Harold Prince, a Broadway director and producer who pushed the boundaries of musical theater with such groundbreaking shows as “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Cabaret,” “Company” and “Sweeney Todd” and won a staggering 21 Tony Awards, has died. Prince was 91.Prince’s publicist Rick Miramontez said Prince died Wednesday after a brief illness in Reykjavik, Iceland. Broadway marquees will dim their lights in his honor Wednesday night.Prince was known for his fluid, cinematic director’s touch and was unpredictable and uncompromising in his choice of stage material. He often picked challenging, offbeat subjects to musicalize, such as a murderous, knife-wielding barber who baked his victims in pies or the 19th-century opening of Japan to the West.Along the way, he helped create some of Broadway’s most enduring musical hits, first as a producer of such shows as “The Pajama Game,” “Damn Yankees,” “West Side Story,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” He later became a director, overseeing such landmark musicals as “Cabaret,” “Company,” “Follies,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Evita” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”ir Andrew Lloyd Webber, reached by phone Wednesday, told The Associated Press it was impossible to overestimate the importance of Prince to the stage. “All of modern musical theater owes practically everything to him.” Lloyd Webber recalled that, as a young man, he had written the music for the flop “Jeeves” and was feeling low. Prince wrote him a letter urging him not to be discouraged. The two men later met and Lloyd Webber said he was thinking of next doing a musical about Evita Peron. Prince told him to bring it to him first. “That was game-changing for me. Without that, I often wonder where I would be,” Lloyd Webber said.Tributes also poured in from generations of Broadway figures, including “The Band’s Visit” composer David Yazbek, who called Prince “a real giant,” and the performer Bernadette Peters, who called it a “sad day.” “Seinfeld” alum Jason Alexander, who was directed by Prince in “Merrily We Roll Along,” said Prince “reshaped American theater and today’s giants stand on his shoulders.” Composer Jason Robert Brown hailed Prince’s “commitment and an enthusiasm and a work ethic and an endless well of creative passion.”In addition to Lloyd Webber, Prince, known by friends as Hal, worked with some of the best-known composers and lyricists in musical theater, including Leonard Bernstein, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, John Kander and Fred Ebb, and, most notably, Stephen Sondheim.”I don’t do a lot of analyzing of why I do something,” Prince once told The Associated Press. “It’s all instinct.”Only rarely, he said, did he take on an idea just for the money, and they “probably were bad ideas in the first place. Theater is not about that. It is about creating something. The fact that some of my shows have done so well is sheer luck.”During his more than 50-year career, Prince received a record 21 Tony Awards, including two special Tonys — one in 1972 when “Fiddler” became Broadway’s longest running musical then, and another in 1974 for a revival of “Candide.” He also was a recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor.He earned a reputation as a detail-heavy director. Barbara Cook in her memoir “Then & Now” wrote: “I admire him greatly, but he also did not always make things easy, for one basic reason: he wants to direct every detail of your performance down to the way you crook your pinky finger.” A musical about Prince called “Prince of Broadway” opened in Japan in 2015 featuring songs from many of the shows that made him famous. It landed on Broadway in 2017.It was with Sondheim, who was the lyricist for “West Side Story,” that Prince developed his most enduring creative relationship. He produced “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” (1962), the first Broadway show for which Sondheim wrote both music and lyrics.They cemented their partnership in 1970 with “Company.” Prince produced and directed this innovative, revue-like musical that followed the travails of Bobby, a perpetual New York bachelor ever searching for the right woman.”Company” was followed in quick succession by “Follies” (1971), which Prince co-directed with Michael Bennett; “A Little Night Music” (1973); “Pacific Overtures” (1976); and “Sweeney Todd” (1979).Their work together stopped in 1981 after the short-lived “Merrily We Roll Along,” which lasted only 16 performances. It wasn’t to resume until 2003 when Prince and Sondheim collaborated on “Bounce,” a musical about the adventure-seeking Mizner brothers that had a troubled birth and finally made it to Broadway as “Road Show.”Prince was mentored by two of the theater’s most experienced professionals — director George Abbott and producer Robert E. Griffith.”I’ve had a unique life in the theater, uniquely lucky,” Prince said in his midlife autobiography, “Contradictions: Notes on Twenty-Six Years in the Theatre,” which was published in 1974. “I went to work for George Abbott in 1948, and I was fired on Friday that year from a television job in his office. I was rehired the following Monday, and