Monday, August 08, 2016
GENETICALLY MODIFIED MOSQUITOES APPROVED TO BATTLE ZIKA IN FLORIDA KEYS.
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.(EITHER THE EUROPEAN UNION DICTATOR BOOTS 3 COUNTRIES FROM THE EU OR THE DICTATOR TAKES OVER THE WORLD ECONOMY BY CONTROLLING 3 WORLD TRADE BLOCS)
Greece wants coalition of southern EU states-By EUOBSERVER
5. Aug, 09:24-Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday invited leaders of six southern EU states to meet in Athens on 9 September in a bid to form a strong southern alliance and counter the stance of countries in Northern Europe. Athens News Agency reports the states invited will include France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta.
Austria threatens to block acceleration of Turkish EU talks-[Reuters]-August 7, 2016-YAHOONEWS
VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria's foreign minister has threatened to block the expansion of negotiations with Turkey on its accession to the European Union, which could scupper a landmark migration deal between Brussels and Ankara.Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz's comments, published on Sunday, risk exacerbating a row between Austria and Turkey that flared last week when Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern suggested ending Turkey's EU membership talks altogether because of the country's democratic and economic deficits.Talks on Turkish accession have made only slow progress since they began in 2005, with just one "chapter" concluded of 35 such policy areas where Turkey must adopt and implement EU rules."I have a seat and a vote in the (EU) foreign ministers' council. There the question is whether new negotiation chapters will be opened with Turkey, and I am against it," Kurz said in an interview with Austrian daily Kurier, threatening to block the unanimous agreement required.The Turkish government's crackdown on followers of a U.S.-based cleric whom it blames for last month's failed coup has strained relations with the 28-nation bloc, which depends on Ankara to restrict the westward flow of migrants.Turkey has so far lived up to its side of the deal with Brussels to stop illegal migration to Europe via its territory, in return for financial aid, the promise of visa-free travel to much of the bloc and accelerated talks on membership.Visa-free access has been subject to delays however due to a dispute over Turkish anti-terrorism legislation, which some in Europe see as too broad, and the post-coup crackdown. Kurz said Turkey had not met the conditions for progress to be made."The criteria for visa liberalisation will not be fulfilled by Turkey. And the requirements for accession talks have not been met," Kurz said.German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Friday accession talks were "as good as deadlocked" but he rejected calls to halt them entirely saying the bloc needed to think more broadly about how to frame its ties with Ankara.Austria's centrist coalition government is under pressure from the resurgent anti-immigration Freedom Party, which is running first in opinion polls with support of more than 30 percent and is vehemently opposed to Turkish EU accession.Kern's Social Democrats and Kurz's conservative People's Party must either work together or face a snap parliamentary election, and Kurz is widely seen as likely to take over as leader of his party before then."Turkey has for its part already declared that it does not want to fulfil all the criteria. As a result the migration deal will not last," Kurz told tabloid newspaper Oesterreich.(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse:(CHLORES GREEN) and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword,(WEAPONS) and with hunger,(FAMINE) and with death,(INCURABLE DISEASES) and with the beasts of the earth.(ANIMAL TO HUMAN DISEASE).
DRUG PUSHERS AND ADDICTS
1 PET 5:8
8 Be sober,(NOT DRUGED UP OR ALCOHOLICED) be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries (DRUGS) were all nations deceived.
21 Neither repented they of their murders,(KILLING) nor of their sorceries (DRUG ADDICTS AND DRUG PUSHERS), nor of their fornication,(SEX OUTSIDE MARRIAGE OR PROSTITUTION FOR MONEY) nor of their thefts.(STEALING)
Genetically modified mosquitoes approved to battle Zika in Florida Keys-[CBC]-August 7, 2016-yahoonews
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved genetically modified mosquitoes as part of a trial to control the Zika outbreak in the Florida Keys.The agency announced the approval Friday, saying it would not have a significant impact on the environment. Meanwhile, aerial and ground spraying of pesticides continues.The British company Oxitec developed the mosquitoes, which are modified so their offspring die before reaching reproductive age.No mosquitoes will be released immediately. Rather, officials in the Keys will hold a nonbinding public vote on the plan in November.Trials of the modified mosquitoes in Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands suggest they reduced local populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes by more than 90 per cent, Oxitec says. The mosquito species also spreads dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya.The current Zika outbreak was detected last year in