. 1 player, Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev is the defending U.S. Open champion.

Wimbledon starts June 27 in England. The U.S. Open starts August 29 in New York.

Players from Russia and Belarus will participate under a neutral flag.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Russian athletes have been banned from competing in a variety of sports, including soccer’s World Cup qualifying playoffs.

Some information in this report comes from The Associated Press and Reuters.

Posted by Ukrap on

На Донеччині від початку повномасштабного вторгнення загинули понад 500 цивільних – Кириленко

«За 14 червня росіяни вбили трьох мирних жителів Донеччини: двох у Новоукраїнці та одного у Добропіллі»

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Coinbase Slashes 1,100 Jobs as Crypto Winter Descends

Coinbase Global Inc. will cut about 1,100 jobs, or 18% of its workforce, the cryptocurrency exchange said Tuesday, the latest company preparing to ride out a downturn in the cryptosphere.

The cryptocurrency market has been roiled by extreme volatility as investors dumped risky assets on fears that higher inflation readings would force the U.S. Federal Reserve to turn more aggressive in raising interest rates and tip the economy into a recession.

“We appear to be entering a recession after a 10+ year economic boom. A recession could lead to another crypto winter, and could last for an extended period,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong said in a blogpost.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, tumbled as much as 14% on Monday after crypto lender Celsius Network froze withdrawals and transfers.

Armstrong said employees would receive an email informing them if they had been affected, without giving further details.

Coinbase had earlier this month said it would extend a hiring freeze and rescind several accepted offers to deal with current macroeconomic conditions.

The company’s shares fell about 5% in early trading, set to add to their roughly 80% tumble this year.

The crypto market meltdown has forced companies like BlockFi and Crypto.com to slash hundreds of jobs, while top firms including Meta Platforms and Intel Corp have also tapped the brakes on hiring.

Coinbase had ramped up hiring when the crypto market scaled new highs during the pandemic, growing headcount by nearly four times in just five quarters.

“This level of headcount growth over five quarters was too ambitious, especially given that the company has lived through a crypto winter and knows how regularly volatile this market can be,” KBW analyst Kyle Voigt said in a note to clients on Monday.

Coinbase expects to incur about $40 million to $45 million in total restructuring expenses, largely related to employee severance and other termination benefits.

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Serena Williams Gets Wild-Card Entry for Wimbledon Singles

Serena Williams is going to play at Wimbledon this year, after all. The All England Club announced via Twitter on Tuesday that Williams was awarded a wild-card entry for singles.

Williams has not competed anywhere since getting injured during the first set of her first-round match at the All England Club a year ago. And her name did not appear on the women’s singles entry list released by the grass-court Grand Slam tournament earlier this month.

But Williams was among six women given a spot in the singles draw on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Williams posted a photo of her white shoes on what appears to be a grass court and the message: “SW and SW19. It’s a date. 2022. See you there. Let’s Go.”

“SW” are her initials, of course, and “SW19” is the postal code for Wimbledon.

The 40-year-old American has won seven of her Open era-record 23 major singles championships at Wimbledon, most recently in 2016.

Williams was the runner-up there in 2018 and 2019 (the tournament was canceled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic).

In 2021, Williams lost her footing on the slick grass and then her right leg buckled, leading to just the second mid-match retirement at any Grand Slam tournament of her career and first since 1998.

Posted by Ukrap on

Львівська ОВА: число постраждалих від падіння уламків ракети зросло до 6

«Стан людей лікарі оцінюють як задовільний. Усі вони зараз перебувають на амбулаторному лікуванні»

Posted by Ukrap on

На Івано-Франківщині ППО збила російську ракету – голова ОВА

«Сьогодні під час повітряної тривоги, яка тривала з 12:41 до 13:54, на території нашої області сили ППО збили російську ракету. На щастя, обійшлося без людських жертв та пошкоджень інфраструктури»

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У Раді розповіли, скільки авто завезли в Україну завдяки «нульовому розмитненню»

«Темпи ввезення знову виросли. Ймовірно, вплинули новини про плани скасувати пільги»

Posted by Worldkrap on

Five Nations Revive 51-year-old Security Pact Amid China Threat

Britain and four Asian members of the Commonwealth have announced efforts to expand and re-energize the Five Powers Defense Arrangements (FPDA), a 51-year-old series of mutual assistance agreements embracing the U.K, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and Britain.

