Уряд очікує отримати 2-2,5 млрд гривень від легалізації грального бізнесу

Кабінет міністрів України очікує отримати 2-2,5 мільярда гривень від легалізації грального бізнесу, повідомив прем’єр-міністр Олексій Гончарук.

«Ми розраховуємо, що близько 2-2,5 млрд гривень за рахунок легалізації бізнесу у бюджет отримаємо, але, звичайно, треба рахувати», – сказав Гончарук.

29 вересня Кабінет міністрів ухвалив проєкт закону про легалізацію грального бізнесу в Україні. Згідно з повідомленням пресслужби уряду, документ передбачає, що азартні ігри будуть проводитися винятково на території готелів і на гральному обладнанні з використанням програмного забезпечення, яке відповідає міжнародним стандартам.

В Україні діяльність закладів із азартними іграми заборонена від 2009 року.

На міжбанку зросли котирування долара

На українському міжбанківському валютному ринку 30 вересня дещо зросли котирування долара. За даними сайту «Мінфін», станом на 12:00 торги відбувалися на рівні 24 гривні 17,5–20,5 копійки за долар.

Орієнтуючись на показники міжбанку, Національний банк України встановив довідкове значення курсу на рівні 24 гривні 16 копійок за долар, це на 8 копійок більше за офіційний курс на 30 вересня.

Офіційний курс на понеділок є рекордним за понад 44 місяці – від січня 2016 року.

На український валютний ринок нині прийшли значні ресурси, які іноземці вводять для купівлі облігацій внутрішньої державної позики. За підрахунками експертів, за 9 місяців нерезиденти викупили таких облігацій на суму понад 100 мільярдів гривень, тобто завели на український ринок близько 4 мільярдів доларів. На курс також впливає позитивна кон’юнктура щодо товарів українського експорту.

Former President Jimmy Carter Marks 95th Birthday

Four years after battling life-threatening cancer in his liver and brain, and four months after falling and breaking his hip, requiring surgery and weeks of intense physical therapy, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter took the stage September 18, unassisted, here for the Annual Jimmy Carter Emory University Town Hall, which he’s participated in, uninterrupted, for 38 years.

Standing without assistance for more than 30 minutes, addressing topics ranging from current polarized U.S. politics to his favorite animal, Carter, a distinguished professor at Emory, showed no signs of fatigue or pain as he enthusiastically answered question after question from those who gathered in the cavernous campus gymnasium by the thousands to hear him speak.

“Before this I really didn’t know much about President Carter,”  freshman Stephanie Teng said. “I feel so fortunate to be here.  I know that many students won’t have this opportunity in their lifetime, and this is a uniquely Emory thing, and something I’ll remember the rest of my life.”

“I think it’s a problem when we overly lionize political figures, but I do have a great deal of respect for Jimmy Carter,” another freshman, Gian-Luigi Zaninelli, said. 

“I’ve heard a great many conservatives being credibly critical of Jimmy Carter and basically view him as an ineffectual president,”  he said. However, Zaninelli said that comes from Carter’s presidential term, from 1977 to 1981.

“Because of the good works he’s been doing over the course of the last 30 or more years, we have a high opinion of him as a human being,” Zaninelli said.  “What is indisputable is that Jimmy Carter cares about other people and devotes himself to service, and when he did serve as a president, regardless of the success of his policies, he was doing so as a servant leader and not someone who was intending to enrich himself.”

“I would say I still adhere to the advice my school principal gave me, ‘You must accommodate to changing times – and these are really changing times – but cling to principles that never do change,’” Carter told VOA in an exclusive interview at the Atlanta-based Carter Center.

WATCH: VOA interview with President Carter

President Jimmy Carter Interview September 2019 video player.

“So I have faith in those principles, like telling the truth, and helping other people.”

Carter this year became the oldest living former president in U.S. history, surpassing George H.W. Bush for the record, and October 1 becomes the first former occupant of the White House to reach 95.

He reaches the milestone while continuing to engage with new and younger audiences born years after his presidency, and to work on the sorts of projects that have characterized his post-presidency life.

He is still involved in the Carter Center, which he leads with Rosalynn, his wife of 73 years, and which “wages peace, fights disease, and builds hope” around the world through programs including election monitoring, the elimination of river blindness, and the eradication of Guinea worm disease, among others, he told VOA.

“We still have in the neighborhood of 25 cases of Guinea worm, but we started out with three and a half million,” Carter said, with most of those cases in Africa.

During an August 2015 press conference here, when Carter told the world he was battling cancer that had spread to his brain, he said his one key hope was to witness the eradication of Guinea worm disease in his lifetime. 

There have been setbacks in the Guinea worm fight, including new cases of transmission between dogs, which can pass the worm to humans through water sources, that could ultimately jeopardize his hopes.

“We think we’ve prevented maybe 80 million people from having Guinea worm who may have had it otherwise,” Carter said, “So we’ve made very good progress but we still have a little ways to go.”  

While staff and volunteers around the world continue to work on the various peace and health initiatives that President and Mrs. Carter have championed since establishing the center in 1986, the former peanut farmer continues to participate in the annual weeklong Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project with Habitat for Humanity, a global nonprofit housing organization, building homes for those who need them most.  This year’s event is in Nashville, Tennessee, occurring soon after Carter’s birthday.

While there are no further signs of cancer and Carter says he is in relatively good health, he concedes age may finally be catching up with him.

“I still feel just about as active as I ever was, but my overseas movements are restrained because of age and health.  I used to travel to Africa three or four times a year, and always to China and so forth, so I’ve cut back on my foreign travel,” he said. 

Nevertheless, Carter remains an admired figure.

“President Carter is a kind of secular saint in America today,”  Joe Crespino, the Jimmy Carter professor of history and chair of the history department at Emory University, said.  He said Carter has set a high standard for what is expected of U.S. presidents once they leave office.

“His longevity, his commitment to doing as much good as he can do on the time he had left on earth is really a remarkable model, not just for his fellow Americans but for people around the globe,” he said.

Students Turn to Sugar Daddies for Financial Aid

Liv first met Bill in 2016 when she was a college student and $5,000 in debt from student loans.

Making rent was next to impossible, she said, but Bill helped her manage her expenses and finances better. They saw each other a few times a week, and soon Bill was paying Liv’s tuition and rent. He sent her on exotic trips to Europe and Thailand. They moved in together.

“He taught me how to do my taxes. He taught me how to get my own car insurance. He helped me pay back student loans,” Liv said. “He just taught me so much and he didn’t have to do any of it.

“I actually grew real feelings for him.”

“Actually” because Liv was 24 and Bill was 70 when they connected on SeekingArrangement, an online sugar-dating site that promotes itself as offering “upfront and honest arrangements with someone who will cater to your needs.” 

Typically, the arrangements are between young women (sugar babies) and older men (sugar daddies) with money. Sugar babies seek financial assistance in return for company. Most of the sources VOA Student Union interviewed said financial arrangements often, but not always, include sex in return.

“Join the more than 2.7 million students in the United States who have turned to SeekingArrangement and Sugar Daddies to avoid student debt and secure a better future,” according to their website. VOA Student Union made several attempts for comment from SeekingArrangement. 

Liv said she was seeking financial support for student debt and other expenses, and Bill was happy to help. 

“On that second date, he gave me $2,000…which paid for about four or five months of campus housing,” she said. 

Bill loved to treat Liv, she said, and sent her on international vacations. When they had been dating for nine months, Bill sent Liv on a vacation to Thailand. While there, she got a call that Bill had cancer that had metastasized. After she flew home, she slept by his hospital bedside almost every night. A month later, he died.

Bill bequeathed Liv more than $60,000 in an investment fund. 

“The money is definitely a big help for me. It helped me move out of the state, helped me get my own place, helped me get a new car,” she said. 

Exchanging companionship for financial support is not novel, but the internet has allowed people to connect more easily. That, combined with record-high tuition debt for many students — $37,000 on average or $1.6 trillion combined nationwide — has some students looking for alternative methods of debt relief. Some, like Liv, become sugar babies. 