I’ve never been out of work since.”Born in New York on Jan. 30, 1928, Prince was the son of affluent parents, for whom Saturday matinees in the theater with their children were a regular occurrence. A production of “Julius Caesar” starring Orson Welles when he was 8 taught him there was something special about theater.”I’ve had theater ambitions all of my life,” he said in his memoir. “I cannot go back so far that I don’t remember where I wanted to work.”After a stint in the Army during the Korean War (he kept his dog-tags on his office desk), he returned to Broadway, serving as stage manager on Abbott’s 1953 production of “Wonderful Town,” starring Rosalind Russell.The following year, he started producing with Griffith. Their first venture, “The Pajama Game,” starring John Raitt and Janis Paige, was a big hit, running 1,063 performances. They followed in 1955 with another musical smash, “Damn Yankees,” featuring Gwen Verdon as the seductive Lola.In 1957, Prince did “West Side Story,” a modern-day version of “Romeo and Juliet” told against the backdrop of New York gang warfare. Directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and with a score by Bernstein and Sondheim, it, too, was acclaimed.Yet even its success was dwarfed by “Fiddler on the Roof” (1964), which Prince produced and Robbins directed and choreographed. Set in Czarist Russia, the Bock-Harnick musical starred Zero Mostel as the Jewish milkman forced to confront challenges to his way of life.Prince had gotten his first opportunity to direct on Broadway in 1962. The musical was “A Family Affair,” a little-remembered show about the travails of a Jewish wedding. Its Broadway run was short — only 65 performances — but “A Family Affair” gave Prince a chance to work with composer John Kander.Four years later, Kander would provide the music for one of Prince’s biggest successes, “Cabaret,” based on Christopher Isherwood’s “Berlin Stories.”And it was “Cabaret” that established Prince as a director of first rank. With its use of a sleazy master of ceremonies (portrayed by Joel Grey), the musical juxtaposed its raunchy nightclub numbers with the stories of people living in Berlin as the Nazis rose to power in the 1930s.”I became a producer because fate took me there, and I was delighted,” Prince recalled in his book. “I used producing to become what I wanted to be, a director. [Ultimately, I hired myself, which is more than anyone else would do.]”As he became more interested in directing, he withdrew from producing altogether.mong his more notable achievements: “On the Twentieth Century” (1978) and two of Lloyd Webber’s biggest hits, “Evita” (1979), starring Patti LuPone as the charismatic Argentinian, and “The Phantom of the Opera,” in London (1986), New York (1988) and around the world.”Phantom” is the longest-running musical on Broadway and hit producer Cameron Mackintosh noted that in a statement mourning Prince’s death: “The Gods of the theater salute you, Hal.”Prince was a champion of imagination in the theater and tried never to rely on technology to give his shows pop, preferring canvas to LEDs.”I believe the theater should take advantage of the limitations of scenery and totally unlimited imagination of the person who is sitting in the audience,” he told the AP in 2015. “I like what the imagination does in the theater.”He explained that in one scene of “Phantom of the Opera” in London, candles come up at different times thanks to stage workers cranking ancient machinery, but on Broadway that function was automated.”I would sit in the house and I’d see the candles come up. Something told me that was not as exciting as when the candles came up in London,” he said. “So I said, `Let’s make this tiniest adjustment so they don’t all come up at exactly the same time.’ Now, no one knows that. No one could care less. But it meant something to me.”Prince worked for the expansive Canadian impresario Garth Drabinsky, overseeing productions of the Tony-winning “Kiss of the Spider Woman” (1993), a lavish remounting of “Show Boat” (1994) and a short-lived revival of “Candide” (1997).Yet there were creative misfires, too. Among his more notorious flops was the five-performance “A Doll’s Life,” a musical follow-up to Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House.” It began where the play ends, when Nora walks out on her husband. And Prince directed the American production of Lloyd Webber’s “Whistle Down the Wind” (1997), which didn’t get past its Washington tryout, although the London production, with a different director, had a longer run.Prince also worked as an opera director, with productions at the Metropolitan Opera House, the Chicago Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera and more. And he directed two films, “Something for Everyone” (1970) and a screen version of “A Little Night Music” (1977).”To be a both a genius and a gentleman is rare and extraordinary,” said Thomas Schumacher, chairman of The Broadway League. “Hal Prince’s genius was matched by his generosity of spirit, particularly with those building a career.”Prince is survived by his wife of 56 years, Judy; his daughter, Daisy; his son, Charles; and his grandchildren, Phoebe, Lucy, and Felix.
