Thursday, October 06, 2016
HURRICANE MATTHEW TAKES AIM AT BAHAMAS USA NEXT.
OTTAWA — The Liberal government's decision to impose a national floor price on carbon emissions dominated the House of Commons on Tuesday, with critics saying the plan punishes consumers while doing little to combat climate change.All but lost in the immediate, breathless reaction was the reality that the plan announced a day earlier by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won't have much impact, if any, on 87 per cent of Canadians — or their carbon footprint — for the next four years.That's because the rising floor price on CO2 emissions laid out in the federal Liberal plan starts at $10 per tonne and takes until 2021 to catch up with and surpass existing carbon taxes already imposed by British Columbia and Alberta.And the Trudeau model won't affect Ontario and Quebec's existing cap-and-trade carbon market until it can be established that carbon taxes are driving down emissions elsewhere in the country faster than their market caps are already doing. That tricky piece of equivalency has yet to be sorted out.A group of 22 high-profile business and civil leaders endorsed the plan Tuesday, saying Canada is simply pricing emissions "as most of the world's biggest economies are doing."The Smart Prosperity group, which includes executives from Shell Canada, Unilever Canada, Loblaw and major insurance and banking companies, said the plan allows for "regionally tailored paths.""By starting slowly and ramping up over five years, it gives businesses and households time to adjust and plan for lowering their carbon footprints."The plan's cautious approach, however, is being completely overshadowed by Trudeau's audacious communications gambit.The prime minister announced the national floor price Monday in the Commons just as federal, provincial and territorial ministers were meeting in Montreal to negotiate a pan-Canadian carbon plan.Three provincial ministers left the Montreal meeting early to protest the high-handed federal move, and opposition parties remained in high dudgeon Tuesday.Conservative critic Denis Lebel accused Trudeau of creating more federal-provincial tension in less than a year in power than the previous Conservatives did in a decade. Tory MP Ed Fast said the prime minister had "pulled the rug out from under them by announcing a new, massive, billion-dollar carbon tax grab on Canadians." Conservative MP Lisa Raitt painted a harrowing portrait of starving grannies freezing in the dark.NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, meanwhile, lambasted the plan's lack of ambition, asking what Trudeau will tell "the next generation when this betrayal has made climate change worse and jeopardized their future on this planet?"Faced with such discordant assessments, the debate naturally landed on the bottom line: What's it going to cost me? The Canadian Taxpayers Federation and Brad Wall's governing Saskatchewan Party each offered up estimates for the annual cost to an average family, starting at $1,250 a year and topping out at more than $2,500.But such estimates are meaningless, since provincial governments have been repeatedly told by Ottawa that the carbon tax revenues are theirs to use as they see fit — including to cut income, sales or business taxes.Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said it is up to provincial premiers to decide how those revenues should be recycled."You determine the system that makes sense," McKenna said outside the House."You determine how to deal with, for example, agriculture industry, and you determine what should happen with the revenues. You can return the revenues as a tax cut to small business and consumers. You can invest in innovation. You can invest in the agriculture sector. That's not for the federal government (to decide)."In an interview, Fast — a B.C. Conservative — lauded the way Christy Clark's B.C. Liberal government has used carbon taxes to cut income and other taxes but said he's not confident every other province will follow suit."The problem is that not all of the provinces are committed to acting responsibly," he said, pointing to Ontario's Liberal government and its political problems over skyrocketing electricity prices."What I'm saying is the announcement that Justin Trudeau made (Monday) is going to give governments across the country — the provinces and territories — more disposable income to spend on their political priorities."— Follow @BCheadle on Twitter-Bruce Cheadle , The Canadian Press
Environment audit urges nuclear safety regulator to better track inspections-[The Canadian Press]-October 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
OTTAWA — A federal watchdog is urging Canada's nuclear safety regulator to tighten up its inspections, saying paperwork problems are fuelling questions about whether it is scrutinizing facilities as thoroughly or as often as it should."This kind of lack of precision in a precision industry, I think, is not really acceptable," Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand told a news conference Tuesday after tabling her spring audits in the House of Commons."These mistakes shouldn't happen when we're dealing with nuclear power plants."The chapter on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission was one of five in Gelfand's fall audit, which also criticized Fisheries and Oceans Canada for failing to properly monitor the health of some fish stocks, or put plans in place to rebuild a dozen that are in critical condition.The federal nuclear safety regulator uses site inspections at the four nuclear power plants in Canada — three in Ontario and one in New Brunswick — as a key tool to ensure they comply with regulatory requirements and licence conditions, the audit noted.But auditors found that, mainly thanks to insufficient or incomplete documentation, the regulator was unable to show auditors that it had an adequate, systemic process in place to plan for and carry out inspections, or that they were guided by the level of risk.The report noted, for example, that while the commission had developed a five-year routine inspection plan — intended to be the minimum number that should be carried out over that period of time — it had included only about 48 per cent of those planned inspections in its annual schedule for the fiscal years 2013-14 and 2014-15.Even that altered schedule was not adhered to, the report found, with the regulator completing 76 per cent of the 255 inspections it planned for those two years.That figure was difficult to calculate, due to inaccurate or incomplete planning records, the audit noted.The report made clear the audit focused only on how the commission manages its site inspections, not the safety of the nuclear power plants.Gelfand also learned that inspectors did not always follow CNSC procedures, with only about 25 per cent of them using inspection guides as required."It's a bit like an airline pilot who doesn't go through his checklist before taking off."The reasons for not carrying out planned inspections were varied, but the report suggested staffing levels might be an issue.In a written response included with the report, the regulator said it already has comprehensive oversight in place, but agreed that it needs better documentation to demonstrate this fact and make site inspections more consistent."We will continue to work to ensure that Canada has the highest standards on nuclear safety and security. That is what Canadians expect," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during question period when asked about the report.Kim Rudd, the parliamentary secretary to Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, later said the federal government will watch the commission's progress closely, but also characterized the issue as a matter of paperwork."The key message here, I think, is (Gelfand) found there was reports that weren't filled out properly and done in a timely manner and they are addressing that," she said.Fisheries and Oceans, meanwhile, came under scrutiny for out-of-date or missing plans to manage 44 of the 154 major fish stocks — a grouping of fish based on genes and geography — it is responsible for managing."Current and reliable information is needed for the department to manage Canadian fisheries in a manner that supports conservation and sustainable use and fosters economic prosperity for those who depend on fisheries for their livelihoods," Gelfand wrote.She later said one only need consider the collapse of the Atlantic northern cod fishery in the early 1990s to realize how important an issue managing fish stocks can be.The report found the department has not yet developed rebuilding plans for 12 of the 15 fish stocks — still being fished — that are considered to be in the "critical zone," meaning they are suffering from serious harm, and have no firm timelines for doing so."Not having a rebuilding plan in place increases the risk that these depleted stocks may not recover," said the report.The report also found the department is missing important information required to manage these fish stocks in a sustainable way.Fisheries spokeswoman Carole Saindon said in an emailed statement the department is already responding to some of the issues raised in the report."While we have not completed rebuilding plans for these 12 stocks, the management measurers take account of the state of each stock and the risks to each from fishing," she wrote.— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitter-Joanna Smith, The Canadian Press
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)
THE FIRST JUDGEMENT OF THE EARTH STARTED WITH WATER-IT ONLY MAKES SENSE THE LAST GENERATION WILL BE HAVING FLOODING
6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.
