Tuesday, July 31, 2018

UK GROUP THREATENS TO SUE FACEBOOK OVER CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA

LAWYERS FOR A group of UK residents whose Facebook data was harvested by Cambridge Analytica are now threatening to sue for damages. In a 27-page letter served to the company Tuesday, they accuse Facebook of violating British data privacy regulations. The letter before claim, as it's called, is the first step in the UK's legal process for filing a class action suit. It warns Facebook that if it does not adequately respond to a list of questions regarding user privacy within 14 days, the claimants may take legal action against the company in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Nearly 1.1 million British citizens could be eligible to join such a suit if it goes forward.

Prosecutors rip into Trump's ex-campaign chief Manafort as trial opens

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Reuters) - The prosecution on Tuesday portrayed U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort as a man who felt tax and banking laws did not apply to him and described how he opened more than 30 bank accounts in three foreign countries to “receive and hide” income from Ukraine.

Chinese court is first to accept blockchain as means of evidence

The dispute between the plaintiff, Hangzhou Huatai Yimei Culture Media Co., Ltd. and the defendant, Shenzhen Daotong Technology Development Co., Ltd. involved the unauthorized republication of an article originally published in the City Express newspaper. The article, published on July 24, 2017, described an incident involving a mother and her four-year-old son which took place in a swimming pool. The newspaper licensed the article for online publication to the suing company, Huatai Yimei. The website, First Female Fashion Network, owned by the defending company Daotong, published it without obtaining a license. The plaintiff was authorized by the newspaper to enforce online infringements and filed the lawsuit in January of 2018.

"Crimea Declaration": Will Donbas be swapped for Crimea


The Crimea Declaration of the United States is another confirmation of the American position, reiterating their non-recognition of Crimea annexation by Russia in 2014. This position was originally voiced at the time of the Obama presidency and later confirmed by various statements signed off by Donald Trump (for example, the NATO Summit statement explicitly states that the West does not recognize and will never recognize the annexation of Crimea). Now this position was fixed in a separate statement by the US Department of State. What are the reasons for the emergence of the U.S. Crimea Declaration? 



High Council of Justice confirms judge head count for High Anti-Corruption Court at 39, of which 12 to serve in appeals chamber

Ukraine's High Council of Justice has agreed that the number of judges in the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) should be 39, of which 12 will serve in that court's appeals chamber.
"On July 23, 2018, the High Council of Justice received an appeal from the Chairman of the State Judicial Administration of Ukraine, dated July 20, 2018, with a proposal to agree on the number of judges in the High Anti-Corruption Court - 39 members, of which 12 judges would serve in the appeals chamber of the same court. The High Council of Justice agreed," the High Council of Justice's press service said on Tuesday.

Перший вирок за «вишки Бойка»: екс-співробітниця відділу закупівель пішла на угоду з прокурором

Колишнього провідного інженера відділу закупівель товарів, робіт та послуг Департаменту комерції ДАТ «Чорноморнафтогаз» Анастасію Цибульську засудили до 5 років позбавлення волі умовно.
Про це повідомляє «Судовий репортер» із посиланням на вирок Шевченківського суду від 22 червня.
Суд затвердив угоду про визнання винуватості від 17 листопада 2017 року. Обвинувачена розкаялась у вчиненому, активно сприяла встановленню обставин злочину, у тому числі щодо себе та інших осіб, частково добровільно відшкодувала шкоду. Сторони дійшли згоди щодо покарання у вигляді 5 років ув’знення зі звільненням від відбування покарання з іспитовим строком 1 рік.

GROWTH IN CHINESE-BASED TRADEMARK FILINGS IS BECOMING A CONCERN

San Diego – For more than 20 years China has been the largest trademark register in the world, and the pace of filings are only continuing. The increase is party tied to overall economic growth in China. In the first quarter of 2018, China’s GDP rose 6.8 percent and is predicted to increase another 6.7 percent in the next quarter. Along with GDP, the trademark filing activity has had rapid growth. Within the past two years, China’s trademark applications have doubled.