Brazil, where it has been linked to more than 1,700 cases of microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems.Earlier this week, health officials in Canada and the U.S. recommended that pregnant women and those planning to conceive avoid travelling to a small area north of downtown Miami where Florida officials report 15 non-travel related infections of Zika.It's a new approach to limit a travel advisory to such a localized area rather than an entire country, said Dr. Gregory Taylor, Canada's chief public health officer."The key is to follow this closely as the Florida officials are doing, testing a lot of people and testing a lot of mosquitoes to look for the virus," Taylor said in an interview with CBC's Power and Politics.In Miami, the area with demonstrated spread of Zika is contained in a buffer zone of one square mile. That's where workers are spraying insecticides from the air and on the ground to control both the adult and larval forms of mosquito that transmit the virus.Zika is unprecedented as a mosquito-borne disease that can cause birth defects. That's why it's key to protect pregnant women, said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.-Pregnancy precautions-"We've made recommendations that pregnant women shouldn't travel to that one-mile area," Frieden told reporters on Thursday. "Understand that as long as there is Zika spreading anywhere, pregnant women should take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites."About four million Canadians visit Florida every year.Taylor also advised those who are trying to get pregnant to not go to the affected area in Miami, or to practise contraception while they're there."The estimate so far is somewhere between one and 12 or 13 per cent of pregnancies or outcomes are bad," Taylor said.While the majority of pregnancies are going to be fine, Taylor said, the numbers are still relatively high for having a severely affected child.Since Zika has been detected in semen up to 90 days post-infection, abstinence for six months or barrier methods of contraception are also recommended.Among the 187 Canadians who've contracted Zika, two case were sexually transmitted. One case involves a baby who contracted it from a mother infected during the first trimester of pregnancy. At Toronto's Pearson Airport, some people boarding a flight to Miami on Friday said they planned to take precautions."It's been quite a big issue," said Charlotte Toogood. "There are definitely things like covering up, taking bug spray , screens and so on. Just any extra steps that you can."Andrea Crawford said she's not too concerned."We are taking precautions. None of us are in our child-bearing years, or they better not be," she said glancing at her daughters. "I think we're going to be good, we'll be fine."Frieden said early tests suggest the first spraying of an insecticide from airplanes by crews in Miami-Dade County significantly reduced the number of mosquitoes in the affected area.The vast majority of people infected with Zika have a mild infection and 80 per cent have no symptoms, Taylor said.He said the risk for people in Canada continues to be low, since the mosquito species that normally transmit the Zika virus cannot survive cold weather.What's more, tests so far suggest six domestic mosquito species aren't able to transmit the virus, including the one responsible for 90 per cent of bites, Taylor said.
25 And there shall be signs in the sun,(HEATING UP-SOLAR ECLIPSES) and in the moon,(MAN ON MOON-LUNAR ECLIPSES) and in the stars;(ASTEROIDS ETC) and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear,(TORNADOES,HURRICANES,STORMS) and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:(DESTRUCTION) for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.(FROM QUAKES,NUKES ETC)
Tropical Storm Earl leaves six dead in Mexico-[Agence France-Presse]-August 6, 2016-yahoonews
Xalapa (Mexico) (AFP) - A landslide triggered by Tropical Storm Earl left six dead Saturday in eastern Mexico as heavy rains began to ease up, but officials warned residents to remain prepared for more floods or mudslides.A couple and their toddler died in Veracruz state when their house was buried, the state's secretary of civil protection Yolanda Gutierrez Carlin told AFP. The couple's eight-year-old child was rescued and hospitalized.Another young couple and their three-year-old child were killed when their home was completely swamped by mud.Two other people were injured in the state capital when their homes collapsed and at least 40 families in the area have been evacuated as a precaution, Carlin said, also warning of increased water levels in the Jamapa river.Heavy rains and fierce wind gusts hit Mexico Thursday after Earl weakened from hurricane status over Central America.The storm has lost strength but rainfall in the country's southeastern states could still cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, according to the US National Hurricane Center.Earl swept in from the Caribbean at hurricane strength Wednesday, striking just south of Belize's capital, said the NHC.The Mexican authorities took no chances, evacuating 300 families living close to a river along the border with Belize in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo for fear of flooding.