8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,
9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.
10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
GOD PROMISED BY A RAINBOW-THE EARTH WOULD NEVER BE DESTROYED TOTALLY WITH A FLOOD AGAIN.BUT FLOODIING IS A SIGN OF JUDGEMENT.
Hurricane Matthew takes aim at Bahamas, U.S. after pummeling Haiti, Cuba-[By Makini Brice and Sarah Marsh]-October 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
LES CAYES, Haiti/GUANTANAMO, Cuba (Reuters) - Hurricane Matthew, the fiercest Caribbean storm in almost a decade, powered toward the Bahamas and Florida early on Wednesday after battering Haiti and Cuba with torrential rains and killing at least 10 people.The hurricane, which the United Nations said created the worst humanitarian crisis to hit struggling Haiti since a devastating 2010 earthquake, whipped Cuba and Haiti with 140 mile-per-hour (230 kph) winds on Tuesday, pummeling towns, farmland and resorts.Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated from the storm, which caused severe flooding and killed four people in the Dominican Republic as well as at least six in Haiti, the two countries that share the island of Hispaniola.Matthew was a Category Four hurricane through Tuesday but was downgraded to Category Three early on Wednesday, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.The eye of the storm was about 115 miles (185 km) south of Long Island in the Bahamas on Wednesday morning and it was expected to be very near the east coast of Florida by Thursday evening, the NHC said.Maximum sustained winds eased to around 115 mph (185 kph) by Wednesday morning but the NHC said it was likely to strengthen again slightly in the coming days.It was difficult to assess the severity of the impact on Haiti because Matthew knocked out communications in many of the worst-affected areas, including the main bridge that links much of the country to the southwest peninsula.There was particular concern about Haiti as tens of thousands of people are still living in tents and makeshift dwellings due to the 2010 earthquake, which killed more than 200,000 people.Authorities said on Wednesday two people in Haiti were crushed by trees and two were swept away by swollen rivers.Mourad Wahba, the U.N. secretary-general's deputy special representative for Haiti, said much of the population had been displaced by Matthew and at least 10,000 were in shelter."Haiti is facing the largest humanitarian event witnessed since the earthquake six years ago," he said.Heifer International, a nonprofit organization working with farming families in Haiti, said farmland and businesses caught in Matthew's path had been devastated.The U.S. government said it was ready to help the afflicted and about 300 U.S. Marines set off on the USS Mesa Verde to provide disaster relief in Haiti, the Marines said in a tweet.There were no immediate reports in Cuba of deaths, casualties or major damage.Cuba's government has traditionally made extensive efforts to cope with hurricanes and authorities spent days organizing volunteers to get residents to safety and secure property.Matthew thrashed the tourist town of Baracoa in the province of Guantanamo, passing close to the disputed U.S. Naval base and military prison. It was on track to mow over the central and northwestern Bahamas, the NHC forecasts showed.Santiago de Cuba, the second largest city, which lies in the southeast of Cuba, was not badly hit, state media said.Officials in the Bahamas urged residents to evacuate to higher ground and the Ministry for Grand Bahama said on Facebook that government offices in New Providence and Grand Bahama had been closed until further notice.Hurricane and tropical storm warnings were extended along the east coast of Florida as the storm moved north.South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on Tuesday declared a state of emergency, and ordered the evacuation of more than 1 million people from Wednesday afternoon.Tropical storm or hurricane conditions could affect parts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina later this week, even if the center of Matthew remained offshore, the NHC said.(Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and Marc Frank in Cuba; Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Simon Gardner and Bill Trott)
Florida governor: 'If you're able to go early, leave now'-[Associated Press]-TERRY SPENCER and JENNIFER KAY-October 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — People boarded up beach homes, schools closed and officials ordered evacuations along the East Coast on Wednesday as Hurricane Matthew tore through the Bahamas and took aim at Florida, where the governor urged coastal residents to "leave now" if they were able.Matthew was a dangerous and life-threatening Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 120 mph, and it was expected to be very near Florida's Atlantic coast by Thursday evening. At least 11 deaths in the Caribbean have been blamed on the storm.In South Carolina, traffic was bumper-to-bumper as people fled on Interstate 26, the main artery out of Charleston. Gasoline was hard to come by, with at least half a dozen stations along the coast out of fuel and long lines at others."We're staying because we have to board the house up," Buff Schwab said as she wheeled in a cooler filled with food she purchased the night before at a local supermarket.Storm shutters were closed on a number of palatial homes overlooking Charleston's Civil War-era Battery along the water. Carriage tours made their way down streets that were largely empty of traffic."I'm worried. I've gotten a lot of calls to go home," Schwab said of her relatives in North Carolina. "It is what it is and we're going to sit it out and put a lot of food in the crock pot."In Florida, theme parks watched the storm closely and told customers to anticipate altered hours. Voluntary and mandatory evacuations were to take place Wednesday in the central part of the state."If you're able to go early, leave now," Gov. Rick Scott said.The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Matthew — at one point a fierce Category 5 — will remain a powerful storm at least through Thursday night as it nears Florida. The Hurricane Center said that while maximum winds had decreased slightly, the fluctuation in intensity was expected and some strengthening is forecast in coming days.Forecasters said there was a danger of life-threatening storm surge inundation along parts of the Florida's east coast.South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced plans starting Wednesday afternoon to evacuate a quarter million people, not counting tourists, from the coast.Haley said 315 were dispatched to two major coastal counties to help with evacuations. The National Guard and other law enforcement agents are mobilized, ready to ensure an orderly evacuation."We ask everybody to please be safe," Haley said, warning those thinking of staying put that they could be risking the life of a law enforcement officer if they had to be rescued later.In Florida, a message on Walt Disney World's website Wednesday said all of its theme parks and resorts are "currently operating under normal conditions" as officials continue to monitor the storm. They advised those who plan on visiting Disney to monitor news outlets for the latest weather information.Officials at SeaWorld in Orlando announced on its website that officials "anticipate altered hours due to Hurricane Matthew."Government officials are worried about complacency, especially in South Florida, which hasn't seen a major hurricane in 11 years.Officials hope to avoid a repeat of Hurricanes Wilma and Katrina, which caused major damage to South Florida in 2005, and Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm, leveled much of the city of Homestead in 1992.The Miami forecasters issued a hurricane warning for the area north of Golden Beach near Fort Lauderdale to Sebastian Inlet, meaning hurricane force winds of 74 mph or higher are expected within two days. A hurricane watch is also in effect from Sebastian Inlet to Fernandina Beach, meaning hurricane force winds could occur.In Brevard County, officials said shelters will begin opening at 4 p.m. In addition, Cape Canaveral Hospital near the coast began moving patients to inland hospitals.Hurricane Hermine became the first to strike Florida since Wilma in 2005 when it hit the eastern Panhandle on Sept. 2 as a Category 1 storm, causing one death, storm surge damage to beachfront homes and downed trees and powerlines. That 11-year lull between storms hitting Florida was the longest on record.The last storm to hit Florida from the Atlantic side was Katrina, which struck on its way to devastating the Gulf coast.Wilma made landfall as a Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds, killing five people as it pushed from southwest Florida, through the Everglades and into the Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach area, causing an estimated $21 billion in damage and leaving thousands of residents without power for more than a week. It concluded a two-year span when a record eight hurricanes hit the state.Governors in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina declared states of emergency, and the White House said President Barack Obama canceled a campaign and health care events in Florida on Wednesday.___Kay reported from Miami Beach. Associated Press reporters Jeffrey Collins, Jack Jones and Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina; Bruce Smith in Charleston, South Carolina; and Freida Frisaro in Miami contributed to this report.___Follow Terry Spencer on Twitter at https://twitter.com/terryspen-His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/author/terry-spencer
