Wednesday, February 22, 2017



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)

Donald J. TrumpVerified account‏@realDonaldTrump 2h2 hours ago-FEB 21,17-'Americans overwhelmingly oppose sanctuary cities'

Liberals defeat Conservative counter-proposal to Islamophobia motion-Conservatives tabled proposal in response to Liberal MP's motion on Islamophobia-By Aaron Wherry, CBC News Last Updated: Feb 21, 2017 4:11 PM ET

With a Liberal call to study Islamophobia still on the table, Liberal MPs voted on Tuesday to defeat a Conservative motion that sought a general study of religious discrimination.The Conservative motion was brought forward last week, just as the House of Commons prepared to debate Motion 103, sponsored by Iqra Khalid, the Liberal MP for Mississauga–Erin Mills.Both motions dealt broadly with religious discrimination, but whereas Khalid's motion made a specific reference to Islamophobia, the Conservative motion did not include the word.Several Conservatives have come out against Motion 103, with some saying the term Islamophobia needs to be defined.Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly dismissed the Conservative proposal as a "cynical" attempt to get around divisions within the Conservative party.The Conservative motion was supported by all opposition MPs, including the NDP, Bloc Quebecois and Green leader Elizabeth May, but the Liberal majority was enough to defeat the motion by a count of 165 to 126.Jenny Kwan, the NDP's immigration critic, and May said during debate last week that they supported both the Conservative and Liberal motions.A motion condemning Islamophobia is also now scheduled to be tabled in the Ontario legislature on Thursday. Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown says he will support the motion."Whether it's hate against any faith, it's wrong. I will always stand in opposition to any form of hate," Brown said on Tuesday.

Liberal MP won't remove Islamophobia reference from motion condemning discrimination-M-103 has drawn criticism from Conservative caucus members who fear it will impede free speech-By Kathleen Harris, CBC News -Last Updated: Feb 15, 2017 7:58 PM ET

