Friday, December 25, 2015
CANADIANS ARE NOT WORSHIPPING MATERIALISM AS MUCH ON BOXING DAY.
I LOVE A GREEN CHRISTMAS.NO SNOW TO FALL ON MY BACK SIDE.I CAN LOOK OUTSIDE AND WATCH THE GREY SQUARREL WITH CUTE WHITE FURR BETWEEN BOTH EARS EAT BREAD LIKE HES PRAYING.I SEE THE TREES BLOWING IN THE WIND SO NICE.I SEE THE GROUND WORE DOWN WERE THE 2 CUTE LITTLE WHITE AND ORANGE PUPPIES RUN.THE 2 LITTLE BLACK BOXERS THAT RUN AND A GREY AND WHITE KITTEN AND A BLACK AND ORANGE AND WHITE CAT-AND AN ALL BLACK CAT THAT COMES TO VISIT MY BREAD FOOD.ONLY TO SNIFF THOUGHT. AND TO WATCH THE SQUARRELS UP THE TREE-SINCE THE SQUARRELS WILL NOT EAT MY BREAD WHILE THE KITTENS ARE WATCHING THEM BY THE FOOD.SO YES I HOPE AND PRAY THAT THE GRASS WILL STAY GREEN AND NEVER TURN WHITE. AND BESIDES THAT.I SAVE ON MY HYDRO BILL BY NOT HAVING TO TURN THE HEAT ON SO MUCH.SO GREEN GRASS STAY AND SNOW DO NOT COME PLEASE.I LOVE MY GREEN CHRIST-MAS AND I HOPE GREEN NEW YEAR ALSO.
Boxing Day losing its appeal with Canadian shoppers-[Daily Brew]-December 24, 2015-YAHOO NEWS
If you’re planning to skip the Boxing Day sales this year, you’re not alone. Once considered the best day of the year for deals, Dec. 26 is increasingly losing its appeal for Canadian shoppers.“For the longest time, Boxing Day was considered to be the day — and realistically the week — to enjoy lower prices,” Robert Soroka, a marketing professor at McGill University, tells Yahoo Canada News. “It was really a very exciting time because it was considered to be that one day of the year where you could essentially walk off like a bandit." Nobody’s quite sure how Boxing Day, a holiday in most Commonwealth countries, began, but it’s generally agreed that the day stems at least in part in the Christmas tradition of giving to those less fortunate. Over time giving alms to the poor after Christmas evolved into getting up at 5 a.m. to hit the sales. In the 1980s Boxing Day became a major shopping event in Canada and the United Kingdom, considered the best day of the year for sales.But Canada’s changing retail landscape continues to lessen the appeal of Boxing Day, Soroka says. “The fact is that things have changed significantly over the years,” he says.For many retailers the last few months of the year are their fourth quarters and a time when up to 40 per cent of their annual profits are made. Twenty to 25 years ago you’d never see prices slashed before Christmas, he says, because retailers knew that shoppers were going to be in stores no matter what.“Anybody going into a store was ready to buy, so why would a retailer drop prices,” Soroka says.The change began during the recession of the early 1990s, he says, when retailers were desperate to increase sales.“A lot of retailers started offering these ridiculously low price points prior to Christmas,” Soroka says.That habit stuck — many stores now start their Boxing Day sales before Christmas Day, and extend them past Dec. 26 for “Boxing Week” events. And the deals often kick in online on Christmas Day, which means that consumers can shop from home.“ What has happened over the last couple of decades is that consumers have become accustomed to getting low prices even before Christmas,” Soroka says. “It’s hard to unring the bell."-The rise of Black Friday -The increasing importance of Black Friday — the day after American Thanksgiving in late November — in Canada is another factor driving down the importance of Boxing Day for Canadian deal hunters.Black Friday is the day when retailers open early, have door-crasher sales and slash prices similar to Boxing Day here in Canada, with the convenience of occurring before Christmas.Though our own Thanksgiving is held in early October, in recent years Canadians have embraced Black Friday. The day’s influence in Canada began a few years ago when the dollar was around parity and shoppers were increasingly shopping online and heading to the U.S. to get deals, Soroka says.“The notion was you’re trying to stave off cross-border shopping,” Soroka says. “Canadian retailers were looking for a way to keep dollars in this country." Nearly half, or 19.3 million Canadians had planned to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday this year, according to an IPG Mediabrands survey released last month. And 1.2 million had planned to call in sick on one of those two days in order to take advantage of the sales.Black Friday sales online are available to shoppers anywhere in the world, this country included. And retailers much farther afield than Canada are adopting the day as well. There’s concern in New Zealand that the increasing popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday will cut into Boxing Day sales in that country, for example.But increasingly in Canada, Black Friday signals to shoppers that it’s the beginning of the holiday season—and that the deals won’t be better at any of time of the year, Boxing Day included. “Not only do you have a second day where you have these great sales,” Soroka says, "it seems that the Black Friday sales are even more spectacular, in terms of the price points."The growth of online shopping has also affected Canadian retailers, during the holiday shopping season and year-round. Online retailers have lower overhead costs and so can offer deeper discounts, or have sales more frequently, Soroka says. And gift cards, which are increasingly given during the holiday season, also make a day for Boxing Day less successful for retailers. People buy the cards before Christmas and spend them after Christmas, when discounts are deeper and they’re getting more merchandise for the same amount of money, Soroka says.