Голова Національного банку України Яків Смолій заявив 31 липня, що зміцнення гривні щодо долара США не є надмірними.
«Ми діємо згідно з нашими правилами, відповідно до наших документів, якими керується Департамент відкритих ринків, і те, що відбувається сьогодні на ринку щодо національної валюти, жодним чином не є чимось критичним, щоб реагувати на коментарі публічних менеджерів», – сказав керівник НБУ, реагуючи на запитання про критику дій регулятора з боку міністра фінансів України Оксани Маркарової.
Зранку 31 липня Маркарова залишила в мережі Facebook свій коментар під текстом фінансиста Романа Сульжика. Фахівець, який працював у JP Morgan та Deutsche Bank, написав, що «зміцнення гривні мало бути зупинене ще на рівні 26–27 за долар, і то що зараз відбувається межує зі злочинною халатністю на посаді».
«Недооцінена гривня – найцінніший ресурс, який потрібно використовувати для: накопичення резервів, зниження ставок, скасування всіх адміністративних обмежень, запровадження повної свободи руху капіталу в країні. Замість цього їй абсолютно бездарно дають зміцнюватися», – наголосив Сульжик.
«Мінфін говорить про курс вже пару місяців у контексті виконання бюджету. Але ми на політику НБУ не впливаємо», – вказала Оксана Маркарова під постом Сульжика.
Національний банк України встановив на 1 серпня курс 25 гривень 2 копійки за долар США. Це рекордне з січня 2016 року значення на сім копійок менше за офіційний курс на 31 липня. Своїми діями на торгах міжбанківського валютного ринку регулятор дав зрозуміти, що чинитиме опір посиленню національної валюти нижче за 25 гривень за долар.
Надмірне посилення національної валюти може ускладнити виконання дохідної частини державного бюджету. У державному бюджеті-2019 розрахунки про стан державного боргу зроблені з використанням прогнозного курсу на кінець року 29 гривень 40 копійок за долар.your ad here
South Africa hosted the world’s largest marimba and steelpan festival July 27 and 28, with nearly 2,000 musicians from around Africa, including Botswana, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. The festival — now in its eighth year — mixes traditional African, classical and even rap music.
“As Africans, we encourage our students also to be dancing and singing and playing at the same time, because that’s when you get the full benefit of the music,” said Joan Lithgow of the Education Africa International Marimba and Steelpan Festival.Students participate in the Education Africa International Marimba and Steelpan Festival in South Africa, July 27 and 28, 2019. (Marize de Klerk/VOA)The festival prides itself on including disadvantaged and disabled musicians, who compete on an equal footing with other musicians.”I feel very good because people can see that deaf people can do anything,” marimba player Boitumelo Lekaka said through sign language. Rose Moloi, her teacher at South Africa’s Dominican School for the Deaf in Hammanskraal, translated. “Same as the hearing people in the world, [we] can do anything. Anything. Playing marimba, all different instruments, kinds of instruments. They can do the same as the hearing people and all other people,” Lekaka said.Five-time Grammy Ballot Award nominee and American vibraphone artist Jason “Malletman” Taylor helped judge the competitions. “And that was my first time ever judging a group that was deaf! I’m like, how are you playing these notes and you can’t hear the notes? And I know that that was a gift from up above. So, if you can’t hear it, they probably feel it. And I think it’s incredible!” Taylor said.Musicians participate in the Education Africa International Marimba and Steelpan Festival in South Africa, July 27 and 28, 2019. (Marize de Klerk/VOA)St. Jude’s Private Schools of Nigeria is one of the festival’s past winners of the trophy for the best steelpan performance. The leader of the Steelpan Ensemble, Femi Obadina, says the standard of competition is extremely high. “This one is actually more competitive, because you have, you know, different schools from different countries,” Obadina said.The competition runs alongside 90 music workshops. Award-winning composer and steelpan player Dave Reynolds feels marimba and steelpan music is like therapy.”It’s very emotionally engaging,” he said. “There’s a small amount of technical and musical knowledge that they use, but a lot of it is just coming from the heart.”
