Президент привітав паралімпійську збірну України з футболу з перемогою на чемпіонаті світу

Президент України Петро Порошенко у Facebook привітав паралімпійську збірну України з футболу з перемогою на чемпіонаті світу.

«Вітаю нашу паралімпійську збірну з футболу зі здобуттям титулу чемпіонів світу. Пишаємося вами!», – написав Порошенко.

Раніше керівник Національного паралімпійського комітету України Валерій Сушкевич повідомив, що паралімпійська збірна України з футболу перемогла команду Ірану у фіналі Чемпіонату світу, що проходив в Аргентині.

«Тільки що з рахунком 1:0 українські паралімпійці вибороли для України перше місце у світовому футболі. Гордий від того, що ми робимо для української держави, для українського народу в цей нелегкий час в історії нашої держави», – написав Сушкевич у Facebook у ніч на 24 вересня.

21 вересня у півфіналі українська збірна перемогла команду з Росії з рахунком 6:4.

Чемпіонат світу з футболу серед спортсменів з наслідками дитячого церебрального паралічу відбувався з 2 по 23 вересня в аргентинському місті Сан-Луїсі.


Паралімпійська збірна України з футболу стала чемпіоном світу

Паралімпійська збірна України з футболу перемогла команду Ірану у фіналі Чемпіонату світу, що проходив в Аргентині, повідомив керівник Національного паралімпійського комітету України Валерій Сушкевич.

«Тільки що з рахунком 1:0 українські паралімпійці вибороли для України перше місце у світовому футболі. Гордий від того, що ми робимо для української держави, для українського народу в цей нелегкий час в історії нашої держави», – написав Сушкевич у Facebook у ніч на 24 вересня.

21 вересня у півфіналі українська збірна перемогла команду з Росії з рахунком 6:4.

Чемпіонат світу з футболу серед спортсменів з наслідками дитячого церебрального паралічу відбувався з 2 по 23 вересня в аргентинському місті Сан-Луїсі.


Uber Signals It’s Willing to Make Concessions to London

U.S. ride-hailing firm Uber is prepared to make concessions as it seeks to reverse a decision by London authorities not to renew its license in the city, which represents a potentially big blow for the fast-growing company, a newspaper reported.

The Sunday Times also quoted sources close to London’s transport body as saying the move was encouraging and suggested the possibility of talks.

“While we haven’t been asked to make any changes, we’d like to know what we can do,” Tom Elvidge, Uber’s general manager in London, told the newspaper. “But that requires a dialogue we sadly haven’t been able to have recently.”

A spokesman for Transport for London (TfL) declined to comment.

The Sunday Times said Uber’s concessions were likely to involve passenger safety and benefits for its drivers, possible limits on working hours to improve road safety and holiday pay.

TfL stunned the powerful U.S. start-up Friday when it deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service for safety reasons and stripped it of its license from Sept. 30, although the company can continue to operate while it appeals.

The regulator cited failures to report serious criminal offenses, conduct sufficient background checks on drivers and other safety issues.

Uber responded by urging users in London to sign a petition that said the city authorities had “caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice.” The move echoed Uber’s strategy in disputes with other cities.

By 2200 GMT Saturday, more than 600,000 people had signed although it was not clear how many of them were in London.

A spokesman for Uber said around 20,000 Uber drivers had emailed the city’s mayor directly to object to the decision.


EPA Recovers Material From Houston-area Superfund Sites

The Environmental Protection Agency says it has recovered 517 containers of “unidentified, potentially hazardous material” from highly contaminated toxic waste sites in Texas that flooded last month during Hurricane Harvey.

The agency has not provided details about which Superfund sites the material came from, why the contaminants at issue have not been identified and whether there’s a threat to human health.

The one-sentence disclosure about the 517 containers was made Friday night deep within a media release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency summarizing the government’s response to the devastating storm.

