Місія МВФ продовжить роботу в Україні у вересні – Ґеорґієва

Директора фонду назвала «значущим» економічний прогрес, якого Україні вдалося досягнути за час дії програми МВФ

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Курс НБУ: гривня оновила річний максимум проти долара США

На міжбанківському валютному ринку торги завершуються посиленням долара, яке ще не встиг відбити регулятор в офіційному курсі

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Ціна на електроенергію з 1 серпня для населення залишиться незмінною – Шмигаль

З 1 серпня тариф на електроенергію для населення залишиться на рівні 1,68 гривні за кіловат-годину

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Sydney’s Coronavirus Lockdown Extended Another Month

The five million residents of Sydney, Australia will remain under strict lockdown orders for another four weeks as the number of new COVID-19 infections continues to rise.

The extension for Australia’s largest city was announced Wednesday when authorities in New South Wales state, of which Sydney is the capital, reported 177 new infections over a 24-hour period, slightly higher than the previous record of 172 new cases posted on Tuesday.

“I am as upset and frustrated as all of you that we were not able to get the case numbers we would have liked at this point in time but that is the reality,” New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters during a news conference.

The latest outbreak has been traced to a Sydney airport limousine driver who tested positive for the delta variant after transporting international air crews in late June. At least 11 people have died as a result of the surge, including a woman in her 90s on Wednesday.

Australia has been largely successful in containing the spread of COVID-19 through aggressive lockdown efforts, posting just 33,473 total confirmed cases and 921 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. But it has proved vulnerable to fresh outbreaks due to a slow rollout of its vaccination campaign, with only 13% of its citizens fully vaccinated.

In Japan, the Kyodo news agency is reporting that Tokyo, the host city of the pandemic-delayed Summer Olympics, recorded just over 3,000 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, breaking the single-day record of 2,848 new infections posted on Tuesday.  Olympics organizers also confirmed 16 new coronavirus infections related to the Games on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 169.  The Japanese capital is under a fourth state of emergency that will remain in effect until August 22.

South Korea also reported a new single-day record of 1,896 infections on Wednesday, surpassing the 1,842 recorded last Wednesday. South Korea now has a total of 193,427 COVID-19 infections, including 2,083 deaths.

In the United States, President Joe Biden is expected to issue an order Thursday for all federal government employees to either get a COVID-19 vaccine or undergo regular testing, according to anonymous administration officials. The president told reporters Tuesday the policy was “under consideration” during a visit to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

The Department of Veterans Affairs, which operates 1,700 medical centers and outpatient clinics for retired military personnel, became the first U.S. federal agency on Monday to impose such a demand on its employees, mainly on its health care providers.

The order would be part of a new overall strategy by the White House to encourage more Americans to get inoculated due to a steady rise of new infections, primarily among unvaccinated people, which has led to a repeat of hospitals overflowing with new coronavirus patients first seen at the start of the pandemic.

The latest figures from Johns Hopkins say 195.3 million people around the globe have been infected with COVID-19 since the first cases were detected in Wuhan, China in late 2019, including 4.1 million deaths.  The United States leads both categories with 34.6 million infections and 611,288 deaths.  A total of 3,926,883,424 vaccine doses have been administered around the world. 

(Some information for this report came from the Associated Press, Reuters and AFP.)

 

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Україна додатково розмістила єврооблігації на 500 мільйонів доларів – Мінфін

Кошти від дорозміщення планують використати для фінансування державного бюджету

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Міжбанк: гривня оновлює річний рекорд проти долара

На українському міжбанківському валютному ринку триває зміцнення гривні, долар уже третій день є дешевшим за 27 гривень

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18 Workers Killed in India as Truck Rams into Bus

Eighteen migrant laborers sleeping on a highway in northern India after their bus broke down died when a truck rammed into the vehicle, police said Wednesday. 

At least 19 others were injured in the accident in Uttar Pradesh state, a senior police officer told reporters. 

Most of the passengers were returning home to the eastern state of Bihar after working in the states of Punjab or Haryana. 

The passengers got off the bus after its axle shaft broke and were sleeping next to it when a truck crashed into it from behind. 

Rescue workers retrieved some of the bodies from under the mangled double-decker bus. 

“The district administration and the police have launched a probe and we are ensuring that the wounded receive the best medical treatment that’s available,” said police officer Satya Narayan Sabat. 

India’s vast network of roads is poorly maintained and notoriously dangerous. 

About 150,000 people are killed each year in traffic accidents in India, according to the government. 

Among the main factors contributing to the high number of fatalities are excessive speeding and people not using seatbelts or wearing crash helmets. 

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Turkey’s Independent Media Brace for New Crackdown

Rights groups are voicing alarm over a Turkish official’s announcement of new legislation and controls on the foreign funding of social media in Turkey.

Dokuz8 Haber is one of many Turkish news portals that have launched on social media in recent years, offering independent journalism.  

Like many others, it receives support from foreign sources. But this month, Fahrettin Altun, the head of the Turkish President’s Communication’s Directorate, accused foreign-funded media organizations of acting as a fifth column in Turkey, undermining the government, he claimed, at the bidding of foreign powers.  

Dokuz8 chief editor Gokhan Bicici dismisses the allegation, saying the attack is a response to the portal’s success in challenging what he says is the government’s grip on media.

“Ninety percent of mainstream media outlets are in control of the government (under government control). But they are facing the fact that these media outlets (are) no more effective to have a control over (to control) the public opinion. They want to make legislation that directly targets independent and critical media organizations. They defend these regulations with the thesis (that) those media outlets are supported by foreign governments to have the support of society,” Bicici said.

Altun, in a statement, said new regulations would be introduced to monitor and control foreign funding of media.  

The announcement drew swift condemnation from rights groups.  

This year, the Paris-based group Reporters Without Borders, RSF, ranked Turkey 143 out of 180 countries in terms of media freedoms.   

The group’s Turkey representative Erol Onderoglu says foreign funding plays a key role for independent media because fear of government retribution deters many Turkish citizens and companies from giving financial support.  

“I am concerned because it has always been very difficult in Turkey to develop a local system for funding independent journalism projects. Many of the serious news portals are so dynamic thanks to international donor contributions. I think the government knows very well where to target,” Onderoglu said.

Turkish officials have also announced they are considering new legislation to punish disseminating so-called fake news on social media.  

Atilla Yesilada, a political analyst for Global Source Partners, says the threat of new controls coincides with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s mounting political challenges.

“The main motivation is Erdogan’s approval ratings dropping as we speak. Erdogan understands one of the main pillars of his long reign is his ability is to control the news flow to the public. But social media, YouTube, and these alternative media (have) become the number one news source. And he is getting desperate; we have another COVID wave – I think it has started – and the economy is in a miserable condition, Yesilada said.

Turkey is scheduled to hold both presidential and parliamentary polls in 2023, although some observers see the increasing pressure on independent media as a sign that there could be early elections.  

But the government insists any new measures are aimed at only protecting the integrity of the media and will conform to international norms.

 

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Вітренко припускає, що збитки «Нафтогазу» за 1 квартал 2021-го можуть становити 105 млрд гривень

Йдеться про відображення фінансового стану підприємств теплокомуненерго, а також про заборгованість компанії перед «Укрнафтою» за газ

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Курс НБУ: гривня посилилася до річного максимуму проти долара США

Торги на міжбанківському валютному ринку завершуються на рівні 26 гривень 86,5–88,5 копійки за долар

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Міжбанк: гривня продовжує тиснути на долар

Це відбувається на наступний день після того, як уперше з середини червня долар подешевшав до рівня менш як 27 гривень

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Chinese Pair Outduels Russians to Win Mixed Team Pistol Gold

China’s Jiang Ranxin and Pang Wei out-dueled their Russian rivals in a riveting contest to secure gold in the 10-meter air pistol mixed team event at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday. 

The Chinese pair scored a 16-14 victory against newly minted women’s Olympic champion Vitalina Batsarashkina and Artem Chernousov at the Asaka Shooting Range. 

Jiang and Pang, bronze winners in their individual events in Tokyo, overcame an 8-4 deficit to lead 14-10 before the Russians staged a comeback to level the scores. 

The Chinese shooters, however, held their nerve to reach the 16-point mark and claim gold. 

Russian athletes are competing in Tokyo under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) as part of sanctions for several doping scandals. 

Ukraine won the bronze medal match after Olena Kostevych and Oleh Omelchuk beat Serbians Zorana Arunovic and Damir Mikec 16-12. 

South Korean pistol great Jin Jong-oh will return empty-handed from his fifth, and possibly final, Olympics as his pairing could not get through the qualification round. 

The four-time Olympic gold medalist failed to qualify for the final of the men’s individual event on Saturday. 

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Protests Flare in Tunisia as Critics Accuse President of ‘Coup’

The United States and several other countries have called for calm in Tunisia after violent protests broke out following the suspension of parliament Sunday. Tunisia’s president invoked purported emergency powers to sack the prime minister following months of demonstrations over a worsening economic crisis. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

 Camera: Henry Ridgwell
 

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Weightlifter Diaz Wins First-ever Olympic Gold for Philippines

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz made history on Monday when she became the first athlete from the Philippines to win an Olympic gold medal. 

The 30-year-old Rio 2016 silver medalist from the southern city of Zamboanga realized her dream in the women’s 55kg class at the Tokyo International Forum, smashing her personal best to see off world record holder Liao Qiuyun of China who had to settle for silver. 

With Liao setting a target of 223kg, just four kilograms shy of her own world record, Diaz was faced with a final clean and jerk of 127kg to win — fully 5kg more than she had ever achieved in competition. 

With a massive effort she hoisted the huge Olympic-record weight and the tears of joy began to flow even before she dropped the bar to the floor after a triumphant effort. 

Liao took the silver, with Kazakhstan’s Zulfiya Chinshanlo the bronze 10kg adrift of the top two. 

“It’s unbelievable, it’s a dream, come true,” Diaz told AFP moments after the Philippines Air Force woman shed more tears on the podium as she saluted her flag and sung the national anthem. 

“I want to say to the young generation in the Philippines, ‘You can have this dream of gold, too,'” Diaz said. “This is how I started and finally I was able to do it.” 

Diaz was already assured a place in her country’s sporting folklore, alongside the likes of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, as the only woman from the sprawling archipelago ever to win an Olympic medal — her surprise silver five years ago breaking a 20-year medal drought for the Philippines. 

Diaz spent the last year and a half training in exile in Malaysia because of COVID restrictions, so dedicated was she to claim an unprecedented gold in her fourth and probably final Games. 

“I’m looking forward to going back home to the Philippines to be with my family because I really miss them,” she said, choking up once more with emotion. “I’m looking forward now to enjoy my life after so many sacrifices.” 

Diaz’s medal was just the 11th by the Philippines since they first took part in the Olympics in 1924, and now the only gold. 

Diaz became just the second athlete from her country to win multiple Olympic medals, joining swimmer Teofilo Yldefonzo who won bronze in the men’s 200m breaststroke in 1928 and 1932. 

She became a national hero for her exploits in Rio and her profile soared when she won Asian Games gold in Jakarta in 2018. 

But on that occasion China was suspended by the International Weightlifting Federation for multiple doping violations. 

China has been dominant since its return later in 2018 and has had it all its own way so far in Tokyo in the absence of fierce rivals North Korea. 

The first three weightlifting golds were all won by Chinese athletes — in the women’s 49kg through Hou Zhihui on Saturday and men’s winners Li Fabin (61kg) and Chen Lijun (67kg) on Sunday. 

Liao was gracious in defeat as the Chinese gold rush in weightlifting was halted in stunning fashion. 

“I really respect Diaz as an opponent because she did the best she could, in fact better than that and that is the ultimate,” Liao said. “She did a better job and it is nice for all the people that were supporting her.” 

Diaz, known as “Haidee,” has a huge social media following in her home country, which is set to grow. 

Internet platforms instantly turned her into the country’s top trending topic on Twitter as news of her win spread, upstaging President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation address. 

“Congratulations, Sgt. Hidilyn Diaz!” tweeted the Armed Forces of the Philippines where the weightlifter is enlisted.  

Vice President Leni Robredo said: “Big win for the Philippines!! Thank you for making us proud, Hidilyn.” 

Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, congratulated Diaz “for bringing pride and glory to the Philippines.” 
 

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