-A silver lining-Things might be a bit easier for Canadian retailers this year. The Canadian dollar having dropped so much in relation to the greenback reduces the appeal of shopping across the border or online at American websites. A Google Canada survey released earlier this month found that online searches for Boxing Day were at an 11-year high, and had begun rising in November. Angus Reid polling released on Monday indicates that three weeks after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Canadians aren’t yet done their Christmas shopping — which means there might be some financial gas still left in the tank on Dec. 26. “One would anticipate that Canadian retailers will capture more retail dollars,” Soroka says.But the decreasing importance of Boxing Day as a shopping holiday is likely to continue, he says — even if the rise of Black Friday might not be bringing in more money for retailers. From 2006, when Black Friday first became a factor in Canadian retail, to 2014, November’s share of total annual retail sales only edged up from 8.4 per cent to 8.5 per cent, according to data from Statistics Canada. So while consumers might be benefitting from the extra opportunity to shop at a discount, Canadian retailers are not necessarily making more money as a result. But increasingly savvy customers expect to get good deals year round, Soroka says.“With the growing trend towards online shopping and the flash sales that we see a lot of retailers enjoying before the holidays, this is all sending a very strong message to the consumer that you could have good pricing before Christmas,” he says. “Which is, again, remarkable considering where we were 25 years ago.”
3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:
15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:
16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air,
18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:
19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
2 KINGS 23:5
5 And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.
OZONE DEPLETION JUDGEMENT ON THE EARTH DUE TO SIN
26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold,(7X OR 7-DEGREES HOTTER) as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people,(ISRAEL) and healeth the stroke of their wound.
27 Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake (ISRAELS SAKE) those days shall be shortened (Daylight hours shortened)(THE ASTEROID HITS EARTH HERE)
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
Opinion-Will Paris climate accord change the world? By Jennifer Morgan-euobserver
WASHINGTON, 23. Dec, 12:38-Too often, we downplay or barely notice the most important moments in our lives, while inflating those that hardly matter.It is far too early to say whether the Paris Agreement on climate change, which countries reached last Saturday (12 December), will change the world.But certainly, we should not downplay this achievement, or its significance.First, and most importantly, we must remember why 195 countries came to Paris, including more than 150 heads of state, in the largest such gathering in UN history.The reason they came is that the climate is changing, in all four corners of the globe.Some changes are only creeping, at first, barely noticeable. Who would notice, or perhaps care, that the vitality of beech trees had declined in northeast France? But everyone in Europe is familiar with an important cause: an exceptional drought and heat wave in 2003, which caused 15,000 heat-related deaths in France alone.Climate change is here, and increasing the risk of such extreme events, whose impacts can unravel suddenly and unpredictably around the globe.-We are all affected.