She’s not alone. At Georgia State University in Atlanta — which registered the most sugar babies of all U.S. colleges, according to SeekingArrangement — more than 1,300 students signed up in 2018. Hundreds of students have signed up at schools in Florida, Alabama, New Jersey, California, Texas and Missouri. 

Is it all about sex?

Some women, like Liv, are well compensated in a mutual relationship. 

“Sometimes it’s not about sex,” Samantha, a college senior, explained. “Some men are just lonely. Some of them really are looking for someone to hang out with.”

But for others like Helene, the sugar daddies were domineering and violent. 

“It’s very rare for sugar babies to find a man that is not looking for sex,” Helene said. When one partner pays for everything, many men feel they are entitled to dominate the relationship.

“I knew that the only way for me to make money was to either sell drugs or get a sugar daddy,” she said. 

In this Tuesday, July 16, 2019 photo a passer-by appears in silhouette while walking past the Ray and Maria Stata Center, behind, on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Mass.

A 20-year-old international student in the United States, her visa does not allow her to work in the U.S. She says she doesn’t want to burden her family financially. Through SeekingArrangement, she met a 27-year-old man who at first seemed normal, but then became aggressive.

He asked Helene to do things outside their agreement. He told her he would send her $1,000 immediately to have sex with him. 

“I was stupid and scared, so I did what I had to do,” Helene said.

When she asked for payment, he taunted her and refused. As she tried to leave, he “took his T-shirt off, wrapped it around my head and tangled it around my neck. … I really thought he was going to keep me hostage.” 

Another man Helene met ignored sexual consent. After three months together, he became forceful and “stopped caring about what I thought was uncomfortable. … He would get rougher and more violent with me as if he liked it when I told him to stop.” 

Sugar daddies often expect babies to adopt submissive roles in exchange for the money and gifts they receive. 

“Some guys, they give you money and they think they have access to you 24/7, like you can never tell them no,” said Liv, who returned to sugaring after Bill died. 

Helene said her experiences “kind of ruined my relationship to sex. … I didn’t like to be touched … or hugged from behind … because of what my sugar daddies did to me.”

Still, she is not ready to abandon sugaring, she said. 

“It hasn’t changed my relationship to the sugar baby/sugar daddy world, because I need the money,” she said.

Men, too

Men are sugar babies, too. Antonio found his first sugar daddy when he was 18. 

“I tried to hang out where I knew men with money hung out, because I had no idea what I was doing,” he said. Like Liv and Helene, he needed money for college. His first sugar daddy paid Antonio’s tuition and gave him money for school books and shopping sprees. 

Antonio said he misses the perks of sugar dating. 

“I work two jobs now … I want to be able to afford the things I once had. I got accustomed to that lifestyle,” he added.

Samantha said she just wanted exciting experiences with a mature partner. “I don’t really have any real need for money. [It’s] not something that interests me.” 

She said she preferred the no-strings-attached nature of sugar dating. “[I wanted] something that wouldn’t be too normal, something that would be more casual … something that wouldn’t get boring.”

Social stigma

Many people see sugar dating as a form of prostitution, or sex work, which is defined as a consensual sexual encounter between two or more adults in exchange for payment. The legal status of sex work is debated all over the world. In the United States, public opinion on sex work appears to favor its criminalization

Sweta Patel, a criminal defense attorney in Washington, D.C., said that while there are similarities between sex work and sugar dating, the difference in a sugar relationship is sex and money may be one part of the relationship, but not all. 

Patel makes another distinction between sugar babies and sex workers.

“The sugar-daddy model is two consenting adults, while often in sex work, that is not always the case,” she said.

Patel said undercover law enforcement monitors websites like SeekingArrangement for relationships that cross into sex work. 

“I’m so naive, so I’ve never thought about that,” Helene said. 

Because of sex-trafficking and recently passed legislation to control it, such as the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), many apps like SeekingArrangement closely monitor messaging. Last year, the popular online classified site Craigslist stopped offering personal ads because they were being used by sex traffickers. 

Free to make choices

Ultimately, say some sugar babies, they are adults engaging in adult relationships on their own terms.

“So many so-called romantic relationships are based on how much money or status or how good looking someone is,” Liv said. “How is that more honest?”

“You give your girlfriends and wives money and pay their bills. The one difference here is the age,” she said. “On the other hand, I would say this lifestyle is not for everyone, and not for everyone to approve of or understand. But it works for us and that’s all that matters.” 

Helene says the economics are the last word for her. 

“Most people think that sugar babies are too lazy to work and make money or (are) gold-diggers, but that’s not always the case,” Helene said. “If I wasn’t in this situation that I’m in, I would never do this. I don’t like giving my body to strangers I don’t know, but if that’s the way for me to get an income, then that’s what I’ll do.” 

НБУ встановив новий рекордний курс гривні

Національний банк України встановив на 30 вересня курс 24 гривні 8 копійок за одиницю американської валюти, це на 11 копійок менше за поточний курс і є новим рекордом за понад 44 місяці – від січня 2016 року.

Наступний орієнтир – 23 гривні 95 копійок, таким офіційний курс був 15 січня 2016 року.

На торгах міжбанківського валютного ринку 27 вересня регулятор викупив близько 20 мільйонів доларів, цього вистачило, що не допустити зміцнення гривні до менш як 24 гривень за долар.

На український валютний ринок нині прийшли значні ресурси, які іноземці вводять для купівлі облігацій внутрішньої державної позики. За підрахунками експертів, за 9 місяців нерезиденти викупили таких облігацій на суму понад 100 мільярдів гривень, тобто завели на український ринок близько 4 мільярдів доларів. На курс також впливає позитивна кон’юнктура щодо товарів українського експорту.

China Spurns US Criticism of Economic Cooperation With Afghanistan

A regional Chinese diplomat has rebuked the United States for being “ignorant” about his country’s ongoing key economic contributions and cooperation with Afghanistan.

Arrangements are being worked out to enhance the cooperation with Kabul even under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Yao Jing, the Chinese ambassador to neighboring Pakistan told VOA.

He hailed Saturday’s successful Afghan presidential election, saying China hopes they will boost peace-building efforts in a country wrecked by years of conflicts.

“We hope that with the election in Afghanistan, with the peace development moving forward in Afghanistan, Afghans will finally achieve a peaceful period, achieve the stability,” said the Chinese diplomat, who served in Kabul prior to his posting in Islamabad.

Earlier this month, U.S. officials and lawmakers during a congressional hearing in Washington sharply criticized China for its lack of economic assistance to Afghan rebuilding efforts.

“I think it’s fair to say that China has not contributed to the economic development of Afghanistan. We have not seen any substantial assistance from China,” Alice Wells, U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, told lawmakers.

Wells, however, acknowledged that Beijing has worked with Washington on a way forward on peace as have other countries, including Russia and immediate neighbors of Afghanistan.

“She is a little ignorant about what China’s cooperation with Afghanistan is,” ambassador Yao said when asked to comment on the remarks made by Wells.

He recounted that Beijing late last year established a trade corridor with Kabul, which Afghan officials say have enabled local traders to directly export thousands of tons of pine nuts to the Chinese market annually, bringing much-needed dollars. Yao said a cargo train was also started in 2016 from eastern China to Afghanistan’s landlocked northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

China is also working on infrastructure projects, including the road linking Kabul to the eastern city of Jalalabad and the road between the central Afghan city of Bamiyan and Mazar-e-Sharif. Chinese companies, Yao, said are also helping in establishing transmission lines and other infrastructure being developed under the CASA-1000 electricity transmission project linking Central Asia to energy-starved South Asia nations through Afghanistan.

Ambassador Yao noted that China and Afghanistan signed a memorandum of understanding on BRI cooperation, identifying several major projects of connectivity.

“But the only problem is that the security situation pose a little challenge. So, that is why China and Pakistan and all the regional countries, we are working so hard trying to support or facilitate peace in Afghanistan,” he said.  

For her part, Ambassador Wells told U.S. lawmakers that China’s BRI is a “slogan” and “not any reality” in Afghanistan. “They have just tried to lockdown lucrative mining contracts but not following through with investment or real resources,” she noted.

