Monday, December 14, 2015
EUROPEAN UNION BORDER FORCE IS NOT AGREED BY ALL EU COUNTRIES.
EUROPEAN UNION ARMY
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)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings(10 DIVSION REGION WORLD GOVERNMENT) that shall arise: and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.( BE HEAD OF 3 NATIONS)
25 And he (EU PRESIDENT) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.(3 1/2 YRS)
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king (EU DICTATOR) of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,(FROM THE OCCULT-NEW AGE MOVEMENT) shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power:(SATANS POWER) and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes;(JESUS) but he shall be broken without hand.
36 And the king (EU DICTATOR) shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers,(THIS EU DICTATOR IS JEWISH) nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.(CLAIM TO BE GOD)
38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces:(WAR) and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god,(DESTROY TERROR GROUPS) whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many,(HIS ARMY LEADERS) and shall divide the land for gain.
19 And I saw the beast,(EU LEADER) and the kings of the earth, and their armies,(UNITED NATIONS TROOPS) gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse,(JESUS) and against his army.(THE RAPTURED CHRISTIANS)
EU border force plan faces resistance from governments-Reuters By Alastair Macdonald-DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A proposal to give the EU's executive the power to send forces unbidden into member states to defend the common European frontier will face resistance from some countries when it is published this week.The European Commission wants to be able to deploy personnel from a new European Border and Coastguard Agency without, as currently required, the consent of the state concerned, EU officials told Reuters in early December, reflecting frustration with Greek reluctance to seek help with migrants.European Union officials call it a largely theoretical "nuclear option" and stress that any infringement of national sovereignty would be balanced by the power of a majority of member states to block Commission intervention - similar to checks agreed during the euro debt crisis.The Commission will set out the plan on Tuesday to reinforce its Frontex agency with up to six times more staff, EU officials said, following a commitment to an EU border guard in September by President Jean-Claude Juncker."We think the current situation justifies a certain ambition," the Commission's chief spokesman said on Friday, expressing confidence about backing from member states.Failure to strengthen the external borders, senior officials argue, will see more states reimpose frontier controls inside the bloc, wrecking its cherished free movement area, and foster the rise of anti-EU nationalists like France's National Front.But while big powers France and Germany support such EU power, other EU leaders may voice concerns at a summit on Thursday. Italy has pushed for a "Europeanisation" of external frontiers to relieve the costs on itself and Greece of policing the Mediterranean. But the plan may go too far for many leaders."This idea will face opposition from most member states," one EU diplomat said. "We believe such a solution would interfere too deeply in member states' internal competences.""The Commission is testing our limits," said another.He compared it to the Commission's push to oblige states to take in mandatory quotas of asylum seekers, which set furious east Europeans against German Chancellor Angela Merkel.-FRANCO-GERMAN PUSH- Germany and France, alarmed at the threat to the Schengen open-borders system from up to a million undocumented migrants arriving by sea and trekking north from Greece and Italy this year, have called for central control over the zone's external frontiers and, as a last resort such as now in Greece, emergency powers to send in European forces uninvited.But even supporters of the plan among diplomats in Brussels acknowledge it will face resistance. "Everyone supports strengthening Frontex," one said, "but when it comes to a common border guard, we'll have to see. There have been concerns."Governments are reserving judgment on a proposal they have yet to see. But diplomats said many were likely at least to demand stronger safeguards against being forced to act by the EU executive. Existing powers that effectively can suspend a country from the Schengen agreements if it fails to protect the external EU border are mandatory enough, some diplomats argue.Such threats saw Greece drop objections to a new deployment of Frontex forces on its borders this month.Sounding conciliatory to his powerful northern partners, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told parliament in Athens on Friday that a European Coastguard was welcome.But he stressed that ultimate authority over the borders would still lie with Greece and he ruled out joint patrols with the Turkish navy, as envisaged by the Commission.EU officials said on Friday that foreign border guards would, as now, be under local command whenever deployed.Details of the plan will be announced on Tuesday, along with proposals for resettling Syrian refugees directly from Turkey into Europe and changes to Schengen rules to improve security following the Paris attacks on Nov. 13. EU leaders meet in Brussels two days later but are unlikely to discuss it in depth.EU officials said that the new agency will have close to 1,000 permanent staff, compared to about 400 at Frontex now, and double or more the Frontex budget. A new Returns Office would be charged with deporting those who fail to qualify for asylum.In addition, the border guard force would be able to draw on a pool of around 1,500 personnel placed on standby while still working for national border forces in the Schengen area. These would form a rapid reaction force, able to deploy within days.Unlike Frontex, the new agency would be able also to operate outside the EU - for example, in Balkan states such as Serbia - and organize joint patrols with non-EU forces, such as Turkey. Intervention would typically be triggered by a member state asking for help but the Commission could also initiate action. At that point, it could be blocked a majority of member states. However, another senior EU diplomat said his government would prefer that full unanimity be required in such a case."With unanimity, it might be possible," he said. "But I don't think member states will give a mandate to the Commission on this."(Additional reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by Ruth Pitchford and Ros Russell)
Greece says new EU border force welcome as pressure builds over migrants-Reuters By Karolina Tagaris-December 11, 2015 7:31 AM-YAHOONEWS
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras welcomed on Friday proposals to create a European Union coast guard agency to patrol its vast sea borders as pressure built at home for a solution to growing numbers of migrants stranded in the country.The proposal was initially put forward by France and Germany out of frustration that Greece's inability to stem an influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees across the Aegean sea was threatening the EU's open-border Schengen zone.Under a European Commission plan, the proposed coast guard could be deployed without a request from the state in question, unlike Frontex, the EU border agency already deployed in Greece, which needs an invitation.Greece and Italy, also a major entry point for those fleeing Africa and the Middle East, had so far expressed reservations over tougher border controls, citing concerns over issues of national sovereignty. So Tsipras' comments signaled an important concession to Brussels and Berlin."The European coast guard is welcome," he told parliament. But he stressed that the ultimate authority to guard the borders lay with Greece, and reiterated the government's opposition to joint sea patrols with Turkey.Tsipras's remarks came as pressure was building at home for the government to deal with the thousands of migrants and refugees stranded in Greece by a Balkan policy of only allowing entry to Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis.A few thousand people mainly from Pakistan, Iran and northern African countries who were stuck in no-man's land between Greece and Macedonia were forcibly removed by Greek police this week and sheltered temporarily in Athens.Scuffles broke on late on Thursday among groups of different nationalities who were staying in squalid conditions in tents at a taekwondo stadium and three people were injured lightly, a police source said.The decision to shelter the migrants in the abandoned premises of the former Athens airport and at the Olympic sports venue drew the ire of Greek mayors of suburbs south of Athens where those buildings are housed.In a letter to the country's migration minister, four mayors said what was intended as temporary accommodation for refugees fleeing war zones had turned into a permanent open space not for refugees but what they called "illegal immigrants.""We categorically oppose this," they wrote."We will not allow the former airport to become a warehouse of souls because it does not fulfill any condition of hospitality whatsoever. We will not allow the former airport to be turned into living space economic migrants."Greece's migration minister, Yannis Mouzalas, said on Thursday that the measure was temporary, and that those at the stadium would be removed by Dec. 17 because of a tournament due to held there.Asked where they would go, Mouzalas said: "I don't know where the migrants will go, you will find out in due course."But he defended plans to use such venues as shelter despite less-than-idea conditions, saying "the alternative was for them to sleep in fields."(Editing by Toby Chopra)
