Thursday, November 17, 2016
EU CRAFTS DEFENCE PLAN IN TRUMPS SHADOW.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast (EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADING BLOCKS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings(10 DIVSION REGION WORLD GOVERNMENT) that shall arise: and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.( BE HEAD OF 3 NATIONS)
25 And he (EU PRESIDENT) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.(3 1/2 YRS)
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king (EU DICTATOR) of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,(FROM THE OCCULT-NEW AGE MOVEMENT) shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power:(SATANS POWER) and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes;(JESUS) but he shall be broken without hand.
36 And the king (EU DICTATOR) shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers,(THIS EU DICTATOR IS JEWISH) nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.(CLAIM TO BE GOD)
38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces:(WAR) and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god,(DESTROY TERROR GROUPS) whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many,(HIS ARMY LEADERS) and shall divide the land for gain.
19 And I saw the beast,(EU LEADER) and the kings of the earth, and their armies,(UNITED NATIONS TROOPS) gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse,(JESUS) and against his army.(THE RAPTURED CHRISTIANS)
EU to mull new defence post at commission By Nikolaj Nielsen-NOV 16,16-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:24-The EU should have a commissioner dedicated to defence and security to ease the burden on foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, according to an MEP who has written a report on setting up a European defence union."I am clearly convinced that in the European Commission there should be a special commissioner on defence and security," Urmas Paet, an Estonian liberal MEP, told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday (15 November).Paet said Mogherini was overstretched with too many portfolios."She is doing everything, the whole world, all the foreign policy, all the conflicts, all the defence, security and so on," he said.His report, if adopted next week, will shape the European Parliament's political direction in terms of defence and security for years to come.Paet, who is also Estonia's former minister of foreign affairs, says the new commissioner post is not explicit in his report but is rather understood in terms of the broader security context.The ambition behind the report, he says, is to give "some content" to a European defence and security cooperation.The idea is to boost defence spending, shore up research, and break down administrative barriers when it comes to things like moving troops across EU states.That means opening future EU budgets to defence spending to pay for troop movements, accommodation, and industry research, he said.The mood on security and defence is now warming up to ideas broadly disregarded only a few years ago.Earlier this week, EU foreign and defence ministers laid the groundwork to create a mini military HQ and joint rapid-reaction forces.Germany's defence minister Ursula von der Leyen in the wake of Trump's US presidential election victory had also urged for greater EU defence integration. Mogherini made similar comments.The recent spate of terrorist attacks in Europe, Russian aggression in Ukraine, turmoil in Libya, war in Syria, have all factored into what Paet says is a major shift towards strengthening European defence.The biggest obstacle to the defence plans, he said, will be the money."European cooperation defence with Europe should go hand in hand with budget,it should go hand in hand with the next multi-annual financial framework, otherwise not much will happen," Paet said.EU states will also have to dig deep to budget at least 2 percent of their respective GDPs to Nato.-EU money for defence research-The defence industry was granted direct access to the EU budget, for the first time, as part of three pilot projects launched earlier this month.The EU commission and the European Defence Agency in late October had signed the grant agreements to finance the projects overseen by the defence industry.EDA chief Jorge Domecq described the agreement as "a new chapter in the way defence research can be funded in Europe”.One of projects includes creating "unmanned heterogeneous swarm of sensor platforms", which could help develop future systems for border control.Another project aims to improve a soldier's awareness and navigation in a building by using miniaturised sensors.Current funding under the EU's Horizon 2020 programme is restricted to civilian or so-called dual-use research.But the long term goal is set aside billions of euros from the EU budget for defence research.Those plans had been initiated by the European Parliament in 2014, which along with the member states, then agreed to earmark expenditure for defence research in the annual EU budget for the pilot projects.According to the Domecq, defence research across EU states shrunk by 32 percent, or around €1 billion, between 2006 and 2014.And next year, the EU commission also plans to launch its preparatory action on defence research."It will be the real acid test for proving the relevance of defence research," said Domecq.