Storm in Macedonia kills at least 17-[By Kole Casule]-August 7, 2016-YAHOONEWS
SKOPJE (Reuters) - At least 17 people died in flash floods in the Macedonian capital Skopje during a storm on Saturday evening, Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Todorov said on Sunday, warning that the death toll could rise further.Torrential rains had swept away a section of the ring road around Skopje and some cars had been carried hundreds of metres into nearby fields, a Reuters reporter said."This is a catastrophe of unprecedented proportion," Todorov said. He said he had received unconfirmed reports of three further deaths.Northern suburbs of Skopje were particularly hard hit, with many homes flooded. There were also flash floods in the city centre, according to the reporter.Police had said earlier that 22 people had been hurt during the storm.Special police forces and trucks loaded with drinking water were heading for the most affected areas, and there some electricity outages, the Reuters reporter said.The rain had stopped on Sunday morning and water levels were receding, but more rain was forecast for the evening in the capital of the small Balkan nation of 2 million inhabitants.European Union Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said on Twitter that the EU stood ready to help Macedonia, which is a candidate to join the bloc.Further north in the Balkans, in Croatia, heavy winds caused disruptions on some roads, including the closure of the highway linking the capital Zagreb to southern coast for lorries and buses, local media said.(Additional reporting by Igor Ilic in Zagreb; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing Raissa Kasolowsky, Greg Mahlich)
FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
Fast-moving fire kills over a dozen people in northwest France-[Yahoo News Photo Staff]-August 6, 2016-YAHOONEWS
A fast-moving fire that appeared to be accidental swept through a birthday party in a basement bar in northwest France, killing at least 13 people and injuring six others, authorities said Saturday.More than 80 firefighters battled the early Saturday blaze at the downtown Cuba Libre bar in the city of Rouen, Mayor Yvon Robert said, calling the fire “very brief.”At the scene of the fire, residents paid tribute to the victims by laying flowers. Images on French television from outside the bar showed a large ground-floor window broken open, burned red bar chairs and a tattered awning.
WORLD POWERS IN THE LAST DAYS (END OF AGE OF GRACE NOT THE WORLD)
EUROPEAN UNION-KING OF WEST-DAN 9:26-27,DAN 7:23-24,DAN 11:40,REV 13:1-10
EGYPT-KING OF THE SOUTH-DAN 11:40
RUSSIA-KING OF THE NORTH-EZEK 38:1-2,EZEK 39:1-3
CHINA-KING OF THE EAST-DAN 11:44,REV 9:16,18
VATICAN-RELIGIOUS LEADER-REV 13:11-18,REV 17:4-5,9,18
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.(WORLD TERRORISM,MURDERS)(HAMAS IN HEBREW IS VIOLENCE)
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence (TERRORISM)(HAMAS) through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her,(HAGAR) Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael;(FATHER OF THE ARAB/MUSLIMS) because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he (ISHMAEL-FATHER OF THE ARAB-MUSLIMS) will be a wild (DONKEY-JACKASS) man;(ISLAM IS A FAKE AND DANGEROUS SEX FOR MURDER CULT) his hand will be against every man,(ISLAM HATES EVERYONE) and every man's hand against him;(PROTECTING THEMSELVES FROM BEING BEHEADED) and he (ISHMAEL ARAB/MUSLIM) shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.(LITERAL-THE ARABS LIVE WITH THEIR BRETHERN JEWS)
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,(SATAN) son of the morning!(HEBREW-CRECENT MOON-ISLAM) how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I (SATAN HAS EYE TROUBLES) will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.(AND 1/3RD OF THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN FELL WITH SATAN AND BECAME DEMONS)
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.(ISLAM MURDERS IN THE NAME OF MOON GOD ALLAH OF ISLAM)
Turkish asylum claims in Germany double-By EUOBSERVER
5. Aug, 12:43-The first six months of this year saw 1,719 Turkish nationals apply for asylum in Germany, 1,510 of whom were of Kurdish origin, Germany's immigration bureau said Friday. The figure is almost the same as that for all of last year (1,767). The increase comes amid the post-coup crackdown on opposition groups in Turkey and an earlier escalation in fighting between Turkish and Kurdish separatist forces in south-east Turkey.
Attacker wounds 2 police in Belgium, shouts 'Allahu Akhbar'-[The Canadian Press]-August 6, 2016-yahoonews
CHARLEROI, Belgium — Two female officers were attacked and wounded by a man wielding a machete and shouting "Allahu Akhbar" outside the main police station in the Belgian city of Charleroi on Saturday, police said.The assailant was shot by a third officer and later died of his wounds, authorities said. The attacker's identity and motive were not immediately known, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said, but added the "first indications" suggested it was an act of terrorism."Thoughts are with the victims, their relatives and police officers," Michel posted on Twitter. The prime minister broke off his vacation in the south of France and was returning to Belgium for an emergency meeting of the government's National Security Council on Sunday.Michel told RTL television in an interview that he has also asked the independent OCAM agency to immediately assess whether there is an increased threat to Belgian internal security. Belgium has been on high alert in the wake of the March 22 suicide bombings claimed by the Islamic State extremist group that killed 32 people in Brussels.Charleroi police spokesman David Quinaux said Saturday's attacker carried the weapon in a sports bag, and pulled it out as he arrived at a security checkpoint outside police headquarters in the southern Belgian city just before 4 p.m.One of the two police, both of whom were described as experienced law enforcement officers, received several deep slashing cuts to the face, Quinaux said. The other was slightly wounded.Both officers are now "out of danger," Charleroi police announced Saturday evening on Twitter.A third officer at the scene shot the attacker, who died of his wounds at a hospital, officials said.Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said it wasn't immediately clear whether the assault, which he denounced as an "act of barbarism" was the deed of a single person or something more elaborate."We don't know if this is the action of a lone wolf," Jambon told RTL. He said he had no information he could provide immediately on the identity or motivation of the attacker.Belgium has been at Level 3 on a four-point terrorism alert scale since the attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 that killed 130 victims. Many of the Paris attackers, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, lived in Belgium.Last weekend, a 33-year-old man identified only as Nourredine H. was arrested on charges of participating in a terrorist group and planning "terrorist murders" following searches in the city of Liege and the Mons region.The attack Saturday took place near a wooden building that had been erected outside the Charleroi police station to provide an additional layer of security.Paul Magnette, the city's mayor, said the checkpoint succeeded in preventing the machete-wielding man from reaching the building and causing more havoc. Magnette said that in the wake of the incident, Belgian authorities have begun discussing whether security for police facilities and officers should be reinforced further.Steps were taken to better protect Belgian police installations after an IS-linked extremist plot was foiled in January 2014 in the eastern city of Verviers.The Verviers plotters, two of whom were shot dead, had parts of police uniforms in their possession, and were believed to have been planning to attack a police station. But Jambon said Saturday that the increased security measures implemented after that incident have now lapsed.The Associated Press
Belgian police arrest man with machete a day after police injured in other incident-[Reuters]-August 7, 2016-YAHOONEWS
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian police arrested a man with a machete in the eastern city of Liege, broadcaster VRT reported on Sunday.The arrest came the day after a machete-wielding assailant attacked and injured two female police officers in the southern city of Charleroi before being shot dead by another officer, in what the prime minister has said appeared to be a terrorist act.VRT said Liege police received a call in the early hours of Sunday, and cordoned off an area before arresting the man. It said he was of Turkish origin, did not use the machete and was not previously known to the police.Belgium is increasing security at police stations after Saturday's attack in Charleroi, Prime Minister Charles Michel told a press conference on Sunday.The Charleroi assailant, who shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest), was shot after attacking the officers outside the police headquarters, and subsequently died of his wounds. Public prosecutors have yet to release his identity.Islamist bombers killed 32 people in suicide attacks at Brussels airport and a metro station in March. Many of those who carried out attacks in Paris in November, which killed 130 people, were based in Belgium.Belgium and its capital Brussels, which houses European Union institutions and the headquarters of NATO, are currently on a security alert level of three out of a maximum four, denoting a "possible and probable" threat.(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Andrew Bolton)
Islamic State militants claim capture of U.S. weapons in Afghanistan-[Reuters]-By Josh Smith-August 7, 2016-YAHOONEWS
KABUL (Reuters) - Militants linked to Islamic State have released photos that purport to show weapons and equipment that belonged to American soldiers and were captured by the group in eastern Afghanistan.The photos, which came to light on Saturday, show an American portable rocket launcher, radio, grenades and other gear not commonly used by Afghan troops, as well as close up views of identification cards for a U.S. Army soldier, Specialist Ryan Larson.The U.S. military command in Kabul denied any suggestion the soldier had been captured, saying he "has been accounted for and remains in a duty status within his unit."American special operations troops have been fighting alongside Afghan forces in a renewed offensive against militants who claim allegiance to Islamic State in Nangarhar Province, which borders Pakistan."SPC Larson was attached to a unit conducting a partnered (operation) with Afghan Forces," U.S. military spokesman Commander Ron Flesvig said in an emailed statement on Sunday. "The soldier's I.D. and some of the equipment were left behind after the (operation). The loss of personal identification is unfortunate."In July, U.S. commanders said at least five special forces were injured in fighting in the province.The website that published the photos speculated that the equipment and weapons were left behind during that engagement, but Flesvig said American officials are still trying to determine exactly when and how it was lost.The push in Nangarhar came after President Barack Obama cleared American troops to take a more active role in fighting militants in Afghanistan.Besides advising work and special operations missions, American aircraft deployed at least 545 weapons in the first six months of 2016.(Additional reporting by Mostafa Hashem in Cairo; Editing by Sam Holmes)
Turkey's Erdogan stages mass rally in show of strength after coup attempt-[Reuters]-By Humeyra Pamuk and Nick Tattersall-August 7, 2016-YAHOONEWS