A dozen sites

At least a dozen Superfund sites in and around Houston were flooded in the days after Harvey’s record-shattering rains stopped. Associated Press journalists surveyed seven of the flooded sites by boat, vehicle and on foot. The EPA said at the time that its personnel had been unable to reach the sites, though they surveyed the locations using aerial photos.

The Associated Press reported Monday that a government hotline also received calls about three spills at the U.S. Oil Recovery Superfund site, a former petroleum waste processing plant outside Houston contaminated with a dangerous brew of cancer-causing chemicals. Records obtained by the AP showed workers at the site reported spills of unknown materials in unknown amounts.

Local pollution control officials photographed three large tanks used to store potentially hazardous waste completely underwater Aug. 29. The EPA later said there was no evidence that nearby Vince Bayou had been impacted.

PRP Group, the company formed to clean up the U.S. Oil Recovery site, said it does not know how much material leaked from the tanks, soaking into the soil or flowing into the bayou. As part of the post-storm cleanup, workers have vacuumed up 63 truckloads of potentially contaminated storm water, totaling about 315,000 gallons.

It was not immediately clear whether those truckloads accounted for any of the 517 containers cited in the FEMA media release Friday. The EPA has not responded to questions from AP about activities at U.S. Oil Recovery for more than a week.

Waste pit underwater

About a dozen miles east, the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund site is on and around a low-lying island that was the site of a paper mill in the 1960s, leaving behind dangerous levels of dioxins and other long-lasting toxins linked to birth defects and cancer. The site was covered with floodwaters when the AP surveyed it Sept. 1.

To prevent contaminated soil and sediments from being washed down river, about 16 acres of the site was covered in 2011 with an “armored cap” of fabric and rock. The cap was reportedly designed to last for up to 100 years, but it has required extensive repairs on at least six occasions in recent years, with large sections having become displaced or been washed away.

The EPA has not responded to repeated inquiries over the past two weeks about whether its assessment has determined whether the cap was similarly damaged during Harvey.

The companies responsible for cleaning up the site, Waste Management Inc. and International Paper, have said there were “a small number of areas where the current layer of armored cap is thinner than required.”

“There was no evidence of a release from any of these areas,” the companies said, adding that sediments there were sampled last week.

The EPA has not yet released those test results to the public.


Amid Increased International Sanctions, North Korea Turns to Bitcoin for Cash

North Korea’s cash-strapped regime has long sought workarounds to the increasingly harsh international sanctions aimed at tightening the financial noose around its nuclear and missile programs.


Now, according to Recorded Future, an intelligence research firm backed by Google Venture, Pyongyang is making a foray into cyberspace, launching a bitcoin “mining” operation, which saw a dramatic spike in its activity in mid-May.

Although the bitcoin activity amounts to only a token amount of funds at this point, there is significant potential for it to become a major source of income for the regime, the company said.

Is North Korea’s pursuit of bitcoin, the best-known cryptocurrency used for purchasing goods and services online, something the United States as well as the international community should worry about?

WATCH: What is bitcoin?

VOA Korean spoke with Priscilla Moriuchi, a Recorded Future director. Formerly with the National Security Agency (NSA) as threat intelligence manager and senior expert on East Asia and Pacific regional and cyber issues, she discussed in detail her findings on North Korea’s cyberactivities. Her answers have been edited for clarity and length.

Could you describe how Recorded Future first detected the North Korean activity in bitcoin?

Priscilla Moriuchi: The bitcoin mining [from North Korea] started on May 17 and continued through the end of our data set, which was July 3. This was a critical moment in terms of bitcoin [mining activities] because before then, I haven’t seen any activity that we had insight into indicating that [the North Koreans] were interested in bitcoin.

Is there any substantive evidence for the North Korean bitcoin mining operation?

Moriuchi: [Mining] bitcoin is very computationally intensive. It requires a lot of energy and high capacity computers. It also requires a lot of internet bandwidth because it constantly communicates with other bitcoin nodes (a peer-to-peer network consisting of computers, which allows for transactions to be broadcast to other users worldwide) to validate the blockchain (the digital ledger technology that records all virtual money transactions) that they are putting together. So mining activity is pretty distinct in terms of volume, and the [internet] ports and protocols (IP address) that are used are also pretty distinct. It can give you a decent signature.