EU crafts defence plan in Trump's shadow By Andrew Rettman and Eszter Zalan-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, 15. Nov, 09:02-A jumbo-sized meeting of 56 EU foreign and defence ministers endorsed a plan to create a mini military HQ and to have joint rapid-reaction forces on Monday (14 November).The EU foreign service will create the HQ, called “a permanent operational planning and conduct capability”, which will command “non-executive military missions”, such as training the Libyan or Iraqi military, but not combat.They also agreed that the EU needed its own joint forces that could be sent, if needed, to “situations of high security risk in the regions surrounding the EU”, for instance, in Africa, but said those types of operations would be commanded out of national HQs.They said that battlegroups - battalion-sized forces made by small coalitions of member states - could form the core of the new “multifunctional civilian and military capabilities”.EU battlegroups have existed for 10 years, but have never seen action, in part, because participating states never wanted to foot the bill.Monday’s plan said battlegroups should be funded by the EU budget and that there should be other financial incentives, such as relaxed EU budget limits, for member states that invest more in defence.Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French defence minister, called Monday's accord “a step toward [EU] strategic autonomy”.“I was always for an operational Europe of defence, not a declaratory one, we are now an operational Europe of defence,” he said.Paolo Gentiloni, Italy’s foreign minister, said the mini HQ in the EU foreign service was “not yet a European general staff” but “that was the premise” of the project in terms of future development.EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said “there was a growing awareness among the European public … that security is also a matter for the EU”.She said the EU military capabilities would not amount to an “EU army” that could defend Europe from external aggression the same way as Nato.“It’s not about doing European Union territorial defence, Nato is there for that, there are allies and others who have their own capacities, for that”, she said.“It’s more than just ‘blah, blah, blah’,” an EU diplomat said. “There’s a new level of political ambition and a document with concrete tasks and a detailed timetable for implementation”, he said.The plans are to be taken forward over the course of the next year, with a progress review scheduled for June.-Trump shadow-The EU talks took place in the shadow of last week’s US election, in which the winner, Donald Trump, has said that he would not defend Nato allies who did not spend more on defence and indicated he might recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.Mogherini said that the EU military rethink pre-dated the US vote and began after last year’s Paris terrorist attacks.“We started this process well before the US elections and we would have discussed this document no matter what the result would have been,” she said.She said it was too early to know what Trump would do, but added “there’s a need for Europeans to take care of themselves” in security terms.French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said “the uncertain nature of the world was already there, it didn’t start with the election of Mr Trump”.He said Trump’s campaign speeches had indicated that the US could turn away from Europe, however.“There’s a risk of [US] isolationism … if there’s a return to isolationism, that wouldn’t be a good thing, not for the US and not for the world”, he said.German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen told press she sympathised with Trump’s call for European nations to increase military budgets.The UK, which had previously threatened to block the EU defence plan on grounds that it would compete with Nato, did not wield its veto, but continued to criticise the project.“Instead of planning expensive new HQs or dreaming of a European army, what Europe needs to do now is spend more on its own defence," said British defence minister Michael Fallon, referring to the military budgets of Nato allies."That’s the best possible approach to the Trump presidency," he said.He said the EU HQ “simply duplicates Nato” and that some “quite wealthy” EU states were refusing to “step up” on spending.-Polish warnings-Poland, which shares UK concerns on Nato, welcomed the EU plan, but issued warnings.Its foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski said there “cannot be some kind of [EU] rivalry with Nato, with the US”.He said EU military structures should not just focus on Africa and the Middle East, but should have a “360-degree” approach to threats, including from Russia.He also said EU forces should not, in practice, be commanded by just France and Germany, and that plans to reform EU defence procurement should not lead to takeovers of Eastern European arms firms by their Western competitors.