At its core, the pact commits the members to consult with one another in the event or threat of an armed attack on any of the FPDA members and to mutually decide what measures should be taken, jointly or separately. There is no specific obligation to intervene militarily.

The pact was established in 1971, following the termination of the United Kingdom’s defense guarantees for what was then known as Malaya.

The issue arose at a breakfast meeting of the Five Power Defense Ministers’ Meeting — which is the core body of the FPDA — on the sidelines of the three-day Shangri-La Dialogue which ended in Singapore on Sunday.

“At the FDMM, the Ministers discussed ways to deepen existing cooperation in conventional domains, as well as grow collaboration in non-conventional and emerging domains, to ensure that the FPDA remained relevant in addressing contemporary security challenges,” Singapore’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

“The FDMM also discussed the important role of the FPDA in building confidence, promoting a rules-based international order, and providing reassurance amidst a climate of heightened geopolitical tensions,” it said.

Malaysia’s senior minister for defense, Hishammuddin Hussein, said at the meeting that his “biggest concern is unintended incidents and accidents that may spiral out of control and make it bigger than what it is.”

Though he did not mention any country by name, the most immediate security threats in the region include a possible attack on Taiwan by China and an accident involving North Korean nuclear missiles.

“If these platforms [such as the FPDA] did not exist, there wouldn’t be any opportunity to manage incidents that do sometimes go out of control,” Hussein said.

Besides Hussein, those attending the meeting were Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, Australia Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Richard Marles, New Zealand Defense Minister Peeni Henare and British High Commissioner to Singapore Kara Owen. All five reaffirmed their commitment to the FPDA.

“Australia is deeply committed to the FPDA,” Marles told journalists at the venue. “It’s not something we take for granted.”

Marles also said FPDA is looking at maritime security and counterterrorism, as well as how to work together to deal with humanitarian issues and the securing of supply chains.

“All of these are fields in which we can work to give the FPDA modern relevance, which we are really keen to do,” he said.

The renewed interest in FPDA follows the establishment in 2007 of the Quad — an informal security dialogue involving Australia, India, Japan, and the United States — and AUKUS, a 2021 security pact among the United States, Britain and Australia.

Despite those newer arrangements, Marles said FPDA remains relevant because it “is based on 50 years of history.”

“AUKUS and the Quad have their roles, and we’re obviously committed to that architecture as well, but something which is as enduring as the FPDA is really precious to Australia.”

Singapore’s Ministry of Defense said that FPDA will continue to promote regional cooperation and contribute constructively to the regional security architecture through regular exercises, dialogues and platforms for professional interaction.

Besides Taiwan and the North Korean nuclear threat, there is also continuing concern in the region about China’s expansive claim to jurisdiction over most of the South China Sea.

“Indeed, the contemporary context of the FPDA leads inescapably to the South China Sea, where China is rubbing up against Malaysia’s offshore claims, raising the possibility that external aggression and conventional warfare could again revisit Southeast Asia,” wrote Euan Graham, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security at the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) in Singapore.

“As the powers cast five wary sets of eyes on the next 50 years, it is far from clear that their long-term vision is aligned,” Graham wrote on the Shangri-La Dialogue website.

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Kremlin: Britain Should Talk to Separatist Leaders Regarding UK Nationals Sentenced to Death

The Kremlin says the United Kingdom should address the leaders of separatist-controlled parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk region and not Moscow over two Britons sentenced to death last week for fighting alongside Ukrainian forces against Russian troops in eastern Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow on Tuesday that British authorities had not turned to Moscow regarding the fate of Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner who, along with Moroccan national Saaudun Brahim, were sentenced to death on June 9 for “mercenary activities” by what separatists called the Supreme Court of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

“They should address the authorities of the country that pronounced the sentences, and that is not the Russian Federation,” Peskov said.

Britain, the United Nations, Ukraine, and Germany have condemned the death sentences.

Aslin’s family said he and Pinner were living in Ukraine when the war broke out in February and “as members of Ukrainian armed forces, should be treated with respect just like any other prisoners of war.”

The father of Saaudun Brahim said on June 13 that his son is also a Ukrainian citizen and should be treated accordingly.

Britain has condemned the sentencing of its citizens as an “egregious breach” of the Geneva Convention, under which prisoners of war are entitled to combatant immunity and should not be prosecuted for participating in hostilities.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on June 14 that she would do whatever was necessary to secure the release of the two.