-Scholars have drawn links between climate change and a record heat wave in Russia in 2010, and higher global food prices that year. Similarly, climate change is implicated in a warming trend in the eastern Mediterranean, record drought in Syria, and resulting unrest and civil war.Yes, these pictures are fuzzy and unsure, but we ignore them at our peril.To control these risks, and put them behind us, countries meeting for the last two weeks in Paris had to meet three objectives.First, a new climate agreement had to lay a clear path to a future, zero-carbon society. They could achieve this by committing to a target to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions this century.In Paris, they have agreed just that. In addition, they have agreed to offer more ambitious climate action over time. This continuing cycle of commitments, every five years, will stiffen their ambition, and make the longer term goal more credible.How will this commitment change the real world? Importantly, it has reduced the risks of unmanageable climate change. This affects us all. In developing countries, it dramatically increases the prospects for broader, deeper prosperity, which is impossible in an unstable climate.This long-term goal also means that progressive, forward-thinking businesses and investors can now more clearly sense the way the wind is blowing.They can invent new, cheaper ways to cut carbon emissions and save energy, knowing that there will be demand for these products. They will drive the world away from fossil fuels, towards a future powered by cleaner renewables, and cut the cost of this low-carbon transition.Similarly, the Paris Agreement will guide spending decisions in cities around the world, towards lower carbon, more efficient technologies and systems, which create greener, healthier and safer spaces.Second, to ensure that this agreement was more than a piece of paper, we needed transparency. Countries have, indeed, agree to monitor their emissions, report the climate action that they are taking, and review their progress towards those targets.-And third, we needed fairness. Even the most ambitious outcome from Paris cannot avoid climate change altogether: far from it. Temperatures will continue to rise for several decades; regrettably, they are locked into our planet’s climate system.But we can diminish the effects of these future heat waves and storms, by helping the poorest and most vulnerable countries prepare.That is why these countries have quite rightly called for help, at this climate conference, and others, for a decade or more. The Paris Agreement has listened.This Agreement has achieved strong and robust climate finance, which richer countries will continue to supply developing nations. Where large, more prosperous emerging economies can afford it, and want to, they can also step up and help.With these achievements, this Paris Agreement is catching up with the real-world, where we have seen significant shifts in public opinion, investment choices, and business decisions in recent years - away from dirty energy and towards clean solutions.-This job is not done.-More action is needed to secure a stable climate that underpins prosperity.If we leave climate action too late, then we will have to cut emissions too much, too fast, at too high a cost. That is why it is important that countries return, in four years’ time, to consider raising their existing ambition, which so far falls far short of the long-term goal they have set, to avoid dangerous climate change.For further action, we are depending on the world’s innovators, entrepreneurs and engineers to deliver the new, cheaper, low-carbon technologies, where solar power and LED lighting have blazed such a trail in the past five years.And we can be confident that business will respond, because they came in unprecedented numbers to Paris, to work alongside nations. The greatest ambition, arguably, came not from nations but from the cities, entrepreneurs and investors on the side lines of the conference.Paris demonstrated, in this way, an unprecedented coalition between governments, cities, companies, and campaigners, to address a pressing global issue. It showed that multilateralism is working. This collective, political moment when leaders came together in Paris can empower an economic revolution. They have reached an agreement which can sustain and accelerate an economic transformation.Jennifer Morgan is global director of the World Resources Institute, a think tank in Washington
EU SPAIN #11 (POSSIBLY MIGHT PRODUCE THE WORLD LEADER)
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast (EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADING BLOCKS-10 WORLD REGIONS/TRADE BLOCS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings(10 NATIONS-10 WORLD DIVISION WORLD GOVERNMENT) that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(THE EU (EUROPEAN UNION) TAKES OVER IRAQ WHICH HAS SPLIT INTO 3-SUNNI-KURD-SHIA PARTS-AND THE REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE IS BROUGHT BACK TOGETHER-THE TWO LEGS OF DANIEL WESTERN LEG AND THE ISLAMIC LEG COMBINED AS 1)
Pope Francis wins 2016 Charlemagne prize-By EUOBSERVER-dec 24,15
Today, 13:49-The German city of Aachen has awarded its 2016 Charlemagne prize, for "the service of European unification,"to Pope Francis, saying he sent "a message of hope and encouragement" at a time when "citizens in Europe are seeking orientation," German agency DPA reports. The prize will be handed over in Rome.