EU mulls plan to take charge of Europe's borders-Reuters By Gabriela Baczynska and Alastair Macdonald-December 4, 2015 2:15 PM-YAHOONEWS
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is considering giving a new EU border force powers to intervene and guard a member state's external frontier to protect the Schengen open-borders zone, EU officials and diplomats said on Friday.Such a move might be blocked by states wary of surrendering sovereign control of their territory. But the discussion reflects fears that Greece's failure to manage a flood of migrants from Turkey has brought Schengen's system of open borders to the brink of collapse.Germany's Thomas de Maiziere, in Brussels for a meeting of EU interior ministers, said he expected a proposal from the EU executive due on Dec. 15 to include giving responsibility for controlling a frontier with a non-Schengen country to Frontex, the EU's border agency, if a member state failed to do so."The Commission should put forward a proposal ... which has the goal of when a national state is not effectively fulfilling its duty of defending the external border, then that can be taken over by Frontex," de Maiziere told reporters.He noted a Franco-German push for Frontex, whose role is largely to coordinate national border agencies, to be complemented by a permanent European Border and Coast Guard -- a measure the European Commission will propose on Dec.15.Greece has come under heavy pressure from states concerned about Schengen this week to accept EU offers of help on its borders. Diplomats have warned that Athens might find itself effectively excluded from the Schengen zone if it failed to work with other Europeans to control migration.On Thursday, Greece finally agreed to accept help from Frontex, averting a showdown at the ministerial meeting in Brussels.After threatening Greece with triggering rules allowing for internal border controls within Schengen for up to two years, the ministers meeting in Brussels on Friday have not asked the bloc's executive arm to activate the procedure."It is not legally possible to exclude a state from the Schengen area. We cannot expel or exclude a member state from the Schengen area... We weren't targeting any country in the north or the south or the center," said Jean Asselborn, the minister of foreign affairs and migration of Luxembourg, which first tabled a paper invoking the two-year rule.-NEW EU BORDER FORCE-EU diplomats said the proposals due on Dec.15 to bolster defense of the external Schengen frontiers would look at whether the EU must rely on an invitation from the state concerned."One option could be not to seek the member state's approval for deploying Frontex but activating it by a majority vote among all 28 members," an EU official said.Under the Schengen Borders Code, the Commission can now recommend a state accept help from other EU members to control its frontiers. But it cannot force it to accept help, something that may in any case not be practicable.The code also gives states the right to impose controls on internal Schengen borders if external borders are neglected. As Greece has no land border with the rest of the Schengen zone, that could mean obliging ferries and flights coming from Greece to undergo passport checks.Asked whether an EU force should require an invitation or could be imposed by the bloc, Swedish Interior Minister Anders Ygeman said: "Border control is the competence for the member states, and it's hard to say that there is a need to impose that on member states forcefully."On the other hand," he said, referring to this week's pressure on Greece, "we must safeguard the borders of Schengen and what we have seen is that if a country is not able to protect its own border, it can leave Schengen or accept Frontex. It's not mandatory, but in practice it's quite mandatory."Ministers and the Commission welcomed Greece's decision on Thursday to accept more help from Frontex."Greece is finally taking responsibility for guarding the external European border," Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said. "I have for months been demanding that Greece must recognize this responsibility and be ready to accept European help. This is an important step in the right direction."A dramatic increase in EU powers over national territory would be deeply controversial in much of Europe. On Thursday, Danes, who are part of the Schengen zone, heeded Eurosceptic calls and voted against giving their government power to deepen its cooperation with the EU police agency.The European Union faces another test over the next two years as Britain, its second biggest economy, prepares to hold a referendum on whether to quit. Although not a member of the 26-nation Schengen zone, and so unaffected by increased powers for EU border guards, increasing Brussels's say over security policies in Schengen states might fuel the campaign to leave.(Additional reporting by Tom Koerkemeier in Berlin; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Larry King/Ruth Pitchford)
Brussels pushes for EU coastguard-borders agency-AFP By Angus Mackinnon with Lachlan Carmichael in Brussels-December 11, 2015 2:16 PM-YAHOONEWS
Rome (AFP) - The European Commission pushed Friday for a new 1,000-strong EU force to slow the record flow of migrants across the EU's external borders but faced opposition from some member states hostile to giving Brussels this sovereign right.Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commissioner in charge of migration policy, told a Mediterranean security conference in Rome that national authorities had been overwhelmed by the unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers and other migrants arriving in Europe, creating the need for a pan-European solution."National authorities manage to do their best but they were not prepared," Avramopoulos said. "We need something more comprehensive and better structured."He said a new agency's tasks would include defending and protecting EU borders, providing migrants with support and carrying out search and rescue operations.It would have a staff of around 1,000 and be authorised to intervene whenever national authorities could not meet their responsibilities for border security, Avramopolous added.The Commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation European Union, is pushing to secure the bloc's external land and sea borders as a way to save the passport-free Schengen zone.Germany and other countries in the zone have in the last few weeks reintroduced temporary border controls to cope with the worst migrant crisis since World War II.The fear is that if those controls become permanent, the Schengen zone which ensures the EU's core principle of freedom of movement, would collapse, taking the idea of a single, united Europe with it.- 'Hoping for swift progress' -The Commission is confident a summit of EU leaders in Brussels next Thursday and Friday "will encourage us to progress swiftly on preparation of a European border and coastguard agency," Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a press conference.But a Polish source told AFP on condition of anonymity that "Poland is pretty much objecting to the very idea of such a border guard.""It would remove responsibility for protecting borders from a member state and might serve as an alibi for inaction."Border control involves not just checks but "investigations, arrests and tasks done on behalf of other services," the Polish source said."The proposal seems to be an excessive intervention in the internal competences of a state," he added.Avramopoulos said the border force would work closely with planned European reception centres, or 'hotspots', being established in Greece and Italy to ensure more comprehensive identification, registration and processing of new arrivals in Europe." Nobody would ever come into EU territory without accepting to respect the rules of our union," he said.A European diplomat told AFP the hotspots have already broken taboos on national sovereignty as they involve staff from other member states."That's more or less what's happening at the moment and therefore the Commission thinks that they should go one step further by proposing these coast guards as a way of improving our act," the diplomat said on condition of anonymity.The ease with which migrants can enter Europe without being identified has become a hot-button issue in the wake of last month's Paris attacks following reports two of the attackers passed through Greece posing as refugees.Brussels has initiated infringement proceedings against Greece and Italy -- where the bulk of refugees arrive -- over their failure to comply with EU rules which require them to fingerprint every migrant entering the bloc via their territory.The proposal for a new force will be announced Tuesday and will require approval by the European Parliament and national governments."We need it. We have found out that we are in real need of having this agency up and running as soon as possible and on the ground," Avramopoulos said.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:TOBOLSK)
4 And I (GOD) will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY) of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.(AFRICAN MUSLIMS,SUDAN,TUNESIA ETC)
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.(RUSSIA-EGYPT AND MUSLIMS)
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages;(ISRAEL) I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil,(OIL IS IN SPOIL) and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
13 Sheba, and Dedan,(SAUDI-ARABIA) and the merchants of Tarshish,(SPAIN) with all the young lions thereof,(ENGLAND,AND ALL ITS ASSOCIATES-CANADA,AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND, USA, AND WESTERN ENGLISH SPEAKING NATIONS) shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?(OIL IS IN SPOIL-I BELIEVE THATS WHY RUSSIA,ARAB/MUSLIMS MARCH TO ISRAEL)
14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?