“I have assured the families that I will do what is most effective to secure their release and I am not going to go into our strategy live on air…The best route is through the Ukrainians,” she told BBC Radio.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on June 11 that she believed the separatist authorities would ultimately act rationally, “for they are well aware of the irreparable implications for them and for the Russians if they take any wrong steps against these three of our soldiers.”

Among U.N. member states, only Russia recognizes the entire Ukrainian province of Donetsk as the Donetsk People’s Republic. The territory is internationally recognized as part of Ukraine.

Posted by Ukrap on

Громада «Захистимо Протасів Яр» у Києві повідомила про загибель свого лідера Романа Ратушного

Posted by Ukrap on

Україна в рамках чергового обміну повернула тіла 64 захисників «Азовсталі» – Мінреінтеграції

У відомстві додали, що процес повернення тіл загиблих українських армійців триває

Posted by Ukrap on

Суд заборонив діяльність партії Мураєва «Наші»

Кошти та інші активи партії, її обласних, міських, районних організацій, первинних осередків та інших структурних утворень передано у власність держави

Posted by Worldkrap on

New Saudi-Sponsored Golf Tour Roils US Golf

A startup professional golf tour backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has roiled the usually staid world of professional golf — the PGA Tour — in the United States.

The PGA suspended 17 professional players last week for participating in the inaugural Saudi tournament, which began June 9.

The new tour, the LIV Golf Invitational Series, has caused controversy for months, in large part because critics of the Saudi regime’s policies claimed it was a way to launder the reputation of the country’s monarchy, particularly that of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The crown prince has been held in disrepute internationally since at least 2018, when agents of his government allegedly assassinated journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul and dismembered his body to hide the evidence. The CIA later concluded that Salman ordered the killing.

U.S. President Joe Biden, who, as a candidate in 2019, declared that Saudi Arabia should be considered a “pariah” state based on its record of human rights abuses, including the Khashoggi killing, is currently attempting a rapprochement with the Saudi regime. He is expected to visit Riyadh in July.

A new approach

The Roman numerals in the new tour’s name — LIV, or 54 — refer to its format. Unlike the traditional PGA Tour, which typically involves four rounds of golf totaling 72 holes, LIV Golf consists of just three rounds, for a total of 54 holes.

LIV Golf markets itself as taking a fresh approach to a sport steeped in history, decorum and understatement. Its tournaments feature loud music, a team format and “shotgun” starts in which all teams begin play at the same time at different holes.

The new tour also offers large purses. On Saturday, South African golfer Charl Schwartzel won the tournament’s top individual prize of $4 million. Schwartzel’s side also won the team competition, splitting an additional $3 million between the four of them.

The Saudis are also reportedly paying top players undisclosed appearance fees, which in some cases might exceed the prize money on offer at specific tournaments.

Indeed, the amount of money the Saudis are pouring into LIV Golf appears be a major reason it has been able to separate well-known players, including Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed, from the PGA Tour.

LIV ‘leverage’

Early this year, American golfer Phil Mickelson, one of the most popular and successful players of his generation, sparked anger after a biographer quoted him weighing the pros and cons of playing in the new league.

Characterizing the Saudi leadership as “scary,” Mickelson said, “We know they killed Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it?”

Mickelson went on to say that he has joined LIV Golf because he saw the new league as a way to force change on the PGA Tour, which he characterized as “manipulative” and “coercive,” toward players.

“The Saudi money has finally given us that leverage,” he said.

Mickelson was immediately dropped by a number of high-profile sponsors. He later apologized and withdrew from professional golf for months. However, he was on hand when the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational London tournament kicked off June 9 in Hemel Hempstead, England.

Dueling statements

As the LIV event began, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan sent a letter to the tour members announcing that 17 players had been suspended for their participation. Ten of them had already voluntarily resigned their PGA Tour membership.

“These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons,” a decision, he wrote, that “disrespects you, our fans and our partners.”

He added: “I am certain our fans and partners — who are surely tired of all this talk of money, money and more money — will continue to be entertained and compelled by the world-class competition you display each and every week, where there are true consequences for every shot you take and your rightful place in history whenever you reach that elusive winner’s circle.”

LIV Golf responded immediately with a statement of its own.