“All countries [should] take part in controlling them [EU forces]. There cannot be quartets or quintets, or other restricted formats, in those structures, there must be a democratic process,” he said.Trump’s victory has been greeted by thinly disguised horror in many European capitals.The UK, Poland, and other states, such as Hungary, welcomed the development on Monday, however.British foreign minister Boris Johnson said there was “a lot to be positive about” and that Trump was a “deal-maker”. “I think that could be a good thing for Britain, but it can also a good thing for Europe”, he said.Waszczykowski said he still expected the US to send soldiers to Poland as part of a Nato Russia-deterrent force in the “next few weeks”.He said Trump had made bilateral pledges on Polish security in meetings with Polish expat groups in the US during his campaign.“I have an easy mind. I think we’ll have good contacts with the new administration,” he said-Polish defence minister Antoni Macierewicz said Trump also promised to help him with his inquiries into the Smolensk air disaster in 2010, in which a former Polish president perished en route to Russia and which Macierewicz believes was a Russian plot.-Liberal elites-Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjarto attacked what he called “the political hysteria sweeping through the European political elite” about Trump’s victory.“We think the election of Donald Trump is a good thing,” he said, speaking for Hungary's right-wing and populist government.He added that EU and US liberal elites must respect the will of the people.“It is an odd interpretation of liberal democracy that as long as the citizens of a country make decisions that certain elites like, then that democracy is considered to be fine and worthy to follow, but as soon as the decisions are of a different nature, we immediately start crisis talks and criticism,” he said.
Warship builder, government defend against conflict of interest allegations-[The Canadian Press]-November 16, 2016-YAHOONEWS
OTTAWA — The multibillion-dollar effort to replace the navy's warship fleet is being buffeted by concerns about a potential conflict of interest involving the Halifax company that is leading the project.Canada's Irving Shipbuilding and British shipbuilder BAE Systems recently announced they have paired together to bid on a $5-billion maintenance and support contract for the navy's new Arctic patrol vessels and resupply ships.But BAE is also expected to enter its Type 26 frigate into a competition being run by Irving, in conjunction with the Defence Department, to select the warship design to replace the navy's 12 frigates and three destroyers.Irving will ultimately build the vessels.Irving and the federal government say measures have been taken to ensure full transparency and fairness around the warship project, which previous estimates have pegged at as much as $40 billion.The warship project "is being conducted in such a way that ensures that all bidders are treated equally, with no unfair advantage given to any individual bidder," Irving spokesman Sean Lewis said in an email.Part of that has involved Irving and BAE putting safeguards in place to avoid any conflict, Lewis said, including the creation of separate teams for the maintenance contract and warship design competitions."All members of both teams, as well as senior management at both Irving Shipbuilding and BAE, have been thoroughly briefed on these measures and the government of Canada has been made aware," Lewis said.Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Tuesday that the government has worked hard to make sure the process for selecting the next ship design is open, transparent and "done in a manner that is fair for all."Some of BAE's competitors had already been grumbling about the Type 26 being allowed to compete given that the ship has never actually been constructed, as well as Irving's role in selecting a design.The announced partnership between BAE and Irving for the maintenance contract ratcheted those complaints to higher levels on Tuesday.Several industry representatives, speaking on the sidelines of an aerospace conference in Ottawa, worried Irving would give BAE and the Type 26 preferential treatment during the design competition because of their existing relationship."This is an outright conflict," said one industry source, who like the others did not want to be identified because of a clause in the design competition restricting what companies can say publicly.The warship project, known in defence circles as the Canadian Surface Combatant or CSC, is the single largest military procurement in Canadian history.It forms the backbone of the federal government's national shipbuilding strategy, which includes new Arctic patrol vessels and resupply ships for the navy and a variety of Canadian Coast Guard vessels.Previous estimates have put the budget for CSC at between $26 billion and $40 billion for 15 ships.But the Liberal government has since said it will not discuss cost or how many ships it plans to buy until more information is available.Defence officials have said they are trying to shave off the amount of time it will take to get the warships in the water, to both save time and ensure the navy has what it needs to operate.The first CSC is expected to be ready in 2026, though officials would like to cut that back to 2024.Any legal challenge to the process could scuttle those efforts, costing taxpayers millions of dollars and leaving the navy short of ships.The British government announced earlier this month that construction on the first of eight Type 26s would begin next summer after years of delays.— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter-Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
