Wednesday, January 18, 2017
MH370 SEARCHERS END SEARCH IN THE OCEAN AFTER 2 YEARS-10 MONTHS AFTER DISAPPEARING.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Underwater search for missing Malaysian flight ends without a trace-[Reuters]-By Tom Westbrook and Jonathan Barrett-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017
SYDNEY (Reuters) - The deep-sea search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 ended on Tuesday without any trace being found of the plane that vanished in 2014 with 239 people on board, the three countries involved in the search said.The location of Flight MH370 has become one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries since the plane, a Boeing 777, disappeared en route to Beijing from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur."Despite every effort using the best science available ... the search has not been able to locate the aircraft," Malaysian, Australian and Chinese authorities said in a statement."The decision to suspend the underwater search has not been taken lightly nor without sadness."The last search vessel left the area on Tuesday, the three countries said, after scouring the 120,000-sq-km (46,000-sq-mile) area of the Indian Ocean sea floor that has been the focus of the almost-three-year search.Malaysia, Australia and China agreed in July to suspend the $145 million search if the plane was not found, or if new evidence that might offer a clue as to its whereabouts was not uncovered, once that area had been checked.Australia last month dismissed an investigators' recommendation to shift the search further north, saying that no new evidence had emerged to support that.Since the crash, there have been competing theories over whether one, both or no pilots were in control, whether it was hijacked - or whether all aboard perished and the plane was not controlled at all when it hit the water.Adding to the mystery, investigators believe someone may have deliberately switched off the plane's transponder before diverting it thousands of miles out over the Indian Ocean.A next-of-kin support group called Voice 370 said in a statement investigators could not leave the matter unsolved."In our view, extending the search to the new area defined by the experts is an inescapable duty owed to the flying public in the interest of aviation safety," Voice 370 said.Most of the passengers were from China.-TRACES-A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, asked about the end of the search, said China placed great importance on the search and had actively participated in it alongside Australia and Malaysia. The spokeswoman did not elaborate.Malaysia Airlines (MAS) said the hunt had been "thorough and comprehensive" and it "stands guided by the decision of the three governments to suspend the search"."MAS remains hopeful that in the near future, new and significant information will come to light and the aircraft would eventually be located," it said.Boeing said it accepted the conclusion of the authorities leading the search.Malaysia and Australia have contributed the bulk of search financing.Malaysia holds ultimate responsibility given Malaysia Airlines is registered there. The aircraft is thought to have crashed west of Australia, placing it in its maritime zone of responsibility.Grace Nathan, whose mother, Anne Daisy, was on the plane said the governments should consider the recommendation to search an additional 25,000 square kilometres."If money is a concern, prioritise within this area," Nathan said.In China, Jiang Hui, whose mother was also on board the flight, said he felt "disappointed, helpless and angry" because the search had been ended "purely due to a funding shortage"."The 370 incident is the most important thing in my life," he said, referring to the flight number.The only confirmed traces of the plane have been three pieces of debris found washed up on the island country Mauritius, the French island Reunion and an island off Tanzania.As many as 30 other pieces of wreckage found there and on beaches in Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa are suspected to have come from the plane.The engineering group leading the search, Fugro has raised the prospect someone could have glided the aircraft outside of the defined search zone to explain why it has not been found.A Fugro representative was not immediately available for comment.Twelve of the 239 on board were crew. According to the flight manifest, 152 passengers were Chinese, 50 Malaysian, seven Indonesian, six Australian, five Indian, four French and three were American.(Reporting by Tom Westbrook and Jonathan Barrett in SYDNEY. Additional reporting by Rozanna Latiff in KUALA LUMPUR and Christian Shepherd in BEIJING; Editing by Robert Birsel)
Air France searcher recalls defeat's pain as MH370 hunt ends-[Associated Press]-KRISTEN GELINEAU-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017
SYDNEY (AP) — Searchers' frustration over Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is difficult to overstate, from the monstrous waves that battered search crews in one of the world's most desolate stretches of ocean to the dearth of information on the plane's flight path that stymied investigators. And now, perhaps most brutal of all, comes the admission of defeat.Australia's announcement on Tuesday that the fruitless, nearly three-year hunt for the plane in the Indian Ocean was officially suspended has sparked the inevitable second-guessing of those who led the $160 million search. Few know the agony surely being felt by the Flight 370 search crew better than American oceanographer David Gallo.Back in 2010, Gallo and his team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts were given a task: They had two months to help find Air France 447, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009 during a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.When they didn't find it by the deadline, officials halted the search. Gallo was sick over the failure, couldn't sleep, stared at pictures on his desk of the people who had been on board the plane. He was tortured by self-doubt, wondered if they had somehow missed the aircraft."It was horrible," he remembers. "The families were disappointed in a big way, the companies involved — Airbus, Air France — were wondering what had happened ... wondered who are these guys who claimed they could find it and didn't?"After a year of lobbying, officials agreed to let Gallo and his crew look again. They found the plane in just over a week.Much like the Flight 370 investigators, Gallo and his team were initially accused of not knowing what they were doing, of misreading data, of using the wrong equipment. But Gallo, who has been in close contact with the Australian search officials leading the hunt for Flight 370, feels confident they have done everything they could, given the limited data available.Recently, investigators reanalyzed all the information available on the Malaysian plane and suggested that crews scour a new area north of the 160,000-square kilometer (46,000-square mile) search zone they just finished combing. Australia's government nixed that idea, but Gallo says it is imperative crews be allowed to do so."If you finish that area, you can say with good conscience, 'We did everything we could do at the time to try to find that plane,'" he says. "But if they don't do that area, it will always haunt us. Forever."And there is a crucial need to find the plane, he says, for so many reasons.Gallo still thinks about the people who lost their lives on Air France 447. He lives in coastal Massachusetts, where he often watches planes heading out over the Atlantic on journeys from Boston to Europe. He thinks of the passengers on board, each of them with loved ones back at home.Their safety weighs on him. And it's one of the major reasons he feels it's crucial to find Flight 370 — for the security of everyone who flies, and for the families of those on board the doomed plane."Those 239 people with their loved ones, they just vanished without a trace. So what price do you put on that?" he says. "And then the flying public ... until we know what happened there, it could happen to any of us."
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.