Analysis-Who will govern in Spain? By Daniel Stemler-dec 24,15-euobserver
Madrid, Today, 08:58-Sunday’s (20 December) historical general election in Spain has created real uncertainty over the country’s future.Although the conservative Popular Party (PP) confidently won the election, gaining 123 seats in the Spanish parliament, it fell far short to gain absolute majority and be able to form a government alone.The Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) won 90 seats, meanwhile newcomers, far-left Podemos (We can) and centrist Ciudadanos (Citizens), acquired 69 and 40 seats respectively.For months, it was an open secret in Spain that no party will win with absolute majority and the biggest question was how the governing coalition will look like.Pre-election polls suggested a clear win for PP led by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, but they predicted a much better outcome for Ciudadanos.-A grand coalition?-Prior to the elections, the most likely scenario was a PP-Ciudadanos tandem. A right-wing coalition, a union between old and young, traditional and newcomer. It would have made perfect sense.However, Ciudadanos, led by 36 year-old Albert Rivera, could not live up to the expectations and gained only 40 seats, therefore the most probable coalition suddenly became the most unlikely as a PP-Ciudadanos alliance would not reach an absolute majority, 186 seats, in the parliament.In recent months, the Ciudadanos was seen as possible kingmaker in Spain’s fragmented political landscape as they could have formed coalition with PP and even with PSOE, but with the poor election results right now they are the weakest link in the coalition game. Another possibility could be a PSOE-Podemos-Ciudadanos coalition, but Podemos does not seem keen to ally with the Socialist and Ciudadanos does not want to help Podemos, as the far-left party, led by Pablo Iglesias, strongly supports a Catalan referendum over a possible break away from Spain.A third, and not unprecedented option, is a German-like, “grand coalition” between the two giants PP and PSOE.Some years ago these two parties already teamed up in regional elections, in Basque Country in order to prevent the Basque nationalist party from winning with majority. However, the importance of regional elections and national elections are obviously not same, therefore a coalition between the two in the national level has so far seen unlikely.-'Respect Spaniards' will'-At the moment, all four parties are assessing their options, trying to find a good position before the start of the real negotiations.In the first place, PP will seek the help of PSOE and Ciudadanos to form a strong government. A PP-PSOE coalition could form a stable government and it would be interesting to see how the archenemies can work together for their country. However, a PP-Ciudadanos alliance would mean a coalition without absolute majority, ergo a possible weak government.“Spaniards have expressed their will, and now it is up to us politicians to guarantee that this will is respected responsibly and with a sense of state,” said Mariano Rajoy on Tuesday.Although Rajoy is desperately trying to find a coalition partner, Socialist leader, Pedro Sanchez already made it clear that his party will not support Rajoy as prime minister, and Ciudadanos also prefers to stay in opposition, but they would permit PP to govern.Podemos, though, performed much better on Sunday’s election than polls suggested in recent weeks, is currently more worried about preventing a PP-PSOE grand alliance rather than finding a coalition partner for itself.“Either we realise that Spain is a diverse country with a plurality of nations or we are giving away the government to the PP, which came in sixth in Catalonia and fifth in the Basque Country. I am worried that the PSOE might want a grand alliance with the PP.” said Pablo Iglesias.-A change within PP-The solution for this political impasse might be a personal change within PP.The opposition’s enemy is not necessarily PP as such, but rather Mariano Rajoy. There were many rumours during the Popular Party’s election campaign that Rajoy could be replaced by Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria and these rumours are currently getting louder.Saenz de Santamaria seemingly has a much better relation with the other political leaders than the current prime minister and a “Rajoyless” PP might force the opposition to reconsider its coalition plans.However, the worst case scenario is undoubtedly if there is no other solution, but call a new election.If the main parties will not be able to create a strong coalition and elect a stable government by mid-March, the acting prime minister must call a new election. It’s up to the parties to find common ground and stabilise the country’s political and economic situation.
EU urges Poland to halt constitutional reform By Andrew Rettman-dec 24,15-euobserver
BRUSSELS, Today, 13:47-The European Commission has urged Poland not to adopt a new law, which, it says, could “undermine” the constitutional order.Frans Timmermans, the commission vice-president, in a letter on Wednesday (23 December) said the bill could see “the integrity, stability, and proper functioning of the national constitutional court undermined.”“I would expect that this law is not finally adopted or at least not put into force until all questions regarding the impact … on the independence and the functioning of the Constitutional Tribunal have been fully and properly assessed,” he said.The letter was leaked the same day by German broadcaster ARD.Timmermans wrote after Polish MPs, on Tuesday, voted through changes to the tribunal, which, critics say, will help the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party extend political control.The law makes it harder for the tribunal to make decisions, by raising the bar from a simple majority to two-thirds and by raising the quorum from nine out of 15 judges to 13, among other provisions.It was also voted by the upper house in the early hours of Thursday (24 December).It comes after PiS quashed the nomination of five new judges by the previous government to install its own people.Timmermans noted that, according to the Polish tribunal’s judgements, three of the five judges should have stayed in place. But PiS is free to change two nominations.He urged Polish authorities to keep him informed on “the constitutional situation” and to “work closely” with the Venice Commission, an advisory body in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Timmermans addressed his letter to the Polish foreign minister, Witold Wlaszczykowski, and justice minister, Zbigniew Ziobro.Both are known as PiS hawks with little love for EU institutions.But Wlaszczykowski, on Thursday, said he has requested a Venice Commission opinion. Ziobro, on Wednesday evening, said he’d be “happy to speak with the [EU] commissioner to clarify the circumstances” of the reforms.PiS says changes are needed because the tribunal serves the opposition party, Civic Platform.The PiS chairman, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has called the judges “a band of cronies.” But his own status is part of the problem.The party chief de facto controls the PiS president, Andrzej Duda, and PiS prime minister Beata Szydlo.In a sign of the hierarchy, TV cameras, during the PiS election campaign, filmed Szydlo buying milk for Kaczynski, a confirmed bachelor, earning the moniker of his “housekeeper.”For his part, Luxembourg’s foreign minister Jean Asselborn, whose country chairs the rotating EU presidency, on Wednesday kept up the international opprobrium.He told the Reuters news agency the situation “reminds” him of “the path of .. dictatorial regimes.”He said if PiS weakens the Constitutional Tribunal, it will also weaken the independence of ordinary courts.“Whoever says that criticism [of Poland] by its European partners is not appropriate hasn’t understood Europe,” he added.