Who is running the North Korean bitcoin mining operations, and why do you think the country has finally begun mining bitcoin?

Moriuchi: The first [hypothesis] is that it could have been an activity conducted by the state, whether it be the military or the intelligence services, for the purposes of raising funds for the regime. The second hypothesis is that it was an individual user … but because of the bandwidth and energy that were required, it would have to be known or permitted by the state and the leadership.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen increasingly tough sanctions levied upon North Korea by the United States, other international partners and by the United Nations. Those sanctions have increasingly cut off North Korea’s access to the traditional financial system and [its] ability to generate funds for state operations. We believe that bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining or activity involving cryptocurrency is a way for North Korea to generate funds and get around some of the sanctions.

Do you think North Korea has come to a conclusion that using cryptocurrency to generate funds for the regime is safer than other illicit ways — for instance, smuggling drugs or counterfeiting money?

Moriuchi: [Mining bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency] is not illegal. There’s nothing about [using cryptocurrency] that puts North Korea in a worse spot in terms of sanctions or legal violations. So that’s one. Two, you can buy many things. You can exchange cryptocurrency for actual currency, but you can also buy physical goods with cryptocurrency. So it’s another way for them to purchase things they might need without using the financial system.

There were reports that North Korea might have launched cyberattacks against South Korean virtual currency exchanges. Do the North Koreans have such a capacity?

Moriuchi: Yes, definitely. When it comes to North Korean hacking activities, we broadly underestimate their capabilities because many people believe [it is] such an isolated country where most people don’t have access to the internet and ask how they can possibly have indigenous experts, how they can possibly train people well enough to be able to conduct some of these very sophisticated hacks.

But what we have come to know over time is that they are sophisticated actors. They do have in-depth understanding of internet networks and communications.

Do you believe North Korea meddled in the Sony hack in 2014?

Moriuchi: Yes, both the federal government like the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and NSA have both come out and said that North Korea was behind the Sony attack. I think most people who follow North Korea agree with the government assessments.

It seems that reasons differ for North Korea’s cyberattacks against South Korean virtual currency exchanges and for the Sony attack. Why is that so?

Moriuchi: North Korean cyberactivities really started about 2008 and 2009. [They were] mainly toward South Korean government, corporations and media, as well as some U.S. government entities, and they were intended to [cause] chaos and to disrupt South Korea and undermine systems there. After the Sony attack, [there seemed to be a] transition in most of the North Korean attacks that we in the private sector have been able to follow toward financial services, toward generating money and raising funds. I think we are in this new period in terms of North Korean cyberactivity.

How much profit does North Korea make from mining bitcoin?

Moriuchi: At current rates, let’s say [North Korea] earned about $100,000. So in terms of the amount of money that North Korea may need for their missile program, $100,000 is probably not very much. If you put that next to what experts estimate North Korea pulls in just through its other kinds of criminal operations, such as the drug trade, drug smuggling and counterfeiting of U.S. dollar bills, around $500 million to $1 billion a year, $100,000 is a drop in the bucket.

Given the token amount of money North Korea makes through the bitcoin mining activity, is it far-fetched to say the North is tapping this digital currency exchange in order to evade sanctions and earn income for the regime?

Moriuchi: Cryptocurrency, specifically bitcoin mining, is one other method for them to circumvent sanctions and to generate funds. It’s not the primary means of earning funds for the regime right now, but it’s certainly something that they could expand and that would be much more difficult for the international community to be able to track and limit.  

Why is it so hard to track the bitcoin activity?

Moriuchi: Bitcoin was designed to be anonymous, and it doesn’t keep track of identifiers, such as IPs and usernames, while mining, buying or spending bitcoin.

