Книжку британського публіциста не дозволили ввозити через цитати антиукраїнського змісту – Держкомтелерадіо

Історичну книжку британського публіциста Ентоні Бівора «Сталінград» про події Другої світової війни, видану в російському перекладі, заборонили ввозити в Україну через декілька абзаців з «неправдивими й антиукраїнськими твердженнями», повідомили Радіо Свобода у Держкомтелерадіо.

За словами керівника управління дозвільної процедури й контролю за розповсюдженням друкованої продукції Держкомтелерадіо Сергія Олійника, такі заборони ухвалює не керівництво комітету, а створена при ньому експертна рада у складі науковців, видавців, громадських активістів та посадовців.

Як заявив Олійник, через те, що російський переклад книжки «Сталінград» містить декілька абзаців з твердженнями, які порушують українське законодавство, це видання отримало негативні висновки комісії разом із книжками російських авторів.

«У тексті цієї книги, обсягом близько тисячі сторінок, було декілька абзаців, які не дозволяли нам дати дозвіл на її ввезення в Україну. Наприклад, був момент на одній з її сторінок, цитую дослівно: «Чтобы пощадить чувства зондеркоманды СС, расстреливать детей поручили украинским националистам». Нам не відомо, щоб на Нюрнберзькому трибуналі такі факти розглядалися, тобто це якісь провокаційні байки. Коли ми перевірили джерела автора книги, то виявилося, що він як джерела використовував звіти НКВС і службову переписку його працівників», – наголосив Сергій Олійник.

Посадовець уточнив, що йдеться не про заборону в Україні книжки Ентоні Бівора як такої. За його словами, Держкомтелерадіо надало лише «відмову у видачі дозволів на ввезення книги суб’єктами господарювання», а саме мережами магазинів та підприємцями. Тобто приватна особа може купити за кордоном та ввезти до України видану російською мовою книжку Бівора «Сталінград», але у кількості не більше ніж 10 примірників за одну поїздку. Окрім того, відомство не дозволяє ввозити для подальшого продажу лише конкретне перекладене російськомовне видання цієї книжки. Тобто, та чи інша торговельна мережа має повне право продавати оригінальну англомовну версію книжки «Сталінград», бо за українським законодавством дозволи на ввезення надаються або не надаються лише щодо книжок, виданих із участю країни-агресора, пояснює Сергій Олійник.

Держкомтелерадіо України наприкінці минулого року оголосило про відмову у видачі дозволу на ввезення російського перекладу книжки Бівора разом зі ще низкою конкретних видань книжок переважно російських авторів – на цей час їх у списку 25. Це повідомлення вже викликало негативну реакцію з боку правозахисних організацій: таке рішення, зокрема, розкритикувала Харківська правозахисна група.

Сам публіцист також висловив подив забороною, заявивши, що в його книжці «немає нічого антиукраїнського».

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Lifelike Robots Made in Hong Kong Are Meant to Win Over Humans 

David Hanson envisions a future in which robots powered by artificial intelligence evolve to become “super-intelligent genius machines” that might help solve some of mankind’s most challenging problems.

If only it were as simple as that.

The Texas-born former sculptor at Walt Disney Imagineering and his Hong Kong-based startup Hanson Robotics are combining AI with southern China’s expertise in toy design, electronics and manufacturing to craft humanoid “social robots” with faces designed to be lifelike and appealing enough to win trust from humans who interact with them.

Hanson, 49, is perhaps best known as the creator of Sophia, a talk show-going robot partly modeled on Audrey Hepburn that he calls his “masterpiece.”

Akin to an animated mannequin, she seems as much a product of his background in theatrics as an example of advanced technology.

‘Is it weird?’

“You’re talking to me right now, which is very ‘Blade Runner,’ no?” Sophia said during a recent visit to Hanson Robotics’ headquarters in a suburban Hong Kong science park, its home since shortly after Hanson relocated here in 2013.

“Do you ever look around you and think, ‘Wow, I’m living in a real-world science fiction novel’?” she asked. “Is it weird to be talking to a robot right now?”

Hanson Robotics has made about a dozen copies of Sophia, who like any human is a work in progress. A multinational team of scientists and engineers are fine-tuning her appearance and the algorithms that enable her to smile, blink and refine her understanding and communication.

Sophia has moving 3-D-printed arms and, with the help of a South Korean robotics company, she’s now going mobile. Shuffling slowly on boxy black legs, Sophia made her walking debut in Las Vegas last week at the CES electronics trade show.

