Friday, November 04, 2016
QUEBEC TO HOLD PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO SURVEILLANCE OF JOURNALISTS.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast (EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADING BLOCKS-10 WORLD REGIONS/TRADE BLOCS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings(10 NATIONS-10 WORLD DIVISION WORLD GOVERNMENT) that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(EITHER THE EUROPEAN UNION DICTATOR BOOTS 3 COUNTRIES FROM THE EU OR THE DICTATOR TAKES OVER THE WORLD ECONOMY BY CONTROLLING 3 WORLD TRADE BLOCS)
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
Interview-Former spy chiefs call for EU-US intelligence hub-By Andrew Rettman-nov 3,16-euobserver
BRATISLAVA, Today, 09:13-Europe and the US need an "intelligence hub” to fight terrorism, with French and German ideas on EU military integration unlikely to bear fruit, Germany’s former spy chief has said.The counter-terrorism hub, to be based in The Hague, would start out like the Schengen zone, the EU’s passport-free travel area.It would involve a core group of trusted states such as Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.Their intelligence services would form “operational task forces” and, as with Schengen’s IT security system, would have access to each other’s data.They would also create a “centre of excellence” to reform other EU states’ services, which could join down the line.“I was one of the fathers of the Schengen agreement in the 1990s. That was established outside EU structures and only later integrated in the EU system and I think we can do the same”, Augustus Henning, the former head of Germany’s BND intelligence services, told EUobserver in an interview.Henning, as well Michael Chertoff, the former head of the National Security Agency (NSA), and David Omand, who used to run the British spy hub, the GCHQ, put forward the proposal at the Tatra summit, a conference in Bratislava last Saturday (29 October).It comes amid wider reflection on EU security in the wake of recent terrorist attacks and of the Brexit vote.German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in Bratislava that “we need to have shared military forces with their own command structures” and to “improve cooperation between intelligence services”.French finance minister Michel Sapin said “this is something that is very close to the Germans’ heart - they would like to create a European army”.He said that “what is feeding euroscepticism today is the feeling that Europe cannot rise up to [security] threats”.“The best way to safeguard the deepening of EMU is to answer the security issue”, he said, referring to the European Monetary Union - a plan for deeper EU integration centred on its single currency, the euro.Ivan Korcok, Slovakia’s EU affairs minister, said: “How can you explain to citizens that member states can’t share information to save people’s lives?”.-Intelligence hub-The proposed intelligence hub would have a lower political profile than the EU military project.It would convene in The Hague, but it would not have its own building or secretariat, on the model of the Counter Terrorism Group, an informal body in which some EU states’ intelligence services already share information with each other, as well as with Europol, the EU’s joint police agency.Henning told EUobserver that US participation was vital due to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) “unique capabilities”.“We had several attacks that could have been prevented with support from the US … we are dependent on them,” he said.Henning said jihadist leaders in Iraq, Pakistan, or Syria micro-manage attacks in Europe.The BND was able to intercept individual lines of communication, for instance from Mosul, in Iraq, to Berlin, while the NSA could mass-snoop on all communication between Iraq and Germany, he said.Going back to Schengen, he said security lapses in some of its members posed a threat to everyone.“We have a weakness in Belgium [in terms of intelligence gathering]. We have a weakness in Greece and in other [Schengen] states. We also have open borders and our terrorist clients can cross these borders”, he said.He said Germany’s decision, last year, to let in 1 million migrants with no security screening created “stress … in all of Europe”.“Eighty percent of them were males aged 18 to 35, and those are the most dangerous people on the planet”, he said.-Russia issue-French and German proposals envisage joint EU forces that would concentrate on stabilising countries in Africa and in the Middle East.Austria and Italy have said the EU should create its own intelligence agency. Related proposals also involve an EU border force to seal external boundaries.EU states in Russia’s former sphere of influence are concerned about Russian revanchism as well as jihadist terrorism, but Schaeuble and Sapin said little on Russia.The German minister said in Bratislava that an EU force could “stabilise our neighbouring regions, including Ukraine”.The French minister said EU military integration had a geostrategic element.“It would prove that it [the EU] can also be an efficient player when it comes to external threats”, he said.‘The US position is evolving slowly but surely on Europe. They are asking the Europeans to take their security into their own hands. France is a very strong military power, but France cannot do it alone,” he said.Henning, the former spy chief, said the Russia issue could derail the Franco-German military project.He said “countries in eastern Europe know very well that their security is heavily dependent on Nato and they don’t want to weaken Nato” by creating EU parallel structures.“I don’t think that we’ll have a European army … maybe in the long run, but I don’t see it”, he told EUobserver.He said the EU was not ready for its own intelligence agency either.“You can’t run an intelligence service with 27 member states all having influence … It wouldn’t work”, he said.