15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?
18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.
19 For in my jealousy and in the fire (atomic bomb) of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.
22 And I will plead against him with pestilence (biological,chemical,nuclear) and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.(NUKED,THEN MIGRATING BIRDS EAT RUSSIA/ARAB/MUSLIMS FLESH)
23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back,(RUSSIA-ARAB MUSLIM ISRAEL HATERS) and leave but the sixth part of thee,(5/6TH OR 300 MILLION DEAD RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS I BELIEVE) and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR ATOMIC BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
Russian destroyer shoots to 'avoid collision' with Turkish vessel-AFP-DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
Moscow (AFP) - A Russian destroyer in the Aegean Sea on Sunday used small arms fire to prevent a collision with a Turkish vessel, Moscow said, adding it had summoned Ankara's military attache over the incident."The crew of the Russian patrol ship Smetlivy which was located 22 kilometres (13.7 miles) from the Greek island of Lemnos in the northern part of the Aegean Sea avoided collision with a Turkish seiner," the defence ministry said, adding that the crew had fired small arms to warn the boat.At 0603 GMT the Russian warship, which was at anchor, spotted a Turkish fishing boat some 1,000 metres away, the defence ministry said, adding the boat had been approaching it from the right."Despite numerous attempts by the Smetlivy, the crew of the Turkish seiner would not engage in radio contact and did not respond to special visual signals," the ministry added.Moscow said the crew had to fire small arms in the direction of the boat at "a guaranteed survivability distance" when there were some 600 metres between the two vessels "to prevent the collision of the ships.""Immediately after that the Turkish vessel drastically changed course and continued its movement past the Smetlivy at the distance of 540 metres without engaging in contact with the Russian crew," the ministry said.Deputy defence minister Anatoly Antonov summoned a Turkish military attache, it added.The latest incident came after Turkey downed a Russian bomber at the Syrian border in November, leading to the biggest crisis in ties between the two countries since the end of the Cold War.After the downing of the warplane, which led to the deaths of a pilot and another serviceman who attempted to rescue him, Russia introduced economic sanctions against Turkey and beefed up its firepower at its airbase in Syria.President Vladimir Putin on Friday delivered a thinly veiled warning to Ankara and told his forces in Syria to take tough action against any threats."I would like to warn those who would once again try to organise some sort of provocations against our servicemen," Putin said.Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday that Ankara's patience with Moscow after the downing of the warplane was "not unlimited", urging Moscow to react calmly.
Russia warns Turkey over Aegean warship incident-Reuters By Katya Golubkova-DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Sunday warned Turkey to stop staging what it called provocations against its forces in or near Syria after one of its warships fired warning shots at a Turkish vessel in the Aegean to avoid a collision.The Russian Defence Ministry said one of its warships, the destroyer Smetlivy, had been forced to fire the warning shots on Sunday morning and that it had summoned the Turkish military attache over the incident."The Turkish military diplomat was given a tough explanation about the potentially disastrous consequences from Ankara's reckless actions towards Russia's military contingent fighting against international terrorism in Syria," the Defence Ministry said in a statement."In particular, our deep concerns about more Turkish provocations towards the Russian destroyer Smetlivy were conveyed."Earlier on Sunday, the ministry said that the Turkish fishing vessel failed to respond to Smetlivy's warnings and changed course sharply only after shots were fired before passing within just over 500 meters of the warship."Only by luck was tragedy avoided," the ministry said.Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who was in Rome for talks on Libya, said Ankara was investigating the matter and would make a statement once it had more information.He also reiterated Turkey's position that it wanted to resolve its difficulties with Russia. "We want to solve the tension with dialogue," he said, in comments broadcast by TRT Turk.The incident is likely to heighten tensions between the two nations who are seriously at odds over Syria and the Turkish shooting down of a Russian military jet last month.Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called the downing of the plane a "stab in the back", has since imposed economic sanctions on Turkey as a retaliatory measure.Earlier this month, Turkey complained to Russia over an incident in which a Russian sailor was pictured brandishing a rocket launcher on the deck of a naval ship passing through Istanbul.(Additional reporting by Tulay Karadeniz in Ankara; Editing by Andrew Osborn and Raissa Kasolowsky)
Bulgaria shuts border with Turkey: prosecutor-AFP-DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
Sofia (AFP) - Bulgaria on Sunday shut its busy border crossing with Turkey as 14 customs officials were detained in an anti-corruption raid, chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said."All customs officers from the morning shift, who control the entries into Bulgaria at the Kapitan Andreevo (border checkpoint) were detained within a probe against contraband," Tsatsarov told public BNR radio."We apologise to travellers" over the closure, he said, adding that traffic from Bulgaria to Turkey was flowing uninterrupted.Kapitan Andreevo is the largest and busiest border checkpoint in the Balkans and a major crossing point on the route between Europe and the Middle East.BNR reported that a queue a dozen kilometres long of trucks, waiting to enter Bulgaria, had formed the Turkish side.Bulgaria's state security agency DANS conducted about 100 raids in five towns close to the border, Tsatsarov added, without giving further details about the aim of the raids.The radio meanwhile said the probe was targeting a major cigarette smuggling ring.Bulgaria's position at Europe's exterior border makes it a major crossroads on the route of goods smugglers and human traffickers. Migrants are also regularly caught at Kapitan Andreevo and other checkpoints, trying to cross into Europe hidden inside trucks.Cigarette smuggling is another lucrative business with a major ring dismantled last March.