Her skin is made of a nanotech material that Hanson invented and dubbed “Frubber,” short for flesh-rubber, that has a fleshlike, bouncy texture. Cameras in her eyes and a 3-D sensor in her chest help her to “see,” while the processor that serves as her brain combines facial and speech recognition, natural language processing, speech synthesis and a motion control system.

​Sophia’s predecessors

Sophia seems friendly and engaging, despite the unnatural pauses and cadence in her speech. Her predecessors include an Albert Einstein, complete with bushy mustache and white thatch of hair; a robot named Alice whose grimaces run a gamut of emotions; and one that eerily resembles the late sci-fi author Philip K. Dick, which won an award from the American Association of Artificial Intelligence. They variously leer, blink, smile and even crack jokes.

Disney’s venture capital arm is an investor in Hanson, which is building a robot based on one of the entertainment giant’s characters.

An artist and robotics scientist, Hanson worked on animatronic theme park shows, sculpting props and characters for Disney attractions like Pooh’s Hunny Hunt and Mermaid Lagoon. He studied film, animation and video, eventually earning a doctorate in interactive arts and technology from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Hanson says he makes his robots as humanlike as possible to help alleviate fears about robots, artificial intelligence and automation.

That runs contrary to a tendency in the industry to use cute robo-pets or overtly machinelike robots like Star Wars’ R2-D2 to avoid the “uncanny valley” problem with human likenesses such as wax models and robots that many people find a bit creepy.

Global market revenue for service robotics is forecast to grow from $3.7 billion in 2015 to $15 billion in 2020, according to IHS Markit. That includes both professional and domestic machines like warehouse automatons, smart vacuums and fuzzy companion robots.

Hanson Robotics is privately owned and has a consumer-oriented business that sells thousands of shoebox-sized $200 Professor Einstein educational robots a year. Chief Marketing Officer Jeanne Lim says the company is generating revenue but won’t say whether it’s profitable.

Specific chores

For now, artificial intelligence is best at doing specific tasks. It’s another thing entirely for machines to learn a new ability, generalize that knowledge and apply it in different contexts, partly because of the massive amount of computing power needed to process such information so quickly.

“We’re really very far from the kind of AI and robotics that you see in movies like Blade Runner,” said Pascale Fung, an engineering professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. “Sorry to disappoint you.”

Unlike toddlers, who use all five senses to learn quickly, machines generally can handle only one type of input at a time, she noted.

While Sophia’s repartee can be entertaining, she’s easily thrown off topic and her replies, based on open-source software, sometimes miss the mark.

Hanson and other members of his team, like chief scientist Ben Goertzel, have set their sights on a time when the computer chips, processing capacity and other technologies needed for artificial general intelligence could enable Sophia and other robots to fill a variety of uses, such as helping with therapy for autistic children, caring for seniors or providing customer services.

As for tackling challenging world problems, that’s a ways off, Hanson acknowledges.

“There’s a certain expression of genius to be able to get up and cross the room and pour yourself a cup of coffee, and robots and AI have not achieved that level of intelligence reliably,” Hanson said.

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Chinese Demand Drives Construction Boom in Cambodia

The value of construction projects in Cambodia rose more than 22 percent to $6.4 billion in 2017 from the previous year, according to official figures released Tuesday that showed the impact of a boom driven by Chinese investors.

The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction said it approved a total of 3,052 projects, covering more than 10 million square meters (108 million square feet) last year.

The ministry did not give a breakdown by residential and commercial projects, nor did it give the nationality of the developers.

But the high level of Chinese investment is evident from the skyscrapers that have shot up with apartments and condominiums in Phnom Penh, and the hotels and casinos being built to serve Chinese buyers in the resort city of Sihanoukville.

Many of the apartments and condominiums were being built for Chinese investors, said Chrek Soknim, CEO of real estate firm Century21 Mekong.

“People who buy these properties don’t live here, they buy as investments,” he told Reuters.

China is by far the biggest foreign investor in Cambodia — accounting for some 30 percent of recorded investment in 2016, according to official figures.

China’s Prince Real Estate and Yue Tai Group were both scheduled to launch major projects in 2018, said Tom O’Sullivan, CEO of realestate.com.kh. But he added there was a growing market for local buyers too, with condominium sales in the $22,000 to $90,000 range.

“The reality is that Phnom Penh needs more homes to cater for the middle-income earner,” he said.

Political turbulence last year had little impact on investment, property specialists said. Cambodia’s main opposition party was banned after the arrest of its leader, Kem Sokha, on treason charges he says were politically motivated to eliminate him from an election in 2018.