The Liberal MP who tabled a motion that touched off a divisive debate over religious protection and free speech says she will not remove the reference to Islamophobia from the text.Mississauga, Ont., MP Iqra Khalid, who led debate in the House of Commons tonight on M-103, said the common definition of Islamophobia is "the irrational hate of Muslims that leads to discrimination," and that her motion must not remove the word."I will not do so, any more than I would speak to the Holocaust and not mention that the overwhelming majority of victims were six million followers of the Jewish faith and that anti-Semitism was the root cause of the Holocaust," she said. "We cannot address a problem if we fail to call it by its true name."Opponents of M-103 have raised concerns the motion will infringe on free speech and could lead to Shariah law in Canada, but Khalid insisted there is nothing in it that would affect Canadians' charter right to free speech.Saskatchewan Conservative MP David Anderson has tabled a motion to counter M-103 that removes the reference to Islamophobia and instead calls on government to "condemn all forms of systemic racism, religious intolerance and discrimination of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, and other religious communities."During tonight's debate, he argued the word "Islamophobia" is undefined in M-103, and that there is no consensus on what it means. Including the word has led to widespread confusion and fears about freedom of speech, he said.Anderson said Conservatives proposed replacing the word with the more precise phrase "hatred against Muslims" in order to reach consensus in the House, but that suggestion was rejected."We're stuck with a divisive term that means nothing, or everything, which is not clearly defined," he said. "And it is of little value about the role of Islam in Canada."Conservatives wrestle with M-103-​Anti-Islamophobia motion set for debate-Earlier today, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly said the federal government is throwing its "strong and clear support" behind Khalid's motion.Surrounded by more than 50 MPs in the foyer of the House of Commons, Joly said there is a need to counter all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination in Canada."There is no place for hatred and no tolerance of abuse," she said.MPs began debate on M-103, which was tabled by Khalid in December 2016 and calls on the government to "recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear," shortly after 6 p.m. ET today.M-103 has generated much controversy on social media and through online petitions, with some erroneously calling it a "law" or a "bill" rather than a non-binding motion. Some have raised concerns that it could lead Canada on a path to Shariah law.But Khalid insisted Wednesday her motion is much broader in scope than one single religion, and said she is glad it has created much dialogue across the country.-Tackle problem 'head-on'-"We need to recognize that we have a problem and we need to tackle it head-on," she said.While the Liberals made a show of solidarity by assembling dozens of MPs behind Joly and Khalid at the news conference, the Conservative caucus is not united in its position on the motion.Several Conservative leadership candidates have spoken out against the motion, arguing that it could curtail free speech and that it singles out one religion for protection. Others have raised concerns that the motion does not define "Islamophobia."Leadership candidate Kellie Leitch asked people to sign her petition opposing M-103, saying that "no religion should be singled out for special consideration."Sign my petition to #stopm103. #cpcldr #M103— @KellieLeitch-Leitch and fellow candidates Pierre Lemieux, Chris Alexander and Brad Trost are all listed as participants at a "Freedom Rally" protest in Toronto organized by The Rebel, a right-wing news and commentary website.-Hatred of other religions denounced-Leadership contender Michael Chong said Tuesday he will support M-103, noting the House of Commons has denounced hatred against other groups, including Jews, Yazidis and Egyptian Coptic Christians.Another leadership candidate, Erin O'Toole, had been in touch with Khalid asking her to remove a reference to e-Petition 411 in the motion because of the broad language referencing "all forms of Islamophobia.""Regardless of what is intended by that description, it is clear that a significant number of Canadians believe that a broad consideration of the term Islamophobia could be extended to mean that simple criticism of that religious faith or of issues like radical Islam could be considered Islamophobia," he wrote in a news release today explaining why he will oppose the motion.The e-petition was signed by nearly 70,000 Canadians and presented the same day Khalid tabled her motion.-Amendment proposed-O'Toole said that small amendment would have helped counter these concerns and left almost all of her motion intact.Speaking on CBC News Network's Power & Politics, Lemieux said he has "grave concerns" that Islamophobia is not defined in the motion. He also questioned why Muslims were being singled out for protection, when reports have shown blacks and Jews are more frequently targeted for hate crimes."It is not at the forefront of discrimination. There is not a problem in Canada," he told host Rosemary Barton. "I'm not saying there aren't isolated incidents that occur, but not enough to warrant what's going on in Parliament right now." NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said anti-Muslim acts and expressions have become "fair game," because U.S. President Donald Trump has served as a model saying it's OK to attack a religion like Islam.He urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take concrete actions against U.S. discrimination against Muslim travellers, but said the motion sends an important message to Canadians."At least we're expressing our desire to stand up against hatred, discrimination, which unfortunately is becoming commonplace with regard to Islam," he said.-Climate of hate and fear-The motion, which was tabled in December 2016 but is being debated in the aftermath of the Jan. 29 mosque shooting in Quebec City, says the government should "recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear."It calls on the government to task the heritage committee to:1-Carry out a  study on how to develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia in Canada, while ensuring a community-centred focus with a holistic response through evidence-based policy-making.2-To collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities, and present its findings and recommendations to the House no later than 240 calendar days from the adoption of this motion.3-Make recommendations the government can use to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Liberals unveil resettlement plan for 1,200 Yazidis and other victims of ISIS-Initiative expected to cost $28M, according to details obtained by The Canadian Press-The Canadian Press Last Updated: Feb 21, 2017 4:59 PM ET