If ruling upheld, Britain to need act of parliament to trigger Brexit - Davis-[Reuters]-November 3, 2016-YAHOONEWS
LONDON (Reuters) - If upheld, a court ruling demanding parliamentary approval to trigger the formal divorce procedure with the EU would require an act of parliament involving both the upper and lower houses, Britain's Brexit minister David Davis said on Thursday.Passing an act of parliament would take more time than a simple resolution, requiring votes in both the House of Commons and House of Lords and potentially delaying the government's plans to invoke Article 50 by the end of March."The judges have laid out what we can't do and not exactly what we can do, but we're presuming it requires an act of parliament therefore both Commons and Lords," Davis told the BBC.(Reporting by William James, Elizabeth Piper)
MPs must vote on Brexit process, judges say-By Aleksandra Eriksson-nov 3,16-euobserver
BRUSSELS, Today, 12:13-The UK government cannot trigger Britain's exit from the EU without a parliamentary vote, the British High Court has ruled.”The most fundamental rule of the UK’s constitution is that the parliament is sovereign and can make and unmake any law it chooses,” the court said on Thursday (3 November).The verdict means MPs must agree before the UK triggers its EU divorce proceedings by invoking article 50 of the EU treaty.The High Court also rejected the government’s claim that it was not competent to judge on the issue.Whitehall immediately said it would appeal the ruling.The Supreme Court is expected to hold a hearing on the case on 7 December, but if it is upheld, it could alter future EU-UK relations.A majority of MPs in the past opposed Brexit.It would be difficult for them, in political terms, to overturn the referendum result, but they might force the government to take a more EU-friendly approach in exit talks.The British pound rose 1 percent on Thursday in anticipation of a softer Brexit.Prime minister Theresa May had previously said that the referendum, in which 52 percent of people voted to leave the EU, gave her the authority to trigger article 50 when she saw fit.She aimed to do it at the end of March next year.She said she would hold parliamentary debates on her Brexit plan, but that MPs views would not be binding on her actions.May, and members of her cabinet, had also indicated that they were willing to forsake access to the EU single market in order to curb immigration.Two anti-Brexit campaigners - wealth manager Gina Miller and hairdresser Deir Dos Santos - initiated the High Court case.“The result today is about all of us. We all voted for the best country and our future", Miller told press in London on Thursday.She said greater parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit would “bring sobriety to the process".UK trade minister Liam Fox said the government was "disappointed" by the ruling.He said the government was "determined to respect the result" of the referendum in which the "country voted to leave” the European Union.
Focus-Nordic states want more say in Europe-By Lisbeth Kirk-euobserver
Copenhagen, 2. Nov, 20:07-“Something about the Nordic environment”, said one woman, when asked why buses in Copenhagen were adorned with two flags this week.“The red one is easy enough. It's the Danish flag, but the blue flag? Something UN or Nordic, perhaps?," her friend said.She was right. The blue flag on the buses belong to the Nordic Council meting in Copenhagen this week.The redesigned logo is not the only new thing about the old institution.As other political structures in Europe seem fragile, more attention has turned to the regional body."Nordic countries must push more strongly in the European debate," said Danish liberal MP, Eva Kjer Hansen, who tabled a proposal for opening a joint Nordic office in Brussels."The Nordic Council and Nordic Council of Ministers together would establish and staff an office in Brussels to give the Nordic cooperation greater political clout and weight," the proposal said.The first week in November is always the one week of the year when all the Nordic parliaments stop normal lawmaking and each send a delegation of their members to the Nordic Council.On Tuesday (1 November) the seats in the assembly of the Danish Folketing, were filled with Swedes, Finns and other fellow Nordic parliamentarians.-Older than the EU-The Nordic Council is older than the EU. This year’s session was number 68, but the Nordic Council does not have any sovereign powers. It can only recommend for member states to act.With all the Nordic prime ministers also sitting in the assembly, it is however a unique body, and not without impact in the world when they act in unity.For many years it was dreamed that the Nordic countries might even develop into some form of a Nordic Union.It only came as far as allowing Nordic citizens to travel without passports between Nordic countries, where citizens have had the right to work, study and settle in each other’s countries.The dream ended when Denmark - as the first Nordic country to do so - broke ranks and joined the EU in 1973, Sweden and Finland followed later, while Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the Aaland Islands stayed out of the European Union. Greenland left the EU following a referendum in 1982.-Gender equality-This year’s Nordic officially session focused on implementation of the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and how to implement them in the Nordic region.“Nordic countries played a central role to 17 SDGs of the UN, but fulfilling of the goals has to happen at home”, reminded Norway’s conservative prime minister Erna Solberg and quoted Elvis Presley in her Nordic Council speech: ”A little less conversation, a little more action please”.“Our strength lies in being equal. Because of this we are rich and modern”, said the Swedish Social Democrat premier Stefan Loefven.Gender equality is one of the UN's 17 goals and it is remarkably high in the Nordic area.Iceland’s parliament had a record high number of 30 female MPs elected just last Saturday, where 47.6 percent of the votes went to female candidates in the general elections.The vote saw Iceland jump up seven places internationally as regards the representation women in national parliaments, to fourth in the world, after Rwanda, Bolivia and Cuba.