Що залишилося від будинку Гонтаревої після пожежі – фоторепортаж

Поліція відкрила кримінальне провадження за статтею про умисне пошкодження майна

Chinese Envoy Heading to US to Prepare for New Round of Trade Talks

China says a government official will travel to the United States this week to lay the groundwork for the resumption of high-level trade talks next month.

State-run Xinhua news agency says deputy finance minister Liao Min will arrive in Washington Wednesday for talks with counterparts from the Trump administration to “pave the way” for the senior level negotiations, which will also take place in the U.S. capital.  

The decision to hold a new round of talks was made earlier this month during a phone call between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Beijing’s top trade negotiator,  U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The two sides last held major talks in July but there was no major breakthrough in the trade dispute between the world’s top two economies. Washington and Beijing have been engaged in a series of escalating tit-for-tat tariffs for more than a year, sparked by U.S. President Donald Trump’s initial demand for changes in China’s trade, subsidy and intellectual property practices.  China says U.S. trade policies are aimed at trying to stifle its ability to compete.

The situation has cast uncertainty on financial markets and left companies scrambling to cope with the effects of the tariffs.

President Trump announced last week that he was postponing a new round of tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods from October 1 to October 15 “as a gesture of goodwill.”  China followed up by lifting tariffs on U.S. soybeans, pork and some other farm goods 

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said last week he is “cautiously optimistic” a deal can be reached to resolve the trade dispute at the coming talks, but warned that Trump stands ready to keep, or even raise, tariffs on Chinese imports.

На КПВВ у Станиці Луганській встановили веб-камеру

Біля напів зруйнованого мосту на КПВВ у Станиці Луганській встановили веб-камеру, що цілодобово транслює ситуацію на лінії розмежування.

Трансляція ведеться на YouTube-каналі Луганської обласної державної адміністрації.

В Офісі президента України повідомили, що, згідно з графіком, до 11 жовтня планується встановити тимчасову (обхідну) переправу біля зруйнованого мосту в районі Станиці Луганської, а до 27 листопада – відкрити основний міст.

Відновлення зруйнованого мосту у Станиці Луганській почалося на початку вересня після того, як розібрали блокпост на непідконтрольній українським військовим частині переправи.

На початку липня міст відвідав президент України Володимир Зеленський. Він заявив, що об’єкт можна відновити упродовж місяця.

На Луганщині діє тільки один пункт перетину через лінію розмежування – у КПВВ «Станиця Луганська». Він пішохідний. Дорога пролягає вздовж підірваного ще 2015 року мосту через Сіверський Донець.


Gates Foundation Says Billions ‘Mired in Inequality’

Living conditions have improved greatly since 2000 even for the world’s poorest people, but billions remain mired in “layers of inequality.”

That is the assessment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s third annual report on progress toward U.N. Sustainable Development Goals – 17 measures that most countries have pledged to try to reach by 2030. Those efforts are falling short, says Bill Gates.

“As much progress as we’re making, a child in many countries still over 10% are dying before the age of five. And in richer countries it is less than 1%. So the idea that any place in the world is still 10%, some almost 15%, that’s outrageous, and it should galvanize us to do a better job,” Gates told VOA.

The 63-year-old Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist sat down with VOA at the foundation’s offices in advance of the report, which was released to coincide with the opening of the United Nations General Assembly.

This year’s report uses geography and gender as lenses for examining progress, particularly in terms of health and education.

It finds “an increasing concentration of high mortality and low educational attainment levels” in Africa’s Sahel region as well as in parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan and northern India. People in those regions experience “multiple deprivations, including some of the highest fertility rates in the world, high levels of stunting and low vaccine coverage,” the report says.

Disadvantages fall more heavily on women than on men. Girls generally get less formal education than boys; those in sub-Saharan Africa average two fewer years of education. And even when girls obtain a good education, they’re less likely to parlay it into paid work. 

“Globally, there is a 26 percentage point gap between men’s and women’s labor force participation,” according to the report.

Monitoring progress on these fronts aligns with the Gates Foundation’s commitments, which include improving global health and aiding development in low-income countries. Since its start in 2000, the foundation has spent billions on efforts such as improving vaccines and nutrition, combatting malaria and other diseases, supporting innovative toilet designs to improve sanitation, and ensuring good data collection to identify problems.

As the news site Vox has pointed out, the Gates Foundation each year outspends the World Health Organization and most individual countries on global health. It has built the world’s largest trust — $46.8 billion as of December, according to its website.

That has led some to question philanthropy’s role in development.

“The billions of dollars available to Gates, Rockefeller and Wellcome might be spent with benevolent intent, but they confer extensive power. A power without much accountability,” Wellcome communications director Mark Henderson wrote last week in Inside Philanthropy, announcing that the London-based health charity – second in spending after Gates – would increase its transparency.

Who Calls the Tunes in Space? Brad Pitt Asks NASA Astronaut

Brad Pitt traded laughs on Monday in a call to the International Space Station with a NASA astronaut, who somersaulted during the zero-gravity interview ahead of this week’s release of the actor’s new film, the space thriller “Ad Astra.”

Pitt peppered astronaut Nick Hague with dozens of questions about what life was like in space. He interviewed Hague from Washington via a transmission line from NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston.

“Most important question: Who controls the jam box?” Pitt asked, referring to the space station’s music.

In this image taken from NASA video actor Brad Pitt, left, star of the new space movie “Ad Astra,” speaks from NASA headquarters in Washington, to astronaut Nick Hague abroad the International Space Station, Sept. 16, 2019.

