Ліга чемпіонів: «Барселона» і «Ліверпуль» приєдналися до чвертьфіналістів

У Лізі чемпіонів УЄФА визначилися всі чвертьфіналісти. Останні путівки до цієї стадії здобули «Барселона» та «Ліверпуль».

Після нульової нічиєї у Франції каталонці на своєму полі розгромили французький «Ліон» – 5:1.

Англійський «Ліверпуль», який на своєму полі не зміг забити німецькій «Баварії» (0:0), у Мюнхені відзначився тричі – 3:1.

Жеребкування 1/4 фіналу Ліги чемпіонів відбудеться в п’ятницю, 15 березня.

Росія не хоче обговорювати звільнення полонених моряків – Марчук

Росія відмовляється від обговорення вимог України щодо звільнення захоплених у Чорному морі українських військових моряків. Про це за підсумками переговорів Тристоронньої контактної групи в Мінську 13 березня заявив офіційний представник України Євген Марчук.

«Російська сторона категорично відмовляється взагалі обговорювати це питання, у них навіть було намагання піти, коли я висловлював позицію Україні з цього приводу. Але все-таки вони залишилися і дослухали», – розповів Марчук.

Російська сторона також відмовляється вести переговори щодо обміну 25 на 25 (25 російських громадян, котрі відбувають покарання в українських місцях позбавлення волі, на 25 утримуваних Москвою громадян України), додає представник України.

«Представники ОРДО та ОРЛО категорично не хочуть також обговорювати обмін заручниками, який до цього ми детально обговорювали», – заявив Євген Марчук.

Офіційний представник України також назвав узгоджений 7 березня «найкоротшим за усі періоди», оскільки «не було гарантій з російської сторони, їхній представник Гризлов навіть не брав участі в обговоренні та затвердженні тексту».

На засіданні Тристоронньої контактної групи в режимі відеоконференції 7 березня Україна домовилася про оголошення нового режиму тиші на Донбасі з 00:00 8 березня.

Перед цим Тристороння контактна група щодо врегулювання ситуації на Донбасі оголошувала про чергове «безстрокове і стале» припинення вогню, починаючи з півночі 29 грудня 2018 року, з нагоди новорічних і різдвяних свят. Воно було порушене майже відразу після заявленого початку і відтоді, як і всі попередні перемир’я, порушується постійно.

Збройний конфлікт на Донбасі триває від 2014 року після російської окупації Криму. Україна і Захід звинувачують Росію у збройній підтримці бойовиків. Кремль відкидає ці звинувачення і заявляє, що на Донбасі можуть перебувати хіба що російські «добровольці». За даними ООН, станом на кінець грудня 2018 року, за час конфлікту загинули близько 13 тисяч людей, майже 30 тисяч – поранені.

25 листопада 2018 року російські прикордонники ФСБ поблизу Керченської протоки відкрили вогонь по українських кораблях і захопили три судна з 24 моряками. Українська влада визнає цих моряків військовополоненими. Країни Заходу закликають Росію звільнити моряків і забезпечити свободу судноплавства в Керченській протоці.

Результати перемир’я на Донбасі не задовольняють – Сайдік

Спеціальний представник ОБСЄ в Тристоронній контактній групі з мирного врегулювання на Донбасі Мартін Сайдік закликав сторони конфлікту забезпечити перемир’я, дія домовленостей про яке розпочалася 8 березня. Про це він заявив 13 березня в Мінську за підсумками засідання ТКГ, передає БЕЛТА. 

«Хоча в перші його (перемир’я – ред.) дні дії число порушень режиму припинення вогню і скоротилося на 61% порівняно з початком місяця, на жаль, на даний момент результати цього перемир’я не задовольняють», – сказав Сайдік.

Наступне засідання контактної групи в Мінську заплановане на 27 березня.

