Apple to Reevaluate Policy on Mapping ‘Disputed Borders’ After Crimea Outcry 

Apple says it will reevaluate how it identifies “disputed borders” after receiving criticism for displaying Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula as part of Russia on maps and weather apps for Russian users. 
Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told Reuters on Friday that the U.S. technology giant was “taking a deeper look at how we handle disputed borders.” 
Muller said Apple made the change for Russian users because of a new law that went into effect inside Russia and that it had not made any changes to its maps outside the country. Review of law
“We review international law as well as relevant U.S. and other domestic laws before making a determination in labeling on our maps and make changes if required by law,” she told Reuters. 
Muller added that Apple “may make changes in the future as a result” of its reevaluation of the policy, without being specific. 
Russian and Ukrainian embassies in the United States did not immediately return requests for comment. 
When using the apps from the United States, Ukraine, and in parts of Europe, no international borders are shown around the peninsula. 
After the reports surfaced of the appearance of Crimea as part of Russia, the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington told RFE/RL that it had sent a letter to Apple explaining the situation in Crimea and demanding that it correct the peninsula’s designation. 
It also said on Twitter that “let’s all remind Apple that #CrimeaIsUkraine and it is under Russian occupation — not its sovereignty.” 
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko tweeted, “Apple, please, please, stick to high-tech and entertainment. Global politics is not your strong side.” Applause from Russia
Vasily Piskarev, who chairs the Russian State Duma’s Committee on Security and Corruption Control, welcomed Apple’s move, saying, “They have brought [their services] in line with Russian law.” 
“The error with displaying Crimean cities on the weather app has been eliminated,” Piskarev told reporters. 
Competitor Google Maps has designated Crimea differently over the years depending on the user’s location, listing it as Russian for Russian users and Ukrainian for most others. 
“We make every effort to objectively depict the disputed regions, and where we have local versions of Google Maps, we follow local legislation when displaying names and borders,” a Google spokesperson told Tech Crunch magazine. Troops entered in 2014
Russia took control of Crimea in March 2014 after sending in troops, seizing key facilities and staging a referendum dismissed as illegal by at least 100 countries. 
Moscow also backs separatists in a war against government forces that has killed more than 13,000 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014. 
The international community does not recognize Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, and the United States and European Union have slapped sanctions on Russia over its actions against Ukraine. 
 Reuters and the Crimea Desk of RFE/RL’s Ukrainian service contributed to this report. 

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Rosa Parks Statue to be Unveiled Sunday

A new statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks will stand in downtown Montgomery.The city said the statue will be unveiled Sunday at 1 p.m. at Montgomery Plaza at the Court Street Fountain.The unveiling coincides with the anniversary of Parks’ historic Dec. 1, 1955 arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.FILE – The statue of African-American civil rights activist Rosa Parks is seen in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Dec. 1, 2014,There will also be four granite markers to honor the plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle – the landmark case that ruled segregation on Montgomery buses unconstitutional.The civil rights memorials are a partnership among the city and county, the Alabama tourism department and the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts.

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Facebook Places Label on User’s Post Under Singapore ‘Fake News’ Law

Facebook said Saturday it had issued a correction notice on a user’s post at the request of the Singapore government, but called for a measured approach to the implementation of a new “fake news” law in the city-state.“Facebook is legally required to tell you that the Singapore government says this post has false information,” said the notice, which is visible only to Singapore users.The correction label was embedded at the bottom of the original post without any alterations to the text.Singapore requests noticeThe Singapore government said Friday it had instructed Facebook “to publish a correction notice” on a Nov. 23 post that contained accusations about the arrest of a supposed whistleblower and election rigging.Singapore, which is expected to call a general elections within months, said the allegations were “false” and “scurrilous” and initially ordered user Alex Tan, who runs the States Times Review blog, to issue the correction notice on the post.Tan, who does not live in Singapore and says he is an Australian citizen, refused, and authorities said he is now under investigation. Reuters could not immediately reach Tan for comment.“As required by Singapore law, Facebook applied a label to these posts, which were determined by the Singapore government to contain false information,” a spokesman for Facebook said in an emailed statement. “As it is early days of the law coming into effect, we hope the Singapore government’s assurances that it will not impact free expression will lead to a measured and transparent approach to implementation.”Some Singapore users however said that they could not see the correction notice. Facebook could not immediately explain why the notice was unavailable to some users.Blocked contentFacebook often blocks content that governments allege violate local laws, with nearly 18,000 cases globally in the year to June, according to the company’s “transparency report.”Two years in the making and implemented only last month, Singapore’s law is the first to demand that Facebook publish corrections when directed to do so by the government.The Asia Internet Coalition, an association of internet and technology companies, called the law the “most far-reaching legislation of its kind to date,” while rights groups have said it could undermine internet freedoms, not just in Singapore, but elsewhere in Southeast Asia.In the only other case under the law, which covers statements that are communicated in the country even if they originate elsewhere, opposition political figure Brad Bowyer swiftly complied with a correction request.The penalties range from prison terms of as much as 10 years or fines up to S$1 million ($733,192).

