Thursday, January 26, 2017

 

NEW BRUNSWICK ICE STORM KNOCKS OUT POWER TO OVER 129,000 CUSTOMERS.

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)

New Brunswick ice storm knocks out power to over 129,000 customers-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

Over 129,000 NB Power customers are without electricity, schools are closed and police have issued travel warnings after many parts of New Brunswick were hit by an overnight ice storm.The bulk of the outages (the numbers are constantly changing) are in the Moncton area, with over 37,000 affected, according to the utility. As of 10:50 a.m. AT, there also were over 13,000 outages in the Shediac region, over 12,000 in Kent County, over 13,000 in Restigouche and over 17,000 in the Acadian Peninsula.NB Power calls the storm "a major weather event," and said crews will assess the damage as soon as it is safe.On Tuesday night, the utility said it had an extra 60 crews ready to respond to the anticipated outages.Marie-Andrée Bolduc, a spokeswoman for NB Power, said crews have been working overnight.She anticipates restoring power lines will take a few days and NB Power is looking at getting help from other utilities."The trees are really being weighed down and they're making contact with the lines, but also heavy buildup of snow on the lines themselves and they really kind of exceed the capacity of weight," said Bolduc."The restoration efforts are challenging right now because the storm is still going through in some areas, so access to sites and road conditions are tricky for the crews."-School closures-The University of New Brunswick's Fredericton campus and the St. Thomas University campus, as well as the Univeristy of Moncton, will be closed until noon.Some school districts that have cancelled classes include:- Anglophone West school district - Anglophone East school district-- Anglophone North school district - Anglophone South, with schools closed in Hampton, Kingston, Belleisle, Apohaqui, Norton and Sussex.- Francophone South school district (except for École des Pionniers, Secondaire Assomption and Centre scolaire Samuel-de-Champlain). -Travel warnings-The RCMP has issued a no-travel advisory for the Trans-Canada Highway from the Grand Falls area to Longs Creek as well as Route 95.Sgt. Chantal Farrah says New Brunswick RCMP have received some 20 calls reporting accidents involving drivers who are losing control on slushy and flooded roads.She urges drivers to exercise caution because several trees have fallen onto roads."People really have to slow down. If you have a gut feeling that it looks really flooded ... it's best to not chance it."Felicia Murphy, spokeswoman for Brun-Way Highways Operations Inc., the company that maintains the highway from Longs Creek to the Quebec border, said water is covering the road.As of about 10 a.m. Tuesday, there was a lot of precipitation. Murphy said certain spots on the highway are covered with snow, and slippery and slushy.Drivers should give themselves extra travel time Wednesday, said Norman Clouston, general manager for the MRDC Operations Corp., which manages the Trans-Canada Highway between Moncton and Fredericton.He said crews are plowing ice pellets and slush, and applying road salt."There is standing water on occasion. The buildup appears not to be allowing water to drain through it, and it's very heavy and wet," said Clouston.-"Crews have been out there all night."-Public transit isn't running in Moncton, and Codiac Transpo announced it is closed until further notice.Trevor Robson, a supervisor with Codiac Transpo, said early Wednesday that a decision on when the bus service will reopen will be made at 10 a.m.Nearly all of New Brunswick remains under a freezing rain or rainfall warning. The only exception is the Fredericton area.Terry Murphy, spokesman for the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization in Port Elgin, says residents of Port Elgin are being asked to conserve water until power is restored to the village pumps.CBC meteorologist Brennan Allen said the storm will slowly move out and mild temperatures are expected. But northern regions of New Brunswick will get 15 to 20 centimetres of snow and ice pellets, in addition to several hours of freezing rain."Central New Brunswick, from York through Kent County, appear to be at the highest risk of dangerous ice" formation, Allen said."Elsewhere, there will be enough freezing rain to make travel on roads dangerous. The Atlantic and Fundy coasts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will be looking at 40 to 80 millimetres of rain."High winds and heavy rain are causing poor driving conditions.-New Brunswick forecast-Northern New Brunswick-Today: Ice pellets mixed with snow and freezing rain expected, with accumulations of 5 to 10 cm. Winds will be from the northeast at 30 km/h, gusting to 80 km/h with a high of –1 C.Tonight: Light snow with winds from the south near 15 km/h and a low of –5 C.Thursday: It will be mostly cloudy with a chance of flurries and a high near –1 C.-Fredericton and area-Today: Rain will taper to showers this morning bringing about 5 to 10 mm along with winds from the northwest at 20 km/h, gusting to 40 km/h and a high near 3 C.Tonight: It will be mostly cloudy with a chance of flurries. Winds will be from the southwest at 20 km/h with a low near –3 C.Thursday: Skies will be mostly cloudy with a chance of flurries or showers and a high near 2 C.-Southern New Brunswick-Today: Rain will taper to showers this afternoon bringing another 10 to 20 mm. Winds will be from the northwest at 30 km/h, gusting to 50 km/h with a high near 7 C.Tonight: It will be mostly cloudy with a chance of flurries, winds from the southwest at 20 km/h and a low of –2 C.Thursday: Skies will be mostly cloudy with a chance of flurries or showers and a high near 3 C.

Quake survivors protest in Rome as avalanche toll hits 24-[AFP]-Franck IOVENE-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

Rome (AFP) - Hundreds of Italians whose homes were devastated in a series of deadly earthquakes protested in Rome Wednesday at the slow pace of government aid as the death toll from an avalanche-hit hotel rose to 24.The demonstrators, many of them from mountain villages left in ruins by the earthquakes which rocked Italy in August and October, urged the government to move faster on providing aid to populations still reeling from disaster.With some wearing sashes in the red, white and green of the Italian flag, they marched through Rome's historic city centre toward the Montecitorio parliament building, carrying signs reading: "To rebuild, we need hearts and hands. Where are yours?"Another held up a placard reading: "Bureaucracy kills more than the earthquake.""We came to protest the government's delays on reconstruction work," protest coordinator Mirko Fioravanti told AFP, saying little had been done in since August."Few things have been accomplished in five months, not even the essential," he said."Even if the task is great, things could have been done in a manner better suited to the situation, and definitely much faster."Among the crowd were survivors from Amatrice, the mountain town devastated by the August quake which left nearly 300 people dead, while others came from the towns of Accumoli, Norcia, and Arquata del Tronto.Last year's quakes left thousands of homes in ruins or structurally unsafe, emptying a string of villages and small towns across Italy's mountainous central regions, with an estimated 40,000 people forced to find shelter.- 'Cumbersome procedures' -Writing on Facebook, former prime minister Matteo Renzi said the delivery of temporary homes for quake victims was due to take place "before Easter".But Francesca Mileto, another protest coordinator, said the pace was too slow. "We want to shock the bureaucracy into speeding up these cumbersome procedures," she told AFP.The protest came as rescuers struggled to find the last five people still unaccounted for, presumed dead, at the Hotel Rigopiano in central Italy which was buried by a wall of snow on January 18.Eleven people, including all four children, survived.The deadly avalanche followed the heaviest snowfall seen in the mountains of central Italy in decades and may have been triggered by a series of powerful earthquakes which rocked the region earlier the same day.The combination of the extreme weather and the quakes has claimed at least 11 lives unrelated to the hotel disaster.Six of them died when a helicopter crashed at the Campo Felice ski resort on Tuesday.- PM hails the rescuers -Rescuers have vowed to continue combing through the wreckage of the Rigopiano but sub-zero overnight temperatures meant there was little hope of finding anyone else alive on the seventh day of the search.The last survivors extracted from the rubble were pulled out on Saturday after being located on Friday morning. They were all suffering from mild hypothermia.A prosecutor is examining whether the disaster could have been avoided with better risk-assessment procedures.But Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has warned against launching a hunt for scapegoats to assuage the grief of those who have lost loved ones."We are proud of the emergency services who were confronted with absolutely exceptional snowfalls and two of whom gave their lives," Gentiloni told parliament Wednesday, referring to two mountain rescuers who died in the helicopter crash.