На засіданні Тристоронньої контактної групи в режимі відеоконференції 7 березня Україна домовилася про оголошення нового режиму тиші на Донбасі з 00:00 8 березня.

Перед цим Тристороння контактна група щодо врегулювання ситуації на Донбасі оголошувала про чергове «безстрокове і стале» припинення вогню, починаючи з півночі 29 грудня 2018 року, з нагоди новорічних і різдвяних свят. Воно було порушене майже відразу після заявленого початку і відтоді, як і всі попередні перемир’я, порушується постійно.

Збройний конфлікт на Донбасі триває від 2014 року після російської окупації Криму. Україна і Захід звинувачують Росію у збройній підтримці бойовиків. Кремль відкидає ці звинувачення і заявляє, що на Донбасі можуть перебувати хіба що російські «добровольці». За даними ООН, станом на кінець грудня 2018 року, за час конфлікту загинули близько 13 тисяч людей, майже 30 тисяч – поранені.

US Drops Reference to ‘Israeli-Occupied’ Golan Heights in Annual Rights Report

The U.S. State Department changed its usual description of the Golan Heights from “Israeli-occupied” to “Israeli-controlled” in an annual global human rights report released Wednesday.

Israel has been lobbying U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which it effectively annexed in 1981. Israel says the area, captured from Syria in a 1967 war, is a critical buffer zone to defend its territory.

A separate section in the report, on the West Bank and Gaza Strip — areas that Israel also seized in 1967 — also did not refer to those territories as being “occupied” or under “occupation.”

Any change in U.S. terminology on the West Bank and Gaza Strip is certain to raise Palestinian concern over the strength of Washington’s commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state envisaged by interim peace agreements in the 1990s.

A State Department official, commenting on the language used in the report, said: “The policy on the status of the territories has not changed.”

The United States uses the term “territories” when it refers to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The official, Michael Kozak, head of the State Department’s human rights and democracy bureau, said Washington was seeking “a negotiated settlement” there.

US Grounds Boeing 737 Max Planes

President Donald Trump says the U.S. is grounding the model of an American-made jetliner that crashed and killed 157 people Sunday, making it last high-profile country to pull the aircraft out of service.

Trump said “Boeing is an incredible company,” but added “the safety of all people is our parament concern.”

Earlier Tuesday, Canada banned the new Boeing 737-Max 8 aircraft, which has crashed twice in fewer than five months, killing nearly 350 people.

Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau told reporters in Ottawa Wednesday’s decision was made after receiving new satellite data that showed a possible similarity to a previous crash.

 

Canada’s action followed confirmation that the pilot of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 reported internal control problems, while pilots in the U.S. filed at least five complaints in recent months about the aircraft model. Some of the complaints appear to involve the same anti-stall system, according to a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration database. Complaints are filed anonymously to improve the reporting of safety problems.

Ethiopian Airlines spokesman Asrat Begashaw said the pilot asked to return to Addis Ababa, where the flight had departed. “In fact, he was allowed to turn back,” Begashaw told the Reuters news agency. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg confirmed the pilot’s problems in interviews with The Wall Street Journal and CNN.

The Trump administration had continued to resist growing domestic and international calls to ground the 737 Max 8, even as Trump discussed the issue Tuesday in a phone call with Muilenburg. The Boeing executive reassured Trump the aircraft is safe, company and White House officials confirmed.

Muilenburg called Trump after the president complained Tuesday on Twitter that planes “are becoming far too complex to fly.” The call was in the process of being scheduled prior to Tuesday. The two men have developed a relationship since Trump was elected.

Boeing donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural fund and the two men met later at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to discuss the new Air Force One presidential aircraft that Boeing is constructing. Trump applauded Muilenburg last June at a National Space Council meeting, calling the CEO a “friend of mine. A great guy.”

Military contractor, lobbying force 

As a key military contractor, Boeing is a major lobbying force in Washington. Boeing spent $15 million on lobbying last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Boeing also has close ties with the U.S. government, particularly with the Federal Aviation Administration.