If Trump Wants to Show He’s Tough on Russia, Here’s What He Should Do Next


On July 25, the United States reaffirmed its rejection of Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. In the Crimea Declaration, the United States recognizes that by annexing Crimea, Russia violated the fundamental principle of the United Nations Charter by using force against the territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine, and calls on Russia to end its occupation of Crimea.

This strong restatement of support came on the heels of the Defense Department’s July 20 announcement that the United States will provide Ukraine with an additional $200 million in security cooperation funds to build the defensive capacity of the Ukrainian army, bringing the US total up to $1 billion.

Law & Critique: Bourdieu’s Divine State

What can the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu contribute to a critique of law? Throughout the last decades of his career, Bourdieu repeatedly returned to a quasi-theological reading of sociology. During his lectures at the Collège de France in the mid-1980s, Bourdieu would often quote Durkheim’s famous observation that “society is God” – by which Durkheim simply meant, following Ludwig Feuerbach, that people tend to erect the godhead in their own image. Bourdieu, however, gave this phrase his own metaphysical, almost mystical, twist. In the closing pages of his last book, Pascalian Meditations, Bourdieu reiterated Durkheim’s line, this time adding that the State — this omnipresent, all-potent political entity — is the “realization of God on earth.” In other words, Bourdieu established a series of equivalences: society is God, the state is God’s realization on earth; in short: society = God = state.

READ MORE HERE

The Pension Hole for U.S. Cities and States Is the Size of Japan’s Economy

For the past century, a public pension was an ironclad promise. Whatever else happened, retired policemen and firefighters and teachers would be paid.

That is no longer the case.

Many cities and states can no longer afford the unsustainable retirement promises made to millions of public workers over many years. By one estimate they are short...

Mueller says Manafort earned $60M from Ukraine consulting

Washington (CNN)Prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller's office said Monday that Paul Manafort earned $60 million from his work as a political consultant in Ukraine and challenged a motion by the former Trump campaign chairman's attorneys to exclude dozens of exhibits on the topic.
In a filing submitted in Virginia federal court, Mueller's team said they planned to use evidence including "memoranda, emails, and photos reflecting tasks performed" to demonstrate the "full sweep of Manafort's Ukraine work" and that he "was paid tens of millions of dollars in income."

Ukraine: EU adds six entities involved in the construction of the Kerch Bridge connecting the illegally annexed Crimea to Russia to sanctions list

The Council added six entities to the list of those subject to restrictive measures over actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. They are listed because of their involvement in the construction of the Kerch Bridge, connecting Russia to the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula. Through their actions they supported the consolidation of Russia's control over the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula, which in turn further undermines the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.
The measures consist of an asset freeze, meaning that all of the assets in the EU belonging to these entities are frozen and EU persons and entities cannot make any funds available to them.

Regulation-bot: the rise of AI legislation

With the fourth industrial revolution fast approaching, artificial intelligence (AI) remains a consistently hot topic on the Lexology hub. As practitioners around the globe debate the pros and cons of AI in their various industries, international authorities face the daunting task of regulating an evolving digital landscape – and our Lexology authors have been keeping subscribers up to date on everything they need to know.
Although AI means something different in every sector, it generally refers to machine-learning technology used to complete tasks that previously required the skills or intellect of human beings. What’s more, it completes these tasks cheaper, faster and without human error. It comes as no surprise, then, that AI-based products are being rolled out across a plethora of industries. However, given its rapid advancement, the technology remains in the early stages of regulation.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Breakingviews e-book - How Sergio Marchionne saved Fiat and Chrysler

(Reuters Breakingviews) - Sergio Marchionne, who has died at 66, took the driver’s seat at a battered and indebted Fiat in June 2004. Thus began the start of a remarkable turnaround, which he repeated five years later when Fiat took control of Chrysler from the U.S. government.
Having rescued them from the wrecker’s yard, he pushed for breakups within the combined company and consolidation across the industry. These all helped him produce better shareholder returns than his main rivals.
This new selection of Breakingviews columns offers a taste of his 14-year tenure and the influence he wielded.
You can download the e-book here

End-of-life care: Doctors and families do not need legal permission to allow patients to die, court rules

Families will no longer need to go before the courts for approval to withdraw feeding tubes from loved ones in a permanent vegetative state, after a ruling by the UK’s highest court upheld the end of life decision making of a man with an extensive brain injury.
The 52-year-old, who can only be identified as Mr Y, had been in a vegetative state since June 2017. Experts said it was improbable he would ever regain consciousness and agreed with the family members’ decision to withdraw hydration and nutrition – something that usually requires approval from the Court of Protection.