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Twitter CEO Pledges to Live in Africa for Several Months in 2020

Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey has wrapped up of a trip to Africa by pledging to reside on the continent next year for up to six months. Dorsey tweeted this week: “Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I’ll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020.”The CEO of the social media giant did not say what he planned to do on the African continent.Twitter, which is based in San Francisco, did not offer more details on Dorsey’s plans. On Dorsey’s recent trip, he visited entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. Dorsey, 43, co-founded Twitter with several other entrepreneurs in 2006. He ran the company until he was ousted in 2008 but was brought back seven years later to again lead the platform.Dorsey also co-founded the payment processing app Square and is also CEO of that operation. The tech exec holds millions of stock shares in both companies, and Forbes estimates his net worth at $4.3 billion.Twitter, along with other social media companies, has faced criticism of its handling of misinformation and has come under scrutiny ahead of next year’s U.S. presidential election. Dorsey announced in October that Twitter would ban political advertisements on the platform. 

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South Korean K-pop Stars Sentenced to Prison for Illicit Sexual Relations

A South Korean court sentenced two K-pop stars to prison terms Friday for sexual relations with a woman who was unable to resist.Thirty-year old Jung Joon-young and 29 year old Choi Jong-hoon were convicted of committing “special quasi-raping,” which means multiple people collaborating to have illicit sexual intercourse with a person who was unconscious or unable to resist, the Seoul Central District Court said in a statement.Jung who was sentenced to six years behind bars, was convicted of raping the woman, filming the act, and sharing it with friends in a group chat.
Choi was sentenced to five years in prison for his involvement in the crime.The two singers were also ordered to undergo 80 hours of sex offender treatment programs.South Korea’s lucrative entertainment industry has produced pop songs, TV dramas and films hugely popular in Asia and beyond, but many sexual scandals in recent years have revealed its dark side. 

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Міжбанк: гривня йде на новий рекорд щодо долара

На українському міжбанківському валютному ринку короткочасне посилення долара знову змінилося послабленням американської валюти. Як повідомляє сайт, станом на 13:25 котирування становили 23 гривні 94–96 копійок.

Опівдні посилення гривні частково відбив Національний банк України у своєму довідковому значенні курсу 23 гривні 98 копійок, що на 6 копійок менше за офіційний курс на 29 листопада і є повторенням зафіксованого раніше цього тижня рекордного за 46 місяців значення.

«Торги по долару ближче до обіду на піку активності. Йдуть операції по лотах до 1 мільйона доларів при зростанні пропозиції валюти в останні 30 хвилин сесії, що поки не відбилося на котируваннях», – вказують фахівці сайту «Мінфін».


Надмірне посилення гривні щодо долара є не менш небезпечним, ніж стрімка девальвація національної валюти. Зокрема, посилення понад рівень, закріплений у розрахунках уряду, ставить під загрозу виконання дохідної частини державного бюджету. Саме через це НБУ, викуповуючи надлишок пропозиції долара, намагається не допустити більшого посилення гривні.