The Latest: Hurricane warning extended for Florida's coast-[Associated Press]-October 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Matthew and Tropical Storm Nicole (all times local):11:15 a.m.The National Hurricane Center has extended the hurricane warning northward in Florida as Matthew heads toward the East Coast.Meanwhile, Hurricane Matthew is heading toward the Bahamas after hitting Cuba hard.The hurricane center says the hurricane was about 105 miles (165 kilometers) south of Long Island, Bahamas. It has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph (195 kph).The hurricane center said there is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along Florida's east coast from North Palm Beach to the Flagler/Volusia county line. There is the possibility of life-threatening inundation during the next 48 hours from north of the Flagler/Volusia county line to Fernandina Beach.Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Nicole is moving west-northwestward over the western Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph). It poses no threat to land.___11 a.m.WASHINGTON — The U.S. government says its disaster assessment teams are working to evaluate the effects of Hurricane Matthew a day after the storm blew across a portion of southwestern Haiti with winds of 145 mph (233 kph).USAID official R. David Harden told reporters in a conference call Wednesday that it had pre-positioned emergency food and other aid in advance of the storm. The assistant administrator for the bureau for democracy, conflict, and humanitarian assistance said the area was "hit pretty hard" but the agency has not yet completed an assessment.Harden said the U.S. is offering $1 million in food assistance and $500,000 in non-foot items such as blankets, shelters and hygiene kits.Western Hemisphere Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Kenneth Merten said on the call that it is up to Haiti whether it will go ahead with planned national elections on Sunday. He said the U.S. interest is only that they have fair and credible elections and that they be held either on Sunday or the "not too distant future."___10 a.m.Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in Brevard County, and voluntary evacuations have been activated in St. Lucie County, but Gov. Rick Scott urged other coastal residents potentially in harm's way not to wait to be told to leave.The governor said during a Wednesday morning news conference that "if you're able to go early, leave now." The mandatory evacuations were scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.The slow-moving storm was expected to drench the coast from the Keys through central Florida, storm surge up to 5 feet deep was expected along the Atlantic coast, and the hurricane could produce tornadoes. Even if Matthew doesn't come ashore, its tropical storm-force winds could reach the state.In his 5 a.m. analysis of the forecast models for Matthew's track along the Atlantic coast, senior hurricane specialist Daniel Brown wrote, "Only a slight deviation to the west of forecast track could result in landfall in Florida.""We must prepare to be hit by a devastating hurricane," Scott said."This is a dangerous storm and it's never too early to evacuate," Scott said. "If you live in a low-lying area or on a barrier island, go ahead and leave."___This item has been corrected to say that the mandatory evacuations were scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Wednesday, not that they were underway.___9:30 a.m.The National Hurricane Center in Miami has issued a prototype storm surge warning for the coast from West Palm Beach north to Palm Bay, and a prototype storm surge watch from Palm Bay north to Palm Coast.The prototypes are among the changes made at the hurricane center after Superstorm Sandy revealed how often the public didn't understand the flooding risks from tropical storms. Forecasters changed their vocabulary to explain how a storms' winds can push seawater miles inland from the coastline, and they developed new graphics to illustrate that storm surge can come from other bodies of water such as sounds, bays and lakes.The storm surge warnings are separate from the hurricane center's other advisories about a storm's winds.___9:15 a.m.Cuban police and soldiers have organized people in the storm-blasted town of Baracoa into informal recovery brigades that have begun clearing streets and hauling away debris the morning after Hurricane Matthew drove across the island.The hurricane destroyed dozens of homes in Cuba's easternmost city, most of them close to the water's edge.But one street three blocks from the water's edge is blocked by a shipping container hurled there by a massive wave.Cuban authorities say they moved 35,000 residents of homes close to the water further inland to higher ground before the storm, housing them with relatives or in state-run shelters in the city of 200,000. State media say roads to Baracoa have been blocked by the storm, leaving the city temporarily cut off from the surrounding province.___9:35 a.m.Gov. Nikki Haley says the National Guard is already mobilized in South Carolina as Hurricane Matthew approaches the state.She said Wednesday that the storm is slowing and that it will not be necessary to evacuate some 1 million people on Wednesday as she had considered on Tuesday. Instead, residents in Charleston and Beaufort are being ordered to leave Wednesday.She said 315 buses from Greenville will be in North Charleston at noon to take people to other areas.Lane reversals on the road leading out of Charleston will begin at 3 p.m.___9:30 a.m.The South Carolina governor says two counties will begin evacuating at 3 p.m. Wednesday ahead of Hurricane Matthew.Gov. Nikki Haley said during a news conference Wednesday morning that the hurricane has slowed since forecasts issued Tuesday. She say the storm is slowing and that only residents in Charleston and Beaufort counties are ordered to leave on Wednesday.She says evacuations in Georgetown and Horry counties will be on Thursday.____8:25 a.m.Several cruise ships are being rerouted from their regularly scheduled Caribbean and Bahamas ports to Key West. Key West is about 40 miles south of the portion of the Florida not currently under a tropical storm warning.As Hurricane Matthew approaches the Bahamas, officials say nine Royal Bahamas Defence Force vessels have moored at Truman Harbor in Key West.Naval Air Station Key West spokeswoman Trice Denny says a University of Miami Rosentiel School research called the Whalton Smith is expected to arrive in port in Key West on Wednesday.Officials are also expecting the USNS Spearhead on Saturday, a 337-foot-long joint (Navy/Army) high-speed catamaran vessel, to be positioned in Key West for possible aid missions.___8:20 am.South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has ordered schools along the state's Atlantic coast and in much of the central part of the state to close ahead of Hurricane Matthew's approach.Long lines of school buses under a police escort were heading east on Interstate 26 in the state Wednesday morning to help with moving people away from the coast. One South Carolina locality, Greenville County, has sent 280 school buses to help with the evacuations in Charleston.Greenville County school officials said if any of its 27,000 school bus riders cannot get to class on Wednesday, the absence will be excused. Several Greenville County schools have been designated as alternative shelters for evacuees.Schools in northwestern South Carolina remained open Wednesday.____8:05 a.m.Forecasters say Hurricane Matthew is now heading toward the central and northwestern Bahamas.The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the eye of Matthew was centered at 8 a.m. Wednesday about 115 miles (185 kilometers) south of Long Island in the archipelago.It had top sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph) and was moving north-northwest at 10 mph (17 kph).Matthew remains a Category 3 storm, down from a Category 4 hurricane hours earlier, though some slight strengthening is expected in coming days. Forecasters say it will be moving across the Bahamas through Thursday and is expected to be very near Florida's east coast by Thursday evening.