Huawei remained the No. 2 global smartphone vendor in the past quarter despite tough U.S. sanctions imposed on the Chinese technology giant, market trackers said Wednesday.The Chinese firm managed to boost its sales even as the overall market declined, remaining on the heels of sector leader Samsung and ahead of U.S.-based Apple.According to Strategy Analytics, overall global smartphone sales fell 2.6 percent to 341 million units in the April-June period, but showed signs of stabilizing after several quarters of declines.Samsung increased its market share to 22 percent, helped by a seven percent rise in handset sales, with growth seen in the mid-range and entry segments. The South Korean giant stayed ahead of Huawei, which was at 17 percent, and Apple at 11 percent of the market.FILE – The Samsung Galaxy Fold phone is shown on a screen at Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s Unpacked event in San Francisco, Feb. 20, 2019.”Huawei surprised everyone and grew its global smartphone shipments by eight percent annually,” said Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston.”Huawei surged at home in China during the quarter, as the firm sought to offset regulatory uncertainty in other major regions such as North America and Western Europe.”The research firm estimated that Apple, which released its results this week without details on unit shipments, saw an eight percent drop in iPhone sales in the quarter.”Apple is stabilizing in China due to price adjustments and buoyant trade-ins, but other major markets such as India and Europe remain challenging for the expensive iPhone,” said Woody Oh, director at Strategy Analytics.Huawei decline predictedA separate report by Counterpoint Research offered similar findings, showing Samsung, Huawei and Apple in the three top spots as overall sales fell.Analyst Tarun Pathak at Counterpoint said however the U.S. ban on technology sales to Huawei will have an impact in the coming months.”The effect of the ban did not translate into falling shipments during this quarter, which will not be the case in the future,” Pathak said.”In the coming quarters, Huawei is likely to be aggressive in its home market and register some growth there, but it will not be enough to offset the decline in its overseas shipments. This will further lead to the decline of the overall smartphone market in 2019.”The surveys indicated Chinese makers Xiaomi and Oppo holding the fourth and fifth spots, largely due to sales in their home markets.According to Counterpoint, the combined global smartphone market share of Chinese majors Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Realme reached 42 percent, the highest it has ever been.
Національний банк України встановив на 1 серпня курс 25 гривень 2 копійки за долар США. Це на сім копійок менше за офіційний курс на 31 липня, але на чотири копійки більше від оприлюдненого опівдні довідкового значення курсу.
Своїми діями на торгах міжбанківського валютного ринку регулятор дав зрозуміти, що чинитиме опір посиленню національної валюти нижче за 25 гривень за долар.
На міжбанківському валютному ринку до 11:00 котирування встановилися на рівні 24 гривні 94–97 копійок, але після виходу на ринок НБУ, який викупив весь надлишок долара, попит став переважати пропозицію, станом на 15:00 торги відбувалися на рівні 25 гривень 8–11,5 копійки, вказує сайт «Мінфін».
Надмірне посилення національної валюти може ускладнити виконання дохідної частини державного бюджету. У державному бюджеті-2019 розрахунки про стан державного боргу зроблені з використанням прогнозного курсу на кінець року 29 гривень 40 копійок за долар.
Teenagers from around the world were on Google’s campus this week to compete in a science competition. Their projects brought novel approaches to address health, disability and environmental issues. Michelle Quinn visited their booths to find out more.
НАК «Нафтогаз України» вимагають від Росі компенсацію збитків, завданих експропріацією активів корпорації під час анексії Криму. Відповідний позов наприкінці червня «Нафтогаз» подав до Трибуналу при Постійній палаті Третейського Суду в Гаазі, повідомляє пресс-служба корпорації 31 липня.
«Група «Нафтогаз» просить Трибунал зобов’язати Російську Федерацію виплатити на користь позивачів 5,2 мільярда доларів. Очікується, що Трибунал винесе рішення щодо компенсації збитків не раніше кінця 2020 року», – мовиться у повідомленні.
Як нагадали у корпорації, трибунал вже визнав, що Росія порушила низку положень Угоди про захист інвестицій, експропріювавши активи групи у Криму.
«Нафтогаз України» 20 вересня 2017 року повідомив, що подав до Міжнародного трибуналу при Постійній палаті Третейського суду в Гаазі (Нідерланди) позов проти Росії з вимогою відшкодувати 5 мільярдів доларів збитків, яких компанія зазнала в результаті захоплення Росією активів «Нафтогазу» в анексованому Криму.
Арбітражний трибунал дійшов висновку, що дії Росії були незаконними і порушили двосторонню угоду між Україною й Росією про взаємний захист інвестицій, за якою Москва має поважати і захищати українські активи, включно з тими, що перебувають у Криму.