-Border checks-Border control and refugees were other topics touched often in the Nordic Council’s general debate.“Passport-union has been a crown jewel in Nordic cooperation, but it is now almost out of function. This is a European reality today”, said Pia Kjærsgaard from the Danish People’s party, who is chairman of the Danish parliament.“It feels like being sent back to square one, when you have to show your passport at the border with Sweden,” she said, referring to recently imposed checks.Swedish conservative MP Hans Wallmark, suggested that the Danish-German border should be controlled on behalf of the entire Nordic area, replacing the temporary border control introduced between Denmark and Sweden 4 January 2016 in response to the refugee crisis.The decision has had severe implications for the around 30,000 people who daily crosses the Oresund Bridge by train.The Swedish government announced on Wednesday it will continue the controls for another three months.“Nordic joint border controls would not be a problem for us”, said Juho Eerola, in response to the idea of joint Nordic border controls instead of EU controls. He represents the Finns Party, previously known as the True Finns, a populist and nationalist-oriented Finnish political faction.”We already look after the Finnish border towards Russia on behalf of us all”, he said.-Russia-Relations with Russia was another hot topic at the Nordic Council, but all pressures on Sweden and Finland to join Nato were firmly rejected.“For the time being there are no changes needed in our relations [with Nato]. But if the situation changes, we are prepared to discuss it again quickly,” said Finland’s liberal prime minister Juha Sipilae.The Nordic Council's conservative group proposed governments in the region to conduct a critical analysis of environmental risks from Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea.During the building phase, the consortium wants access to strategically important Swedish ports such as Slite and Karlshamn, which would also increase the risk of spying and infiltration, the group said. It recommended Sweden's government to co-ordinate positions.“We are looking forward to discussing in the EU and if the proposal is in line with the energy union,” Finnish premier Sipilae said. He added, that for Finland the concerns with the Nord Stream 2 project are mainly linked to environmental risks for the sea.Next year the Nordic Council meets in Helsinki, when Finland chairs the Nordic council, while Norway chairs the Nordic council of ministers in 2017.
Quebec to hold public inquiry into surveillance of journalists-[The Canadian Press]-November 3, 2016-YAHOONEWS
MONTREAL — The Quebec government announced a full public inquiry Thursday into the police surveillance of journalists after revelations various forces monitored reporters' phones.A panel of experts announced earlier this week will now have all the powers typically given to a commission of inquiry, including being able to compel witnesses to testify, said Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee.The province's two largest police forces admitted this week to keeping tabs on the phones of several journalists in recent years."We came to this conclusion this morning after an analysis of the different information made public yesterday (Wednesday)," Vallee said in Quebec City. "We consider it's important for the population of Quebec to trust their public institutions."On Wednesday, Quebec provincial police said they had employed the controversial tactic on six prominent journalists in 2013 in an effort to track down a person alleged to have leaked sensitive wiretap information involving a prominent labour leader. Earlier on Thursday, Parti Quebecois member Stephane Bergeron, the public security minister at the time of the provincial police surveillance, stepped down as Opposition critic in the field.He said he did so because he feared becoming a distraction to the party.A day earlier, Bergeron denied asking that journalists be tracked.He acknowledged having contacted the provincial police director at the time, Mario Laprise, following a complaint from ex-union boss Michel Arsenault over alleged leaked wiretaps.Vallee said the admission by provincial police played a part in the decision to expand the mandate of the group of experts. They have not yet been named.Premier Philippe Couillard's decision to form the committee of experts followed revelations Montreal police kept tabs on the iPhone of a La Presse reporter.On Tuesday, Couillard said the panel would include a judge, a police official and a member of the media.Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
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)
After Calais, France prepares to clear migrant camp in Paris-[Reuters]-By Cyril Camu and Pascal Rossignol-November 3, 2016-YAHOONEWS
PARIS/CALAIS, France (Reuters) - French authorities prepared on Thursday to dismantle a makeshift migrant camp in central Paris, its numbers swelled by refugees from a larger settlement in Calais that was meanwhile shut down for good.In twin actions that epitomised Europe's failure to adequately cater for the waves of refugees that have reached its shores since early 2015, the last migrants left the Calais camp while some 3,000 prepared for what might be their last night under canvas near the capital's Stalingrad metro station.In a final operation in Calais after the camp was razed over the past two weeks, demolition teams knocked down a makeshift mosque and church that migrants who dreamed of reaching Britain would worship in.The camp's last inhabitants, some three hundred women and children, were transferred to temporary housing centres across France.Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has said the Stalingrad camp would be torn down by the end of the week. As France gears up for a wide-open presidential election with immigration a hot-button theme on the campaign trail, a ministry insider said that process could begin on Friday morning.The socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, is building two temporary sites to house 1,000 migrants, but wants those at Stalingrad to be sheltered elsewhere first."There aren't enough places for all of us," said one Afghan migrant who identified himself as Naviid, echoing the concern of others over where they will be sent.A source familiar with the operation to clear the Stalingrad camp said the authorities were having to find 4,000 places.Many of the migrants camped out along Stalingrad's boulevards are Africans fleeing war and poverty. Some arrived in Paris from Calais, other spent time in other European countries and deciding their best chances of a better future lay in France.On one afternoon this week, scores repeated aloud French phrases in an open-air class run by volunteers."People help us here. They bring us food and clothing," said one Somali migrant who previously spent two years in Denmark. "In Denmark, people didn't much like refugees."(Additional reporting by Pierre Savary in Lille and Mattthias Blamont in Paris; Writing by Richard Lough; editing by John Stonestreet)
Dutch politician Wilders calls for new judge in hate speech trial-[Reuters]-November 3, 2016-YAHOONEWS
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch politician Geert Wilders called on Thursday for one of the judges in his hate speech trial to be replaced on the grounds of bias, a court spokeswoman said.Wilders is facing charges of discrimination and inciting racial hatred at a rally in 2014 at which he led supporters in chanting they wanted fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. He denies wrongdoing.His lawyer has asked that judge Elianne van Rens - one member of a three-judge panel - be replaced because she allegedly showed prejudice in cutting short an expert witness who had been called to testify on Wilders' behalf."What terrible bias from this judge who can barely disguise her hate for the Freedom Party," Wilders tweeted. He is not attending his trial in person.With national elections due in March, Wilders' anti-immigration Freedom Party currently rivals Prime Minister Mark Rutte's conservative VVD Party in popularity.Spokeswoman Judy Roosen of the Hague District Court told Reuters the trial was suspended temporarily and a separate panel of judges would convene on Friday to review the request.The case had been expected to run through to late November, with a verdict in December, but that could be delayed if Van Rens is replaced.Requests for the replacement of judges are rare, but permissible under Dutch law.At Wilders' previous hate speech trial in 2010, he made two such requests. The first was rejected but the second led to the replacement of the entire three-judge panel hearing his case, causing a significant delay in the process. He was acquitted in 2011.That trial and acquittal were seen as contributing to his popularity and perceptions of him as a defender of freedom of speech.(Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by Andrew Roche)
Turkish academics, students protest against post-coup purges-[Reuters]-By Humeyra Pamuk and Ayla Jean Yackley-November 3, 2016-YAHOONEWS
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Hundreds of academics, students and union members staged a protest on Thursday against a purge of thousands of educational staff since Turkey's attempted military coup in July.Turkey accuses U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen of orchestrating the July 15 putsch and has dismissed or suspended more than 110,000 civil servants, academics, judges, police and others over suspected links to the preacher.The crowd chanted "We will win by resisting" in front of Istanbul University as dozens of riot police wearing gas masks looked on. Teachers who had lost their jobs wept and hugged students.Among those suspended or removed in the purges since July are nearly 50,000 educational staff. Under the coup probe, some 37,000 people have been jailed pending trial."We are facing a period worse than the coup," said Tahsin Yesildere, head of a university teaching staff group."In our country, which is being turned into a one-man regime through the state of emergency (declared after the coup), all those in opposition resisting this trend have become targets," he told Reuters, referring to President Tayyip Erdogan.The scale of the crackdown has alarmed Turkey's Western allies and foreign investors. Human rights groups and opposition parties say Erdogan, who traces his political roots to a banned Islamist party, is using the coup as a pretext to muzzle all dissent in the European Union-candidate nation.The interior ministry said on Thursday it had suspended 1,218 gendarmerie personnel on suspicion of links to Gulen.Officials say such measures are justified by the threat to democracy posed by Gulen's followers, once strong supporters of Erdogan. More than 240 people were killed in the coup, when rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and fighter jets.-"TYRANNY"-"We won't surrender," said a banner held by protesters, echoing a headline in the opposition daily Cumhuriyet, whose editor and senior staff were detained this week on accusations their coverage had helped precipitate the coup."Our dismissal comes as part of the tyranny that is being built," Levent Dolek, a research assistant in economics at Istanbul University until last week. "Our removal is just a detail considering the darkness Turkey is drifting into."Can Dundar, Cumhuriyet's editor until July and now overseas to avoid an arrest warrant, said Erdogan's campaign was aimed at the secular values of the Turkish state."The real war here is with the Turkish Republic," Dundar told Reuters in a phone interview. "This is not a fight for a newspaper, it is the fight for a country."Dundar was sentenced in May to six years in prison for revealing state secrets in the newspaper and left Turkey before the coup while free on appeal. He described the charges that the secularist daily backed the Gulen network as "comical"."We spent our entire careers, especially the last 10 years, explaining how dangerous the Gulen movement was," he said.In a sign of how confused the crackdown has become, a prosecutor appointed to handle the case against the paper, Murat Inam, is himself a defendant in a case against suspected Gulenists."It is unfortunate such an appointment was made. I wish it hadn't been done," Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said in parliament.Turkish media showed video footage of what they said were the two putsch ringleaders arriving at Istanbul's main airport two days before the coup.The reports said the men had been returning from one of several visits to the United States where they allegedly met Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999. He denies involvement.Kemal Batmaz, who had headed a paper company, is in detention after being arrested in the coup's immediate aftermath, state-run Anadolu news agency said. Police are still searching for Adil Oksuz, a teacher.Chief Ankara prosecutor Harun Kodalak told Anadolu that the two were key figures in the plot. He said court cases against coup suspects would be opened at the start of 2017.(Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Andrew Roche)