“We have a rotating playlist, we take turns. And it’s nice because we have the international flair as well,” Hague replied. “Getting to hear some traditional music from Russia over dinner is a nice change, exposure.”

Pitt plays astronaut Roy McBride, who travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father, confronting a mystery along the way that threatens humanity’s existence back on Earth. “Ad Astra” – whose Latin title means “to the stars” – opens in U.S. theaters on Friday.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was given an early copy of the movie’s script to provide visual and technical expertise, according to its film and TV liaison, Bert Ulrich. Detailed images of Mars from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory informed the film’s recreation of Martian landscapes, he said.

“The script did not have a NASA storyline, but there were ways that we could still help them,” Ulrich said in an interview, adding that the film shows some parallels to NASA’s Moon-to-Mars Artemis program, such as the way characters use the moon to travel further to Mars.

After asking questions like how realistic his zero-gravity movements were in a studio environment – as Hague performed one for him – Pitt said he had one last question “and I need to call on your expertise.”

“Who was more believable, Clooney or Pitt?” the actor asked, referring to George Clooney, a good friend who played an astronaut in the 2013 film “Gravity” and has starred with Pitt in a number of other films.

“You were, absolutely,” Hague replied.

China, Trump and the Democrats Vying to Replace Him

Top Democratic presidential candidates have sharply criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s handling of trade negotiations with China, accusing him of bumbling the fraught talks and sending mixed signals about Washington’s interests.

But that does not mean Beijing would find a more pliable negotiating partner in a Democratic administration.  

FILE – Former Vice President Joe Biden responds to a question during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston, Sept. 12, 2019.

Democratic front-runner Joe Biden frames the contest with China as primarily over who writes the rules of the global economy, a point Trump often makes in defending his trade war with Chinese President Xi Jinping.  

“We make up 25% of the world economy,” said Biden during the Sept. 12 debate in Houston, Texas. “If we don’t set the rules, we, in fact, are going to find ourselves with China setting the rules. And that’s why you need to organize the world to take on China, to stop the corrupt practices that are under way.”

Even fierce critics of the president, such as billionaire investor George Soros, say Trump’s approach to China represents a rare Washington consensus.

“The greatest — and perhaps only — foreign policy accomplishment of the Trump administration has been the development of a coherent and genuinely bipartisan policy toward Xi Jinping ‘s China,” Soros wrote in

FILE – Senator Kamala Harris gives a thumbs down as she speaks during the 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential debate in Houston, Sept. 12, 2019.

On her campaign website, Harris said the U.S. should confront China’s unfair trade practices when working with allies, but not unilaterally.

“We’ve got a guy in the White House who has been erratic on trade policy. He conducts trade policy by tweet,” said Harris during the latest debate.

Sanders said Trump has relied for too long on only tariffs to influence trade relations with China.

“That is one tool that you have. What the president is doing is totally irrational, and it is destabilizing the entire world economy,” said Sanders when asked about the imposition of tariffs against Chinese goods in an

FILE – Uighurs and their supporters rally across the street from United Nations headquarters in New York, March 15, 2018.

Leading Democratic presidential contenders largely champion the idea that the U.S. must defend universal human rights and push back on China’s abuses.

Harris has criticized Trump in response to a Council of Foreign Relations questionnaire for “turning a blind eye” to these abuses in hopes of earning a “win in his trade war.”

Castro brought up the issue in the last Democratic presidential debate.

“We need to return to a leader when it comes to things like human rights,” he said. “We have millions of Uighurs, for instance, in China that right now are being imprisoned and mistreated.”

Biden has also weighed in.

“The forced detention of over a million Uighur Muslims in western China is unconscionable. America should speak out against the internment camps in Xinjiang and hold to account the people and companies complicit in this appalling oppression,” he told the

FILE – U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg delivers remarks on foreign policy and national security in Bloomington, Indiana.

For his part, Buttigieg called the Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of the Uighurs “repressive.” He told the Council on Foreign Relations that Washington should strengthen alliances “to put collective pressure on China” for its human rights abuses.

Harris, Sanders and Warren have endorsed a proposed bipartisan congressional bill, the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019, which directs various U.S. government agencies to prepare reports on China’s treatment of the Muslim minorities.

The legislation condemns “gross human rights violations” against the Uighurs, calling for “an end to arbitrary detention, torture, and harassment of these communities inside and outside China.”

The bill has passed the Senate and is awaiting consideration by the House of Representatives.

In April, Warren was among dozens of bipartisan lawmakers who signed a letter to Pompeo and other senior officials, urging the administration to impose sanctions against Chinese officials and entities involved in the ongoing human rights abuses against the Uighurs.

Atlantic Council’s senior fellow Robert Manning says the U.S. government has come to an agreement on the idea that the assumptions that have guided the U.S. policy since its diplomatic normalization with China “have proven wrong.”

Manning said China under Xi’s rule has moved away from former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s reform and opening policies, becoming “a predatory mercantilist party-state.” He added that China’s “assertiveness in the South China Sea and repression of Uighurs” are all leading Americans to be “tough” on China.

Public opinion

So far, politicians in both parties in Washington appear to be more alarmed about China than the American public.

A recently released survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs suggests there is a split between Washington’s elite decision-makers and the general public on China.

Surveys show more of the American public saw China as a threat in 1998 and 2002 than they do today.

The polling also revealed a growing divide among Republican and Democratic respondents. Some 54% of Republicans view China’s rise as a threat, while only 36% of Democrats view it that way.  

Manning predicts it will take time for the U.S. public to come to terms with China’s rise.