Saturday, December 03, 2016
AT LEAST 13 DEAD IN TENNESSEE WILDFIRES.
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
Death toll from Tennessee wildfire climbs to 11-[Reuters]-By Steve Gorman-YAHOONEWS-December 2, 2016
(Reuters) - The death toll from a devastating blaze in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee rose to 11 on Thursday, the highest loss of civilian life from a single U.S. wildfire in 13 years.Investigators have determined the so-called Chimney Tops 2 fire, which laid waste to whole neighborhoods in the resort town of Gatlinburg earlier this week, was caused by unspecified human activity, officials said.Total property losses from the fire have been put at more than 700 structures, with most of the destruction in Gatlinburg, known as the "gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains," in eastern Tennessee, about 40 miles (64 km) southeast of Knoxville.A total of 11 people were killed in the fire, up from seven deaths reported Wednesday, according to Dean Flener, a spokesman for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.That made Chimney Tops 2 the nation's single deadliest wildfire since 2013, when 19 firefighters died near Prescott, Arizona.It also ranks as the largest civilian death toll from a U.S. wildfire since 15 people, including a firefighter, were killed in Southern California's Cedar Fire in 2003, according to Jessica Gardetto, a spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.None of the Tennessee victims has been publicly identified, but all were presumed to be civilians, officials from the fire command center told Reuters. As many as 45 people have been reported injured.The blaze erupted on Nov. 23, Thanksgiving eve, in a remote area of rugged terrain dubbed Chimney Tops in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg, authorities said.Fed by drought-parched brush and trees and stoked by fierce winds, the flames spread quickly days later, igniting numerous spot fires and exploding on Monday into an inferno that roared out of the park into surrounding homes and businesses."The wildfire was determined to be human-caused and is currently under investigation," according to a bulletin released on Thursday by fire commanders and the National Park Service. It gave no further details.Aerial television news footage showed the burned-out, smoking ruins of dozens of homes surrounded by blackened trees in several neighborhoods.Steady rains on Tuesday night and into Wednesday helped firefighters slow the blaze, but by Thursday morning officials were still reporting no containment around a fire zone that spanned more than 17,000 acres (6,880 hectares)."The fire is not out; it is just knocked down," fire operations chief Mark Jamieson said in the bulletin.Some 14,000 people were forced to flee their homes at the height of the fire, and most of Gatlinburg, a city of nearly 4,000 residents, remained under mandatory evacuation on Thursday.Evacuation orders were lifted on Wednesday for the nearby town of Pigeon Forge, home of country music star Dolly Parton's theme park, Dollywood.(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Cooney, Lisa Shumaker and Paul Tait)
Death toll rises to seven in Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains fires-[Reuters]-By Steve Gorman-YAHOONEWS-November 30, 2016
(Reuters) - The death toll from wildfires blazing in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee rose to seven on Wednesday even as drenching rains helped firefighters suppress flames that have left whole neighborhoods in ruins.The tally of documented property losses from the fires also climbed to more than 700 structures damaged or destroyed throughout Sevier County, including at least 300 in the resort town of Gatlinburg.On Tuesday, authorities reported about 150 structures damaged or destroyed by fire.Aerial news footage broadcast on local television showed the burned-out, smoking ruins of dozens of homes surrounded by blackened trees in several neighborhoods.In one piece of good news, Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters told a late afternoon news conference on Wednesday that three people who were trapped by the fire were safely rescued, treated at a local hospital and released.He gave no details about the circumstances of their rescue.But three more bodies were recovered earlier in the day, bringing the number of confirmed fatalities from the disaster to seven, but none of the victims had been positively identified, he said.As many as 45 fire-related injuries were reported by the Tennessee Department of Health.Mandatory evacuation orders remained in effect for some 14,000 people in and around Gatlinburg, along with a dusk-to-dawn curfew for the city, known as the "gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains."But nearly all of the estimated 500 people forced from their homes in the nearby town of Pigeon Forge were allowed to return, according to fire department spokeswoman Trish McGee. Pigeon Forge is home to country music star Dolly Parton's theme park, Dollywood, which suspended operations through Wednesday.The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was likewise closed to the public due to extensive fire activity and downed trees.The so-called Chimney Top fire, the principal blaze menacing the area, exploded in the national park on Monday evening as wind gusts reached nearly 90 miles per hour (145 km per hour), spreading the flames through drought-parched trees and brush into surrounding homes and businesses.TV news footage showed numerous homes going up in flames, silhouetted against an ominous orange sky.By Wednesday afternoon, the fire zone had scorched an estimated 15,700 acres, but firefighters made considerable progress in containing the blaze, helped by steady showers that drenched the area Tuesday night into Wednesday."We're thankful to the big guy up above for that rain, that's for sure," Waters said.Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said many of his crews were busy on Wednesday helping clear downed power lines, mudslides and other debris from roadways to allow search teams and recovery crews into more remote areas of the fire zone.President Barack Obama spoke on Wednesday with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to express condolences for lives lost and his sympathies for those displaced and injured, and to offer any support needed, according to the White House.(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
