Thursday, January 19, 2017

 

AN ECLIPSE STOPPED THE SUN FOR BIBLICAL JOSHUA.

JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

STORMS HURRICANES-TORNADOES

LUKE 21:25-26
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)

Worst in 60 years': Snow-covered sidewalks leave Winnipegger stumped-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017

With many of Winnipeg's sidewalks covered by a thick layer of snow, Alan Smith says the city's clearing efforts are the worst he's seen in decades.He says the sidewalks in his St. James neighbourhood haven't been cleared since Dec. 27 — more than 20 days ago."I've lived in the city 60 years and I'd classify this as the worst in 60 years," he said.There was exceptional snowfall in December and the white stuff didn't stop when the new year rolled in.Despite calls to 311, Smith said there's been no improvement to his sidewalks on Ferry Road and they look more like a path through the woods than a city walkway. That means Smith, who uses a cane, is left walking on the street."I went out once last week and that's all I've been out," he said."I don't want to try to walk down the sidewalk and all of these mounds along the road, you have to climb on that to get to the road. So you might as well stay in the house."He said the way the city's been dealing with the snow doesn't make any sense to him, and that efforts to clear streets have moved snow back onto the sidewalk."I just don't know why they kind of kill themselves trying to shovel one, clean one and then they bury something else. Then they have to come back and try to unbury something that they've just buried," he said.Smith said it's Winnipeg and the city should better prepared for the challenges of winter weather."It's your money. It's my money. It's the city's money and they are wasting it on stupidity," he said.A City of Winnipeg spokesperson said Smith's sidewalks had already been scheduled for a re-plow, and the work had begun on Tuesday afternoon.Sidewalks may require re-plowing for a number of reasons, such as weather, street plowing that pushed some snow from the boulevard onto the sidewalk or to widen or touch up an earlier plow, the spokesperson added. The work is done based on inspections.

Icy sidewalks trap people in homes without proper food, advocate says-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017

Some people are sitting at home without proper food because they cannot navigate icy sidewalks, says the head of an advocacy group.Haley Flaro, executive director of Ability New Brunswick, said the persistent pattern of freezing and thawing that much of New Brunswick has experienced this winter makes it difficult for the elderly and people with already restricted mobility to go outside.Flaro said a lack of snow removal services is a problem, and she would welcome more municipal or provincial programs to fund volunteer efforts to remove snow.But she also appealed to neighbours to help those in their communities who may not be able to afford services."It can often mean the difference between having nutritious food at home," Flaro told Shift New Brunswick on Monday."And that's what concerns us, people that have difficulty getting out to pay bills, or get food, or to see others and be in contact with others who help them along."Can become isolated, lonelyFlaro said this time of year can be isolating for many people.Elderly people or those with conditions that hinder their ability to move without the aid of a cane or wheelchair — such as ALS, multiple sclerosis or a stroke — are often stuck inside.Some struggle using public transportation even in the best of weather, but walking to a store on ice is just dangerous, Flaro said."It's really hard to navigate a wheelchair, especially a manual wheelchair, through ice and snow," she said."And we know that there are challenges throughout New Brunswick's urban and rural communities with snow removal."Simply staying inside is not healthy either, she said.It not only prevents people from getting proper food, but also from seeing friends and feeling emotionally well."Getting out into the community is really important," she said.Municipal programs, volunteers needed-Flaro said municipalities do what they can to keep the roads and sidewalks clear of snow and ice. Some even hire people to clear the bus stops, she said.She pointed to Halifax, which has a snow removal program for a certain number of eligible seniors and people with disabilities who need help with their walkways and other shovelling.New Brunswick does not have this program, though Flaro said she has pressed for the province to bring it here.She also appeals to residents and individuals working for service clubs and for volunteers to help out their neighbours."It can't just be a government issue, it's a community issue," she said. "We need some voluntary programs, too. Government can't fund anything and everything."I tell everyone I meet, the best volunteering you can do is to check in on your neighbours that are isolated."

Much of B.C. getting warmer, but McBride walloped by several feet of snow-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017

Although much of the province is getting a welcome reprieve from the frigid winter conditions this week, the story was a little different in McBride, a village southeast of Prince George near the B.C.-Alberta border.There, snowfall Monday night, followed by wind, led to compact, five-foot-tall snowdrifts, closing businesses for the day and canceling school bus service."We only had 23 out of the 70 kids that arrived. Most of them were in town or couldn't go home last night because of the weather," said Kathy Molendyk, a secretary at McBride Secondary."You couldn't see anything [last night] and you could hear throughout the night the wind kept getting worse and worse. … It wasn't until we arrived here we realized the buses weren't coming."While a lack of students meant teachers weren't very busy, Joseph Rich, who owns two snowplows, had a very busy day.Unbeknownst to him, his wife posted his phone number on a public Facebook group for anyone looking for assistance. Rich doesn't snowplow for work but was happy to help, he said."I typically plow for friends and family anyway, but the phone's been ringing off the hook," he said. "There's been people stuck in their driveways, you name it."Molendyk says she's optimistic about the next few days, as the forecast calls for rain as opposed to more snow.With files from CBC Radio One's Radio West.To hear the full story, click on the audio labelled: Much of B.C. getting warmer, but McBride walloped by several feet of snow

Freezing rain cancels school bus service in southern and eastern Ontario-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-January 18, 2017

TORONTO — Thousands of Ontario students who take a bus to school will get to stay home today — many of them for a second day in a row.Icy roads in the Greater Toronto Area and much of eastern Ontario have prompted officials to keep school buses off the roads, although in most cases, the affected schools will be open today.The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board northwest of Toronto has cancelled bus service for Caledon and Dufferin County.Buses serving the Durham District School Board and Durham Catholic District School Board are cancelled today in Zone 1, 2 and 3 and the Peel District School Board says its buses are cancelled in Caledon only.Trillium Lakelands District School Board has parked buses that serve its schools in Haliburton, Muskoka and City of Kawartha while the Simcoe County District School Board has cancelled bus service in its North, South, West and Central weather zones.It's much the same in eastern Ontario, where school bus runs have been cancelled in Hastings, Prince Edward, Lennox and Addington, Peterborough, Northumberland and Frontenac Counties due to slippery road conditions caused by freezing rain.Environment Canada says freezing drizzle and is expected to persist until this afternoon or evening.  (CJOJ)-The Canadian Press.

