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POLSKA УКРАЇНА - My - Polacy, ale żyjemy w Ukrainie

В Івано-Франківську виявили масове поховання жертв політичних репресій

Масове поховання з останками щонайменше 50 людей виявили в Івано-Франківську під час прокладання електричного кабелю поруч із центральним міським озером.

Працівники «Прикарпаттяобленерго», за словами очевидців, спочатку не надали значення знахідці, адже поруч розташоване старе єврейське кладовище. Проте місцеві мешканці не дозволили закопати могилу і зателефонували в поліцію.

Зараз розкопки на місці поховання ведуть науковці івано-франківського комунального підприємства «Пам’ять». У траншеї, викопаній працівниками «Прикарпаттяобленерго», за один день дослідники виявили близько двох мішків людських кісток і предметів побуту. Серед них зустрічаються елементи жіночого й дитячого одягу. За словами керівника КП «Пам’ять» Василя Тимківа, на цьому етапі розкопок йому поки що важко оцінити масштаби поховання, проте, судячи із довжини та глибини траншеї, можна стверджувати щонайменше про 50 жертв.

«Людські останки залягають шаром 30 сантиметрів, можливо – глибше, ми поки що не можемо сказати точно. Довжина ями складає, поки що, п’ять метрів. Останки перебувають в анатомічній цілісності, але розташування тіл не має жодного порядку. Тобто, тіла опинилися в ямі без будь-якого упорядкування», – каже Василь Тимків.

Місцевість поруч із похованням в 40-х роках ХХ століття використовувалася для захоронення жертв як комуністичного, так і нацистського режимів. Однак, судячи із особливостей поховання, науковці схильні вважати, що в цій могилі лежать останки жертв НКВС. За словами Василя Тимківа, більшовики переважно використовували для захоронення природні нерівності рельєфу – рови та заглиблення, не намагаючись викопати глибоку яму.

Поки що науковці не мають офіційного дозволу на проведення розкопок, тому ґрунтовніше дослідити поховання вони зможуть лише після оформлення відповідної документації. Для цього їм, для початку, необхідно з’ясувати розміри поховання.

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Trump’s Sanctuary City Threat Triggers Confusion, Changes

From defiant lawsuits to reversing policies, U.S. cities and counties are zeroing in on their immigration rules to avoid losing millions in public safety dollars that the White House has threatened to withhold amid a high-stakes clash over sanctuary policies.

President Donald Trump has made it a top priority to revoke federal dollars from so-called sanctuary cities, broadly defined as places that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities. Trump says he believes such cities and counties are providing a haven for criminal activity.

Amid an executive order and almost weekly threats by the administration, cities and counties are fighting back.

At least six locales are suing, with Chicago becoming the latest city to join the legal fray last week. Leaders in Baltimore and the Las Vegas area have been trying to prove to the federal government that they don’t have sanctuary policies so they can qualify for public safety help. Some local governments have sought to comply with the administration’s edicts.

The result for cities and counties: growing confusion, budgeting headaches, worries about increased crime and more tension with immigrant residents. And experts expect more lawsuits and turmoil at the local level.

“They’re not getting clarity,” said Yucel Ors, a program director for public safety at the National League of Cities. “When you’re planning budgets or there’s an expectation for grants and applications, it becomes very difficult to properly judge what your resource is going to be, especially with law enforcement.”

Sanctuary policies have existed for decades. There’s no single definition, but generally local officials enact policies friendly to people living in the U.S. without legal permission, including limiting cooperation with agents in local jails and prohibiting police from asking about immigration status during traffic stops.

The nation’s roughly 200 sanctuary cities and counties are now a focal point in the immigration debate with Trump in the White House.

Some locales, including Florida’s Miami-Dade County, have already changed their immigration policies to comply. Others are considering the same.

Pushing back

But the more common tactic among sanctuary cities has been to push back. Lawsuits over constitutional concerns cropped up in California’s Santa Clara County, San Francisco, Seattle and two Boston-area cities, with the California lawsuits prompting a temporary injunction.

In its federal lawsuit last week, Chicago targeted new conditions for a public safety grant calling for close cooperation with federal authorities, including access to jails. Chicago, a sanctuary city since the 1980s, calls the changes unconstitutional.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was President Barack Obama’s first White House chief of staff, argued Trump’s aggressive stance and rhetoric impedes trust in law enforcement and could prevent immigrants from reporting crimes.

“The Trump Justice Department … is asking the city of Chicago to choose between our core values as a welcoming city and our fundamental principles of community policing,” Emanuel said at a recent news conference. “It is a false choice and a wrong choice. Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate.”

In response, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions doubled down on his sanctuary cities stance, accusing Chicago of “deliberately and intentionally” adopting rules that obstruct the immigration system.