When Celestine Wenardy, a 16-year-old teenager from Indonesia, learned that diabetes was a “silent killer” in her country, she wondered how to make it easier for people to test their blood glucose levels. She entered her idea into the Google Science Fair, an annual competition that attracts teens from around the world. Celestine ended up winning the Virgin Galactic Pioneer Award for her project that involved using heat on skin to test the glucose level. Twenty teams of students were on Google’s campus this week for the search giant’s annual science fair. They came from 14 countries, bringing novel approaches to solving problems in health, environment and sustainability. Celestine plans to continue with her research. “I need to make sure it’s absolutely accurate, because people’s health is in your hands,” she said. Turning sign language into speechDaniel Kazantsev from Russia used sensors to measure arm and hand movements such as sign language, turning the measurements into actual speech. He won the Lego Education Award. Students from Saudi Arabia came up with an exoskeleton glove to fit on an injured hand to help teach it how to move. Harvesting the energy from tree movements Some of the students’ projects focused on environmental challenges. Tuan Dolmen from Turkey pursued the idea of harvesting energy produced from the movement of tree branches. That energy can then be used by farmers to power devices in the field for things such as air quality or humidity measurements. He won the Scientific American Innovator Award. “I’m a bit shocked, actually,” he said about the award. “I feel really proud that someone has appreciated my work. It has been a pleasure, and it has been an honor.” The winner of the Google Grand Prize, which comes with $50,000, was Fionn Ferreira from Ireland, who created a new method to remove microplastics from the water using magnets. The judges said Ferreira embodied the spirit of exploration.He lives in a rural community, he said, and makes many of his supplies and measurement devices, such as a spectrometer, himself. Whatever he or the other students do next, the event organizers said they expect all the students’ spirit of exploration to take them to uncharted territories in science, health and other fields.
Ціна за барель нафти еталонної марки Brent 31 липня перевищила 65 доларів на фоні сигналів про скорочення запасів палива у США.
На лондонській біржі вересневі ф’ючерси подорожчали більш ніж на пів долара – до 65,24 за барель.
На Нью-Йоркській біржі нафта марки WTI коштує 58,42 долара за барель.
Котирування нафти впливають на формування бюджетів країн-експортерів цього продукту, таких, як Росія чи Саудівська Аравія.
Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya will not defend her 800-meters title at the World Championships in September after the Swiss Federal Tribunal reversed a ruling that temporarily lifted the IAAF’s testosterone regulations imposed on her, a spokesman for the athlete said Tuesday.Semenya is appealing the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) ruling that supported regulations introduced by the sport’s governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).These say that XY chromosome athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) can race in distances from 400 meters to a mile only if they take medication to reach a reduced testosterone level.”I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned,” Semenya said in a statement from her representative.CAS is based in Lausanne and comes under the jurisdiction of Switzerland’s highest court.
The IAAF said they would only comment once they have read the full reasoning behind the judgment.”We understand the Swiss Federal Tribunal will be publishing its full decision on this order tomorrow [Wednesday] and the IAAF will comment once the tribunal makes its reasoning public,” a spokeswoman told Reuters.The South African had been given a reprieve last month by the Swiss court, which temporarily lifted the IAAF’s regulations from her until the final outcome of her appeal.”The Supreme Court emphasized the strict requirements and high thresholds for the interim suspension of CAS awards and found that these were not fulfilled,” the statement said.Lawyer: Still hopefulDorothee Schramm, the lawyer leading Semenya’s appeal, says they are still hopeful of a permanent lifting of the regulations.”The judge’s procedural decision has no impact on the appeal itself. We will continue to pursue Caster’s appeal and fight for her fundamental human rights. A race is always decided at the finish line,” Schramm said.Semenya ran the quickest-ever 800 meters on United States soil at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting on June 30 in a time of 1:55.70.She told reporters afterward that she would not compete at the World Championships in Doha if barred from running her preferred distance, having earlier hinted she could enter longer races in the future that are not covered by the regulations.