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Video App TikTok Unblocks Teen Who Posted on China’s Muslims

Chinese-owned video app TikTok says it has unblocked a U.S. teenager and restored her viral video condemning China’s treatment of its Muslim minority.
The video was removed for 50 minutes Wednesday due to a “human moderation error,” according to a statement from Eric Han, an American who heads TikTok’s U.S. content-moderation team. The site’s guidelines don’t preclude the video’s content, Han said.
TikTok is popular with millions of U.S. teens and young adults but several U.S. senators have raised concerns about data collection and censorship on the site of content not in line with the Chinese government. The U.S. government has reportedly launched a national-security review of the site.
The 40-second video, which news reports identified as the work of 17-year-old Feroza Aziz of New Jersey, starts off as an innocuous tutorial on how to get long eyelashes.
It then segues into an appeal for viewers to inform themselves of plight of the Muslim minority in China. “This is another Holocaust, yet no one is talking about it,” Aziz says.
China is estimated to have detained up to 1 million minority Muslims Uighurs in prisonlike detention centers. China’s government insists the detention sites are “vocational” centers aimed at training and skills development. It has sharply criticized Western countries that called for an end to mass arbitrary detentions and other abuses of Uighurs and other Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
TikTok has said its data is not subject to Chinese law and that it does not remove content based on “sensitivities related to China.”
Han said Aziz was locked out of her account because of an earlier video she posted featured a photo of Osama bin-Laden, which violated polices against imagery related to terrorist figures.
Aziz asked rhetorically on Twitter if she believed she was blocked after posting the video about Uighurs because of the unrelated earlier “satirical” video. “No,” she said.

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НБУ послабив курс гривні щодо долара на 5 копійок

Офіційний курс гривні 29 листопада знизиться на 5 копійок – такі дані Національного банку України.

Офіційний курс у п’ятницю становитиме 24 гривні 5 копійок порівняно з 23,98 гривні 28 листопада.

Курс щодо євро також послабиться: з 26,40 гривні 28 листопада до 26,45 наступного дня.

Вдень 28 листопада Національний банк України опівдні встановив довідкове значення курсу 24 гривні 4 копійки за долар, це на 6 копійок більше за офіційний курс на 28 листопада.


Курс на міжбанківському ринку увечері 28 листопада становить 23,98 гривні при купівлі і 24 при продажу.

Раніше цього тижня експерти прогнозували, що вже цього тижня «загальний позитивний настрій щодо зміцнення гривні видихнеться як за рахунок нівелювання чинника аукціону по ОВДП, так і за рахунок зростання попиту на валюту перед закінченням місяця і скорочення її пропозиції через надходження основних сум відшкодувань ПДВ експортерам». Експерти припускають, що долар «відштовхнеться від дна», і ринок піде вгору.

Надмірне посилення гривні щодо долара є не менш небезпечним, ніж стрімка девальвація національної валюти. Зокрема, посилення понад рівень, закріплений у розрахунках уряду, ставить під загрозу виконання дохідної частини державного бюджету. Саме через це НБУ, викуповуючи надлишок пропозиції долара, намагається не допустити більшого посилення гривні.

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TikTok Apologizes for Removing Video on Muslims in China

Social media app TikTok apologized to a user Thursday for removing a video that criticized China’s treatment of Muslims, blaming a “human moderation error” and saying the images had been restored within less than an hour.The controversy over the video, viewed 1.6 million times, comes as TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, faces an inquiry by a U.S. national security panel over its handling of personal data, while U.S. lawmakers fear it may be censoring politically sensitive content.In the video she posted last week, the user, who identifies herself as Feroza Aziz, gave a tutorial on eyelash curling, while talking about how Muslims were being treated and saying she wanted to spread awareness of the situation.But on Twitter this week she said she had been blocked from posting on TikTok for a month, and Wednesday posted that her viral video had been taken down, only to be restored later.TikTok logo on a mobile phoneTikTok statementThe video was offline for 50 minutes, TikTok said on its website.“We would like to apologize to the user for the error on our part,” said Eric Han, the app’s U.S. head of safety. “Due to a human moderation error, the viral video from Nov. 23 was removed. It’s important to clarify that nothing in our community guidelines precludes content such as this video, and it should not have been removed.”The TikTok user did not immediately respond to requests from Reuters for additional comment.China’s foreign ministry said it had no specifics of the case, when queried by Reuters about the incident Wednesday.But it added that it required Chinese firms to operate in a way that respected international norms and local laws and regulations, and hoped that relevant countries also provided a fair and non-discriminatory environment.TikTok is not available in China, but ByteDance has a domestic version called Douyin.UighursThe user did not mention Uighurs in the video, but said later on Twitter she had been referring to the minority ethnic group.United Nations experts and rights groups estimate more than a million Uighurs and members of other ethnic groups have been detained in camps in China’s far western region of Xinjiang, which has triggered international condemnation.China says the camps are vocational training centers to impart new skills and help root out and prevent extremism.ByteDance has stepped up efforts to shield TikTok, popular with U.S. teenagers and those in their 20s, from much of its Chinese operations, Reuters reported Thursday.In a timeline on its blog post, TikTok said it had blocked another account set up by Aziz that had posted an image of Osama Bin Laden, which violated its content policies regarding “terrorist imagery.”On Monday, it enforced a device ban on accounts associated with violations. This affected the new account from which Aziz had posted the eyelash curling video and sent from the same device, it said.It said it had decided to override the device ban and was directly contacting her to do so.Aziz confirmed on Twitter that TikTok had restored her account but said other past videos had been deleted.“Do I believe they took it away because of a unrelated satirical video that was deleted on a previous deleted account of mine? Right after I finished posting a three-part video about the Uyghurs? No,” she posted on Twitter.