25 And there shall be signs in the sun,(HEATING UP-SOLAR ECLIPSES) and in the moon,(MAN ON MOON-LUNAR ECLIPSES) and in the stars;(ASTEROIDS ETC) and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear,(TORNADOES,HURRICANES,STORMS) and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:(DESTRUCTION) for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.(FROM QUAKES,NUKES ETC)
At least five dead, dozens injured as tornadoes rip through U.S. South-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-November 30, 2016
(Reuters) - At least five people were killed and dozens were injured after tornadoes tore through the U.S. South overnight and into Wednesday, leaving emergency crews scrambling to save lives and assess damage.The National Weather Service (NWS) issued tornado warnings for parts of Alabama, Florida and Georgia until 6 p.m. EST. Warnings in Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana were lifted earlier on Wednesday.The storms killed three people in Rosalie, a small community in northeastern Alabama, where at least one tornado was reported, the NWS said.A husband and wife were killed in Tennessee's Polk County, the state's Emergency Management Agency said in a statement. More than two dozen people have been injured in the state, including at least 23 people in McMinn County, it said.In Ider, Alabama, several teenagers were hospitalized after a tornado flattened a closed daycare center they were using for shelter, said DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris, clarifying earlier reports that the injured were young children.Ten people in the county were injured, including two critically, and emergency crews were working to account for all residents, Harris said.The storm systems also destroyed homes and businesses, downed power lines and snapped trees.Several thousand homes were without electricity, local power companies said. Schools in counties across affected areas canceled classes due to the outages and structural damage.Images posted on social media showed giant twisters reaching down into residential neighborhoods and at least one waterspout spinning offshore in the beach town of Destin, Florida, on Wednesday afternoon. Others showed bashed-in houses in Athens, Georgia and toppled electrical pylons in Ocoee, Tennessee.Damage assessment teams from the NWS were surveying the affected areas throughout the day, it said.(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Will Dunham and Jeffrey Benkoe)
Relatives of missing Flight MH370 passengers 'taking search into own hands'-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-December 3, 2016
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Relatives of those aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 said on Saturday they were taking the search for the plane into their own hands to try to push governments to expand the search area along the east African coast.Flight MH370, carrying 239 passengers and crew, disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, sparking a search in the southern Indian Ocean that entered its 1,000 day on Saturday.Members of Voice 370, an MH370 next-of-kin support group, were speaking ahead of a trip to Madagascar, where they hoped to scour the country's beaches for debris.Spokeswoman Grace Subathirai Nathan said she hoped the trip would help spur the Malaysian, Chinese and Australian governments to collect debris along the continental coast where parts from the aircraft had been found."After repeated attempts, and repeated requests for a mobilization of a search along the coastline, nothing has been done to date," she told reporters at Kuala Lumpur airport."So it has fallen into our hands to take this search upon ourselves."Nathan, whose mother was on the plane, was among four Malaysians, two Chinese nationals and a Frenchman who left for Madagascar on Saturday to hunt for debris and raise awareness of the plane among local communities and organizations.Three pieces of debris found on the beaches of Mauritius, Tanzania and the French island of Reunion, have been confirmed to be from MH370. Investigators are examining several other pieces found in Mozambique and South Africa.The search is expected to be suspended by the end of the year, when an Australian-led team completes its scouring of a 120,000-sq-km target area."We want the world to know that just because the search is about to end, that doesn't mean to us that the search is ending," Nathan said. "There is still a lot at stake."(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Nick Macfie)
CHINA AND KINGS OF THE EAST MARCH TO ISRAEL 2ND WAVE OF WW3 (200 MILLION MAN ARMY)
12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates;(WERE WW3 STARTS IN IRAQ OR SYRIA OR TURKEY) and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.(THE TURKEY ATATURK DAM ON THE EUPHRATES CAN BE SHUT AND DRIED UP ALREADY BY TURKEY)
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon,(SATAN) and out of the mouth of the beast,(WORLD DICTATOR) and out of the mouth of the false prophet.(FALSE POPE)