After decades of using outside experts to certify the safety of aircraft, the FAA changed its approach in 2005 with the creation of a new program through which Boeing and other U.S. aircraft manufacturers could select their own employees to help certify their planes.

About two-thirds of the Boeing 737-Max 8, the company’s newest plane, were pulled from service within two days of Sunday’s crash.

U.S. House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio has suggested the FAA could be conflicted by its roles as an aviation industry advocate and regulator. The Senate plans to conduct a hearing on airline safety.

Trump had resisted calls for the jet to be grounded until the cause of the crashes is found and planned modifications of software are installed for the aircraft’s automatic anti-stall system, which may have played a role in both accidents.

Boeing also said in a statement Tuesday it had no plans to ground the Max 8, while the FAA said its own review of available data shows no basis for doing so.

Boeing announced on Monday that it is developing a “flight control software enhancement for the 737 Max, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer.”

The initial crash of the Max 8 involved a Lion Air domestic flight in Indonesia on Oct. 29, 2018. The plane plunged into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board.  

During Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines flight, the plane nosedived minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa on an international flight to Nairobi, Kenya, witnesses said.

The flight data and cockpit voice recorders from Flight 302 have been recovered, the airline announced on Monday. Begashaw confirmed Wednesday the black box that contains the records will be sent to Europe for analysis. Begashaw did not indicate which country would conduct it.

 

Senate Expected to Disapprove Trump’s National Emergency Declaration

The U.S. Senate is expected to deliver a legislative black eye to President Donald Trump on Thursday, when it votes on disapproving the president’s national emergency declaration to fund wall construction along the U.S.-Mexico border.

 

A handful of Senate Republicans have committed to joining a unified Democratic caucus in rejecting the emergency declaration, all but assuring the disapproval measure’s passage in a chamber where Republicans have a narrow 53-47 majority.

“Are we going to say, anytime a president can’t get his way with Congress, he can declare an emergency and Congress will meekly shrug its shoulders?” Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said. “What a disgrace.”

Many Republicans have expressed unease over the national emergency declaration, noting the U.S. Constitution grants Congress authority over spending matters. But most are expected to vote against the disapproval measure, citing an urgent need to secure America’s southern border.

 

“I’m voting with you, Mr. President,” Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe tweeted. “There is no country without borders.”

Veto probable

The Democratically-led House of Representatives already approved the measure, which is expected to trigger the first veto of Trump’s presidency should it reach his desk.

 

“It is about Border Security and the Wall [stopping Crime, Drugs, etc.], not Constitutionality and Precedent,” the president recently wrote on Twitter.

 

Congress has not funded Trump’s border wall requests, including under unified Republican control of the legislature, as existed for the first two years of his term in office. Earlier this year, a politically-divided Congress provided limited funds to erect new fencing along small sections of the U.S.-Mexico border, an outlay Trump deemed inadequate.

 

A national emergency declaration empowers a president to redirect federal funds in response to a sudden and grave crisis. Democrats noted that America’s border deficiencies have been debated for decades, and in making the declaration, Trump himself said he “didn’t have to do it.”

Major stumbling block

For some Republicans, a major stumbling block is setting a precedent that could be used by a future Democratic president to evade the will of Congress.

 

“Imagine in the future a socialist-inclined president who wants to fund the Green New Deal [Global Warming resolution] or declare an emergency against the Second Amendment [constitutional right to bear arms],” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said. “Congress needs to fund border security — no question. But no president should go around Congress.”

 

As the Senate prepared to vote, some Republicans put forth legislation to limit the National Emergencies Act, which became law in 1976 and has been used by all presidents since to trigger swift federal action. Democrats noted the Republican proposal would do nothing to rein in Trump’s current emergency declaration.

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, declared the bill will not pass Congress.

 

“The House will not take up this legislation to give President Trump a pass [on the emergency declaration],” Pelosi said in a statement.