Rebels step up Aleppo offensive with three car bombs-[Reuters]-November 3, 2016-YAHOONEWS
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian insurgents stepped up a week-long offensive on government-held areas in the city of Aleppo on Thursday, detonating three car bombs and firing shells which killed at least a dozen civilians, state media and a monitor said.Rebel groups detonated three large car bombs near pro-government forces on the western edge of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and rebels said, as they tried to revitalise an offensive which has made little progress since taking most of Dahiyet al-Assad suburb on Friday.A senior medic in government-held Aleppo told Reuters eight people had been brought into hospitals suffering from breathing difficulties thought to be from a poisonous gas attack. This could not be independently confirmed.Insurgent groups, including both Free Syrian Army factions and jihadists, are seeking to break a government siege on rebel-held east Aleppo which has been almost continuously in place since July. They want to seize government-held areas of Aleppo in order to link the city's east with rebel-held rural areas west of Aleppo.The city has been divided for years between the government-held western sector and rebel-held east, where the army launched a major Russian-backed offensive in September that medics say has killed hundreds.-REBEL SHELLING-United Nations aid has been unable to reach the besieged area since that time and the local medical infrastructure has been brought to its knees by a lack of supplies, a shortage of staff and air strikes on medical facilities.Syrian state media said on Thursday 12 people were killed and around 200 injured by the rebel shelling on government-held western Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 15 civilians, including four children, had been killed in west Aleppo and around 120 injured.Zaher Hajo, the head of forensic medicine in government-held Aleppo who reported the eight patients suffering respiratory difficulties, said the medical authorities could not determine the nature of the gas believed to have been used.All parties in the multifaceted Syrian conflict have accused each other of using chemical weapons during more than six years of conflict.On Sunday Syrian state media said militants fired poison gas at a government-held area of Aleppo, causing 35 people to choke, a report that a rebel official denied.An international inquiry by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has found Syrian government forces responsible for three toxic gas attacks and has said Islamic State militants have used sulfur mustard gas.Russia, which has been supporting the Syrian air force in a heavy bombing campaign on Syria for more than a year, says it has not carried out air strikes on eastern Aleppo for more than two weeks.Russia and the Syrian army on Wednesday told rebels to leave Aleppo by Friday evening through safe corridors, signalling an extended moratorium on air strikes.(Reporting by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Gareth Jones)
Iraqi Shi'ite forces advance west of Mosul, route still open-[Reuters]-November 3, 2016-YAHOONEWS
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Shi'ite forces fighting to cut off an Islamic State supply route west of Mosul made progress on Thursday but several cars were still able to leave the city, a spokesman said.The leader of the Badr Organisation, the largest of the Shi'ite militias that make up the Hashid Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) forces, had said earlier he hoped to seal off Mosul's western flank on Thursday."We are advancing slowly," Karim Nuri, a spokesman for the Hashid Shaabi told Reuters. "We witnessed some vehicles from a distance, withdrawing (from Mosul)".It was not clear whether the cars were escaping the fighting in Mosul, where Iraqi troops have breached Islamic State defenses on the eastern side of the city, or seeking to reinforce the Islamic State-held town of Tal Afar to the west.The Iraq army, security forces and Kurdish peshmerga forces have been advancing from the south, east and north of Mosul since launching an offensive on Oct 17 to recapture the city, the biggest city controlled by Islamic State in Iraq or Syria.They were joined five days ago by the Popular Mobilisation forces, which launched their offensive towards Tal Afar on Mosul's western flank.Tal Afar lies about 55 km (35 miles) west of Mosul, on the way to Islamic State-controlled regions of neighboring Syria. Cutting off the western side of the city and the routes to Tal Afar will leave Islamic State enclosed on four axes.Badr leader Hadi al-Amiri said earlier that he hoped to cut off Islamic State's main western supply route out of Mosul."Today, God willing, is the completion of the first stage of the Hashid operations - that is cutting the supply route of the enemy between Tal Afar and the Muhalabiya district, reaching to Mosul," Amiri told Iraqi television.Amiri said the militias also intended ultimately to cut off the main highway between Mosul and Tal Afar, but said that the Muhalabiya route was the priority because it was the one used by the militants since they took over Mosul two years ago."This is the area Daesh (Islamic State) entered Mosul from," he said. "Severing this road means to completely cut off the enemy's supply lines and surround them."Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi told his fighters in an audio tape on Thursday there would be no retreat from the Mosul assault, and that victory would be theirs in the "total war" with their enemies.(Reporting by Saif Hameed; Editing by Pravin Char and Anna Willard)