14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.(WERE 2 BILLION DIE FROM NUKE WAR)
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.(ITS AT THIS TIME I BELIEVE WHEN AMERICA GETS NUKED BY RUSSIA ON THE WAY TO THE MIDEAST)
DANIEL 11:44 (2ND WAVE OF WW3)
44 But tidings out of the east(CHINA) and out of the north(RUSSIA, MUSLIMS WHATS LEFT FROM WAVE 1) shall trouble him:(EU DICTATOR IN ISRAEL) therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.( 1/3RD OF EARTHS POPULATION)
12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four(DEMONIC WAR) angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.(WORLDWIDE WAR)(TURKEY-IRAQ-SYRIA)(EUPHRATES RIVER CONSISTS OF 760 MILES IN TURKEY,440 MILES IN SYRIA AND 660 MILES IN IRAQ)
15 And the four(DEMONIC WAR) angels were loosed,(WORLDWIDE WAR) which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.(1/3 Earths Population die in WW 3 2ND WAVE-2 billion)
16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand:(200 MILLION MAN ARMY FROM CHINA AND THE KINGS OF THE EAST) and I heard the number of them.
17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.(NUCLEAR BOMBS)
18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.(NUCLEAR BOMBS)
China's Xi says military must be smaller, but more capable-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-December 3, 2016
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's armed forces must be smaller but more capable, and if reforms are not properly carried out the military risks falling behind, affecting its ability to wage war, Chinese state media on Saturday cited President Xi Jinping as saying.Xi unexpectedly announced in September last year that he would cut troop numbers by 300,000, or some 13 percent of the world's biggest military, currently 2.3-million strong.The cuts come at a time of heightened economic uncertainty in China as growth slows and the leadership grapples with painful economic reforms. In October, hundreds of previously demobilized soldiers protested in Beijing.The lay-offs are part of broader reforms to modernize the military, moving away from the old Soviet-era command module and putting more emphasis on high-tech weapons such as stealth jets.Speaking at a two-day meeting on military reform, Xi said militaries must never stick to their old ways and need to change with the times."Otherwise, armed forces that were strong will become outdated, or even collapse at a single blow," Xi said in comments carried by the official Xinhua news agency."History and reality tells us that a military, if it falls behind the times on scale and strength, it will fall behind on war ideology and developments in waging war, maybe forfeiting strategy and right to initiate war," he added.China's military needs to put more focus on technology rather than force of numbers, Xi said."This is a major, inevitable change," Xi told the meeting. "We must seize the opportunity and make breakthroughs."China's military has not fought a war in decades and the government insists has no hostile intents, simply needing the ability to properly defend what is now the world's second-largest economy.But China has rattled nerves around the region with its increasingly assertive stance in the East and South China Seas and ambitious modernization program that includes aircraft carriers and anti-satellite missiles.(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; editing by Susan Thomas)
Russia warns Japan not to expect quick progress on islands-[Associated Press]-VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV-YAHOONEWS-December 3, 2016
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's foreign minister warned Japan Saturday against expecting a quick breakthrough in the territorial dispute between the two nations ahead of President Vladimir Putin's upcoming visit to Japan.Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida that the settlement would require a painstaking work. He added that its rendering in the media "in either a confrontational spirit or by encouraging excessive expectations of a quick progress" wouldn't help.The disagreement over the Pacific islands, seized by the Soviet Union in the final days of World War II, has kept the two countries from signing a peace treaty formally ending their wartime hostilities.Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pushing for progress in the dispute over the islands, called the southern Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan.The sparsely inhabited islands lie just north of the Japanese island of Hokkaido, in an area rich in natural resources, and they also serve as a strategic vantage point for the Russian military. Last month, Japan protested after Russia announced the deployment of new anti-ship missiles on Pacific islands to the Kurils.Abe's two visits to Russia this year have led many to believe Tokyo and Moscow are moving toward a breakthrough, Kishida met with Putin Friday to deliver Abe's message to Putin.Putin said at the start of his meeting with Kishida that Russia is working on Abe's proposals to expand ties between the two countries, but he made no mention of the Kuril islands.Lavrov on Saturday offered a similar indication that Moscow sees a progress in economic ties as key condition for success of talks on the islands."The more we act together, the more broadly we develop our ties in all spheres without exclusion searching for a balance of interests of Russia and Japan ... the easier it will be for us to solve the most difficult problems," he said.Russia has pledged adherence to a 1956 declaration in which the Soviet Union said it was ready to hand two of the four Southern Kuril islands to Japan, but Lavrov underlined that it stipulates that the signing of a peace treaty should come first.