 

Campaign promise

Building a border wall was one of Trump’s primary promises to voters in his 2016 presidential campaign. Trump repeatedly stated that Mexico, not the United States, would pay for it.

 

The White House argued Mexico is paying for the wall indirectly as a result of the expected economic benefits from a new free trade agreement negotiated between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

 

Aside from congressional action, the national emergency declaration is being challenged in the federal court system, which may have the final word in whether it survives.

US Health Officials Move to Tighten Sales of E-Cigarettes

U.S. health regulators are moving ahead with a plan designed to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of teenagers by restricting sales of most flavored products in convenience stores and online.

 

The new guidelines, first proposed in November, are the latest government effort to reverse what health officials call an epidemic of underage vaping.

 

E-cigarettes typically heat a flavored nicotine solution into an inhalable vapor. Federal law bans their sale to those under 18, but 1 in 5 high school students report using e-cigarettes, according to the latest survey published last year .

 

Under proposed guidelines released Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration, e-cigarette makers would restrict sales of most flavored products to stores that verify the age of customers entering the store or include a separate, age-restricted area for vaping products. Companies would also be expected to use third-party identity-verification technology for online sales.

 

Companies that don’t follow the requirements risk having their products pulled from the market, the FDA said.

 

“The onus is now on the companies and the vaping industry to work with us to try and bring down these levels of youth use, which are simply intolerable,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in an interview. The restrictions won’t apply to three flavors that the FDA says appeal more to adults than teenagers: tobacco, menthol and mint.

 

The FDA will accept comments on the guidelines for 30 days before finalizing them later this year.

 

Anti-smoking activists have questioned whether the in-store restrictions will be enough to stop the unprecedented surge in teen vaping. The FDA has little authority over how stores display and sell vaping products. Instead, critics say the agency is essentially telling companies to self-police where and how their products are sold.

 

“FDA continues to nibble around the edges and that will not end the epidemic,” said Erika Sward, of the American Lung Association, which has called on the FDA to remove all flavored e-cigarettes from the market.

 

Health experts say nicotine is harmful to developing brains, and some researchers worry that addicted teens will eventually switch from vaping to smoking.

 

Under regulations developed by the Obama administration, manufacturers were supposed to submit e-cigarettes for safety and health review by August 2018. But Gottlieb delayed the deadline until 2022, saying both the agency and industry needed more time to prepare. Under Wednesday’s update, the FDA will move the deadline to 2021.

 

Still, the American Lung Association and several other anti-smoking groups are suing the FDA to begin reviewing the safety and health effects of e-cigarettes immediately.

 

 

 

Біатлон: без Підручного медалей немає

Українська чоловіча збірна за відсутності чемпіона світу Дмитра Підручного 13 березня не змогла гідно виступити в індивідуальній гонці на чемпіонаті світу, що триває в шведському Остерсунді.

Найкращий серед четвірки результат показав дебютант чемпіонатів світу Віталій Труш, який із двома промахами фінішував 59-м, програвши чемпіонові майже вісім хвилин.

Іншим українцям (Руслану Ткаленку, Сергію Семенову та Артему Тищенку) не лише не біглося, але й не стрілялося – по шість-сім промахів на 20 мішеней спричинили відповідний результат, місця від 65-го до 83-го.

Чемпіоном світу став німець Арнд Пайфер, який за непростої вітрової ситуації спромігся закрити всі 20 мішеней. Друге місце в боротьбі з норвежцем Тар’єєм Бьо виборов болгарин Владімір Ілієв, титулований Бьо-старший задовольнився бронзовою нагородою. Срібного і бронзового медалістів, які припустилися по одному промаху, відділили всього чотири десятих секунди.