Nationally, the federal government awarded about $264 million to more than 1,000 different entities last year through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program, also known as Byrne JAG. Chicago’s share was about $2.3 million, including for police cars. The program is named after a New York City officer killed in 1988 while protecting an immigrant witness who’d agreed to testify against drug dealers.

The fight has led to chaos in cities and counties that say they’re being inaccurately branded by the administration.

Federal programs

Roughly $1 million in Byrne JAG money was in limbo for Nevada’s Clark County until this month. The county submitted a 108-page memo covering the role of Las Vegas police to prove it should continue receive funds it uses for things like juvenile services.

Baltimore city officials were baffled when they received an August letter saying they wouldn’t qualify for a different federal anti-crime program. The city hasn’t formally declared itself a sanctuary city, and city jails are run by the state of Maryland, not the city. Baltimore faces a Friday deadline to prove its case.

In New Mexico, Albuquerque received a similar warning. Albuquerque eliminated a sanctuary policy years ago, but city and county officials approved largely symbolic “immigrant friendly” measures this year. The federal warning appeared to target immigrant jail policies in Bernalillo County, where Albuquerque is located. County commissioners debated a plan allowing more cooperation between local and federal immigration authorities, but the Democrat-majority board defeated it last week at a meeting well-attended by opponents.

Two California cities, Stockton and San Bernardino, were also called out after expressing interest in the Justice Department’s Public Safety Partnership, which enlists federal agents and technology to find crime solutions. They were told they wouldn’t qualify unless they give federal immigration authorities access to jails and notify agents before releasing inmates wanted on immigration violations.

Miami-Dade County reversed its policy earlier this year, saying the county would honor “detainers,” or holding people for extra time to be arrested by immigration authorities. Local officials defended the change, saying they wanted to keep receiving federal money for body cameras and community policing. However, the reversal is now the subject of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit.

In New Mexico, concerns linger about possible lost funding opportunities for Albuquerque, which ranks first nationwide for the number of cars stolen daily per capita. Commissioner Wayne Johnson, a Republican, said he introduced the plan to increase cooperation with immigration authorities in response to Trump’s warning.

“We have a broken criminal justice system,” said Johnson, who’s running for mayor. “We need to have every tool at our disposal.”

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На Рівненщині попрощалися з Героєм Майдану, художником Тарасом Більчуком

На Рівненщині попрощалися із художником Тарасом Більчуком, активним учасником Революції гідності, нагородженим орденом «За мужність».

Як повідомляє кореспондент Радіо Свобода, автор сотень полотен й організатор численних художніх виставок і конкурсів молодих обдарувань, Більчук раптово помер після інсульту.

На Майдані в Києві художник отримав травми під час розгону мирного пікету 30 листопада і згодом, під час розстрілу пікетувальників силовиками 18 лютого 2014 року. 

Більчук пережив складну операцію головного мозку і часто нездужав. 

У 2016 році Тарас Більчук був нагороджений орденом «За мужність».

Художник певний час проживав у Сполучених Штатах, де нині живуть його діти, проте повернувся в Україну.

Тараса Більчука поховали 15 серпня в його рідному селі Коршів Здолбунівського району Рівненщини. Відспівували художника у монастирі-пантеоні повстанської слави в урочищі Гурби. 


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US: Islamic State Has Committed ‘Genocide’ Against Religious Believers

The United States accused Islamic State insurgents on Tuesday of carrying out a reign of violence targeting religious minorities and opposition ethnic groups, even as they have been losing control of large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Islamic State “is clearly responsible for genocide … and crimes against humanity.”

Tillerson, speaking as he released the State Department’s annual report on religious freedom in 199 countries and territories around the globe, said, “Religious persecution and intolerance remains far too prevalent.”

The top U.S. diplomat said that “almost 80 percent of the global population live with restrictions on or hostilities to limit their freedom of religion.  Where religious freedom is not protected we know that instability, human rights abuses and violent extremism have a greater opportunity to take root.  We cannot ignore these conditions.”

Seven countries

Tillerson singled out seven countries for an array of abuses in the way their governments treat the faithful: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bahrain, China, Pakistan and Sudan. Tillerson said that in various ways these nations intimidate believers practicing their faiths through harassment, imprisonment and executions.

“No one should have to live in fear, worship in secret, or face discrimination because of his or her beliefs,” he said.

But he laid out his most detailed indictment against Islamic State.

“As we make progress in defeating ISIS and denying them their caliphate, their terrorist members have and continue to target multiple religions and ethnic groups for rape, kidnapping enslavement and even death,” he said.

“To remove any ambiguity from previous statements or reports by the State Department,” Tillerson said, “the crime of genocide requires three elements: specific acts with specific intent to destroy and hold or impart specific people.  Members of national, ethnic, racial or religious groups.  Specific act-specific intent-specific people. Application of the law to the facts at hand leads to the conclusion ISIS is clearly responsible for genocide against Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims in areas it controls or has controlled.”