Wells said that Washington continues to warn its partners, including the Afghan government about “falling prey to predatory loans or loans that are designed to benefit only the Chinese State.”

U.S. officials are generally critical of BRI for “known problems with corruption, debt distress, environmental damage, and a lack of transparency.” The projects aims to link China by sea and land through an infrastructure network with southeast and central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

But Yao rejected those concerns and cited the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a pilot project of BRI, which has brought around $20 billion in Chinese investment to Pakistan within the past six years. It has helped Islamabad build roads and power plants, helping the country overcome its crippling electricity shortages, improve its transportation network and operationalize the strategic deep-sea Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea.


Міністр інфраструктури розповів, що хочуть зробити з «Укрпоштою»

Міністр інфраструктури Владислав Криклій розповів в інтерв’ю Радіо Свобода, яким бачить розвиток «Укрпошти».

За його словами, попри те, що «Укрпошту» виключили з переліку об’єктів, які не можна приватизувати, держава не планує віддавати стратегічний об’єкт у приватні руки.

«Що стосується приватизації, то я не впевнений, що ми будемо обирати модель Бразилії – там вони повністю національного оператора віддали під приватизацію. Тому що це питання все ж таки стратегічної інфраструктури. Не зовсім правильно і безпечно віддавати її у приватні руки, наша філософія – стратегічні об’єкти мають залишатися у держави», – сказав Криклій.

Наразі, вважає він, найімовірнішим є варіант залучення стратегічного партнера, який буде інвестувати у проект.

«Ми тут скоріше будемо говорити про стратегічного інвестора, партнера. Бажано було б, щоб це був хтось з великих e-commerce проектів світових – я не знаю, наприклад, Amazon, Alibaba – от хто буде готовий заходити. Тоді ми зможемо отримати великий імпульс і велику кількість інвестицій у логістичні центри, щоб покращувати ці процеси вже спільно з великими e-commerce-проектами, з інтернет-гігантами працювати і давати кращу якість послуг», – розповів Криклій.

За його словами, міністерство веде перемови, утім, говорити про результати наразі зарано.

«Але те, що ми будемо до цього готуватися, то це факт. Тому що це найкраще, що може статися з «Укрпоштою», – якщо ми знайдемо стратегічного партнера, який не просто хоче зайти з метою спекуляції, тобто зайшов, купив, потім дорожче продав. Це нас не цікавить. Нас цікавить стратегічний інвестор, який почне вкладати», – сказав він.

Також міністр інфраструктури сподівається, що Верховна Рада ухвалить законопроект, який дозволить відділенням «Укрпошти» «займатися фінансовими послугами».

«Укрпошта» розширить перелік своїх можливостей і пропозицій фінансових, які буде надавати. Це будуть і мобільні банківські відділення, і, як ви кажете, магазинчик, і, в принципі, зв’язок з зовнішнім світом», – сказав Криклій.

Також він додав, що «Укрпошта» буде «рухатися у напрямку запуску мобільних пунктів, перевезень».

«Укрпошта» входить до сфери управління Міністерства інфраструктури України. Підприємство надає понад 50 різновидів послуг через 12 тисяч відділень по всій Україні. Штат компанії налічує близько 76 тисяч співробітників.

Netanyahu, Gantz Trade Blame Over Breakdown in Israel Coalition Talks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz traded blame Sunday over the failure so far of efforts to reach a unity government deal following deadlocked elections.
A new round of negotiations between Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud and Gantz’s centrist Blue and White broke down Sunday and the two sides appeared far from reaching a compromise.
Likud said Netanyahu would make a “last effort” to reach a deal before informing President Reuven Rivlin he is unable to form a government.
That would leave Rivlin to decide whether to ask Gantz to try to do so or call on parliament to agree on a candidate for prime minister by a vote of at least 61 out of 120 members.
Netanyahu “will make a last effort to realize the possibility of forming a government at this stage, before returning the mandate to the president,” Likud said in a statement.
It called the latest round of negotiations a “big disappointment.”
Blue and White accused Likud of “throwing around slogans with the sole aim of generating support in preparation for dragging Israel into another round of elections at the behest of Netanyahu.”
This month’s poll was the second this year, after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition following April polls.
Israel marks the two-day Rosh Hashanah holiday beginning Sunday night and serious negotiations are not expected during that time.
Likud wants to negotiate on the basis of a compromise set out by Rivlin to form a unity government, which takes into account the possibility of Netanyahu being indicted for corruption in the weeks ahead.
The proposal could see Netanyahu remain prime minister for now, but step aside if indicted.
Gantz would step in as acting premier under such a scenario.
Netanyahu also says he will not abandon the smaller right-wing and religious parties supporting him in parliament, giving him a total of 55 seats backing him for prime minister.
Blue and White says Gantz must be prime minister first under any rotation arrangement, since it finished with the most seats in September 17 elections.
Blue and White won 33 seats, just ahead of Likud’s 32, but neither have a clear path to a majority coalition.
Gantz has 54 parliament members backing him for prime minister, but 10 are from Arab parties who say they will not serve in the ex-military chief’s government.
Rivlin tasked Netanyahu with trying to form a government Wednesday and he has 28 days to do so, with a two-week extension possible.
The deadlocked vote has threatened Netanyahu’s reign as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.
If another election is called due to the standoff, it would be Israel’s third in a year.


China to Send Top Trade Negotiator to US For Talks

China says its top trade negotiator will lead an upcoming 13th round of talks aimed at resolving a trade war with the United States.

Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said Sunday that Vice Premier Liu He would travel to Washington for the talks sometime after China’s National Day holiday, which ends Oct. 7.
Wang repeated the Chinese position that the two sides should find a solution on the basis of mutual respect and benefit.
The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on Chinese imports in a bid to win concessions from China, which has responded with tit-for-tat tariffs. The escalating dispute between the world’s two largest economies has depressed stock prices and poses a threat to the global economy.

Ongoing Crises in Somalia Impede Progress Toward Stability

A U.N. Human Rights Expert warns a host of natural and man-made disasters is impeding Somalia’s efforts to stabilize the country and improve conditions for its population.  The U.N. human rights council examined the expert’s report this past week.

This is the independent expert’s last report to the Council before his mandate expires.

Bahame Nyanduga said a number of changes have taken place in Somalia over the past six years, many for the better. He said there has been considerable progress in the security, political, socio-economic and human rights situation in the country.

Unfortunately, he said during that period, the conflict with the militant al-Shabab group has continued. He said the clampdown on freedom of expression and other rights, and the failure to hold perpetrators of crimes accountable have continued.

“Somalia has suffered grave human rights violations, in particular the endemic loss of lives due to improvised terrorist bombs by al-Shabab, inter clan violence, and the absence of the rule of law. Violations of the rights of women, through conflict related gender-based violence, and other sexual offenses such as rape…Violations of children’s rights, including abduction and forced recruitment by al-Shabab,” he said.

Besides the man-made disasters, Nyanduga notes Somalia has had to contend with climatic and natural disasters, which have displaced 2.6 million people.  He said climate change has exacerbated the competition for pastures and water, which are critical for pastoralism in Somalia.

“Access to water is a fundamental human right. Addressing the problem of water scarcity will contribute significantly to the peace and the reconciliation among clans, because it has been identified as one of the problems creating inter clan conflicts,” said Nyanduga.

Tanzanian human rights attorney, Nyanduga urges the International community to continue its assistance to Somalia. He says helping the government strengthen its institutions will boost the probability of the country one day achieving the peace, security and stability it needs and deserves.


«Укрзалізницю» розділять на три компанії – міністр інфраструктури

Міністр інфраструктури Владислав Криклій заявив, що «Укрзалізницю» планують розділити на три компанії. Про це він розповів в інтерв’ю Радіо Свобода.

За його словами, уряд спільно з Верховною Радою розробляє відповідний законопроєкт.

