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EU Recommends Member States Lift US Tourism Restrictions 

The European Union (EU) Wednesday announced it is recommending that member nations lift COVID-19 restrictions on tourists from the United States, potentially making it easier for U.S. tourists to travel to Europe.Nonessential travel from the U.S. and other nations had been banned in the EU as a precaution to avoid the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. But EU member representatives, meeting in Brussels, agreed Wednesday to add the U.S. to the list of nations from which the ban may be lifted.The recommendation is non-binding, and national governments have authority to require test results or vaccination records and to set other entry conditions.EU officials said the decision to add the U.S. to the list was based on the pace of the U.S. vaccination process, among other factors.In addition to the U.S., EU representatives also added North Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Lebanon and Taiwan to the tourist travel list. The recommendations are expected to be formalized on Friday and come into effect immediately.The move is part of an attempt to restore tourism within and from outside the bloc. Travel into the EU was all but suspended throughout most of the pandemic, causing tourism-dependent national economies to suffer. Last week, the EU approved digital COVID-19 certificates for fully vaccinated citizens to use during travel among the 27 EU member nations. 

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Суд визнав законним конкурс на голову «Приватбанку», попри позов профспілки – пресслужба банку

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Iran’s Interest in Russian Satellite ‘Not Particularly Concerning’ to US Security, CENTCOM Chief Tells VOA

Iran’s reported desire to purchase a Russian advanced satellite system is not “particularly concerning” to U.S. security in the region, according to the commander who oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East.   In an interview with VOA, Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, said Russia’s Kanopus-V satellite is not effective at targeting. “You really can’t do much with it,” he said. “It would probably allow them to see something the size of a school bus, which is not going to be particularly concerning to us.” Earlier this month, U.S. and Middle East officials told The Washington Post that Iranian military officials have been deeply involved in the satellite acquisition and have made multiple trips to Russia since 2018 to work on an agreement to buy the system. While the Kanopus-V is marketed for civilian use, Iranian military officials have been heavily involved in the acquisition, and leaders of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have made multiple trips to Russia since 2018 to help negotiate the terms of the agreement, the officials said. The Koanupus-V is marketed for civilian use, and McKenzie said some commercial imagery options provide better visuals than what the satellite’s high-resolution camera could capture.   “While it might seem attractive to put it (the satellite) into space on a Russian rocket, if that’s the way they want to spend their money and do it, they should go ahead,” he said.    Drone Attacks   Meanwhile, Iranian-backed militia have continued to attack U.S. and NATO forces in Iraq with small, armed drones.    “We’ve been attacked three times over the last little over a month,” McKenzie said. He and other military officials have told VOA that Iran has shifted to using compact, kinetic attacks because their armed drones can cause damage to U.S. resources without amassing casualties, keeping the threat just below a level that might spark retaliation from the United States. “It’s a very dangerous path that they’re on,” warned McKenzie, “and they’re doing it because, as we should remember, they failed and their principal aim, which was a political objective of having us leave Iraq.”   
 
The military is still conducting forensic analysis right now to determine exactly where the drones used in the latest attacks on U.S. forces originated. 

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Зеленський в інтерв’ю іноземним ЗМІ розповів про очікування від зустрічі Байдена і Путіна

16 червня у президента Сполучених Штатів Джо Байдена і президента Росії Володимира Путіна у Женеві зустріч

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Посли ЄС затвердили пакет санкцій проти Білорусі

Посли ЄС затвердили заборону на видачу віз і заморожування активів 78 осіб і 7 організацій, відповідальних за репресії в Білорусі та примусову посадку рейсу Ryanair 23 травня

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У Казахстані пікетують Верховний суд через корупцію у судовій системі

Міжнародні та місцеві правозахисники протягом десятиліть заявляли, що корупція є серйозною проблемою в Казахстані

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Turkey’s Marmara Sea in Battle Against ‘Sea Snot’

Turkey’s Sea of Marmara is battling an explosion of sea algae, dubbed sea snot, which is now threatening an ecological disaster. As Dorian Jones reports for VOA from Istanbul, the mucus-like substance is fast becoming politically toxic as well.

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Federal Judge Blocks Biden’s Pause on New Oil, Gas Leases

The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water was blocked Tuesday by a federal judge in Louisiana, who ordered plans be resumed for lease sales that were delayed for the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed in March by Louisiana’s Republican attorney general Jeff Landry and officials in 12 other states. Doughty’s ruling granting a preliminary injunction to those states said his order applies nationwide.The 13 states said the administration bypassed comment periods and other bureaucratic steps required before such delays can be undertaken. Doughty heard arguments in the case last week in Lafayette.The moratorium was imposed after Democratic President Joe Biden on January 27 signed executive orders to fight climate change. The suit was filed in March. The states opposing the suspension said it was undertaken without the required comment periods and other bureaucratic steps.Federal lawyers also argued that the public notice and comment period doesn’t apply to the suspension, that the lease sales aren’t required by law and that the secretary of the Interior has broad discretion in leasing decisions.Although Landry and the lawsuit’s supporters said the moratorium has already driven up prices and endangered energy jobs, Biden’s suspension didn’t stop companies from drilling on existing leases.”No existing lease has been canceled as a result of any of the actions challenged here, and development activity from exploration through drilling and production has continued at similar levels as the preceding four years,” lawyers for the administration argued in briefs.A long-term halt to oil and gas sales would curb future production and could hurt states like Louisiana that are heavily dependent on the industry that has contributed to global warming.The lawsuit notes that coastal states receive significant revenue from onshore and offshore oil and gas activity. Stopping leases, the lawsuit argues, would diminish revenue that pays for Louisiana efforts to restore coastal wetlands, raise energy costs and lead to major job losses in oil-producing states.