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The Louvre, Paris’ famous and the world’s most visited museum, partly reopened Monday, after being on lockdown for 16 weeks due to the spread of COVID-19.   The museum has lost more than $45 million in ticket sales in nearly four months, according to its director Jean-Luc Martinez, and may continue to have reduced visitation for a few more years, as the world adapts to the virus. The Louvre’s most famous works of art, like “Mona Lisa” and its big antiquities collection will be accessible, but a third of its galleries where social distancing is more difficult to observe, will remain shut.   However, no selfies will be allowed in front of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, and visitors are required to stand on marked spots on the floor. About 70 percent of the Louvre’s 9.6 million visitors last year were foreigners, but the situation is much different this year. The museum is hoping to have more French visitors to fill the gap, as France is trying to counter its elitist image ahead of the Paris Olympics to be held in four years. 


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A Russian court has found journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva guilty of “justifying terrorism” and ordered her to pay a fine of 500,000 rubles (about $6,950). The court in the western Russian city of Pskov announced its verdict on July 6 in a case that has drawn outrage from supporters of Prokopyeva and rights groups. Prosecutors had asked the Second Western District Military Court to sentence Prokopyeva to six years in prison for “justifying terrorism” in a commentary she wrote that linked a suicide bombing with the country’s political climate. Prosecutors had also sought to bar Prokopyeva from journalistic activities for four years. The charge carries a maximum sentence of up to seven years in prison. FILE – Svetlana Prokopyeva was added to the list of “terrorists and extremists” by Russian authorities following her commentary about the Arkhangelsk blast in October 2018.Prokopyeva, a freelance contributor to RFE/RL’s Russian Service, has maintained her innocence throughout the trial and described the case as an attempt to “assassinate freedom of speech” in Russia. “I am not afraid to criticize the government,” Prokopyeva said in her final statement to the court on July 3. “I am not afraid to criticize law enforcement or tell the security organs that they are wrong. Because I know how really horrific it will become if I don’t speak out — if no one speaks out.” She asked the court to take into consideration “the most basic principles that our society is built upon” when deciding her fate. “I mean freedom of speech, the status of a journalist, and the mission of the press,” she concluded. “I did my work. I did not do anything that was beyond the framework of my professional duty. And that is not a crime.” Prokopyeva was charged in connection with a commentary she wrote in November 2018, published by the Pskov affiliate of Ekho Moskvy radio. In the text, she discussed a bombing outside the Federal Security Service (FSB) offices in the northern city of Arkhangelsk. Russian media have reported that the suspected bomber, who died in the explosion, had posted statements on social media accusing the FSB of tampering with criminal cases. In her commentary, Prokopyeva linked the teenager’s statements to the political climate under President Vladimir Putin. She suggested that political activism in the country was severely restricted, leading people to despair. “We are dismayed that Russia would choose to move so ruthlessly against a highly recognized independent journalist who was doing the opposite of what prosecutors allege,” RFE/RL acting President Daisy Sindelar said in a statement on July 3. “Svetlana’s commentary was an effort to explain a tragedy; the portrayal of her words as ‘justifying terrorism’ is a deliberate and politically motivated distortion aimed at silencing her critical voice, and recalls the worst show trials of one of Russia’s darkest periods,” she added. More than 30 independent Russian journalists have also issued statements in support of Prokopyeva. In a July 3 statement, European Union spokesman Peter Stano called for the case against Prokopyeva to be dropped, saying it was an indication of “the ever-shrinking space for independent journalists and civil society” in Russia. “We expect the Russian Federation to uphold its international and domestic obligations and to guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms and ensure that journalists are able to work in a safe environment without fear of reprisal,” he said. Human Rights Watch called Prokopyeva’s prosecution a violation of freedom of expression, “but not just hers.” “It sends yet another chilling message that in Russia, raising uncomfortable questions can have severe repercussions — a lesson the authorities have been giving the media for years,” the New York-based rights group said. The case has also drawn criticism from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and media rights groups like Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the European Federation of Journalists. 


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Як зелений карлик багато років не платить податки і обкрадає Україну.

Імперія сміху і не тільки. Чим володіє президентська родина і скільки все це коштує? Як багато заробило й витратило подружжя зеленських за роки російської агресії? Та як імперія сміху володимира зеленського сплачувала податки, коли Україна воювала і гинули кращі українці?
 