Storm dumps snow, rain on U.S. Northeast; search on for Georgia toddler-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-January 24, 2017

(Reuters) - A powerful storm that killed at least 21 people in the southern United States over the weekend brought snow, heavy rain and gusty winds to the Northeast on Tuesday as searchers combed Georgia tornado wreckage for a missing toddler.The storm, known as a nor'easter, dumped from 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) of snow on New York's Catskills as well as mountains in Pennsylvania and New England, along with a heavy mix of freezing rain and sleet, said Brian Hurley, a National Weather Service meteorologist."A lot of places are seeing snowfall in the 2- to 4-inch (5- to 10-cm) range because not all of it is snow," he said. Much of the Northeast was under winter storm warnings or advisories.Wind gusts of more than 60 miles per hour (97 km per hour) also were recorded all along the East Coast, Hurley said. The high winds caused scattered power outages, with Eversource Energy reporting about 4,400 customers in New England without power.The snow and ice is expected to taper off through Wednesday morning as the storm system heads into Canada's Maritime provinces, the National Weather Service said.School districts across the region canceled or delayed the start of classes due to icy roads. Local news outlets showed footage of snow-covered roads and vehicles thickly glazed with ice.In southern Georgia, police with dogs searched through the ruins of the Piney Woods Mobile Home Park and adjacent woods near Albany for a 2-year-old boy missing since a tornado flattened the area on Sunday.Search teams had looked all day Monday and through the night for the toddler. Local media said the child had slipped away from his mother before their home was destroyed.The storm was part of the system that killed at least 21 people, 16 of them in Georgia, before roaring up the East Coast.Another winter storm plowing east out of the Rocky Mountains could drop from 6 to 15 inches (15 to 38 cm) of snow on parts of South Dakota and Nebraska before weakening as it reaches the upper Midwest on Wednesday, Hurley said.(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington, Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Scott Malone and Lisa Shumaker)

FAMINE

EZEKIEL 5:16
16  When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread:

REVELATION 6:5-6
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.(A DAYS WAGES FOR A LOAF OF BREAD)

MATTHEW 24:7-8
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Flabbergasted' by gas prices, people struggle as N.L. inflation surges-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

​Everywhere you go around the province it seems people are talking about cutting back just to get by, and Statistics Canada is now backing that up — Newfoundland and Labrador's inflation rate is now the highest in Canada."It's pretty scary," said Megan Marshall, who works at the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador in St. John's."We're a pretty average family. I work for a non-profit. My husband's a musician and he's in the service industry. We have a young daughter in school. And we're really just getting by — literally, it's fairly month-to-month for us — and I think that is the way it is for most people."Statistics Canada said the new taxes on insurance and gasoline have helped push the province's inflation rate up.Marshall told CBC News Tuesday her family is feeling the financial effects of the doubled gas tax and the new 15 per cent tax on car and home insurance.She said her family now pays $80 a month to fill their car to get around town, compared to $40 last year."We are flabbergasted every time we drive by the gas station," she said. "But there's only so many hours a day that we can all work and we have kids to pay for. I don't know how much more I can do."-'No wiggle room'-When insurance on their car went from $150 a month to $250, she said she spent a day finding a cheaper option."You get paid, and it is all gone. There is no wiggle room for anything, really," she said.Marshall said she knows they are better off than some, and hopes other people can manage like they are by budgeting carefully and cutting out the extras they once enjoyed, like trips and other luxuries."Hopefully, we can just get through it and see some changes," she said."People in my generation, we work hard and we're trying to do the right things for our families and for our kids and stuff, and it's just a constant struggle."-'Can't even afford a full tank of gas'-At a gas station in St. John's Tuesday afternoon, several drivers were filling their tanks with just enough gas to keep them going.Mitchell Fennell said the extra tax on gas is "unreal." He spends about $140 to fill up his truck, but not Tuesday."I can't even afford a full tank of gas," he said, adding people like him are just buying "whatever we can afford week-to-week."Fennell said he is financially strained following last spring's provincial budget as well, and has made cutbacks."Yup, definitely. Like luxuries. I used to have a quad, Ski-Doo, and stuff like that. No more," he said."The Ski-Doo is really hard on gas. Quad not so bad, but I can barely afford to put gas in the truck let alone recreational vehicles."

MIGRATING BIRDS IN ISRAEL EATS HUMANS FLESH FOR COMING AGAINST ISRAEL-JERUSALEM

EZEKIEL 39:11-12,18
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)

EZEKIEL 39:17-21
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.

REVELATION 19:17-18
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.

EZEKIEL 38:1-7
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.

EZEKIEL 39:1-8
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.

Bird lovers worry eagles are having trouble finding food after local dump closes-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-January 24, 2017

They aren't certain, but bird watchers in Terrace, B.C. suspect the closure of a local landfill has impacted the area's bald eagle population."When the local ponds and rivers froze over, the birds would wind up at the landfill site looking for free food," says Keith Soules, a bird watcher and member of the Skeena Valley Naturalists."When it all froze up, there'd be huge numbers, anywhere from 200 to 300 eagles up there."A far cry from the mere 33 recorded during last month's annual Christmas bird count.Bird lovers in the area suspect the closure of the Terrace landfill in November 2016 has led the raptors to seek out food elsewhere, while those that remain are turning to more desperate measures in order to survive the winter.Soules regularly puts chicken scratch in his backyard for small birds, but this year he saw a full-grown eagle scratching through the snow to get the feed."I have never seen this before," he said.Soules isn't alone in his unusual eagle encounter. Carol Sabo raises backyard poultry and has never had a problem with predatory birds, until this year, when four turkeys disappeared just as eagles started soaring around her yard.With a solid five-foot fence around her yard, she says she can't think of any other animal that could be responsible."I'm pretty sure it was the eagles," she said.Soules says it's tough to draw a direct line between the closure of the dump and the decline in eagles, but Gunther Golinas of the Prince Rupert Wildlife Shelter says it's not unusual for animals to relocate after losing a major food source."Once their food chain is broken, like with the dump or something like that ... they just move on," he said.Wildlife biologist and eagle expert David Hancock says eagles are incredibly mobile birds, moving hundreds of kilometres a day to wherever they can find a food source — which also makes them hard to track."It's quite possible 10, 20, 50 thousand [of B.C.] eagles have gone to the Mississippi Valley," he said. "We just don't know."Hancock noted the numbers at the annual Brackendale Eagle Count have also declined, in part because of unusually high water in November, making it harder for eagles to get at the salmon.Meanwhile, he said, the Fraser Valley is "full of eagles" seeking out roadkill in places they aren't usually found in high numbers."It's not good for the eagles because their normal food supply is not available," he said."Will they adapt? That remains to be seen."With files from Andrew Kurjata.To hear the full story, click on the audio labelled 'Bird lovers worry the closure of Terrace's dump is hurting the local eagle population.'For more stories from northern British Columbia, join the CBC Daybreak North — Northern British Columbia community on Facebook.