Liberal Gender Equality Bill Passed in Conservative Japan

In July 1980, Japan signed the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). It was not until two months ago, however, that Japan passed its first gender equality bill for electoral politics. While this step forward feels long overdue for the world’s third largest economy, it was a symbolic leap for Japan, which ranks 158th out of 193 countries for the share of women in parliament.
The new law outlines the responsibility of national and local governments to “attempt” to make the number of male and female candidates as equal as possible. That means that political parties aren’t legally penalized even if they fail to procure a 50-50 gender candidate base. Article 1 of Clause 2 states that the freedom for political parties to choose their candidates and the freedom of candidates to run for office are not to be violated.

Six things working women should pretend they can’t do

Ninety nine per cent of success at work involves pretending: pretending to care, pretending to understand, pretending you are almost finished with that thing you have not even started. For women, it also involves pretending not to know how to do things you can do. Here are six things you should pretend you do not know how to do — unless you want to be doing them (instead of your real job) for the rest of your life. .

The Blocking Regulation and Brexit: the Effect of U.S. Sanctions in a Changing Europe

On 18 May 2018, the European Commission announced its intention to expand Council Regulation (EC) 2271/96 of 22 November 1996 (the “Blocking Regulation”) in order to discourage European companies from complying with newly re-imposed U.S. Iran-related sanctions. On 6 June 2018, the European Commission adopted a delegated regulation to enact these changes, which will come into force by 6 August 2018 (the date when the first wind-down period for the U.S. secondary sanctions on Iran expires), provided the EU Parliament and Council do not have objections.
This blogpost considers how the Blocking Regulation will work in practice for UK and European companies, in particular in light of the UK’s departure from the European Union (“EU”) in 2019.

Arthur Conan Doyle: A Scandal in Bohemia (PDF+audio)




The Economist: Democracy’s retreat

In a glass case at the Diyarbakir Bar Association are a striped shirt, dark coat and coiled belt. They belonged to the former chairman, Tahir Elci, a lawyer who was murdered in 2015 amid clashes between the Turkish army and Kurdish separatists. He was standing by the Four-Legged Minaret, a 500-year-old landmark in the ancient city, calling for peace. Someone shot him in the head. No one knows who killed him. The government blames Kurdish terrorists. Many Kurds blame the government. After Elci’s death, the army pounded the rebel-held part of Diyarbakir to rubble. The debris, including body parts, was heaped onto trucks and dumped by a river. Locals are scared to talk about any of this.
Barely a decade ago, Turkey was a budding democracy and aspired to join the European Union. Now it is galloping towards dictatorship. In 2016 army officers tried to mount a coup, putting tanks in the streets, bombing parliament and nearly assassinating the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It was quickly scotched. Mr Erdogan launched a purge. Over 200,000 people, mostly suspected members of the Gulen movement—the Islamist sect said to have led the failed putsch—were jailed or sacked. Anyone could be arrested for having attended a Gulenist school, holding an account at a Gulen-owned bank, or even possessing $1 bills, which the government says were a mark of Gulenism.

Manafort is first ex-Trump aide to go on trial in Russia probe

(Reuters) - Paul Manafort on Tuesday will become the first of President Donald Trump’s former aides to go on trial, accused of bank and tax fraud by federal investigators probing Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Despite a focus on financial crimes, the trial could yield politically damaging headlines about a man who ran Trump’s campaign for three months and attended a June 2016 meeting with Russians offering damaging information on Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton that is now a focal point of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 14-month-old investigation.