SIGNS IN THE SUN, MOON AND STARS-CHEMICAL WEAPONS

LUKE 21:11
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences;(BIOLOGICAL/CHEMICAL/NUCLEAR) and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

LUKE 21:25-26
25 And there shall be signs in the sun,(HEATING UP-SOLAR ECLIPSES) and in the moon,(MAN ON THE MOON-LUNAR ECLIPSES) and in the stars;(ASTEROIDS-PROPHECY SIGNS) 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)

4 quakes shake Italy, isolating towns blanketed under snow-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-January 18, 2017

ROME — Four strong earthquakes on Wednesday shook the same region of central Italy that suffered deadly temblors last year, sending quake-rattled residents into panic and further isolating towns that have been buried under more than a meter (3 feet) of snow for days.Premier Paolo Gentiloni said it appeared no one was killed, but that it was a "difficult day" for Italy.The first tremor, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3, hit Montereale at about 10:25 a.m. (0925 GMT), according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A second quake with a magnitude of 5.7 hit the same area about 50 minutes later, and 10 minutes later a third was measured at magnitude 5.3. Several hours later another 5.1-magnitude quake shook the same area.Throughout the day, seismologists registered more than 100 aftershocks.Several towns and hamlets in the quake zone had already sounded the alarm in recent days that they were without electricity and were isolated from highways due to the unusually heavy snowfall that has blanketed much of central Italy.The quakes only made matters worse, knocking out some cellphone service, hampering emergency response and sending quake-weary residents into panic. The Defence Ministry promised to send in army units to help."The situation is really getting extreme," said the mayor of Canzano, Franco Campitelli. "It's snowing hard. We're without electricity. We hope the army gets here soon with snow plows or we risk being completely isolated," he told Sky TG24.The quakes, which had their epicenters in the L'Aquila region, were felt as far away as Rome, 150 kilometres (100 miles) to the southwest.In the Italian capital, the subway was closed for hours as a precaution, parents were asked to pick up their children from some schools, and offices, banks and shops were evacuated temporarily.But elsewhere in Rome at the Vatican, Pope Francis' Wednesday general audience went off without a hitch.In the Umbrian pilgrimage town of Assisi, friars closed the Santa Maria degli Angeli basilica as a precaution. The basilica hosts the famed Porziuncola chapel, birthplace of the Franciscan order of the pope's namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.Three quakes in mountainous central Italy last year killed nearly 300 people in and around the medieval town of Amatrice and caused significant damage to older buildings. The tower of one of Amatrice's churches toppled in Wednesday's quakes.L'Aquila itself suffered a devastating 6.3-magnitude earthquake in 2009 that killed more than 300 people.Mayor Maurizio Pelosi of Capitagno, near the epicenter of Wednesday's quakes, said even before the earth shook many roads into and out of the town were blocked due to the snow.A hotel worker in town, Giuseppe Di Felice, told state-run RAI radio people couldn't get out of their homes. "It's apocalyptic," he said.___AP writer Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed.Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press.

And he said in the sight of Israel: ‘Sun, stand still upon Gibeon'"-Eclipse ‘stopped the sun’ for biblical Joshua, Israeli scientists say-Researchers claim to pinpoint the exact date — October 30, 1207 BCE — and explanation for an astounding event in the Battle in Gibeon-By Times of Israel staff January 16, 2017, 10:35 pm

According to the biblical story, Joshua got help from the sun to earn the Israelites one of their most epic victories. Now, a team of Israeli scientists say they’ve figured out how: The battle coincided with a solar eclipse.Using NASA data, three scientists from Beersheba’s Ben Gurion University, in a newly published paper, dated the eclipse and the battle to October 30, 1207 BCE.Chapter 10 of the Book of Joshua relates that soon after Joshua and the Israelites entered the Promised Land, they waged battle against five armies which laid siege to the Gibeonites. Joshua had promised to protect the Gibeonites, so he led an army and defeated the five kings. Joshua prayed that God help the Israelites in their battle by stopping the sun:“Then Joshua spoke to the Lord on the day when the Lord delivered the Amorites before the children of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel: ‘Sun, stand still [dom] upon Gibeon; and you, Moon, in the valley of Ayalon.'” (Joshua 10:12).The researchers noted other ancient stories where a deity stops the sun, but said the biblical story is unique because it also mentions the role of the moon. That led them to the conclusion that it referred to a solar eclipse, during which the moon passes in between the sun and the earth, blocking the sunlight.They interpreted the word “dom,” which only occurs one other time in the Bible (Psalms 37:7), not as “stand still,” which is how it is traditionally read, but to mean “become dark.”The multi-disciplinary team, led by Dr. Hezi Yitzhak, found that there was only one total solar eclipse that occurred in the region between the years 1500-1000 BCE, when the Israelites are believed to have entered the land. The eclipse allowed them to date the battle precisely to 4:28 p.m. on October 30, 1207 BCE, in their paper, which was published in the most recent edition of Beit Mikra: Journal for the Study of the Bible and Its World.They also described what they said was the precise location of the battle, and traced a 30-kilometer overnight trek that Joshua and his men made to reach Gibeon, north of Jerusalem, from their encampment in Gilgal, on the eastern edge of Jericho.The article did not address the nature of the hailstones that, according to the biblical story, killed many people during the battle.“Not everyone likes the idea of using physics to prove things from the Bible, and I know that it may be interpreted as if you are rationalizing your faith,” Yitzhak told Haaretz on Sunday. “We do not claim that everything written in the Bible is true or took place… but there is also a grain of historical truth that has archaeological evidence behind it.”