Violence and political pressure anger Nigeria's Shi'ites-[Reuters]-By Alexis Akwagyiram-November 3, 2016-YAHOONEWS
KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Blackened walls and piles of rubble are all that is left of the house of a leader of Nigeria's Shi'ite minority after it was burned down by machete-wielding youths in the tense northern city of Kaduna.A wave of attacks on members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Shi'ite sect combined with a security crackdown by the authorities is worsening sectarian rivalries in northern Nigeria, where the army is already fighting Boko Haram, a Sunni militant group that has killed thousands.The violence risks radicalising the sect, creating another problem for President Muhammadu Buhari as he struggles with an insurgency in the Niger Delta oil region, secession calls in the southeast and Nigeria's first recession in more than 20 years.The clashes erupted after the Kaduna state government declared the Shi'ite sect unlawful on security grounds, angering its adherents as anyone convicted of being a member could now be imprisoned for up to seven years.Shi'ites say the ban effectively invited local Sunni youths, who have complained about the sect staging processions in public, to take on the IMN while it marked the holy day of Ashoura mourning last month."Young men armed with machetes came looking for IMN people that day, burning houses and chasing away those who hadn't already run away. They came to kill," said Musa Abubakar, a driver who witnessed the clashes in Kaduna's Tudunwada district."Those they caught were badly beaten," he said, adding that dozens of men chased away outnumbered police officers. Two Shi'ites were killed elsewhere in Kaduna state in the clashes.Anger has been rising in the sect's strongholds in the north since the army killed 347 IMN members in the city of Zaria. They were buried in mass graves after clashes in December 2015, according to a judicial inquiry.Since then Shi'ite leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky has been imprisoned at an unknown location without being charged. His followers have daubed "Free Zakzaky" on walls in Kaduna."We feel repressed," said Abdul Giwa, an IMN spokesman. "We have the freedom of religion. What the government should do is tolerate and understand us."Security analysts draw parallels with Boko Haram, whose insurgency began in 2009 after security forces killed hundreds of its members and its leader Mohammed Yusuf died in custody. Zakzaky was badly wounded in the December clashes.-BUHARI'S CHALLENGES-Posters calling for Zakzaky's release were quickly torn down, said Giwa who was speaking to the press because the group's spokesman had gone into hiding.Africa's most populous nation of 180 million combines a predominantly Christian south and mainly Sunni Muslim north.Shi'ites are estimated at less than 4 million, according to a 2009 report by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center, although there are no official figures. Human Rights Watch estimates that IMN has around 3 million members.The IMN was founded in the 1980s after the revolution in mainly Shi'ite Iran in 1979, which inspired the sect's founders.Kaduna officials, made up like Buhari and other northern elites of Sunnis, see the sect as security threat."The IMN is more of a political organisation than a religious organisation," said Kaduna governor Nasir El-Rufai, adding that the IMN was declared an "unlawful society" because it constitutes "a threat to the security and good governance of the state"."Over the last 30 years they have been engaged in all kind of violations of Nigerian law, from murder to abduction of young children to blocking of highways to forceful acquisition of property of their neighbours," El-Rufai said. "And they also operate a military wing."He rejected the comparison with Boko Haram as a "simplistic analogy" because the Sunni group's leader was subjected to an extra-judicial execution. In contrast, Kaduna state would bring charges against Zakzaky in court, if he was suspected of wrongdoing after he was released, he added.Buhari's two spokesmen refused to comment on Zakzaky's detention, saying it was a matter for the justice minister. He did not answer repeated phone calls.Buhari, a former military ruler, said in August he would study a judicial inquiry report recommending that soldiers who killed hundreds of Shi'ites in December should be put on trial, but no decision has been announced.-SECTARIAN TENSIONS-A Western diplomat said that Islamic State, the militant group which has seized territory in Syria and Iraq, could use Boko Haram to stir up sectarian strife between Shi'ites and Sunnis in Nigeria."Their standard approach is to find religious fault lines and play on them," he said.Signs of sectarian tension are already emerging in Kaduna, a major city in the north where poverty, corruption and unemployment have helped Boko Haram and hardline Islamists recruit angry youths.Many IMN members say the police and army, institutions that in the north are dominated by Sunnis, were behind the bloodshed that marred the Ashoura processions."The police escorted the thugs," said Giwa, adding that he believed authorities were being influenced by Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia's official ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim school that often labels Shi'ites as heretical."We feel they are the ones who might have influenced the government into this action," he said, leaning forward.Kaduna's police denied any involvement in attacks on IMN or any other Shi'ites in the state. Kaduna state police spokesman Aliyu Usman said "hoodlums taking advantage of the situation" were responsible for the attacks last month."We're protecting them. We know what members of the public want to do to them," he said, adding that 11 people had been charged with offences in the wake of the violence.In the rundown district of Tudunwada, just a few metres from the graffiti calling on Zakzaky's release, local Sunnis had little sympathy for members of the Shi'ite sect."Everybody has the right to practice their own religion, but not if you impede other people's rights," said Muhammad Salis, a 32-year-old carpenter.Abdullahi Ahmed, a 43-year-old civil servant, went further. "They take the law into their own hands," he said, accusing the sect's members of blocking roads during religious gatherings.(Additional reporting by Garba Muhammad and Felix Onuha, in Abuja; Editing by Ulf Laessing and Giles Elgood)