The Latest: Iran and Russia reaffirm alliance in Syria war-[Associated Press]-YAHOONEWS-December 3, 2016
ALEPPO, Syria (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):4:30 p.m.Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says Tehran and Moscow will continue to cooperate in the Syrian war "until the ultimate goal of eradicating terrorism and restoring peace and full security to the region is achieved."The comment was delivered in a Saturday meeting in Tehran between Rouhani and Russia's special envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, Iranian state news agency IRNA reported.In the meeting, Rouhani stressed that the Syrian situation can only be resolved through political dialogue and with full respect for the will of the Syrian people, who he said are the main and ultimate decision makers on the future of the country, according to IRNA.___3:30 p.m.The U.N. envoy for Syria says he'd tell U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to remember "the lesson we learned in Iraq and Libya" when mapping a strategy to end the six-year-old war in Syria.Steffan de Mistura told reporters at a Rome news conference on Saturday that "we need to find a political, inclusive solution that includes those who feel disenfranchised, particularly Sunni communities in Iraq and certainly in Syria."He says whether the Syrian war ends with a "military victory or a non-military (resolution)," the real solution must be a politically inclusive one involving the region.Both the U.S.-led war in Iraq that ended Saddam Hussein's regime and the Western-backed uprising against then-Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi were followed by factional violence and instability, and left those countries fertile for intrusions by the Islamic State group.___3:00 p.m-Russia says it's ready to hold quick talks with the U.S. on the exit of rebels from the besieged city of Aleppo.Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gave him Washington's proposals for settling the situation in Aleppo during their Friday meeting in Rome.Lavrov said Saturday that the U.S. proposals conform to Russia's longtime offers. He added that Moscow is ready to immediately send its experts to Geneva for talks with the U.S. that would coordinate joint action to "ensure the withdrawal of all rebels without exception from eastern Aleppo, ensure humanitarian supplies to the city residents and the restoration of normal life in eastern Aleppo."Russian-backed Syrian government forces have driven the rebels out of several neighborhoods in this week's offensive.___12:30 p.m.Syrian warplanes, artillery and mortar rounds have pounded areas in the eastern rebel-held Aleppo enclave, killing at least three, according to opposition activists.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bombings in the central al-Shaar neighborhood killed three. The Syrian Civil Defense put the death toll at six.The bombings Saturday came hours after government troops made new advances on the rebel-held parts of Aleppo city. State media reported that government and allied troops have moved in on new neighborhoods, pushing one kilometer (0.6 mile) deeper into the enclave from the far east. The new advances tighten the government's grip on the besieged enclave and reduce the territory the rebels hold by more than half.The new advances also secure the airport road east of Aleppo.
Iran condemns US senate vote to extend sanctions-[Associated Press]-AMIR VAHDAT-YAHOONEWS-December 3, 2016
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's foreign minister condemned the U.S. Senate's extension of a piece of anti-Iran legislation, state TV reported Saturday.On Thursday the Senate voted to extend the Iran Sanctions Act by 10 years. The measure will now be sent to outgoing President Barack Obama to sign. Iran's state television quoted Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying that the extension "shows the lack of credibility of the U.S. government."On Friday, Bahram Ghasemi, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, issued a statement condemning the extension of sanctions against Iran and said the act is a clear violation of the landmark nuclear deal reached between Iran and the world powers last year.Ghasemi said, "The U.S. president has agreed within the framework of the nuclear deal that he would use his authority to prevent the legislation and enforcement of any measures in violation of the deal, such as the recent act by the Congress."The nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers lifted a variety of international sanctions in exchange for limitations on the Iranian nuclear program. However the U.S. still maintains its own separate set of sanctions, which are set to expire Dec. 31 if they are not extended.Ali Akbar Salehi, chief of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said on Friday that Iran will carefully consider how to respond. "We will definitely make no emotional decisions but will make a decision based on prudence, vigilance and wisdom," he said.Earlier in November, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, warned that, "Definitely, the Islamic Republic of Iran will react" if the U.S. sanctions were renewed.State TV also reported quoted Iranian president Hassan Rouhani as saying that all signatories to the nuclear deal need to honor their commitments."The deal is a product of seven countries, and one country must not be allowed to undermine the deal based on its own desire," Rouhani said in a meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Lavrentiev.