With eye on Islamic State threat, Western powers meet Libyan factions-Reuters By Lesley Wroughton and Steve Scherer-DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
ROME (Reuters) - Western powers on Sunday met envoys from Libya's political factions to nudge them towards agreeing on a unity government, hoping this would stop the spread of Islamic State militancy in the chaotic North African country.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni, flanked by United Nations envoy Martin Kobler, chaired a meeting of foreign ministers and senior officials from North Africa, the Middle East and Europe. They were joined later by 15 representatives of Libyan factions.Various sides last week agreed to Dec. 16 as a date to sign the deal, but some hardliners are resisting. Past deadlines have slipped while wide areas of the sprawling oil-producing country splintered into fiefs of rival armed groups.With Libya less than 300 km (190 miles) across the Mediterranean Sea, Italy has sought to focus international attention on the OPEC country's drift towards anarchy, particularly since last month's Islamic State attacks in Paris."Conflict, instability in Libya have gone on for too long," Kerry tweeted from inside the meeting. "Broad participation here reflects (international) support for unified, secure and stable Libya."Later, he added: "Need to lay groundwork for a unified government in Libya to bring the country together and respect rights, interests of all Libyans."A senior U.S. State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the meeting would endorse the agreement, hoping it would give Libyans confidence to move ahead knowing they had international support."Libyans wanted to know that if they took this step the international community would support them on it," the official told reporters.The agreement would allow a new Libyan government to ask for international military assistance to fight Islamic State's growing presence, which has mushroomed since a Western-backed rebellion toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi four years ago."Libyans want to fight back, they want international help in fighting back," the official said. "That is up to the Libyans, ultimately, but we expect that they will do so, and the outsiders will then help with training and equipping in appropriate ways."With around 3,000 fighters, Islamic State has solidified its foothold in Libya by taking over the central city of Sirte. It has attacked a hotel and a prison in Tripoli, oil fields and military checkpoints, and issued a video of its militants beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach."We must show that governments can act faster and more effectively than the terrorist threat," Gentiloni said on Saturday.The recognized government and elected House of Representatives have operated only in the east of Libya since last year, when the capital Tripoli was seized by a faction that set up its own government. Each side is backed by competing alliances of former anti-Gaddafi rebels.The U.N. proposal calls for a presidential council with the House of Representatives as the legislature alongside a second consultative chamber, the State Council.The presidential council could form a government in 30 days once a deal is signed and that would be ratified by parliament and bolstered by a U.N. Security Council resolution.But with Libya already fragmented, questions linger about how opponents and armed factions which might reject a deal will react to what they will see as an unrepresentative Tripoli government, and how they can be brought onboard after."Ending negotiations will strengthen hardliners; granting recognition to a government that has insufficient backing will condemn it to irrelevance," the International Crisis Group think tank said in a statement before the Rome meeting.-AIR STRIKES, UNITED ARMY-Any government faces huge challenges with the oil industry reeling from attacks and protests. Output is less than half of the 1.6 million barrels per day the OPEC state had before 2011.Security for Tripoli and assembling a military force for a new government will be important. Libya has no real national army, but two coalitions of forces whose ranks have fragmented.Western officials do not rule out more unilateral air strikes on militants. The United States has carried out air strikes and France has conducted surveillance flights.But with most in the West opposing "boots on the ground" deployments, initial efforts will likely focus on training and aiding local forces."There won't be a Libyan army as we'd like it, but there are a number of forces, which if they worked together would have enough strength to hit Daesh," said one Western official using the pejorative Arabic term for Islamic State.(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton and Steve Scherer in Rome, Patrick Markey in Algiers, John Irish in Paris, Jonathan Landay in Washington; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Mark Potter)
Russia-annexed Crimea faces long road to power security-Reuters By Anastasia Lyrchikova and Alexander Winning-DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin is trying to reassure residents of Crimea, left in the dark after electricity supplies from Ukraine were cut off, that it is coming to their rescue by installing a power link with Russia.But the reality is that it will take many months of complex engineering before Russia can provide Crimea with a secure electricity supply, while Western sanctions over the peninsula's annexation have made it more difficult to buy the best equipment for the job.The electricity problems are a stark reminder that when Vladimir Putin last year decided to make Crimea part of Russia he was not just courting international outcry but also taking on huge practical problems about how to sustain a peninsula that is physically cut off from Russia.Crimea was plunged into darkness around three weeks ago after electricity pylons in southern Ukraine that carry the four lines that supply Crimea with the bulk of its power were blown up by unidentified people.The authorities in Ukraine, where anger over the annexation last year is still raw, have shown little urgency in restoring the power supplies.Russia has flown in emergency generators that cover some of Crimea's power needs, and Ukraine has partially restored power. But until Crimea is fully hooked up to the Russian grid, it will be vulnerable to power disruptions.Moscow's response has been to speed up work on a so-called "energy bridge" - a series of cables along the seabed - it is building across the Kerch Strait that separates Russia from Crimea.That project was launched by Putin on a visit to Crimea on Dec. 2, but its transmission capacity remains limited and Russian officials have largely glossed over the huge engineering challenges the remaining work will entail."The issue is really pressured. The energy bridge is not just an underwater cable, you see," said Sergei Pikin, director of Russian consultancy Energy Development Fund. "It's difficult work that normally takes years to complete."-ENERGY BRIDGE-Russia has hired a Chinese firm, Hengtong, to supply the power cables to be laid across the Kerch Strait, a source at a Western electrical corporation said. Russia's Kommersant newspaper also reported the Chinese firm was supplying the cables. The Western source also noted, however, that Chinese companies have much less experience in this field than those cut off from the project due to sanctions.The previous time Russia laid an undersea cable for such a project, in 2011 between the Pacific port of Vladivostok and the island of Russky, it contracted a Japanese firm to supply the cable. A French company supplied the cable for a link under Lake Baikal in Siberia, completed in 2005. Hengtong did not respond to questions submitted by Reuters about its role in the project. Russia's Energy Ministry declined to say who was supplying the cables.If everything goes to plan, by June next year all the cables planned for the energy bridge will be laid."850 Megawatts is what it will be possible to send via the energy bridge from May 2016, without any risk to the energy system of the south of Russia," Deputy Energy Minister Andrei Cherezov told Reuters.That should allow Crimea to plug its electricity deficit with supplies from Russia, according to Vladimir Sklyar, director for utilities research at Renaissance Capital.But the challenges don't end with the undersea cables.Russia must also build electricity substations and lay new transmission lines on either side of the Kerch Strait to connect the new cables to the existing networks. Analysts say that because Crimea's power has always come from the north, via a neighboring Ukrainian region, its grid is set up to handle north-to-south flows, and now will have to be re-configured to take in power from the east.Work must be done too on the Russian side of the bridge to ensure there is sufficient spare capacity in the southern portion of Russia's grid to supply power to Crimea.E.ON Russia , controlled by German firm E.ON , said on Thursday it was interested in building generating capacity in the Krasnodar region, which Russian authorities have said could be used to send power to Crimea.Maxim Shirokov, E.ON Russia's head, told journalists: "It will supply electricity to the wholesale market. ... The same thing that we're doing at the moment. Therefore I don't see any risks linked to this."-ENDURING SOLUTION-Experts say power stations in Crimea itself offer a more enduring solution to the peninsula's energy needs.Russia plans to build these near Crimea's capital Simferopol and Sevastopol, home to its Black Sea fleet.The first blocks at those stations are due to come online in September 2017, and their generating capacity is to be doubled to around 940 Megawatts the following year.That will ensure Crimea is self-sufficient and can use the bridge as backup or during times of peak consumption, when around 1.3 Gigawatts of electricity are needed.But the power plants are some way from being completed, and sourcing machinery could present problems.With a few exceptions Russian firms do not produce the powerful gas turbines often installed in Russian power stations. Such turbines are usually bought from Germany's Siemens , France's Alstom and General Electric of the United States.Alstom said it had received no requests to supply equipment to Crimea and declined to comment on whether it was prepared to deliver supplies there. Siemens did not respond to a request for comment, and GE declined comment.If those suppliers were to sign contracts to provide equipment for power stations in Crimea, they run the risk of violating sanctions. Finding an alternative solution is liable to be time-consuming and expensive.On top of that would be the challenges of upgrading a power network that was already creaking after years of under-investment from Kiev."There is several years' work to bring the system into a good, stable condition," a source in Russia's utilities sector said. "No one has managed such a task over the past 50-60 years. Of course it won't be easy."(Additional reporting by Diana Asonova and Olesya Astakhova in Moscow and Kathy Chen in Beijing; editing by Janet McBride)