Despite criticism from Western donors of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government for its moves against the opposition, China has stood beside Cambodia. Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng signed a raft of new aid and investment deals in Phnom Penh last week.

“Chinese investors are not concerned about the upcoming election,” O’Sullivan said.

There has been little open opposition to the growing Chinese presence in Cambodia.

But in a rare sign of friction, Cambodian police arrested 74 Chinese nationals who had been working on a condominium project in Phnom Penh. Uk Heisela, chief of investigation at the immigration department, said they were suspected of working without permits and staying illegally.

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US Agency to Work With States to Ensure Proper Safety Alerts

The Department of Homeland Security will be working with states to ensure they follow proper protocols when issuing safety alerts and can quickly retract incorrect alerts, like Hawaii’s warning of a ballistic missile over the weekend, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday.

Senator Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat, said it’s clear that human error initiated the false alert. But she worries about the fact that system failures allowed it to go uncorrected for nearly 40 minutes.

“That seems to point to some communication and other types of failures we ought to be addressing,” Hirono said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining DHS.

Hawaii residents received cellphone alerts Saturday warning of an incoming ballistic missile strike. State officials later said someone doing a routine test during a shift change at the Emergency Management Agency mistakenly hit the live alert button.

“This had the potential for being totally catastrophic,” Hirono said.

Nielsen said her agency was talking with the state about how it can improve its alert system.

“Initial lessons learned, we would work with the states, particularly in this threat, to ensure that they are connected to those who can quickly verify whether that threat is real or not,” Nielsen said. “In that case, it would be the Department of Defense.”

Nielsen said she was unaware the state didn’t have protocols in place to address false alerts. Hirono asked her to ensure every state has in place functioning retraction systems.

“We will work with states to ensure that, yes,” Nielsen replied.

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Ex-CIA Officer Arrested for Retaining Classified Information

A former Central Intelligence Agency officer was arrested at a U.S. airport on Monday night in connection with charges that he illegally retained highly classified information, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a U.S. citizen who now lives in Hong Kong, used to maintain a top secret clearance and began working for the CIA in 1994.

The Justice Department said that in 2012, FBI agents searched his hotel rooms during trips to Virginia and Hawaii.

They discovered he had two small books containing handwritten information on details such as the true names and numbers of spy recruits and covert CIA employees.

He was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. But Lee made his first court appearance on Tuesday before a federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn. The judge ordered Lee held without bail.

A federal public defender who represented Lee at Tuesday’s hearing declined to comment.

According to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent, Lee, 53, served in the U.S. Army from 1982 through 1986 and worked for the CIA from 1994 through 2007.

The FBI agent wrote that Lee and his family left Hong Kong in August 2012 to travel to northern Virginia. Along the way, they stayed in hotels where the FBI found the books.

The small books were discovered inside Lee’s luggage, sealed in a small clear plastic travel pack.

The handwritten information inside ranged in terms of classification, but the agent said at least one page contained top secret information, “the disclosure of which could cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”

The agent also noted that classified cables Lee wrote while he was a case officer describing his interactions with CIA assets were reflected in the two books.

Lee was interviewed by the FBI five separate times in 2013 and never disclosed he had the books. He also met with former CIA colleagues around that time without returning the materials to the government, the Justice Department said.

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DHS Chief Faces Senate Questions Over Trump Comments, Immigration Policy

In a wide-ranging hearing Tuesday on Capitol Hill, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told a Senate committee she did not remember hearing President Donald Trump use vulgar language to describe Haiti and African countries during a meeting last week with lawmakers at the White House.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing follows a busy, often contentious week in immigration politics for the United States, with Republican and Democratic lawmakers sparring with each other and the president over potential reforms to the country’s immigration system.

Notably, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, a committee member, attended an immigration meeting at the White House last week, during which he alleges Trump used the word “s—hole” to describe African countries. 

Trump has said Durbin misrepresented his comments; Nielsen, in turn, has repeatedly said she does not remember hearing the slur from the president. 

“I did not hear that word used, no sir,” the secretary said in response to questions from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), adding that the conversation during the White House meeting “was very impassioned.”

“I don’t dispute that the president was using tough language. Others in the room were also using tough language,” Nielsen told the committee.

In a speech that criticized Nielsen and the administration as a whole for their decisions on immigration and their handling of allegations of racial and religious discrimination, Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey allowed the secretary little opportunity to interject.

“Your silence and your amnesia is complicity,” Booker told her. 