Focus-Europe in Review 2015: Terrorism shakes Europe By Eric Maurice-dec 24,15-euobserver
BRUSSELS, Today, 08:53-From the Charlie Hebdo killing in January to the Friday the 13th attacks in November, France and its capital Paris have become the epicentre of a growing terrorist threat in Europe. The tremors could be felt in Copenhagen, Brussels and even the meeting rooms of EU institutions where the fundamental European principle of free movement has come under pressure.The first attack hit Paris on 7 January when two gunmen burst into the Charlie Hebdo magazine newsroom, killing ten people and injuring 11 before killing a policeman on their way out.Most of the victims were cartoonists for Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly whose offices had already been the subject of an arson attack in 2011. Islamist radicals targeted the magazine because of cartoons depicting Muhammad.The attack hit a nerve in France, where some of those murdered were popular figures and where people felt it was an attack on freedom of expression and the country's deep-rooted secular values.The killers, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi were tracked down by police and killed two days later in a printing company office near Paris.Meanwhile, a third man attacked a Jewish supermarket in Vincennes. Amedy Coulibaly killed 4 people and took 17 hostages for several hours before being killed during a police raid. It later transpired that he had killed a policewoman the day before near a Jewish school he may have intended to attack.-Copenhagen-About a month later, cartoonists and freedom of expression were once again under fire. This time in Copenhagen, where on 14 February, a gunman shot one person dead and injured 3 policemen at a debate on "Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression".One of the participants in this event organised as a reflection on the Charlie Hebdo massacre was Swedish artist Lars Vilks. Vilks was the author of drawings of prophet Muhammad in 2007. Later that day the gunman, a 22-year old Danish resident of Jordanian-Palestinian origin, killed a security guard and injured two policemen at the Copenhagen Great Synagogue. He was found and killed by police the following day.The next alert came in late August and heralded a new era for Europe.-Brussels-On 21 August, a man boarded a Thalys high-speed train in Brussels and started to open fire on passengers with automatic weapons on the way to Paris. He was tackled and disarmed by several passengers including two off-duty US soldiers.The attack prompted calls for security gates in train stations, as well as an initial debate over more checks on passengers travelling from one country to another inside the Schengen area.The failed Thalys attack was also a first indication of a new tactic by islamic terrorists, aimed at killing as many people as possible going about their daily occupations.Contrary to the Madrid and London attacks in 2004 and 2005, when bombs were planted in public transportation, the latest attacks involve automatic weapons and terrorists ready to die in action. The ultimate expression of this was the November Paris attacks when terrorists shot people before blowing themselves up.-Paris-On 13 November, eight men carried out a series of three coordinated attacks in Paris.They shot at people in restaurants and bars, they attacked the Bataclan concert hall and detonated three bombs next to the Stade de France.The attacks left 130 people dead and 352 injured and prompted French president Francois Hollande to declare a state of emergency that was later extended for three months.On 11 January, after the first Paris attacks, around 3 million people and 50 world leaders marched in Paris and many towns across the country. Under the motto "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie), the march was a symbolic move to support French and European values of freedom of expression and tolerance.In November, the response was more muted, because demonstrations were banned under the state of emergency, and also because the trauma was deeper.Politically the response was more operational.-Mutual defence-EU member states granted France the first activation of the EU's mutual defence clause to help in operations against militant islamic groups in Africa and the Middle East. They also decided to step up their security cooperation.The attacks showed that countries do not share enough information about potential terrorists travelling from one country to another in the Schengen free-movement area.The Paris attackers, though the majority were French, came from Belgium and had travelled to and from Syria without being checked or put under surveillance.Belgium and Europe discovered that Molenbeek, a part of the Brussels region, was apparently a safe haven for terrorists.A terror scare also led to the lockdown of Brussels's inner city and shopping malls on 21-23 November, with the army deployed to secure streets, schools and public transportation.