Saudi-led air strikes kill 19 Yemeni civilians: residents-Reuters-DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi-led air strikes killed 19 Yemeni civilians in bombings of homes and a market on Sunday, residents said, a day before a U.N.-brokered ceasefire is set to start ahead of peace talks to end eight months of war.Villagers in al-Hajawara in northern Hajjah province said multiple air bombings killed 12 people inside their homes and wounded 30 others. Residents in the southern district of Qabatiya said 7 civilians were killed in an attack on a market.A Saudi military spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.Yemen's Iran-allied Houthi group is fighting a civil war against loyalists of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, whose embattled government has been backed by air strikes and ground forces from a mainly Gulf Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia.Half of the nearly 6,000 people killed in the fighting and air strikes are civilians, including 637 children, according to the United Nations.A seven-day ceasefire is due to start on Monday, the day before planned U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Switzerland, senior officials on both sides of the civil war said.Previous peace talks in June failed and a ceasefire the next month quickly unraveled, but months of stalemate in ground combat and reports of increased pressure by Gulf Arabs' Western allies to end the war may encourage a political settlement.(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Noah Browning; Editing by Dominic Evans and Mark Potter)
Israel says Arab who served in its army joined Islamic State-Reuters-DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli army veteran from the country's Arab minority has joined Islamic State insurgents in Syria, an Israeli security official said on Sunday, confirming a local media report.Israel says dozens of Muslim Arab citizens have illegally traveled to Islamic State's Syrian or Iraqi fiefdoms, raising concerns they might return radicalized and trained to carry out armed attacks at home.Arabs make up 20 percent of Israel's population and are generally exempted from military service while most Jewish citizens are drafted. A few Israeli Arabs volunteer for the army or paramilitary police, however.Walla News said one of the Islamic State recruits previously served in Israel's Givati infantry brigade, a unit that has often operated in Gaza.Walla did not name the man or provide details on when he left for Syria, saying only that he was a Muslim from a village in northern Israel, was estranged from his family and would have been discharged from the army in January 2014.Asked about the report, an Israeli security official told Reuters: "We are familiar with this case." The official did not elaborate.Israel has been cracking down on suspected Islamic State sympathizers in its Arab communities and among Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. The ultra-violent jihadi group also has a presence in the neighboring Gaza Strip and Egyptian Sinai.Israeli concerns were raised in October after two videos surfaced in which militants identifying themselves as Islamic State members and speaking Arabic-accented Hebrew threatened to attack the country.(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Alison Williams)
Palestinian woman shot after alleged stabbing attempt-Associated Press-DEC 13,15-YAHOO NEWS
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says its forces have shot a Palestinian woman after she allegedly attempted to stab a pedestrian in the West Bank.The military said the woman was evacuated to a Jerusalem hospital. It did not say how close the woman got to her target. Israeli media said the woman was in critical condition.The incident occurred Sunday in Hebron, a frequent flashpoint of violence during a three-month outburst of Israeli-Palestinian fighting. Several hundred Israeli settlers live in heavily guarded enclaves in the city, which is home to 270,000 Palestinians.Israel says the violence is fueled by a Palestinian campaign of lies and incitement. The Palestinians say it is the result of frustrations rooted in Israel's nearly 50-year occupation.
Sunni jihadists claim Pakistan market blast-AFP By Lehaz Ali-DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
Peshawar (Pakistan) (AFP) - Sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility Sunday for a bomb blast that killed 23 people at a crowded bazaar in a predominantly Shiite area of Pakistan's northwestern tribal region.The hardline Sunni organisation said they had planted an IED (improvised electronic device) at the Eidgah used-clothes market in Parachinar city in retaliation for Shiite support of Iran and Bashar al-Assad."We warn the Shiite parents that if they don't stop their children from participating in the war of Bashar al-Assad, they would face more attacks like this," Ali Bin Sufiyan, believed to be a spokesman for Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, said in a message to the media.The Kurram tribal district where the attack took place is known for sectarian clashes between Sunnis and Shiites. Shiites make up roughly 20 percent of Pakistan's population of 200 million.Local television footage showed hundreds of male marketgoers fleeing the area, which was strewn with clothing and debris from the bomb as police tried to cordon off the location and ambulances rushed to the site.Beyond the two dozen killed, the blast also injured 30 more people, most of whom were being treated at a Peshawar hospital and a military medical facility, said Amjad Ali Khan, the political administrator of Kurram tribal district."The death toll has reached 23 as many of the critically wounded succumbed to injuries as they were being shifted to helicopters to fly them to Peshawar," Khan told AFP.Sajjad Hussain, 43, who owns a shop at the market, said he was bringing tea from a nearby stall when the blast went off."The explosion was huge, it threw me back five feet and human flesh and blood hit my face and body, I was covered all over," he told AFP in the Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar, where he was being treated for shrapnel wounds to his legs.Twenty-four-year old Aftab Alam, who cleans vehicles at the market, said he was sitting in a van when he heard the blast."There was a loud bang and something hit my shoulder, a pool of blood was coming out of my shoulder and when I stepped out of the van there was dust and smoke and everybody was screaming," Alam told AFP at the same hospital." The air was filled with the stench of burnt human flesh and blood," he said.Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif's office issued a statement condemning the blast, which received widespread condemnation from political leaders across the country."Our resolve to eradicate the menace of terrorism is getting stronger and stronger with the loss of innocent lives and sacrifices of the officials of Pakistan Army and law enforcement agencies," the statement said.- Sectarian violence -Kurram is one of Pakistan's seven semi-autonomous tribal districts which are governed according to local laws and customs, and sits close to the border with Afghanistan.The district is on the frontline of Pakistan's battle against an Islamist insurgency that began in 2004 after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan forced Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants to flee across the border.That insurgency has claimed the lives of around 25,000 civilians and security forces' personnel, according to the South Asia Terror Portal.Overall levels of violence have decreased this year following a nationwide military-led offensive against militants, which has also centred on groups who target Shiites and preachers who incite hatred.In July, the head of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Malik Ishaq, was killed in a shootout with police, along with 13 other extremists.Ishaq had openly boasted of murdering more than 100 people as part of the group behind some of Pakistan's worst sectarian atrocities, but his death was seen by analysts as an extra-judicial killing by the state.Haroon Bhatti, a key deputy to Ishaq, was killed in a similar shootout late last month.Despite their deaths, attacks against the minority have persisted.In October a suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shiite religious procession in the southern city of Jacobabad, killing 24.In May gunmen who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group opened fire on a bus in Karachi carrying Ismaili Shiites, killing 44.The deadliest-ever attack against Pakistani Shiites came in January 2013 when a suicide bomber blew himself at a snooker hall in the southwestern city of Quetta.As rescue workers rushed to the scene, a truck packed with explosives parked nearby also detonated, with the overall toll close to 100 dead.