Crawling in crustaceans: Scientists study link between warmer ocean, booming lobster population-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-January 18, 2017

Federal scientists are exploring connections between a warming Atlantic ocean and record lobster landings off southwestern Nova Scotia and in the Bay of Fundy.Adam Cook, lead lobster research scientist for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, said those locations have seen the greatest temperature increases too.He said there's clearly a relationship between temperatures and population but other factors are also involved in the remarkable rise in lobster landings, including a decrease in ground fish predators over the same period.In the lab, warmer temps produce more eggs-With a decade-long rise in temperatures, including record highs in 2012 and 2016, researchers at DFO laboratories in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are now studying the impact of warmer temperatures on egg production, egg quality and moult timing."We are seeing often increased egg-development rates, perhaps increased moulting that allows animals to grow faster," said Cook.Economic analysis from the federal government reveals the economic clout of the lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia. Preliminary estimates for 2015-16 show landings nearing 40,000 tonnes and worth more than $500 million.For lobster fishing area 34 — Shelburne to Digby — landing estimates show 28,467 tonnes, worth $417 million. Landings by weight there have nearly tripled in the past 20 years. In area 33 — Halifax to Shelburne — estimates suggest 9,800 tonnes were landed, worth $147 million.Over the past 20 years the increase is even more dramatic, with landings up five-fold.Why science is cool on drawing conclusions-In the lab, researchers are noting increases in lobster production with higher temperatures. But Cook said experiments in the lab do not replicate conditions in the wild."They have the opportunity to go out and choose what temperatures they live in," said Cook.He said even in areas of higher temperatures, there are pockets of warmer water and colder water which can be relatively close together.All signs remain positive for Nova Scotia's lobster population.The most recent 2016 DFO stock assessment for offshore lobster populations in Browns Bank and Georges Bank was presented last week."Things are great out there. We're seeing high abundance levels," said Cook.The 2016 stock assessment for inshore areas in southwestern Nova Scotia lacks catch information, but the environmental survey data is positive."We are also seeing some of the highest levels of landings. Our trawl surveys are still showing high levels."Cook said what's happening is unusual. In recent decades, the lobster populations have hit a plateau, and then grown again. This growth spurt doesn't seem likely to end in the next two or three years.

OZONE DEPLETION JUDGEMENT ON THE EARTH DUE TO SIN

ISAIAH 30:26-27
26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold,(7X OR 7-DEGREES HOTTER) as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people,(ISRAEL) and healeth the stroke of their wound.
27 Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:

MATTHEW 24:21-22,29
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened,(DAY LIGHT HOURS SHORTENED) there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake (ISRAELS SAKE) those days shall be shortened (Daylight hours shortened)(THE ASTEROID HITS EARTH HERE)
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

REVELATION 16:7-9
7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

World temperatures hit new high in 2016 for third year in a row-By Alister Doyle-Jan 18, 2017, 11:34 AM-YAHOONEWS

OSLO (Reuters) - World temperatures hit a record high for the third year in a row in 2016, creeping closer to a ceiling set for global warming with extremes including unprecedented heat in India and ice melt in the Arctic, U.S. government agencies said on Wednesday.The data, supported by findings from other organizations, was issued two days before the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who questions whether climate change has a human cause.Average surface temperatures over land and the oceans in 2016 were 0.94 degrees Celsius (1.69 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th-century average of 13.9C (57.0F), according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).U.S. space agency NASA reported almost identical data, and the UK Met Office and University of East Anglia, which also track global temperatures for the United Nations, said 2016 was the hottest year on record.Temperatures, lifted both by man-made greenhouse gases and a natural El Nino event that released heat from the Pacific Ocean last year, beat the previous record in 2015, when 200 nations agreed a plan to limit global warming. That peak had in turn eclipsed 2014."We don't expect record years every year, but the ongoing long-term warming trend is clear," said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.Global temperature records date back to the 1880s. Temperatures are unlikely to set a new peak in 2017 after the El Nino faded, even as greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels keep building up in the atmosphere, led by China and the United States.Piers Forster, climate expert at the University of Leeds, said this year was likely to be cooler. "However, unless we have a major volcanic eruption, I expect the record to be broken again within a few years," he said. Ash from big eruptions can dim sunlight.-NATURAL DISASTERS-Among last year's extreme weather events, wildfires in Alberta were the costliest natural disaster in Canada's history while Phalodi in west India recorded a temperature of 51C (123.8°F) on May 19, a national record.North America also had its warmest year on record, the Great Barrier Reef off Australia suffered severe damage from rising temperatures, and sea ice in both the Arctic Ocean and around Antarctica is at record lows for mid-January.At a conference in Paris in late 2015, governments agreed a plan to phase out fossil fuels this century and shift to renewable energies such as wind and solar power.They agreed to limit warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6F) above pre-industrial times, while pursuing efforts for 1.5C (2.7F). By that yardstick, the rise stood at about 1.1C (2.0F) in 2016."Long-term indicators of human-caused climate change reached new heights in 2016,” Petteri Taalaas, head of the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organisation said, referring to rising levels of carbon dioxide and methane.Trump, who has described climate change as a hoax, has threatened to cancel the Paris Agreement and shift to exploiting cheap domestic coal, oil and gas. At a meeting in Marrakesh days after Trump's victory, however, almost 200 nations said it was an "urgent duty" to combat climate change."The hottest year on record is such a clear warning siren that even President-elect Trump cannot ignore," said Mark Maslin, Professor of Climatology at University College London.(Reporting By Alister Doyle; editing by John Stonestreet)

DANIEL 7:23-24
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast(THE 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.(TR BLOCKS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise:(10 NATIONS) and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(BE HEAD OF 3 KINGS OR NATIONS).