British voters' Brexit wishlist: free trade, EU immigration controls, survey shows-[Reuters]-November 16, 2016-YAHOONEWS
LONDON (Reuters) - British voters want to maintain free trade with the European Union after Brexit but also want to limit immigration from countries in the bloc, according to a survey on Wednesday.In the United Kingdom's June 23 referendum, a total of 17.4 million people, or 51.9 percent, voted to leave the EU while 16.1 million, or 48.1 percent, voted to remain.The survey, which reflected the demographic profile of the British population and the referendum divide, is based on research conducted by independent social research institute NatCen during September and October via the internet and by phone with a panel of 1,391 people."There is nearly universal support for maintaining free trade between the UK and the EU," John Curtice, a senior research fellow at NatCen and professor of politics at Strathclyde University, wrote of the survey."On the other, around seven in 10 voters believe that the UK should be able to limit immigration from the EU, while a similar proportion believe there should be customs checks at the border with an EU country," Curtice said.The survey also found a majority of Leave voters backed free trade, financial passporting and following EU manufacturing regulations, while a majority of Remain voters supported limiting immigration and introducing customs.Prime Minister Theresa May, who quietly argued to remain in the EU ahead of the vote, has argued that she must implement the wishes of the British people and control immigration while preserving as much access as possible to EU markets.But EU leaders have repeatedly said that access to the EU's single market is contingent on free movement of people.If May is forced to make a choice, the survey has a difficult fact for business: Of those who say they would vote for her ruling Conservative Party at the next election, 60 percent are against allowing freedom of movement in return for free trade.(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison)
Spain's Rajoy gets taste of challenges ahead as opposition unites-[Reuters]-By Angus Berwick-November 16, 2016-YAHOONEWS
MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's opposition parties have scored their first victory against newly reinstated Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, paralysing an education bill, in a taste of the challenges he will face in his second term.After two inconclusive elections, Rajoy now leads Spain's weakest minority government and will have to piece together support in a hostile and fragmented parliament to pass laws and, most pressingly, design a budget for 2017.The Socialists and smaller centrist party Ciudadanos enabled Rajoy to have a second term in a confidence vote last month but have said they will fight his policies and may form ad-hoc majorities to legislate against his conservative People's Party (PP).Lawmakers voted late on Tuesday to freeze the implementation of an education law Rajoy's party passed when it had an absolute majority in the previous legislature and which included an unpopular new exam regime."Today we start to reverse the most damaging policies of the PP," Socialist politician Antonio Hernando told reporters before the vote in parliament.Rajoy has offered to sit down with rivals in the coming months to reach a cross-party agreement on education, but on Wednesday he cautioned them not to put an economic recovery at risk by overturning reforms such as a labour market overhaul."They were good for Spain and what works should not be changed," he told a conference in Madrid.-NEED TO NEGOTIATE-Opposition lawmakers say Rajoy, who has led the PP since 2004, will have to make more of an effort to change his style, seen by many as aloof, to gain backing."The PP still thinks it has an absolute majority, psychologically it has to leave that behind," said Pedro Azpiazu of the Basque National Party (PNV), whose support Rajoy hopes to gain for his budget.Overturning laws will not be all plain sailing for the opposition however. Rajoy's executive has the power to veto some motions before they progress through parliament if he can argue they affect the budget.Parties can try and chip away at existing legislation with amendments, but repealing bills entirely entails coming up with alternative laws which Rajoy's foes may struggle to agree on.None agree on how to fix unemployment, which stands at the second-highest rate in Europe after Greece.Aside from education, the PP's foes have also teamed up to try and overturn an unpopular "sun tax" introduced by the last PP government and seen as penalizing households which produce their own solar energy.If parliament continues to throw up obstacles to his government, Rajoy can threaten to dissolve it in May and call a new election, but opposition politicians doubt this would be in line with his style of governing."Rajoy is not known for making quick or dramatic decisions, but rather by favouring continuity," said Miguel Gutierrez, a senior Ciudadanos politician.(Additional reporting by Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Sarah White and Janet Lawrence)