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)
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
Now comes the tough part: The world's carbon diet starts-Associated Press By SETH BORENSTEIN-DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
PARIS (AP) — The world is about to go on a carbon diet. It won't be easy — or cheap.Nearly 200 nations across the world on Saturday approved a first-of-its-kind universal agreement to wean Earth off fossil fuels and slow global warming, patting themselves on the back for showing such resolve.On Sunday morning, like for many first day dieters, the reality sets in. The numbers — like calorie limits and hours needed in the gym — are daunting.How daunting? Try more than 7.04 billion tons (if you really want to have your eyes bug out, that's 15.5 trillion pounds). That's how much carbon dioxide needs to stay in the ground instead of being spewed into the atmosphere for those reductions to happen, even if you take the easier of two goals mentioned in Saturday's deal. To get to the harder goal, it's even larger numbers.In the pact, the countries pledged to limit global warming to about another degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) from now — and if they can, only half that.Another, more vague, goal is that by sometime in the second half of the century, man-made greenhouse gas emissions — which includes methane and other heat-trapping gases as well as carbon dioxide — won't exceed the amount that nature absorbs. Earth's carbon cycle, which is complex and ever-changing, would have to get back to balance.In practice, that means the world has to emit close to zero greenhouse gases by 2070 to reach the easier goal, or by 2050 to reach the harder one, said John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.Oh and by the way, the harder goal — limit warming by another half a degree Celsius (0.9 Fahrenheit)— is probably already impossible, said Joeri Rogelj at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. Most likely the best the world can hope for is overshooting that temperature by a few tenths of a degree and then somehow slowly — over decades if not centuries — come back to the target temperature.That may involve something called negative emissions. That's when the world — technology and nature combined — take out more carbon dioxide from the air than humanity puts in. Nearly 90 percent of scenarios of how to establish a safer temperature in the world involves going backward on emissions, but it is also so far not very realistic, said Kevin Anderson, deputy director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Britain.Negative emissions involve more forests, maybe seeding the oceans, and possibly technology that sucks carbon out of the air and stores it underground somehow. More biomass or forests require enormous land areas and direct capture of carbon from air is expensive, but with a serious sustained research effort costs can probably be brought below $100 per metric ton, said engineering and policy professor Granger Morgan of Carnegie Mellon University.Leading up to the Paris Agreement, nearly every nation formed an individual action plan to cut or at least slow the growth of carbon pollution over the next decade or so. Richer nations that have already developed, like the United States, Europe and Japan, pledged to cut now. Developing nations that say they need fossil fuels to pull themselves out poverty pledged to slow the rate of growth for now, and to cut later."The EU and U.S. are all on Slim-Fast," said Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton administration climate official. "China's still hitting fast food, but will have to stop soon."China, the world's top carbon polluter, will eventually have to make the biggest cuts. Overall, for the world to hit its new target, global carbon dioxide emissions will have to peak by 2030, maybe earlier, and then fall to near-zero, experts said. Those levels have been generally rising since the industrial revolution. A new study suggests emissions may have fallen slightly this year, but that may be a blip.Without any efforts to limit global warming, the world would have warmed by 3.5 degrees Celsius (6.3 degrees Fahrenheit) from now by 2100, according to Climate Interactive. But China's submitted plan alone would cut that projected warming by 1.3 degrees, according to Climate Interactive. The U.S. plan trims about six tenths of a degree of the projected warming without a global deal.And while China is now the No. 1 carbon dioxide polluter with more than a quarter of the world's emissions, carbon dioxide stays in the air for at least a century, so historical emissions are important. Since 1870, the U.S. is responsible for 18 percent of the world's carbon pollution, compared to 13 percent for China.That all sounds good, but the goals the nations have set aren't enough. Taken together, they would still allow temperatures to rise 2.5 degrees Celsius (4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century from now, so to reach the goals agreed on this weekend countries will need to do more, Climate Interactive found.Another climate modeling group, Climate Action Tracker, is slightly more optimistic, but still finds the nations' plans would miss the goal of limiting temperature rise to one more degree. It says the current proposals would allow a rise of 1.7 degrees Celsius (1.25 degrees Fahrenheit).Countries agreed Saturday to take another look at their goals every five years."Clearly countries must be exercising their low-carbon muscles more," said Rachel Cleetus, climate policy manager for the Union of Concern Scientists.French President Francois Hollande took the first step as he praised the Paris Agreement. He said France would ratchet up its goals and efforts earlier than required and challenged other nations to do the same."The world starts tomorrow" U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told climate negotiators.He said that Saturday.___ Follow Seth Borenstein at http://twitter.com/borenbears and his work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/seth-borenstein
Pope calls for global commitment to put climate pact into action-Reuters –DEC 13,15-YAHOO NEWS
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Sunday urged the countries that signed the landmark Paris agreement on climate change to join in a concerted commitment to put it in practice urgently and to remember the poor as they do so."Putting it into practice will need a concerted commitment and a generous dedication on the part of all," he told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square for his noon address."I exhort the entire international community to move forward urgently along the path that has been taken, in a sign of solidarity ...," he said.Francis, who last May issued a major encyclical on the need to protect the environment and arrest global warming, said he hoped particular attention would be "guaranteed for the most vulnerable populations".(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Mark Potter)
Climate: Pope welcomes COP21 agreement but urges care for vulnerable-At today’s Angelus Francis commented on the outcome of the Paris climate conference: “Proceed with solicitude,” he said, inviting faithful to convert and take the path of solidarity and sobriety. “God is eager to be merciful”One of the threats the Earth faces is rising sea levels caused by global warming.-VATICAN INSIDER-newsletter-13/12/2015-domenico agasso jr
vatican city-The Paris climate change conference has just come to a close, with many defining its outcome as “historic”. Implementation of the agreement reached “will require a collective effort and generous devotion on everyone’s part. In the hope that special attention will be granted to the most vulnerable, I call upon the entire international community to proceed with solicitude along the path undertaken, in the spirit of an increasingly active solidarity,” Francis said commenting on the outcome of the COP21 conference at the end of today’s Angelus prayer. The Pope also invited faithful to convert and embark on the path of solidarity and sobriety. After opening the Holy Door of the papal Basilica of St. John the Lateran, where he also celebrated mass this morning, the Pope made his customary appearance at the window of his study in the Apostolic Palace, to pronounce the Sunday Angelus. “Today’s Gospel passage repeats one question three times: “What should we do?” Three groups of people address this question to John the Baptist: the general crowd; the publicans, or tax collectors and some soldiers. Each of these three groups ask the prophet what they need to do in order to achieve the conversion he refers to in his preaching.” This is what John replies: ‘share your excess goods: ‘Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.’ Francis observes that John “tells tax collectors not to ask for more than the sum owed,” and here, moving away from the prepared text the Pope said: “What does this mean? Don’t take bribes”. Francis continued, saying that John “asks soldiers not to extort anything from anyone but to be content with their salaries”. In sum, “there are three responses for one identical path of conversion, which is manifested in a concrete commitment to justice and solidarity”. This is the path “that Jesus points us towards throughout his teachings: the path of active love for one’s neighbour.”Francis highlights that “John the Baptist’s admonitions illustrate the general tendencies of those who held the power – all different forms of it – at that time”. Importantly, though, he clarifies that “no group of people is excluded from the path of conversion in order to achieve salvation. Not even the publicans who were considered the worst sinners par excellence. God gives everyone the chance to save themselves.” In fact, “he is eager to be merciful toward everyone and to welcome everyone in the tender embrace of reconciliation and forgiveness.”