-Schengen-At an emergency meeting after the Paris attacks, EU justice and interior ministers agreed to make more use of the Schengen and Interpol databases to track identified radicals and criminals. EU officials complained that member states do not feed and use the existing databases, to the detriment of the fight against terrorism."Fifty percent of information put in our database comes from only five member states. Member states do not use it equally," Europol chief Rob Wainwright told MEPs in November."We need more connections between all services."Ministers also decided to introduce systematic checks on EU citizens at Schengen external borders, in order to spot the so-called foreign fighters - EU nationals going to Syria and Iraq to train and fight with the Islamic State group - who could commit attacks in Europe.The measure was also considered as a way to protect the Schengen area from the risk of controls at internal borders. Such controls were reintroduced by some countries, including Germany, in response to the migrant crisis and there were calls for more controls.-PNR-Ministers put pressure on the European Parliament to adopt the Passenger Name Record (PNR) legislation before the end of the year. They said this EU database would allow police and intelligence services to spot suspect travellers.Agreement on the PNR legislation between member states, the European Commission and the Parliament was delayed for many months because MEPs had concerns about the protection of personal data.But despite these efforts, as well as measures to stem the funding of terrorism and radicalisation, the Europol chief warned that they might not be enough."It is reasonable to assume that further attacks are likely," Wainwright told MEPs.
Factbox: The hunt for the Paris attackers-[reuters.com]-December 24, 2015-YAHOONEWS
(Reuters) - France and Belgium are hunting suspects after the shootings and bombings on Nov. 13 that killed 130 people and injured hundreds at a rock concert hall, sports stadium and bars and restaurants in Paris.At least eight attackers are dead, wit seven killed in the attacks and one days later in a police raid. The number involved in the attacks may have been 10 or higher and at least four people are being sought, chief among them Salah Abdeslam, who police think may be an assailant referred to in an Islamic State statement claiming responsibility for the attacks.Here is what we know about the suspects and the wider circle pursued by police.-KEY EVENTS:Nov 13: France. Seven assailants died during the attacks: three at the Bataclan concert hall, three outside the Stade de France stadium and one of three gunmen involved in the cafe shootings.Nov 18: France. Three people died and eight were arrested in a police assault on a hideout flat in St. Denis, north of Paris. One of the three was suspected ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian of Moroccan origin who played a direct role in the cafe shootings, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said.-UNACCOUNTED FOR:Salah Abdeslam, 26, French, born in Brussels (Sept. 15, 1989). Suspected of having rented the VW Polo and Renault Clio cars used in the attacks. Investigators say he went to Belgium from France the day after the attacks in a VW Golf, despite being stopped by French police along the way in routine road checks before his name was circulated as a suspect.Fears that Salah was back in Belgium and might be plotting attacks prompted the closure of Brussels underground rail lines, schools, shopping centres and other public places on Nov. 20. The shutdown was partially lifted on Nov. 25.French police are examining a suicide belt dumped in Montrouge on the southwestern fringes of Paris, where phone traces suggested Salah was present on the night of Nov. 13.Investigators are trying to establish whether Salah was supposed to carry out an attack in Paris's 18th district, the prosecutor said. In its statement, Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack there that did not happen.The last person known to have seen Abdeslam, Ali Oulkadi, said he gave him a lift across Brussels on Nov. 14 and when he dropped him off Abdeslam said: "You'll never see me again."Some media relayed speculation at the end of November that Salah Abdeslam may have already fled to Syria. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls treated this as "rumour" on Dec. 1.Mohamed Abrini, 30, Belgian of Moroccan origin, seen by police on video footage with Salah on Nov. 11 at a fuelling station in Ressons, north of Paris, near the motorway linking Belgium to Paris. The Renault Clio in the footage was used in the attacks.A Belgian police notice describes Abrini, who has fought in Syria and came from the same area of Brussels as the Abdeslam brothers and Abdelhamid Abaaoud, as "dangerous and probably armed".Belgian and French police are seeking two others who used forged Belgian ID papers under the names of Samir Bouzid and Soufiane Kayal. Belgian police said Salah Abdeslam made two trips to Budapest in a rental car during September 2015 and that the two men were spotted in a car with him at the border between Hungary and Austria on Sept. 9. A Belgian prosecutor statement contained a somewhat fuzzy photo of the two seemingly take from CCTV footage. Belgium said they may be armed and dangerous. The Kayal identity papers were used to rent a house in the Belgian town of Auvelais that police raided on Nov. 26. The Bouzid identity papers was used four days after the Nov. 13 attacks to wire 750 euros from a Western Union outlet in Brussels to a woman in France named Hasna Ait Boulahcen who was killed in the police raid on the St Denis flat.