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of Turks began gathering in Istanbul on Sunday summoned by President Tayyip Erdogan to denounce a failed coup - a show of strength staged in the face of Western criticism of widespread purges and detentions.The "Democracy and Martyrs' Rally" at the Yenikapi parade ground, built into the sea on the southern edge of Istanbul's historic peninsula, caps three weeks of nightly demonstrations by Erdogan's supporters, many wrapped in the red Turkish flag, in squares around the country.The vast majority of those gathering for the rally were Erdogan supporters, some with banners reading "You are a gift from god, Erdogan" or "Order us to die and we will do it"."We're here to show that theses flags won't come down, the call to prayer won't be silenced, and our country won't be divided," said Haci Mehmet Haliloglu, 46, a civil servant who travelled from the Black Sea town of Ordu for the rally."This is something way beyond politics, this is either our freedom or death," he said, a large Turkish flag over his shoulder and a matching baseball cap on his head.Erdogan has vowed to rid Turkey of the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers in the security forces, judiciary and civil service he accuses of orchestrating the attempted power grab and of plotting to overthrow the state.The cleric was an ally of Erdogan in the early years after his AK Party was elected in 2002. He has denied the charges and denounced the coup which came at a critical time for NATO "frontline" state Turkey, facing as it does Islamist militant attacks from across the border in Syria and from Kurdish rebels.Tens of thousands of people have been suspended, detained or placed under investigation since the plot - including soldiers, police, judges, journalists, medics and civil servants - prompting concern among Western allies that Erdogan is using the events to tighten his grip on power."The triumph is democracy's, the squares are the people's," said flyers put through doors overnight advertising free bus, ferry and subway transport to Sunday's rally. The slogan adorns banners hung from bridges and buildings across the country.Erdogan, accused by critics in the past of dividing the country by an intolerance of criticism, has invited the heads of the secularist and nationalist opposition to address the crowds in what he hopes will show a unified nation in defiance of Western criticism."The only way to eliminate coups is to revive the founding values of the Republic. These values that make our unity should be spoken out loud at Yenikapi," said Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the secularist opposition CHP, in a tweet ahead of the rally.The brutality of July 15, in which more than 230 people were killed as rogue soldiers commandeered fighter jets, helicopters and tanks, shocked a nation that last saw a violent military power grab in 1980. Even Erdogan's opponents saw his continued leadership as preferable to a successful coup renewing the cycle of military interventions that dogged Turkey in the second half of the 20th century.Secularists and nationalists who oppose Erdogan also loathe Gulen's Hizmet (Service) network, used by Erdogan in years past to help undermine the power of secularist generals suspicious of his ruling AK Party's Islamist ideals. They have so far been limited in their criticism of purges of alleged Gulenists, though they have raised questions about the pace and scale of the detentions.Such solidarity may not last.There are already opposition concerns that the restructuring of the military is happening without parliamentary oversight and is going too far, with thousands of soldiers discharged including around 40 percent of generals.-WESTERN CRITICISM-Erdogan said this week he had initially misread the intentions of Gulen, whose network was once close to the AKP, and asked: "May my people and God forgive me.""He is such a big leader that he can admit his mistake. No president has ever apologised to his people before," said Gurkan Cendeli, 21, a student from the southern city of Adana who slept outside the presidential palace in Ankara on Saturday night with a group of friends before taking an overnight bus to Istanbul."Ready for your order, commander-in-chief," read the slogan on his T-shirt.The extent of the purges in Turkey, which has NATO's second largest armed forces and aspires to membership of the European Union, have drawn criticism in the West.In comments published on Sunday, the leader of Germany's liberal Free Democrats (FDP) said he saw parallels between Erdogan's behaviour and the aftermath of the Reichstag fire in 1933, portrayed by the Nazis as a Communist plot against the government and used by Adolf Hitler to justify massively curtailing civil liberties.Turkish officials have angrily rejected suggestions that the purges are out of proportion, accusing Western critics of failing to grasp the magnitude of the threat to the Turkish state and of being more concerned about the rights of coup plotters than the brutality of the events themselves.So damaged are relations that Germany's foreign minister said this week "we are talking with each other like emissaries from two different planets." Austria's chancellor suggested talks on Turkish EU membership should be suspended.(Additional reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu in Istanbul, Caroline Copley in Berlin; Writing by Nick Tattersall; editing by Ralph Boulton)
Appointment of Boko Haram leader exposes divisions in Nigerian group-[Reuters]-By Felix Onuah-August 7, 2016-YAHOONEWS