“Today’s announcement by the PGA Tour is vindictive and it deepens the divide between the Tour and its members,” it said. “It’s troubling that the Tour, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for golfers to play the game, is the entity blocking golfers from playing. This certainly is not the last word on this topic. The era of free agency is beginning as we are proud to have a full field of players joining us in London, and beyond.”

‘Staggering’ amount of money

John A. Fortunato, a professor at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, told VOA that the question of “free agency” in golf is not new. Some European players, for example, play in PGA Tour events in the U.S. but also participate in non-PGA events in Europe.

Fortunato, the author of the book Making the Cut: Life Inside the PGA Tour System, also said that freedom from the PGA’s participation rules is probably not the main driver behind some players opting for the LIV, he said.

“The amount of money is staggering,” he said. Indeed, Schwartzel’s $4 million purse in the LIV opener dwarfed the approximately $1.5 million that Rory McIlroy took home for winning a PGA Tour event in Canada on the same weekend.

Television deals and sponsors

Fortunato said the new league’s long-term success will hinge in part on getting television networks to cover its tournaments — a task that will be difficult in the U.S., given that most major broadcast networks as well as cable sports giant ESPN have long-standing relationships with the PGA Tour.

He said another factor will be how two “major” tournaments in the U.S. that are not run by the PGA Tour decide to address the issue of LIV participation.

One of those tournaments, the U.S. Open, begins Thursday, June 16, and appears poised to allow LIV participants to play. But that may be in part because the organizers did not have time to develop a policy toward the new tour.

The next Masters Tournament, held by the Augusta National Golf Club, will not take place until spring 2023. The Masters could prevent LIV participants from playing in Augusta.

“That’s the big domino that I’m watching,” Fortunato said. “And that is the thing that the PGA Tour, I think, is most hoping for.”

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The S&P 500 is in a Bear Market; Here’s What That Means

Wall Street is back in the claws of a bear market as worries about inflation and higher interest rates overwhelm investors. 

The Federal Reserve has signaled it will aggressively raise interest rates to try to control inflation, which is the highest in decades. Throw in the war in Ukraine and a slowdown in China’s economy, and investors have been forced to reconsider what they’re willing to pay for a wide range of stocks, from high-flying tech companies to traditional automakers. Big swings have become commonplace and Monday was no exception. 

The last bear market happened just two years ago, but this is still a first for those investors who got their start trading on their phones during the pandemic. Thanks in large part to extraordinary actions by the Federal Reserve, stocks have for years seemed to go largely in only one direction: up. But the “buy the dip” rallying cry popular after every market slide has grown more fainter — a recent rebound in stock prices was wiped out by a furious bout of selling over the past four days. 

Here are some common questions asked about bear markets 

Why is it called a Bear Market?

A bear market is a term used by Wall Street when an index like the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, or even an individual stock, has fallen 20% or more from a recent high for a sustained period of time. 

Why use a bear to represent a market slump? Bears hibernate, so bears represent a market that’s retreating, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. In contrast, Wall Street’s nickname for a surging stock market is a bull market, because bulls charge, Stovall said. 

The S&P 500, Wall Street’s main barometer of health, slid 3.9% Monday to 3,749. That’s nearly 22% below the high set on Jan. 3. The Nasdaq is already in a bear market, down 32.7% from its peak of 16,057.44 on Nov. 19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is more than 17% below its most-recent peak. 

The most recent bear market for the S&P 500 ran from February 19, 2020, through March 23, 2020. The index fell 34% in that one-month period. It’s the shortest bear market ever. 

What’s bothering investors?

Market enemy No. 1 is interest rates, which are rising quickly as a result of the high inflation battering the economy. Low rates act like steroids for stocks and other investments, and Wall Street is now going through withdrawal. 

The Federal Reserve has made an aggressive pivot away from propping up financial markets and the economy with record-low rates and is focused on fighting inflation. The central bank has already raised its key short-term interest rate from its record low near zero, which had encouraged investors to move their money into riskier assets such as stocks or cryptocurrencies to get better returns. 

Last month, the Fed signaled additional rate increases of double the usual amount are likely in upcoming months. Consumer prices are at the highest level in four decades and rose 8.6% in May compared with a year ago. 

The moves by design will slow the economy by making it more expensive to borrow. The risk is the Fed could cause a recession if it raises rates too high or too quickly. 