May's Brexit speech was no war declaration, says Malta PM By Peter Teffer-JAN 18,17-EUOBSERVER

Brussels, Today, 15:55-British prime minister Theresa May's confirmation that she intended to pull the UK out of the single market was "very welcome" and helped to clarify the issue, the Maltese prime minister said on Wednesday (18 January).Joseph Muscat, whose country holds the rotating six-month EU presidency, told journalists at a press conference that May's long-awaited speech on Tuesday was “a statement of clarity”.Referring to British press articles, Muscat said he “did not see in the prime minister's words, when I heard her first-hand, the sort of declaration of war that some media are depicting it was”.The Times had summarised the speech as: “May to EU: give us fair deal or you'll be crushed”, while the Guardian put the title “May's Brexit threat to Europe” on its front page.May had said she would rather have no deal than “a bad deal for Britain”. She said that if the remaining EU countries tried to punish Britain for leaving, that would be “an act of calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe”.Muscat's positive response was mirrored by German chancellor Angela Merkel, who said the speech had "given us a clear impression of how Great Britain wants to proceed", according to the Reuters news agency.The Maltese PM noted that May said the UK would not aim to stay in the EU's single market.That was “very welcome”, because that aligns with the remaining 27 EU countries' position that the four freedoms – of people, capital, labour, and goods – are indivisible, he said.“It respects our position that our four freedoms are a package,” said Muscat at a press conference in Strasbourg, held after he addressed the plenary of the European Parliament."Yesterday’s statement by my colleague and friend, prime minister Theresa May helps clarify the priorities of the British government during the impending negotiations."He announced that once the United Kingdom has triggered Article 50 of the EU treaty, which will eventually lead to Brexit, the remaining 27 member states would hold a special summit.The EU leaders would convene “within a short period of time, possibly four to five weeks from notification, with the aim of establishing the guidelines that will serve as a mandate to the Commission to negotiate”.Part of those guidelines will be whether the Brexit talks will also include the future trade relations between the UK and the EU, or whether Britain needs to wrap up exit talks first before it can negotiate on a new trade treaty, Muscat said.He noted he was “very impressed” with the preparations done by the commission's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and his team.Barnier's boss, commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, sat alongside Muscat during the press conference.He said talks would be “very, very difficult”, but that the EU is “not in a hostile mood” towards Britain.Later on Wednesday, EU Council president Donald Tusk said May's speech "proves that the unified position of 27 Member States on the indivisibility of the Single Market was finally understood and accepted by London".Tusk also said "we took note of the warm and balanced words of Prime Minister May on European integration, which were much closer to the narrative of Winston Churchill than that of the American President-elect Trump".

EU parliament swerves right with Tajani's election By Aleksandra Eriksson-JAN 18,17-EUOBSERVER

STRASBOURG, Today, 08:09-Antonio Tajani, a former EU commissioner and ally of Italy's one-time prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, was elected president of the European Parliament on Tuesday (17 January) after liberals and eurosceptics rallied behind him.The Italian candidate from the centre-right EPP group won the backing of 351 MEPs in the fourth round of the vote, against fellow Italian Gianni Pittella, from the centre-left S&D, who gathered 282 votes.Tajani's win marks the end of a time-honoured cooperation between the parliament's two largest groups.It also gives the EPP the leadership in three EU institutions, along with Jean-Claude Juncker at the commission and Donald Tusk at the EU council.Tajani's EPP and Pittella's S&D are used to striking deals at the beginning of each parliament term to take the most important decisions together, in order to reduce the influence of of the other political groups.Part of the so-called grand coalition was to divide the presidency post among the two for half the term each.But Pittella, the S&D group leader, broke off the agreement by declaring himself the "progressive candidate" in the race, when the EPP was due to have its turn.-New alliances-Instead, the EPP had to forge alliances with the liberal Alde and eurosceptic ECR groups to secure the presidency.Just hours before the vote, it formally entered a "pro-European coalition" with Alde, under which the two groups committed to work together on eurozone governance, security, migration and jobs.EPP expressed its backing for a number of key liberal demands, such as EU reform through a convention; a new mechanism to ensure the rule of law in EU member states; and a stronger role for the parliament in the upcoming Brexit negotiations, where Alde leader Guy Verhofstadt is the parliament's coordinator.ECR, meanwhile, threw its weight behind Tajani in the fourth round in exchange for "a clear set of political commitments", according to a statement on the group's Twitter account.It's unclear what those demands are. Contrary to the deal with Alde, they were not put down in writing.The group, whose biggest delegations hail from the British Conservatives and Poland's ruling Law of Justice (PiS), also said they refused to endorse the pro-European coalition, "as many aspects represent failed policies of the past".UK prime minister Theresa May, who leads the Conservatives, said on Tuesday she wanted the UK to leave the EU single market, and PiS has been found by the European Commission and the Council of Europe to undermine the rule of law in Poland.It remains to be seen how the EPP will balance the views of their new allies, and whether this will force them to seek the support of their socialist former partners.-A president 'for all'-At the direct request of ECR, Tajani distanced himself from the EPP-Alde deal, saying solutions to the eurozone, refugee and security crises "are not found in more and more Europe, neither are they found in blowing up the European project"."It is not for the European Parliament president to push a political agenda. That's up to you, members of the European Parliament. You decide together the direction in which we go and how we give shape to these changes," he said in an emailed statement which was issued before the final round of voting.He committed himself to being a neutral president, who listens to all the groups and does not predetermine the outcome of decisions.But the head of the French EPP delegation, Franck Proust, told a group of journalists that the parliament was likely skew to the right."In the end, this rupture of respect [by the social democrats] somewhere serves us. Compromise with the socialists was always very complicated, as we don't really share the same philosophy and fundamental values," he said."I think we can have more of a common vision with ECR and liberals. Maybe this way we can better reach what Europeans want on defence, migration and security, and employment," he added, while admitting it would take "nuances" to work on a pro-European agenda with eurosceptics.Polish MEPs also backed cooperation, even if it meant closer cooperation in Brussels and Strasbourg between arch-rival centre-right Civic Platform and PiS parties."It's a different dynamic in the European Parliament. We are not really governing together, we are rather all representing the interests of Polish citizens," said Civic Platform's Michal Boni."The Civic Platform will swallow this, because we will work together for the benefit of the European Union," ECR's Ryszard Czarnecki added.-Socialists take opposition role-Meanwhile, S&D members did not seem unhappy of the end of the grand coalition, even if they lost the presidency and will likely see their influence in the parliament reduced."The group is very united behind our leader Gianni Pittella. We all support his efforts to break off the grand coalition," said French socialist Christine Revault d'Allonnes-Bonnefoy."This election has set off a broader movement. Many of my socialist colleagues have felt that our cooperation with the EPP had reached a dead end," Swedish social democrat Jytte Guteland added. "In our view, they have become increasingly self-confident and arrogant in the negotiations, and there is increased frustration that we aren't meeting as equals."The S&D group still hopes to strike progressive alliances with MEPs from the green and radical left GUE/NGL groups, as well as individual liberals disgruntled with EPP cooperation. Should those not suffice to form majorities, the socialists would be able to distance themselves from for the current EU policies, for which they were until now partly responsible."We will sit down with the socialists and greens and see where we can stand together on trade, social policy and migration," said Gabriele Zimmer, leader of the GUE/NGL group. But she warned that the progressive block was far from a done deal."Socialists have been supporting austerity for years. Our cooperation is not something we will settle in a backroom agreement, it must evolve on the base of common trust and experiences."How the new parliament works in practice will be tested on Wednesday, when it elects its vice-presidents and "quaestors" - the MEPs who look after the financial and administrative interests of their colleagues.