DANIEL 7:23-24
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)

Trump cannot deny business case for clean energy, says EU official By Peter Teffer-JAN 25,17-EUOBSERVER

Brussels, Today, 15:57-While the European Union “may not be happy” about many climate-related decisions by the US president, American businesses are moving towards clean energy anyway, the EU's highest civil servant on climate action said on Wednesday (25 January).“Of course we don't know the details of what Mr Trump is going to sign today or tomorrow or the day after,” said Jos Delbeke, director-general of the European Commission's climate action department, at an event in Brussels organised by the European Policy Centre, a think tank.“But there is one reality that may also be a reality where even Mr Trump cannot go against. That is that the business dynamics is as active in the United States as it is in Europe or elsewhere," he said.Delbeke said American companies were “very active” in the sector of renewable energy, like solar panels and wind turbines, because it represented “a good business case, and lots of jobs”.“On average ten times more jobs are created in the renewables sector compared to coal mining or coal-fired power generation,” said Delbeke.He spoke five days after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president of the United States, the world's second largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China. The EU as a bloc is the third largest.In less than a week, Trump signed orders that will have a negative impact on US greenhouse gas reduction.On Tuesday, he lifted an order by his predecessor Barack Obama to put the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline on hold. He also promised to revive the coal sector.Coal, and then oil, are the fossil fuels that emit the most greenhouse gases, which cause the Earth's temperature to rise.On Wednesday, Reuters reported that the Environmental Protection Agency in the US has been told to remove its webpages on climate change, something which at the moment of writing has not happened yet.EU official Delbeke said that the US may achieve its climate goals agreed in Paris in 2015, despite Trump's “hesitation”, however.“Needless to say we are not that enthusiastic about the decision about the XL pipeline,” said Delbeke.“We may not be happy about many decisions that are being taken. But when I talk to experts from the United States, they say that it is not to be excluded that because of the business dynamics, that the pledge that the United States have given in Paris, may well be delivered," he said.World leaders agreed in Paris that they would adopt policies that would keep global warming “well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels”.“Climate warming is indeed happening,” said Hans Bruyninckx, executive director of the European Environment Agency.He noted that in 2016, the average global temperature was between 1.1 °C and 1.3 °C higher than since before the industrial revolution.Bruyninckx did not subscribe to the suggestion that with Trump climate inaction, other countries should pick up the slack.“I think it's inconceivable that we would say: okay, the US is not cutting this or that, so let's do it in Europe. That's not how the system works,” he said.However, last weekend's "change in the world order" does give the EU an opportunity to show leadership, said Werner Hoyer, the president of the European Investment Bank (EIB).“2016 was again the hottest year on record, reminding us that climate change needs urgent action,” he said at an annual press conference about the EIB's results on Tuesday.“With the change in the world order last weekend, we Europeans must lead the free world against the climate sceptics," he said.The EIB chief also noted that Chinese president Xi Jinping earlier this month urged all countries to stick to the Paris climate agreement.“It is heartwarming it is nowadays the Chinese who are reminding us of the importance of that goal. It took us quite some time to convince them,” said Hoyer.However, his vice-president on climate action, Jonathan Taylor, said he would not “speculate” about the US.“All I can do is talk for our own position. Climate continues to be a very significant priority,” he told EUobserver.“We continue to expect that we will have a minimum amount of lending in climate action of 25 percent of our overall total. We are aiming to get that up to 35 percent by 2020 for countries outside of the European Union," he said.Taylor did not directly see a role for the EIB to pick up the slack of what the US was not doing.“I don't think we need to add to our particular targets, although of course our 25 percent target is a minimum, and indeed we've exceeded it in the last few years,” he noted.The EIB funds projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, as well as those that prepare communities for climate change.Indeed, Europe is already affected by climate change, according to a report by the European Environment Agency (EEA), published on Wednesday.Climate change is expected to reduce crop yield for farmers in southern Europe, and increase the risk of forest fires, floods, and droughts.Extreme weather situations will become more common, said EEA chief Bruyninckx.“You have to prepare your cities for both flooding and shortages of water,” he said.-Eat less meat-But it is not only government action that is required.Citizens will have to change their behaviour, said a Dutch institute in a new report.The Netherlands will only be able to achieve its climate goals promised in Paris, if its citizens change their eating pattern, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said in a report on Tuesday (24 January).That means “eating less meat, and choosing fruit and vegetables that are in season, and reducing waste”.

JOHN 8:44
44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

EXODUS 20:13
13 Thou shalt not kill.(Murder)(THAT INCLUDES ABORTION)

EXODUS 21:12
12 He that smiteth (MURDER)a man,(OR BABY) so that he die, shall be surely put to death.(THATS THE DEATH PENALTY PEOPLE)

Trump expands anti-abortion ban to all US global health aid-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-January 24, 2017

President Donald Trump has massively expanded the ban on providing federal money to international family planning groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information to all organizations receiving U.S. global health assistance.Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer announced Monday that the ban on family planning funding — which was instituted by GOP President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and has bounced in and out of law between Democratic and Republican administrations — had been reinstituted. But it wasn't until the president's memorandum was published Monday night that the expansion came to light.The order directs the secretary of state, in co-operation with the secretary of health and human services, for the first time to extend the requirements in the ban "to global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies." The ban is known as the Mexico City Policy or Global Gag Rule.Suzanne Ehlers, president of Washington-based Population Action International which lobbies in the U.S. and developing countries for women's reproductive health, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that targeting health assistance expands the amount of U.S. funding affected by a magnitude of 15 times and will impact millions and millions of women in low- and middle-income countries.U.S. support for family planning currently amounts to about $575 million in 40 countries, she said, while global health assistance totals about $9 billion to about 60 countries.Any international organization receiving U.S. funds for health programs will now be required to certify that it does not provide abortion services, counselling , referrals or information or advocate for the liberalization of abortion laws, even with non-U.S. funds. If they don't, their funding will be cut off.The effects of this "massive expansion ... are so enormous that the American public should be outraged that we really are trying to cut off life-saving basic health services to the poorest women anywhere in the world," Ehlers said. "It's like a complete abomination of U.S. leadership and partnership."She said members of the House and Senate need to know that Trump "has gone too far."U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen told fellow lawmakers Tuesday that the expansion "targets some of the most effective health organizations at work in the developing world.""Without funding, these organizations won't be able to provide HIV services and maternal health care, or counsel women on the risks of Zika infection," the New Hampshire Democrat said.Ehlers said programs funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to support child nutrition, and help combat infectious diseases like tuberculosis and malaria are also affected.Shaheen and Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, introduced legislation late Tuesday to repeal the Global Gag Rule, with support from 43 other senators. A companion bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat."Women's reproductive health care remains under constant assault," Shaheen said, and Trump's action has broadened the assault."We know that the way to decrease unplanned pregnancies and abortions is to make birth control and family planning services accessible and affordable, not micromanage the type of medical information and reproductive health counselling that women around the world receive," she said.But Trump's reinstatement of the ban drew strong support from Republican lawmakers and anti-abortion groups.Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican who co-chairs the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, said "there is political consensus that taxpayer dollars should not fund abortion and the abortion industry.""Without this protection in place, foreign NGOs receiving U.S. government funds promote and perform abortion throughout the world with the imprimatur of the United States," he said.Edith M. Lederer, The Associated Press.

Ottawans give feedback on Ontario's guaranteed income pilot project-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

More than 100 Ottawa residents gave their feedback Tuesday night about Ontario's plans to try a different approach to alleviating poverty with guaranteed incomes."We have an opportunity to right a system that is, in my opinion, quite broken," said Carissa Davis, a single mother who attended the consultation session on Coventry Road.She finds the current social assistance model overly bureaucratic and more focused on policing people's incomes than empowering them to break a cycle and get out of poverty.Davis is excited that Ontario is looking at the idea of offering individuals a basic income, set at amounts higher than what the government provides for those on Ontario Works or disability support payments.The concept is that if people have a secure income, and see less money clawed back, they will be able to feed their families healthier foods and have more incentive to find work or get more education."I think this is such an amazing opportunity to really do something that can lift people further ahead," said Davis.-Segal report provided basis for consultation-Government officials have been travelling the province for the last two months, asking about who should be eligible for a guaranteed income, how much money they should receive, and which communities should act as test sites.They're working from recommendations made to the Ontario government by former Conservative senator Hugh Segal.He suggested Ontario provide people with a basic income of about $1,320 per month, with an extra $500 for those on disability.Segal also suggested the idea be tested over three years in three communities — a northern one with a commodities-based economy, a southern one with no major government employer, and a First Nation — as well as in a neighbourhood of a big city."Hugh Segal presented us with, I guess, a pretty ambitious plan," community services minister Helena Jaczek told CBC News on Tuesday.But Jaczek said the premier and Liberal government are committed to rolling out some form of pilot project to gather data over three years.Anti-poverty activists want increase to social assistance now-Some anti-poverty groups, however, are calling for immediate increases to Ontario Works and Ontario disability support rates.The advocacy group ACORN made that demand at the outset of Ottawa's session on Tuesday, as other groups have at basic income consultations in other cities.Minister Jaczek acknowledged to CBC News that the current rates — an individual on welfare receives a maximum of about $700 per month — are too low."We know that the current system is not necessarily serving people well," said Jaczek."So while this is a [basic income] pilot and we're going to wait for evidence over three years and so on, we are going ahead and making sure we're looking at the current system and going to try to improve it."Jaczek said she will address some issues that have been raised in the upcoming provincial budget.As for the basic income pilot, the public can still provide their comments to the government online until Jan. 31.Ontario is supposed to present details of how and where it would roll out by April.