ABUJA (Reuters) - Boko Haram's appointment of a new leader and his apparent rejection by the group's figurehead exposes wide divisions among the Nigerian jihadists as they come under pressure from the country's military.The promotion of Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who is thought to favor more targeted attacks than the wholesale violence of figurehead Abubakar Shekau, was announced in the weekly magazine of Islamic State. Boko Haram, which has regularly staged suicide bombings in crowded areas, pledged loyalty to IS last year.But Shekau appears to have rejected the new role of al-Barnawi, who experts say has been the group's military commander and has also been on the radar for months as head of a faction favoring attacks on the Nigerian military.In a 10-minute audio clip on social media, a person purporting to be Shekau laid bare internal divisions by criticizing al-Barnawi's reported view that Muslims can live among non-Muslims without taking up arms."I am against the principle where someone will dwell in the society with the infidels without making public his opposition or anger against infidels," Shekau said in the local Hausa language."Anyone doing such can't be a real Muslim thick and thin."Al-Barnawi's splinter group is based northeast of Maiduguri, the provincial capital of northeast Nigeria's Borno state and the epicenter of Boko Haram's seven-year armed attempt to create a regional Islamic caliphate, one Western security source said.From there, it has been better-placed geographically to cultivate links across the Sahara with the Libyan arm of IS although the extent of direct practical ties between the two groups is not clear. Many experts say that the links are largely symbolic.In the past, Shekau has appeared in propaganda videos draped in ammunition belts and brandishing automatic weapons as he spouted vitriol against Nigeria and the West.His absence from any such videos since March has sparked speculation he has been wounded, is seriously ill or may even have died.Limiting himself to an audio clip is likely to fuel suspicions of Shekau's reduced physical or operational capacity from the wilds of the northeast's Sambisa forest, where he has been penned in by the Nigerian army.Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler, took office last year on a campaign platform to wipe out the group."Shekau and his clique remain in Sambisa, where they are under a lot of pressure from the Nigerian military push against Boko Haram," the security source said. "It's not existential yet but they haven't got as much freedom of movement as they did."-"FADING GROUP"-Boko Haram, whose name loosely means 'Western education is sinful' in Hausa, has suffered a dramatic decline in fortunes from 18 months ago when it controlled an area the size of Belgium and had Nigeria's military on the back foot.Under Shekau, Boko Haram killed more than 15,000 people, displaced more than two million and attained worldwide infamy with the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in April 2014.However since early 2015 it has suffered numerous defeats at the hands of the Nigerian, Cameroonian, Nigerien and Chadian militaries acting either individually or as part of a coordinated regional force.Nigerian military spokesman Rabe Abubakar said the latest Boko Haram's leadership revelations were of "no relevance"."We are just focused on clearing the remnants of the insurgents that are scattered around," he said. The leadership struggles were "the antics of a fading group", he added.In the interview with IS's al-Naba magazine, al-Barnawi said Boko Haram was "still a force to be reckoned with" and that it had been receiving new recruits.The splinter group's modus operandi appears to be targeting the Nigerian military rather than civilians.That is in contrast to the bomb attacks on busy public places such as markets, mosques and camps for internally displaced people (IDP) that have typified its approach in northeast Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon over the last year."Under the Shekau reasoning, it is permissible to kill IDPs in camps," said Fulan Nasrullah, a security analyst based in northern Nigeria. Such action was not sanctioned by the IS-approved faction, he added.But despite its set-backs, Shekau's supporters remained the largest part of the group, Nasrullah said.(Additional reporting by Ardo Abdullah; Writing by Ed Cropley and Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Anna Willard)
Smuggling surges in Greece as migrant frustrations grow-[Associated Press]-COSTAS KANTOURIS-August 7, 2016-YAHOONEWS
IDOMENI, Greece (AP) — With Turkey in crisis and Europe's borders closed, smugglers in northern Greece are expecting a profitable summer.Greek police say traffickers are using increasingly sophisticated methods — motorcycle spotters, maps of border surveillance "blind spots," and even police informants — to move out refugees who have been stuck in this Greek border town for months.Higher smuggling fees and steadily worsening odds of success have done little to dent the determination of migrants like Sorah Rahimi.The 22-year-old psychology student traveled from Afghanistan with his mother who is in poor health — and is an ideal target for smuggling rings that are re-emerging in the region. He agreed to pay traffickers 2,500 euros ($2,750) to travel from Greece's northern border with Macedonia to Sweden, but only made it a few miles before being spotted by police and turned back."We need to get to Sweden. Our whole family is there. We no longer have anything in Afghanistan," Rahimi told the AP before being taken to a migrant shelter in northern Greece.Tens of thousands of migrants have been stuck on their journey north across Europe. Governments across the continent slammed their borders shut in March to avoid a repeat of the mass migration in 2015, when more than a million refugees and migrants arrived, triggering a string of political upheavals.The trip north has become increasingly risky and time-consuming. Rahimi spent three months at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, before traveling north by train.Last month's attempted coup in Turkey, followed by a draconian government crackdown there on perceived government opponents , has added to the uncertainty.Traffickers in Greece have re-appeared in greater numbers since the government cleared a massive makeshift camp at Idomeni on the Greek-Macedonian border in late May, according to officials from the country's border guard, national police and security division interviewed by the AP.In a recent operation, police arrested 29 alleged members of two trafficking rings in northern Greece. One gang had received information from a Greek police officer on gaps in the night vision camera network on