John Kerry defends global trade against populist anger-[AFP]-Dave Clark-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017
Davos (Switzerland) (AFP) - Outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a stark warning of the dangers of economic populism on Tuesday, insisting on the greater benefits of global trade and cooperation.Kerry made his last annual pilgrimage as Washington's top diplomat to the World Economic Forum in Davos just three days before President-elect Donald Trump is to take office.Speaking before the world's business and political elite at an event moderated by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Kerry warned against protectionist rhetoric."It's really dangerous to play to the lowest common denominator of American, of global political life," he said, accusing politicians of exploiting voters' fears.Trump won November's White House race having pledged to return "American jobs" from production plants in China and Mexico, and the incoming leader has threatened to tear up trade deals.This week Trump also declared the NATO strategic alliance "obsolete" while praising Britain's decision to leave the European Union, predicting that other members would follow suit.Kerry admitted that "certain people in political life" have tapped into legitimate anxieties about job insecurity in a globalised economy of free trade and capital flows.But he insisted automation rather than a shift toward foreign labour was what has hit the US workforce and argued that trade would help power the growth needed to bring new jobs.Kerry also defended NATO and the European Union as guarantors of stability in a continent once wracked by war."I don't know where the new administration is going," he said, of the new White House team that will replace President Barack Obama's administration on Friday.- 'Killing Europeans' -"But my message, friends in Europe ... is that Europe has got to believe in itself," Kerry said."Europe needs to recognise it that the reason people came together was not just economic, in fact it was not just principally economic," he added."It was to stop Europeans from killing Europeans."Kerry argued that far from inheriting the enfeebled US economy Trump described in his campaign rhetoric, the real estate tycoon turned politician would enter office "with the wind at his back."This could be put at risk by a disengagement from the world economy in the name of protecting US jobs."Now obviously the new president is tapped into the anger," Kerry admitted."But has he seen the way in which this can be solved that doesn't undo economic opportunities and doesn't create more barriers and more turmoil?"Kerry's stance was closer to that of Chinese leader Xi Jinping -- who had addressed the Davos forum earlier in the day -- than of the incoming US president.Xi had told attendees there was "no point" in blaming economic globalisation for the world's problems and that no one would win a trans-Pacific trade war.
Theresa May outlines 'hard Brexit' By Eric Maurice-JAN 17,17-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 15:08-British prime minister Theresa May outlined on Tuesday (18 January) a strategy leading to a so-called hard Brexit from the EU."What I'm proposing cannot mean membership of the single market," she said in a speech to ambassadors called Plan for Britain.She explained that the UK could not accept the four freedoms of goods, capital, services and people attached to the single market-"Being out of the EU but a member of the single market would mean complying with the EU’s rules and regulations that implement those freedoms, without having a vote on what those rules and regulations are," she pointed out.She insisted that the message from British voters was clear: "Brexit must mean control of the number of people who come to Britain from Europe. And that is what we will deliver."May added that a post-Brexit UK could not accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice."We will not have truly left the European Union if we are not in control of our own laws," she said, adding that "leaving the European Union will mean that our laws will be made in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast".-No new Norway-Faced with a risk of another independence referendum in Scotland and difficulties to continue implementing the peace agreement in Northern Ireland, the British prime minister tried to reassure the different parts of the UK.She insisted that the devolved administrations "should be fully engaged" in the Brexit process and that she would work with the administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.She said she would work to find "a practical solution that allows the maintenance of the common travel area" between the UK and the Republic of Ireland."Nobody wants to return to the borders of the past," she said.To replace Britain's EU and single market membership, May said she would seek "the greatest possible access" to the single market through a "new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement".She said that, in her view, the deal could build upon some elements of the single market membership, because "it makes no sense to start again from scratch when Britain and the remaining member states have adhered to the same rules for so many years".However, she warned that "the days of Britain making vast contributions to the European Union every year will end", suggesting she ruled out the so-called Norwegian model of access to the single market.She also warned that a "punitive deal that punishes Britain and discourages other countries from taking the same path" would be "calamitous self-harm" for the remaining EU countries."Britain would not, indeed we could not, accept such an approach," she said, adding however that she was "confident that a positive agreement can be reached".A day after the US president-elect expressed support for Brexit and said that other countries would leave the EU, the British PM insisted that Brexit was "no attempt to do harm to the EU itself or to any of its remaining member states"."We will continue to be reliable partners, willing allies and close friends," she said, adding that "Britain’s unique intelligence capabilities will continue to help to keep people in Europe safe from terrorism".-'Come together' plea-May's speech was the most expansive view of what her government's strategy will be when it triggers article 50 - the EU treaty clause to start exit talks - before the end of March.It comes two weeks after Britain's EU ambassador quit and criticised the government's lack of strategy.But May said she would not be "pressured into saying more than I believe it is in our national interest to say" and that "every stray word and every hyped up media report is going to make it harder for us to get the right deal for Britain".The speech also comes as the High Court is expected to rule soon over whether the British parliament should vote before article 50 is triggered.In a gesture to parliament, May said that both the House of Commons and the House of Lords would vote on the final Brexit deal before it comes into force.She said after a "divisive" referendum the country must "come together"."The victors have the responsibility to act magnanimously. The losers have the responsibility to respect the legitimacy of the outcome," she said.