SEX SINS

1 CORINTHIANS 6:9,14-18
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

GALATIONS 5:19-21
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Risky behaviour not only cause of syphilis outbreaks, new study proposes-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017

A new study from B.C. researchers is proposing a biological reason behind the "astounding" increase in syphilis cases, saying high-risk sexual behaviour doesn't explain the outbreaks that are happening.Syphilis outbreaks have been on the rise worldwide, including B.C. and many other locations in Canada — primarily among men who have sex with men, many of whom are taking antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV, the study states.Past research has speculated new, highly effective HIV treatments had encouraged more high-risk sexual behaviour.However, the study's lead author said that didn't make sense as a sole explanation,  because other sexually-transmitted disease such as chlamydia and gonorrhea weren't rising as quickly."That led me to believe there must be something else going on," said Michael Rekert, clinical professor in the University of B.C.'s School of Population and Public Health, in a news release.The study, published this week in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, proposes another possible cause — that the HIV therapy itself may make patients more vulnerable to syphilis."What we are hypothesizing is there is an additional reason, besides behaviour, for why we are seeing this increase in syphilis cases," said Caroline Cameron, a University of Victoria microbiologist and co-author of the study.In B.C. for example, from 2005 to 2014, syphilis cases rose 90.6 per cent, much more than chlamydia (39.9 per cent) and gonorrhea (63.8 per cent).-Biology vs. behaviour-The paper hasn't demonstrated HIV therapy has this effect on syphilis but examines the case for it.One part of that is looking at the microbiology: whether there's a plausible biological mechanism for the HIV treatment, known as highly active anti-retroviral therapy, or HAART, to affect how the body responds to syphilis."What we're hypothesizing is it's altering the immune response ... in a way that is increasing susceptibility to the pathogen," said Cameron. "It warrants further study."The authors are clear: HAART drugs are life-saving for people with HIV and shouldn't be stopped even if they make someone more vulnerable to syphilis.But it's important to explore the connection, with laboratory tests and other work, said Cameron."It's important for people to know that there is this risk, if it's real," she said.She says people at risk could be screened more regularly for sexually-transmitted infections or even have tailored therapies based on the impact on the person's immune system.With files from 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

WORLD TERRORISM

GENESIS 6:11-13
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.

GENESIS 16:11-12
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)

ISAIAH 14:12-14
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)

JOHN 16:2
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)

Suicide blast kills more than 40 in northern Mali military camp-[Reuters]-By Souleymane Ag Anara-YAHOONEWS-January 18, 2017

GAO, Mali (Reuters) - Militants killed at least 42 people and wounded more than 100 others when they detonated an explosives-laden vehicle inside a military camp in Mali's northern city of Gao on Wednesday, the deadliest suicide bomb attack in the country's history.The attack struck at the heart of still fragile efforts by the government and rival armed groups to work together to quell the violence that has plagued the restive desert north for years.The bombers forced their way into the camp shortly before 9 a.m. (0900 GMT), running over several people before blowing up the vehicle just as 600 soldiers were assembling, said Radhia Achouri, a spokeswoman Mali's U.N. peacekeeping force MINUSMA.A Reuters reporter at the site soon after the blast saw dozens of bodies lying on the ground alongside the wounded as ambulances rushed to the camp and helicopters circled overhead."I've just left the hospital where there were bodies ripped to pieces and wounded piled up," said Gao resident Kader Toure.President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita declared three days of national mourning.State media put the death toll at 47, including five suicide bombers, and army spokesman Diarran Kone said that 115 people were also wounded.-"SYMBOLIC ATTACK"-The camp housed government soldiers and members of rival armed groups who were due soon to begin conducting joint patrols under a U.N.-brokered peace deal aimed at easing local tensions so the government could focus on fighting Islamist militants.A French-led military intervention in 2013 drove back insurgent groups, some with links to al Qaeda, that had seized northern Mali a year earlier.But Islamist militants still operate in the region and conduct frequent attacks."The significance of this attack is that it strikes at the very heart of the Algiers peace agreement," said Sean Smith, a West Africa analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, referring to the U.N.-brokered accord.French interior minister Bruno Le Roux described the blast as a "highly symbolic attack" in an area visited only days ago by President Francois Hollande."This attack does fit into the idea that Islamists would attack anyone who works with the government," a diplomat told Reuters.Gao is a dusty town of 50,000 people on the banks of the Niger river. The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali is the world's most dangerous, and its offices in Gao were flattened by a truck bomb in December.In addition to the 13,000-strong U.N. force, France also has troops in the region.Before Wednesday's blast, the worst militant attack on the former French colony was a November 2015 assault by jihadist gunmen on a Radisson hotel in the capital, Bamako, in which 20 people were killed.(Reporting by Adama Diarra and Tiemoko Diallo in Bamako, Nellie Peyton in Dakar and David Lewis in Nairobi; Writing by Ed Cropley; Editing by Joe Bavier and Richard Lough)