«Один оператор буде відповідати за доступ до інфраструктури. Тобто за всю мережу, за електрифікацію, займатися капітальними вкладеннями у підтримку, експлуатацію, розбудову мережі. Другий оператор буде займатися пасажирськими перевезеннями, які збиткові, проблемні. І там будемо ставити за «кіпіай», власне, мінімізувати ці збитки, максимально до нуля. І третій – це прибутковий, який буде генерувати прибутки для держави. Це вантажні перевезення», – розповів Криклій.

Відтак, на запитання чи будуть змінювати нинішнього очільника «Укрзалізниці» відповів, що керівник «апріорі не може залишатися один».

«Тобто «стілець» буде розділений. Тому у будь-якому разі навіть чинному керівнику все одно доведеться обирати, куди він захоче піти, тому що це будуть три різні посади», – сказав Криклій.

Читайте також: Міністр інфраструктури Владислав Криклій про Гончарука, Авакова, авіапростір із Росією та дороги

Раніше Владислав Криклій повідомляв, що Міністерство інфраструктури хоче повернути собі контроль над «Укрзалізницею». Відповідні зміни до положення про «Укрзалізницю вже готуються.

18 січня 2017 року Кабінет vіністрів України на позачерговому засіданні затвердив новий статут ПАТ «Укрзалізниця», згідно з яким, Мінінфраструктури втратило право бути органом управління компанії. У новій редакції статуту міністерство позбавили можливості підписувати договори з головами наглядової ради та контракт з головою правління «Укрзалізниці». Також Мінінфраструктури позбавили права визначати напрямки діяльності компанії, впливати на кількість акцій, затверджувати фінансовий план, річний звіт, чисельність персоналу.

Мінінфраструктури хоче передати у концесію залізничний вокзал Києва

Міністерство інфраструктури спільно з «Укрзалізницею» планує передати у концесію (у приватну власність – ред.) Київський залізничний вокзал. Про це міністр інфраструктури Владислав Криклій розповів в інтерв’ю Радіо Свобода.

Це допоможе оновити й осучаснити вокзал, пояснив Криклій. За його словами, однією з умов буде встановлення ескалаторів до всіх платформ. Також у міністра є ідея збудувати рухому платформу на другому поверсі.


«У недалекому майбутньому ми плануємо розглянути спільно з «Укрзалізницею» можливість передачі в концесію залізничного вокзалу. Тоді це буде зовсім інший проєкт. Буде певний інвестор, концесіонер, який матиме інвестиційні зобов’язання. Він змушений буде вкладати в цей вокзал. Ми тоді точно поставимо в умовах і ескалатори до всіх платформ», – розповів міністр інфраструктури.

Минулого року Київський вокзал зазнав збитків на 36 мільйонів гривень, зазначив Криклій.

«При їхньому трафіку, просто неймовірний трафік, вони за минулий рік отримали 36 мільйонів гривень збитків! І порівняти з будь-яким торговельним центром у Києві. Там неймовірні прибутки. (Причина збатків – ред.) – корупція, нераціональне використання коштів, співпраця з ФДМУ, де здаються ці орендні площі у дивний спосіб, несамостійно», – зазначив міністр.

Читайте також: Міністр інфраструктури Владислав Криклій про Гончарука, Авакова, авіапростір із Росією та дороги

За його словами, концесія торкнеться не лише залізниці, а й доріг, портів та інших сфер, де не справляється держава. А перші концесійні проєкти анонсують уже цього року, наголосив він.

«Ми у цьому році анонсуємо перші концесійні проєкти, у тому числі в портах. Ми на це будемо дивитися не тільки в контексті якоїсь сфери – залізниця, дороги, а комплексно, тому що держава не завжди кращий управлінець. І ті питання, в яких не може впоратися, не має достатніх результатів фінансових, а демонструє збитки, то, власне, точно з цим треба щось змінювати. І концесія – це, напевне, найкращий варіант», – резюмував він.

13 вересня Верховна Рада у першому читанні ухвалила закон про концесію. За словами, депутатів це дозволить залучити інвестиції в оновлення інфраструктурних проєктів.

Концесія передбачає передачу об’єктів державної власності у приватне тимчасове користування.

Syria Demands Withdrawal of All American, Turkish Forces

Syria’s top diplomat on Saturday demanded the immediate withdrawal of American and Turkish forces from the country and said his government reserves the right to defend its territory in any way necessary if they remain.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem’s remarks to the United Nations General Assembly were made as Turkey and the United States press ahead with a deal to create a safe zone along Syria’s border with Turkey. 

On the political front, he reaffirmed the government’s support for the recently agreed committee to draft a new constitution for the country. As has been the government’s tone since the start of the 2011 uprising in Syria, the foreign minister took a hard line, stressing there must be no interference from any country or timeline imposed on the process. 

Al-Moallem’s speech highlighted the enormous challenges to achieve reconciliation in Syria, where over 400,000 people have been killed during the conflict and millions more have fled.

The more than eight-year conflict has also drawn numerous foreign militaries and thousands of foreign fighters to Syria, many to support the now-defeated Islamic State extremist group and others still there backing the opposition and battling government forces. 
“The United States and Turkey maintain an illegal military presence in northern Syria,” al-Moallem said. “Any foreign forces operating in our territories without our authorization are occupying forces and should withdraw immediately.”

If they refuse, he said, “we have the right to take any and all countermeasures authorized under international law.”

There are around 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria on a mission to combat Islamic State militants. The United States also backs and supports Kurdish groups in the northeast that are opposed to the Syrian government and have fought against Sunni extremist groups. 

U.S. President Donald Trump had said he wants to bring the troops home, but military officials have advocated a phased approach.
Al-Moallem described Turkey and the United States as “arrogant to the point of holding discussions and reaching agreements on the creation of a so-called `safe zone’ inside Syria” as if it was on their own soil. He said any agreement without the consent of the Syrian government is rejected. 

The deal between the U.S. and Turkey keeps U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters, considered terrorists by Turkey, away from Syria’s northeastern border with Turkey. It involves an area five to 14 kilometers deep (three to eight miles), as well as the removal of heavy weapons from a 20-kilometer-deep zone (12 miles). The length of the zone has not yet been agreed to by both parties but will likely stretch hundreds of kilometers. 

Most of Syria is now under the control of the Syrian government, which is backed by Russia and Iran. However, Syrian rebels and extremists still hold Idlib in the northwest, and U.S-backed Kurdish groups hold parts of the oil-rich northeast.

The Syrian government maintains that Idlib remains a hotbed for “terrorists” and al-Moallem vowed that its “war against terrorism” will continue “until rooting out the last remaining terrorist.”

In a breakthrough on the political front, earlier this week U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced the formation of the committee that would draft Syria’s new constitution, which he said could be an important step toward ending the war.

The U.N. chief announced Saturday that the committee will meet for the first time in Geneva on Oct. 30. Its rules state that a new constitution will be followed by “free and fair elections under United Nations supervision.”  

The committee was authorized at a Russian-hosted Syrian peace conference in January 2018, but it took nearly 20 months for the sides to agree on the 150 members — particularly on a 50-member civil society of experts, independents, tribal leaders and women to serve alongside 50 members from the government and 50 members from the opposition. The U.N. was authorized to put together the civil society list but the choices faced objections, mainly from the Syrian government.

Under the newly announced terms, the “Syrian-led and Syrian-owned” committee, with U.N. envoy Geir Pedersen as facilitator, will amend the current 2012 constitution or draft a new one.

Al-Moallem stressed that the committee will operate without preconditions, its recommendations must be made independently, and “no deadlines or timetables must be imposed on the committee.” 

On another long-simmering dispute, al-Moallem accused Israel of starting “another phase of escalation” through its repeated attacks on Syrian territory and the territory of other neighboring countries.

He stressed that “it is a delusion” to think that the Syrian conflict would force the government to forfeit its “inalienable right” to recover the Golan Heights which Israel captured during the June 1967 war. The annexation is not recognized under international law.

The Trump administration in March signed a proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, reversing more than a half-century of U.S. policy in the Middle East. He also moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem in recognition of Israel’s claims of the city as its capital. 