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Міжбанк: долар розвернувся і знову дорожчає

На українському міжбанківському валютному ринку змінився тренд. Після посилення гривні щодо долара до рекордного за останні 46 місяців значення (23 гривні 98 копійок за долар) американська валюта частково відіграє втрачені позиції.

Як повідомляє сайт, станом на 12:30 котирування склали 24 гривні 4–6 копійок за долар.

Національний банк України опівдні встановив довідкове значення курсу 24 гривні 4 копійки за долар, це на 6 копійок більше за офіційний курс на 28 листопада.

«Торги по долару продовжують залишатися малими за обсягами на 12:00, але спекулянти вже починають поступове розхитування котирувань», – відзначають фахівці сайту «Мінфін».

Раніше цього тижня експерти прогнозували, що вже цього тижня «загальний позитивний настрій щодо зміцнення гривні видихнеться як за рахунок нівелювання чинника аукціону по ОВДП, так і за рахунок зростання попиту на валюту перед закінченням місяця і скорочення її пропозиції через надходження основних сум відшкодувань ПДВ експортерам». Експерти припускають, що долар «відштовхнеться від дна», і ринок піде вгору.

Надмірне посилення гривні щодо долара є не менш небезпечним, ніж стрімка девальвація національної валюти. Зокрема, посилення понад рівень, закріплений у розрахунках уряду, ставить під загрозу виконання дохідної частини державного бюджету. Саме через це НБУ, викуповуючи надлишок пропозиції долара, намагається не допустити більшого посилення гривні.

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US Teen’s TikTok Video on Xinjiang Goes Viral

A TikTok post by a young woman, pretending to give eyelash curling advice while actually condemning China’s crackdown on Muslims in Xinjiang, has gone viral on the Chinese-owned app that has been accused of censoring anti-Beijing content.The clip by US teen Feroza Aziz, who describes herself as “17 Just a Muslim”, had millions of views across several social media platforms by Wednesday.But Aziz said she has been blocked from posting on the hugely popular video platform TikTok for a month after uploading Sunday’s clip slamming China, a claim disputed by the app.Part three to getting longer lashes— feroza.x (@x_feroza) November 25, 2019Human rights groups and outside experts say more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities have been rounded up in a network of internment camps across the fractious region of Xinjiang.China, after initially denying the camps existed, describes them as vocational schools aimed at dampening the allure of Islamist extremism and violence through education and job training.Aziz starts her video telling viewers: “The first thing you need to do is grab your lash curler.”US Warns China’s Detention of Uighurs to Counter Terrorism Will Backfire

        A senior U.S. official has rejected China’s claim that the mass internment of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in China’s Xinjiang region is part of a counter-terrorism program and says it will backfire. The United States co-hosted an event on the sidelines of the U.N. 