EU counter-terrorism laws "stripping rights", says Amnesty By Nikolaj Nielsen-JAN 17,17-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 18:00-Executive power grabs and counter-terrorism laws are rolling back freedoms across the EU, according to a report by Amnesty International.Two years in preparation and covering 14 EU states, the document published on Tuesday (17 January) says Europe is dismantling civil liberties in a panicked effort to tackle the threat of terrorists.Wide sweeping surveillance laws, prolonged state of emergencies, fast tracking legislation, curbs on the freedom of expression are among the trends affecting people in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks."In Spain, the artistic community has been disproportionately impacted," Amnesty International's Julia Hall, co-author of the report, told reporters in Brussels."The right to engage in artistic endeavors that might be cutting edge, that space shrinks ever smaller and smaller and in this particular point in time is more impoverished than we have seen in decades in Europe," she said.Last year, police in Madrid arrested two puppeteers because their performance referenced the Basque nationalist group, ETA. The two were thrown in jail for "glorifying terrorism", although the charges were later dropped.The notion of "glorifying terrorism" has taken hold throughout the EU with new laws being passed that makes it a criminal offence. It has also made its way into the EU's new counter-terrorism directive recently agreed to at the political level.An article in the directive criminalises conduct seen to "glorify" terrorism. Hall said the measure will end up criminalising behaviour that is far too remote from any real offence.The European Commission rejected Amnesty's critique."The commission does not share the view of Amnesty that counter-terrorism measures taken at EU level threaten the protection of fundamental rights in the EU," a commission spokeswoman told reporters.She said the commission would monitor EU states to make sure they apply the charter of fundamental rights.But France in 2015 had already prosecuted 385 people, a third of them minors, for making "glorifying" comments about terrorism either on social media or elsewhere. Bernard Cazeneuve, former French interior minister now prime minister, told MEPs in the civil liberties committee in December that the measures were needed given the "political reality."The French dragnet has also led to major embarrassments.Orange, an internet service provider, had inadvertently blocked all of Google and Wikipedia in France for an entire morning in October because the sites contained "terrorism" content. And La Quadrature du Net, a Paris-based digital rights NGO, says Facebook and Twitter accounts belonging to journalists, who follow jihadist movements, are being shut down without explanation.-Pre-emptive justice-People not charged with any crime, but are suspected of something, are also being harassed.Amnesty's Hall said authorities in Europe are resorting to so-called administrative control orders to pre-empt possible future crimes. The orders, a piece of paper sent by mail, can impose curfews, requires visitors to get a security clearance, and other restrictions."We are seeing people who are being sanctioned, their rights being restricted and their freedoms limited even though they have never been charged with any crime," she said.She said France has imposed and prolonged its state of emergency four times. Such efforts, she noted, risk becoming a norm. France argues the emergency decrees are needed to avoid attacks and will be maintained for as long as the security measures are required.The executive branches in Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Luxembourg, and Poland can also declare a state of emergency "as defined in any way they see fit" without any judicial input, said Hall.Other EU states appear to be pushing through laws without any real oversight or debate.Poland, for instance, had adopted and passed a counter-terrorism law within 48 hours, described by the NGO as one of "the most severe" in terms of giving its internal security agency sweeping powers.-Mass surveillance-Among the biggest issues are the various surveillance laws being passed among EU states.Germany, Poland, and the UK, among others, have recently passed laws described by London-based Privacy International as "a new era of mass surveillance" in Europe.Britain's snooping charter allows authorities to engage in the bulk collection of "overseas-related communications", including those of lawyers and journalists.Germany's communication intelligence gathering act allows its Federal Intelligence Service (BND) to also probe communications of non-EU citizens abroad.
WORLD POWERS IN THE LAST DAYS (END OF AGE OF GRACE NOT THE WORLD)
EUROPEAN UNION-KING OF WEST-DAN 9:26-27,DAN 7:23-24,DAN 11:40,REV 13:1-10
EGYPT-KING OF THE SOUTH-DAN 11:40
RUSSIA-KING OF THE NORTH-EZEK 38:1-2,EZEK 39:1-3
CHINA-KING OF THE EAST-DAN 11:44,REV 9:16,18
VATICAN-RELIGIOUS LEADER-REV 13:11-18,REV 17:4-5,9,18
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.(WORLD TERRORISM,MURDERS)(HAMAS IN HEBREW IS VIOLENCE)
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence (TERRORISM)(HAMAS) through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her,(HAGAR) Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael;(FATHER OF THE ARAB/MUSLIMS) because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he (ISHMAEL-FATHER OF THE ARAB-MUSLIMS) will be a wild (DONKEY-JACKASS) man;(ISLAM IS A FAKE AND DANGEROUS SEX FOR MURDER CULT) his hand will be against every man,(ISLAM HATES EVERYONE) and every man's hand against him;(PROTECTING THEMSELVES FROM BEING BEHEADED) and he (ISHMAEL ARAB/MUSLIM) shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.(LITERAL-THE ARABS LIVE WITH THEIR BRETHERN JEWS)
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,(SATAN) son of the morning!(HEBREW-CRECENT MOON-ISLAM) how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I (SATAN HAS EYE TROUBLES) will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.(AND 1/3RD OF THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN FELL WITH SATAN AND BECAME DEMONS)
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.(ISLAM MURDERS IN THE NAME OF MOON GOD ALLAH OF ISLAM)
Gulen did not order Turkey coup, EU spies say By Andrew Rettman-JAN 17,17-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 15:12-Exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen did not order the coup in Turkey, a leaked document from EU intelligence services says.The document, written by the EU’s intelligence-sharing unit Intcen, also says a post-coup purge of supposed Gulen supporters led by president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was designed to deepen his grip on power.The revelations shed light on the EU’s reaction to the failed coup, and show how the EU's intelligence agencies regard Gulen as the “master” of an “anti-Semitic and anti-Christian” movement.They also put an unwelcome spotlight on Intcen.“It is likely that a group of officers comprising Gulenists, Kemalists, opponents of the AKP, and opportunists was behind the coup. It is unlikely that Gulen himself played a role,” the document said.“It is unlikely that Gulen really had the capabilities and capacities to take such steps.”Kemalists are secularist Turks who oppose the Islamist views of Erdogan’s AKP political party.The EU intelligence report said individual Gulenist military officers, who did not rank above lieutenant or captain, might have felt “under pressure” to join the coup attempt in July because they knew that Erdogan had planned to go after them in August.The report said the “upcoming purge” would have seen them being prosecuted for terrorist offences.The EU report said Erdogan was trying to dismantle Gulen’s movement in Turkey because it was his “one and only real rival” in his bid to rule the country via “a full presidential system”.It also said he “exploited” the coup to launch a wider “repressive campaign against the opponents of the AKP” for the sake of “personal ambitions”.It said that the MIT, Turkey’s intelligence service, began compiling lists of “troublesome individuals” years ago.It said the lists also contained the names of “civil activists” who took part in anti-Erdogan protests in Gezi Park, Istanbul, in 2013.“The huge wave of arrests in the days following the coup attempt was already previously prepared. The coup was just a catalyst for the crackdown prepared in advance,” the intelligence report said.-Lukewarm EU-Intcen is a branch of the EU foreign service in which intelligence officers from EU states share information.It filed the six-page report, entitled Turkey - The Impact of the Gulenist Movement, on 24 August last year to senior EU officials and to member states’ ambassadors in Brussels.The classified paper was first uncovered by The Times, a British newspaper, on Tuesday (17 January).The views in the leaked document, also seen by EUobserver, were aired almost word for word by Johannes Hahn, the EU commissioner dealing with Turkey, in his reaction to the coup.He said at the time that it looked “like something that had been prepared. That the lists [of alleged Gulenists] are available [so soon] after the events indicates that this was prepared and that at a certain moment it should be used”.Subsequent EU statements were also lukewarm toward Erdogan.The bloc urged restraint, especially when his purge spread to opposition MPs and the media, prompting furious responses from the Turkish president.The EU leak comes at a time when Turkey is asking the US to extradite Gulen.-The master-Although the intelligence report exonerated Gulen over the coup, it did not paint him in a favourable light.The report said teachings published in his name “on the surface … propagate tolerance”, but “at the same time, Islamic scholars expert in usage of language and symbols recognise that they are expressly anti-Semitic and anti-Christian”.It said Gulen was the “master” of a “worldwide” structure that had branches in some 100 countries in Europe, north and South America, Asia, and Africa.It said his “orders” were “enforced” by “special imams” and by “convinced” followers who “infiltrated” state institutions.It said Gulenists had 160 elite schools around the world where they groomed students.It said the best ones were offered special teaching sessions, called Houses of Light, “in the evening … in apartments, to small groups without state control”.-Leak fallout-The leak is an embarrassment for the EU foreign service at a time when it is trying to galvanise deeper EU security cooperation.The Intcen report was marked “confidential”, meaning, in the EU’s own literature, that it could prompt "formal protest or other sanctions" by non-EU countries and "damage" EU "security or intelligence operations" if it got out.It was marked “not releasable and not to be disclosed to third states and international organisations”.It was meant to be sent only via encrypted channels or kept in paper form in “secure conditions”.Its disclosure could harm EU-Turkey and US-Turkey relations at a time when Erdogan is building closer ties with Russia.It could also harm Intcen, if member states no longer trust the EU office to keep their secrets.