US priority

Tillerson said the protection of religious minorities “and others who are targets of violent extremism – remains a human rights priority” for President Donald Trump’s administration.

The report said that in Iraq, where Baghdad’s forces have reclaimed the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State control, the insurgents “pursued a campaign of violence against members of all faiths, but against non-Sunnis in particular.”

The State Department said, “In areas under its control, ISIS continued to commit individual and mass killings, and to engage in rape, kidnapping, random detentions and mass abductions, torture, abduction and forced conversion of non-Muslim male children, and the enslavement and sex trafficking of women and girls from minority religious communities.”

It said Islamic State “continued to engage in harassment, intimidation, robbery, and the destruction of personal property and religious sites. In areas not under ISIS control, it continued suicide bombings and vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attacks against all segments of society.”

In Syria, the report said that “nonstate actors, including a number of groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United States and other governments, such as ISIS and … al-Nusra Front, targeted Shia, Alawites, Christians, and other religious minorities, as well as other Sunnis, with indiscriminate attacks, as well as killings, kidnappings, physical mistreatment, and arrests in the areas of the country under their control.

“ISIS killed dozens through public executions, crucifixions, and beheadings of men, women, and children on charges of apostasy, blasphemy, homosexuality, and cursing God,” the report said, “In Raqqa [Islamic State’s self-declared capital] and elsewhere in Syria, ISIS continued to hold thousands of enslaved Yazidi women and girls kidnapped in Iraq and trafficked to Syria to be sold or distributed to ISIS members as ‘spoils of war’ because of their religious beliefs.”


The report singled out China for what it said were the government’s abuse, detention, arrests and torture of adherents of various faiths.

“The government cited concerns over the ‘three evils’ of ‘ethnic separatism, religious extremism, and violent terrorism’ as grounds to enact and enforce restrictions on religious practices of Uighur Muslims,” the report said.  “The government sought the forcible repatriation of Uighur Muslims from foreign countries, many of whom sought asylum in those countries on the grounds of religious persecution.”

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НАБУ: держпідприємствам агро-промислового комплексу відшкодували 70 мільйонів гривень

Компаніям агро-промислового комплексу відшкодували близько 70 мільйонів гривень, повідомляє прес-служба НАБУ.

За даними бюро, корупція в агро-промисловому комплексі – це переважно махінації із землею та розтрата коштів і майна державних підприємств.

Наразі НАБУ розслідує незаконні оборудки щодо майже 8 тисяч гектарів земель сільськогосподарського призначення, власником яких є держава. 

За попередніми оцінками, розмір збитків від корупційних схем, викритих детективами в агропромисловому комплексі, перевищує 2 мільярди гривень, додають у НАБУ. 

У січні у НАБУ повідомляли про затримання трьох осіб, причетних до завданням збитків ДПЗКУ у розмірі понад 60 мільйонів доларів США. Двох екс-посадовців корпорації затримали за підозрою у вчиненні низки злочинів, зокрема, зловживанні службовим становищем і прийняття службовою особою обіцянки неправомірної вигоди. Представника міжнародного зернотрейдера, причетного до завдання збитків ДПЗКУ, за підозрою у пособництві реалізації корупційної схеми.

Публічне акціонерне товариство «Державна продовольчо-зернова корпорація України» – національний оператор зернового ринку України, лідер у сфері зберігання, переробки, перевалки та експорту зернових. Корпорація створена в 2010 році, їй належить 10% сертифікованих елеваторних потужностей України. «Державна продовольчо-зернова корпорація України», серед іншого, займається закупівлею та експортом зернових культур і продуктів їх переробки. 

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Iran’s Top General Makes Rare Visit to Ankara

In a rare visit, the head of Iran’s armed forces is in Turkey. The two neighbors have found themselves increasing rivals in Iraq and Syria, but both sides are trying to find common ground.

The chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, Major General Mohammad-Hossein Baqeri, arrived in Ankara, leading a high-ranking military and political delegation, for three days of talks. It is the first visit by Iran’s chief of staff since the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Regional rivalries

Former Turkish ambassador to Iraq Unal Cevikoz now heads the Ankara Policy Forum. He says conflicts in Iraq and Syria have exacerbated regional rivalries.

“Iran is becoming a very important actor in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria,” he said. “It seems Iran has certain intentions. And when we look at the Turkish Iranian relations pertaining to the situation in Iraq and Syria, it is obvious Turkey and Iran are not on the same page.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has positioned himself as an advocate of Sunni Muslim rights in the region and has been in the forefront of criticizing Tehran’s policy in Iraq and Syria.

Erdogan has strongly criticized the treatment of Sunnis by Iraqi militia backed by Tehran. Ankara is one of the main supporters of Syrian rebels fighting the Damascus government supported by Iran.