____7:45 a.m. EDT-Hurricane Matthew has destroyed dozens of homes in Cuba's easternmost city, Baracoa, and left hundreds of others damaged. But there are no immediate reports of deaths or large-scale devastation as the storm moves away toward the Bahamas on Wednesday.Residents evaluating damage after sunrise say they saw some neighbors flee homes with minor injuries as the coastal city was pummeled by the storm overnight. The worst damage appears limited to the mostly one-story homes close to the water's edge. Many larger buildings remain standing despite flooding and damage to their roofs, many of which were stripped of ceramic tiles by the storm.Cuban authorities moved the residents of homes closest to the water further inland to higher ground before the storm, housing them with relatives or in state-run shelters.___7:45 a.m.Officials in central Florida's Brevard County are ordering residents living on Atlantic barrier islands and in flood-prone areas to evacuate in advance of Hurricane Matthew.In a statement, the county's board of commissioners said mandatory evacuations will begin at 3 p.m. EDT Wednesday in Merritt Island and other areas along the coast. Residents living in mobile and manufactured homes are also being ordered to leave.County officials say shelters will begin opening at 4 p.m. Wednesday.Additionally, Brevard County officials say patients will be relocated to inland hospitals from Cape Canaveral Hospital near the coast. It wasn't immediately clear how many patients would be affected.____7:30 a.m.Florida's theme parks are taking a wait and see approach as Hurricane Matthew approaches the state.A message on Walt Disney World's website Wednesday says all of its theme parks and resorts are "currently operating under normal conditions" as officials continue to monitor the storm. They advised those who plan on visiting Disney to monitor news outlets for the latest weather information.Officials at SeaWorld in Orlando announced on its website that officials "anticipate altered hours due to Hurricane Matthew."Universal Orlando's website doesn't mention the storm, but spokesman Tom Schroder tells the Orlando Sentinel (http://bit.ly/2dJDmMY) the resorts executives are monitoring the storm and are "beginning to decide what the next steps are."The Sentinel says the three theme parks closed for the first time in their histories in 1999 as Hurricane Floyd approached. The storm eventually changed course.In 2004, the parks closed for three hurricanes — Charley, Frances and Jeanne. Disney and Universal also closed briefly during Wilma in 2005___7:25 a.m.Attorney General Alan Wilson is warning South Carolinians that a law against price gouging is under effect as thousands of the state's residents leave coastal areas in preparation for Hurricane Matthew.The top prosecutor issued a news release Tuesday saying the law went into effect when Gov. Nikki Haley issued a state of emergency for the state. State law says price gouging is a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail.Wilson urges people to notify his office if they see gouging happening for prices of commodities including food, gasoline, lodging and water.Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to announce this morning if she will order that 1 million people be evacuated from the state's coast ahead of Hurricane Matthew. The latest projected path of the storm Wednesday morning had moved a bit farther away from the coast.___7:20 a.m.Traffic is bumper-to-bumper on Interstate 26 heading out of the Charleston, South Carolina, area as residents evacuate in advance of Hurricane Matthew. Elsewhere though, traffic was light during the morning rush hour because of school and other closings.Schools in more than two dozen counties in the eastern part of South Carolina have been closed for the rest of the week. And colleges and universities including The Citadel, the College of Charleston and Charleston Southern are closed in advance of the storm.Gasoline was getting hard to come by with at least a half dozen stations in Mount Pleasant out of fuel and lines at others that still had gas. There were long lines in the area on Tuesday afternoon.While many people were heading west on Interstate 26 media reports indicated hotel and motel rooms were hard to find in Columbia, the next major city inland about two hours away.___6:55 a.m.Many school districts along Florida's Atlantic coastline already have canceled classes as Hurricane Matthew approaches the state.In Miami-Dade County, the state's largest school district, officials say they'll monitor the storm on Wednesday morning before making a decision on whether to cancel classes on Thursday and Friday. The county remains under a tropical storm warning.From Broward County to the Space Coast — where hurricane warnings are in effect — officials have already closed schools for the rest of the week. Some school districts are sending students home early on Wednesday, and after school activities are canceled.Districts in Daytona Beach and farther north announced on their websites that they'll be monitoring the storm before deciding whether to cancel classes for the rest of the week.Most colleges and universities in the warning areas also have canceled classes starting Wednesday evening.A number of other closings have been announced. In Palm Beach County, the courthouse will close at 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday and jury duty has been canceled. Most government offices also are closing early on Wednesday.___6:30 a.m.South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is about to make a final decision on evacuation orders.Haley said Tuesday afternoon she planned to order the evacuation of 1 million people along the coast ahead of Hurricane Matthew so those leaving can do so safely.Haley expects to announce her decision at 9 a.m. Wednesday based on the latest information about the storm. The latest projected path of the storm Wednesday morning had moved a bit farther away from the coast.The governor said an evacuation order would take effect at 3 p.m. Wednesday.State officials say lanes on major evacuation routes will be reversed so that all lanes head west. It would be the first major evacuation since Hurricane Floyd in 1999, when the governor at the time didn't reverse the lanes and traffic clogged.__5 a.m.Forecasters say strong winds, heavy rains and a dangerous storm surge are starting to spread over the Bahamas as Hurricane Matthew approaches.The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the powerful Category 3 hurricane was centered at 5 a.m. EDT Wednesday about 65 miles (110 kilometers) north-northwest of the eastern tip of Cuba. The eye was also located about 155 miles (250 kilometers) south-southeast of the Bahamas' Long Island.The storm is packing top sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kph) and is moving to the north at 10 mph (17 kph) with some strengthening is forecast in coming days. Forecasters say the hurricane will cross the Bahamas through Thursday and be very near Florida's Atlantic coast by Thursday evening.___2 a.m.Forecasters say the eye of powerful Hurricane Matthew has now moved north of eastern Cuba.The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Matthew is currently a Category 3 hurricane packing winds of 125 mph (205 kph) and is centered about 35 miles (60 kilometers) north-northwest of the eastern tip of Cuba.Matthew is moving toward the north at about 8 mph (13 kph) and a turn toward the north-northwest is expected later Wednesday. It is also about 80 miles (130 kilometers) west-southwest of the Bahamas' Great Inagua Island.The hurricane center says that Matthew will be moving across the Bahamas through Thursday and is expected to be very near Florida's Atlantic coast by Thursday evening.Forecasters say that while winds have decreased a bit, some fluctuations in Matthew's intensity are expected but that it remains a powerful and dangerous storm.___11 p.m.The eye of Hurricane Matthew has moved off the northeastern coast of Cuba and forecasters have expanded the hurricane warning area in Florida.The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Category 4 storm's maximum sustained winds have decreased to 130 mph (215 kph) but it is expected to maintain strength through at least Thursday night. Matthew is moving north at 8 mph (13 kph).Forecasters expect Matthew to move through the Bahamas on Thursday and be very near Florida's east coast by that evening.The center upgraded hurricane watches from Golden Beach to Sebastian Inlet and for Lake Okeechobee to hurricane warnings. The hurricane watch area has been extended north to the Flagler-Volusia county line.