Александр Турчинов. "В гостях у Дмитрия Гордона". (2018)

How AI Is Changing Sales

Companies are using AI in all kinds of innovative ways to advance their businesses. If you’ve ever searched Netflix to watch a movie, AI (a recommendation algorithm) was no doubt used in your decision about what to watch.  If you’ve shopped on Amazon, your decision about what to buy was also influenced by AI (via an association algorithm).  If you’ve ever ordered an Uber, AI (a location algorithm) was used to have a car in your vicinity quickly.  If you ever had a thought about a product or a vacation, and it seemed to suddenly pop up on your search page or in your email inbox, I can assure you it was based on AI (a classification algorithm) monitoring your online activity.

These same types of AI algorithms can be used to power any company’s decision-making process, helping you make better business predictions. Based on research for my book Sales Ex Machina: How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the World of Selling, here are five specific areas where AI algorithms can be leveraged to help your business grow by helping your sales team sell more:

Can You Patent the Blockchain? That Depends.

Can you patent your blockchain? Maybe: fifty blockchain-related patents issued in just the first half of 2018. But how something is inventive can matter as much as whether it is inventive in the first place.
Some inventions can’t be patented. Under 35 U.S.C. § 101, a patent may issue for “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter”. These categories do not span the full range of human ingenuity; for example, they exclude transitory propagating signals.

Президент підписав Закон, яким встановлено основні принципи та вимоги до органічного виробництва

Президент Петро Порошенко підписав Закон України «Про основні принципи та вимоги до органічного виробництва, обігу та маркування органічної продукції», ухвалений Верховною Радою 10 липня.
Реалізація норм Закону забезпечить удосконалення й гармонізацію законодавства України із законодавством Європейського Союзу у сфері виробництва та обігу органічних продуктів та сприятиме створенню прозорих умов господарювання, зменшенню недобросовісної конкуренції, підвищенню конкурентоспроможності вітчизняної органічної продукції та розширенню зовнішніх ринків її збуту.

Over 10,000 Ukrainian companies work in European market – PM Groysman


The European Union accounted for almost 42% of trade with Ukraine as of June 27.

"There are already more than 10,000 Ukrainian companies operating in the European market," the prime minister wrote on Twitter on July 29. According to him, goods exports from Ukraine to the EU in the first five months of 2018 were estimated at $8.2 billion.


Sunday, July 29, 2018

LISBON DECLARATION


Singapore's offshore industry recovering, but no return to glory days

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A big drag on Singapore’s growth in recent years, the embattled offshore and marine industry, has broken a three-year losing streak. Yet industry executives aren’t betting on a return to the glory days anytime soon.

Erdoğan suggests adding ‘T’ to BRICS

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the leaders of the five-country block BRICS to let Turkey join the group.
“If you take us in the name of the platform would become BRICST, I said,” he told reporters in South Africa’s capital Johannesburg on July 27.
The BRICS group, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, invited Turkey to 10th annual meeting as the term chair of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Erdoğan traveled to Johannesburg along with the country’s foreign minister, finance and treasury minister, defense minister, commerce minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials on July 26.
Erdoğan also said that the BRICS members welcomed his suggestion warmly.

How to Find a Franchise That Fits

By FranchiseKing

If you’re considering becoming the owner of a franchise business, it’s important to make sure you’re looking into franchises that are the right fit.
But finding the right franchise opportunity for you is only part of the picture.

Finding a Fit

Finding, researching, and potentially purchasing a franchise is a step-by-step process.
One of those steps is conducting a self-assessment.
This involves compiling a list of what you consider to be your top professional strengths and skills.

Москва красная. Народ просто озверел от беспредела

Александр Горный
Сбываются грустные прогнозы экспертов про жизнь после Чемпионата Мира. Всё, праздник закончился, россияне приготовились к  закручиванию гаек и скотскому отношению властей. Это я мог чётко увидеть во  время митинга, который организовали коммунисты в Москве.
Сколько людей пришло? Есть разные оценки, по моим около 20 000 человек. А сколько не дошло? Много. Почему не дошли? А всё очень просто – те, кто «охранял» митинг, заставили людей накрутить лишние километры, под солнцепёком, чтобы те не захотели идти на митинг.