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)

BY 2036 I HOPE JESUS IS RULING ON EARTH FOREVER FROM HIS THRONE IN ISRAELS WORLD CAPITAL JERUSALEM.THEN CANADA WILL NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT 1/3RD OF CANADIANS BEING IMMIGRANTS AT THAT TIME.UNDER JESUS' RULE.MUSLIMS AND THE SEX FOR MURDER-DEATH CULT OF ISLAMIC-QURANIC-SHARIA LAW WILL BE TAKEN CARE OF BY AN IRON FIST BY JESUS.

Immigrants could make up one-third of population by 2036, StatsCan study says-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

OTTAWA — A new study from Statistics Canada says that almost half the country's population could be an immigrant or the child of an immigrant within the next 20 years.The study suggest that the proportion of immigrants in Canada's population could reach up to 30 per cent in 2036 — compared to 20.7 per cent in 2011 — and a further 20 per cent of the population would be the child of an immigrant, up from the 17.5 per cent recorded in 2011.The numbers are a far cry from the country's first census of the population in 1871 — four years after Confederation — when 16.1 per cent of the 3.7 million people in Canada were born abroad, with Britain, the United States and Germany as the most likely countries of origin.The population projections released today show that immigration will alter the country's cultural landscape under all scenarios Statistics Canada explored as part of an ongoing project to map out Canada's future as the nation turns 150 years old.Researchers concluded more than half of the country's immigrants will be of Asian origin within the next two decades with a corresponding decline in the number of European immigrants.Visible minority populations would make up a growing percentage of the working age population, defined as people between the ages of 15 and 64, potentially doubling their share to 40 per cent of the age cohort, up from the almost 20 per in 2011.The projections also suggest that by 2036, between 13 and 16 per cent of the population would be people from a non-Christian religion, up from the nine per cent recorded in 2011. Within this group, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs would see their numbers grow most quickly.The upward trend in the number of immigrants to Canada would also have an effect on the languages spoken at home. Up to 30 per cent of Canadians in 2036 could have a mother tongue that is neither English nor French, a potential 10 point jump from 2011.The Canadian Press.

Pakistan's blasphemy law worries opponents of extremism-[Associated Press]-KATHY GANNON-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

BARAKHAO, Pakistan (AP) — Two ornate minarets pierce the evening sky and frame the emerald green dome of a shrine to Mumtaz Qadri. He was hanged for killing a politician who criticized Pakistan's blasphemy law — a measure that can bring a death sentence for anyone insulting Islam.A marble-encased tomb holds the body of Qadri, a member of an elite police unit charged with protecting Punjab provincial Gov. Salman Taseer. But instead of keeping him safe, Qadri turned his AK-47 assault rifle on Taseer and killed him. With a smile on his face, Qadri then put down his weapon and was arrested, tried and hanged last year.Qadri's brother, Amir Sajjad, spends afternoons and evenings at the shrine, collecting donations for a mosque and madrassa, or religious school, to be built at the site on the outskirts of Islamabad. Millions of rupees have been collected, Sajjad said.The shrine worries those in Pakistan who fear a growth of extremism. There have been brutal sectarian killings, violent demonstrations by clerics in favor of the blasphemy law, and threats to anyone who dares to challenge it.Earlier this month, five liberal-leaning bloggers disappeared — the latest targets of radical clerics and their followers. The clerics have accused the missing writers of blasphemy following a social media campaign raising those allegations without any evidence. In Pakistan, a simple accusation of blasphemy can be tantamount to a death sentence.The government has stepped in, saying there was no evidence the bloggers said or did anything that could be considered blasphemous, and that there was no suggestion of any of them being charged with blasphemy.The bloggers, whose disappearances have been decried nationally and internationally, had been critical of the military and bemoaned the presence of radical religious militant groups in their country. No group has taken responsibility for their disappearances.Supporters of the bloggers say the shrine to Qadri exalts those who kill in the name of religion. They also say it makes it dangerous to even amend the blasphemy law to prevent it from being abused.Attorney Saif-ul-Mulk, who prosecuted Qadri, said the Supreme Court of Pakistan judged him to be "a terrorist," yet clerics and others are "trying to paint him as a saint.""I can assure you that in the coming 10 to 20 years, he will be a saint of very high profile and billions of rupees will be coming to his shrine," the attorney said.Mulk is defending Asiya Bibi, a Christian who has been on death row for six years, and he has taken her final appeal to the Supreme Court. Bibi was accused by a group of co-workers of insulting Islam's prophet, a charge she denies. The accusation came after a dispute with the co-workers that she drank the same water as hem while they were working in a field.Mulk travels with security, and police are stationed outside his home in the eastern Punjab city of Lahore.In an interview, Mulk noted that the Qadri case risks encouraging other would-be "martyrs," whose relatives might gain financially from carrying out similar killings."If one person is not able to feed his parents and family, he gives his life, kills somebody big, and the whole family becomes richer than they could ever dream," he said.For some in Pakistan, the shrine is seen as yet another tool in the arsenal of radical Sunni Muslim groups seeking to consolidate their hold over Pakistan's 180 million people.Ayesha Siddiqa, a defense analyst who has written extensively on Pakistan's military, warned in a recent column that Qadri's shrine will emerge as a rallying point for preserving the blasphemy law, which some liberal lawmakers would like to see at least amended so it is more difficult to abuse."The blasphemy law is their big ticket to support amongst the masses, which they would like to consolidate further with the symbol they have now erected in the form of Mumtaz Qadri's shrine near the capital city," Siddiqa wrote. "Last year, his family had buried him strategically in an open ground and sort of wilderness (area) to ensure that a structure could be built on top."The roof of the shrine shimmers from thousands of tiny inlaid mirrors. A crystal chandelier revolves atop Qadri's marble grave embellished with verses from the Quran.Those coming to pay homage to Qadri lay their prayer mats amid the construction that is going on.On a recent day, the shrine drew men, women and children, as well as a handful of students from Pakistan's financial hub of Karachi, a cosmopolitan city of 20 million people on the Arabian Sea. The students, who were well-educated and spoke English, nevertheless expressed hard-line views.Bilal Fazl, 18, who attends a university in Karachi, denounced Taseer, the slain provincial governor."He said the blasphemy law was a black law," Fazl said. "It was OK to kill him."But he had nothing but admiration for Qadri, whom he described as a "hero of Islam."___Follow Kathy Gannon on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kathygannon .

Israel issues travel warning on Egypt's uprising anniversary-[Associated Press]-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has issued a travel warning for its citizens on visiting Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.Tuesday's notice comes amid intelligence of imminent militant attacks on the anniversary of Egypt's 2011 upheaval that toppled former autocrat Hosni Mubarak.Prime Minister's Benjamin Netanyahu's counterterrorism office says there's a "high level" threat of attacks on Jan. 25. It recommends Israelis leave the area immediately and those planning on visiting change plans.Neighboring Sinai with its pristine beaches and Red Sea coral reefs is a popular tourist destination for Israelis.Israel issues occasional travel warnings, based on intelligence reports.Since 2013, when the military overthrew Mubarak's Islamist successor, Egyptian authorities have cracked down on Islamists and scores of secular activists. The crackdown has also coincided with an escalation of a Sinai-based insurgency by Islamic militants.