Russia’s war in Ukraine has also put upward pressure on inflation by pushing up commodities prices. And worries about China’s economy, the world’s second largest, have added to the gloom. 

So, we just need to avoid a recession?

Even if the Fed can pull off the delicate task of tamping down inflation without triggering a downturn, higher interest rates still put downward pressure on stocks. 

If customers are paying more to borrow money, they can’t buy as much stuff, so less revenue flows to a company’s bottom line. Stocks tend to track profits over time. Higher rates also make investors less willing to pay elevated prices for stocks, which are riskier than bonds, when bonds are suddenly paying more in interest thanks to the Fed. 

Critics said the overall stock market came into the year looking pricey versus history. Big technology stocks and other winners of the pandemic were seen as the most expensive, and those stocks have been the most punished as rates have risen. But the pain is spreading widely, with retailers signaling a shift in consumer behavior. 

Stocks have declined almost 35% on average when a bear market coincides with a recession, compared with a nearly 24% drop when the economy avoids a recession, according to Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at LPL Financial. 

So I should sell everything now, right?

If you need the money now or want to lock in the losses, yes. Otherwise, many advisers suggest riding through the ups and downs while remembering the swings are the price of admission for the stronger returns that stocks have provided over the long term. 

While dumping stocks would stop the bleeding, it would also prevent potential gains. Many of the best days for Wall Street have occurred either during a bear market or just after the end of one. That includes two separate days in the middle of the 2007-2009 bear market where the S&P 500 surged roughly 11%, as well as leaps of better than 9% during and shortly after the roughly monthlong 2020 bear market. 

Advisers suggest putting money into stocks only if it won’t be needed for several years. The S&P 500 has come back from every one of its prior bear markets to eventually rise to another all-time high. 

The down decade for the stock market following the 2000 bursting of the dot-com bubble was a notoriously brutal stretch, but stocks have often been able to regain their highs within a few years. 

How long do bear markets last and how deep do they go?

On average, bear markets have taken 13 months to go from peak to trough and 27 months to get back to break even since World War II. The S&P 500 index has fallen an average of 33% during bear markets in that time. The biggest decline since 1945 occurred in the 2007-2009 bear market when the S&P 500 fell 57%. 

History shows that the faster an index enters into a bear market, the shallower they tend to be. Historically, stocks have taken 251 days (8.3 months) to fall into a bear market. When the S&P 500 has fallen 20% at a faster clip, the index has averaged a loss of 28%. 

The longest bear market lasted 61 months and ended in March 1942 and cut the index by 60%. 

How do we know when a bear market has ended?

Generally, investors look for a 20% gain from a low point as well as sustained gains over at least a six-month period. It took less than three weeks for stocks to rise 20% from their low in March 2020.

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Crowds Returned to Milan Furniture Fair After 2-year Hiatus 

Italy’s furniture and design industry embraced the Milan Furniture Fair after a two-year pandemic delay with unapologetic, over-the-top statement pieces, multi-purpose furnishings adapted to small spaces, and sustainable creations by young designers pushing the industry toward a greener path. 

After a surprising pandemic redecorating boom, the industry is looking to an uncertain future. There are raw materials shortages, higher transport costs and general economic uncertainty generated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Sales of Italian furnishings surged to 16 billion euros (about $16.7 billion) in 2021, a 16% increase over 2019 and 25% more than 2020. 

Despite the murky outlook, the world’s premiere furniture and design fair, known in Italian as Salone del Mobile, kept the focus on innovation as it recorded a rebound in attendance during six days of previews that closed Sunday. 

“Attendance was above expectations,” reaching some 400,000 at both Salone and collateral events that spill out into the city, said Alessia Cappello, Milan’s top economic development official. Two-thirds were from overseas. 

Eye-catching novelties included an oversize gild-framed non-fungible token (NFT); benches that convert to workstations or shaded beds for the homeless; and an elegant, dignified walker whose purpose was disguised by its sculpted shape. 

“It was fantastic to be back at Salone del Mobile,” said Alana Stevens, president of the U.S. furniture maker Knoll. “Much more than a fair, rather a gathering of an incredible global community of those passionate about design. The intersection of designers, artists and the business of design was inspiring.” 

German fashion designer Philipp Plein unveiled his inaugural furniture collection in collaboration with the Dutch brand Eichholtz, which has furnished many of Plein’s own homes in Europe and the United States. 