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced Tuesday that Canada has given safe haven to almost 400 Yazidi refugees and other survivors of Islamist extremists in the last four months and will take in about 800 more by the end of the year.The initiative is expected to cost $28 million.In addition to 1,200 government-assisted refugees, the government says it also intends to facilitate private sponsorships of Yazidi refugees.The announcement comes four months after the House of Commons unanimously supported a Conservative motion that called on the government to provide asylum to an unspecified number of Yazidi women and girls.-'Broken promise:' Critics question plan to resettle Yazidis--International leadership:' MPs vote to support Yazidis-Corruption a barrier for Yazidi resettlement-The motion recognized that ISIS, also called Daesh, is committing genocide against the Yazidi people and holding many of the religious group's women and girls as sex slaves.Hussen said many of the newcomers will have greater needs than other refugees."Many have experienced unimaginable trauma and vulnerability, both physical and emotional, and many will have unique physical, psychological and social needs, such as trauma counselling," he told reporters at press conference in Ottawa Tuesday.Although the motion referred only to providing asylum to Yazidi women and girls, the 1,200 refugees will include male family members.Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says the government has learned that Daesh also deliberately targets young boys "and, as such, helping to resettle all child survivors of Daesh is vital to this work."-Keeping families together-He also contends that keeping families together will help the refugees adjust to living in Canada and heal from the trauma they've suffered.Although the motion referred strictly to the Yazidi people, the government is not confining its efforts solely to members of that religious group, who live primarily in northern Iraq.-MIDEAST-CRISIS/IRAQ-YAZIDIS-Members of the minority Yazidi sect who were newly released hug each other on the outskirts of Kirkuk April 8, 2015.Hussen says Canada has long offered protection to refugees based on "vulnerability, not religion or ethnicity" and will thus focus on "highly vulnerable" survivors of Daesh.Still, he says a "significant majority" of the 1,200 will be Yazidi due to the "high level of violence" they've suffered.While the Conservative motion did not specify the number of Yazidi refugees who should be given protection, Hussen appears to anticipate opposition criticism that the government is not doing enough.-Preserving Yazidi culture-The Yazidi people are "an integral part" of Iraq's society and it's important to preserve that, he argues, adding that's why the government is focusing on "a small number of people for whom resettlement is the best option."Moreover, Hussen says the government is taking lessons from Germany — which resettled just more than 1,000 Daesh survivors from northern Iraq over the course of a year — on how to work safely in a volatile environment to identify and run security checks on refugees and how best to ensure that the necessary settlement services are in place once they arrive in Canada."As many have experienced unimaginable trauma, both physical and emotional, many will have unique psychological and social needs such as trauma counselling," Hussen says in the speaking notes.The government says its plan is supported by authorities in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and that it has the consent of the Iraqi government to operate in the region.While the majority of the 1,200 refugees will come from Iraq, the government says some will also be accepted from Lebanon and Turkey.Until today, the government has remained tight-lipped on the program, leaving some critics to assert to CBC News that no Yazidis had yet been brought in by the government.With files from CBC. 


Riots erupt in Sweden's capital after arrest, just days after President Trump comments-FEB 21,17-CHICAGO TRIBUNE-Max BearakThe Washington Post

Just two days after President Donald Trump provoked widespread consternation by seeming to imply, incorrectly, that immigrants had perpetrated a recent spate of violence in Sweden, riots broke out in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood in the northern suburbs of Sweden's capital, Stockholm.The neighborhood, Rinkeby, has seen riots in 2010 and 2013 too. And in most ways, what happened late Monday night was reminiscent of those earlier bouts of anger. Swedish police apparently made a drug-related arrest around 8 p.m. near the Rinkeby metro station. For reasons not yet disclosed by the police, word of the arrest prompted a crowd of youths to gather.Over four hours, the crowd burned about a half-dozen cars, vandalized several shopfronts and threw rocks at police. Police spokesman Lars Bystrom confirmed to Sweden's Dagens Nyheter newspaper that an officer had fired shots with intention to hit a rioter but did not strike his target. A photographer for the newspaper was attacked by more than a dozen men and his camera was stolen, but no one was ultimately hurt or even arrested.Bystrom added, "This kind of situation doesn't happen that often, but it is always regrettable when they happen."In 2015, when the influx of refugees and migrants to Europe from Africa, the Middle East and Asia was highest, Sweden took in the greatest number per capita. By and large, integration has been a success story there, save for incidents like Monday night's, which have taken place in highly segregated neighborhoods.The newspaper Dagens Nyheter analyzed crime statistics between October 2015 and January 2016 and came to the conclusion that refugees were responsible for only 1 percent of all incidents. That has done little to assuage the perceptions, even among Swedes, that foreigners are culpable for the crime that does happen. A Pew Research Center study conducted in early 2016 indicated that 46 percent of Swedes believed that "refugees in our country are more to blame for crime than other groups."Trump clarified on Twitter that he drew his claim of immigrant violence in Sweden -- made at a campaign speech in Melbourne, Florida -- from a Fox News segment in which two Swedish police officers were interviewed. The segment was part of "Tucker Carlson Tonight" and featured filmmaker Ami Horowitz, who was introduced as someone who had documented an "incredible surge of refugee violence" in Sweden.The two Swedish police officers whose interview provided the basis for the report spoke out Monday and claimed their testimony had been taken out of context. One of them, Anders Goranzon, said the interview had been about areas with high crime rates, and "there wasn't any focus on migration or immigration.""We don't stand behind it. It shocked us. He has edited the answers," said Goranzon. "We were answering completely different questions in the interview. This is bad journalism."Horowitz defended his work to the Guardian, saying that he was "pretty sure" he told the officers what the segment was going to be about, and implying that the officer's statement came under pressure from his superiors.Multiple criminologists in Sweden contacted by The Washington Post over the weekend said that the notion that immigrants were responsible for a large proportion of crime there was highly exaggerated. None was comfortable referring to neighborhoods like Rinkeby as "no-go zones."Nevertheless, the integration of immigrants into Swedish society is a problem that the government has been struggling to address. "Sweden definitely, like other countries, [faces] challenges when it comes to integration of immigrants into Swedish society, with lower levels of employment, tendencies of exclusion and also crime-related problems," said Henrik Selin, director of intercultural dialogue at the Swedish Institute.Associated Press contributed.


