Category Archive Думки

Конференція європейських лідерів у Парижі: Дуда підбив підсумки засідання

«Найгарячіша дискусія», за словами президента Польщі,  стосувалася того, чи відправляти в Україну військових

Ethiopia Arrests French Journalist

washington — A French journalist on assignment in Ethiopia is in custody after being arrested in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Antoine Galindo, who works for the Paris-based media outlet Africa Intelligence, was arrested at a hotel while interviewing Bate Urgessa, a spokesperson for the opposition Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) party.

Police also detained Bate, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists or CPJ.

Police accused the reporter of “conspiracy to create chaos,” according to a statement by Galindo’s employer. He was detained Thursday and a court on Saturday ordered that the journalist be held until March 1.

Africa Intelligence in a statement said that a lawyer for the publication attended the hearing Saturday.

The publication added that it “condemns the unjustified arrest … and calls for [Galindo’s] immediate release.”

Galindo heads the Eastern Africa and Horn section of Africa Intelligence. He traveled to Ethiopia on February 13 to cover the African Union summit and other local reporting assignments, according to his employer.

The Ethiopian Embassy in Washington did not respond to VOA’s email requesting comment.

International press freedom groups condemned the arrest and called for Ethiopian authorities to free Galindo.

“The baseless and unjustified detention of Antoine Galindo for carrying out his legitimate journalistic duties is outrageous,” said CPJ’s Angela Quintal in a statement.

Quintal, who heads CPJ’s Africa program, said that Ethiopia has a “dismal” press freedom record and is detaining at least eight other journalists.

The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders or RSF said in a statement that Galindo’s arrest comes amid a difficult climate for media in Ethiopia.

“The authorities are trying to control the narrative of recent social and political tensions, [and] there is growing hostility towards independent journalism that seeks to cover any national issues,” said Sadibou Marong, who is director of RSF’s sub-Saharan Africa bureau.

“The authorities are also targeting foreign media and journalists. Antoine Galindo’s totally arbitrary detention is a terrible example,” Marong added.

Human rights activists have criticized Ethiopia’s restrictions on media, including coverage of conflicts and security issues.

Foreign journalists have been expelled from Ethiopia or denied accreditations to work in recent years. The last case of foreign journalists being detained was in 2011, when two journalists from Sweden were arrested.

They were sentenced to 11 years in prison for helping and promoting a rebel group and entering the country illegally before being pardoned and released the following year, Reuters reported.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed freed dozens of jailed members of the media when he came to power in 2018 as part of a raft of political reforms.

But critics say his government has cracked down hard on dissent as civil conflicts, including a 2020-2022 war in the northern Tigray region, have broken out.

Abiy says he is guaranteeing stability and law and order in the multiethnic nation.

Some information in this report came from Reuters.

Макрон закликав європейських лідерів посилити підтримку України

«Ми перебуваємо в процесі забезпечення нашої колективної безпеки сьогодні і завтра», – сказав Емманюель Макрон

Bulgaria Issues EU Entry Ban on 2 Russians Suspected of Espionage

Sofia, Bulgaria — Bulgarian authorities Monday imposed an entry ban on two Russian citizens suspected of espionage for Moscow’s foreign intelligence service.

Bulgaria’s agency for national security identified the two as Vladimir Nikolayevich Gorochkin, 39, and Tatiana Anatolievna Gorochkina, 37, and barred them from entering European Union member states for a period of five years.

The agency said in a statement that the couple had lived undetected in Bulgaria until recently under the aliases Denis Rashkov and Diana Rashkova. The statement indicated they were no longer in Bulgaria but did not elaborate on when they had left the country or indicate where they currently were believed to be.

According to the agency, the Russians were part of an operation orchestrated by the Moscow’s Foreign Intelligence Service aimed at infiltrating foreign countries using false identities. Their mission in the EU member country was reportedly to obtain authentic Bulgarian identity documents and credible biographical data confirming their authenticity, which they could then use to carry out intelligence activities outside Bulgaria.

Last September, five Bulgarians living in the U.K. were charged with spying for Russia. The three men and two women were accused of “conspiring to collect information intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy,” namely Russia, between August 2020 and February 2023.