“It is a delusion,” al-Moallem stressed, “to think that the decisions of the U.S. administration on the sovereignty over the Golan would alter historical and geographical facts or the provisions of international law.”

“The Golan has been and will forever be part of Syria,” he said.

British-Flagged Tanker Reaches Dubai Port After Departing Iran

The British-flagged oil tanker that was seized by Iran in July has docked in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates early Saturday, according to ship-tracking websites and pool reporters.

The Stena Impero, which had been held off Bandar Abbas for more than two months, started moving out of the Iranian port Friday and reached the coast off Dubai early Saturday.

The arrival was reported on several ship-tracking websites.

Erik Hanell, CEO of the company that owns the vessel, Stena Bulk, told the media earlier that the tanker’s crew are “safe and in high spirits” following their release from Iran.

He added that arrangements have been made for them to return to their families.

“The crew will have a period of time to be with their families following 10 weeks of detainment on the vessel. Full support will be offered to the crew and families in the coming weeks to assist with their recovery,” he said.

The company did not release the names of the crew.

Following the release of the vessel, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said his country would cooperate with its overseas partners to protect shipping and uphold international laws.

“The Stena Impero was unlawfully seized by Iran. It is part of a pattern of attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation. We are working with our international partners to protect shipping and uphold the international rule of law,” Raab said.

Iranian authorities accused the Stena Impero and its crew of failing to observe international maritime law at the time of its seizure on July 19, two weeks after British forces near Gibraltar captured an Iranian oil tanker that has since been released and renamed the Adrian Darya 1.

The operator and owner of the 183-meter-long, 50,000-deadweight-ton Stena Impero vehemently denied Tehran’s accusations.

An Iranian government spokesman said Monday that, while the vessel was then free to go, he did not know the exact timing of when it would set sail.

There were 23 crew members of Indian, Russian, Latvian, and Filipino nationalities aboard the Stena Impero when it was seized in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19.

Seven of them were released in early September, while the others reportedly remained aboard the ship off Bandar Abbas.

The Gibraltar and Hormuz seizures came with tensions already ratcheted up by confrontations between Western and Iranian naval and commercial ships in the strategic Gulf region that is a conduit for around one-fifth of the world’s oil supplies.

U.S. President Donald Trump has launched a naval escort campaign to defend commercial shipping interests in the Gulf against harassment and illegal interference, with support from Australia, Britain, and other Western and Gulf states.

Afghan Presidential Polls Close Amid Signs of Low Turnout

Seemingly low voter turnout marked presidential elections in Afghanistan Saturday, even as security forces managed to maintain relative calm across the country, despite dire warnings from the Taliban.

At least four civilians and three security personnel were killed across the country and more than 50 civilians suffered injuries in election-related violence, mostly from small explosions. The figure is relatively small, keeping in mind past elections and the almost daily violence Afghanistan normally faces.  

“At the moment we don’t have the exact number of voter turnout. But we have created a safe environment. We do believe quite a wide range of our compatriots were present,” General Khoshal Sadat, the Afghan deputy interior minister, told VOA before polls closed.

Afghan incumbent president and presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani arrives to cast his vote in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sept. 28, 2019.

Daryush Khan, who came to a Kabul polling center with his wife and two small children, one of them in his arms, said he was there to safeguard his kids’ future.

“We know there are a lot of problems in Afghanistan, including security. But it’s our civil duty to come out and vote and choose our destiny,” he said. His wife, Gaity, holding up the other crying child, said they could not let threats get in the way of choosing their future.  

The Taliban had threatened to attack any election related activity, block roads, and blow up communication towers, calling the elections a “fake process.”

Taliban threats, however, were not the only reason people decided to stay home. Many said they were disgruntled after five years of bad governance and false promises.

Voting in Kabul, Afghanistan (B. Hamdard/VOA) video player.

Voting in Kabul, Afghanistan (B. Hamdard/VOA)

“In the last five years, the government didn’t deliver anything worthwhile. Especially, they didn’t do anything for women. The other candidates are also making empty promises. Nothing will change,” said Shabnam Yusufi of Kandahar, ahead of the polls.

A taxi driver in Kabul, Mohsin, said he would go to the polls only to cross out all the names.

The last presidential election was marred by allegations of fraud and the country became so divided that then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had to step in and broker a power-sharing deal between the two leading candidates. The same two, incumbent President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, seemed to be leading in this year’s race as well.
Former warlord turned presidential candidate Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, said the elections were marked with “widespread fraud” and there would be no Kerry this time to save the day.

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah casts his vote at a polling station in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sept. 28, 2019.

Hekmatyar, known as the “butcher of Kabul” for mercilessly shelling the Afghan capital in the 1990s, and accused of multiple other war crimes, came into the political fray when he accepted Ghani’s offer of a peace deal.  

Days before the election, he issued a veiled threat of violence if he suspected fraud in the polls.

“Don’t make us regret our return, don’t make us regret participating in the electoral process, don’t make us use other means. We can do it and we have the experience to be able to do it,” he said to his supporters at an election rally in Kabul earlier this week.

“Afghanistan is not in the 1990s. It has a professional, strong Afghan security force,” responded General Khoshal Sadat, the deputy interior minister in an interview with VOA. “We have grown up in chaos, so we know how to tackle chaos.”

Responding to allegations from multiple candidates, including Abdullah, of fraud or misuse of government resources, Ghani asked election authorities to take robust action.

“If any candidate has any evidence of fraud or corruption in this election, I request them to register their cases with the Electoral Complaints Commission. And I demand the commission to process their complaints,” Ghani said in a live TV address after the election in which he thanked security forces and the nation for a successful polling day.

Sporadic reports of voter registration problems trickled in throughout the day.

“This was a good chance for us to elect our president and choose our future. We have come from far away to vote and choose our upcoming president, but they (election authorities) are just playing with us,” said Abdul Wadood, an elderly man with a white beard who could not find his name on a voter list at a Kabul polling station.


US Rejects Request From Iran’s Zarif to Visit UN Envoy in New York Hospital Unless Prisoner Released

The United States rejected a request by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to visit Iran’s United Nations ambassador in a New York hospital where he is being treated for cancer, the U.S. State Department and Iranian U.N. mission said on Friday.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said Zarif’s request would be granted if Iran released one of several American citizens it had detained.

In July the United States imposed tight travel restrictions on Zarif before a visit that month to the United Nations, as well as on Iranian diplomats and their families living in New York, which Zarif described as “basically inhuman.”

Unless they receive prior approval from Washington, they are only allowed to travel within a small area of Manhattan, Queens and to and from John F. Kennedy airport.

FILE – Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi speaks to the media outside Security Council chambers at the U.N. headquarters in New York, June 24, 2019.

Iran’s U.N. mission spokesman Alireza Miryousefi said Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi was being treated for cancer in a hospital not far away in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood. Zarif is in New York for the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.

“Iran has wrongfully detained several U.S. citizens for years, to the pain of their families and friends they cannot freely visit,” the State Department spokesperson said. “We have relayed to the Iranian mission that the travel request will be granted if Iran releases a U.S. citizen.”

The United States and Iran are at odds over a host of issues, including the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, U.S. accusations — denied by Tehran — that Iran attacked two Saudi oil facilities on Sept. 14 and Iran’s detention of U.S. citizens on what the United States regards as spurious grounds.

U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook speaks to VOA Persian service reporter.

Brian Hook, the State Department’s special representative for Iran, on Monday said that if Iran wanted to show good faith, it should release the U.S. citizens it has detained, including Xiyue Wang, a U.S. citizen and Princeton University graduate student who was detained in Iran in 2016.

At a news conference in New York on Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran was open to talking about prisoner swaps but that the ball was in Washington’s court after Iran’s release of a Lebanese man with U.S. permanent residency in June.

The United States deported an Iranian woman who pleaded guilty to exporting restricted U.S. technology to Iran on Tuesday. During a visit to New York in April, Zarif specifically mentioned the woman’s case when talking about possible prisoner swaps.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday declined to discuss the possibility of a U.S.-Iranian prisoner swap after the woman’s deportation.   

Joe Wilson, Skeptic on Iraq War Intelligence, Dies at Age 69

Joseph Wilson, the former ambassador who set off a political firestorm by disputing U.S. intelligence used to justify the 2003 Iraq invasion, died Friday, according to his ex-wife. He was 69. 
Wilson’s died of organ failure in Santa Fe, said his former wife, Valerie Plame, whose identity as a CIA operative was exposed days after Wilson’s criticism of U.S. intelligence that Saddam Hussein was attempting to purchase uranium. 
The leak of Plame’s covert identity was a scandal for the administration of President George W. Bush that led to the conviction of vice presidential aide Scooter B. Libby for lying to investigators and justice obstruction. 
President Donald Trump pardoned Libby in 2018. 
Plame, who is running as a Democrat for Congress — in part as a Trump adversary — called Wilson “a true American hero, a patriot, and had the heart of a lion.” Plame and Wilson moved to Santa Fe in 2007 to raise twin children and divorced in 2017. 
In 2002, Wilson traveled as a diplomat to the African country of Niger to investigate allegations that Hussein was attempting to purchase uranium, which could have been used to make nuclear weapons. 

Wife’s identity revealed

Plame’s identity with the CIA was revealed in a newspaper column days after Wilson alleged in an opinion piece in The New York Times that the Bush administration twisted prewar intelligence on Iraq to justify going to war. Wilson later accused administration officials and political operatives of putting his family at risk. 
A Connecticut native and graduate of the University of California-Santa Barbara, Wilson’s career with the Foreign Service included posts in a handful of African nations. 
He was the senior U.S. diplomat in Baghdad during the first Gulf War and was the last American official to meet with Saddam before Desert Storm. 
Wilson drew intense criticism from Republican lawmakers over his statements regarding Iraq in the lead-up to the U.S. invasion. A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004 pointed to inconsistences. 
Wilson dismissed those claims, later authoring the book “The Politics of Truth.” 
In a 2003 interview with PBS, he said that the post-9/11 security mission went astray with the full invasion of Iraq. 
“The national security objective for the United States was clear: It was disarmament of Saddam Hussein,” he said. “We should have pursued that objective. We did not need to engage in an invasion, conquest and occupation of Iraq in order to achieve that objective.” 

French Queue to Remember Chirac Ahead of National Mourning

Mourners gathered at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Friday to pay their respects to former President Jacques Chirac, whose death unleashed a flood of tributes to a charismatic but complex giant of French politics. 
Chirac, president from 1995 to 2007, died Thursday at age 86 after years of deteriorating health since suffering a stroke in 2005. 
Ahead of a national day of mourning announced for Monday, the French presidency threw open the doors of the Elysee Palace for people wanting to sign a book of condolences. 
“I express my admiration and tenderness for the last of the great presidents,” read one tribute. “Thank you for fighting, thank you for this freedom and good spirits.” 
In a televised address Thursday night, President Emmanuel Macron praised “a man whom we loved as much as he loved us.” 
Chirac is also to be given the honor of a public memorial ceremony on Sunday as well as a mass on Monday, which will be attended by Macron and foreign dignitaries including German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. 
A minute of silence will also be observed Monday at public institutions, schools and football matches. 
Schools have also been urged to dedicate class time on Monday “to evoke the former head of state’s memory,” with the education ministry saying it will propose potential discussion themes for teachers. 
And the Quai Branly museum of indigenous art founded by Chirac, who had a deep appreciation of Asian cultures, said it would offer free admission until Oct. 11. 
French newspapers splashed his portrait across their front pages and dedicated most of their editions to the former president’s life — Le Parisien had an exhaustive 35 pages plus a 12-page special insert. 

People line up to sign a condolence book for the late French President Jacques Chirac, Sept. 27, 2019, in the courtyard of the Elysee Palace in Paris.

Everyman charm 

Even Chirac’s opponents hailed his charm and qualities as a political fighter, as well as how he stood up to Washington in 2003 by opposing the Iraq War. 
He was also lauded for acknowledging France’s responsibility for the wartime deportation of Jews, slashing road deaths with the introduction of speed cameras, and standing up to the increasingly popular far right under Jean-Marie Le Pen. 
But some questioned how much he had actually achieved during a long period in office — his career shadowed by a graft conviction while mayor of Paris, from 1977 to 1995. 
He contested the ruling but did not appeal it, saying the French people “know who I am: an honest man” who worked only for “the grandeur of France and for peace.” 
And it hardly dented the popularity of the beer- and saucisse-loving charmer, whose extramarital affairs were an open secret. 
He had barely been seen in public in recent years, after suffering a stroke in 2005 and undergoing kidney surgery in December 2013. 
He will be buried at the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris next to his daughter Laurence, who died in 2016 after a lifelong battle with anorexia. 
He is survived by Bernadette, his wife of more than six decades; his daughter Claude, who served as his confidante and adviser; and a grandson, Martin. 

People gather to pay tribute to the late former French President Jacques Chirac in Nice, France, Sept. 27, 2019.

‘Embodied’ France 
The centre-right Chirac succeeded his longtime political rival,  Socialist Francois Mitterrand, in 1995 after two previously unsuccessful bids to secure the Elysee. 
“As a leader who was able to represent the nation in its diversity and complexity … President Chirac embodied a certain idea of France,” Macron said Thursday. 
His death garnered an outpouring of tributes from world leaders, the latest from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who lauded “an old friend of the Chinese people.” 
Lebanon has also declared a day of mourning Monday, noting the close ties between Chirac and the family of former Premier Rafiq Hariri — whose family provided Chirac and his wife with a sumptuous Paris apartment for several years after he left office. 

Гривня знову пішла на рекорд щодо долара

Національна валюта після одноденного послаблення знову посилюється щодо долара США. Національний банк України встановив на 30 вересня курс 24 гривні 8 копійок за одиницю американської валюти, це на 11 копійок менше за поточний курс і є новим рекордом за понад 44 місяці – від січня 2016 року.

Наступний орієнтир – 23 гривні 95 копійок, таким офіційний курс був 15 січня 2016 року.

На торгах міжбанківського валютного ринку 27 вересня регулятор викупив близько 20 мільйонів доларів, цього вистачило, що не допустити зміцнення гривні до менш як 24 гривень за долар. Як інформує сайт «Мінфін», торги міжбанку в п’ятницю завершилися на позначках 24 гривні 10–13 копійок за долар, мінімальне значення становило 24 гривні 5–7 копійок за долар, це було зранку, до виходу НБУ з купівлею американської валюти.

На український валютний ринок нині прийшли значні ресурси, які іноземці вводять для купівлі облігацій внутрішньої державної позики. За підрахунками експертів, за неповні 9 місяців нерезиденти викупили таких облігацій на суму понад 100 мільярдів гривень, тобто завели на український ринок близько 4 мільярдів доларів. На курс також впливає позитивна кон’юнктура щодо товарів українського експорту.

Мінфін та НБУ планують розміщувати ОВДП на аукціонах платформи Bloomberg – заява

Міністерство фінансів та Національний банк України повідомляють про намір проводити аукціони облігацій внутрішніх державних позик через електронну систему аукціонів Bloomberg’s Auction. Про це відомства повідомили 27 вересня.

«Співпраця з Bloomberg – це наступний етап у впровадженні найкращих практик у розвитку українського ринку державних облігацій. Підвищення прозорості та обізнаності інвесторів повинно мати позитивний вплив на розширення бази інвесторів та збільшення частки державного боргу у національній валюті», – цитують у повідомленнях урядового уповноваженого з питань управління державним боргом Юрія Буцу.

За словами заступника голови НБУ Олега Чурія, у 2019 році спостерігається зростання попиту іноземних інвесторів на гривневі активи.

Читайте також: НБУ викупив рекордну суму доларів на міжбанку

«Переведення первинних розміщень ОВДП на міжнародні торговельні платформи є черговим кроком Національного банку та Міністерства фінансів у напрямку посилення прозорості і ліквідності ринку державних запозичень, поліпшення доступу до нього, дедоларизаціі державного боргу. У подальшому ми докладатимо зусиль також для розвитку й вторинного ринку ОВДП на міжнародних платформах”, – цитує Чурія пресслужба регулятора.

Аналогічну заяву оприлюднила і компанія Bloomberg.

«Ми раді, що Міністерство фінансів України вирішило співпрацювати з Bloomberg для більш ефективного управління аукціонами. Рішення Bloomberg дозволяють в оптимальний, найбільш фінансово ефективний і надійний спосіб керувати операціями на первинних ринках для емітентів, яким в іншому випадку довелося б робити це вручну чи розробляти власні рішення», – наводять у компанії слова голови глобальних торгівельних платформ Bloomberg Ніколаса Біна.

Читайте також: НБУ дозволив банкам видавати кредити іноземним компаніям у гривні для купівлі ОВДП​

За даними Міністерства фінансів та НБУ, систему аукціонів Bloomberg використовують фінансові установи та центральні банки у понад 30 країнах світу.

Платформа повністю інтегрована з даними, новинами, аналітикою та засобами зв’язку, доступними в Терміналі. Система аукціонів Bloomberg використовується в більш ніж 30 країнах світу.

Влітку 2019 року економічний експерт Ілля Несходовський в коментарі Радіо Свобода назвав інвестиції в облігації внутрішньої державної позики одним із вирішальних факторів рекордного зміцнення гривні щодо долара.

Health Experts Warn Disease Could Kill Millions Worldwide in 36 Hours

Health experts warn we are due for a cataclysmic pandemic — they just don’t know when it will happen.

The warning was delivered this week to world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly by a special global health monitoring group that said the next pandemic could traverse the world in 36 hours, killing up to 80 million and causing devastating economic loss.

The group, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, operates independently of the World Health Organization and the World Bank, the entities that created it last year with a mandate to issue an annual assessment. The first report was grim.

A health worker vaccinates a child against malaria in Ndhiwa, Homabay County, western Kenya, Sept. 13, 2019, during the launch of a malaria vaccination campaign in the country.

Lack of medical care a threat

Despite remarkable gains in medicine, politics and social issues keep those in rich countries as well as poor ones from desperately needed medical care, and this threatens the entire world.

Medical achievements of the past several decades are remarkable. AIDS once meant enduring a horrible death, but now treatment has changed that and research on a vaccine is promising.

Moreover, there’s talk about ending malaria, a disease that kills half a million people each year, most of them children.

Scientists are also closing in on Ebola. A vaccine and two new drugs to treat those infected are saving lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ebola used to kill up to 90% of its victims. Now, it’s been reversed.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and a member of the board, says with a low viral load, someone infected with the Ebola virus now has a 90% chance of surviving.

This report warns that the world is woefully unprepared for the next pandemic. So unprepared that the next pandemic could kill up to 80 million people and cause enormous economic suffering.

FILE – Gro Harlem Brundtland is a former prime minister of Norway and a former head of the World Health Organization.

The report is intended for political leaders. One of the board’s co-chairs is both a doctor and a politician. Gro Harlem Brundtland is a former prime minister of Norway and a former head of the World Health Organization. She likens health to a military threat in response to which an entire government comes together.

“This has to be the same in global health security,” Brundtland said.

Fauci just returned from a trip to East Africa to assess progress against an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“I was clearly impressed at the capabilities of the Congolese who are administering the care here, as well as the preparedness of the Rwandans and the Ugandans, in case cases spill over the border,” he said.

The board cited stigma as a problem that makes it more difficult to stop the spread of disease. Diseases like tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, Ebola and others carry such a stigma that those who are infected often don’t seek treatment. Political leaders can create policies to erase stigma, the board said.

The report cited poverty and lack of clean water and sanitation as incubators for infectious disease. Political leaders can fund cleaning up polluted water and improving hygiene.

“We need to have a stronger preparedness across the board to avoid unnecessary loss of life and large economic losses,” Brundtland warned.

The monitoring group also cited prolonged conflict and forced migration as risk factors for the spread of disease. It urged countries to establish emergency preparedness from the local level on up, to build trust and to work cooperatively to improve responses to serious threats and ensure health of the world’s 7.7 billion people.

МВФ: обговорення нової програми співпраці з Україною триватимуть найближчими тижнями

Міжнародний валютний фонд обговорюватиме нову програму співпраці з Україною упродовж найближчих тижнів, повідомив Рон ван Роден, керівник місії МВФ, яка працювала в Києві 12-26 вересня.

«Влада звернулася з проханням про нову програму за підтримки МВФ, яка б допомогла досягненню цих цілей, надаючи якір для економічної політики та допомагаючи покривати потреби у фінансуванні в найближчі роки. Місія розпочала обговорення щодо нової трирічної програми за підтримки МВФ у рамках механізму розширеного фінансування», – йдеться в заяві ван Родена, яка є в розпорядженні Радіо Свобода.

Він розповів, що експерти місії обговорили з українською владою податково-бюджетну та грошово-кредитну політику.

«Крім того, було наголошено на важливості Центрального банку та захисту фінансової стабільності, а також на необхідності докласти всіх зусиль для мінімізації фіскальних витрат, пов’язаних із реорганізацією чи ліквідацією банків», – заявив ван Роден.

Він наголосив, що після економічної кризи 2014-2015 років українська влада відновила макроекономічну стабільність, «проте темпи зростання залишаються занизькими, щоб помітно скоротити розрив між рівнями доходів в Україні та в сусідніх країнах».

«Зростання стримує слабке бізнес-середовище, зокрема, недоліки в законодавчій системі, наскрізна корупція, а також той факт, що у великих галузях економіки домінують неефективні державні підприємства або олігархи, що стримує конкуренцію та інвестиції», – зазначив представник МВФ.

Він заявив, що необхідне більш потужне, стале та всеосяжне зростання.

«Вирішальною мірою це буде залежати від реалізації амбітних реформ на підтримку переходу України до повноцінної ринкової економіки. Таке завдання не є легким і було викликом у минулому, коли проведення реформ із зупинками призвело до повторного накопичення значних дисбалансів та економічної кризи», – підкреслив ван Роден.

Згідно із базовим прогнозом Національного банку, за новою програмою співпраці з МВФ Україна може отримати два мільярди доларів від МВФ у 2019 році та ще по два мільярди у 2020 й 2021 роках. 

21 грудня 2018 року Україна отримала перший і наразі єдиний транш за програмою співпраці з Міжнародним валютним фондом обсягом близько 1,4 мільярда доларів.

Востаннє місія МВФ працювала в Україні в травні 2019 року.

Котирування нафти повернулися до рівнів, зафіксованих до атаки на саудівський НПЗ

Котирування нафти на світовому ринку знову наблизилися до позначки 60 доларів за барель марки Brent. Це той рівень, на якому «чорне золото» перебувало до 14 вересня, коли внаслідок атаки безпілотників на найбільший нафтопереробний завод Саудівської Аравії ціна злетіла майже до 70 доларів за барель Brent.

Станом на 18:20 за Києвом котирування Brent становили 61 долар 63 центи, впродовж поточної торгової сесії ціна просіла на півтора відсотка.


Єменські повстанці з шиїтського антиурядового руху Хуті, підтримуваного Іраном, заявили про свою відповідальність за напад у Саудівській Аравії, в якому брали участь десять безпілотних апаратів. У світових ЗМІ, однак, з’явилося припущення, що напад організував Іран або проіранські сили.

Державний секретар США Майк Помпео поклав відповідальність на Іран за напад дронів на саудівські нафтові заводи. За словами Помпео, «Тегеран завдав безпрецедентного удару по світових поставках нафти». Голова Держдепартаменту США відзначив відсутність доказів, що удари завдавалися з території Ємену. Помпео звинуватив президента Ірану Хасана Роугані і голову МЗС Ірану Могаммада Джавада Заріфа у використанні прийомів «фальшивої дипломатії».

Іран відкинув звинувачення США у причетності до атак на саудівські нафтові заводи, які вплинули на світовий видобуток нафти. Речник Міністерства закордонних справ Ірану Аббас Мусаві, виступаючи на державному телебаченні, назвав заяву США «безглуздою». А один із чільних командирів Корпусу вартових Ісламської революції, елітного іранського військового формування, попередив, що Іран готовий до «повноцінної» війни.