Questions throughout the four-hour hearing otherwise focused on the Department of Homeland Security’s plans on immigration and border security.

The Trump administration continues to roll out a plan to curb immigration and increase deportation on multiple fronts, including by ending several programs, significantly cutting others and advocating for an agenda that increases what it calls “merit-based” immigration, over family or diversity applicants.

Administration opponents and activists say that Trump’s government is discriminating against some immigrants, largely those of color, in favor of promoting more immigration from predominantly white countries.

Several federal agencies have published reports requested by Trump in early 2017 that, on the surface, seem to provide data that supports the government’s curbs to immigration. 

To that end, the DHS and the Department of Justice released a report Tuesday morning that shows “three out of every four, or 402, individuals convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between Sept. 11, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2016 were foreign born. The report was mandated in an executive order on immigration issued last March.

A senior administration official who briefed reporters on the report accompanied it with a plea to Congress to work with the administration to end “chain migration” and the diversity visa.

“We are committed to protecting the American People and reforming the immigration system along the lines the president has outlined,” the official said.

“Our current immigration system jeopardizes American security,” the White House said in a release announcing the report.

Alex Nowrasteh, a researcher with the libertarian Cato Institute who has written about the lack of correlation between immigration and terrorism, was immediately critical of the latest government figures.

“This DHS/DOJ report says nothing about terrorism that we didn’t know before,” Nowrasteh told VOA. 

Moreover, he added, the data in “the report does not report the statistic that matters: From 9/11 through the end of 2017, native-born Americans are responsible for 78 percent of all deaths in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Foreign-born terrorists are responsible for 22 percent.”

A request by VOA for additional data and explanation of the numbers was not immediately answered by DHS on Tuesday.

VOA’s Aline Barros and National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed to this report.

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Brazil’s Caixa Suspends VPs After Presidential Order

Brazilian state lender Caixa Economic Federal suspended four of its vice presidents on Tuesday after President Michel Temer called on them to step down and defend themselves from accusations of wrongdoing.

Caixa said it would follow the presidential order, without commenting on specific allegations after a string of corruption investigations involving loans and investments by public pension funds.

Temer’s order, directed to his finance minister and Caixa’s chief executive, follows similar demands by federal prosecutors last month, which the government initially ignored, sources told Reuters last week.

The prosecutor-general’s office repeated those calls on Tuesday, threatening President Michel Temer with administrative measures should all Caixa vice presidents not be replaced by a February 26 deadline.

Four of Caixa’s 12 vice presidents, along with Chief Executive Gilberto Occhi, have been caught up in a wave of graft investigations that have swept Latin America’s largest economy in recent years.

In August, Caixa started an independent investigation into the corruption allegations. In December, Caixa said in a quarterly earnings statement that it had not concluded the process.

Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Additional reporting by Aluisio Alves; Writing by Bruno Federowski and Carolina Mandl; Editing by Leslie Adler and Bill Trott.

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Порошенко: Кремлю не можна довіряти за будь-якого режиму

Кремлю ніколи не можна вірити, хоч би який був там режим – під царською, комуністичною чи псевдодемократичною личиною, заявив президент України Петро Порошенко під час зустрічі з іноземними дипломатами та представниками міжнародних організацій у відреставрованому Маріїнському палаці у Києві, яка транслювалась на його сторінці у Facebook.

Порошенко подякував іноземним країнами за підтримку, але застеріг від спроб умиротворення агресора.

«Найдієвішим запобіжником проти відродження імперських амбіцій і апетитів Росії є демократична, успішна і незалежна Україна. Все, що сьогодні робить Росія в Україні, має одну-єдину мету: повернути нас у свою так звану «сферу впливу», знищити українську державу як таку», – заявив президент.

Серед пріоритетів України на 2018-й рік він назвав початок створення Антикорупційного суду, а також проведення інших реформ для покращення інвестиційного клімату.

Верховна Рада України офіційно оголосила 20 лютого 2014 року початком тимчасової окупації Криму й Севастополя Росією. Міжнародні організації визнали окупацію і анексію Криму незаконними й засудили дії Росії. Країни Заходу запровадили низку економічних санкцій. Росія заперечує окупацію півострова і називає це «відновленням історичної справедливості».

Збройний конфлікт на Донбасі триває від 2014 року після російської анексії Криму. Україна і Захід звинувачують Росію у збройній підтримці сепаратистів. Кремль відкидає ці звинувачення і заявляє, що на Донбасі можуть перебувати хіба що російські «добровольці». За даними ООН, за час конфлікту загинули близько 10 тисяч людей.

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