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)
International Criminal Court facing exodus of African nations over charges of racism-[CBC]-November 16, 2016-YAHOONEWS
It is called the court of last resort, a place where the worst crimes against humanity are tried.But the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been dealt a serious blow recently. Three African nations are withdrawing from the court, alleging it is racist. Others are threatening to follow suit.Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion is today in The Hague at a meeting of ICC members, where much of the focus is bound to be on keeping the court's membership intact and its mandate viable.Canada is considered the midwife to the ICC. In 1998, Canadian diplomats guided the negotiations that created the court, which investigates war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression and genocide.The result of the tense talks was a court where the law is supposed to protect individuals from the violent actions of the powerful. Since it began operating in 2002, it has been endorsed by 124 countries, 34 of which are African.For a decade, the court enjoyed widespread support, but that started to change once it began looking at the actions of heads of state. In 2009, the court sought the arrest of Omar al-Bashir, the longtime leader of Sudan, whose suppression of minorities living in the Darfur region has been widely documented. -'International Caucasian Court'-In recent weeks, Burundi, Gambia and South Africa have signalled their intention to pull out of the court.Gambia has been singled out by Amnesty International and others for a series of human rights abuses, including disappearances of journalists and government opponents, torture and extrajudicial executions. In Burundi, there's been a year of deadly violence ignited by the president's refusal to leave office at the end of his term.Still, both countries charge that the court is racist and unfairly focuses on Africa.Announcing his country's intention to withdraw, Gambia's information minister, Sheriff Baba Bojang, said the action "is warranted by the fact that the ICC, despite being called the International Criminal Court, is in fact an International Caucasian Court for the prosecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans."Critics also point out that nine of the 10 cases currently under investigation by the ICC are based in Africa. In one case, 70 charges, including murder, sexual slavery and conscripting children, were brought against leaders of the Ugandan rebel group the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Some members have been convicted, but trials are still underway.Attempt to shirk accountability? The fact that African leaders have themselves asked the ICC to investigate in most cases, as in the LRA case, is being ignored to shape a different narrative, says Erna Paris, author of The Sun Climbs Slow: The International Criminal Court and the Struggle for Justice."These charges of racism and neocolonialism are essentially to avoid accountability," she said.It is South Africa's decision to quit the court that is likely most disconcerting for ICC members such as Canada. Former South African president Nelson Mandela championed the establishment of the court, arguing at the time that impunity for the most serious international crimes must end.South Africa's dispute with the ICC is over just that — specifically, whether the continent's leaders should enjoy full diplomatic immunity. It came to a boil last year when Sudan's al-Bashir visited South African President Jacob Zuma. The ICC demanded that al-Bashir be arrested and sent to The Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity. Zuma refused.At an Oct. 21 news conference in Johannesburg, South Africa's justice minister, Michael Masutha, said withdrawing from the court will allow South Africa to continue to welcome foreign dignitaries under the country's Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act, which gives sitting leaders diplomatic immunity.The court's obligations, he said, "are inconsistent with domestic laws."Dion has reacted strongly to South Africa's planned withdrawal. In a letter urging its leaders to reconsider, Dion wrote: "We must not forget the thousands of children, women and men who have been victims of unimaginable atrocities and for whom the International Criminal Court, as a court of last resort, offers the only hope of justice."Although the African Union is urging all its members to withdraw, several, including Botswana, say they intend to remain. At Wednesday's meeting in The Hague, Dion will be trying to shore up that support and see if he can entice others to remain dedicated to this court of last resort.