Днем раніше, 12 березня, набагато вдаліше виступили в індивідуальній гонці українські жінки. Уся четвірка потрапила до залікової зони, а Анастасія Меркушина, Юлія Джима та Юлія Журавок взагалі фіншували серед 15 найкращих – Меркушина стала 10-ю, Джима 12-ю, Журавок 14-ю. Запорукою високих результатів став лише один промах на трьох, його припустилася найшвидша в цій гонці серед українок Анастасія Меркушина.

Trump Campaign Preparing Early Focus on Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is preparing an early focus on Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, states that were instrumental to his improbable 2016 victory but where his support has softened, two campaign advisers said.

The decision to accelerate campaign organizing and eventually get the Republican president to make trips to the three states is a recognition that Trump’s path to re-election in 2020 will need to repeat some of the successes he had in 2016.

Advisers also see a need to bolster Trump’s support in Florida, a battleground state he considers his second home but where opinion polls show him struggling.

They also see an opportunity for gains in Minnesota and Colorado, two states Trump narrowly lost. The Trump team views those states as competitive places where the president can go on offense, according to the advisers, who asked not to be named so they could speak freely about the campaign strategy.

With 20 months to go until the November 2020 presidential election, Trump and his campaign team are still getting organized for what is expected to be a tough battle for a second four-year term.

Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives in last November’s congressional elections widely seen as a referendum on Trump’s storm-tossed first two years in office, while Republicans strengthened their grip on the U.S. Senate.

More than a dozen Democrats have lined up so far to challenge Trump, and some Republicans are also considering running against him.

Chris Jackson, a pollster for Ipsos, which conducts polls with Reuters, said Trump, however, looked to be in a competitive position for re-election at this point, given his approval rating is hovering between 40 percent and 45 percent.

“Presidents with an approval rating above 40 percent generally have better than 50-50 odds of winning re-election,” he said. “He’s not an underdog if you take the big picture view.”

Trump’s support among Republican voters also remains strong.

CRITICAL STATES

Trump’s win in 2016 included unexpected victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, which form part of the country’s former industrial heartland. The trio of states had voted Democratic in recent presidential elections, but Trump caught Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by surprise, winning them by a mere combined 77,000 votes.

An Emerson College poll of Michigan voters released on Sunday found Trump trailing all the leading potential Democratic challengers, including an 8-percentage-point deficit to former Vice President Joe Biden, who is considering a White House bid.

A Marquette Law School poll conducted in January during a government shutdown largely blamed on Trump found the president had a 44 percent approval rating among Wisconsin voters, with 52 percent disapproving. The political tracking organization Morning Consult found Trump down 7 points among Pennsylvania voters.

Asked about the re-election strategy, a senior Trump campaign official said the early focus on the three states had nothing to do with polling.

“It is about securing victory in states where the margin of victory was close in 2016,” the official said.

The official added: “These are not given Republican states. These are Trump states. Wisconsin had not gone red since 1984 and Pennsylvania and Michigan since 1988. Trump expanded the map, and now we must protect this territory.”

Republican strategist Scott Reed, who is not connected to the Trump campaign, said the three states would be critical for Trump.

“Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan put Trump over the top, and they are clearly where this next national election will be won or lost,” said Reed, who was campaign manager for Republican nominee Bob Dole’s 1996 White House campaign.

Aides say Trump has shown a keen interest in his re-election effort. In the absence of an obvious front-runner among the Democrats, the president has concentrated his attacks on what he calls the Democrats’ trend toward socialism with their “Green New Deal.”

Trump has talked privately about some of the Democratic field, telling allies that Senator Kamala Harris of California had the best campaign rollout. He described Biden as “dumb” in a lunch with television anchors ahead of his State of the Union address on Feb. 5, a source familiar with the lunch said.

Trump’s campaign team recently showed the president a slide show outlining how to organize, tie up Republican nominating delegates and control the Republican presidential nomination process to fend off any challengers, a Republican official familiar with the presentation said.

“We are running a comprehensive, state-of-the-art campaign,” the senior campaign official said.