Iraq announces 'liberation' of east Mosul-[AFP]-W.G. Dunlop-YAHOONEWS-January 18, 2017

Bartalla (Iraq) (AFP) - Iraqi forces have retaken control of east Mosul from the Islamic State group, commanders said on Wednesday, three months after a huge offensive against the jihadist bastion was launched.Elite forces have in recent days entered the last neighbourhoods on the eastern side of Mosul, on the left bank of the Tigris River that runs through the city.Speaking at a news conference in Bartalla, a town east of Mosul, Staff General Talib al-Sheghati, who heads the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), announced "the liberation... of the left bank".Sheghati added however that while the east of the city could be considered under government control, some work remained to be done to flush out the last holdout jihadists.The "important lines and important areas are finished," he said, adding that "there is only a bit of the northern (front) remaining."Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said "the efforts of our brave forces were successful in the shape of the completion of the main plan of clearing the left side.Operations were ongoing to clear some parts of east Mosul, including some forested areas along the Tigris, Abadi said in a statement.Wednesday's announcement marks the end of a phase in the operation launched on October 17 to retake Mosul, Iraq's second city and the last major urban stronghold IS has in the country.The offensive, Iraq's largest military operation in years with tens of thousands of fighters involved, began with a focus on sparsely populated areas around Mosul.CTS entered the city proper in November and encountered tougher than expected resistance from IS, whose fighters launched a huge number of suicide car bombs against advancing Iraqi forces.The going was tough for weeks but a fresh push coordinated with other federal forces and backed by the US-led coalition was launched in December and yielded quick and decisive gains.- Narrow streets -The west bank of Mosul is a bit smaller but is home to the narrow streets of the Old City -- impassable to most military vehicles -- and to some of the city's traditionally most dyed-in-the-wool jihadist neighbourhoods.Brigadier General Yahya Rasool also stressed that despite Sheghati's announcement, there would be more fighting in east Mosul in the coming days."Sheghati is the head of CTS and he was talking about areas under CTS control. There are some neighbourhoods that are still being liberated and that could take a few days," he told AFP.Mohammed Hayal, a resident of Al-Arabi neighbourhood in northeastern Mosul, said his part of the city was not yet free of IS fighters."Daesh members are still in my neighbourhood and firing mortar rounds on liberated areas," he told AFP by phone.All the bridges across the Tigris in Mosul have been either blown up by IS or destroyed by coalition air strikes, which has made it very difficult for IS to resupply its fighters in the city's east.It will also make it difficult for elite Iraqi forces to attack the west bank without redeploying to other fronts west of the river that have been largely static for weeks.Interior ministry and federal police forces have held positions just south of Mosul airport, which lies on the southern edge of the city and west of the Tigris, since November.Punching into densely populated areas however and confronting intense resistance from IS in urban environments is a type of operation which is left largely to CTS.- Blow to IS -The fighting inside Mosul has been complicated by the continued presence of much of its population, which did not or could not flee when Iraqi forces started advancing.According to the United Nations, around 150,000 people are currently displaced as a result of the three-month-old offensive.Mosul lies around 350 kilometres (220 miles) northwest of Baghdad in the country's north and had an estimated population of close to two million when IS overran it in early June 2014.Jihadist supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed a "caliphate" straddling parts of Iraq and Syria from a mosque on the west bank of Mosul days later.The full recapture of Mosul by government forces would effectively end IS's days as a land-holding force in Iraq and deal a death blow to its claim of running a state.Observers have said they expect a short lull in operations after east Mosul is brought fully under control."Mosul is already effectively surrounded, and IS has no choice but to fight on or surrender in the city and its surroundings," said Omar Lamrani, Middle East analyst with US intelligence firm Stratfor."Nevertheless, that does not mean that a deadly insurgency will not continue after Mosul is retaken," he said.

Were opportunities for clues from MH370 debris missed?-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-January 18, 2017