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)

Storms, tornadoes damage dozens of homes in San Antonio area-[Associated Press]-YAHOONEWS-February 20, 2017

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Severe storms that pushed several tornadoes through parts of Central Texas ripped the roofs from homes and damaged dozens of other houses and apartments in San Antonio and toppled auto-carrier cars of a freight train near Austin, authorities said Monday.No major injuries were reported from the storms, which officials estimate damaged at least 150 structures, most of them homes in the San Antonio area, late Sunday and early Monday. The National Weather Service has confirmed at least six tornadoes touched down, though not all in populated areas.A survey team confirmed that a tornado with winds hitting 105 mph struck a residential area about 5 miles north of downtown San Antonio around midnight. Of the 43 homes damaged in the area, three fully collapsed, said San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Woody Woodward.Local resident Lucy Duncan said peered out the window of her home as the storm ramped up, and she saw only a white mist. She said she and her husband quickly rounded up their children and hid under mattress in an interior hallway — just before the roof was torn from their home."We didn't know what was going on at that point. We started to hear the electricity popping and we thought the house had caught fire," she told KENS-TV of San Antonio.Eight buildings in a nearby apartment complex were severely damaged, with some roofs stripped from the buildings and a couple of building partially collapsed, Woodward said.Five minor injuries were reported in the area. Crews estimating the damage said preliminary reports indicate the tornado left a 4½-mile track.Another tornado briefly touched down about 5 miles northeast of San Antonio International Airport. Woodward had no reports of damage from that area, but photos show tall steel towers carrying high-voltage electric transmission lines toppled or buckled in half.Citywide, he estimated that more than 100 structures were damaged.Another 30 to 40 homes were damaged in two adjoining subdivisions about 10 miles northeast of downtown in Bexar County, where forecasters said a weak tornado left a roughly 1½-mile track.A dozen auto-carrier cars of a Union Pacific freight train were blown from their track northeast of Austin near the tiny town of Thrall, where at least two tornadoes touched down early Monday, according to Williamson County officials. The county said about 20 homes were damaged, and the local fire chief said several barns and outbuildings also were damaged.Power outages in the San Antonio area peaked at more than 47,000 customers early Monday morning, mostly in the area hit by the tornadoes. The outages had dropped to about 6,000 by late Monday afternoon, according to CPS Energy, the utility serving the area.At least one high-voltage transmission tower in northeastern San Antonio was bent in half.The storms moved southeast by midday Monday, bringing steady rain to the area but no severe weather.

Removal of fish from Johnson Lake considered to stop whirling disease-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-February 20, 2017

Officials are considering removing fish from Johnson Lake near Banff in an effort to stop whirling disease from spreading to the nearby Two Jack Lake and Lake Minnewanka.The entire Bow River Watershed — which includes Johnson Lake — is infected with the disease that mainly affects trout and whitefish, causing them to swim in a circular pattern before dying prematurely.Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake are part of the Upper Cascade area and testing has shown the disease has not spread to those waters."The Minnewanka system is connected, it's fed by the Upper Cascade, and that's one of the areas in Banff that has two or three of our critical habitat areas for westslope cutthroat trout," said Bill Hunt, resource conservation manager for Banff National Park."We're very concerned about preventing whirling disease from getting into Minnewanka and the Upper Cascade. We have Sawback Lake, Sawback Creek, Cuthead Creek — are all critical habitat for westslope cutthroat trout."Hunt said officials are working on a plan to remove the fish from Johnson Lake, which is currently in the environmental assessment stage. The plan will see the lake closed in the spring and nets used to remove as many fish as possible."We would then open the lake for recreation from the July long weekend to the September long weekend and allow people to swim and enjoy the lake," he said."There will be no fishing or boating to reduce the likelihood of moving fish or mud out of the lake, and then in the fall, after the Labour Day long weekend, we would close the lake again and proceed with netting and perhaps even look at lowering the water levels a bit."The strategy is a slightly novel one, said Hunt, as this will be the first time it is attempted in Canada."We have eradicated fish from lakes before, at Devon Lakes and at Rainbow Lake, using netting and electrofishing techniques we're proposing," he said. "We've never done it on this timeline, it's usually taken two or three years ... But because we can adjust the water levels in Johnson hoping we can do it in a single season."