A multi-day international music festival in Lebanon said Tuesday that it’s cancelled a planned concert by a popular Mideast rock band whose lead singer is openly gay, apparently caving to pressure after weeklong calls by some Christian groups to pull the plug on the show, as well as online threats to stop it by force.Festival organizers released a statement saying the “unprecedented step” of cancelling the performance by Mashrou’ Leila was done “to prevent bloodshed and maintain peace and stability.””We apologize for what happened, and apologize to the public,” it added.Some church leaders and conservative politicians set off a storm of indignation on social media this week when they demanded that the Mashrou’ Leila concert be canceled, accusing the Lebanese group of blasphemy and saying some of its songs are an insult to Christianity. The band, known for its rousing music and lyrics challenging norms in the conservative Arab world, soon became the center of a heated debate about freedom of expression.Online, some groups and users posted threats suggesting they would violently stop the concert.Mashrou’ Leila was scheduled to perform in the coastal city of Byblos on Aug. 9, marking the third time the group takes part in the annual Byblos International Festival. The other performances will still take place.The cancellation triggered a storm of protests and a campaign of solidarity with the band on social media by Lebanese who described it as shameful and a dangerous precedent.”This is a step back for Lebanon, which has always prided itself on embracing diversity and being a center for music, art and culture,” tweeted Aya Majzoub, a Lebanon researcher at Human Rights Watch.Amnesty International, in a statement, said the decision to cancel the show is an “alarming indicator” of the deteriorating state of freedom of expression in Lebanon.”This is the direct result of the government’s failure to take a strong stand against hatred and discrimination and to put in place the necessary measures to ensure the performance could go ahead,” Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Maalouf said.There was no immediate comment from the band, which last week issued a statement denouncing the “defamatory campaign” and saying that some of the lyrics from their songs were being taken out of context and twisted.The group has been a champion of LGBT rights in the Arab world and regularly sings about controversial subjects such as sectarianism, corruption and other social and political problems.The band has previously been banned from performing in Jordan and Egypt, but censorship demands threatening its concert in the more liberal Lebanon — where it has performed on numerous occasions — are new.On Monday, dozens of Lebanese held a protest in downtown Beirut objecting to the proposed ban and rejecting attempts by Christian clergymen and some right wing groups to ban the group.”Regardless of our opinion of the songs and the band, we need to defend freedom of expression, because freedom is for everyone and for everybody. The day it stops, it stops for everybody,” said writer and director Lucien Bourjeily.The band, whose name translates as “Night Project,” was founded 10 years ago by a group of architecture students at the American University of Beirut whose songs challenged stereotypes through their music and lyrics.Riding on the wave Arab Spring uprisings that swept the Middle East, the band was embraced by Arab youth who see its music as part of a cultural and social revolution. The band members have gone on to gain worldwide acclaim, performing in front of sold-out crowds in the United States, Berlin, London and Paris.
American rapper A$AP Rocky pleaded not guilty to assault as his trial in Sweden opened Tuesday, a month after a street fight that landed him in jail and became a topic of U.S.-Swedish diplomacy. Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, is accused with two others of beating a 19-year-old man in Stockholm on June 30. Prosecutors played video footage in court that showed Mayers throwing a young man to the ground. Wearing sweatpants and a green T-shirt in court, Mayers, 30, pleaded not guilty to an assault charge that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison. He says he acted in self-defense. The Grammy-nominated artist’s ongoing detention in Sweden this month prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to personally intervene on his behalf. Mayers nevertheless remained behind bars, angering Trump. FILE – A$AP Rocky arrives at an event in Beverly Hills, Calif., Feb. 9, 2019.Swedish news agency TT said Trump sent the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs to Stockholm to monitor the court proceedings and to show support for Mayers. Special envoy Robert O’Brien was seen at Stockholm District Court on Tuesday. Ruth Newman, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, told TT that O’Brien was in Sweden “to look after the well-being of American citizens, which is always our top priority.” A$AP Rocky’s mother, Renee Black, also attended the proceedings. She has said she was convinced her son was not guilty.”This is a nightmare,” Black was quoted by Swedish media as saying.Competing narratives Prosecutors and defense lawyers presented competing narratives on the trial’s opening day of what happened the night of the fight. Prosecutors said 