Windsor flood overwhelms wastewater treatment plant-[CBC]-October 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
Windsor dumped 320-million litres of partially treated wastewater into the Detroit River after widespread flooding hit the region last week, according to figures from the city.All three pumps at the Little River water treatment plant were operating at full capacity to process the record level of water coming through, but still waste had to be diverted into the river.The treatment plant processes wastewater for east Windsor and all of Tecumseh. East Windsor was hit with about 90 mm of rain, while Tecumseh got pummelled with 190 mm.Even with all three pumps working at capacity, the treatment plant diverted water into the river for five days. Typically, the plant would divert wastewater about 10 times a year with each diversion lasting about an hour.Windsor's senior manager of pollution control, Chris Manzon said the bypass prevented further flooding. "We would have to store it some place and currently that would be in the sewer systems, which would have raised the levels even higher and obviously backed up into basements even more," he told CBC News.The last time the plant diverted partially treated water even close to that extent was back in 2010 when diversion lasted three days during another heavy rain.The plant takes samples of all bypasses, tests the water and reports finding to the Ministry of the Environment.Dumping the partially treated wastewater raises concerns for people like Rajesh Seth, a civil and environmental engineering professor at the University of Windsor.He understands why the city had to divert the water, but recognizes it could affect water quality in the river. "The organics that are not removed are going to the river," he said. "Microorganisms are the biggest [concern] and so in combination with other discharges [they] may have the potential for impact on beaches as well as drinking water quality."
16 When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread:
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.(A DAYS WAGES FOR A LOAF OF BREAD)
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
New famine fears loom in Yemen-[Reuters]-By Jonathan Saul, Noah Browning and Mohammed Ghobari-October 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) - Intensive care wards in Yemen's hospitals are filled with emaciated children hooked up to monitors and drips - victims of food shortages that could get even worse due to a reorganisation of the central bank that is worrying importers.With food ships finding it hard to get into Yemen's ports due to a virtual blockade by the Saudi-led coalition that has backed the government during an 18-month civil war, over half the country's 28 million people already do not have enough to eat, according to the United Nations.Yemen's exiled president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, last month ordered the central bank's headquarters to be moved from the capital Sanaa, controlled by Houthi rebels in the north, to the southern port of Aden, which is held by the government. He also appointed a new governor, a member of his government who has said the bank has no money.Trade sources involved in importing food to the Arab peninsula's poorest country say this decision will leave them financially exposed and make it harder to bring in supplies.Diplomats and aid officials believe the crisis surrounding the central bank could adversely affect ordinary Yemenis."The politicisation of the central bank and attempts by the parties in the conflict to use it as a tool to hurt one another ... threaten to push the poorest over the edge," said Richard Stanforth, humanitarian policy adviser with Oxfam."Everything is stacked against the people on the brink of starvation in Yemen."The effects of food shortages can already be seen. At the children's emergency unit at the Thawra hospital in the port of Hodaida, tiny patients with skin sagging over their bones writhe in beds. Hallways and waiting rooms are crowded with parents seeking help for their hungry and dying children.Salem Issa, 6, rests his stick-thin limbs on a hospital bed as his mother watches over him. "I have a sick child, I used to feed him biscuits, but he's sick, he won't eat," she said.A nurse said the ward began taking in around 10 to 20 cases in April, but now struggles with 120 patients per month.The World Food Programme says half Yemen's children under five are stunted, meaning they are too short for their age because of chronic malnutrition.-IMPORTERS STRUGGLING-In July, Reuters reported that importers were already struggling to buy food from abroad because $260 million worth of their funds were frozen in Yemeni banks, while Western banks had cut credit lines.Since then, importers have guaranteed much of the risk of financing shipments themselves.The decision to move the central bank, seen as the last impartial bastion of the country's financial system which has helped keep the economy afloat in wartime, is viewed as a major blow for suppliers who are mistrustful of the decision and expect even more chaos ahead. Foreign exchange is already scarce and the sources do not have confidence in the new governor.All of this will lead to further food disruptions and more hardship for Yemenis already facing impending famine, according to the trade sources."We have begun to cancel our forward contracts - it's just impossible to trade when there is no financial system in place. There is no coverage from the central bank where we can trust them or know them," said one source."This leaves anyone bringing in cargoes completely exposed," added the source, who declined to be identified due to the worsening security situation and fear of reprisals.Shipping data showed at least nine vessels carrying supplies such as wheat and sugar were on the way to the Yemeni ports of Hodaida and Salif, but the source said there were worries for forward shipments for late October and November.A second trade source also active in Yemen confirmed the growing difficulties."Western banks are not willing to process payments and the whole system is freezing up. It is an ever growing struggle to do anything commercial," the second source said."Obtaining foreign exchange has to be done through currency smuggling. Yemen is like a country of smugglers now - this is unacceptable."-DWINDLING RESERVES-The old central bank in the capital Sanaa used Yemen's dwindling foreign exchange reserves to guarantee shipments into a country which imports 90 percent of its food.But Hadi disliked the bank paying salaries to his foes in the army and the Iran-aligned Houthi movement opposed to his internationally recognised government.Struggling to advance on the battlefield and keen to undermine the Houthis, Hadi dismissed the bank's governor, Mohamed Bin Humam, named Finance Minister Monasser Al Quaiti in his place and decreed the bank be moved to Aden.It was a sudden decision that aroused suspicion among traders."The governor Humam enjoyed the confidence of all parties since he was clearly independent and working in the best interests of Yemen. To now appoint a minister of finance of the government is a retrograde step and none of the traders have any confidence in him or in the bank in Aden," the first trade source said.The new governor of the central bank did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.Quaiti told the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper on Thursday he had inherited a bank with no money, but he pledged to keep it independent.Ibrahim Mahmoud, of Yemen's Social Development Fund, said only an improvement in the country's financial system and an emergency aid effort could stop the spread of hunger."If there is no direct and immediate intervention on behalf of the international community and state organizations, we could be threatened by famine and a humanitarian catastrophe."Even though moving the central bank seemed to be aimed at hurting the Houthis, Yemeni economic officials and diplomats say the group has its own financial resources.Losing out on $100 million in salaries to its fighters as suggested by the new bank governor may hurt the Houthis, but the bank's closure in Sanaa is likely to hurt ordinary people already suffering from a collapse in the economy due to the war."It risks leaving the salaries of more than a million Yemenis unpaid. There may be a long-term effect on the Houthis, but the immediate effect will be on normal people trying to put food on the table," Yemeni economic analyst Amal Nasser said.For a Reuters pictures essay, click: http://reut.rs/2dbaCYl (Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg, Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Editing by Giles Elgood)
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)