7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse:(CHLORES GREEN) and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword,(WEAPONS) and with hunger,(FAMINE) and with death,(INCURABLE DISEASES) and with the beasts of the earth.(ANIMAL TO HUMAN DISEASE).

China reports more severe form of bird flu, threat to poultry - WHO-[Reuters]-By Stephanie Nebehay-YAHOONEWS-February 21, 2017

GENEVA (Reuters) - China has detected an evolution in the H7N9 avian flu virus that is capable of causing severe disease in poultry and requires close monitoring, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.Samples of the virus taken from two infected humans were injected into birds in a laboratory and became "highly pathogenic" for poultry, it said.But that designation applies only to birds, not humans, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said, and there is "no evidence that the changes in the virus affect the virus' ability to spread between humans."A total of 304 new laboratory-confirmed human infections were reported in mainland China between Jan. 19 and Feb. 14, along with 36 deaths, the WHO said in its latest update on Monday.The evolution of the virus may mean that the disease will become more apparent in some flocks, if birds begin to die off, making detection and control easier."This is the first time these changes have been detected. These are the only two cases in Guangdong province, China. So far, there have been no reports if similar changes have occurred elsewhere," Lindmeier said."It is a reminder that we have to keep looking closely," he told Reuters.Animal health experts say bird flu infection rates on Chinese poultry farms may be far higher than previously thought, because the strain of the deadly virus in humans is hard to detect in chickens and geese.In all, since the "fifth wave" of the virus, first identified in 2013, began in October 2016, 425 human cases have been recorded in China, including 73 deaths officially reported by authorities, according to WHO figures."Most of these cases had known exposure to poultry or its environment, that is the main important link to this influenza type," Lindmeier told a news briefing.In all since 2013, there have been 1,200 laboratory-confirmed cases in China, including more than one-third since October, he said.(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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)

LUKE 2:1-3
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.

Greece and creditors break bailout deadlock By Eric Maurice-FEB 21,17-EUOBSERVER

BRUSSELS, Today, 08:57-The Greek government agreed on Monday (20 February) to make new reforms to cut up to 2 percent of GDP in spending in the coming years.Greece accepted budget cuts worth up to €3.6 billion that it had previously refused as the only way to break the deadlock with its creditors in talks to unblock a new tranche of the €86 billion bailout programme agreed in 2015.Experts from the creditor institutions - the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - will be able to go back to Athens and prepare reforms on tax, pensions and the labour market with the Greek government.All parties hope that a so-called staff level agreement will be reached in time for eurozone ministers to close the second review of the programme and allow a new loan disbursement at their next Eurogroup meeting on 20 March.The ministers at a Eurogroup on Monday sugar-coated the Greek concessions by offering the prospect of unspecified "growth-enhancing measures" if the new reforms created "fiscal space" from 2019 onwards.Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the decision signalled "a shift of emphasis in the policy mix, from the austerity side, much more to structural reforms". But he gave no details of the supposed shift.In Athens, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos portrayed it as a “decisive victory” for Greece, because "any [austerity] measure taken will be offset by another measure of a similar amount".He insisted that there would be "not a single euro of additional austerity”.But the reality is more nuanced."There is a light at the end of the austerity tunnel," EU finance commissioner Pierre Moscovici said at a press conference after the meeting. But he insisted that reforms must be done first and that potential future growth-friendly measures should be budget neutral.The budget cuts were needed to close the second review, while the "offset" measures could only be agreed on principle and voted later.-'To the liking of the IMF'-"The Greek government can already prepare those measures, legislate those measures if they want," Dijsselbloem told journalists. But he insisted that "all depends on the size of the reforms" that Greece will have to agree first, and whether it continues to meet the fiscal targets set by the bailout memorandum for the coming years."I can never promise the end of austerity," Dijsselbloem said.The size of the new reforms, and whether they are sufficient for creditors to close the review, will also depend on the IMF, which has threatened to pull out of the bailout if reforms fail to make the Greek debt sustainable.The Washington-based fund has been saying for months that more structural reforms were necessary in order to secure Greece's fiscal targets and reduce the cost of the debt.Europeans and Greeks had been saying that the target - a 3.5 percent of GDP primary budget surplus "in the medium term" after 2018 - could be reached thanks to Greece's growth and budget surplus since 2015.Last week, EU commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis pointed out that "the IMF has very pessimistic macroeconomic and fiscal projections. There is a gap between our figures and theirs".Dijsselbloem admitted on Monday that "what we have agreed to now is to the liking of the IMF".-'Too early to speculate'-In a statement issued later, the IMF said that it was "too early to speculate about the prospect for reaching staff level agreement" during the forthcoming expert mission in Athens."More progress will be needed to bridge differences on other important issues," it said, referring to the Greek debt and what "medium term" means when it comes to setting the fiscal targets.The question of how long Greece is required to reach a 3.5 percent surplus after the end of the programme in 2018 was left open when the bailout was agreed in 2015. But it is crucial now because the longer Greece has to meet that target, the more cuts the IMF will ask.Europeans and IMF could agree on a three-year period."We want to make it so that it is more realistic,"Dijsselbloem noted.