Plein’s entry into home design closes a circle for the designer, whose first enterprise was designing dog beds. Fittingly, the new collection includes a leather dog bed on a golden frame for a well-appointed pooch. 

“He represents over-the-top luxury, and people want that right now,” said Eichholtz COO Robin Goemans. 

Jet-setters aspiring to Plein’s rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic can settle into a curved velvet sofa with gold studding. They can admire their wardrobe on a marble-pedestal clothing rack fit for a diva, and their sneaker collection in a standing trunk with mirrored interior. A marble table doubles as a pingpong table, and unique NFTs are digitalized into logoed mirrors. 

Plein is just the latest fashion brand to enter the world of furniture design starting in the early 1990s, often by way of homes collections featuring bedding, pillows and towels close to their textile roots. 

“The fashion world understood at a certain point that design was able to capture the popular imagination in a way that was extremely interesting also for clothing brands,” said Marco Sammicheli, director of design at the Triennale design museum. 

On the sidelines of Salone, Sammicheli curated a show at the Triennale of the Memphis Group, a postmodern design movement founded by Ettore Sottsass that made its world debut at the Milan Furniture Fair in 1981. 

The movement pushed the limits between the commercial and the artistic, tensions that still exist between the trade fair, with its commercial aims, and the myriad collateral events where the focus is often more on artistic statements. 

“Memphis is the example that gives the best interpretation of Italian design after Olivetti and before Alessi,” Sammicheli said, referring to the Olivetti business machine manufacturer best known for its typewriter, and the Alessi tableware and décor brand. 

Alessi celebrated its 100th anniversary at Salone with a cutlery collaboration with the late Off-White designer Virgil Abloh. It held an exhibition looking at the family-owned company’s journey from a metal factory to a laboratory for design, and a dinner where invited guests included some of the 300 designers who have worked with the brand in recent decades. 

Abloh’s three-piece cutlery set, dubbed “Occasional Object,” features an industrial design reminiscent of a mess kit, with a carabiner to clip the pieces together and onto the body as a fashion extension easily paired with the popular Off-White 200-centimeter industrial belt. 

Nigerian designer Lani Adeoye won top prize at the SaloneSatellite event with the walker she designed for her grandfather, who rejected the more standard, medical-looking versions. An interlocking arch that represents unity gives her walker a sculptural flair, and the cording made out of water hyacinth connects local artistry with sustainable materials. 

“He is a dignified man who worked at the bank for many years and finds it embarrassing to be out with a walker,” said the 32-year-old designer. “You can have it in your environment, and it looks artistic. No one knows it is a walker.”

Satellite is open to designers under 35 years old, and aims to help them develop relationships with manufacturers and find ways to realize projects that were developed “in full liberty, without needing to take into account production processes,” said Maria Porro, president of Salone. 

The younger generation’s natural hewing to sustainable materials and processes also presents a challenge to the wider industry. Bigger brands are more often heralding sustainable materials. 

That included recycled plastics in the latest iterations of Kartell’s famed Louis Ghost chair by Philippe Starck, but also the Re-Chair collaboration with illy coffee that is made from discarded coffee pods, alleviating somewhat the guilt of the home capsule consumer. 

Knoll introduced an oak chair, bench and stool series by Antonio Citterio called Klismos. Cotton chord is woven into a seat with a light elastic give, and the wood is notched together, so it doesn’t require glue, typically sourced from petroleum products. Leather cushions filled with vegetable fibers are optional. 

While responsibly sourced materials are important, Porro said, the real challenge to the industry is to reduce its energy footprint, doing things like replacing electric light with natural light and producing by order instead of creating stock. Toward that end, the Federlegno association of Italian furniture makers joined the UN Global Compact committing to responsible business practices during the 60th Salone last week. 

“We need sustainable production, that is the real challenge,” Porro said. “It is a question of culture.”

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Top Campaign Advisers Testify Trump Pushed Fraudulent Election Claims   

The investigation into the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol resumed Monday, as congressional investigators alleged former President Donald Trump falsely advanced claims of fraud in the 2020 election despite warnings from his closest advisers. VOA’s congressional correspondent Katherine Gypson has more. Produced by Katherine Gypson 

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Texas Shooting Records Could Be Blocked by Legal Loophole

As public pressure mounts for more information on the deadly Uvalde school shooting, some are concerned that Texas officials will use a legal loophole to block records from being released — even to the victims’ families — once the case is closed.