the Greek-Turkish border.Police said the smugglers brought some 600 migrants into Greece from Turkey over several months and helped them reach other countries, using a fleet of taxis, scout vehicles, prepaid "burner" cellphones, and a system of code words that included: "dogs" for police, "garbage trucks" for police cars, and "cement blocks," ''fish," or "kebabs" when referring to the migrants themselves."At least six (Greek) taxi drivers were involved in the smuggling rings, charging a regular fare while knowingly participating in the illegal activity," the Greek Police's Brig. George Pantelakos said. "Every transfer assisted by scouts on motorcycle, in an effort to avoid detection."Other suspects were from Syria, Iraq, Armenia, Albania and Kazakhstan.Five police officers have also been arrested in Macedonia, accused of helping smugglers north of the Greek border.In Greece alone, more than 57,000 migrants are stranded, most staying at about 60 government-run camps around the country.The European Union's law enforcement agency Europol analyzed data from anti-smuggling operations over the first six months of 2016. It found fees charged last year by traffickers for the entire trip from Syria and other warzones to the EU are now often set as the rate for crossing a single border.Migrants are also more likely to be held up for months and become vulnerable to exploitation."Last year, the trips were sometimes completed in one to two weeks; now a journey can last for months," the agency said. "While in 2015, 0.2 percent of migrants declared that they had to work to pay back smugglers, this rose to 5 percent in 2016."When the numbers peaked in late March, 14,000 people were camped out at Idomeni. Now all that remains there are aluminum posts used for emergency lighting. Sunflowers have appeared in fields that a few weeks ago were packed with tents.But the migration problem has not been resolved. Dozens of migrants are still hiding in cornfields, under bridges and in forests near Idomeni. Since the refugee camp was cleared, between 50 and 100 migrants a day are spotted trying to cross the border and being turned back, according to police estimates.Some are found hidden in vans, buses, cars or trains. Others try their luck on foot, looking for gaps in the razor-wire border fence along river banks and mountain trails.Lina Siopi, a 44-year-old from Idomeni, owns a coffee shop outside the village railway station and says migrants are routinely found hidden in freight cars and detained."We see it all the time. In the latest incident ... a family was hiding under a sheet of tarp (in a freight carriage). I don't know where they were from: a couple with two sons," she said.In Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city, one hour's drive south of the Macedonian border, smugglers brazenly negotiate terms with migrants camped out at parks near the city's main train station. They have the upper hand, since most migrants have already been in the country for several months.Afghan refugee Fatima Davoodi has agreed on a price already and is waiting for smugglers to pick up her, her husband and two sons, aged six and 10."I can't tell you the sum. We want to make it to Finland and will pay the (full) amount when we get there," said Davoodi, a 32-year-old from Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan."I'm ready to leave for the border. We know it'll be tough. But if you don't believe you'll make it, you won't," she declared.___AP writer Derek Gatopoulos in Athens contributed.Follow Kantouris at http://www.twitter.com/CostasKantouris
Japan protests over China's radar unit near disputed waters-[Reuters]-August 7, 2016-YAHOONEWS
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan has filed a protest to Beijing after the discovery that China installed radar equipment in a gas exploration platform close to disputed waters in the East China Sea, a Japanese foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday.Japan fears that the radar, a type commonly found on patrol ships and not necessary for gas field development, could be a sign that China intends to use gas exploration platforms in the disputed waters as military stations, Japanese media said.According to the spokesman, Japan discovered the radar in late June and issued a protest on Friday through its embassy in China, urging Beijing to explain the purpose.Japan has been calling on China to halt construction of oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea, accusing it of unilateral development despite a 2008 agreement to maintain cooperation on resources development in the area, where no official border between them has been drawn.On Saturday, Japan issued another protest to Beijing after Chinese coastguard ships and about 230 fishing vessels sailed close to what Tokyo considers its territorial waters around disputed islets in the East China Sea.The latest protests adds to bilateral tensions between the two Asian neighbours over territorial claims and comes less than a month after an arbitration court in The Hague invalidated China's sweeping claims in the South China Sea.(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Michael Perry)
After shock, Japan warms up to emperor's possible abdication-[Associated Press]-MARI YAMAGUCHI-August 7, 2016-YAHOONEWS