Italy arrests 15 in swoop on illegal Chinese immigration-[Reuters]-November 16, 2016-YAHOONEWS
ROME (Reuters) - Italy arrested 15 people and placed dozens more under investigation on Wednesday on suspicion of aiding illegal immigration and forging documents for mainly Chinese citizens, finance police said.Police in the central Tuscan town of Prato, home to the country's biggest Chinese community, carried out 111 raids in an operation dubbed "White Collars".The swoop came as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi prepared to host Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was to stop on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia later on Wednesday on his way to Peru for a summit.Some 50,000 Chinese work in Prato, many in textile firms which depend on the labor of illegal immigrants. The businesses are often accused of ignoring safety rules and evading taxes.A total of 83 people were placed under investigation on Wednesday. Two Chinese nationals and one Italian are in jail and a further 12 Chinese are under house arrest, a police spokesman said.The investigation centers around two labor consultancy firms with offices in Prato, whose owners and some employees are accused of setting up a business helping non-EU citizens, mainly Chinese, to stay in Italy illegally.Police said the most common tactic was to arrange fake hirings and issue false payslips to obtain residency documents. Once the residency permit was issued, the worker would be formally sacked, but in reality keep on working illegally.The investigation also unveiled alleged criminal association, defrauding Italy's social security and pensions agency, inducing public officials to make false declarations.Prato's Chinese community clashed with police over workshop inspections in July. The area is also the focus of an investigation into alleged money laundering between Italy and China.(Reporting by Isla Binnie; editing by Mark Heinrich)
At least 20 troops dead in fighting in Libya's Benghazi, hospital says-[Reuters]-November 16, 2016-YAHOONEWS
BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - At least 20 members of the Libyan National Army (LNA) have been killed and 40 injured in two days of fighting in the eastern city of Benghazi, a hospital official said on Wednesday.The clashes come as the LNA, a force loyal to the country's eastern government, tries to extend its grip on the port city and dislodge the Islamist-dominated forces it has been battling for more than two years.Led by Khalifa Haftar, the LNA has made major gains in Benghazi this year but still faces pockets of resistance. On Monday, it launched a fresh offensive in the Guwarsha and Ganfouda districts, carrying out air strikes and saying it had made some progress in ground fighting.War planes could still be heard over Benghazi on Wednesday morning, and ambulances ferrying casualties raced through the streets. Roads were shut leading to western parts of the city where clashes were continuing.At least seven militants were killed in Guwarsha on Wednesday, military spokesman Fadel al-Hassi said. Earlier casualty figures for the LNA's opponents were not available.On Tuesday, a car bombing near a vegetable market at the eastern entrance to the city left 14 wounded, a second hospital official said.Libya slid into political turmoil and conflict after long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in an uprising five years ago. In 2014, rival parliaments and governments were set up in Tripoli and eastern Libya, both backed by loose alliances of armed groups.Haftar has become the dominant figure for factions based in eastern Libya. So far, they have opposed a government backed by the United Nations that arrived in Tripoli in March.(Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Larry King)
Tunisia dismantles a jihadist cell planning attacks in the capital-[Reuters]-November 16, 2016-YAHOONEWS
TUNIS, (Reuters) - Tunisian authorities dismantled a jihadist cell that was planning attacks against a security station and a commercial centre in the capital, a security source said on Wednesday.Tunisia is on high alert after dozens of Islamist militants stormed through the border town of Ben Guerdan this year attacking army and police posts and triggering street battles in which troops killed about 50 militants."Security forces arrested a jihadist cell that was planning to assassinate political and media figures. They planned to attack a security station and bomb the commercial center GEANT in Tunis”, a security source told Reuters.He added that four people including a girl were arrested. The cell's members watched videos on how to make explosives.Tunisia suffered several major attacks claimed by Islamic State last year including two attacks targeting foreign tourists at a Tunis museum and a beach hotel.The country has struggled to contain a jihadist threat from neighboring Libya, and a high number of Tunisian militants have left to fight abroad.(Reporting By Tarek Amara Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)
Germany alarmed about potential Russian interference in election - spy chief-[Reuters]-By Andreas Rinke and Andrea Shalal-November 16, 2016-YAHOONEWS
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is alarmed that Russia may seek to interfere in its national elections next year, the domestic intelligence chief said, echoing concerns raised in the United States before Donald Trump's presidential election victory.German officials have accused Moscow of trying to manipulate German media to fan popular angst over issues like the migrant crisis, weaken voter trust in moderate mainstream government under Chancellor Angela Merkel and breed divisions within the European Union so that it drops sanctions against Moscow.Intelligence officials have also pointed to Russian support for eurosceptic, anti-immigrant parties in Germany and across the EU. Last week, Merkel said she could not rule out Russia interfering in Germany's 2017 election through Internet attacks and misinformation campaigns.Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the domestic BfV intelligence agency, cited the high-profile case last year of a German-Russian girl who Russian media said was kidnapped and raped by migrants in Berlin, a claim later refuted by German authorities."This could happen again next year and we are alarmed," Maassen told Reuters in an interview late on Tuesday. "We have the impression that this is part of a hybrid threat that seeks to influence public opinion and decision-making processes."He said it was important to publicly expose such campaigns. "When people realize that the information that they are getting is not true..., then the toxic lies lose their effectiveness."There was no immediate response from the Kremlin to a written request for comment on Maassen's remarks.France's intelligence service has also warned of possible Russian intervention in its spring 2017 election campaign.Russian officials have denied all accusations of manipulation and interference intended to weaken the EU.U.S. intelligence officials warned in the run-up to the Nov. 8 presidential election of efforts to undermine the credibility of the vote that they believed were backed by the Russian government. Kremlin officials denied any such effort.German and other European security officials have accused Russian media in the past of launching what they call an "information war" against Germany, the EU's pre-eminent political and economic power.Merkel's government has maintained dialogue with Moscow but tensions have mounted over Russian actions in Ukraine and Syria, and over its alleged attempts to sway German media.Earlier this year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov irked his German counterpart by raising the case of the German-Russian girl and accused Berlin of "sweeping problems under the rug". The Berlin public prosecutor's office said a medical examination determined that the girl had not been raped.The case underscored the mutual suspicion that officials from both countries say extends to the highest levels of government, fuelled by opposing visions for Europe and the Middle East. Those differences have led to clashes at diplomatic negotiating tables, in cyberspace and in the media.(Additional reporting by Andrew Osborn in Moscow; editing by Mark Heinrich)
Nimrud's broken glory lies in dust after Islamic State rampage-[Reuters]-By Stephen Kalin-November 16, 2016-YAHOONEWS
NIMRUD, Iraq (Reuters) - In a field outside an ancient palace in the Assyrian city of Nimrud, shattered remains of intricate carvings lie broken in the dust.Remnants of elaborate wall panels and colossal statues of winged bulls, they stood at the site for nearly three millennia, reminders of a mighty empire which stretched across the Middle East.At the northern edge of the old city, a ziggurat - or terraced pyramid - towered over the palace and nearby temples.Until two years ago, when Islamic State militants swept through northern Iraq, ransacking ancient cities, religious sites and palaces which the ultra-hardline Sunni Muslim zealots deem idolatrous.The ziggurat has been reduced to a pile of dirt, with tyre tracks all over it, apparently flattened by bulldozers in the last two months before Islamic State fighters were driven out of the site by Iraqi forces on Sunday.Palace walls have been stripped of the carved facades which adorned them. Just a few pieces remain in place, while fragments of the winged bulls - or lamassus - which stood at one of the palace entrances lie in a field outside.Carefully engraved feathers can still be seen on one of them, lying close to what appears to be a foot of one of the mythical carved creatures."There were about 200 ancient panels. Daesh (Islamic State) stole some of them and destroyed the rest," Major-General Dhiya Kadhim al-Saidi told reporters on a visit to the site on Wednesday, three days after it was recaptured.A tribal fighter from the area said the ziggurat had been destroyed by the militants in the last two months as the Iraqi army advanced towards Nimrud, confirming evidence from satellite pictures