SYDNEY, Australia — Three nations shelled out around $160 million and years' worth of work on the underwater search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The result: No plane. The only tangible — and arguably most important — clues into what happened to the aircraft have come courtesy of ordinary citizens, who bore the costs themselves.The deep-sea sonar search for the vanished Boeing 777 was suspended on Tuesday after officials conceded defeat following the most expensive, complex aviation search in history.But while search crews spent years trawling in futility through a remote patch of the Indian Ocean, people wandering along beaches thousands of kilometres (miles) away began spotting pieces of the plane that had washed ashore. Those pieces have provided crucial information to investigators and prompted some to question whether Malaysia, Australia and China — who funded the hunt for the underwater wreckage — missed key opportunities by failing to organize coastal searches for the remnants that drifted to distant shorelines."It would have been good to have been getting people looking for debris," said David Griffin, an Australian government oceanographer who worked on an analysis of how the debris drifted in a bid to pinpoint where the plane crashed. "I think that was a job that fell between the cracks of whose responsibility it was."Since the plane vanished on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, more than 20 pieces of debris confirmed or believed likely to have come from the aircraft have turned up on beaches along the east coast of Africa and on islands including Madagascar. All of the parts have been found by local residents and tourists who stumbled upon them, and by Blaine Gibson, an American amateur sleuth who launched his own, self-funded hunt for debris after working with oceanographers to estimate where bits of the plane may have ended up.Several family members of Flight 370's passengers asked officials to launch a search along the coastlines for parts of the plane. When their pleas went unheeded, they banded together and travelled to Madagascar to encourage residents to keep an eye out for more debris. The family members, who covered all their travel expenses themselves, even offered a potential reward to anyone who found a piece of Flight 370.Grace Nathan, a Malaysian whose mother was on board Flight 370, was among those who made the trip to Madagascar last month. She is deeply frustrated that the families felt compelled to take on the task themselves, and that the underwater search yielded nothing."Every single clue to date has been found by private individuals by chance," Nathan said. "Not a single piece of hard evidence has been found by the official search."Nathan believes the governments' failure to search for coastal debris may have resulted in missed clues."They should have done more to initiate something like what we did," she said. "We are laypeople. We don't have the kind of reach they have, we don't have the kind of contacts that they have."Initially, experts believed that the pieces washing ashore would be virtually useless to the investigation. Too much time had passed, they argued, and ocean currents are too volatile to make it possible to trace the pieces back to their origin.Yet the recovered parts of the plane provided valuable insight into what happened to it. They confirmed, firstly, that the aircraft went down somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Before the first part — a piece of airplane wing known as a flaperon — was discovered on Reunion Island, farther east of Madagascar, in 2015, some people continued to insist the plane had flown north into Asia, rather than heading south. The flaperon effectively killed that theory and bolstered the investigators' interpretation of satellite data that indicated the plane had ended up somewhere along a vast arc slicing across the Indian Ocean.A wing flap that washed up in Tanzania also gave investigators clues into what happened in the final moments of the plane's flight. No one knows why the aircraft veered so far off-course after takeoff and turned south into the Indian Ocean, though Malaysian officials have said the plane's erratic movements after takeoff were consistent with deliberate actions. Investigators operated on the theory that the plane was on autopilot in its final hours before it ran out of fuel and plummeted into the sea.A key question was whether anyone was still at the controls when the plane hit the water, which would affect how far the plane could glide after running out of fuel. Critics who favour the theory that Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah hijacked the plane say he could have made a controlled ditch at sea in order to minimize debris and help the plane disappear as completely as possible.But an analysis of the wing flap by Australian investigators suggested it had not been deployed when it hit the water. A pilot attempting a soft landing would have extended the flaps.The flaperon and other debris also helped officials narrow down the potential search zone. Griffin, the Australian oceanographer, set replicas of the flaperon adrift in the ocean, measuring how fast they travelled and noting how much the wind influences their rate of speed. He and his team then ran computer simulations of how the aircraft parts could have drifted, giving them an idea of where they originated. Late last year, investigators coupled that drift information with a fresh analysis of other data on the plane's movements and concluded that search crews were looking in the wrong part of the Indian Ocean. The investigators recommended crews instead search an area to the north, where they now believe the plane may lie.But Australia, Malaysia and China have nixed that idea, saying they won't relaunch the search until they have credible evidence pointing to the plane's exact location.That decision has stunned Gibson, the American who has found MH370 debris. To him, the debris that has been found is the most credible evidence investigators have."Debris is the key. Debris is the main clue. Those are actually pieces of the plane," he says. "The debris is really narrowing it down better than it's ever been narrowed. ... There's no excuse for them to not go search that area."Kristen Gelineau, The Associated Press.

Tax cuts over carbon pricing up to province, Justin Trudeau says-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he'll leave it up to the New Brunswick government to decide whether to cut other taxes to make up for a carbon-pricing system likely to be announced this year.At first, Trudeau touted his policy as one that will return carbon-price revenue to Canadians "who are the most vulnerable and the most in need of extra support."But when he was asked about his Liberal ally, Premier Brian Gallant, choosing to keep most carbon-price revenue to spend on new environmental programs, Trudeau said that was up to the province."The issue we have on the federal side is to ensure revenues collected from the pricing of carbon remain in the province that collects them," the prime minister told reporters at a news conference in Fredericton."It'll be up to the provincial government to determine how to best help people through this important transition."Trudeau said he met with Gallant on Tuesday morning to discuss a range of issues, including how a federal phase-out of coal use for generating electricity would affect NB Power's Belledune generating station.The federal phase-out means coal can't be used after 2030 unless the province negotiates a deal with Ottawa that would see equivalent emissions reductions happen elsewhere.​Gallant's government has also raised the idea of finding an alternate fuel to burn at Belledune, including natural gas.Trudeau said Tuesday he wants to ensure the coal phase-out meets Canada's climate change goals "and also ensures New Brunswickers … don't get unduly impacted."That's why he said his government would ensure that any revenue from carbon pricing would be "returned" to the most vulnerable.-Other tax cuts ruled out-But Gallant's government hasn't committed to do that.Its climate change plan, unveiled in December, says only that the province "will take into consideration impacts on low-income families" as well as on "trade-exposed and energy-intensive industries" when it figures out "how to reinvest proceeds."Gallant has ruled out cutting other taxes and has also abandoned the phrase "revenue-neutral" in talking about how his carbon-pricing system will work.And the premier said in the legislature in November that "all those revenues that would be raised would go back into the economy. They will be invested in things that will help us be as energy efficient as possible."That includes energy-efficiency programs and other measures that would see government spending increase.-Carbon tax versus cap-and-trade-The New Brunswick government hasn't decided yet whether to adopt a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, which would see emitters that exceed a government-set cap forced to buy credits from other emitters that stay below the cap.Gallant says that announcement will likely come this year.Trudeau's government says it will impose a federal carbon-pricing system on any province that doesn't adopt its own scheme by 2018.The Opposition Progressive Conservatives say they oppose a carbon tax. But the party's environment critic Brian Kierstead said in December it was "something we could look at" if the Liberals lowered other taxes by the same amount.