TOKYO (AP) — Japanese will tune in to Emperor Akihito's rare video message Monday following reports that he would abdicate in the next few years, which initially came as shock but was welcomed by many as a deserved rest for the 82-year-old beloved monarch.In the pre-recorded message, Akihito will talk about his duties as a "symbol emperor" as stipulated by the constitution, palace officials said. He will most likely avoid the explicit expression of abdication, which would involve political and legal procedures that he is not allowed to discuss.Akihito still works, though his aides have shifted some of his duties to Crown Prince Naruhito — the elder of his two sons and most likely successor. Yet, Akihito has referred to his old age in recent years, admitting to making small mistakes at ceremonies. During the Aug. 15, 2015, anniversary of the end of World War II, Akihito started reading a statement when he was supposed to observe a moment of silence.After the initial surprise, the public warmly welcomed the reported abdication plan, saying the hard-working emperor deserves to enjoy his long-overdue retirement. Lifting the abdication ban, a practice inherited from the prewar constitution, would also bring the imperial life closer to the public."Changing that will reflect the reality of Japanese society first of all, the way that almost all people here feel about working and life and career building," said Robert Campbell, a University of Tokyo professor and expert on Japanese history and culture.According to a nationwide telephone survey by Kyodo News agency this month, nearly 90 percent of the respondents said Akihito is given too much work, while more than 85 percent said an abdication should be legalized as an option to Akihito and his successors.Akihito has reportedly told palace officials and his families that he doesn't wish to cling to his title with drastically reduced responsibility or by arranging a substitute, and his two sons have accepted the idea. The quiet discussion reportedly started about five years ago, around the time he had health problems — he was hospitalized for bronchitis in 2011, and had heart bypass surgery in 2012.Palace officials quickly denied the report, because the emperor is not supposed to say anything that would cause a change to the existing system, including his constitutional status.Experts and media have speculated that Akihito will seek to abdicate while he is still in good health so he can monitor Naruhito, who is seen not quite ready for succession."If he does decide to abdicate, I believe that one of the reasons may be that he wants to oversee the change in reign ... in peaceful and successful way," Campbell said.Akihito ascended to the throne in 1989 after the death of his father, Hirohito, who was considered a deity until Japan's defeat in the World War II, fought in the name of the emperor.Akihito brought the cloistered imperial family closer to the public and broke with other traditions, including his marriage to a commoner. He has repeatedly said he respects Japan's postwar pacifist constitution and is committed to his status as the symbol and the unity of the people, not the sovereign.Some speculate that Akihito's abdication may be an attempt to put a break on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to rewrite the constitution. Abe and his ultra-conservative supporters want to scrap a part of the war-renouncing article and upgrade the emperor to the sovereign again.__Follow Mari Yamaguchi at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi-Find her work also at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/mari-yamaguchi
South Korea presidential office says China 'out-of-place' on THAAD-[Reuters]-August 7, 2016-YAHOONEWS
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's presidential office rebuked on Sunday China's criticism of its decision to deploy an advanced anti-missile defense, urging Beijing to instead play a stronger role against North Korea's provocations on the peninsula.The statement by President Park Geun-hye's office marked an escalation of diplomatic tensions between South Korea and China, which has sharply criticized Seoul's move to host a Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) unit with the U.S. military.Park's senior press secretary, Kim Sung-woo, said in the statement recent commentary carried by China's state media was "out of place" in blaming South Korea for raising tension on the Korean peninsula with the move to deploy a THAAD unit."Rather than taking issue with our purely defensive action, China should raise issue in a stronger manner with North Korea which is breaking peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and Northeast by conducting four nuclear tests and, just this year, launching more than 10 ballistic missiles," it said.South Korea and the United States began discussions to deploy a THAAD unit in the South after the North's fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch in defiance of U.N. sanctions.South Korea has said the move is purely to counter growing missile threats from the North and was not intended to target China, but Beijing has protested it would destabilize regional security balance.On Wednesday, China's People's Daily in an editorial said: "It is impossible for South Korea’s leader not to know America’s strategic plot. (She) is well aware of the real direction of the THAAD anti-missile system.""(She) has no hesitation about undermining regional stability and flagrantly damaging the security interests of neighboring powers," it said.North Korea has launched a series of missiles in recent months, the latest on Wednesday when one ballistic missile that flew about 1,000 km (600 miles) landed near Japanese-controlled waters.(Reporting by Yun Hwan Chae, Additional reporting by Benjamin Lim in Beijing; Editing by Jack Kim and Sam Holmes)
Clinton's 'Moscow Spring' ended as Putin returned to power-[Associated Press]-BRADLEY KLAPPER and MATTHEW LEE-August 7, 2016-YAHOONEWS
WASHINGTON (AP) — As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton basked in a diplomatic "Moscow Spring," seizing on Vladimir Putin's break from the presidency to help seal a nuclear arms-control treaty and secure Russia's acquiescence to a NATO-led military intervention in Libya.But when Putin returned to the top job, things changed.Now the Democratic presidential nominee, Clinton has vowed to stand up to Putin if elected, drawing on her four years of ups and downs as the public face of President Barack Obama's first-term "reset" with Russia. By comparison, her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, has rung alarm bells in Washington and Europe with his overtures to the authoritarian Russian leader.But Clinton's wrangles with Russia led to mixed results.
Links to this post: