На параді до Дня незалежності у Києві покажуть 200 одиниць техніки – Міноборони

У параді до Дня незалежності України, який відбудеться у Києві 24 серпня, візьме участь близько 200 одиниць військової техніки, повідомив речник Міністерства оборони Дмитро Гуцуляк.

За його словами, підготовка до параду зараз триває, нещодавно готовність до участі у заходах військової техніки перевірив командувач Сухопутних військ генерал-полковник Сергій Попко.

11 квітня Президент України Петро Порошенко доручив на День Незалежності провести військовий парад у центрі Києва, видавши відповідний указ.

Окрім того, як мовиться у документі, також 23 серпня, у День державного прапора, у Києві, інших населених пунктах мають провести офіційну церемонію урочистого підняття держпрапора України.

Останніми роками в Києві з нагоди Дня Незалежності в центрі Києва проводили військові паради, проте деякі користувачі соцмереж критикували цю ідею, називаючи це недоречним в умовах, коли військова техніка потрібна у зоні бойових дій на сході України.

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Iran Leader Backs Suggestion to Block Gulf Oil Exports if Own Sales Stopped

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday backed President Hassan Rouhani’s suggestion that Iran may block Gulf oil exports if its own exports are stopped and said negotiations with the United States would be an “obvious mistake.”

Rouhani’s apparent threat earlier this month to disrupt oil shipments from neighboring countries came in reaction to looming U.S. sanctions and efforts by Washington to force all countries to stop buying Iranian oil.

“(Khamenei) said remarks by the president … that ‘if Iran’s oil is not exported, no regional country’s oil will be exported,’ were important remarks that reflect the policy and the approach of (Iran’s) system,” Khamenei’s official website said.

Iranian officials have in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, in retaliation for any hostile U.S. action.

Khamenei used a speech to foreign ministry officials on Saturday to reject any renewed talks with the United States after President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from a 2015 international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

“The word and even the signature of the Americans cannot be relied upon, so negotiations with America are of no avail,” Khamenei said.

It would be an “obvious mistake” to negotiate with the United States as Washington was unreliable, Khamenei added, according to his website.

The endorsement by Khamenei, who has the last word on all major issues of state, is likely to discourage any open opposition to Rouhani’s apparent threat.

Khamenei also voiced support for continued talks with Iran’s European partners in the nuclear deal which are preparing a package of economic measures to offset the U.S. pullout from the

accord.

“Negotiations with the Europeans should not be stopped, but we should not be just waiting for the European package, but instead we should follow up on necessary activities inside the country [against U.S. sanctions],” Khamenei said.

France said earlier this month that it was unlikely European powers would be able to put together an economic package for Iran that would salvage its nuclear deal before November.

Iran’s oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by the end of the year because of new U.S. sanctions, putting oil markets under huge strain amid supply outages elsewhere in the world.

Washington initially planned to totally shut Iran out of global oil markets after Trump abandoned the deal that limited Iran’s nuclear ambitions, demanding all other countries to stop buying its crude by November.

But it has since somewhat eased its stance, saying that it may grant sanction waivers to some allies that are particularly reliant on Iranian supplies.

 

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Facebook Suspends Another Analytics Firm

Facebook says it has suspended working with Boston-based analytics firm Crimson Hexagon until it can determine how the firm collects and shares Facebook and Instagram user data.

Facebook announced the suspension Friday.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the suspension and said that one of Crimson Hexagon’s clients is a Russian nonprofit with ties to the Kremlin.

Facebook said that Crimson Hexagon is cooperating with the investigation and there is no evidence that Crimson Hexagon obtained Facebook or Instagram information inappropriately.

“We don’t allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram,” Facebook said in a statement Friday. “We take these allegations seriously and have suspended these apps while we investigate.”

Chris Bingham, Crimson Hexagon’s, chief technology officer, said in a blog Friday his company “only collects publicly available social media data that anyone can access.”

He added, “Government entities that leverage the Crimson Hexagon platform do so for the same reasons as many of our other nongovernment customers: a broad-based and aggregate understanding of the public’s perception, preferences and sentiment about matters of concern to them.”

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica inappropriately obtained user data from millions of Facebook users.

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Fashion Industry Reinventing Itself by Embracing the Digital Age

For years denim jeans have been finished in foreign factories where workers use manual and automated techniques such as scraping with sandpaper or other abrasives to make the jeans appear worn and more comfortable to wear. But things are changing in the fashion world. As VOA’s Mariama Diallo reports, fashion companies are going digital to speed up the design and manufacturing process.

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US Senators Drop Efforts to Cripple China’s ZTE

U.S. Republican lawmakers have dropped their efforts to reimpose a crippling ban on exports to the Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE. 

The move Friday gives a victory to U.S. President Donald Trump who has championed for ZTE to stay in business. 

Republican senators Friday dropped legislation that would block ZTE from buying component parts from the United States. Senators had included the legislation in a defense spending bill passed last month, but a House version of the defense bill did not include the same provision.

Lawmakers say senators decided to leave the provision out of the final compromise bill, which is expected to come to a vote in the House and Senate in the coming days.

Lawmakers from both parties have been critical of President Trump over his decision to lift a ban on U.S. companies selling to ZTE.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer blasted Friday’s developments.

“By stripping the Senate’s tough ZTE sanctions provision from the defense bill, President Trump and the congressional Republicans who acted at his behest  have once again made President Xi and the Chinese Government the big winners,” he said in a statement.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio called dropping the provision “bad news” in a tweet Friday.ZTE is accused of selling sensitive technologies to Iran and North Korea, despite a U.S. trade embargo.

In April, the U.S. Commerce Department barred ZTE from importing American components for its telecommunications products for the next seven years, practically putting the company out of business. 

However, Trump later announced a deal with ZTE in which the Chinese company would pay a $1 billion fine for its trade violations, as well as replace its entire management and board by the middle of July.

The Commerce Department announced last week that it has formally lifted the ban on ZTE after the Chinese company complied with all terms of the settlement. 

Most of the world first heard of the dispute over ZTE in May after one of Trump’s tweets.

 

 

 

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Trump Amps Up Criticism of Fed Rate Hikes

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday dug in on his criticism of the Federal Reserve’s policy on raising interest rates, saying it takes away from the United States’ “big competitive edge,” and lamented the strength of the U.S. dollar.

Trump, in posts on Twitter, also accused the European Union and China of manipulating their currencies.

“China, the European Union and others have been manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower, while the U.S. is raising rates while the dollars gets stronger and stronger with each passing day – taking away our big competitive edge,” Trump wrote. “As usual, not a level playing field.”

After his posts, the U.S. dollar extended losses against the European Union’s euro, the Chinese yuan and Japanese yen.

Representatives for the Fed could not immediately be reached for comment.

Trump had already criticized the Fed’s interest rate policy in an interview on CNBC on Thursday, saying he was concerned higher rates could impact the U.S. economy.

Most economists believe the current economic climate, with the nation’s unemployment at historic lows and inflation at the Fed’s 2 percent target, justify recent interest rate rises and a strong U.S. dollar.

The issue also ties into the Trump administration’s current trade battles with China, Europe and others, as a strong currency tends to make a country’s exports more expensive, hurting exporters.

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Trump Ready to Hit All Chinese Imports With Tariffs

President Donald Trump has indicated that he’s willing to hit every product imported from China with tariffs, sending U.S. markets sliding before the opening bell Friday.

 

In a taped interview with the business channel CNBC, Trump said “I’m willing to go to 500,” referring roughly to the $505.5 billion in goods imported last year from China.

 

The administration to date has slapped tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods in a trade dispute over what it calls the nation’s predatory practices.

 

Dow futures which had already been pointing modestly lower slid sharply after the comments were aired by CNBC early Friday, indicating triple-digit losses when the market opens.

 

The yuan dipped to a 12-month low of 6.8 to the dollar, off by 7.6 percent since mid-February.

 

There is already pushback in the U.S. from businesses that will take a hit in an escalating trade war.

 

Trump has ordered Commerce to investigate whether auto imports pose a threat to U.S. national security that would justify tariffs or other trade restrictions. Earlier this year, he used national security as a justification for taxing imported steel and aluminum.

 

Auto tariffs would escalate global trade tension dramatically: The U.S. last year imported $192 billion in vehicles and $143 billion in auto parts — figures that dwarf last year’s $29 billion in steel and $23 billion in aluminum imports.

 

In the same interview, taped Thursday at the White House, Trump broke with a long-standing tradition at the White House and voiced displeasure about recent actions at the U.S. Federal Reserve. Both political and economic officials believe that the central bank needs to operate free of political pressure from the White House or elsewhere to properly manage interest rate policy.

 

Last month, the Fed raised its benchmark rate for a second time this year and projected two more increases in 2018. Its rate hikes are meant to prevent the economy from overheating and igniting high inflation. But rate increases also make borrowing costlier for households and companies and can weaken the pace of growth. In particular, the Fed’s most recent rate hikes could dilute some of the benefit of the tax cuts Trump signed into law last year.

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