which showed its steady destruction since September.Saidi said Islamic State had been driven about 3.5 km (two miles) away from Nimrud, but the area had not yet been cleared of possible bombs and booby traps.Nimrud lies on the eastern bank of the Tigris River, 30 km (20 miles) south of Mosul where Iraqi soldiers are battling to crush Islamic State. Mosul is the largest city under the militants' control in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.Iraq's antiquities authority says it is still working to set up field teams to assess the damage to the site, but says it hopes some of the ruins can be salvaged."Despite the massive destruction to the ancient city, and the loss of the architectural intricacies of the palaces and temples and the ziggurat, we trust that we can restore and renovate what was destroyed and bring back to life this outstanding archaeological site," deputy culture minister Qais Hussain Rasheed said.(Editing by Dominic Evans and Angus MacSwan)
Boko Haram militants seen weakening in Cameroon - ICG-[Reuters]-By Emma Farge-November 16, 2016-YAHOONEWS
DAKAR (Reuters) - Boko Haram has dramatically scaled back attacks in Cameroon in recent months, analysts said on Wednesday, suggesting a regional security force is gaining ground against the militants.The Islamist movement - which controlled an area the size of Belgium in northeast Nigeria last year and raided Cameroon and other neighbours to expand its "caliphate" - had since suffered a string of defeats, International Crisis Group (ICG) said.The report came days after security and U.N. sources said hundreds of Boko Haram fighters and their families had surrendered on another frontline in Chad.There was no comment from any of the factions of Boko Haram which is still seen as one of the main security threats in West Africa."We've seen a dizzying downwards spiral in the number of attacks and suicide bombings," said Hans De Marie Heungoup, one of the report's authors.Two years ago, attacks were happening on an almost daily basis, he said. But the number had falled to between six and eight a month since September."[Boko Haram] has suffered heavy losses and seen its conventional capacities reduced," the study said, partly thanks to last year's formation of a 10,000-strong regional force with troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin.Up to 1,000 fighters with heavy weaponry and armoured vehicles joined strikes in Cameroon's Far North Region in 2014-15, the report said.But attacks were now focused on the northernmost tip of the region where fighters continued to control part of the fishing industry of Lake Chad amid a labyrinth of waterways.Recruitment is also faltering in Cameroon although forced enlistment remains a risk, ICG said.Up to 4,000 Cameroonians are thought to have joined the group and some were given sign-on bonuses of up to $2000 and a motorbike, according to the study, citing interviews with locals.Those who proved their loyalty by killing their parents often enjoyed quick promotion, it added.Analysts say the faction around the Lake Chad Basin represents the stronger branch of the group, loyal to Islamic State (IS) and led by Abu Musab al-Barnawi. Another faction led by Abubaker Shekau is based further south in Nigeria's Sambisa forest.(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Nellie Peyton and Andrew Heavens)
China websites block searches for 'Fatty Kim the Third'-[Reuters]-November 16, 2016-YAHOONEWS
BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese websites have again blocked searches for "Fatty Kim the Third", as many Chinese mockingly call North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with China's foreign ministry saying it did not approve of ridiculing foreign leaders.Chinese internet users began reporting last week that searches on the Twitter-like microblogging site Weibo and search engine Baidu for the expression returned no results, the normal sign that something is being blocked despite its wide usage.The term - which refers to the weight of Kim, his father and grandfather - was last blocked in September after neighboring North Korea's latest nuclear test.Kim is unpopular in China because of his country's repeated nuclear and missile tests.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said reports the government had banned the search term "did not accord with the facts"."What I want to stress is that China has always dedicated itself to constructing a rational, cultured and healthy environment for public opinion," Geng told a daily news briefing.China "does not approve of insulting or ridiculing language to address any country's leader", he added, without elaborating.Both Baidu Inc and Sina Corp, which owns Weibo, declined to comment.China's internet regulator did not respond to a request for comment.Many Chinese, however, took to Weibo to suggest multiple other terms which sound similar to "Fatty Kim the Third" and which are not blocked.(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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