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari and a friend got into an argument with Mayers and one of his bodyguards near a fast-food restaurant where the rapper’s entourage had eaten. Mayers has published videos on his Instagram account that showed him repeatedly pleading with Jafari and his friend to stop following him and his associates.Defense lawyer Slobodan Jovicic stressed Tuesday that the rapper and his entourage “didn’t want any trouble” and alleged that Jafari and his friend had exhibited “aggressive and deeply provocative behavior.” A$AP Rocky previously encountered violent situations on streets because of his fame and “there are some people who don’t always wish him well,” Jovicic said.”He’s has been harassed in the past. In this case, the bodyguard made the assessment that these people [Jafari and his friend] should move on … and not to come close,” the lawyer said.Prosecutors alleged in court documents that Mayers and the two other men facing charges beat and kicked Jafari while he was on the ground. Jafari also was hit with parts of or a whole bottle, they alleged. The court file includes photos of Jafari’s cuts, bruises and blood-stained clothes.Another lawyer representing A$AP Rocky in Sweden, Martin Persson, told public broadcaster SVT that he would present new evidence, including facts that would show “no bottle has been used to hit or injure anyone.” Any physical aggression by Mayers and his co-defendants was “within the limits of the law,” Persson said. Celebrity followingThe rapper was jailed on July 3 and remains in custody. The case drew the attention of American celebrities like Kim Kardashian West and Mayers’ fellow recording artists, including Sean “Diddy” Combs and Justin Bieber. A social media campaign for his release, called #JusticeForRocky, was created soon after his arrest.Trump also weighed in, asking for a phone call with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and offering to personally guarantee the rapper’s bail. The two leaders spoke, but Lofven stressed he couldn’t interfere in a legal case.Sweden doesn’t let people facing criminal charges out on bail, and A$AP Rocky stayed behind bars. Once Mayers was charged, Trump criticized the prime minister on Twitter “for being unable to act.””We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem! #FreeRocky,” Trump tweeted. The trial was held in a secure courtroom “because of strong interest from the media and the public,” the Stockholm District Court said. Taking photographs and video was prohibited. The court set aside two more days for the trial. Witnesses are expected to testify Thursday.
By : ProdusE -
Американська компанія Frontera Resources, яка програла в конкурсі на право розподілу нафти та газу на рекордній за площею ділянці «Дельфін» на Чорноморському шельфі, має намір оскаржити його результати. Раніше про цей конкурс і американську фірму Frontera Resources, яка його й ініціювала, розповіли журналісти програми «Схеми: корупція в деталях» (спільний проект Радіо Свобода та телеканалу «UA:Перший») у розслідуванні «Полювання на «Дельфіна».
Відповідну заяву зробив президент та засновник Frontera Resources Заза Мамулаішвілі.
«У випадку, якщо конкурс УРП (конкурс на укладення угоди про розподіл продукції – ред.) на ділянку «Дельфін» не буде анульовано, Frontera Resources залишає за собою право звернутися в суд. На наш погляд, процес підготовки конкурсу та його проведення йдуть у розріз з міжнародною практикою», – зазначив він.
Мамулаішвілі пояснив, що на його думку, комісія «порушила процедуру проведення конкурсу, зокрема оцінки заяв учасників, визначену законом України «Про угоди про розподіл продукції» – зокрема, щодо термінів подання пропозицій уряду.
«Міжвідомча комісія повинна була не пізніше ніж до 13 липня 2019 року підготувати та подати уряду висновки та пропозиції щодо визначення переможця конкурсу. Однак, за даними компанії, цих вимог не було дотримано належним чином. Таким чином, якщо Кабмін оголосить переможця конкурсу, це рішення буде ухвалене з порушенням українського законодавства», – йдеться у заяві компанії.
Крім того, президент Frontera Resources додав, що в компанії «розчаровані неоднозначною заявою прем’єр-міністра України Володимира Гройсмана» про те, що конкурс на «Дельфін» був недостатньо представницьким і конкурентним та тим, що він пропонуватиме уряду «розглянути можливість оголошення нового конкурсу».
Потенційні інвестори мали 60 днів на подачу заявок. Умовами до інвестора були – півтора мільярда гривень інвестицій на розвідку, щонайменше п’ять свердловин за перші п’ять років, а державна частка прибуткової продукції має становити не менше 11%.
Відповідно до закону комісія зобов’язана була визначити переможця та надати пропозицію до Кабінету міністрів протягом місяця – тобто до 12 липня 2019 року включно. У свою чергу, уряд має тоді укласти угоду протягом двох місяців.
Утім, переможця конкурсу на «Дельфін» назвали лише 26 липня. Ним стала компанія Trident Black Sea колишнього депутата Державної думи Росії Іллі Пономарьова.
Trident Black Sea на 90% належить Trident Acquisitions Corp, а ще на 10% – ірландській San Leon Energy PLC. Раніше «Дзеркало тижня» повідомляло, що ключовим акціонером Trident Acquisitions Corp. є Ілля Пономарьов – екс-депутат Держдуми, який емігрував з Росії в Україну. Ще 10% акцій належить співвласникові мережі супермаркетів «АТБ» Геннадію Буткевичу.