Nigerian air force kills civilians by accident in northeastern strike: military official-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - The Nigerian air force killed an unknown number of civilians by accident in an air strike on Tuesday against Islamist militant group Boko Haram in the northeast, a military official said.Regional military commander General Lucky Irabor said the strike took place on Tuesday morning at Kala Balge local government in Borno state."Somehow, some civilians were killed. We are yet to ascertain the number of persons killed in the air strike," Irabor told reporters in the northeastern city of Maiduguri."Many civilians including personnel of International Committee of the Red Cross and Medicins Sans Frontieres were wounded," he said, adding that the air force had acted on information that Boko Haram militants were in the area.ICRC and MSF could not immediately be contacted for a comment.Boko Haram has stepped up attacks in the last few weeks as the end of the rainy season has enabled its fighters to move more easily in the bush. The northeast has been the focus of the jihadist group's seven-year-old bid to create an Islamic caliphate.(Reporting by Lanre Ola,; writing by Alexis Akwagyiram, Editing by Angus MacSwan)
As peace talks loom, Syrian refugees see little future in going home-[Christian Science Monitor]-Nicholas Blanford-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017
Syrian rebel groups announced Monday that they will attend next week’s Russia- and Turkey-brokered Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan, giving a boost to hopes that a current cease-fire can be hardened into a more enduring agreement.The talks are intended to build on the two-week cease-fire with the goal of ending a six-year conflict that has left more than 300,000 people dead, caused billions of dollars of destruction, forced more than half the Syrian population from their homes, and contributed to the greatest refugee crisis in Europe since the end of World War II.But the fate of the estimated 11 million displaced Syrians is unlikely to be addressed, leaving their destiny on hold.For many Syrian refugees, an eventual return to a country devastated by war and still ruled by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad is an unappealing prospect. Instead, these refugees, some of whom have spent more than three years away from their homes, say they have no future in Syria and are looking to settle elsewhere.“Syria is like a broken pane of glass. It cannot be put back together. The sectarian divisions are too deep. I want to go to Britain,” says Mortaz Khallaf, a 32-year-old law graduate from Aleppo in northern Syria. Khallaf is the shawish, or manager, of a small refugee camp set among a plantation of spindly poplars on the edge of this village in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.Numerous negotiation rounds have been held since 2012. But these talks, which are expected to start Jan. 23 in the Kazakh capital of Astana, are the first to leave the United States and United Nations on the sidelines. Instead, Russia and Turkey have seized upon the fall last month of rebel-held eastern Aleppo to government forces to push for a negotiated peace. Moscow is a powerful backer of the regime of Syrian President Assad, while Ankara has championed the Syrian opposition, but both countries have found common interests in Syria allowing them to co-sponsor the Astana talks.Progress in Astana could give renewed life to the UN peace track that resumes in Geneva next month.“We hope Astana strengthens the cease of current hostilities and generates favorable conditions for the political dialogue we want to re-establish at the beginning of February,” said Staffan de Mistura, the UN envoy to Syria.-'THEY DON'T WANT US BACK'-The inhabitants of Camp 006 near Taanayel take a gloomier view. Even if the talks achieve some success, which they doubt, it is unlikely any of them will return home anytime soon – even if they wish to.“We expect nothing of the Astana talks. We don’t expect peace,” says Khallaf.Lebanon hosts 1.1 million refugees, according to the United Nations, although the true figure is thought to exceed 1.5 million. It's a huge burden for a country of only 4.5 million citizens.The residents of Camp 006 are from Aleppo, Qusayr, five miles north of the Lebanese border, and Raqqa in central Syria. Each refugee receives monthly UN food coupons totaling $27 to be spent in local stores. Extra income is earned by working in fields of this mainly agricultural area. But each household, living in timber-framed huts walled and roofed with plastic sheets, is required to pay around $73 rent each month. Even electricity must be paid for – the government installed a meter in the camp to tally usage.Despite these hard conditions – and with the Syrian border only a tantalizing seven miles to the east across snow-capped mountains – most of the refugees here have abandoned hope of returning home, and instead gaze to the West for eventual sanctuary. Many Syrians in Lebanon joined the flow of refugees streaming into Europe over the past two years to start fresh lives.Even those who hanker to return to their abandoned homes fear they will never get the opportunity.Khallaf al-Khaled was forced to leave his home in Qusayr in June 2013 when Lebanese Hezbollah over-ran the rebel-held town. The mainly Sunni population of Qusayr and the surrounding villages have not returned, and Qusayr has become an important military base for Hezbollah. In November, the powerful Iran-backed group held a parade in Qusayr, showing off dozens of tanks and armored vehicles in a calculated display of strength.Khaled, a portly farmer with a red and white kaffiyeh around his head and wearing a thick black leather jacket to keep out the chilly air, says he would like to go home, but fears that it will no longer be possible.“I don’t think I can go back. The regime is doing ethnic cleansing. They don’t want us back in Qusayr,” he says. He claimed that Syrian Shiites originally from two villages in northern Idlib province have been resettled in Qusayr in homes formally owned by Sunnis.The Syrian opposition has long alleged that the Syrian government is forcing Sunnis to leave areas of strategic importance, especially around Damascus and adjacent to the border with Lebanon. The Syrian government denies such allegations. However, several hundred opposition fighters have been voluntarily relocated to Idlib province, which is largely in rebel hands, in a series of cease-fire deals with the government.“They are putting Sunnis in Idlib so that they can eventually smash us, kill us all at once, like Pif Paf,” says Mr Khallaf, the camp manager, referring to a popular brand of insect repellent in Lebanon.Even if returning to Syria one day is viewed as a daunting prospect, remaining a refugee in Lebanon offers little better opportunities. Host communities are tiring of the refugee presence and international pledges of funding to ease the burden have been slow to materialize.On Monday, Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri met with a UN delegation in Beirut to press for help in dealing with the refugee crisis."Five years ago, our population was 4.5 million and today we are at 6 million," he said. "The whole country is suffering from the presence of the refugees. The international community has to help because we have less electricity, less water, less infrastructure, fewer schools, and less hospital beds."Lebanon has hosted several hundred thousand Palestinian refugees since 1948, confined to squalid refugee camps, their destiny dependent on the ever elusive Middle East peace process. Now, Syrian refugees fear they will share the same fate as the Palestinians.“We are like the Palestinians,” says Khallaf. “If you stay in your country, you die. If you leave, you never go back.”