India, Afghanistan plan air cargo link over Pakistan-[Reuters]-By Sanjeev Miglani-YAHOONEWS-December 3, 2016
AMRITSAR, India (Reuters) - India and Afghanistan are likely to announce an air cargo service on Saturday to help increase trade that both say is stymied because of their tense political relations with Pakistan that lies between them.Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were meeting in the northern Indian city of Amritsar, a short distance from the Pakistan border, for the Heart of Asia conference aimed at stabilizing Afghanistan.Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have gone to war three times and remain bitter foes while ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan have become strained despite their shared religious and cultural identities.Officials say the focus of the air cargo service is to improve landlocked Afghanistan's connectivity to key markets abroad and boost the growth prospects of its fruit and carpet industries while it battles a deadly Taliban insurgency.Afghanistan depends on the Pakistani port of Karachi for its foreign trade. It is allowed to send a limited amount of goods overland through Pakistan into India, but imports from India are not allowed along this route.Afghan director general for macro fiscal policies Khalid Payenda said the potential for trade with India, the largest market in the region, was far greater than allowed by land and so the two countries had decided to use the air route."That would be air cargo between Afghanistan and India. We have a lot of potential for trade on both sides. On our side, it's mostly fruit and dried fruit and potentially through India to other places for products like carpets and others."He said that a joint venture involving an Afghan and an Indian cargo firm would be set up and that the two governments were working to set up infrastructure at Kabul and Delhi airports.An Indian government source attending the meeting in Amritsar said air cargo route details were still being worked out and could include Kandahar as a point of origin for shipping fruit directly to India.Indian foreign ministry official Gopal Baglay, who oversees Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, said several proposals were being discussed to improve Afghanistan's trade and transport links."There have been very many ideas on how to enhance connectivity, overcome current challenges and also expand the trade basket," he said.Pakistan's top foreign policy adviser, Sartaj Aziz, will be attending the conference on Sunday.Ties with India have deteriorated further in recent months after a series of attacks on Indian military bases in the disputed region of Kashmir, which New Delhi says have either been carried out by militants sneaking in from Pakistan or orchestrated by groups based there.Pakistan denies stoking violence in Kashmir and says India must open talks on the future of the revolt-torn Muslim majority region.Indian officials said no talks with Pakistan were scheduled on the sidelines of the Amritsar conference.Afghanistan's ties with Pakistan have also become strained after a series of violent attacks, several of them in the capital Kabul, that it said showed Pakistan had failed to rein in the militant groups operating from its soil."Unless we take a collective measure to fight terrorism, to fight the breeding ground for terrorism, the safe sanctuary, we will not be able to bring peace and stability either to Afghanistan or to anywhere else in the region, including India," said Afghan ambassador to India Shaida M. Abdali.Pakistan says it is itself a victim of terrorism and says India is using its close ties with Afghanistan to stir trouble in its restive Baluchistan province.(Additional reporting by James Mackenzie in KABUL; Editing by Nick Macfie)
U.N. envoy hopes for 'formula' to avoid 'terrible battle' in Aleppo-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-December 3, 2016
ROME (Reuters) - The U.N. envoy for Syria said on Saturday he hoped "some type of formula" could be found to avoid a "terrible battle" in Aleppo, where government forces and their allies are gaining ground in an attack aimed at taking back the whole city from rebels.Staffan de Mistura, speaking at a Rome conference, indicated the battle for Aleppo would not last that much longer, saying "the fact is that Aleppo is not going to stay that long"."I was feeling it would be a terrible battle ending up by Christmas-New Year. I hope the battle will not take place, that there will be some type of formula," he said.(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Writing by Tom Perry in Beirut; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
Fatah picks party officials amid talk of Abbas succession-[AFP]-Sarah Benhaida-YAHOONEWS-December 3, 2016
Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah party on Saturday held a vote for members of its ruling bodies that could give clues to a possible successor to the ageing leader.Fatah, the oldest Palestinian party, is holding its first congress in seven years at a time when Abbas is seeking to quell dissent in the face of internal rivalries.The 81-year-old leader has not publicly designated a successor and Saturday's vote will be an indicator of the strengths and weaknesses of the various factions in Fatah.According to a recent poll, two-thirds of Palestinians are dissatisfied with Abbas and want him to resign.The congress comes with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process at a standstill since a US-led initiative collapsed in April 2014.The 1,400 delegates voted at Abbas's Ramallah headquarters in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and also in the Gaza Strip where several dozen were stranded after Israel refused them passage through its territory to Ramallah.They are to choose 18 members of the party's Central Committee, its highest body. Abbas will appoint another four.The congress will also elect 80 members of the Fatah Revolutionary Council -- the party's parliament. Another 40 council members are directly appointed.Results should emerge on Sunday.Fatah, founded in 1959, is the backbone of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) which the international community considers the representative of all Palestinians.Analysts say the party's rival factions include supporters of Abbas's longtime rival Mohammed Dahlan, currently in exile in the United Arab Emirates.Abbas was elected president in 2005 for what should have been a four-year term.But there have been no elections since then and with his hold on power drawing increasing internal dissent, observers say he is seeking to ready a successor.- 'A different voice' -Social networks and some local news media have during the week published names of candidates in Saturday's vote who they say have prior approval from Abbas and were therefore guaranteed election even before polling opened.Congress spokesman Mahmoud Abu al-Hija denied the allegations.At the opening session on Tuesday members re-elected Abbas party head by consensus.Observers see the reduced number of delegates eligible to vote -- down from more than 2,000 in 2009 -- as part of a move to exclude Dahlan supporters.Dimitri Diliani, elected to the Fatah Revolutionary Council in 2009, has said he was not invited to the congress like dozens of others because "we bring a different voice".He said a planned press conference at a refugee camp near Ramallah on Tuesday with those recently dismissed from the party had been called off after threats "from the security services," including death threats.The previous congress in 2009 brought into the ruling bodies veterans of the Palestinian security services such as Dahlan, Jibril Rajoub and the hugely popular Marwan Barghouthi, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison.This year Barghouthi is running again as well as Rajoub, who as head of the Palestinian Football Association is active on the international stage.So too is Saeb Erakat, Abbas's number two in the PLO hierarchy.Dahlan and his backers have been thrown out of Fatah.Abbas told the congress on Wednesday he remained committed to dialogue with Israel but that it would not come at the expense of Palestinian principles."We are saying to the Israeli people that we want peace that conforms to international resolutions, but it is your government who does not," he said.Israel must "recognise that settlements are illegal", he said, adding "our hand will remain extended for peace".That policy enjoys consensus support in Fatah, which renounced violence several years ago unlike the rival Hamas Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip and follows a policy of armed conflict with Israel.
IS attack breaches militiamen's defenses in northern Iraq-[Associated Press]-QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA-YAHOONEWS-December 3, 2016
BAGHDAD (AP) — An official from Iraq's state-sanctioned Shiite militias says Islamic State militants have breached their defenses at a village west of the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar.Reached by telephone near Tal Afar, the official says the attack on the village of Sharea took place Friday night. Fighting is continuing on Saturday, he added, without giving details.The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.IS, meanwhile, said on Saturday the attack on the village began with a suicide car bombing that killed and wounded "dozens" of militiamen. A "multi-pronged" attack on the village followed, forcing the militiamen to flee, it added.A statement said its fighters seized from the militiamen nine all-terrain vehicles fitted with machineguns, two Humvees, weapons and munitions.
Death toll from last month's IS bombing in Iraq rises to 92-[Associated Press]-MURTADA FARAJ-YAHOONEWS-December 3, 2016
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi officials say the death toll from a Nov. 24 suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State group has risen to 92, including about 40 Iranians.The hospital and police officials said Saturday that another 105 people were wounded in the bombing at a gas station near the city of Hilla, south of Baghdad.The latest death toll is an increase by 19 over the figure announced by officials a day after the attack, which targeted Shiite pilgrims returning home after marking a major religious occasion in the holy city of Karbala.The officials attributed the rise in the death toll to the completion of the identification of bodies burnt beyond recognition.They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
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.