How Canada's Liberals annoyed Hillary Clinton team over fundraising-[The Canadian Press]-November 3, 2016-YAHOONEWS
WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton's entourage expressed annoyance that Canada's Liberal party used an Ottawa event she appeared at as a fundraising opportunity, according to an exchange from a purportedly stolen email published by Wikileaks.The back-and-forth involving a 2014 event was included in the latest cache of messages supposedly hacked from the email account of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, and released Wednesday by Wikileaks.Clinton was receiving a fee to speak to a conference that fall hosted by the progressive think-tank Canada 2020, which has close ties to the Liberal party that was in opposition at that moment.Rumours swirled at the time of a possible joint appearance featuring Clinton and Justin Trudeau. Liberals were eager to billboard that event as a glimpse at the future of North American leadership, as both were leading the polls in their respective countries at that point.Wednesday's email release offers clues into what happened next. "As Trudeau's team is aware, there was some unhappiness that they used this event to raise money for their political party," said an email purportedly sent by top Clinton aide Huma Abedin."This was supposed to be a completely apolitical event."She added that Clinton would meet him anyway: "Regardless, I think we are set for Monday and she will see him backstage." She specified that Clinton would not only see the Liberal leader backstage, but also then-foreign affairs minister John Baird.The exchange suggests the Liberals pushed hard for the high-profile encounter. A parliamentary aide to Trudeau reached out to a number of Liberals, asking them to work potential connections to the Clinton circle."We would need to drive this in order to see it happen," says a note supposedly from Marlene Floyd. "I think a multi-prong approach is the best one in this circumstance, so I am reaching out to this group to see if we can brainstorm other approaches, or connections."Trudeau's future prime ministerial principal secretary, Gerald Butts, was among those who received the message. He forwarded it to a friend in Washington with a simple request: "Help!!!" That friend from the U.S. think-tank Center for American Progress, Matt Browne, forwarded it to Podesta and Abedin — while vouching for Trudeau."It looks increasingly likely that he will be prime minister in a year's time," Browne wrote. "A string of national polls released this week suggests that the Liberal party is pulling further away from both the Conservatives and NDP, and are thus the ever more likely the winners of the October 2015 election."His assessment about the Liberals proved accurate.The party, meanwhile, used the event to add to its campaign war chest. A fundraising message from the time, still posted on the Liberal website, invited donations in exchange for a draw to win what it called the political experience of a lifetime."(You could) win: a return flight to Ottawa, breakfast with Justin Trudeau and one of his senior advisers... and a chance to hear former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speak over lunch on October 6, 2014."Ironically, the emails are surfacing now as the Liberals fend off accusations at home of improper fundraising.While the Liberals take flak from their opponents for raising cash at events featuring cabinet ministers, the federal lobbying commissioner has also said her investigators are examining allegations that lobbyists have been involved in such events.The Clinton campaign refuses to comment on the Wikileaks emails, neither confirming nor denying the authenticity of documents that American authorities believe were taken by Russian hackers in an attempt to meddle in the U.S. election.Canada 2020, for its part, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.The organization bills itself as an independent, not-for-profit, progressive think tank — though its president, Tom Pitfield, is a childhood friend of Trudeau's, was the Liberals' chief digital strategist in the last election, and is married to party president Anna Gainey. It was founded by two longtime Liberals, Tim Barber and Susan Smith, who are also the founders of a lobbying firm, Bluesky Strategy Group.This is not the first time Canada 2020's close Liberal ties have raised concerns about the think-tank being used for partisan fundraising.Earlier this year, the Liberals sent out fundraising missives, urging people to join a contest to win a trip for two to Washington, D.C., and take part in two exclusive events with Trudeau, organized by Canada 2020 to coincide with the prime minister's first official visit to the U.S. capital.The Conservatives asked the ethics and lobbying watchdogs to investigate what they alleged was Trudeau's blurring of the lines between government business and party fundraising.They also accused the party of helping its lobbyist friends and offering access to Trudeau in return for donations — the same accusations they've been levelling for several weeks about so-called "cash for access" fundraisers featuring cabinet ministers.Canada 2020 is holding its annual conference this week in Ottawa, its theme being innovation policy.-With files from Joan Bryden in Ottawa-Alexander Panetta, The Canadian Press
3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:
15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:
16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air,
18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:
19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
2 KINGS 23:5
5 And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.
Greenhouse gas emissions set to bust global climate pact in 2030 - U.N.-[Reuters]-By Nina Chestney and Peter Hobson-November 3, 2016-YAHOONEWS
LONDON (Reuters) - Greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 will exceed by 12 billion to 14 billion tonnes what is needed to keep global warming to an internationally agreed target, the United Nations said on Thursday.A day before the global Paris Agreement climate pact formally comes into force, the annual report of U.N. Environment analysed countries' current pledges for emission cuts and said they were not sufficient.Emissions in 2030 are expected to reach 54-56 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, far above the level of 42 billion tonnes needed to have a chance of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) this century.Even if the pledges on cutting emissions under the Paris agreement are fully implemented, predicted 2030 emissions could put the world on track for a temperature rise of 2.9 to 3.4 degrees Celsius this century, the report said.However, UN Environment's chief scientist, Jacqueline McGlade, told reporters at a briefing that the emissions gap could "absolutely" be filled.More countries are submitting emissions data; global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use and industry are slowing; renewable energy use has risen and public scrutiny of governments' actions has grown, McGlade added.Delegates from signatory nations will meet in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh from Nov. 7-18 to start turning their many promises on tackling climate change into action and draw up a "rule book" for the accord reached last December and which comes into force on Friday.The Paris Agreement promises to limit global warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, with an ambition of limiting temperature rises even further to 1.5 degrees.For a 50 percent chance of meeting the 1.5 degree goal, emissions should not be more than 39 billion tonnes in 2030, which leaves an even bigger emissions gap of 15-17 billion tonnes, the report said.Therefore, countries need to make bigger emissions cuts after, but preferably also before, 2020 and there needs to be lower emissions levels in 2030 than previously thought.If that does not happen, there will be more reliance on negative emission technologies in the second half of the century which permanently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, such as combining bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, which is not deployable on a commercial scale."If we don't start taking additional action now, beginning with the upcoming climate meeting in Marrakesh, we will grieve over the avoidable human tragedy," Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, said in a statement."The growing numbers of climate refugees hit by hunger, poverty, illness and conflict will be a constant reminder of our failure to deliver. The science shows that we need to move much faster," Solheim added.(Editing by Jeremy Gaunt and Gareth Jones)
Pacific islands kick off global climate deal-[Reuters]-By Alister Doyle-November 3, 2016-YAHOONEWS
MARRAKESH, Morocco (Reuters) - As clocks passed midnight into Friday, remote islands in the Pacific Ocean, many in danger of rising seas from global warming, kicked off a rolling start as last year's global agreement to slow climate change took effect.The 2015 Paris Agreement formally started on Nov. 4 after winning support from major greenhouse gas emitters led by China and the United States, but legal texts do not specify a time zone where it begins.As a result, it came into effect first in the Pacific region, home to low-lying island states on the front lines of storm surges, disruptions to rainfall and a creeping rise in sea levels.The eastern islands of Kiribati were among the first, followed by countries such as Tonga, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands.Going into effect in the Pacific "which is home to vulnerable island nations who have all ratified the agreement, makes for one of those serendipitous moments in history," Thoriq Ibrahim, environment minister of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, told Reuters.Ibrahim will chair the alliance of small island states at talks among almost 200 nations in Marrakesh from Nov. 7-18 to try to find ways to implement the Paris Agreement, partly by working out rules for an often vague text.The Paris Agreement seeks to wean the world economy off fossil fuels in the second half of the century and limit a rise in average world temperatures to "well below" 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above preindustrial times.On Thursday, however, the United Nation said greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 will exceed by 12 billion to 14 billion tonnes what is needed to keep global warming to the agreed target.The agreement is formally starting 30 days after it passed a threshold of 55 nations accounting for more than 55 percent of greenhouse gases.Shadowing the agreement, however, is the possible election of Republican Donald Trump, an opponent, as U.S. president.In theory, it takes four years of legal formalities to withdraw after it enters into force.But Trump, who has said he doubts humans have caused climate change, wants to extract the United States from the Paris deal. Democrat Hillary Clinton strongly supports the agreement.U.S. climate envoy Jonathan Pershing said on Thursday that even if Trump wins the presidential election, he would see practical incentives to stick with the deal. He said that more is invested globally in renewable energy than fossil fuels."There are going to be huge domestic advantages to staying in this agreement," he said.(Additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici in Washington; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt and Jeffrey Benkoe)
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