In 2022, Bulgaria expelled 70 Russian diplomatic staff in a move that severely strained diplomatic ties between the two countries, which were close allies during communist times. It was the greatest ever number of Russian diplomats expelled by Bulgaria, a member of the European Union and NATO.

Bulgaria has strongly backed the West’s sanctions against Moscow since Russia launched its war on Ukraine.

Трамп оскаржив рішення про 355 млн доларів у цивільній справі про шахрайство

Дональд Трамп звернувся до апеляційного суду штату з проханням скасувати рішення судді Артура Енгорона від 16 лютого

Парламент Угорщини ратифікував заявку Швеції на вступ до НАТО

Угорщина була єдиною країною НАТО, яка не ратифікувала заявку Швеції на членство

Шольц вважає, що Навального «вбив режим»

Канцлер Німеччини зазначив, що «смерть стала наслідком диктатури»

Donations as Patriotism: Ukrainians Support Army During Two Years of War

During two years of war, Ukrainians have supported their army financially. Despite the tough economic situation in the country, the level of donations remains high, and volunteers find new ways to raise funds. Lesia Bakalets has the story from Kyiv. Video: Evgenii Shynkar

Навальний загинув перед імовірним обміном – ФБК

За словами голови ради директорів заснованого Навальним «Фонду боротьби з корупцією» Марії Пєвчих, Навального планували обміняти на Вадима Красікова, засудженого в Німеччині за вбивство колишнього польового командира чеченських сепаратистів Зелімхана Хангошвілі

Ізраїльські військові пропонують «план евакуації» цивільного населення Гази – Нетаньягу

За повідомленням офісу Нетаньягу, також схвалений план із надання гуманітарної допомоги. Подробиць, зокрема щодо того, куди пропонують евакуювати людей, у повідомленні немає

Угорщина 26 лютого планує ратифікувати вступ Швеції до НАТО

Угорщина є єдиною країною НАТО, яка не ратифікувала заявку Швеції на членство, що погіршило її відносини зі США і викликало занепокоєння серед союзників

Belarus’ Lukashenko to Run for Seventh Presidential Term in 2025

Moscow — Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko said he would run for president again in 2025, Belarusian state news agency BelTA reported Sunday.

Lukashenko made his comments after voting in parliamentary and local council elections, denounced by the United States as a sham. The ex-Soviet state’s top election official dismissed the criticism and told Washington to look after its own affairs.

BelTA said Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, told journalists: “Tell them (the exiled opposition) that I’ll run. No one, no responsible president would abandon his people who followed him into battle.”

Lukashenko, 69, is one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies and allowed the Kremlin to use his country’s territory to launch its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

“We’re still a year away from the presidential election. A lot of things can change,” he said in response to a follow-up question, BelTA reported.

“Naturally, I and all of us, society, will react to the changes that will take place in our society and the situation in which we will approach the elections in a year’s time,” Lukashenko said.

The U.S. State Department condemned what it called the “sham” elections in Belarus Sunday.

“The elections were held in a climate of fear under which no electoral processes could be called democratic,” department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.

The chairman of Belarus’ Central Election Commission, in comments quoted by BelTA, said it was not up to the United States to comment on the election.

“We don’t denounce their elections. We make no statements, even if they had over  

there a lot of questions for all to see, even in their last presidential election,” Igor Karpenko was quoted as saying.

“They work according to the principle that we are bigger and can therefore tell everyone what to do. I think we can manage quite nicely conducting elections in our own country,” Karpenko said.

Election commission officials said voter turnout stood at just below 73% by mid-evening.

Lukashenko’s reelection to a sixth term in 2020 sparked unprecedented protests by opponents alleging mass vote-rigging. Putin offered support to Lukashenko and the demonstrations died out after mass roundups and detentions of protesters by police.

Lukashenko told reporters the role of parliament would be bolstered in his country.

“People are beginning to understand that in Belarus, for example, a president is not a tsar or a god. It is very hard work,” BelTA quoted him as saying. “Parliament’s role will be expanded, every month, every year.”