May's Brexit plans face British Supreme Court test-[Reuters]-By Michael Holden-YAHOONEWS-December 3, 2016
LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May's government launches a challenge on Monday against a court ruling that it requires parliamentary approval to start the process of leaving the European Union, a decision that could upset Britain's Brexit plans.If the Supreme Court, the United Kingdom's highest judicial body, dismisses the government appeal it could derail May's timetable for triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and leaving the EU.The government's legal fight comes against a backdrop of claims by some politicians and newspapers that establishment judges want to thwart the Brexit process.It will be the most high-profile and complex case the court has considered since it came into being seven years ago and is due to last for four days. For the first time all its 11 justices will sit on the panel with the verdict due later in January."The case raises difficult and delicate issues about the constitutional relationship between government and parliament," Brenda Hale, the Supreme Court's Vice-President said in a speech last month."What is meant by the exercise of the executive power of the state? We do not have a written constitution to tell us the answer. But I doubt whether many written constitutions would tell us the answer either."If May wins, she can proceed with her plans to invoke Article 50 by the end of March.But if she loses, parliament could in theory block Brexit as most lawmakers (MPs) supported staying in the EU in a referendum in June, though few observers expect such an outcome. Even so, lawmaker approval could open the process to greater scrutiny and delay.Investors believe the greater parliament's involvement the less chance there is of a "hard Brexit" in which tight controls on immigration are prioritized over European single market access. The pound surged after November's High Court ruling.In a sign of how thorny the process could be for May, the opposition Labour Party plans to table an amendment to any Article 50 bill to try to keep market access to the bloc, its leader Jeremy Corbyn told Sky News on Saturday.The addition of amendments could risk derailing May's timetable, although the BBC has reported that the government has prepared a very short bill which would be "bomb-proof" against changes by lawmakers who may try and add conditions to the approval.Meanwhile the pro-EU Liberal Democrat party says it would vote against Article 50 unless there is a new referendum on the final Brexit deal, a concession May is highly unlikely to make.The party won a ninth seat in parliament on Thursday in a local by-election vote.The High Court challenge was brought by investment fund manager Gina Miller with hairdresser Deir Tozetti Dos Santos the second claimant.Other parties will also be allowed to offer legal arguments this week, including the devolved Welsh government, a group of expatriate Britons, and the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain which represents mainly low-paid migrant workers.So too will the Scottish government, which strongly opposes Brexit and has been seeking ways to keep Scotland in the EU.The case hinges on whether the government can use a historical power known as "royal prerogative" to invoke Article 50 without lawmakers' assent.-USEFUL DISTRACTION?-The challengers argued that Britons would inevitably lose rights granted under an act of parliament when leaving the EU, and that under Britain's unwritten constitution such rights could only be taken away with parliamentary approval.The High Court agreed with this, rejecting the government's assertion parliament had given its approval by allowing a referendum and that it was established the executive alone could make or leave international treaties.The government's prepared argument for the Supreme Court is little changed from before. Miller has told Reuters she suspected May might be happy to lose, with the court battle providing a useful distraction to ministerial divisions and Brexit indecision.June's vote to leave the EU exposed deep divisions in Britain, and some pro-Brexit politicians condemned the High Court for flouting democracy. The Daily Mail newspaper called the three senior judges involved "enemies of the people".Miller herself has become a target of hate and has received abuse and death threats.Some lawmakers in May's Conservative Party have also called for Supreme Court President David Neuberger to stand down because his wife had posted anti-Brexit messages on Twitter.One of the court's justices, Brian Kerr, said judges would not be swayed by personal views."That's not to say we don't have personal views, but we are all extremely conscious of the need to set aside our personal views and apply the law as we conceive it to be," he told the BBC last month.Meanwhile, upsetting the media, politicians and some of the public is unlikely to faze Neuberger and the other justices."Parliament no doubt appreciates that the unelected judges sometimes are more easily able to do what is right, but temporarily unpopular, than politicians who need to submit themselves at least every five years to the electorate," Neuberger said in a 2011 speech.(Additional reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Richard Lough)
In San Bernardino, solemn ceremony marks mass shooting-[Reuters]-By Alex Dobuzinskis-YAHOONEWS-December 2, 2016