“We” therefore “relate to this question: ‘What should we do?’ Today’s liturgy reiterates, through John’s words, that we need to convert, we need to change direction and take the path of justice, solidarity and sobriety”. These are the “essential” values “of a truly human and genuinely Christian existence”. So “convert! This is the essence of John the Baptist’s message. And the liturgy of this third Sunday of Advent helps us to rediscover one particular aspect of conversion: joy.” He went on to quote the Scriptures: “‘Rejoice greatly, O Daughter Zion!’ the prophet Zephaniah proclaimed to all Jerusalem, while the Apostle Paul urged the following in the Philippians: “Always be glad in the Lord”. Francis recognised that “today, speaking of joy requires courage and above all faith! The world is tormented by so many problems, the future weighed down by so many unknowns and fears;” despite all this, however, a Christian “is a joyful person and his or her joy is not something superficial or ephemeral, but something deep and constant, because it is a God-given gift that fills our lives. Our joy derives from the certainty that ‘the Lord is close’”. He is close to us “with His tenderness, His forgiveness, His love,” Francis said speaking off the cuff again. After the Angelus, Francis drew attention to the fact that the Holy Doors of all cathedrals around the world are being opened today so that the Jubilee of mercy can experienced fully in local Churches. I hope this powerful moment will stimulate many to become instruments of God’s tenderness. “Doors of Mercy” will also be opened in places where there is hardship and marginalisation as a symbol of works of mercy. I therefore greet inmates of prisons across the world, especially those at Padua’s prison who join us in spirit, in this moment of prayer. I thank them for the gift of the concert they held” (today, the youth orchestra of the Cesare Pollini Conservatory put on a concert titled “Concerto per Papa Francesco” (A Concert for Pope Francis), in Padua’s “Due Palazzi” detention centre, Ed.). The Pope recalled that the World Trade Organisation’s Ministerial Conference will be starting in Nairobi – a city he recently visited –on Tuesday 15 December. “I call on participating countries to take into account the needs of the poor and the most vulnerable as well as the legitimate aspirations of less developed countries and the common good of the entire human family, in the decision-making process.”The Pope also greeted “members of the Focolare Movement and the friends of some Muslim communities. Go forth with courage on the path of dialogue and fraternity. Because we are all God’s children!” He ended today’s Angelus with his customary greeting: “I wish everyone a pleasant Sunday and enjoy your lunch. And don’t forget, please, to pray for me. Goodbye!”
The Latest: Palestinians say they will become 196th state party to climate change convention-By The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
LE BOURGET, France - The latest on the U.N. climate conference outside Paris (all times local):12:30 a.m.The Palestinians say they will submit to the U.N. secretary-general their instruments of accession to the global climate change convention.The Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., Riyad Mansour, says "we are so proud of this moment." He says the Palestinians will become the 196th state party to the convention. It is currently an observer state.— Angela Charlton, Le Bourget
For U.N.'s Ban, climate deal is personal victory after setbacks-Reuters By Alister Doyle and Bruce Wallace-DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
PARIS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was among the most jubilant - and most relieved - of the leaders raising their arms on a stage on Saturday to celebrate a historic agreement on climate change.For almost a decade, Ban, 71, has traveled the world from the glaciers of Antarctica to corporate boardrooms in New York in search of photo opportunities and allies to secure an elusive global deal to curb global warming.Saturday night marked a personal victory after a long, often thankless road, in stark contrast to a failed 2009 climate summit in Copenhagen when he sat glumly on the podium at a fractious all-night session as the meeting unraveled."This is the apex of multilateralism," he told Reuters of the deal reached in Paris among 195 countries that aims to end the fossil fuel era by phasing out greenhouse gases this century to rein in the rise in temperatures."(It is) a decisive turning point in our common efforts to make the lives of peoples sustainable and prosperous as well as a healthy planet," Ban said."We have to make sure that all these agreements should be implemented. I will spare no efforts until the last day of my term as secretary-general," he said.Ban, now widely praised by governments for his tireless focus on climate change, will host a signing ceremony for the deal on April 22, 2016, and follow that with a meeting in May to encourage actions by governments, businesses and civil society.The road to that signing has had more downs than ups.Ban said some of his key staff advised him when he took office in 2007 that his plan to focus on climate change - among challenges such as wars, economic upheaval and pandemics - would be risky with no guarantee of success.He ignored that advice.Among unexpected bright spots, he once won encouragement from former U.S. president George W. Bush, whose Republican administration often raised doubts about the science underpinning global warming.BALI-At a U.N. climate conference in Bali, Indonesia, in 2007, when Bush was in office, the United States was the last nation to drop opposition to a plan to launch two years of talks that led to the ill-starred Copenhagen summit. The U.S. delegation was even booed by other delegates for opposing the plan.Ban said Bush confided to him at a private farewell lunch towards the end of the president's term in 2009 that the U.S. delegation leader had phoned him from Bali for advice.Bush told her, "'I would appreciate if you do it as the Secretary-General of the United Nations wants'," Ban said. "Then the U.S. agreed to this Bali roadmap. That was the most memorable and touching moment for me."But Bali led nowhere, because the 2009 Copenhagen summit two years later collapsed. Left-wing Latin American nations and Sudan blocked a deal in a riotous final overnight session. Ban calls Copenhagen among the "frustrating moments".Still, he said "I never was deterred" even though many other world leaders gave up on climate change to focus on other issues such as fixing the financial crisis.And in Copenhagen, a simple problem was that world leaders at the time did not appreciate the risks of global warming, from droughts and heat waves to more powerful storms and rising seas."They were not even fully educated," Ban said.But the rubble of Copenhagen did provide a basis for success in Paris, he said. Ban has hosted three summits of his own on climate change since 2007, and joined a march of what he said was 400,000 people in New York last year.The U.N. leader grew up in a home in South Korea with no electricity and reading by a kerosene lamp.That made him aware of the dilemma for many developing nations, where governments are trying to widen public access to electricity - usually from cheap, dirty coal-fired power plants - even as they try to cut emissions."I myself know all of these climate problems," he said.(Editing by Mark Heinrich)
Climate deal: World praises France's diplomatic efforts-Associated Press By SYLVIE CORBET- DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Just a month after the Paris attacks, France has surmounted that atrocity to help achieve a seemingly unachievable triumph: uniting the world to seal a global climate pact.The Paris climate agreement, adopted on Saturday, was the culmination of more than a year of intense diplomatic efforts by France. Delegates and foreign dignitaries cheered Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the host of the two-week talks, and gave him a standing ovation."It's rare in life to be able to move things forward at the planet level," Fabius said, visibly moved after coming out of the plenary room.France is seen as the inventor of the concept of modern diplomacy, and this conference proved that the country is still a master of the art. Foreign officials highlighted Fabius' role in the success of the talks, heaping praise on him and France, which has a smaller diplomatic corps than the U.S. and China."You have done a superb job as everybody has said," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Fabius on Saturday, expressing the Obama administration's "deepest gratitude to France."EU climate chief Arias Canete said "France has united the world. This deal embodies the strength of the French nation." U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon praised Fabius' "leadership."Maldives Foreign Minister Thoriq Ibrahim, who chairs the Alliance of Small Island States, said the French made several smart moves, including having world leaders come in at the beginning of the talks — not at the end like in Copenhagen.The 2009 conference in Denmark, which failed to deliver a climate deal, was on the minds of all negotiators as the worst case scenario."From the very beginning the French were conscious of the Copenhagen failure," Ibrahim said.In