-DEAD ATTACKERS:Bataclan concert hall: (3 dead gunmen with suicide vests. Two blew themselves up and a third was shot by police)-Ismail Omar Mostefai, 29 (born Nov. 21, 1985), Frenchman of Algerian descent. Lived for a time in Chartres area, southwest of Paris. Born in Courcouronnes, south of Paris. His name was put on French intelligence services' "S notice" in 2010 for reported radicalisation. An unnamed senior Turkish government official says Turkey contacted France about Mostefai in December 2014 and June 2015 but only got a return request for information on him after the Paris attacks..Samy Amimour, 28 (born Oct. 15, 1987). French, from Drancy near St. Denis. Subject of an international arrest warrant since late 2013. He had been under official investigation since October 2012 on suspicion of terrorism-related activity over a plan to go to Yemen. Amimour, a bus driver who had been radicalised in a mosque near Drancy, was ordered by police to check in with them every week but missed four checks in 2013. After nearly a month, authorities put out the warrant for his arrest but he was already in Syria.Foued Mohamed-Aggad, 23, French, from Strasbourg area of eastern France. Mother born in Morocco and father of Algerian descent. Police had been struggling to identify him until his mother made contact with investigators to say she had received an SMS from Syria announcing he died on Nov. 13. He was identified when policy matched his DNA with hers.Went to Syria in late with his brother Karim and a group of friends from his neighbourhood in late 2013. Karim, who is in jail in France, was among seven who returned from Syria and were arrested in May 2014.Several people from his home town of Wissembourg, 70 km north of Strasbourg, gave snippets of information about him - among them that he narrowly failed a police entrance exam and was rejected by the army. His mother raised her three children on her own after separating from the father some 10 years ago.Cafe killings: (3 gunmen, 2 identified)-Brahim Abdeslam, 31 (born July 30, 1984), French citizen but born and raised in Brussels, where he ran a bar in the Molenbeek district with his brother Salah. Blew himself up at the Comptoir Voltaire cafe in wake of the shootings. His fingerprints were on one of the AK-47 rifles left in a Seat Leon used in the attacks.Presumed ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 28, Belgian of Moroccan origin, grew up in Molenbeek but vanished in 2013 and showed up in Syria, where he was one of Islamic State's most high-profile European recruits. Local media say he was jailed for robbery in 2010 and spent time in prison alongside Salah Abdeslam. Before the attacks, European governments believed Abaaoud was still in Syria. He had been in Belgium in January plotting attacks that were foiled when police raided a house in Verviers and killed two Belgian associates. Prosecutor Molins said on Nov. 24 that Abaaoud both took part in the cafe shootings and returned to the killing scenes while the Bataclan attack was still under way on the night of Nov. 13. He also said Abaaoud and another man were believed to be preparing a suicide bomb attack on the La Defense business district in the west of Paris on Nov. 18 or 19.Closed circuit TV footage showed Abaaoud entering the Croix de Chavaux metro railway station in eastern Paris with another man on Nov. 13, a couple of hundred metres from where the Seat Leon was found. His fingerprints were found on one of three AK-47 assault rifles in the car.According to a leaked transcript of a witness interviewed by police, Abaaoud spoke mockingly about having entered Europe from Syria via Greece two months before the attacks. The account, confirmed to Reuters by sources close to the investigation, also said Abaaoud had proposed that a cousin, who died alongside him in the Nov. 18 police raid, take 5,000 euros to buy suits and shoes for him and another man to enter the La Defense business district unnoticed.Other: a third gunman who took part in the cafe shootings has not been identified. Investigators say the DNA of a person who blew himself up during the Nov. 18 raid matches traces found on one of the AK-47 rifles in the abandoned Seat, and that may mean he is the third person who took part in the cafe shootings.Stade de France: (3 dead suicide bombers who used vests containing bolts, 1 named)-Bilal Hadfi, 20 (born Jan 22, 1995). Dropped out of school in Brussels in February 2014 to travel to Syria. Believing he was back, police bugged his apartment but he did not show up.Other: A man blew himself up outside Gate D at the Stade de France. A passport found near his dead body has the name of Ahmad Al Mohammad, 25, (born Sept. 10, 1990), from Idlib, northwest Syria. His fingerprints match prints of a person registered under that name as arriving in Greece in Oct. 3, 2015. It has not been confirmed, however, that the bomber is the man in the passport.Other: The fingerprints of a third man who blew himself up outside Gate H of the Stade de France show that he passed through Greece at the same time as the other unidentified stadium suicide bomber. Police have published a photo in an appeal for help to identify the man.