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (Reuters) - The sound of a bell tolled through loudspeakers on Friday outside a building in Southern California, ringing once for each of the 14 people killed in a mass shooting by Islamist militants one year ago at the site.More than 200 workers at the Inland Regional Center, a complex in San Bernardino, stood with their heads bowed to mark a moment of silence punctuated by the bell tones.Many of the same people were at their jobs on Dec. 2, 2015, when married couple Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 29, opened fire in a conference building at the complex during a holiday party and training session for San Bernardino County employees, who were Farook's co-workers.It was one of the deadliest acts of violence by militants in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks. Twenty-two people were also wounded in San Bernardino."It's a day that marked all of our lives, it destroyed some lives, it destroyed families," Zen Martinsen, 56, a county worker whose friend lost a niece in the shooting, told reporters after the ceremony. Martinsen worked at a different office.The ceremony outside the large conference building, which has sat empty behind a chain link fence since the shooting, was one of a day-long series of events in San Bernardino.A private ceremony was organized for family members of victims and survivors of the attack, according to San Bernardino County spokesman David Wert.The U.S.-born Farook and Malik, a native of Pakistan, died in a shootout with police four hours after the massacre. Authorities have said they were inspired by Islamist extremism."Somebody that would take hate and internalize it to such a degree that they felt that they were going to do something that would promote their agenda at the expense of so many innocent people, I was certainly saddened by that,” San Bernardino Mayor R. Carey Davis said on Friday.FBI investigators are still seeking to answer key questions, such as the location of the married couple's computer hard drive.In another symbolic act on Friday, dozen of bicyclists, including many police officers, participated in a bicycle ride of 14 miles (23 km), one mile for each person killed.In the evening, another San Bernardino event was expected to draw at least 2,000 participants to an arena.(Additional reporting by Patrick Fallon; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Alistair Bell)
North Carolina policeman justified in shooting that sparked protests: prosecutor-[Reuters]-By Greg Lacour-YAHOONEWS-November 30, 2016
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Reuters) - A police officer "acted lawfully" when he shot and killed an armed black man in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September and will not face criminal charges for his use of force, the local district attorney said on Wednesday.Officer Brentley Vinson reasonably believed he and several other officers faced an imminent threat from Keith Scott, 43, who they saw holding a gun when they confronted him in the parking lot of a Charlotte apartment complex, District Attorney Andrew Murray told a news conference."Officers can be heard at least 10 times ordering Mr. Scott to drop the gun," the prosecutor said, referring to videos of the incident. "Mr. Scott did not comply with those commands."The decision not to prosecute Vinson raised fears of fresh protests in Charlotte, North Carolina's largest city and a U.S. banking hub. Scott's death on Sept. 20 sparked a week of sometimes violent demonstrations, making the city another flashpoint in two years of protests over police killings of black men, many of them unarmed, across the country.A group called Charlotte Uprising planned to rally outside the city's police headquarters Wednesday night to "demand justice," according to its Facebook page.Murray and Scott's family urged calm.The family said in a statement they were "profoundly disappointed" by the decision, but they asked "that everyone work together to fix the system that allowed this tragedy to happen in the first place."Scott's family and people who said they witnessed the shooting disputed that he had a weapon. Some said the father of seven was instead holding a book and was shot by a white officer, rather than Vinson, who is black.The district attorney said the two-month investigation disproved those claims.Murray showed surveillance footage from a local convenience store Scott visited minutes before the shooting that showed a bulge in his pants near his right ankle. That was consistent with the holster and gun later described by officers and located at the scene, the prosecutor said.Murray acknowledged that none of the video recordings from the scene offered clear evidence that Scott was holding a gun when he was shot.However, Murray said, "all of the credible and available evidence suggests that he was, in fact, armed." Several self-described eyewitnesses did not actually see the incident, he added.Analysis of all the officers' guns confirmed Vinson was the only one who fired his weapon.The officers described Scott as having a blank stare "as if he was in a trance-like state," consistent with the side effects of a medication Scott's wife confirmed he had been taking, Murray said.The prosecutor said Scott's DNA was found on his gun, which was cocked with the safety off and a round in the chamber.(Additional reporting and writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown)
Ohio State attacker may have been inspired by overseas militants: FBI-[Reuters]-By Alex Dobuzinskis-YAHOONEWS-November 30, 2016
(Reuters) - A Somali immigrant who injured 11 people in an attack at Ohio State University may have been inspired by Islamic State and the late al Qaeda-linked cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, an FBI official told a news conference on Wednesday.The Islamic State militant group on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the attack a day earlier at the Columbus campus. Al-Awlaki was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011.The attacker, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, used a car on Monday to plow into pedestrians at the school and exited the vehicle and stabbed other victims. He was an Ohio State student and a lawful permanent resident of the United States."At this time we are not aware of anyone else being involved in the planning of this attack, but the investigation continues," FBI Special Agent in Charge Angela Byers told reporters."It appears that Artan may have at least been inspired by Anwar Awlaki and the Islamic State in the Levant and we will continue to pursue this as part of the investigation,” she said.The Federal Bureau of Investigation was not aware of Artan as a potential threat to public safety before he carried out the rampage, she said.(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Jonathan Oatis)
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