However, she soon changes the subject, saying: “Then you’re going to put it down and use the phone you’re using right now to search what’s happening in China, how they’re getting concentration camps, throwing innocent Muslims in there, separating families from each other, kidnapping them, murdering them, raping them, forcing them to eat pork, forcing them to drink, forcing them to convert.”This is another Holocaust, yet no one is talking about it. Please be aware, please spread awareness in Xinjiang right now,” she adds, before returning to the eyelash curling tutorial.A previous account owned by Aziz, reportedly from New Jersey, was blocked by TikTok over another alleged violation, but the app denied the current profile had been frozen.”TikTok does not moderate content due to political sensitivities,” a spokesperson told AFP.”In this case, the user’s previous account and associated device were banned after she posted a video of Osama Bin Laden, which is a violation of TikTok’s ban on content that includes imagery related to terrorist organizations. Her new account and its videos, including the video in question, were not affected.”As of Wednesday morning, the post had more than 1.5 million views and 501,900 likes, and 600,000 comments.Two follow-up videos in which Aziz again addressed the Xinjiang camps had both received more than 7,000 views.The eyelash-curling clip had reached far more people on Twitter, where versions of the same video received more than 6.5 million views.Aziz told Buzzfeed: “As a Muslim girl, I’ve always been oppressed and seen my people be oppressed, and always I’ve been into human rights.”Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang decline to comment.”How could I know what’s happening on the (social media) account of one individual?” Geng said at a regular press briefing, adding that Beijing has always urged Chinese companies to comply with international rules and local laws.

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Two Better Than One: Upcoming Mobile Devices Have Dual Screens

Mobile device makers are constantly reinventing their products to keep consumers coming back, and paying, for more. The race to outdo each other has resulted in new form factors like foldable and dual screens. Not to be left out, Microsoft recently unveiled its take on the trend. VOA’s Tina Trinh examines whether the new look prizes form over function?

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Native Americans Played Pivotal Role in the First Thanksgiving

Every year in November, Americans get a day off to give thanks.  The Thanksgiving Day holiday originated centuries ago, with a harvest celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621.  For many Americans, the holiday is also a time to celebrate the arrival of the first immigrants to the the New World. But historians say it is important to remember that without the help of the Wampanoag tribe, Europeans back in those days may not have survived to celebrate. VOA’s Cristina Caicedo Smit reports.

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Долар другий день тримається нижче від рівня 24 гривні

На українському валютному ринку 27 листопада відбуваються незначні коливання після посилення національної до рекордного за останні 46 місяців рівня. Національний банк України опівдні оприлюднив довідкове значення курсу 23 гривні 98 копійок, це повторення офіційного курсу на сьогодні.

На міжбанківському ринку також змін небагато. За даними сайту, станом на 12:20 котирування склали 23 гривні 97–99 копійок за долар.

Фахівці сайту «Мінфін» вважають, що вже цього тижня «загальний позитивний настрій щодо зміцнення гривні видихнеться як за рахунок нівелювання чинника аукціону по ОВДП, так і за рахунок зростання попиту на валюту перед закінченням місяця і скорочення її пропозиції через надходження основних сум відшкодувань ПДВ експортерам». Експерти припускають, що долар «відштовхнеться від дна», і ринок піде вгору.

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Possible New Doping Sanctions Loom for Russia