Україна все ще може перемогти, якщо отримає «відповідні інструменти» – Салліван

«Україна вже досягла успіху у військовому плані в одній з найголовніших цілей, яку вона ставила перед собою – не дати країні потрапити до рук Росії»

Facing Chinese EV Rivals, Europe’s Automakers Squeeze Suppliers on Costs

London — Europe’s automakers and their already-stretched suppliers face a tough year as they race to cut costs for electric models to counter leaner Chinese rivals which are bringing cheaper vehicles to challenge them on their home turf.

A big question is how much more Europe’s automakers can squeeze out of suppliers that have already started laying off workers, with many smaller companies hard hit by supply chain issues during the pandemic.

The difference between Europe’s legacy automakers and more EV-focused Chinese manufacturers will be on stark display this week at the Geneva car show, which is returning after a four-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

The only major companies holding media events are France’s Renault and China’s SAIC Motors and the BYD Company — two of several of the country’s automakers that have set their sights on Europe.

Renault is launching its electric R5 and SAIC’s MG brand will unveil its M3 hybrid. Meanwhile, BYD’s Seal sedan is shortlisted for the Car of the Year award. If it wins, it would be the first Chinese model to get the prestigious award.

“They really are like chalk and cheese,” Nick Parker, a partner and managing director at consulting firm AlixPartners, said of the legacy European automakers and their Chinese rivals.

Unlike European automakers that are reliant on external suppliers with separate supply chains for fossil-fuel and electric, their Chinese rivals are highly vertically integrated, producing almost everything in-house and keeping costs down.

That helps them undercut their European rivals. In Britain, BYD’s electric Dolphin hatchback starts at 25,490 pounds ($32,300), about 27% less than Volkswagen’s equivalent ID.3 model. Tesla works in the same way.

Chasing those rivals means European automakers’ profit margins could be “heavily challenged” moving forward because there is only so much they can squeeze out of external suppliers, AlixPartners’ Parker said.

The challenge has been made more difficult by a slower-than-expected shift to EVs, leaving legacy automakers stuck with their dual supply chains. Data this week showed EU fully-electric car sales in January fell 42.3% from December.

Both Renault and Stellantis have stressed their EV cost-cutting efforts this month while Mercedes toned down expectations for EV demand and said it will update its traditional lineup well into the next decade.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares has gone further, telling suppliers that with 85% of EV costs related to purchased materials, they need to bear a proportionate burden in reducing costs.

“I am translating that reality to my partners: If you don’t do your part of the job, then you exclude yourself,” he said.

Nickel and aluminum prices have also risen this week as Western countries expanded sanctions lists against Moscow, highlighting the lingering risks to raw materials prices even though there was no mention of the two metals.

Job cuts

Many legacy suppliers are already feeling the strain of cost cuts with FORVIA, Continental and Bosch all recently announcing or warning of layoffs, with more expected.

To preserve their profits, automakers focused production on higher-margin models during the recent semi-conductor shortage, but that meant less revenue and less upside for their suppliers.

Now industry experts say well-capitalized larger suppliers can adapt to the new reality but warn that plenty of smaller ones are teetering on the edge, like Germany’s Allgaier which filed for insolvency in July.

That means Europe’s automakers face a delicate balancing act between cutting costs to fend off Chinese rivals and avoiding pushing their suppliers too far. Philip Nothard, insight director at dealer services firm Cox Automotive, says automakers may even have to step in to bailout struggling suppliers.

“The risk is if (European automakers) try and screw those suppliers down too much, they’ll either push them into administration or they’ll push them into seeking different markets,” he said.

Ізраїль назвав умову перенесення штурму міста Рафах у Секторі Гази

«Ізраїль здобуде перемогу у війні з «Хамасом» за кілька тижнів після початку військової операції в Рафаху», каже Біньямін Нетаньяху

As Ukraine Awaits Weapons, It Places Hope on Peace Summits

The urgency of providing Ukraine with the weapons it needs to stop Russian military advances was again underscored Sunday both in Europe and the United States. At the same time, calls for stopping the human suffering and efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict were also brought to the forefront. Veronica Balderas Iglesias reports.

У Брюсселі відбулася кількатисячна демонстрація на підтримку України

Організували ходу місцеві громадські організації українців, доєдналися також низка іноземних громад і посольств