What your data is worth on the dark web (video)


It's like online shopping for bad guys. Here's why your stolen medical data (especially if you're from Singapore or Australia) is so valuable on the dark web. The programme Talking Point investigates.


Chinese President Xi Jinping's historic visit to the UAE - six key points

China President Xi ended his three-day visit to the UAE by signing a raft of trade, oil and economic deals.
The UAE on Saturday said it agreed to set up a "comprehensive strategic partnership" with China, and have agreed to "enhance cooperation in all fields to higher levels and forge overall strategic partnerships”.
An on official statement also said the UAE is "keen to deepen cooperation" with China's "One Belt, One Road" ambitious trillion-dollar infrastructure plan that aims to revive the ancient Silk Road trading routes with a global networks of ports, roads and railways.
Below are six key points to note from the visit, as observed by Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist for FXTM.

Sudoku

Sudoku, originally called Number Place) is a logic-based, combinatorial number-placement puzzle. The objective is to fill a 9×9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 subgrids that compose the grid (also called "boxes", "blocks", or "regions") contains all of the digits from 1 to 9. The puzzle setter provides a partially completed grid, which for a well-posed puzzle has a single solution.
Completed games are always a type of Latin square with an additional constraint on the contents of individual regions. For example, the same single integer may not appear twice in the same row, column, or any of the nine 3×3 subregions of the 9x9 playing board.

Week's balance: delay with pensions, gas tariff freeze, and privatization restart


The pension fund for the first time in many years failed to ensure the timely payment of pensions, the government once again refused to raise gas prices for the households, while a long-awaited start was given to privatization of smaller-scale state companies - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.



Canada: Annexation of Crimea breaches international law

July 28, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
Global Affairs Canada today issued the following statement:
“Through its illegal invasion and annexation of Crimea, Russia has violated the international rules-based order and the vital international norm that no country can change another country’s borders by force.
“Canada reaffirms its enduring commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine and condemns actions taken by Russia towards the forcible integration of the Crimean peninsula into Russia, including through the opening of the Kerch Strait Bridge in May 2018‎.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Justice With Judge Jeanine 7/28/18 Fox News Today July 28 2018

A system under stress: Is US democracy showing real cracks?

Is American democracy in decline? A wave of books and articles have been sounding alarms of late about the state of US governance. Polls show voters believe the nation no longer lives up to its core ideals, and only about half think US elections are fair and open. Many Americans blame President Trump for today’s corrosive political environment. Critics say his divisive rhetoric, repeated insistence on untruths, and apparent enthusiasm for authoritarians is undermining US democracy. Mr. Trump’s supporters beg to differ. They say Democrats just can’t accept the fact that they aren’t winning, and are claiming the system must be “broken” as an explanation for their own electoral failures. In truth, America’s political problems have been a long time coming – and many political scientists see Trump as a symptom, not a cause.

China's premier says Tibet inseparable part of country's 'sacred' territory

BEIJING (Reuters) - Tibet is an inseparable part of China’s “sacred” territory, and religious figures should promote national unity and ethnic harmony, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said during a rare visit to a region that is a focus for international rights concerns.

Chinese troops marched into Tibet in 1950 in what China officially terms a peaceful liberation, and has ruled it with an iron fist even since.

It is one of Beijing’s most sensitive territorial issues, and has been hit by repeated anti-Chinese protests, although the region has fairly been quiet since the last large-scale demonstrations in 2008.

Erdogan: Turkey will stand its ground faced with U.S. sanctions - media

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will stand its ground after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to slap sanctions on Ankara if it does not free an American pastor, broadcaster Haberturk reported on Sunday.

Stanford prison experiment

The Stanford prison experiment was a 1971 social psychology experiment that attempted to investigate the psychological effects of perceived power, focusing on the struggle between prisoners and prison officers. It was conducted at Stanford University between August 14–20, 1971, by a research group led by psychology professor Philip Zimbardo using college students. In the study, volunteers were randomly assigned to be either "guards" or "prisoners" in a mock prison, with Zimbardo himself serving as the superintendent. Several "prisoners" left mid-experiment, and the whole experiment was abandoned after six days. 