Top Russian officials decried the recommendations by a World Anti-Doping Agency committee to suspend Russia from international competition over tainted athlete doping probes — the latest in a drawn out saga over accusations of Russian state sponsored doping that has roiled global sport since 2014.Russian athletes, unsurprisingly, joined in expressing bitterness about the WADA recommendations. But while some argued the suggested WADA penalties were unduly harsh, others blamed a failure in Russian sport leadership for risking their chance to compete in the next two Olympic Games and perhaps beyond.The recommendations, issued by WADA’s Compliance Review Committee on Monday, alleged evidence of tampering of some 2000 athlete probes at Moscow’s RUSADA testing facility, and called for a four-year suspension of Russia from international competition, including the Olympic Games.Reacting to the pronouncement at a news conference on Tuesday, Russia Minister of Sport In this file photo dated Wednesday, July 24, 2019, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov speaks to the media in Moscow, Russia. Russia has sent a formal response to the World Anti-Doping Agency, Tuesday Oct. 8, 2019.The charges, argued Lavrov, were carried out by those who “wish to show Russia as guilty in anything and everything.”The Kremlin was more sanguine.  A spokesman merely noted that President Vladimir Putin — who has gladly cast Russia’s return to sporting glory as a symbol of the country’s rising global status under his 19-year rule — had no plans to meet with government sporting officials over the issue.WADA is expected to make a final decision regarding the committee’s recommendations on December 9. Whatever the outcome, Russia would have a right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for a final ruling.Athletes reactYet athlete anger was also palpable  — with leading athletes lashing out at both WADA and Russia’s sporting bureaucracy for failing to lift a doping cloud that has hung over Russian athletics ever since a 2015 WADA investigation detailed widespread cheating at international events.Indeed, just days prior to this week’s WADA committee recommendations, World Athletics, the sport’s global governing body formally known as the IAAF, provisionally suspended top figures from Russia’s Track and Field for helping champion Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko avoid doping tests earlier this year.The charges prompted the immediate full suspension of efforts to reinstatement Russia’s track and field association following its 2015 suspension. Until the most recent violation, the talks reportedly had been making headway.In a letter addressed to Russia’s Minister of Sport and head of Russia’s Olympic Committee, acclaimed high jumper In this Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 file photo, Gold medalist Mariya Lasitskene, who participates as a neutral athlete, poses during the medal ceremony for the women’s high jump at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.While Russia has acknowledged problems with doping to a degree, it has also argued the country is being unfairly singled out — with Russian athletes being punished en masse for the sins of a few.In turn, the International Olympic Committee made allowances for Russian athletes who undergo additional drug screening to compete as neutral athletes, without state uniform or flag or anthem, at the 2016 and 2018 Olympics.In a statement released Tuesday, the IOC criticized Russia over the doping probe manipulations while suggesting bad actors at RUSADA had sabotaged what it otherwise saw as a good faith effort by Russian Olympic Officials.”The report does not indicate any wrongdoing by the sports movement in this regard, in particular the Russian Olympic Committee or its members,” noted the IOC statement.“In this context, the IOC welcomes the opportunity offered by WADA to Russian athletes to compete, “where they are able to demonstrate that they are not implicated in any way by the non-compliance.”Yet some Russians — including leading sporting legends — expressed exasperation over the Russian government’s continued inability to weed out drug offenders and make peace with WADA.“The fact that there are more honest and clean athletes in our country than lying and irresponsible ones is a fact,” wrote Yelena Isinbayaeva, the former two-time Gold medal winner.“So why is it that we still can’t seem to separate these two groups — the honest from the deceitful?”  Access of the Moscow RUSADA laboratory doping probes was one of two key condition to WADA’s so-called “roadmap to return”  to international competition.Yet from President Putin on down, Russian officials have been loathe to meet WADA’s other supposed requirement: that Russia admit it engaged in a massive doping effort with support from the government and security services to help secure medals  — most notably at the Russia-hosted Sochi 2014 Winter Games, in which Russia placed first among nations.Russian officials and, to a degree athletes, argue geopolitics have helped hype the hysteria around Russian doping  — with sport long ago joining Ukraine, Syria, election interference, and a myriad of other issues that currently infect Russian relations with the West.Given the political stakes involved, observers puzzled out possible motives behind the latest manipulation of athlete probes at the Moscow lab — with the popular website coming to what it admitted was an uncomfortable conclusion: someone in the Russian government had chosen to gamble the Olympic dreams of young Russian athletes rather than admit past doping transgressions.“We don’t have sport in a traditional sense — in Russia, it long ago became a special-operation for winning medals,” said the editorial.“Our manipulation of the database — is, by fact, an admission. It’s proof of a government doping system.” 

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NYC Commuters Enjoy Thanksgiving Feast on Subway car

Thanksgiving came early for a group of New York City commuters who enjoyed a holiday feast on a subway train.      Video footage shows riders standing behind a white-clothed table covered with plates of turkey, mashed potatoes and cornbread in the middle of a Brooklyn-bound L train on Sunday.      Stand-up comedian Jodell “Joe Show” Lewis tells the New York Post he organized the Thanksgiving dinner to “bring a little excitement to commuters” and feed any New Yorkers who might be hungry.
Lewis says he chose the L train after he saw how “dreary and upset” riders were at the inconvenience of a construction project that has cut service on the line.

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How George Washington Ignited a Political Firestorm Over Thanksgiving

In September 1789, members of America’s first Congress approached the nation’s first president, George Washington, and asked him to call for a national Thanksgiving.That seemingly benign request ignited a furor in Congress over presidential powers and states’ rights. Critics had two main concerns with the idea of a presidential proclamation to declare a national Thanksgiving. First, some viewed Thanksgiving as a religious holiday, which put it outside of the purview of the president. Secondly, opponents of the measure believed the president did not have the authority to call a national Thanksgiving because that was a matter for governors.It was a challenging time for the young nation. America had won the Revolutionary War but the country — made up of the 13 former colonies — was not fully unified yet. Calling a national Thanksgiving was a way to bring Americans together. Painting of George Washington with his family, wife Martha and her grandchildren, by artist Edward Savage.In the end, Washington did issue a proclamation, the first presidential proclamation ever, calling for a national “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” He also came up with a solution designed to appease the opposition. “When he issued the proclamation, he sent copies of that to governors of each of the states, 13 at the time, and asked them to call a national Thanksgiving on the day that Washington specified, the last Thursday of November,” says Melanie Kirkpatrick, author of “Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience,” and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. “And, of course, Washington’s prestige being what it was, every governor did.”Yet the battle over a national Thanksgiving did not end there. As president, Thomas Jefferson refused to issue Thanksgiving proclamations, even though he had done so as governor of Virginia. John Adams and James Madison did issue proclamations calling for days of “fasting, prayer, and thanksgiving.”However, after Madison, no U.S. president issued a Thanksgiving proclamation until Abraham Lincoln. He did so in the middle of the U.S. Civil War in 1863 in an effort to unify the country.“The Battle of Gettysburg had been fought a few months earlier. It was becoming clear that the Union was going to win,” Kirkpatrick says. “Every family in America was deeply affected by that terrible war. In the midst of all that, he was talking about the blessings of the country and what we had to be grateful for. And then he asks the people to come together as one, with one heart and one voice, to celebrate the holiday.”Since then, every president has called for a national Thanksgiving. President Abraham Lincoln’s signature, (left) on his Thanksgiving proclamation issued in 1863.It was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who stirred the pot again in 1939, by moving Thanksgiving to the third Thursday in November. Up until then, Americans had marked the holiday on the last Thursday in November, a date first specified by Lincoln.The new date was Roosevelt’s bid to lengthen the Christmas shopping season and boost the nation’s economic recovery after the Great Depression.“It was very annoying to some businesses. For example, the calendar industry, which had printed its calendars for the next year already,” Kirkpatrick says. “But one of the most vocal groups were colleges and universities, specifically the football coaches, because a tradition had developed of having Thanksgiving football championship games on Thanksgiving weekend.”President Franklin D. Roosevelt carves the turkey during Thanksgiving dinner for polio patients at Warm Springs, Ga., with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt beside him, Dec. 1, 1933.The divide over when to celebrate the holiday was so deep that half of the states adopted the new day, while the other half stuck to the traditional day. Roosevelt eventually reversed his decision, and Congress ended the long national debate over Thanksgiving in 1941 by passing a law making the fourth Thursday in November a legal holiday.Today, Thanksgiving continues to unify millions of Americans who gather to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. Many will serve traditional foods like turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. George Washington made a point of declaring that Thanksgiving should be celebrated by people of all faiths, a distinction that still resonates for Americans, including immigrants marking their first Thanksgiving. “It’s 398 years since the so-called first Thanksgiving. It’s America’s oldest tradition,” Kirkpatrick says. “It’s tied up with a lot of seminal events in our history, such as the Revolution and the Civil War, and it’s also a rite of passage for new Americans. The idea is that once you celebrate Thanksgiving, you know you are truly participating in a national festival that cements your position as an American.”

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НБУ: курс гривні щодо долара – найвищий у 2019 році

Гривня оновила річний максимум щодо долара, свідчать дані на сайті Національного банку України.

На 27 листопада офіційна вартість долара встановлена на рівні 23 гривень 98 копійок. До цього річний максимум був зафіксований 30 вересня, коли долар коштував 24 гривні 8 копійок.

Востаннє курс долара був нижчим психологічної позначки в 24 гривні 15 січня 2016 року.


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Мінфін: у жовтні Україна витратила понад 28 мільярдів гривень на державний борг

У жовтні Україна витратила понад 28 мільярдів гривень на державний борг та його обслуговування, повідомило Міністерство фінансів України.

«У жовтні витрати державного бюджету з погашення державного боргу склали 21,2 млрд грн, з обслуговування – 7,1 млрд грн», – розповів Мінфін.

За даними відомства, через невелику девальвацію гривні фактичний стан державного боргу виглядає наступним чином: сума в еквіваленті у доларах США зменшилась на 1,35% (у порівняні з вереснем), або на $1,13 млрд, – до $81,83 млрд. Сума боргу в національній валюті зросла на 2,37%, або 47,4 млрд грн, – до 2 045,4 млрд грн.

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Moroccan Rapper Gets Year in Prison for Critical Video

Moroccan rapper Gnawi knew the police would come when he and two friends released an unusually outspoken video exposing their country’s problems with migration and drugs and expressing frustration with the king.And sure enough, they did.
Gnawi, a former military serviceman whose real name is Mohamed Mounir, was handed a one-year prison sentence Monday by a judge for insulting the police in a case that his supporters say is a backlash against growing public anger at authorities and over a lack of economic opportunity.
Moroccan authorities have said Gnawi’s arrest was prompted by an earlier video in which he insulted the police, a crime punishable by up to two years in prison.
The video he released with rappers Lz3er and Weld L’Griya featured the song “3acha cha3b” (“Long Live the People”). Released Oct. 29, it immediately went viral, and now has more than 15.5 million hits on YouTube.
The five-minute video rages against the powers-that-be and criticizes the country’s widening economic gap, a message aimed at the country’s disillusioned younger generation.
One passage of the song reflects on the Hirak protest movement in Morocco’s impoverished Rif mountain region. Another section profiles a mother whose sons died attempting to migrate to Europe, while another paints a picture of a young generation ruined by hashish and hard drugs.
 In this photo provided by the Moroccan News Agency (MAP), Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, accompanied by his son Crown Prince Moulay Hassan and brother Prince Moulay Rashid addresses the Nation at the Royal Palace in Tetouan, July 29, 2019.…Most shockingly to many Moroccans, the song also directly criticizes Morocco’s king and his adviser, a criminal offense.
“We didn’t do this project to point fingers or create controversy,” Lz3er told The Associated Press. “We voiced what the majority of Moroccans feel but fear to say … and it naturally upset those who do not want change.”
Morocco, a kingdom long known for its stability in the Arab world, adopted constitutional reforms in response to the 2011 Arab Spring protests against corruption and abuse of power and in favor of expanding free speech. But the country is still struggling with poverty, corruption and unemployment. Freedom of expression is guaranteed in the constitution, but with limits.
The 31-year-old Lz3er, whose real name is Yahya Semlali, said he was followed after the song’s release and that “All Morocco knows that Gnawi is arrested because of the ‘3acha cha3b’ song.”
Morocco’s political rap is grounded in poetry and has a rhythm and meter distinct from American rap. The language’s guttural syllables demand fury in delivery, and rap is a welcome outlet for political passions.
“All of us are in the ‘see and be quiet’ mode. But I do this because I don’t want to see and be quiet. That’s why people respond to my music,” Lz3er said in an interview at his house in Fes. The city is prized by tourists for its beauty and royal sites; locals know it as Morocco’s capital of crime.
Lz3er and Weld L’Griya grew up in a world of crime. Both school dropouts, they got their education on the streets from those who turned to prostitution for lack of other opportunity and from young men who slept on the street in cardboard boxes and turned to drugs as an escape.
“We are stuck in a caste system and our rap mirrors exactly that,” Lz3er said.
But for government spokesman Hassan Abyaba, the rap song doesn’t reflect Morocco’s reality.
 “Songs of all kinds must respect the citizens, the constancy of the nation and the principles and values that are part of the Moroccans’ education,” he told a news conference last week.
The Minister of Human Rights, Mustapha Ramid, dubbed the song “provocative and offensive.”
A small group of supporters gathered in front of Sale court to demand Gnawi’s release.
 “The state is always oppressing us,” said protester Youssef Montaser. “The police don’t guarantee our rights, they wrong us.”
Politically engaged rappers are often arrested for “offenses that have nothing to do with music or their artistic production,” said linguistics expert Zineb Harrouchi.
Opposition rapper Mouad Belrhouate, better known as El 7aqed or “the resentful one,” has been arrested three times for his music critical of Morocco’s social ills and ruling elite.
A political refugee in Belgium since 2015, he told the AP: “Though I love my country very much, it suffocated me. I was always followed, watched. I felt in prison outside of prison, and yet I dream of the day I return to my neighborhood, my little bunker in my neighborhood in Casablanca.”  

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