Two Russian missile corvettes head to Mediterranean - RIA-[Reuters]-October 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Two missile corvettes of Russia's Black Sea Fleet have left their base in Sevastopol to reinforce Russia's group of warships in the Mediterranean, RIA news agency quoted a Black Sea Fleet spokesman as saying on Wednesday.The warships, The Serpukhov and The Zelyony Dol which are equipped with Kalibr long-range cruise missiles, left Sevastopol on Tuesday and are expected to reach the Mediterranean on Wednesday evening, the spokesman said.(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; editing by Katya Golubkova)
Germany says no proposals for sanctions against Russia over Syria-[Reuters]-October 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
BERLIN (Reuters) - There are no international proposals to impose sanctions on Russia over its role in Syria, a spokesman for Germany's foreign ministry said on Wednesday, shortly before officials from a group of Western countries meet in Berlin to discuss the crisis."At the moment, I know no one, either in Berlin or anywhere else, who has such proposals," said a foreign ministry spokesman when asked about the possibility of sanctions at a regular government news conference.Senior officials from the United States, Britain, France, Italy and Germany are due to meet later in Berlin to try to find ways to stem the conflict in Syria.German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will meet United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura later on Wednesday, the ministry said."The discussions will focus on the question of how to improve the humanitarian situation" in Syria, it said.The United States on Monday broke off talks with Russia about implementing a ceasefire agreement in Syria and accused Moscow of not living up to its commitments under a Sept. 9 deal to halt fighting and ensure aid reached besieged communities.(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
Iran tells Saudi navy vessels to avoid its waters-[Reuters]-October 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) warned Saudi naval vessels taking part in military exercises in the Gulf on Wednesday not to get close to Iranian waters, in a sign of heightened tensions between the two regional rivals.Saudi Arabia began naval war games including live fire exercises on Tuesday in the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, the world's most important oil route.Tehran and Riyadh are fighting several proxy wars in the Middle East, including in Syria and Yemen, but both have been cautious about direct military confrontation."The Revolutionary Guards naval forces believe this war game is mainly to create tension and destabilize the Persian Gulf," the IRGC said in a statement published on Tasnim news agency.About 17 million barrels per day, or about 30 percent of all seaborne-traded oil, passed through the Strait of Hormuz in 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.The United States, the kingdom's leading non-Arab ally, said in August and September that IRGC vessels "harassed" U.S. warships several times in the Gulf in incidents that Washington described as "unsafe and unprofessional."(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Editing by William Maclean and Andrew Heavens)
Aleppo will eventually fall, but Syrian war will go on-[Reuters]-By Samia Nakhoul-October 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
BEIRUT (Reuters) - It may take weeks or months, but Aleppo is likely to fall to Syrian government forces backed by Russian air power and the most lethal bombardment in nearly six years of war.Capturing the strategically important city, an economic and trading center which is key to controlling Syria's northwest, would be an important military triumph for President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies.It would be a crippling setback for the Western-backed Syrian rebels who, without quick reinforcements from their foreign backers, look set to be bombed out of their stronghold.But the fall of Aleppo will not mean an end to the war, military and political analysts say.Instead it is likely to give way to a long-term Sunni guerrilla insurgency in which the remaining moderate rebel groups, backed by the West and the West's regional allies, are driven into the arms of militant jihadis.In a war with so many global and regional actors backing local clients, Assad will survive as leader of a shrunken, broken and fragmented country enduring the world's worst refugee crisis since World War Two."The Russians are doing in Aleppo and Syria what they did in Grozny -- it is the same", said Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria in 2011-14, referring to the fierce bombardment that all but destroyed the capital of Russia's Chechnya region during Moscow's 1999-2000 war against Islamist separatists there.The opposition to Assad, he told Reuters, will "go from holding territory ... to being an insurgency, a guerrilla war, and that will continue a long time."Syria's war began in 2011 after a popular uprising, against the Assad family's more than four-decade rule, that was inspired by the Arab Spring revolts across the Arab world.The war, pitting rebels mostly from Syria's Sunni majority against a minority rule rooted in Assad's Alawite community, has killed more than 300,000 people. Half the population has been displaced and much of urban Syria has become a wasteland.There have been moments during the conflict when it looked like Assad might be toppled. Russia sent its air force to bolster Iran-backed militias a year ago when Moscow and Tehran feared Assad was on the point of succumbing to rebel offensives.The bombing of eastern Aleppo, with a pro-Assad force on the ground spearheaded by seasoned Iran-backed fighters such as Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iran's Revolutionary Guards, is meant to deal a decisive blow against the rebels.-ASSAD LUCKY WITH FRIENDS AND ENEMIES-Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran's clerical leaders have not wavered in their support for Assad.But the backers of the rebellion -- ranging from the United States to Turkey and the Gulf -- have been wary of being sucked into a Levantine quagmire and unnerved by concerns that Islamic State will fill the vacuum if Assad's rule implodes.Yet, despite the ferocity of the bombardment of eastern Aleppo, it may be too soon to count the rebels out.Assad loyalist forces encircled the opposition enclave in July. But with manpower shortages, the Syrian army could not keep step on the ground with the Russian aerial assault. In August, rebels broke through government lines southwest of Aleppo, opening a corridor and briefly lifting the siege. As a harbinger of the future, the rebel counter-offensive was led by Nusra Front, the jihadi force that had just split from Al Qaeda and rebranded itself as the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, or Front for the (Islamic) Conquest of the Levant.Even while negotiating the terms of a short-lived ceasefire with Washington, Russia kept bombing the corridor south of Aleppo. When the brief break in hostilities ended, the intensity of the bombing increased.The Russian and Syrian forces have been using much more powerful "bunker-buster" bombs, which residents of opposition-held areas say have the force to bring down entire buildings.Western countries say Syria's government and its Russian allies are guilty of war crimes for targeting civilians, aid deliveries and hospitals. Moscow and Damascus say they target only militants and deny they have hit hospitals.Despite the intensity of the bombing, the opposition are unlikely to stop fighting, not least because the Syrian establishment has left it nowhere else to go."Aleppo is not a turning point, not yet," said Ford, who is now a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington who has criticised U.S. President Barack Obama for failing to arm the mainstream rebels."It shows that the (Assad) regime is winning the war now but there will be no end to the war because the opposition will continue to fight," he said. "Aleppo will fall but it may not be quick, it may take one year but it will fall."Rolf Holmboe, a former Danish ambassador to Lebanon, Syria and Jordan who is now a research fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, says Aleppo's fall would be devastating for the rebels, who have used it as a major hub throughout the war."The rebels will be isolated in enclaves. The regime will continue attacking one after another without difficulty," he said. "If Aleppo falls, it will be a strategic loss for the rebels ... Now there is no getting around the fact you have to make peace with Assad –- basically he would have won the war."Holmboe considers it would be very difficult for the West or Turkey to resupply rebels in Aleppo -- even supposing they wanted to -- and that Russia and Assad have unleashed a two-pronged attack on eastern Aleppo.Like Ford, he drew comparisons with Russia's bombardment of Grozny.