Since the May 24 shooting at a Texas elementary school that left 19 kids and two teachers dead, law enforcement officials have provided little or conflicting information, sometimes withdrawing statements hours after making them. State police have said some accounts were preliminary and may change as more witnesses are interviewed.

A number of questions remain unanswered by authorities: Why did police take more than an hour to enter the classroom and confront the gunman? What do their body cameras show? How did law enforcement officers communicate with one another and the victims during the attack? What happened when dozens of officers gathered outside the classroom, yet refrained from pursuing the shooter?

Officials have declined to release more details, citing the investigation. In a letter received Thursday by The Associated Press and other media outlets, a law firm representing the City of Uvalde asked for the Texas attorney general’s office to rule on records requested in relation to the shooting, citing 52 legal areas — including the section containing the loophole — that they believe exempt the records from being released. Amid the growing silence, lawyers and advocates for the victim’s families are beginning to fear they may never get the answers, that authorities will close the case and rely on the exception to the Texas Public Information law to block the release of any further information.

“They could make that decision; they shouldn’t have that choice,” said Democratic state Rep. Joe Moody of El Paso, who since 2017 has led several efforts to amend the loophole. “To understand what our government is doing should not be that difficult — and right now it is very difficult.”

The law’s exception protects information from being released in crimes for which no one has been convicted. The Texas Attorney General’s Office has ruled that it applies when a suspect is dead. Salvador Ramos, the 18-year-old man who police say was responsible for the mass killing at Robb Elementary School, was fatally shot by law enforcement.

The loophole was created in the 1990s to protect those wrongfully accused or whose cases were dismissed, according to Kelley Shannon, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. “It is meant to protect the innocent,” Shannon said. But she said that in some cases “it is being used and misused in a way that was never intended.”

Following the shooting, Texas House of Representatives Speaker Dade Phelan, a Republican, took to Twitter to voice his continued support for closing the loophole during the Texas Legislature’s next session, which begins in January 2023.

“More than anything, the families of the Uvalde victims need honest answers and transparency,” Phelan tweeted. He said it would be “absolutely unconscionable” to deny information based on the “dead suspect loophole.”

Charley Wilkison, executive director of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, said the organization was opposed and “will always be opposed” to a loophole amendment proposed in previous years that he said would have allowed the release of records pertaining to law enforcement officers, even those falsely accused of wrongdoing. He said that would negatively affect the officers’ ability to keep working. But Wilkison said he would be willing to participate in future discussions in an attempt to find a middle ground.

Public focus in the Uvalde shooting has been on school district police Chief Pete Arredondo. Steven McCraw, head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said recently that Arredondo believed the active shooting had turned into a hostage situation, and that he made the “wrong decision” to not order officers to breach the classroom more quickly to confront the gunman.

Arredondo has not responded to requests for comment from The Associated Press. In an interview with The Texas Tribune published Thursday, however, he said he did not consider himself in charge of the law enforcement response and assumed someone else had taken control.

The New York Times reported Thursday that it obtained documents showing police waited for protective equipment as they delayed entering the campus, even as they became aware that some victims needed medical treatment.

If efforts to amend the public information loophole fail and law enforcement continues to refuse to release information, families could turn to any involved federal agencies. In one case in Mesquite, Texas, the parents of an 18-year-old who died after being arrested received records from federal authorities showing that police had used more force against their son than they had originally understood. The police had refused to turn over any information under the legal loophole.

“If someone dies in police custody, this is when we would want to open all of our records,” the father, Robert Dyer, said as he testified before the legislature in 2019 in favor of amending the legal exception.

Mayra Guillen said she and her family were stymied by the state loophole when they tried to get details on a case involving her sister Vanessa Guillen. Authorities say the 20-year-old soldier was killed at a Texas military base by fellow soldier Aaron Robinson, who then disposed of her body.

Military officials and law enforcement said Robinson pulled a gun and shot himself as police were trying to make contact with him. But local police wouldn’t allow Vanessa Guillen’s family to view the officers’ body camera footage of the confrontation because the suspect hadn’t been convicted, Mayra Guillen said.

“We were honestly just trying to receive closure and see if what was being said was true,” Guillen said. “It is only right to have these records be public to some extent. It is so hard to tell whether there will be justice or not.”