More clemency coming after Obama shortens Manning's sentence-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-January 18, 2017

WASHINGTON — Embracing his clemency powers like never before, President Barack Obama is planning more commutations in his final days in office after a dramatic move to cut short convicted leaker Chelsea Manning's sentence.Obama became the president to have granted more commutations than any other when he announced Tuesday that Manning will be freed in May, almost 30 years ahead of schedule. Manning, the transgender Army intelligence analyst who leaked more than 700,000 U.S. documents, was one of 273 people receiving clemency on a single day.Receiving pardons from the president were retired Gen. James Cartwright, who was charged with making false statements during another leak probe, and San Francisco Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, sentenced in 1996 on tax evasion charges. Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera's 55-year sentence was commuted.But Obama is not finished. The White House said Obama would grant more commutations Thursday — the day before his presidency ends — though officials said those would focus on drug offenders and would not likely include any other famous names.Neil Eggleston, Obama's White House counsel, said the individuals were learning "that our nation is a forgiving nation, where hard work and a commitment to rehabilitation can lead to a second chance, and where wrongs from the past will not deprive an individual of the opportunity to move forward."The actions are permanent, and cannot be undone by President-elect Donald Trump.With his last-minute clemency for Manning and Cartwright, Obama appeared to be softening what has been a hard-line approach to prosecuting leakers.Manning has been serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified government and military documents to WikiLeaks, along with some battlefield video. She was convicted in military court of violating the Espionage Act and other offences and spent more than six years behind bars. She asked Obama last November to commute her sentence to time served.Her case has pitted LGBT rights activists, who warned about her mental health and treatment as a transgender woman living in a men's prison, against national security hawks who said she did devastating damage to U.S. interests. The former cheered Obama's move, while the latter called it an outrageous act that set a dangerous precedent.Obama did not grant a pardon to another prominent leaker, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, whom the U.S. has been unable to extradite from Russia. Snowden hasn't formally applied for clemency, though his supporters have called for it. Yet the White House drew a distinction between the unapologetic Snowden and Manning. Manning, officials noted, has expressed remorse and served several years already for her crime.Known as Bradley Manning at the time of her 2010 arrest, Manning came out as transgender after being sentenced. She was held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where she attempted suicide twice last year, according to her lawyers. Manning has acknowledged leaking the documents, but has said she did it to raise public awareness about the effects of war on civilians."We are all better off knowing that Chelsea Manning will walk out of prison a free woman," said Chase Strangio, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing Manning, adding that Obama's action could "quite literally save Chelsea's life."House Speaker Paul Ryan called the move "just outrageous," and added, "Chelsea Manning's treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation's most sensitive secrets."Obama's press secretary, Josh Earnest, told CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday that Obama believes Manning received "an appropriate punishment." Earnest said the time Manning had served was consistent with the sentence imposed on others who committed similar crimes 'but got less attention for committing them."Manning, Lopez and many of the others will be released in May, in line with standard procedure allowing a period for re-entry. Obama also pardoned hotelier Ian Schrager, who was sentenced in 1980 to 20 months for tax evasion.Commutations reduce sentences being served, but don't erase convictions. Pardons generally restore civil rights, such as voting, often after a sentence has been served.Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had pleaded guilty in October to making false statements during an investigation into a leak of classified information about a covert cyberattack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Prosecutors said Cartwright falsely told investigators that he did not provide information contained in a news article and in a book by New York Times journalist David Sanger, and said he also misled prosecutors about classified information shared with another journalist, Daniel Klaidman.The Justice Department sought a sentence of two years, saying employees of the U.S. government are entrusted each day with sensitive classified information.Puerto Ricans had long demanded the release of Lopez, who was sentenced to 55 years in prison for his role in a violent struggle for independence for the U.S. island territory. Lopez had belonged to the ultranationalist Armed Forces of National Liberation, which has claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings at public and commercial buildings in U.S. cities during the 1970s and 1980s.The White House noted that absent a commutation, the 74-year-old Lopez likely would have died in prison.Obama's commutation for Manning also raised fresh questions about the future of another figure involved in the Army leaker's case: Julian Assange.WikiLeaks had earlier pledged, via tweet, that its founder would agree to U.S. extradition if Obama granted clemency to Manning. Holed up for more than four years at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Assange has refused to meet prosecutors in Sweden, where he's wanted on a rape allegation, fearing he would be extradited to the U.S. to face espionage charges if he leaves the embassy.But the Justice Department has never announced any indictment of Assange. WikiLeaks lawyer Melinda Taylor said U.S. and British authorities refuse to say whether the U.S. has requested extradition. Though she praised the commutation for Manning, Taylor made no mention of Assange's earlier promise to agree to extradition.White House officials said neither Assange's fate nor separate concerns about WikiLeaks' role in Russian hacking of the election factored into the decision to commute Manning's sentence. The officials briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.Any action that Justice Department officials may take regarding Assange "is something that they would do independent of the White House," Earnest told CNN.___Associated Press writers Vivian Salama, John Hanna, Darlene Superville, Kathleen Hennessey and Danica Cota contributed to this report.___This story has been corrected to show that Manning was intelligence analyst, not officer.Josh Lederman And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press.

Trump to take handful of executive actions on Day One - transition-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-January 18, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump may take four or five executive actions on Friday, the day he is sworn into office, spokesman Sean Spicer said."He's got a few of them probably in the area of four or five that we're looking at for Friday," some of them logistical, Spicer said Wednesday at a news briefing. "Then there are some other ones that I expect him to sign with respect to a couple of issues that have been high on his priority list."Spicer did not elaborate. Trump had promised to take executive actions immediately after taking office to counter some of the policies of Democratic President Barack Obama.(Reporting by Steve Holland and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Tom Brown)



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