Turkey: Istanbul nightclub attacker confessed after capture-[Associated Press]-MEHMET GUZEL AND NEYRAN ELDEN-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017
ISTANBUL (AP) — The accused perpetrator of a New Year's nightclub attack in Istanbul has confessed and his fingerprints are a match, Turkish authorities said Tuesday. They identified him as an Uzbek national who trained in Afghanistan and staged the attack for the Islamic State group.The gunman shot a policeman and a civilian outside the Reina night club before entering the swanky building on the banks of the Bosporus and unleashing a hail of bullets on hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the end of 2016.A total of 39 people lost their lives and dozens others were wounded. Most of the victims came from the Middle East.The suspect, who switched clothes during the attack, fled the scene by blending into the crowd of survivors. He succeeded in evading police for more than took weeks, reportedly collecting his son in a working class neighborhood of Istanbul before hiding out in a luxury apartment at another low-income district.Photographs widely published in the Turkish media showed a bruised, black-haired man in a gray, bloodied shirt being held by his neck. NTV television said the gunman had resisted arrest.Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced on Tuesday that "the vile terrorist" who attacked the nightclub had been captured. Speaking to reporters in Ankara, he said the "forces behind (the attack) would be revealed in time."Moments later, in separate remarks, Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin, gave a full portrait of the suspected killer and the efforts that went into securing his capture.Sahin named the alleged killer as Abdulkadir Masharipov, an Uzbek national who was born in 1983 and also operated under the alias Ebu Muhammed Horasani. Turkish media have reported the suspect's first name as Abdulgadir.Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency said Masharipov traveled to Afghanistan from his home country six years ago and claimed he was on a wanted list in Uzbekistan for membership in a terror group.The suspect, according to the governor of Istanbul, had trained in Afghanistan and was believed to have entered Turkey in January 2016. He described him as a highly educated terrorist who speaks four languages and had clearly carried out the attack in the name of IS.Masharipov, who was taken into custody late Monday, confessed to carrying out the massacre and his fingerprints matched those of the attacker, Gov. Sahin said.He can be held for up to 30 days under Turkey's state of emergency, which was introduced after a failed coup attempt in July, before he is charged and formally arrested. It could take prosecutors several months to prepare for a trial.The police operation to apprehend Masharipov drew on a review of 7,200 hours of security camera footage and about 2,200 tipoffs from the public. Police searched 152 addresses and 50 people were taken into custody.Authorities seized nearly $200,000, two guns and two drones during the suspect's arrest."Together with the terrorist, an Iraqi man was detained as well as three women from various countries — from Egypt and from Africa," Sahin said. "There is a high chance that they may be connected (to IS) because they were staying in the same house."The governor said it was believed that they arrived three days earlier at Esenyurt, a low-income neighborhood of Istanbul that has witnessed a construction boom.AP reporters visited the suspect's apartment on Tuesday, finding doors with broken locks, food and garbage on the floor and clothes outside of the closets. They also saw a woman's purse and money of various currencies including Egyptian and Sudanese pounds.Neighbors of the alleged attacker were in shock to learn of his identity and find their building at the heart of a large-scale police operation. Ali Haydar Demir said he came out of his apartment when he heard the commotion only to be turned back by police officers who told him to close his door.Demir, who lived on the same floor of the Istanbul complex as Masharipov, said he felt "very bad living in the same building with a person like that."Another resident, Sezer Aras, described the situation as a nightmare. He told the AP "he was very close to us, but we had no idea."The state-run Anadolu Agency said that the gunman's 4-year-old son was taken into protective custody.Hurriyet newspaper earlier reported that the suspect's wife and 1-year-old daughter were caught in a police operation in the neighborhood of Zeytinburnu on Jan. 12.In another report citing police officials, the newspaper said the gunman had picked up his son from Zeytinburnu after attacking the nightclub.Sahin said the boy wasn't with Masharipov on the night of the police operation, although he had taken the child with him and left his daughter with his wife.IS has claimed responsibility for the nightclub massacre, saying the attack in the first hours of Jan. 1 was in reprisal for Turkish military operations in northern Syria.Days after the attack, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said an intelligence agency may have been involved, an assertion he reiterated Monday. But Sahin, when asked about it, declined to comment, saying: "It is too soon to say anything about such connections."Anadolu said police also carried out raids on members of a suspected Uzbek IS cell in five Istanbul neighborhoods, and detained several people.Turkish media also circulated a photograph of the Iraqi suspect lying on the floor face down, hands bound behind his back, with the boot of an unidentified man pressed to the back of his head.Speaking in Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan thanked his country's security and intelligence agencies for their efforts."In this country, no one will slip through the net, everyone will be held to account within the limits of the rule of law," he said.Turkey, a member of NATO and a partner in the U.S.-led coalition against IS, has endured multiple attacks attributed to the extremist group. IS said the assault on the nightclub was retaliation for Turkey's military operations in northern Syria.The country has also witnessed an uptick in violence linked to the resumption of conflict between the Turkish state and Kurdish militants.___Suzan Fraser and Burhan Ozbilic in Ankara, Lefteris Pitarakis and Ayse Wieting in Istanbul and Dominique Soguel in Basel, Switzerland, contributed to this report.
After convicted pedophile arrested, Indian minister calls for sex offenders register-[Reuters]-By Nita Bhalla-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017
NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - India's minister for women and child development says the country needs to establish a national register of sex offenders, after police arrested a convicted pedophile who confessed to abducting and raping "hundreds" of girls for over a decade.Sunil Rastogi, a 38-year-old tailor was arrested on Saturday by police investigating sexual assaults on three girls aged between nine and ten in eastern Delhi in January and December.During the interrogation, Rastogi confessed to abducting "hundreds" of girls since 2004 -- luring them with new clothes, and taking them to secluded places such as derelict buildings, where he would sexually assault and rape them.Police also revealed that Rastogi was previously convicted for sexually assaulting a girl in 2006, and had served six months in jail.Maneka Gandhi, minister for women and child development, suggested that attacks may have been prevented if her proposal for a national register of sex offenders had been implemented."About two years ago, I had repeatedly said, and asked for in writing, that we need to have a national register of sex offenders," Gandhi told NDTV in an interview late on Monday."This tailor has apparently been caught before in 2006, so if he has been caught before, why is his name not on a national register of sexual offenders?"Gandhi said the proposal was currently with the ministry of home affairs, which was planning to set up a national register of all criminals, including sex offenders."It's really important to have one register with convicted sexual offenders, and I even say have another one with sexual offenders who are on trial," she said.Many countries, such as the United States, Britain and South Africa keep a record of people who have been convicted of sexual offences such as pedophilia and rape.The United States, for example, has an online database which is open to the public -- providing information such as the offender's photograph, address and details of the crime committed.In other countries, such as Britain, the policy entails offenders registering with their local police station. Key people within the community such as doctors, youth leaders, landlords are informed and police monitor the offender.Latest data from India's National Crime Records Bureau reveals reports of sexual offences such as molestation, harassment and pedophilia on the rise. For example, there were 34,651 rapes reported in 2015 -- a 36 percent increase from 22,172 reports in 2010.The minister said foreigners also needed to be monitored."We have sexual offenders coming into India for sex tourism, especially against children, who have been convicted in their own countries," said Gandhi."But we are the only country that doesn't ask you if you have been convicted of a crime when asking for a visa."Gandhi said she has asked the foreign ministry to update visa forms accordingly, but did not say if this was likely to be implemented.(Reporting by Nita Bhalla @nitabhalla, Editing by Ros Russell. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit http://news.trust.org)
MIGRATING BIRDS IN ISRAEL EATS HUMANS FLESH FOR COMING AGAINST ISRAEL-JERUSALEM
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog (RUSSIA/ARAB/MUSLIMS) a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers (EAST OF THE DEAD SEA IN JORDAN VALLEY) on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog (RUSSIAN) and all his multitude:(ARAB/MUSLIM HORDE) and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.(BURIEL SITE OF THE 300 MILLION,RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS)
12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.(OF ISRAEL)
16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.(OF THE ISRAEL-GOD HATERS)
17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.(OF RUSSIAN/ISLAMIC HORDES AGAINST ISRAEL)
18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.
21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;(AGAINST ALL NATIONS ARMIES THAT COME AGAINST JERUSALEM AND ISRAEL)
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:TOBOLSK)
4 And I (GOD) will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY) of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.(AFRICAN MUSLIMS,SUDAN,TUNESIA ETC)
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back,(RUSSIA-ARAB MUSLIM ISRAEL HATERS) and leave but the sixth part of thee,(5/6TH OR 300 MILLION DEAD RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS I BELIEVE) and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR ATOMIC BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
Lithuania to build fence along border with Russia's Kaliningrad-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017
VILNIUS (Reuters) - Lithuania plans to build a two-meter high wire fence along its border with the Russian region of Kaliningrad, its interior minister said on Tuesday, amid continued tensions between Moscow and the Baltic states, which are members of NATO.Eimutis Misiunas acknowledged that such a fence would provide little defense against a full-blown military assault but said it underscored Lithuanians' concerns about a more assertive Russia and could also help prevent lesser cross-border incursions."As we evaluate the geopolitical threats, the Russian geopolitical threats, Lithuanian politicians have expressed their will that we need to have a physical barrier with such a country (as Russia)," Misiunas told Reuters."Such a fence will not stop tanks or other military equipment, but it will make illegal crossings harder", said Misiunas.He cited the example of an Estonian security official detained by Russia in 2014, sentenced to 15 years hard labor and freed in 2015 in a prisoner exchange.Russia said the official, Eston Kohver, had been caught on its territory, while Estonia said he had been abducted on its side of the border.The Baltic republics, which won independence from Moscow in 1991 but remain home to ethnic Russian minorities, are also mindful that Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014 by first sending soldiers in unmarked uniforms and civilian clothes. They came to be known as the "little green men".Lithuania has staged military exercises that simulated such a scenario involving undercover "little green men".The new fence, which will cost 3.6 million euros and is due to be completed this year, will cover some 50 km of the border not already protected by lakes, rivers and swamps.Kaliningrad, on the Baltic Sea, is the only Russian territory bordering Lithuania, whose eastern neighbor is Belarus.Russia said in October that as part of routine drills it had moved ballistic nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles to Kaliningrad and deployed its S-400 air missile defense system there.Lithuania, which joined the European Union and NATO in 2004, has focused until now on fortifying its long border with Belarus, which sees many more attempted illegal crossings than the Kaliningrad frontier.The announcement of the fence plan comes in a week when Donald Trump is set to be inaugurated as U.S. president. During the election campaign Trump alarmed the Baltic states and other European allies by casting doubt on the U.S. commitment to NATO and praising Russian President Vladimir Putin.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday the deployment of NATO troops in the Baltic states was a bad idea.(Reporting By Andrius Sytas; Editing by Gareth Jones)
Iran's president welcomes Syria talks planned for next week-[Associated Press]-NASSER KARIMI-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that he hopes talks planned for next week can mark the beginning of the end of the civil war in Syria, where Tehran has provided crucial military and financial support to the government.Russia's foreign minister meanwhile said Moscow would invite representatives of the incoming Trump administration to the talks in Kazakhstan, which could provide the first indication of how U.S. policy will change with regard to the six-year conflict.The talks have been brokered by Russia, a key ally of President Bashar Assad, and Turkey, which backs the armed opposition. Turkey and Iran have traded blame for repeated violations of a Dec. 30 cease-fire that was intended to pave the way for the talks."We are happy that the cease-fire has been agreed to. This is a positive step on its own," Rouhani told reporters. "We have to apply efforts to keep the cease-fire."He said it was important that the government reach an agreement with the opposition, but that only the Syrian people can choose their president. Assad's resignation, a key demand of the rebels, will not be on the agenda of the upcoming talks.Representatives of nearly a dozen Syrian armed opposition groups have nevertheless said they will attend the talks, expected on Jan. 23, in order to reinforce the cease-fire and set up monitoring mechanisms for violators.Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the attendance of the leaders of armed groups could make the latest talks more successful than previous rounds of negotiations with civilian opposition representatives held in Geneva, which led nowhere.Russia has blamed the failure of previous talks in part on President Barack Obama's administration, which was excluded from the negotiations that led to the cease-fire.President-elect Donald Trump has indicated he would like to pursue a closer partnership with Russia in order to battle the Islamic State group and other extremists, but he has also adopted a tough stance against Iran.Lavrov said he hoped Russian and U.S. representatives could discuss efforts to combat terrorism during the meeting in Astana.Rouhani did not mention the attendance of U.S. representatives, but Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim news agency as saying Tehran did not think they should be invited.An emerging U.S.-Russian alliance against IS could face an early test in the eastern Syrian city of Deir el-Zour, where the extremists are waging a major offensive against the last remaining pockets of government control.IS fighters launched a multi-pronged offensive over the weekend, and on Monday cut the government-held area in half. The extremist group, which controls most of Deir el-Zour province, has besieged the provincial capital since 2014.Russia has been carrying out airstrikes in support of Assad's forces since September 2015, but has mainly attacked Syrian rebels rather than IS. A U.S.-led coalition has been attacking IS in Syria since 2014, but is not coordinating its efforts with Damascus.___Associated Press writers Sarah El Deeb in Beirut and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.