-CHANGING DYNAMICS-Crucial to the outcome of the war in Syria is the stance of external powers: how much they support their Syrian proxies and how they interpret their interests in a conflict with regional and global ramifications.Russia and Iran not only want to salvage Assad but also hope to establish themselves as regional or global powers, though such goals leave Moscow with little way out of a conflict that could be a huge financial burden.Under Obama, whose presidency ends in January, the United States seems to have more limited goals -- the main one being to drive Islamic State out of its strongholds in Iraq and Syria.Washington's attention is divided, with the U.S. presidential election campaign nearing a climax and U.S. forces also focusing on driving IS out of Mosul and Raqqa in Iraq.Gulf Arab countries, which supply weapons and funds to the Syrian opposition, have also been distracted -- by a war in Yemen against Houthi rebels aligned to Iran, their regional foe.Ford said some regional powers could have more influence in Syria but no longer had the stomach for the war.Jordan, he said, has all but shut down a supply route it ran for the so-called southern front of the rebel Free Syrian Army.Turkey, which backs the Syrian rebels, is now preoccupied with halting Syrian Kurdish advances near its border. It has diverted its proxies away from Aleppo to fight Kurdish militia crossing west of the Euphrates river at the Syrian city of Jarablus, a move seen by some Syrian rebels as ruinous.But it remains important for Ankara that the rebels are not defeated, not least because this could increase the flow of refugees to Turkey, which is already sheltering 3 million people who have fled the conflict.Holmboe foresees the rebels becoming "isolated in various enclaves", with Assad in control of all big cities and "able to dictate a peace solution on his own terms"."Maybe it's going to take five years, maybe it will take 10 years ... (but) he (Assad) will be the leader of a broken country," Ford said.Sarkis Naoum, a leading Arab commentator, predicted a protracted conflict and the de facto partitioning of the country. But he suggested countries in the region would opt to increase their arming of rebel groups."The Gulf states are not pleased with the way things are going. They're willing to repeat the experience of Afghanistan," he said in reference to the 1980s when they supplied arms for the Mujahideen to fight the Soviet Union."For them this is the war of the century."(Removes extraneous reference to Iraq in 31st paragraph.)(Additional reporting by Maria Tsvetkova and Christian Lowe, Writing by Samia Nakhoul, Editing by Tom Perry and Timothy Heritage)
Georgia gets green light for EU visa-free travel By Eszter Zalan-OCT 5,16-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 12:52-EU states have agreed to grant Georgian nationals visa-free travel to the Schengen zone, once new safeguards are in place to suspend the deal in case of abuse."The council takes the view that the entry into force of visa liberalisation for Georgia should be at the same time as the entry into force of the new 'suspension mechanism'," they said in a statement on Wednesday (5 October).The news comes ahead of parliamentary elections in Georgia on 8 October and could give a bump to pro-European parties in the poll.The “suspension mechanism” is a European Commission proposal that will, in future, allow EU states to “snap back” visa restrictions more easily in case of mass-scale overstays or bogus asylum claims by any non-EU country.Details of the mechanism are still subject to EU states’ negotiations with MEPs.Those talks are expected to conclude by the end of the year, meaning that Georgian people should be able to visit the 25 Schengen states (22 EU states plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland) without permits before 2017.Reacting to Wednesday’s decision, Georgian foreign minister Mikheil Janelidze said he was “delighted” by the “timely” announcement.The foreign minister of Slovakia, which currently holds the EU presidency, Miroslav Lajcak said diplomats and MEPs would discuss the mechanism already on Thursday.He said he could not predict the outcome and that it was difficult to give precise “timelines” for the process.Berlin had previously blocked Georgia’s path over complaints about a crime wave by Georgian nationals in Germany.Germany and France had also called for the snap-back arrangements to soothe popular concern over immigration in the context of the refugee crisis.The Georgia deal is part of broader EU plans to open up to visitors also from Kosovo, Ukraine and Turkey.Kosovo has to step up the fight against organised crime and settle a border dispute with Montenegro before the EU goes further.Ukraine has met all the EU’s technical benchmarks, but member states want to see progress on anti-corruption reforms before going ahead.“It is in the pipeline, but not there yet”, Slovakia’s Lajcak said on the Ukraine deal.Turkey needs to meet seven out 72 benchmarks, including a revision of its anti-terrorism laws, which the EU says are so broad that they are open to being used to silence journalists or other government critics.Ankara has said it is unwilling to make that change due to the security situation at home.The Turkey visa deal is part of a wider accord under which Turkey stops irregular migrants from going to Greece, raising the stakes for a positive outcome.Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, the EU had also been in advanced talks on visa-free travel for Russian nationals, but those negotiations were put on hold as part of Europe’s sanctions regime.
Orban would ban mass resettlement in constitution By Eszter Zalan-OCT 5,16-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:30-Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban is to propose constitutional amendments banning the mass resettlement of migrants by the EU without parliament's approval."In Hungary 3.3 million voters decided they will not let others decide for them on resettlement of migrants," he told journalists on Tuesday (4 October), after a referendum on Sunday saw 98 percent of voters who cast a valid ballot rejecting EU competence over migration quotas.The referendum was however invalid according to Hungary's national election committee, as it failed to bring out more than half of Hungary's 8 million eligible voters.Orban has nevertheless vowed to make constitutional changes, saying the referendum result "cannot remain without consequences in politics, if there is still democracy in Hungary".The proposed amendments would state that without the parliament's consent no EU legislation can order the resettlement of migrants in Hungary.They would also ban mass resettlement into Hungary, because as Orban argued, "it is a question of sovereignty, and no decision in Brussels can question Hungary's inalienable right to decide on its territorial integrity and population".The prime minister said the government would amend the basic law, that came into force in 2011.One of the amendments would state that resettlement could only happen after Hungarian authorities examined an individual request claim, or if Hungary's parliament passes a law allowing resettlement.Hungary's government will review the proposed amendments on Wednesday, which would require a two-thirds majority in parliament.The ruling Fidesz no longer has a two-thirds majority but Orban can count on the support of the far-right Jobbik, which has earlier submitted similar proposals for constitutional change.The opposition socialists said it was "not legitimate" to amend the constitution based on an invalid referendum.-EU supremacy?-Orban also added that "he cannot imagine" that Brussels would make a decision that goes against the will of Hungarian voters.Since Sunday's referendum Orban has dismissed the issue of validity, and has been instead focusing on the high proportion of votes going his way."Brussels cannot make rules that override the national legislation," Orban was quoted by the Hungarian news wire.EU law however is superior to national law - if there is conflict, then European law prevails.EU officials quizzed on the issue said they would have to look at the language Orban uses in the legal text to check if the amendments could go against EU law.However, Orban might use as a legal basis the part of the EU treaty that says the union "shall respect their essential State functions, including ensuring the territorial integrity of the State, maintaining law and order and safeguarding national security".If all goes according to Orban's plan, MPs could vote on the proposed constitutional amendments on 8 November and they could come into force mid-November.