Portugal offer to take Iraqi refugees rebuffed as favouritism-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

AGIOS ATHANASIOS, Greece — As a member of a persecuted minority in Iraq, 24-year-old Shaker Mahie has seen his people massacred, raped and scattered across a new continent. Now, the Yazidi — whose faith is older than Christianity — are at the centre of a new European dilemma.Portugal has offered to take in several hundred of the 2,500 Yazidi refugees living in Greece, arguing that their mistreated community merits special protection. Athens has rejected the offer, worried that other countries might start cherry-picking asylum applications based on religion or ethnicity.Does that make the Yazidis victims of discrimination or nondiscrimination? It's a question that could be keeping some of them in limbo.Ana Gomes, a European Parliament member from Portugal who has been an outspoken advocate of the resettlement proposal, says Greek concerns are misplaced. Yazidis, she noted, were targeted for slaughter by Islamic State militants at home and face ongoing harassment from fellow Iraqis stranded in migrant camps."These people have been victims of negative discrimination in resettlement to other European countries when they should be having positive discrimination in recognition of the barbarity they have suffered," Gomes told the Associated Press after returning from a visit to refugee camps in Greece.The dispute comes as the European Union wrestles with how to protect the most vulnerable refugees while making sure that member nations are sharing the cost of taking in newcomers. Delays and political obstruction have impeded an emergency relocation program meant to ease the disproportionate load carried by Italy and Greece.Over centuries, Yazidis have been the victims of purges by rulers who regarded their religious symbols and practices as devil worship. Islamic State militants used the same explanation when they targeted the insular community for conversion and elimination.Iraq's remote Sijar region, the Yazidi minority's heartland, is where thousands of civilians were massacred and thousands more fled in 2014. The United Nations has described the attacks as genocide.In a small hotel room near the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, Mahie watches his son and daughter play on the floor with a toy dump truck, and struggles to find words to recount the horrors witnessed by his young family. He remembers IS fighters entering his village two years ago."They (took) girls and women and killed the men," he said.He and his family fled into the mountains of Sijar before crossing into Turkey and paying smugglers to get them to Greece.The Yazidis' recent plight has been highlighted by the revelations of women being captured by IS fighters for sexual slavery. Two Yazidi women, Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar, received an annual award for human rights last month from the European Parliament.But old prejudices also have followed the Yazidi to Europe, where they have reported being attacked by other refugees at camps and are often housed separately."We take the issue of Yazidis very seriously because they have suffered such violence and persecution. We are doing everything we can to ensure their protection," Greek Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas told The Associated Press.Greece says more than 60,000 refugees and migrants who arrived there hoping to make it further into Europe are stranded in the country, after EU and Balkan countries closed their borders last year. Athens is struggling to shelter them over the winter and pressing other European Union countries to honour relocation commitments.Portugal so far has taken in about half of the 1,618 asylum-seekers it pledged to accept under the EU's embattled relocation scheme. Nevertheless, it's Yazidi-specific invitation is unacceptable, Mouzalas said."No government can discriminate on a racial basis," he said. "And those making a lot of noise around this issue are not helping the Yazidis."Yazidi refugees themselves are split on the offer from Portugal. Some worry about further dispersing the members of a minority group thought to number only several hundred thousand worldwide."I don't want to go to Portugal," Mahie said. "My mother and my brother are in Germany and my father is in Iraq. It's difficult for one family someone to (be) in this country and someone to (be) in another country."To others, the idea of a safe haven is appealing.Like Mahie, Riad Salo sought refuge from IS in the mountains of Sinjar; his father-in-law died there. The younger of Salo's two daughters, Xzidxan, was born in a tent at a refugee camp near Mount Olympus in northern Greece.Salo said he feared continued persecution from other Iraqis even if another EU country agrees to relocate his family."I don't want to go to a country where there are many (other refugees)," he said. "I want to go to Portugal because it's very safe."___Online:U.N. rights panel conclusion on IS group attacks: http://bit.ly/2jfoBCG___Derek Gatopoulos in Athens contributed. Hatton reported from Lisbon, Portugal. Follow Kantouris at http://www.twitter.com/CostasKantouris and Hatton at http://twitter.com/hattonlisbon-Costas Kantouris And Barry Hatton, The Associated Press.

Extremist gunmen storm hotel in Somali capital, 8 killed-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

MOGADISHU, Somalia — At least eight people were dead and 14 injured Wednesday as Somali security forces ended a siege by extremist fighters who stormed a hotel in the capital, police said.Four al-Shabab attackers were also killed in the attack on Dayah hotel, which is often frequented by government officials, said Col. Mohamoud Abdi, a senior police officer.Survivors described chaotic scenes in which hotel residents hid under beds and others jumped out of windows of the four-story building to escape the attackers."They kicked down room doors and at some point posed themselves as rescue teams by telling those inside to come out (only) to kill them," said Hassan Nur, a traditional Somali elder.He said two well-known clan elders were among those killed.The assault on the hotel started when a suicide car bomb exploded at its gates. A second explosion soon followed.Dozens of people, including lawmakers, were thought to have been staying at the hotel at the time of the morning attack, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein.A nearby shopping centre caught fire and dozens of people helped save goods from the flames.Somalia's homegrown Islamic extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack via its online radio, Andalus, saying its fighters succeeded in entering the hotel.Al-Shabab frequently targets hotels and other public places often visited by government officials and foreigners. Al-Qaida's East African affiliate is fighting to impose a strict version of Islam in this Horn of Africa nation.In June, gunmen stormed the Nasa-Hablod hotel, killing at least 14 people. Two weeks before that, gunmen killed 15, including two members of parliament, at the Ambassador hotel.Despite being ousted from most of its key strongholds, al-Shabab continues to carry out deadly guerrilla attacks across large parts of south and central Somalia.Earlier this month, a bomb explosion at a restaurant in Mogadishu killed three, and a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at a security checkpoint near the international airport, killing at least three. That blast occurred a few hundred meters (yards) from the main base of the African Union peacekeeping mission.Al-Shabab's assaults have threatened this nation's attempts to rebuild from decades of chaos. The presidential election, a key step toward recovery, already has been delayed several times because of security and other concerns.___Guled contributed from Hargeisa, Somalia.Farah Abdi Warsameh And Abdi Guled, The Associated Press.

Jihadists crush Syria rebel group, in a blow to diplomacy-[Reuters]-By Tom Perry-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A powerful jihadist group has crushed a Free Syrian Army rebel faction in northwestern Syria, in an attack that threatens to deal a critical blow to the more moderate wing of the Syrian rebellion and derail new Russian-backed peace talks.The Jabhat Fateh al-Sham jihadist group, formerly known as the Nusra Front, launched an attack on a number of FSA groups in northwestern Syria on Tuesday, accusing them of conspiring against it at peace talks in Kazakhstan this week.The fighting has engulfed the rebels' last major territorial stronghold in northwestern Syria, prompting a major Islamist insurgent faction to warn on Wednesday that it could allow President Bashar al-Assad and his allies to capture the area.Officials with two FSA factions said Fateh al-Sham had overrun areas held by the Jaish al-Mujahideen group west of Aleppo. One of the officials said he expected other FSA factions to face the same fate unless they could get better organised to defend themselves - something they have so far failed to do.The Syrian insurgency has been hamstrung from the outset by divisions among rebel groups fighting Assad, including the ideological split over whether to pursue Sunni jihadist goals or the more nationalist agenda backed by FSA groups."Nusra wants to end the FSA," said the FSA official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. If it succeeded, "the ones who attended Astana will be finished", he added, referring to the talks in Kazakhstan.Those talks were backed by Assad's two main allies - Russia and Iran - and by Turkey, which has supported many of the FSA groups in northern Syria. Russia mobilised the new talks after helping Assad to defeat the rebels in Aleppo last month.-ISLAMIST AHRAR AL-SHAM CALLS UP FIGHTERS-Fateh al-Sham was al Qaeda's official wing in the Syrian war until it announced it had cut those ties last year. Internationally viewed as a terrorist group, it has been excluded from all diplomatic efforts to end the Syrian conflict, including a recent truce brokered by Russia and Turkey.Since the new year, Fateh al-Sham has been targeted by a spate of U.S. air strikes. That included an attack by a B-52 bomber which the Pentagon said killed more than 100 al Qaeda militants.Fateh al-Sham said in a statement published on Tuesday it had been forced to act preemptively to "thwart conspiracies" being hatched against it. It said "conferences and negotiations" were "trying to divert the course of the revolution towards reconciliation with the criminal regime (of Assad)".It also accused rebel factions that attended the Astana talks of agreeing to "isolate" and fight it, and said its foes were giving away its positions to the U.S.-led coalition.Fateh al-Sham is one of the most powerful groups in the remaining territory held by the rebels in northwestern Syria, including Idlib province. While it has often fought in close proximity to FSA rebels against Assad, it also has a record of crushing foreign-backed FSA groups.Ahrar al-Sham, a major Islamist faction that also fights in the Idlib area, issued a general call-up of fighters to "stop the fighting in any form". Coming down on the side of the FSA groups, it accused Fateh al-Sham of rejecting mediation efforts that the FSA groups had accepted.Ahrar al-Sham, a conservative Islamist group, is widely believed to be backed by Turkey. In a voice message posted on YouTube on Wednesday, Ahrar al-Sham leader Abu Ammar al-Omar said:"If the fighting continues and if one party continues to do an injustice to another, then we will not allow this to pass, regardless of the cost, even if we become victims of this."(Editing by Larry King)