-OTHER DEAD:Hasna Ait Boulahcen: woman, 26, who suffocated under rubble in the Nov. 18 police assault in St. Denis. Police were tapping her phone as part of a drugs probe and watched her lead Abaaoud back to the apartment before the raid. Abaaoud and another man apparently called her in haste on Nov. 17 from where they were hiding in bushes to find them a hideout.Other: The third person who died in the St. Denis raid may have been the third gunman involved in the cafe shootings, but this has yet to be confirmed.-DETAINED:In France:Jawad Bendaoud, one of eight arrested in St. Denis swoop, who provided lodgings for Abaaoud. Jawad told French TV as he was being led away to custody on Nov. 18 that he was unaware he had helped suspected terrorists.Prosecutor Molins said Bendaoud was in contact before and after the attacks with a person using a Belgian phone who was in turn in phone contact with the attackers.The other seven arrested, five of whom are thought to be squatters who had taken refuge in the same building, according to police sources, were released after questioning.In sweeps facilitated by state of emergency rules that apply until February 2016, police have searched 2,235 homes, taken 232 people into custody and discovered 334 weapons, 34 of them war-grade, since the Nov. 13 attacks, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Dec. 2.These are in theory wide-net roundups of people who may have suspected links in some way or other to Islamist circles. There have been some accounts in media of police excess, or mistaken raid addresses or identities.In Turkey:Ahmet Dahmani, a Belgian man of Moroccan origin suspected of some form of involvement in the Paris attack, was arrested by police in Turkey on Nov. 21, a government official said. A Turkish news agency said he acted as a "scout" in selecting target locations. Dahmani, 26, was arrested at a luxury hotel in the southern Turkish coastal city of Antalya after travelling from Amsterdam on Nov. 14. Two suspected accomplices were also arrested, the official said.-In Belgium: Nine have been placed under formal investigation on terrorism-related charges after more than two dozen arrests.Mohammad Amri, 27, and Hamza Attouh, 21, went to Paris by car shortly after the attacks to fetch Salah Abdeslam and bring him back to Belgium on Nov. 14.Lazez Abraimi, 39, Moroccan living in western Brussels. His lawyers say he admits taking Salah somewhere in Brussels in his car but knows nothing else. They say Abraimi's brother is in Syria but he himself is not a radical. They explain the discovery of two handguns in his car by the fact he deals in bric-a-brac. Blood found in his car is not that of Salah, his lawyer says.Ali Oulkadi, 31, a Frenchman living in Molenbeek, western Brussels, accused of driving Salah in Brussels on Nov. 14. His lawyer says Oulkadi dropped him off north of the city centre.Abdellah Chouaa, 35, Belgian national. Belgian broadcaster RTBF says Chouaa saw off Mohamed Abrini at the airport when the latter left to fight in Syria. His phone number was also found with a detainee at Belgium's Namur prison who was contacted by Salah Abdeslam on the day of the attacks in Paris. Chaouaa denies any involvement, his lawyer told Reuters.Man named as Mohamed B. Detained in Brussels on Nov. 26.Samir Z, born in 1995, a Frenchman detained at Brussels airport on Nov. 29 as he was boarding a plane for Morocco. He is suspected of having tried to go to Syria at least twice in 2015 and is believed to be part of Bilal Hadfi's group.Pierre N., born in 1987, detained at his home in Molenbeek on Nov. 29.Regarding Amri and Attouh, lawyer Xavier Carette said his client Amri was an unwitting accomplice who knew nothing about any role in attacks when he drove Salah Abdeslam back from Paris to Brussels on the night of Nov. 13-14. A lawyer for Attouh quoted him as saying that Abdeslam was "extremely tense" and may have still been wearing a suicide belt under his down jacket.Abdoullah C., born 1985, Belgian national. Detained on Dec. 22. Suspected of having been in contact with Hasna Ait Boulahcen in the period between the attacks and the raids in Saint-Denis.Mohammad Abdeslam, brother of Salah and the dead Brahim, was among five people released after arrests on Nov. 19.Police raided a house in Molenbeek looking for Salah on Nov. 29 after a hoax call. They arrested the caller.(Compiled by Brian Love with reporters in Paris and Brussels)
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