The Iranian general’s visit comes as Tehran, Ankara and Moscow are cooperating in what is called the Astana process to resolve the Syrian civil war. The conflict is expected to be discussed during the visit.

Idlib enclave

Political columnist Semih Idiz of the Al Monitor website says talks will include the Syrian enclave of Idlib, one of the last areas the rebel forces control.

“Idlib is a potential hornets nest. There is infighting there between two radical Islamist groups,” said Idiz. “One is considered nominally more moderate and supported by Turkey and the other one more close to ISIS in sentiment. It is not clear how that is going to play out in Idlib and [Syrian President] Assad is going to take advantage of that.”

Idlib borders Turkey, and there are growing concerns in Ankara that if it is overrun by Syrian government forces Turkey could experience a major refugee influx, which could include many radical jihadists. Last week Ankara closed its border crossing into Idlib due to security concerns.

The aspirations of the region’s Kurds is also expected to be on the Iranian general’s agenda in Ankara, with both countries having large and restive Kurdish minorities. Next month’s independence referendum by Iraqi Kurds will provide common ground, with Tehran and Ankara strongly opposing the vote.


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Charges Sought Against Those Who Toppled Confederate Statue

Investigators are working to identify and charge protesters who toppled a nearly century-old Confederate statue in front of a North Carolina government building, the sheriff said Tuesday.

Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews issued a statement that investigators are using video footage to identify those responsible for toppling the statue during a rally Monday night.

Law enforcement officers took video throughout the protest but didn’t intervene as protesters brought out a ladder, climbed up to attach a rope and then pulled the bronze Confederate soldier from its pedestal. After it fell, some began kicking the statue, while others took photos standing or sitting on it. The protest was in response to violence and a death at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

Andrews said his staff met with community leaders before the Durham demonstration, and he was aware of the potential for vandalism – but also the risk of injuries if deputies moved in.

“Collectively, we decided that restraint and public safety would be our priority,” he said, noting that his office was recently challenged in court over arrests of demonstrators at public meetings. “As the Sheriff, I am not blind to the offensive conduct of some demonstrators nor will I ignore their criminal conduct.”

The Confederate Soldiers Monument, dedicated in 1924, stood in front of an old courthouse building that serves as local government offices.

County officials didn’t immediately return messages asking whether they planned to put the statue back up. The crumpled and dented bronze figure has been taken to a warehouse for storage in the meantime.

The leader of the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Doug Nash, said Tuesday he’s disappointed by the toppling of the statue as well as other recent violence.

“The only thing I’d like to say is that I’m very saddened by all this mess that’s going on,” Nash said by phone.

Although the violence in Virginia has prompted fresh talk by government officials about bringing down symbols of the Confederacy around the South, North Carolina has a law protecting them. The 2015 law prevents removing such monuments on public property without permission from state officials.

North Carolina is one of only three states – along with Virginia and Georgia – that have 90 or more Confederate monuments, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. A state tally shows at least 120 Civil War monuments around North Carolina, with the vast majority dedicated to the Confederacy. Around 50 are located at contemporary or historic courthouses. There are Confederate statues at the state’s flagship university and Capitol grounds.

In response to the statue in Durham being torn down, Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tweeted: “The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable but there is a better way to remove these monuments.”

On Monday night, Isaiah Wallace said he watched as others brought the Durham statue down.

“I was a little bit shocked people could come here and come together like that,” said Wallace, who is black.

Wallace hopes other Confederate symbols elsewhere will follow.

“I feel like this is going to send shockwaves through the country and hopefully they can bring down other racist symbols,” he said.

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France’s Macron Accuses Photographer of Harassment While on Holiday

President Emmanuel Macron has filed a legal complaint against a photographer alleging harassment and invasion of privacy while on vacation in the southern French city of Marseille, a source in the president’s entourage said.

Macron and his wife Brigitte are staying in the private residence of the prefect of Marseille, French media have reported, which overlooks the Mediterranean and is shielded from the public eye by a high wall dotted with security cameras.

“A photographer followed him on several occasions… and there was an intrusion on the property, which led to the complaint for harassment and invasion of privacy being made,” the presidency source told Reuters.

The presidential couple had kept their holiday destination a closely guarded secret, but the location was revealed by the weekly Journal du Dimanche over the weekend.

Macron’s preference for staying silent over his holiday plans and avoiding the media in Marseille echoes his leadership style during his first 100 days in power.

The 39-year-old has exerted tight control over Elysee communications and sharply reduced his interactions with journalists compared to some previous presidents.

Macron’s immediate predecessor, Francois Hollande, who wanted to be seen as a “normal president” and held regular off-record media briefings, took the train to the Cote d’Azur on his first summer holiday as head of state, and invited the media to join him on walkabouts.

A police official in Marseille declined to comment on the legal complaint.

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