President: Millions of Ukrainians expect autocephaly of the Orthodox Church that will complete the consolidation of Ukraine's independence and strengthen interconfessional peace


President Petro Poroshenko stressed that millions of Ukrainians eagerly expect the earliest recognition of the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine - a large one in the number of believers, but equal to other autocephalous Orthodox churches.
"Tomos of Autocephaly will complete the consolidation of independence of our state, strengthen religious freedom, interconfessional peace. It will strengthen the rights and freedoms of citizens... Especially those who are now out of communication with the universal Orthodoxy," the Head of State stressed at the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of Christianization of Ukraine-Rus’.

About 65,000 people taking part in procession for local Orthodox church – Interior Ministry (Photo)

Some 2,500 law enforcement officers are protecting law and order during the religious procession.


"As of 13:00 Kyiv time, about 65,000 people are taking part in the religious procession. The situation is calm and controlled. Just like yesterday, explosive experts and detector dog handlers checked the route of the procession to prevent terrorist attacks and provocations. Policemen, national guards and units of the State Emergency Service are responsible for the safety of citizens," as reported by the press service of the Interior Ministry.



California High Court Rules Starbucks Must Pay for Off-the-Clock Work

Starbucks Corp. must pay employees for off-the-clock work such as closing and locking stores, the California Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that could have broad implications for companies that employ workers paid by the hour across the state.

The decision is a departure from a federal standard that gives employers greater leeway to deny workers’ compensation for short tasks, such as putting on a uniform, that are performed before they clock in or after they clock out.


Що для України свобода, те для Росії тюрма, - Дмитро Корчинський

Australian grain giant GrainCorp opens trading office in Ukraine

KIEV, July 27 (Reuters) - Australian grain giant GrainCorp has opened a trading office in Ukraine, the company said on Friday.

A new firm, GrainCorp Ukraine Ltd, was registered on May 14 and plans to trade agricultural raw materials, grain, seeds, and animal feed.

Earlier this year GrainCorp, a leading international agribusiness based in Sydney, said it expected to be present in Ukraine for the 2018 new crop and that an initial asset-light Ukraine presence was being established.

These Are the Ukraine Photos Manafort Doesn’t Want the Jury to See

Paul Manafort wants the judge overseeing his fraud trial to bar jurors from seeing 51 exhibits detailing his political work in Ukraine, including several involving Tad Devine, a Democrat who ran Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

Lawyers for Manafort, President Donald Trump’s onetime campaign chairman, said in a court filing Thursday that the exhibits -- 474 pages in all, including photos -- are the sort of “irrelevant, prejudicial and unnecessarily time-consuming evidence” that will bog down the trial.


З днем Хрещення Руси-України та з днем пам'яті князя Володимира Великого!


Friday, July 27, 2018

Baptism of Kyiv

Returning to Kyiv in triumph (988), Volodymyr exhorted the residents of his capital to the Dnieper river for baptism. This mass baptism became the iconic inaugural event in the Christianization of the state of Kyivan Rus'.
At first Volodymyr baptised his 12 sons and many boyars. He destroyed the wooden statues of Slavic pagan gods (which he had himself raised just eight years earlier). They were either burnt or hacked into pieces, and the statue of Perun — the supreme god — was thrown into the Dnieper.
Then Volodymyr sent a message to all residents of Kyiv, "rich, and poor, and beggars, and slaves", to come to the river on the following day, lest they risk becoming the "prince's enemies". Large numbers of people came; some even brought infants with them. They were sent into the water while Orthodox priests, who came from Chersonesos for the occasion, prayed.

Witness list for trial of Trump's former campaign chief released

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has submitted a list of 35 potential witnesses for the Virginia trial of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort due to begin next Tuesday, court documents filed on Friday showed.

The list included Manafort’s longtime business associate Richard Gates, who was indicted in October at the same time as Manafort. Gates pleaded guilty in February and has been cooperating in Mueller’s probe.