Additionally in the WannaCry attack, in early August three bitcoin wallets associated with WannaCry were emptied. What we saw were many steps taken by presumably the North Koreans to further obfuscate where the funding was going. So first off, they went through a bitcoin mixer, which is a service that essentially throws all the bitcoin into one pot and then out comes the amount you threw in but it’s not the same bitcoin that you put in. So it anonymizes your identity. After going through that, they then convert it to another cryptocurrency. So they went to great lengths to avoid even the slim chance that they could be attributed through their bitcoin transactions.

What do you think about the claim that the U.S. could take out North Korea’s missiles before launch through jamming or other cyber methods?

Moriuchi: There are two internets [in North Korea]. One, the global internet, and then the domestic intranet, the one that regular North Koreans, though a small number, actually have access. And then you have various other networks within the country — the government’s and the military’s. The connections between the global internet and anything inside North Korea are very few, based on the research that I did. So [even] if it was possible for the United States or whoever to attack a North Korean missile site or a launch using a cyberattack, it would be very difficult.


How did you become interested in analyzing North Korean internet activities?

Moriuchi: We have this very unique set of data … and we felt like we can give much more context to the whole debate about North Korea, especially about their cyberactivity. We did a big analysis over the past few months, and we came away with a number of conclusions based on North Korean leadership internet activity. The biggest one for us was that, based on the activity that we saw, the North Korean ruling elite and their leadership are much more active and engaged in the world, popular culture, international news, and with contemporary services, than most outsiders would have believed. They go to Facebook, they go to Instagram every day, they stream video and a lot of other things that many of us do. The 0.1 percent of [the North Korean population] who has access to the world internet does those same things.

Jenny Lee contributed to this report which originated on VOA Korean.


У МЗС підтверджують загибель 2 українців в авіакатастрофі у Греції

У МЗС України підтверджують інформацію про загибель двох українців в авіакатастрофі у Греції.

У департаменті консульської служби МЗС у коментарі УНН, що керівник поліції Комотіні надав дані, що тіла загиблих в авіакатастрофі українців знайдено.

Тіла транспортували до моргу, сьогодні очікується проведення необхідних процедур для оформлення документів.

Раніше у суботу повідомлялося, що двоє українців загинули в катастрофі одномоторного літака у Греції, яка сталася у районі Керас в області Родопі.



US to Award $59 Million for Opioid Addiction Treatment

The U.S. Justice Department has announced it is putting nearly $59 million toward fighting the epidemic of opioid drug addiction.

In a news release Friday, the department cited preliminary figures from the National Center for Health Statistics showing that drug overdose deaths in the United States rose 21 percent from 2015 to 2016. In 2016, a record high of around 65,000 people died from drug overdoses, driven by the opioid crisis.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new figures Thursday, blaming opioid painkiller addiction for the rise.

The 2016 estimate “would be the highest drug death toll and the fastest increase in that death toll in American history,” Sessions said. “And every day this crisis continues to grow, as more than 5,000 Americans abuse painkillers for the first time [daily].”

Opioids such as heroin and the synthetic drug fentanyl were responsible for most of the fatal overdoses, killing more than 33,000 Americans — quadruple the number from 20 years ago.

The Justice Department said about $24 million in federal grants would be awarded to 50 cities, counties and public health departments for creation of “comprehensive diversion and alternatives to incarceration programs” for people impacted by the epidemic.

An additional $3.1 million will be awarded by the National Institute of Justice for research and evaluation on drugs and crime, prioritizing heroin and other opioids and synthetic drugs.

Also, $22 million is being awarded to 53 jurisdictions to support implementation of adult drug courts and veterans’ services.

And $9.5 million is going to juvenile and family treatment to “build effective family drug treatment courts and ensure current juvenile drug treatment courts follow established guidelines.”

In March, U.S. President Donald Trump named New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a former presidential candidate, to head the newly formed President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

Last month, the commission urged the administration to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency.

“With approximately 142 Americans dying every day, America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks,” the commission said in an interim report.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said that no declaration was necessary to combat the crisis, but White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said Trump was taking the idea “absolutely seriously.”