 
 
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Britain will invest nearly $2 billion in cultural institutions and the arts to help a sector that has been crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday.
 
Theaters, opera houses and ballet companies have been left without a live audience for months.
 
Though English museums and cinemas can reopen with strict social distancing in the latest easing of the lockdown that began Saturday, guidelines still dictate no live performances at theaters or concert halls.
 
That has created an existential crisis for much of the sector, which has been vocal in calling on the government for support.
 
“This money will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the UK can stay afloat and support their staff whilst their doors remain closed and curtains remain down,” Johnson said in a statement.
 
The government said the 1.57 billion pound ($1.96 billion) investment was the biggest ever in Britain’s culture sector.
 
It said that Britain’s museums, art galleries, theaters, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues would be protected through emergency grants and loans.
 
The government will consult with figures from Arts Council England, the British Film Institute and other specialist bodies on awarding grants, while it said repayable finance would be issued on affordable terms.
 


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Croatia’s ruling center-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) convincingly won a parliamentary election Sunday, held at a time of rising coronavirus infections and a sharp economic downturn because of the pandemic.The official results after about 60% of votes were counted gave the HDZ 68 seats in the 151-seat parliament, while its top opponent, the Social Democrats (SDP) and its small allies, secured 43 seats.Nationalist and euroskeptic bloc Domovinski Pokret (Homeland Movement), led by popular singer Miroslav Skoro, came in third with 15 seats, followed by the conservative Most (Bridge) party with eight seats and leftist Mozemo (We can) with six seats.The HDZ will now seek partners to form yet another ruling coalition, which analysts believe should not be too difficult given its strong performance.”They have a pretty comfortable position now as they may be able to choose their partners and may not need to negotiate with their opponents on the right-wing spectrum of the political scene,” political analyst Berto Salaj told state television.The HDZ leader and incumbent Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said the victory brought with it an obligation to work hard.”Croatia is facing serious challenges which require from us responsibility, knowledge and experience. That is exactly what we have offered to the Croatian voters,” he said addressing his party supporters.The new government will have an uphill task to keep a grip on the coronavirus while trying to restore the economy, which is expected to shrink about 10% this year. Tourism revenues are forecast to slump 70%.Croatia has reported a relatively small number of COVID-19 infections, a little over 3,000 cases and some 100 deaths so far, but infections have accelerated in the past two weeks, with the daily number of new cases peaking at about 80. 


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Одна против фсб. Журналистку Светлану Прокопьеву судят за правду.

В понедельник, 6 июля, в 12.00 в Пскове начнут оглашать решение суда по делу журналистки Светланы Прокопьевой. «Дело Прокопьевой» – это уничтожение свободы мнений опущенным карликом пукиным
 

 
 
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Турция остаётся последовательной и непреклонной трахая опущенного карлика пукина
 

 
 
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Опущенный карлик пукин слетел с катушек и запускает пилораму
 

 
 