НБУ послабив курс гривні щодо долара

Національний банк України встановив на 27 вересня курс 24 гривні 19 копійок за долар США, це на 7 копійок більше за офіційний курс на 26 вересня.

Регулятор відбив показники міжбанку, зафіксовані на початку торгової сесії, коли котирування сягали 24 гривень 20–23 копійок за долар, повідомляє сайт «Мінфін».

Але в другій половині дня, вже на незначних обсягах, пропозиція долара переважала попит, і на завершення торгів котирування опустилися до 24 гривень 9–12 копійок. Ці показники можуть стати орієнтиром для початку торгів 27 вересня.


На український валютний ринок нині прийшли значні ресурси, які іноземці вводять для купівлі облігацій внутрішньої державної позики. За підрахунками експертів, за неповні 9 місяців нерезиденти викупили таких облігацій на суму понад 100 мільярдів гривень, тобто завели на український ринок близько 4 мільярдів доларів. На курс також впливає позитивна кон’юнктура щодо товарів українського експорту.

Shallow Tremor Rocks Quake-Hit Area of Pakistan

A shallow tremor Thursday sent terrified residents of northeastern Pakistan onto the streets, days after a powerful quake killed 38 people and caused widespread damage in the area.

The tremor stretched already-frayed nerves in Mirpur, in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, as fears of aftershocks from Tuesday’s quake sent hundreds into the streets and put local hospitals on alert.

The US Geological Survey put the quake at 4.7 magnitude and 10 kilometres (six miles) deep, adding that it had struck just four kilometres outside of Mirpur.

City residents huddled in streets following the quake, some still barefoot, while others recited verses from the Koran.

“It’s hell. I am running to save my life,” Mohammad Bilal told AFP moments after the tremor.

“I thought most of the building would have tumbled down,” said Sagheer Ahmad. “Allah is very kind to us.”

Dozens of patients were evacuated from the main government hospital in Mirpur, some in wheelchairs or on stretchers.

Dr Farooq Noor, the medical superintendent at the hospital, told AFP that 93 people were brought in after the tremor.

Most were swiftly discharged with minor wounds or shock, but some with head injuries and broken limbs were admitted, he added.

The city’s hospitals were already packed with hundreds injured by the quake earlier in the week.

‘Poor construction’

The tremor came as rescuers continued to pick through toppled buildings to reach victims from Tuesday’s earthquake.

“You can see we have no arrangements, we don’t have any place to live, have nothing to eat, we are pulling out rubble, and trying to restore electricity and water,” Muhammad Waqas Aslam, who lives in the village of Nakkah Kharak outside Mirpur, told AFP.

The village of Jatlan appeared to be one of the worst affected by Tuesday’s quake, while Mirpur was largely spared major damage.

In Jatlan, bridges, mobile-phone towers and electricity poles were badly damaged while its roads were ripped apart.

Pakistani geologists blamed the “poor construction of shanty houses in Jatlan” for some of the damage, as well as its location near a fault line and the shallowness of the quake.

Pakistan’s Kashmir information minister Mushtaq Minhas said at least 6,500 homes were destroyed by Tuesday’s quake, adding that officials had begun to distribute thousands of tents to affected residents.

Mirpur, a city known for its palatial houses, has strong ties to Britain and many of its population of 450,000 carry both British and Pakistani passports.

The city owes its prosperity to thousands of former residents who migrated to Britain in the 1960s, but retained their links to the area — repatriating money to buy land and build plush homes.

Tuesday’s quake also sent people in Lahore and Islamabad running into the streets, while tremors were felt as far as New Delhi.

Pakistan straddles the boundary where the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, making the country susceptible to earthquakes.

In October 2015, a 7.5-magnitude quake in Pakistan and Afghanistan killed almost 400 people across rugged terrain that impeded relief efforts.

The country was also hit by a 7.6-magnitude quake on October 8, 2005, that killed more than 73,000 people and left about 3.5 million homeless, mainly in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.

‘OK’ Hand Gesture, ‘Bowlcut’ Added to Hate Symbols Database

A Jewish civil rights group has added dozens of new entries to its online database of hateful symbols, slogans and memes that white supremacists have adopted and spread.

The “OK” hand gesture is one of the images that the Anti-Defamation League has added to its hate symbols database. Online trolls have used the gesture to dupe viewers into perceiving it as a “white power” symbol, but the ADL says far-right extremists also are using it as a sincere expression of white supremacy.

FILE - John T. Earnest appears for his arraignment, April 30, 2019, in San Diego. Earnest faces charges of murder and attempted murder in the April 27 assault on the Chabad of Poway synagogue.
California Synagogue Shooting Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to Hate Crimes
The man suspected of killing a woman in a shooting at a Southern California synagogue pleaded not guilty to federal hate crime charges Tuesday.

John T. Earnest spoke twice during the brief hearing — to acknowledge his name and to say he agreed with his court-appointed attorney’s decision against seeking bail.

Earnest, 19, is charged with bursting into the Chabad of Poway synagogue on April 27 and opening fire with an assault rifle, killing one and injuring three. 
Peter Ko, an assistant U.S. attorney, told the judge that the government had not decided whether to seek the death penalty.

The database additions also include “Happy Merchant,” an anti-Semitic meme that depicts a stereotypical image of a Jewish man rubbing his hands together.
ADL launched the database in 2000 to help law enforcement officers and others recognize signs of extremist activity. It has grown to nearly 200 entries.

France’s Retirement Overhaul: Macron’s Greatest Challenge?

The fate of Emmanuel Macron’s presidency of France may lie in the fate of his planned overhaul of the retirement system, which has already prompted strikes and protests.

Knowing that it’s not going to be the easiest of sells following the yellow vest movement that brought France to a near-standstill last winter, Macron is embarking Thursday on a “Tour de France” of meetings to try to convince skeptical workers that reform is exactly what France’s stretched and hugely complicated pension system needs to survive into the long-term.  
Here’s a look at the planned changes, and why they are generating debate:
France old-age pension system

The country’s retirement system has its roots in 1673 and the reign King Louis XIV. Initially for royal marines, the system swelled to include civil servants in the wake of the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century. Military personnel were added in 1831, followed by others over the decades to come, before employees in the private sector were finally added in 1930.
Now, all French retirees receive a state pension. The average French pension this year stands at 1,400 euros per month ($1,500 per month) once taxes are deducted. But that average masks an array of different pension regimes. In total, there are 42 pension regimes.
So many special regimes
The easy bit: Employees from the private sector are affiliated to the overall system. The account for around 7 of 10 workers.
The more complicated bit: many professions have a special pension regime. Some workers like train workers and air crews allow early retirements, others, like lawyers and doctors, pay less tax.
Civil servants also have a separate pension scheme.
Over the last three decades, governments have made changes but each reform has been met with massive demonstrations. None of the changes managed to simplify the system.    
Macron’s grand plan
Macron wants to simplify the system and replace it with a unified scheme, so that all French workers have the same pension rights.
He promises that the overhaul will make the system fairer.
He also wants to make the French pension system, which is projected to be in deficit in the coming years, more sustainable.
However, unions argue that the new system will require people to work longer and reduce pensions. Strikes have already taken place and more are expected over the coming months.
The government has promised the legal retirement age of 62 won’t change, but new financial conditions may encourage people to work longer.
Macron’s government said some specific measures would be maintained to allow military and police officers to retire earlier. Very arduous jobs would also be taken into account to allow workers to retire earlier.

What’s next?
The government has opened three-month talks with unions, employer groups and professional organizations. Ordinary citizens are also being invited to give their opinion on a dedicated website and in public meetings — the first one taking place in the southern town of Rodez Thursday in the presence of Macron.
The government says that what finally emerges will take into account the outcomes of the current debate.
The bill is expected to be debated by lawmakers next summer. The government has said that the changes will only apply on people born after 1963 and will enter progressively into force between 2025 and 2040.

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