a unique gathering, 151 heads of state headed to Paris to give a political push on the first day of the conference — just over two weeks after attacks claimed by Islamic State killed 130 people in Paris.For more than a year, France had used its broad network of embassies —the third largest in the world— to work with governments abroad and keep them informed of the evolution of the negotiations.French President Francois Hollande recalled that when he used to ask "where is Laurent Fabius" in the past year, he was answered: "he's in the plane because he's visiting all the countries of the world to build the agreement on climate."Hollande himself became committed to a cause he once barely gave importance to — he had almost ignored environmental issues during his electoral campaign four years ago.At every meeting with a foreign leader and during every visit abroad prior to the talks, Hollande remembered to mention the climate conference even when it was not front-page news.During his visit to China last month, both countries released a strong joint agreement on climate they promoted as a signal to the world.On Friday and Saturday, Hollande called several world leaders to help unlock the final sticking points. The French presidency refused to give the list of who he called.The diplomatic success is a welcome victory for the unpopular Socialist government, as it faces a tough electoral challenge from the far right and conservatives Sunday. And it is a boost for France's global image as the country's economic weight has shrunk in recent years.French organizers said they took inspiration from ideas successfully tested in previous conferences, such as Durban, South Africa, in 2011. For instance, they decided to use informal meetings called "Indaba," from a Zulu word that means "gathering."They also closely worked with the Peruvian delegation following last year's Lima conference.During the Paris conference, France devoted a team of 60 to 80 permanent staff to follow every meeting, and coordinate and facilitate the talks for 24 hours a day.When talks entered a difficult stage in the last few days, the French organizers became "very procedural" in order to avoid having last-minute snags, a French official said, describing a "laborious" process — and very little sleep.To solve tensions between specific countries, "We suggested they gather in small groups to try to find a compromise and we told them: 'come back in two hours with a proposal,'" the official said on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to disclose the details of the negotiations. When Fabius announced a one-day delay for the final text to be presented and detailed the working method, the delegates applauded."I think the French have been playing this incredibly well," said Jennifer Morgan, global climate program director for the World Resources Institute. "It took hard work, grit and guts, but countries have finally united around a historic agreement that marks a turning point on the climate crisis."___Associated Press writer Karl Ritter contributed to the report.
After Paris: Now what for world climate?-AFP By Mariette Le Roux-DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
Le Bourget (France) (AFP) - After a champagne moment in Paris, where ministers from around the world crafted a pact to fight perilous climate change, comes the hard part.Experts are under no illusion that celebrations and high-flown rhetoric are enough when it comes to rolling back greenhouse-gas emissions.If anything, they say, the divisions that beleaguered the nearly two-week haggle have underscored the political and economic obstacles that now lie ahead.The deal finally struck on Saturday, a day into extra time, enshrines the goal to cap global warming at two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels -- and at an even more ambitious 1.5C if possible.But the bad news is that humanity may already have used up almost 1C of that allocation, the UN's World Meteorological Organization warned last month.And the emissions-curbing pledges submitted by 185 countries to give the agreement substance, even if fully honoured, set the stage for a 3C warmer world.The only hope lies in hard-fought provisions in the pact to encourage nations to ramp up their actions over time, and thus keep a 2C goal in focus."This is the key thing to ensure that the actions get stronger and stronger so that we get to two degrees and below," WWF climate expert Tasneem Essop told AFP.2C is the threshold at which politicians hope mankind can avoid the worst climate change impacts: dangerous storms, drought, sea-level rise, water wars, mass migration and the spread of diseases.The agreement itself admits "with concern" that current national plans are not enough.As a result, it has built in a number of checks to try and keep the fast-closing 2C window ajar.Scattered over different sections of the 31-page document, the measures collectively make up what has become known as a "ratcheting up" mechanism.It could play a vital part in a pact where emissions commitments are voluntary and there is no single timetable for achieving carbon reductions, which scientists point to as a gaping flaw. According to the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a tool developed by four climate research institutes, most country pledges are "inadequate" and "nearly all" governments need to enhance their 2025 or 2030 contributions.The first step will be a stock-taking in 2018, two years before the agreement enters into force, of the overall impact of countries' progress in abandoning fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas in favour of renewable sources like solar and wind.The findings must inform the next round of country pledges to replace those that will enter into force with the agreement, in 2020."This will be a significant political moment where governments will be urged to ramp up their efforts," said Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid, which lobbies on poverty issues.Observers are concerned that unless the 2020 pledges are reviewed soon, the 3C trajectory will be locked in for at least 10 years.Some countries had set 10-year targets for 2025, others 15-year ones until 2030."It just makes it harder and harder to take actions that can in fact bring us down to the levels we need to be," said WWF climate analyst Tasneem Essop.Once the agreement takes effect, the collective impact of countries' efforts will be reviewed at five-year intervals from 2023.The outcome of these reviews will "inform" countries in "updating and enhancing" their pledges every five years starting in 2025.Many had hoped for more a more onerous obligation on countries to ramp up targets.But this was always going to be a tall order. There were objectors among both developed and developing nation groups -- albeit for different reasons.- 'It has to be affordable' -The United States, for example, wants pledges to be purely voluntary to avoid being obliged to take the accord to a hostile Congress for ratification.China, India and other developing nations, in turn, wanted to make their commitments conditional on assurances of finance to the tune of billions of dollars in the coming decades to help them switch from cheap and abundant fossil fuels to costly renewable sources like solar and wind.Another part of the problem was fear of failure -- negotiators were keen to avoid a repeat of the 2009 UN climate conference in Copenhagen which didn't even come close to sealing a global deal.Instead of a top-down approach of apportioning emissions targets, it opened the way to a bottom-up approach: nations would set their own emissions-cutting targets and timelines.The UN's climate science panel says greenhouse-gas emissions have to drop 40-70 percent between 2010 and 2050, and to zero by 2100.And many hope the battle lines will fade as new low-carbon technologies are developed, costs come down and a hoped-for global price on CO2 -- a vital pollution-cutting incentive -- emerges.Indian climate negotiator Ajay Mathur told AFP this week that the relatively higher cost of green energy competed with the imperative of uplifting millions of people from poverty in developing nations like his one."The key challenge, it has to be affordable," he said.Felipe Calderon, chairman of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, a think tank, said the transition to a low-carbon economy was already underway, and would be boosted by the agreement's dictate to peak fossil fuel emissions "as soon as possible.""From now, on, the smart money will no longer go into fossil fuels, but into cleaner energy, smarter cities, and more sustainable land use."
China's efforts on climate deal partly down to its pollution-Associated Press-DEC 13,15-YAHOONEWS
BEIJING (AP) — China's push for a global climate pact is partly because of its own increasingly pressing need to solve serious environmental problems. China says the Paris deal shows it is dealing with climate change "as a responsible big country."China is the world's biggest source of climate-changing gases and was blamed for obstructing the last high-level climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009. This time around, it sent strong political signals it wanted a deal in Paris. That conference ended Saturday with the agreement to keep global temperatures from rising another degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) between now and 2100.Jiang Kejun, senior researcher at China's Energy Research Institute, says Beijing's efforts are a result of its environmental challenges and because the effects of climate change are becoming clearer each year.
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