Islamic State extending attacks beyond Sinai to Egyptian heartland-[Reuters]-By Ali Abdelaty and Ahmed Aboulenein-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

CAIRO (Reuters) - "Wanted" was emblazoned across photographs posted online by Islamic State.Files bearing Islamic State logo showed faces of Egyptian military and police officers, alongside names, addresses, and ranks, urging followers to hunt them down and kill them.All the men listed were not domiciled in Sinai, the thinly populated and rugged peninsula bordering Israel and Gaza where the Sunni militant group has been waging an insurgency for more than three years; they were from elsewhere in Egypt.The files were posted on Telegram, an encrypted instant messaging system used by IS to communicate with its followers.Coupled with the group's highest profile attack outside Sinai, the bombing of Cairo's Coptic Christian cathedral in December which killed 28, the online campaign shows that the group has extended operations to the rest of Egypt, a key U.S. ally seen as a bulwark against Islamist militancy in the region.In turning its sights on targets outside Sinai, Islamic State puts more pressure on the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, presents new challenges for security services and threatens a potentially heavy blow to tourism, a cornerstone of the country's already battered economy.Islamic State claimed responsibility for seven attacks in Cairo last year, after mounting four in 2015."Islamic State has had Egypt as a target – and not just Sinai – as part of its discourse for quite a while now, and independent security analysts, as well as official statements from the Egyptian state, show that attacks beyond Sinai have increased in the last couple of years," said HA Hellyer, senior non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington.Egypt's interior ministry did not respond to requests from Reuters for comment on wider IS operations and how the government was reacting.-BROADENING THE INSURGENCY-Hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police have been killed fighting the Islamist insurgency in Sinai. It has gained pace since mid-2013 when General Sisi, then military chief, ousted President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's oldest Islamist movement, after mass protests against his rule.Militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem), bolstered by recruits from disenfranchised Bedouin tribes, had been fighting government troops in Sinai since before Mursi's ouster. It pledged allegiance to Islamic State and changed its name to Sinai Province in 2014, the year Sisi was elected president.When the group claimed the cathedral bombing, its statement did not bear Sinai Province's logo. It said "Islamic State Egypt"."When the attacks are claimed by 'Islamic State in Egypt' and not simply 'Sinai Province', it is a clear expression from them that they are not simply going to target Sinai, but the broader country," said Hellyer.Sisi denied lax security was to blame for the cathedral attack. "Do not say it was a security flaw; what happened was an act of desperation," he said.Sisi cracked down on the Brotherhood and other Islamists after Mursi's removal and the dragnet widened to include opposition activists and journalists. Human rights groups estimate at least 40,000 political prisoners were detained.Sisi does not make a distinction between the Brotherhood, which says it is peaceful, and Islamic State. The Brotherhood denies resorting to violent tactics despite the government often linking it to attacks, including the cathedral bombing.Islamic State propaganda regularly portrays the Brotherhood negatively and its statements have called Mursi an apostate.-CHANGING TACTICS-Islamic State strategy in Sinai mirrors its tactics in Syria and Iraq, security analysts say. It fights with a clear command structure using roadside bombs, suicide bombers and snipers.Its mainland Egypt operation, however, is more like its cells in Tunisia or Europe. It relies on small, secretive groups that do not communicate with each other using techniques it publishes online, such as how to make home-made bombs.The cells, or lone operators, then carry out attacks in Islamic State's name and the main group claims responsibility."These cells live normally amongst the population until it is time to strike. Security agencies foiled some, but Islamic State is now using that strategy in Cairo on a larger scale," said Khaled Okasha, security analyst and former police officer."Islamic State is not going to stop at Sinai and is betting on its mainland operations in the coming period."As Islamic State loses ground in Syria, Iraq and Libya, it is reasonable to assume their focus will shift towards Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation, security analysts say.Attacks in Cairo in the last two years included attacks on a tourist bus, a police truck, a security checkpoint, the Italian consulate, a homeland security building and a police chief.The military judiciary is currently trying 292 suspected Islamic State militants, some of whom are accused of plotting to assassinate Sisi. Only 151 are in custody.The military has killed at least 2,000 members of Sinai Province since the group pledged allegiance to Islamic State in November 2014, according to its statements.-'TRACKING DOWN THE APOSTATES'-"Support the jihadis and report the information of apostates around you be they soldiers, agents, conscripts, policemen, officers, bank managers, Christian leaders, atheists, crusaders or Zionists who live among you," Islamic State urged its supporters online.It provides a system by which supporters can send over the required information. The "Tracking Down the Apostates of Egypt" campaign is advertised as an alternative for supporters who cannot join the fight in Sinai.Still, maintaining a strong presence in Sinai appears to be an Islamic State priority, said Stephanie Karra, North Africa analyst at Risk Advisory in London."The capabilities of IS cells in and around Cairo are in no way comparable to those of IS in the Sinai," she said, adding: "But it's worth keeping in mind that a strategy IS has used in other countries is to mount attacks outside their areas of control to reduce military pressure on the group."Islamic State has made no demands of the Egyptian government, which it aims to topple. It says it fights to install Islamic sharia law and establish a global caliphate to which it wants to add Egypt. The government says the group has tried to assassinate Sisi more than once.-PRESSURE ON SISI-Sisi has called Islamist militants an existential threat and has made security a priority for Egypt, a country of more than 90 million people that has a peace treaty with Israel and which receives substantial military aid from Washington.He campaigned in 2014 on a platform largely based on fighting terrorism and often tells Egyptians they were saved from the conflicts besetting Syria, Iraq, and Libya when he ousted Mursi.More attacks would further damage the ailing tourism sector, and a main source of foreign currency in this import-dependent and dollar-strapped country.Egyptian beach resorts, its pyramids and other cultural treasures took a hit after the political instability of the 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule.It was then dealt a big blow in October 2015 when a Russian passenger plane was blown up over Sinai, killing all 224 people on board. Islamic State claimed responsibility.British flights to the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh from where the plane took off were suspended, as were direct flights from Russia to the whole of Egypt. Officials say they are close to restoring flights, but intensification of Islamic State's campaign in Cairo and elsewhere would create further obstacles to any recovery in tourism.(Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein, editing by Peter Millership)