Ukraine files 'terrorism' case against Russia at world court-[AFP]-Jo Biddle-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017
The Hague (AFP) - Ukraine has urged the UN's top court to order Russia to pay damages for attacks on civilians during its bloody conflict with separatist pro-Russia rebels, accusing Moscow of "sponsoring terrorism", officials said Tuesday.In its filing, Kiev accused Moscow of "intervening militarily in Ukraine, financing acts of terrorism, and violating the human rights of millions of Ukraine's citizens," the International Court of Justice said.It has asked the tribunal to "declare that the Russian Federation bears international responsibility, by virtue of its sponsorship of terrorism... for the acts of terrorism committed by its proxies in Ukraine," the court added in a statement.Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, accuses its neighbour Russia of triggering unrest by separatist pro-Russian rebels in retaliation for the ousting of Kiev's Moscow-backed president in February 2014.Russia annexed Ukraine's southern peninsula of Crimea in March 2014 and fierce fighting erupted in eastern Ukraine between Kiev's forces and pro-Russia rebels.Sporadic violence still flares up despite several ceasefire accords, and nearly 10,000 people are said to have died.Kiev is also calling on the tribunal to order Russia to halt all shipments of arms and money destined for rebel groups into Ukrainian territory.Russia had also "brazenly defied" the UN Charter by seizing Crimea, and then attempted to "legitimise its act of aggression" by engineering an "illegal referendum," the filing said."Russia must pay its price for the aggression," Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Monday just after Kiev launched the proceedings with the court based in The Hague.Moscow has long denied arming the rebels and hit back that the case was just motivated "by political interests" adding Kiev had "shown a lack of will to hold a concrete dialogue.""Russia has always condemned in the strongest manner any signs of terrorism and actively fights against it," the foreign ministry added in a statement.- Funding terror -The court, founded in 1945 to rule in disputes between nations, will now have to decide whether to take up the case. And the legal proceedings are unlikely to have any immediate effect on the ground."For three years, Russia has been committing the illegal annexation of Crimea, illegal occupation of the east of our country in the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, implementing the policy of elimination and discrimination in Crimea," Poroshenko said.Kiev has asked the tribunal to declare that Moscow has violated its obligations under the Terrorism Financing Convention and an international treaty against racial discrimination.It urges the tribunal to order Moscow to "immediately and unconditionally cease and desist from all support, including the provision of money, weapons, and training, to illegal armed groups that engage in acts of terrorism in Ukraine."It also asks that Moscow be ordered:- to ensure that illegal arms are withdrawn from eastern Ukraine - to control its borders to stop acts of "financing of terrorism including the supply of weapons" - to "make full reparation" for the shelling of civilians in the eastern Ukrainian towns of Mariupol, Kramatorsk, Volnovakha and Kharkiv, as well as for the shooting down of MH17 - to protect the rights of "all groups in Russian-occupied Crimea, including Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians."A Dutch-led international investigation found that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a Russian-made missile in July 2014 over eastern Ukraine, launched from a field in rebel-held territory.All 298 on board the routine flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, mostly Dutch citizens, were killed.Moscow said it would "use all means available for its legal defence" if the ICJ agrees to hear the case.Any proceedings are likely to be lengthy, but the decision would be binding and without appeal.
Airport shooting suspect blamed 'mind control,' IS ties-[Associated Press]-CURT ANDERSON-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The man suspected of fatally shooting five people and wounding six others at a Florida airport told investigators initially he was under government mind control and then claimed to be inspired by Islamic State websites and chatrooms, authorities said at a hearing Tuesday.FBI Agent Michael Ferlazzo also confirmed that the 9mm Walther handgun used in the Jan. 6 shooting rampage at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is the same weapon Anchorage, Alaska, police seized and later returned to 26-year-old Esteban Santiago last year.Ferlazzo testified at a bond hearing that Santiago mentioned after the shooting that his mind was under some kind of government control. Later in the interview he claimed to have been inspired by Islamic State-related chatrooms and websites, although it is not clear if the FBI has been able to corroborate any terror-related claims.U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow set a Jan. 30 arraignment hearing for Santiago to enter a formal plea. Snow ordered Santiago kept in custody as a risk of flight and a danger to the community, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Del Toro said was clear from his actions at the airport."He has admitted to all of the facts with respect to the terrible and tragic events of Jan. 6," Del Toro said. "These were vulnerable victims who he shot down methodically."Santiago could get the death penalty if convicted of federal airport violence and firearms charges that resulted in death. His public defender, Robert Berube, said Santiago would not contest the pretrial detention order."Mr. Santiago is prepared to remain in custody," Berube said.Investigators say Santiago legally brought a gun box containing his weapon and ammunition as checked luggage for his flight, then retrieved it at the Florida airport and went into a bathroom. After loading the gun, authorities say he came out firing randomly and then laid down on the floor after using all 15 bullets in two clips.Much of the hearing focused on Ferlazzo's testimony about what Santiago said after the shooting and what records from Alaska reveal about him.Ferlazzo said Santiago, an Iraq war veteran who was a member of the Puerto Rico and Alaska National Guard, visited a gun range late last year before booking the one-way ticket from Alaska to Fort Lauderdale. It was previously reported that Santiago visited the FBI office in Anchorage last year complaining about hearing voices and supposed CIA mind control, which led to Anchorage police temporarily seizing his gun and Santiago's brief stay in a mental hospital.At the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, Ferlazzo said, records show Santiago was given anti-anxiety medications but no prescriptions for drugs that would treat serious mental conditions such as schizophrenia. He was released after a five-day stay with no restrictions that might prevent him from possessing a gun, and his weapon was returned by police."He was deemed to be stable," the agent testified.In the post-shooting interviews, Santiago at first repeated claims that he did it because of government mind control but later told investigators he had been visiting chatrooms and internet sites frequented by the Islamic State terror group or those inspired by it."It was a group of like-minded individuals who were all planning attacks," Ferlazzo said.The FBI is examining Santiago's computers and other devices as well as those of family members, but so far agents have not confirmed any terrorism ties.Other evidence collected so far includes video from 20 different airport camera angles that show the entire shooting episode, Ferlazzo testified. In addition, the roughly six-hour interview in which Santiago supposedly confessed was audio and video recorded._____Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/miamicurt.
Wait and see' no longer an option for disaster response: IFRC chief-[Reuters]-By Astrid Zweynert-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Governments need to step up efforts in preparing for disasters to cut the rising bill for helping people hit by crises, the head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said.Even though droughts, storms, floods and other disasters are predictable, most disaster funding only becomes available after they happen, said the IFRC's secretary general Elhadj As Sy."We see much more money being spent in responding to disasters and very little in preventing them," Sy told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview.In the latest example of a humanitarian crisis that has been looming for months, the U.N. appealed for $864 million on Tuesday for Somalia, saying the Horn of Africa country risks slipping back into famine as a worsening drought has left millions without food, water or healthcare.Sy said a fresh approach to funding is critical as humanitarian needs have grown exponentially over the past decade and are expected to keep rising.The number of people who rely on humanitarian assistance has more than tripled while the cost of responding as increased six-fold, according to the IFRC.-PREPAREDNESS PAYS OFF-Research in Kenya and Ethiopia has shown early drought preparedness is on average three times more cost-effective than emergency response, while other studies calculated disaster risk reduction globally saves an average $4 for every $1 invested."We all have the figures...but nonetheless, it is so difficult to convince governments and funders to invest in a crisis they have not seen yet," Sy said.Spending on preparedness and resilience remains low, despite a U.N. call for governments to spend at least 1 percent of development aid by 2020 on reducing the risks of disasters and preparing for them, up from around 0.5 percent now.Sy cited the Philippines as an example where efforts to improve preparedness by working with communities have paid off.When Typhoon Nock-ten hit the Philippines in December it had the potential to be as deadly as Haiyan, the storm that killed more than 6,300 people and wrought havoc in the southeast Asian country in 2013.Nock-ten killed just three people, according to government data released in early January, after almost half a million people were pre-emptively evacuated, and thanks to extensive preparedness programs introduced after the Haiyan disaster.Forecast-based financing schemes, which link hazard warnings with appropriate funding, are critical in helping to curb future harm of disasters, Sy said.Weather forecasts and other scientific methods have become increasingly sophisticated in predicting weather-related hazards months in advance."We can even see with a certain degree of accuracy that there will be a cycle of droughts in the Sahel as well as in eastern and southern Africa," Sy said.The Red Cross movement has been experimenting with forecast-based financing in Uganda and beyond, releasing funding to communities according to agreed triggers such as weather predictions rather than waiting for dry spells or torrential rains to cause havoc.This can include distributing chlorine tablets ahead of a flood instead of treating patients once contaminated water causes a disease as well as stockpiling food and other supplies.(Reporting by Astrid Zweynert; Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories)
Poland should increase military ties with USA: presidential adviser-[Reuters]-By Pawel Sobczak and Lidia Kelly-YAHOONEWS-January 17, 2017
WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland should increase its military cooperation with the United States, a senior adviser to the Polish president said.Krzysztof Szczerski, President Andrzej Duda's top foreign policy adviser, was speaking days before the new U.S. administration that has signaled a friendlier approach to Russia takes power in Washington.Szczerski also suggested that Poland would welcome the re-election of Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany, Poland's largest trade partner with whom relations have soured since Polish conservatives came to power a year ago.U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's friendly rhetoric towards Russia puts Poland, which has frosty ties with Moscow and fears President Vladimir Putin's influence over the region, in an awkward diplomatic position.The country has just received the largest U.S. military reinforcement in Europe in decades under a planned NATO operation to strengthen its Eastern European allies in face of what the pact sees as a growing Russian aggression."First of all, we want to maintain and possibly deepen the current level of the (Poland-USA) military cooperation," Szczerski, who is also the chancellor of state in Duda's administration, told Reuters.Moscow, which unnerved Eastern Europe by annexing Ukraine's Crimea in 2014, sees the NATO reinforcement in the region as a security threat. In retaliation, it has deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in its European exclave of Kaliningrad.Although it is unlikely that 28-member NATO would change its deterrence policy any time soon, Szczerski said Warsaw wants a "political conversation" between Duda and Trump as soon as possible."Our task is to insist that the U.S. presence in Europe, including in Poland...lies in the interest of the United States and Poland, as well as of the alliance," he said.-MERKEL VISIT-The conservative Law and Justice (PiS) ruling party, fearing Germany's pre-eminence in Europe, has allowed relations with Berlin to deteriorate while shifting its foreign policy focus onto Britain.Merkel is to visit Poland next month at the invitation of the Polish government in what diplomats are saying could be an attempt by Warsaw to repair ties, now that Britain is leaving the EU. Duda and his administration are PiS's allies."From the point of view of Polish-German relations and the future of this part of Europe in general, the stability of Germany politics is a value," Szczerski said, asked whether Poland would root for Merkel in the German elections this year."On the turbulent map of Europe such a stability is needed."(Writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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