Also on the list was Tad Devine, a consultant who worked with Manafort in Ukraine and served as the chief strategist for Democratic presidential contender Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016. He is assisting federal prosecutors in the case against Manafort.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: The ultimate goal is to provide autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church


On the days of celebration of the 1030th anniversary of Christianization of Ukraine-Rus’, Petro Poroshenko met with delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate that arrived in Ukraine to participate in festivities on that occasion.
The Head of State expressed gratitude to His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew “for the constant care of the Mother Church about the believers of the Ukrainian nation that faces difficult times of aggression against our state on behalf of the Russian Federation, because of the illegal annexation of Crimea”.

Вселенський Патріарх Варфоломій: Кінцева ціль – дарувати Українській Церкві автокефалію


У дні святкування 1030-річчя хрещення України-Русі Президент Петро Порошенко зустрівся з делегацією Вселенського Патріархату, яка прибула в Україну для участі у святкових заходах з цієї нагоди.
Глава держави висловив вдячність Його Всесвятості Патріарху Варфоломію «за постійну турботу Матері-Церкви про віруючих українського народу, який переживає непрості часи агресії проти нашої держави з боку Російської Федерації, у зв’язку з незаконною анексією Криму».

BRICS-Turkey meeting an opportunity: Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he anticipates further collaborations between BRICS countries and Turkey in economic matters in his address at the 10th BRICS summit, proposing to form a “new credit-rating agency” to “strengthen the south-south collaboration” in the global political economy.
“As Turkey, we would like to work with BRICS countries, especially in the fields of economy, trade and development. I think that we can form new collaborations between Turkish institutions and the BRICS New Development Bank [NDB] and Business Council,” Erdoğansaid on July 27 at the 10th BRICS summit in South Africa’s financial capital Johannesburg.
The BRICS group, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, invited Turkey to its 10th annual meeting as the term chair of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Erdoğan travelled to Johannesburg along with the foreign minister, finance and treasury minister, national defense minister, commerce minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials on July 26.

The systemic risk that Europe has to face

Europe has been distracted by its many populists and the Football World Cup to notice that Viktor Orban and Jaroslaw Kaczynski have further pushed their countries towards authoritarianism.
After the almost undetected seventh amendment of the Hungarian constitution, and just as the Polish president signed on Thursday (27 July) the fifth government amendment of the Polish law on supreme court - both to inject new judges, closer to the power, into the justice system - it is even more timely to wonder why the EU launched the Article 7 procedure against Poland while Hungary, which has been criticised for a much longer period of time, successfully avoided this procedure.

Enjoy your new digital rights across Europe during summer holidays

This summer, European citizens will enjoy more digital rights than ever before. Following the end of roaming charges across the European Union last year, holidaymakers can now travel with their online TV, film, sports, music or e-book subscriptions at no extra cost. In addition, everyone across Europe can enjoy world-class data protection rules that ensure all Europeans have better control over their personal data.

Digital rights already in daily use
  • Since June 2017, people have been able use their mobile phones while travelling in the EU just like they would at home, without paying extra charges. Since the EU abolished roaming charges, more than five times the amount of data has been consumed and almost two and a half times more phone calls have been made in the EU and the European Economic Area.

U.S. Economy Grew at 4.1% Rate in Second Quarter

WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy grew at the strongest pace in nearly four years during the second quarter, powered by a rebound in consumer spending, exports and firm business investment.

Gross domestic product—the value of all goods and services produced across the economy—rose at a seasonally and inflation-adjusted annual rate of 4.1% from April through June, the Commerce Department said Friday. That was a pickup from the first quarter’s revised growth rate of 2.2%.


Scenes from a monetary marriage: What will happen with Ukraine if the International Monetary Fund walks away?

For more than a year now, Ukraine has not received any tranches from the International Monetary Fund. Time keeps passing, the country’s need for funding keep growing, and as elections loom, Ukraine’s politicians keep losing their ability, or desire, to meet the inexorable conditions of the country’s main lender. The result is that some are predicting an inevitable crisis, default, and UAH 50 to the dollar, while others talk about the “insatiable monster” that keeps interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs and exercising “outside influence” over the country. Of course, Ukraine’s political class cannot live without exaggerating reality. But it leads to this question: what really awaits Ukraine if it fails to restore financial relations with the IMF?