Trump to choose Supreme Court justice nominee on Feb. 2-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he will make his choice to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 2 as he seeks to restore the conservative majority on the Supreme Court.Trump announced the date in Twitter message one day after meeting with key U.S. senators and promising to unveil his nominee to fill the vacancy left by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia nearly a year ago.Three U.S. appeals court judges are among those under close consideration by Trump, who took office last Friday and had said he would act on a nominee next week.Appointment as a Supreme Court justice requires Senate confirmation for the lifetime post. Trump's fellow Republicans control the Senate with a 52-48 majority, but Democrats could potentially try to block the nomination using procedural hurdles.On Tuesday, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said he told Trump in the meeting that Democrats would fight any nominee they consider to be outside the mainstream.Trump is in position to name Scalia's replacement because the Republican-led U.S. Senate last year refused to consider Democratic President Barack Obama's nominee, appeals court judge Merrick Garland.The current frontrunners include three conservative jurists who were appointed to the bench by Republican former President George W. Bush: Neil Gorsuch, a judge on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Thomas Hardiman, who serves on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; and William Pryor, a judge on the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley, Susan Heavey and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Frances Kerry)

Trump moving forward with border wall, weighs refugee cuts-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will begin rolling out executive actions on immigration Wednesday, beginning with steps to build his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to two administration officials. He's also expected to target so-called sanctuary cities and is reviewing proposals that would restrict the flow of refugees to the United States.The president is expected to sign the first actions — including the measure to jumpstart construction of the wall — Wednesday during a trip to the Department of Homeland Security. Additional actions will be announced out over the next few days, according to one official.Trump is said to still be weighing the details of plans to restrict refugees coming to the U.S. The current proposal includes at least a four-month halt on all refugee admissions, as well as temporary ban on people coming from some Muslim majority countries, according to a representative of a public policy organization that monitors refugee issues. The person was briefed on the details of that proposed action by a government official and outlined the expected steps for The Associated Press.The officials and the public policy organization's representative insisted on anonymity in order to outline the plans ahead of Trump's official announcements.On his personal Twitter account Tuesday night, Trump tweeted: "Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!"Trump campaigned on pledges to tighten U.S. immigration policies, including strengthening border security and stemming the flow of refugees. He also called for halting entry to the U.S. from Muslim countries, but later shifted the policy to a focus on what he called "extreme vetting" for those coming from countries with terrorism ties.While the specific of Trump's orders were unclear, both administration officials said Wednesday's actions would focus in part on the president's plans to construct a wall along the southern border with Mexico. He's also expected to move forward with plans to curb funding of cities that don't arrest or detain immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, — localities dubbed "sanctuary" cities — which could cost individual jurisdictions millions of dollars.Trump's insistence that Mexico would pay for the wall was among his most popular proposals on the campaign trail, sparking enthusiastic cheers at his raucous rallies. Mexico has repeatedly said it will not pay for any border wall.Earlier this month, Trump said the building project would initially be paid for with a congressionally approved spending bill and Mexico would eventually reimburse the U.S., though he has not specified how he would guarantee payments.Trump will meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the White House next week.In claiming authority to build a wall, Trump may rely on a 2006 law that authorized several hundred miles of fencing along the 2,000-mile frontier. That bill led to the construction of about 700 miles of various kinds of fencing designed to block both vehicles and pedestrians.The Secure Fence Act was signed by then-President George W. Bush and the majority of the fencing in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California was built before he left office. The last remnants were completed after President Barack Obama took office in 2009.The Trump administration also must adhere to a decades-old border treaty with Mexico that limits where and how structures can be built along the border. The 1970 treaty requires that structures cannot disrupt the flow of the rivers, which define the U.S.-Mexican border along Texas and 24 miles in Arizona, according to The International Boundary and Water Commission, a joint U.S.-Mexican agency that administers the treaty.It appeared as though the refugee restrictions were still to be finalized. The person briefed on the proposals said they included a ban on entry to the U.S. for at least 30 days from countries including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, though the person cautioned the details could still change.There is also likely to be an exception in the refugee stoppage for those fleeing religious persecution if their religion is a minority in their country. That exception could cover Christians fleeing Muslim-majority nations.As president, Trump can use an executive order to halt refugee processing. President George W. Bush used that same power in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. homeland. Refugee security vetting was reviewed and the process was restarted several months later.Other executive actions expected Wednesday include bolstering border patrol agents and ending what Republicans have argued is a catch-and-release system at the border. Currently, some immigrants caught crossing the border illegally are given notices to report back to immigration officials at a later date.If Trump's actions would result in those caught being immediately jailed, the administration would have to grapple with how to pay for jail space to detain everyone and what to do with children caught crossing the border with their parents._Zoll reported from New York. AP writer Alicia A. Caldwell in Washington contributed to this report._Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC , Vivian Salama at http://twitter.com/vmsalama and Rachel Zoll at http://twitter.com/rzollAP-Julie Pace, Vivian Salama And Rachel Zoll, The Associated Press.

EPA contract freeze, media blackout leave states confused-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

WASHINGTON — A Trump administration freeze on new Environmental Protection Agency contracts and grant awards raised fears that states and other recipients could lose essential funding for drinking water protection, hazardous waste oversight and a host of other programs — while a communications blackout left them dangling in uncertainty.The agency also took a potential first step Tuesday toward potentially killing environmental rules completed as President Barack Obama's term wound down. At least 30 were targeted in the Federal Register for delayed implementation, including updated pollution rulings for several states, renewable fuel standards and limits on the amount of formaldehyde that can leach from wood products.President Donald Trump signed a directive shortly after his inauguration ordering a "freeze pending review" on all federal rules issued by agencies but not yet in effect.But what the administration described Tuesday as a temporary suspension of new business activities at the EPA, including issuing work assignments to contractors, sowed widespread confusion about its reach. EPA contracts with outside vendors for a wide array of services, from engineering and research science to janitorial supplies.Emails to staff banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency's social media accounts contributed to the information vacuum."Is President Trump the only one allowed to tweet in government right now?" Liz Purchia, who was EPA press secretary for the Obama administration, said in an email to The Associated Press."I just keep thinking how thankful I am there isn't an emergency disaster EPA needs to respond to right now. ... It's one thing to get your ducks in a row, but to put a gag order on public servants and all agency activities, not only prevents them from doing their jobs. It puts our country at risk."Similar orders barring external communications have been issued at agencies within the departments of Transportation, Agriculture and Interior."Vladimir Putin must be proud," said Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization. "The EPA, like all federal agencies, is funded by taxpayer dollars, and Americans have the right to know what's being done to protect or harm public health and the environment."White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday he had no specific information on the blackout but added, "I don't think it's any surprise that when there's an administration turnover, that we're going to review the policies."Doug Ericksen, communications director for Trump's transition team at EPA, said the communications clampdown probably would be lifted by the end of the week."We're just trying to get a handle on everything and make sure what goes out reflects the priorities of the new administration," Ericksen said.The freeze on EPA contracts and grants won't apply to pollution cleanup efforts or infrastructure construction activities, he said. The agency said later the delay was for a review of transactions in the works and it should be finished by Friday.Still, confusion reigned in states led by Democrats and Republicans alike that depend on EPA funding."We are unsure of the immediate or long-term impact" to programs in Montana involving wastewater treatment, underground storage tanks, air quality and more, said Kristi Ponozzo of the state Department of Environmental Quality.Utah's DEQ is "seeking additional information so we can understand the impact of this action on our ability to administer critical programs," said Alan Matheson, executive director.Members of Michigan's congressional delegation raised concern that the freeze could jeopardize aid to Flint, a city still dealing with lead contamination of its water supply.Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York urged the Trump administration to drop the media blackout and contracting holdup."This decision could have damaging implications? for communities across New York state and the country, from delaying testing for lead in schools to restricting efforts to keep drinking water clean to holding up much-needed funding to revitalize toxic brownfield sites," Schumer said.The executive director for the advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Jeff Ruch, said the Trump orders go beyond what has occurred in prior presidential transitions.Ruch noted that key posts at EPA have not yet been filled with Republican appointees, including Trump's nominee for EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt. That means new senior personnel are not in place to make key decisions.Environmentalists said the orders were causing low morale among EPA staff already beleaguered by repeated criticism from Trump and Pruitt.Staff at the Agriculture Department's Agricultural Research Service also received orders not to issue any news releases, photos, fact sheets and social media posts. After an email of the order leaked to the media, the agency said it would rescind the memo."Gag orders that freeze communications with the public and government officials go against basic notions of government transparency and accountability," said Michael Macleod-Ball of the American Civil Liberties Union.___Flesher reported from Traverse City, Michigan. Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick and Darlene Superville in Washington, Matthew Brown in Billings, Montana, and Dan Elliott in Denver contributed to this report.___Follow AP environmental reporter Biesecker at Twitter.com/mbieseck-Michael Biesecker And John Flesher, The Associated Press.