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The British government is set to end the participation of Chinese telecom giant Huawei in the building of Britain’s 5G phone network — a policy about-turn that will further deteriorate London’s strained relations with Beijing, but will please Washington, according to British media reports. The major policy change follows a fresh reassessment by Britain’s National Cyber Security Center, or NCSC, on the eavesdropping risks posed by the Chinese company, according to Britain’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper. British officials have confirmed to VOA the newspaper report is accurate. Previously the NCSC, a department within Britain’s intelligence agency GCHQ, said the security risks posed by Huawei could be safely managed and mitigated, a view not shared by U.S. intelligence agencies. But the imposition last month of new U.S. restrictions on Huawei has altered the picture, the NCSC warns. Britain’s cybersecurity chiefs now conclude the sanctions, which block Huawei from using components and semi-conductors based on any American intellectual property, will mean the telecom giant will have to use “untrusted” parts, increasing security risks. British officials are drawing up a timetable for the removal of Huawei equipment already installed in the 5G network. British telecom firms BT and Vodafone have asked the government to give them until 2030 to strip Huawei components from the existing 5G infrastructure, but officials say Downing Street wants much speedier action, even if it means slowing down the roll-out of the new network. Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, welcomed the reports, saying, “The government’s change of heart is very welcome.” The planned policy reversal comes amid a mounting diplomatic dispute between Britain and Beijing over the introduction by the Chinese government of a new draconian security law that allows Chinese security agencies to arrest pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong, a former British enclave. To Beijing’s anger, Britain announced Hong Kong residents would be allowed to move to Britain. A sign reading “Boris Stop Huawei” is seen next to the M40 motorway, Tetsworth, Britain, May 1, 2020.In January, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to allow Huawei a limited role in building the less critical parts of the country’s next-generation cellular network, dealing a blow to a U.S. campaign urging allies to boycott the telecom giant. For more than a year, the Trump administration has urged Britain and other allies to ban Huawei from participating in the development of fifth-generation wireless networks. U.S. officials say there’s a significant risk that the company, which has close ties to Chinese intelligence services, will act as a Trojan horse for Beijing’s espionage agencies, allowing them to sweep data up and gather intelligence. FILE – A pedestrian walks past a Huawei product stand at an EE telecommunications shop in central London, Britain, April 29, 2019.Ahead of Johnson’s go-ahead, U.S. officials warned London that giving Huawei the green-light could jeopardize intelligence-sharing between Britain and the United States. The British prime minister sought to mollify Washington — and critics within his own ruling Conservative party — by allowing Huawei to build only 35 percent of Britain’s 5G infrastructure and to exclude it from critical networks and from locations near nuclear plants and military bases. Pressure has been mounting on Johnson to reverse his decision from within his own party, pressure that has been fueled by the coronavirus pandemic and accusations that Beijing downplayed the danger of the novel virus. A newly-formed Conservative group in the House of Commons called the China Research Group has been urging Johnson to take a robust line with China’s communist leaders on a range of issues, from Beijing’s security crackdown in Hong Kong to Huawei. The group has attracted the support of dozens of Conservative lawmakers and around 60 had warned Johnson that they would mount a backbench rebellion, if he did not block Huawei. Johnson recently instructed officials to draft plans to limit Britain’s reliance on China for vital medical supplies and other strategic imports in light of the coronavirus crisis. Britain is strategically dependent on China for 71 critical goods categories, including pharmaceutical ingredients and consumer electronics, according to trade data analyzed by the Henry Jackson Society, a foreign policy think tank based in London. Last month, Christopher Patten, a former Conservative minister and Britain’s last Hong Kong governor, warned Johnson publicly about Huawei, saying, “If people argue we should deal with Huawei because they’re just like any other multinational company, that is for the birds: if they come under pressure from the Communist government to do things which are thought to be in Beijing’s interest they will do it.” With Britain poised to block Huawei, it would leave Canada as the only member of the so-called ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence-sharing partnership, which includes the U.S., Britain Australia and New Zealand, not yet to have excluded Huawei from involvement in 5G development. Huawei issued a statement Sunday saying it remains “open to discussions with the British government” and accused the U.S. of seeking to boost the market position of American companies. Company officials say an any decision to reverse its role in Britain’s 5G network is based is based on “mistaken assumptions.” A Huawei spokesman said: “Huawei is the most scrutinized vendor in the world and we firmly believe our unrivaled transparency in the UK means we can continue to be trusted to play a part in Britain’s gigabit upgrade. It’s important to focus on facts and not to speculate at this time.”  


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Pope Francis on Sunday threw his support behind a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a halt to conflicts to facilitate the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted the resolution after more than three months of negotiations calling for “an immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations” on the Security Council’s agenda.”The request for a global and immediate cease-fire, which would allow that peace and security necessary to provide the needed humanitarian assistance is commendable,” the pope said after his weekly Angelus prayer at St. Peter’s in Rome.”I hope that this decision will be implemented effectively and promptly for the good of the many people who are suffering.”May this Security Council resolution become a courageous first step towards a peaceful future.”The resolution was the Security Council’s first statement on the pandemic and its first real action since the outbreak started.Repeatedly blocked by China and the United States, which opposed a reference in the text to the World Health Organization (WHO), the resolution aims to support an appeal in March by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire.It “calls upon all parties to armed conflicts to engage immediately in a durable humanitarian pause for at least 90 consecutive days, in order to enable the safe, unhindered and sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance.”
 


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