EU mulls 'migrant' terminal at Kabul airport By Nikolaj Nielsen-OCT 5,16-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:29-The EU and Afghanistan are looking into creating a new terminal at Kabul's airport designed specifically for migrants rejected by EU states.The plan is part of a broader deal on stepping up the returns of rejected asylum seekers from the EU to Afghanistan signed over the weekend.The deal, made public on Monday (4 October), says "both sides will explore the possibility to build a dedicated terminal for return in Kabul airport".The agreement intends to quickly dispatch Afghan nationals with no legal rights back to Afghanistan despite the overall lack of security in the war-torn country.The EU will cover all travel costs and help finance an Afghan-led campaign to tell people not to make the journey.But the return agreement appears to contradict an internal document from the European Council, representing member states, which earlier this year said security is actually getting worse in Afghanistan."Due to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, as well as pressure on Afghans in Pakistan and Iran, there is a high risk of further migratory flows to Europe," noted the internal document.Despite the spiralling insecurity, the EU and member states want to send as many people back as possible although a limit of 50 Afghans per chartered flight has been imposed for the six months of the agreement.It also opens the possibility of mistakes. In case they send the wrong person, they agreed to take them back to Europe. But details have yet to sorted.Instead, the agreement notes that "any person readmitted by Afghanistan who, it later emerges, is not of Afghan nationality" will be returned to Europe.The return agreement was made in the lead up to a two-day summit in Brussels on Afghanistan. On Tuesday, the two sides discussed how to empower women in the country.Afghans were the second largest group of asylum seekers that entered the EU last year. Some 213,000 made the journey, many of them unaccompanied minors.The Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration says the top three countries of origin of arrivals so far this year are Syria (78,572), Afghanistan (40,791) and Iraq (25,092).
British ministers take aim at EU migrants By Andrew Rettman-OCT 5,16-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:30-UK ministers spoke of hiring “British citizens first” and of deporting “EU criminals” on the third day of a Tory party conference in Birmingham on Tuesday (4 October).Amber Rudd, the home secretary, said she would get immigration down to just tens of thousands of people a year because that was the “clear message” of what British people wanted from the Brexit referendum.She said she would “ensure people coming here are filling gaps in the labour market, not taking jobs British people could do”.“I want us to look again at whether our immigration system provides the right incentives for businesses to invest in British workers”, she said.She promised a crackdown on companies, such as minicab firms, that hire illegal migrants, and on landlords that rent properties to people without papers.She indicated that in future, only foreign students who graduated at top universities such as Oxford or Cambridge would be able to stay and work in the UK.She also said that “we will make it easier to deport EU criminals, aligning their fortunes more closely with those from outside the EU … for the first time, we will deport EU nationals that repeatedly commit so-called minor crimes in this country”.David Davis, the minister in charge of Brexit talks, made similar promises.He said his job would be to “get the powers back” on immigration and raised the prospect of skills-based work permits for migrants.“Typically the way work permits work in other countries, is you try to get a British citizen first and if you haven’t you have got to do that first. There will be tests like that”, he told the party congress in his speech.Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, pledged to reduce the number of foreign workers in the National Health Service by training 1,500 more British doctors each year.“Currently a quarter of our doctors come from overseas … When it comes to those that are EU nationals, we’ve been clear we want them to be able to stay post-Brexit”, he said.But he added that, in future, “we will make the NHS self-sufficient in doctors” so that there “will be more home grown doctors … looking after you and your family”.Applause and tumbling pound-Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, also repeated his threat to veto EU defence integration by the other 27 member states so long as the UK remained a member.“We will go on blocking an EU army, which would simply undermine Nato”, he said.Tuesday’s speeches came after British prime minister, Theresa May, on Sunday also promised to put British "sovereignty" on immigration ahead of EU single market access in future talks.Her words were greeted with applause at the Tory event and with dismay on the financial markets, which sent the value of the British pound tumbling to another historic low.She reiterated her position on a BBC radio show on Tuesday morning, adding: “Once we leave the EU there will be the opportunity to control movements coming from the European Union”.Her strong stance was welcomed by Liam Fox, the British trade secretary.Reacting to May’s speech on British sovereignty, he said: “I can't tell you how long I have waited to hear a prime minister deliver a speech on Europe that Theresa May delivered … All my political life I have waited for this moment”.-No mandate to cut links-The exit talks are to start in March and last at least two years, after which Britain would lose privileged access to EU markets unless there is a new deal.EU leaders have said the UK cannot have access without letting in migrant workers, while urging Britain to tone down its anti-European rhetoric.Not all Tory MPs were equally triumphalist in Birmingham, however.Noting that the referendum was decided by a narrow margin, Daniel Hannan, a Tory MEP and a long time advocate of leaving the EU, told press the party had no mandate to cut “all links” with Europe."It is a mandate for a phased repatriation of power within the context of containing military security and commercial ties. I think it is possible to satisfy most people," he said.
Half of Syrians in Eastern Aleppo want to leave; supplies dry up - U.N.[Reuters]-By Tom Miles-October 5, 2016-YAHOONEWS
GENEVA (Reuters) - Half of the estimated 275,000 Syrians besieged in eastern Aleppo want to leave, the United Nations said on Wednesday, as food supplies are running thin and people are driven to burning plastic for fuel.Food prices are rising and supplies are running out. Mothers were reportedly tying ropes around their stomachs or drinking large amounts of water to reduce the feeling of hunger and prioritise food for their children, the U.N. said."An assessment conducted in eastern Aleppo city concluded that 50 percent of the inhabitants expressed willingness to leave if they can," the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in an update on the Aleppo situation.It did not say how many of the other 50 percent were determined to stay.The United States and other Western countries say Moscow and Damascus are guilty of war crimes in deliberately targeting civilians, hospitals and aid deliveries for more than 250,000 people trapped under siege in Aleppo. The Syrian and Russian governments say they target only militants.Aid workers in eastern Aleppo have distributed food rations for 13,945 children under 6 years old, but a lack of cooking gas makes it difficult to cook what little food remains.-MENTAL HEALTH-"Reports of civilians rummaging through the rubble of destroyed buildings to salvage any flammable material that can be used for cooking are common," the report said."Poor-quality fuel, which is made from burning plastic, is available in limited amounts."A litre of diesel fuel costs about 1,300 Syrian pounds or about $2.25, while a litre of petrol costs 7,000 Syrian pounds or about $13.70.Psychological health is also suffering, the report said."Moreover, arguments among spouses have reportedly increased as many women are blaming their husbands for choosing to stay while it was possible to leave the city."Civilians are walking up to 2 km to fetch water, which is available from boreholes, and the water situation across the city is "of grave concern", the report said."Local authorities in charge of the Sulaiman Al-Halabi water station shut off the electrical power to the station to prevent extensive damage should hostilities impact the water station directly," it said.(editing by Ralph Boulton)
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