Trump to seek 'major investigation' on voter fraud-[Reuters]-By Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would seek an investigation of what he believes was voter fraud in the November election, despite overwhelming consensus among state officials, election experts and politicians that voter fraud is rare in the United States.The new Republican president has bristled at references to losing the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton and said he would have won it if not for fraud. Trump, a real estate mogul and reality television star, has never substantiated his fraud claim."I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and.... even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time)," Trump said on Twitter. "Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!"He did not elaborate beyond the two Twitter posts.Trump complained even before the Nov. 8 election that its outcome was being rigged against him and has said 3 million to 5 million illegal immigrants voted against him.He lost the popular vote to Clinton by more than 2.9 million votes but won the state-by-state Electoral College tally that decides the presidency.The popular vote and allegations of Russian meddling in the election have led to criticism that his victory was not legitimate. Trump initially rejected U.S. intelligence findings that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered cyber attacks that hurt Clinton's campaign to Trump's benefit.State officials have said they found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the election and there is no history of it in U.S. elections. Leading Republicans also have rejected fraud claims with House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan saying he had seen no supporting evidence.On Wednesday, Republican Senator John McCain said Trump's assertions were unsubstantiated."There's no evidence of that and I think that those who allege that have to come up with some substantiation of the claim," he told MSNBC.-NO EVIDENCE-Trump's announcement on Twitter follows a White House news briefing on Tuesday in which his spokesman, Sean Spicer, confirmed Trump continued to believe that millions of illegal immigrants voted in the election. Spicer did not provide any evidence to support those beliefs.Federal investigations of voter fraud are rare. A five-year probe initiated by the George W. Bush administration turned up no evidence of voter fraud and ended in resignations and more investigations for the Department of Justice, which enforces federal voting rights laws.Democrats worried Trump's persistence would allow Republicans to impose restrictions on voting."The great political crisis we face is not voter fraud, which barely exists," Senator Bernie Sanders, who had sought the Democratic presidential nomination, urged in a Twitter post. "It's voter suppression and the denial of voting rights."Trump's attorney general nominee, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, has been criticized for his record on voting rights and race relations. A voter fraud case he prosecuted as a U.S. attorney in Alabama helped derail his confirmation as a federal judge in 1986.Voting rights experts at New York University's Brennan Center for Justice urged Sessions to heed lessons of the past."In 2007, the Justice Department was upended by scandal because it had pursued a partisan agenda on voting, under the guise of rooting out suspected 'voter fraud,'" Adam Gitlin and Wendy Weiser wrote in a Jan. 7 report for the centre."DOJ political leadership fired seven well-respected U.S. attorneys, dismissing some top Republican prosecutors because they had refused to prosecute non-existent voter fraud," they wrote.The firings scandal prompted the resignation of the attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, they said.A 2007 Brennan Center report titled "The Truth About Voter Fraud," cited voter fraud incident rates between 0.00004 percent and 0.0009 percent.A study by the Washington Post found 31 credible cases of impersonation fraud out of more than 1 billion votes cast in elections from 2000 to 2014. Arizona State University studies in 2012 and 2016 found a similarly low rate.(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Trott)

Fear of US protectionism swelling among German firms-[Associated Press]-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

BERLIN (AP) — German business confidence fell modestly in January as a result of rising worries over whether the Donald Trump administration in the United States will turn more protectionist, a closely watched survey found Wednesday.The Ifo Institute said its main index for Europe's largest economy fell to 109.8 points in January from 111 points in December. Overall, it found companies generally more satisfied with their current lot. However, that was more than offset by waning expectations.ING economist Carsten Brzeski said German businesses appear to be "getting increasingly concerned" about U.S. President Trump, who has promised to rewrite free trade deals and even slap tariffs.Brzeski noted that 10 percent of German exports go to the U.S., more than any other country. He also said the British pound's steep decline against the euro and uncertainty over Britain's exit from the European Union are also weighing on sentiment.The Ifo Business Climate Index is based on around 7,000 monthly survey responses from firms in manufacturing, construction, wholesaling and retailing.Also Wednesday, the German government stuck with its previous projection that the country's growth rate would slow to 1.4 percent this year from 1.9 percent last year.Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel did signal a note of caution, however, saying Germany's economy is dependent on open markets and that "the globally noticeable inclination toward protectionism, as is visible from the Brexit decision and the statements by the new U.S. government, is .... the wrong way to create wealth for everyone."Ultimately, he said "protectionism will make all of us poorer."He told reporters in Berlin that the labor market remained robust, with the number of people employed rising last year to 43.5 million, and predicting another 320,000 jobs would be created this year.The unemployment rate was at 6.1 percent last year — the lowest since Germany's reunification in 1990, Gabriel said.

Sales of George Orwell's '1984' are suddenly on the rise-[Christian Science Monitor]-Mengqi Sun-YAHOONEWS-January 25, 2017

George Orwell’s dystopian classic “1984” has experienced an unusual surge in demand this week, prompting its publisher, Penguin, to reprint the book, which was first published in 1949.Some have speculated that the sudden burst of attention was spurred by debates over the veracity of claims from President Donald Trump and his aides, particularly advisor Kellyanne Conway's use of the phrase "alternative facts" to describe claims about the size of his inaugural crowd. No one knows precisely why the book has been on top of Amazon’s computer-generated list of bestselling books since Tuesday evening, but that has not stopped the book's publisher from seizing the moment. "We put through a 75,000 copy reprint this week. That is a substantial reprint and larger than our typical reprint for '1984,'" a Penguin spokesman told CNN Tuesday evening.As a classroom staple, Orwell’s book sees new sales at the beginning of each spring semester, the spokesman said. However, the size of the current demand is unusual. Trump has only been in office for five full days, but his administration’s assertions about the size of the inauguration crowd have already coined a new phrase, "alternative facts," which some social media users are describing as "Orwellian.""Our press secretary Sean Spicer gave alternative facts to that," Ms. Conway said on Sunday's "Meet the Press," describing Mr. Spicer's assertions about the size of the crowd at the inauguration.In "1984" – the plot of which includes an omnipresent, totalitarian power that controls society and distorts facts – a language called "Newspeak" is used. Abolishing all undesirable and unnecessary words and meanings, simplifying grammar, and creating a special political vocabulary of compound terms such as “doublethink” and “unperson,” the “Newspeak” invented by Orwell helps the fictional government make dissent not just punishable, but nearly unthinkable."During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act,” Orwell wrote in “1984.”"1984" also experienced a marked spike in sales in 2013, when Edward Snowden revealed the extent of electronic surveillance programs conducted by the National Security Agency. At that time, "1984" became the third-hottest book on Amazon, and the sales of one edition jumped almost 10,000 percent, according to CNN.The dystopian novel has also been a symbol in non-violent political protests around the globe.In 2014, to protest the military coup and crackdown on political opposition in Thailand, groups of people silently read books about fictional and real totalitarian societies on the streets of Bangkok, as an alternative to violent confrontation with the authorities, as The Christian Science Monitor reported in 2014.Other cautionary tales on the Amazon list include Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here" and Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World." As of this morning, the two books were at No. 46 and No. 71, respectively.This report includes material from the Associated Press. 



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