У коментарі Радіо Свобода сам Пономарьов заявив, що в разі перемоги компанія Trident Black Sea планує інвестувати 1 мільярд доларів у розробку ділянки шельфу та зазначив, що має громадянство України, а від російського відмовився. Також він повідомив, що компанія Trident Black Sea може отримати державний захист США у разі агресії росіян.
Про конкурс на «Дельфін» та компанію Frontera Resources як його потенційного фаворита «Схеми» розповідали на початку червня.
Журналісти з’ясували, що саме ця компанія й ініціювала проведення конкурсу. Крім того, вони виявили, що Frontera Resources має сумнівні проекти у Молдові та Грузії, а її фінансовий звіт за частину 2017 та 2018 років свідчить про те, що компанія є збитковою. Інвестиційний банкір Ерік Найман називає збитковість компанію «хронічною».
Крім двох вищезгаданих компаній, заявки на участь у державному конкурсі подавали ще дві: азербайджанська компанія Caspian Drilling Company LTD та «Укрнафтобуріння», бенефіціаром якої є український олігарх Ігор Коломойський.
11 червня голова Адміністрації президента України Володимира Зеленського Андрій Богдан закликав Кабінет міністрів продовжити конкурс на право розподілу нафти та газу на рекордній за площею ділянці «Дельфін» на Чорноморському шельфі. Він зазначив у своєму офіційному листі, що «штучне зменшення термінів виглядає невипадковим» і «як навмисно створений бар’єр з метою швидкого розіграшу у виборчий період стратегічно важливої нафтогазової ділянки між «своїми» та фірмами, що переслідують виключно спекулятивні завдання». Однак до його звернення міністр енергетики та голова конкурсної комісії Ігор Насалик не дослухався.
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Українська гривня оновила максимум щодо долара США за три з половиною роки. Національний банк України встановив на 31 липня курс 25 гривень 9 копійок за американський долар, востаннє на такому рівні гривня перебувала в січні 2016 року.
Торги на міжбанківському валютному ринку завершилися показниками 25 гривень 2–5 копійок за долар.
Упродовж сьогоднішньої сесії НБУ кілька разів виходив на міжбанк із викупом надлишку долара, але цього вистачило лише для призупинення падіння американської валюти.
Надмірне посилення національної валюти може ускладнити виконання дохідної частини державного бюджету. У державному бюджеті-2019 розрахунки про стан державного боргу зроблені з використанням прогнозного курсу на кінець року 29 гривень 40 копійок за долар.
U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a charge of assault on the first day of a trial in Sweden that has drawn international attention and prompted President Donald Trump to intervene on the artist’s behalf.The 30-year-old performer, producer and model, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was detained on July 3 in connection with a street brawl in Stockholm in the early hours of June 30, and later charged with assault causing actual bodily harm.
Mayers’ lawyer said his client, sitting next to him in prison clothes of a green t-shirt and trousers, pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault and had acted in self defence.
Both Mayers and the plaintiff, a 19-year-old man, will face cross-examination later on Tuesday.
Mayers has said the plaintiff provoked him and two companions who have also been charged with assault. If convicted at Stockholm district court, they could face up to two years in jail.FILE – A$AP Rocky poses for a portrait to promote the film “Monster” at the Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 22, 2018, in Park City, Utah.His detention before his trial has prompted angry responses from fans as well as from several artists and other celebrities ranging from Kim Kardashian to rocker Rod Stewart.
Trump had asked Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to help free Mayers, and later tweeted messages saying he was “very disappointed” in Lofven and demanding: “Treat Americans fairly!” Trump had said he would personally vouch for Mayers’ bail.
Sweden does not have a bail system.
Lofven has said he will not influence the rapper’s case.
Sweden’s judiciary is independent of the political system.
Mayers, best known for his song “Praise the Lord”, was in Stockholm for a concert. He has had to cancel several scheduled shows across Europe due to his detention.
Before his arrest, Mayers uploaded videos on Instagram of the moments before the alleged assault, saying two men were following his team and that he did not want any trouble.
Mayers shot to fame with his 2011 debut “Live.Love.A$AP”.
His latest album, “Testing”, reached the No. 4 spot on the Billboard 200 charts on its release last year.