Global arms trade highest since Cold War: study-[AFP]-YAHOONEWS-February 19, 2017

Stockholm (AFP) - Worldwide arms trade has risen to its highest level since the Cold War in the last five years, driven by a demand from the Middle East and Asia, a study said Monday.Between 2012-2016, arms imports in terms of volume by countries in Asia and Oceania accounted for 43 percent of global imports, a 7.7 rise compared to the previous 2007-2011 period, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)."Transfer of major weapons in 2012-16 reached their highest volume for any five-year period since the end of" the Cold War, the independent institute said in a statement.The share of Asia and Oceania in international imports was slightly higher (44 percent) between 2007 and 2011.The share of countries in the Middle East and the Gulf monarchies jumped from 17 percent to 29 percent, far ahead of Europe (11 percent, down seven points), the Americas (8.6 percent, down 2.4 percentage points) and Africa (8.1 percent, down 1.3 points)."Over the past five years, most states in the Middle East have turned primarily to the USA and Europe in their accelerated pursuit of advanced military capabilities", said Pieter Wezeman, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme."Despite low oil prices, countries in the region continued to order more weapons in 2016, perceiving them as crucial tools for dealing with conflicts and regional tensions," he added.Sipri said worldwide arms imports and exports over the last five years have reached a record level since 1950.Saudi Arabia was the second largest importer of weapons in the world (up 212 percent), behind India, which unlike China, does not have a production at national level yet.The United States remains the top weapons exporter with a 33 percent market share (up 3 point), ahead of Russia (23 percent, down 1 point), China (6.2 percent, up 2.4 points) and France (6.0 percent, down 0.9 points) passing Germany (5.6 percent, down 3.8 points).These five countries account for almost 75 percent of global exports of heavy weapons.France's boost in the export ranking is a result of important contracts signed with Egypt, which acquired Mistral-style warships and Rafale combat aircraft.Aude Fleurant, head of the armaments program at Sipri, told AFP that "competition is fierce among European producers" with France, Germany and Britain in the lead.The United States and France are the main weapons providers for the Middle East while Russia and China are the main exporters to Asia.


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:

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.

Seven million Yemenis close to starvation: UN-[AFP]-YAHOONEWS-February 21, 2017

Sanaa (AFP) - Seven million Yemenis are closer than ever to starvation, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the country warned Tuesday, almost two years since a conflict escalated between the government and rebels."Seven million Yemenis do not know where their next meal will come from and are ever closer to starvation" in a country of 27 million people, Jamie McGoldrick said."Over 17 million people are currently unable to adequately feed themselves and are frequently forced to skip meals -- women and girls eat the least and last," he said in a statement.Yemen's war pits the internationally recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against Huthi rebels allied with forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.The fighting has intensified since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in support of the government in March 2015 after the Huthis seized the capital the previous September.Since early January, pro-government forces have pressed a major offensive aimed at recapturing Yemen's Red Sea coastline, and retook the southwestern port of Mokha earlier this month."I am deeply concerned with the escalation of conflict and militarisation of Yemen's western coast. It is coming at a great cost to civilians," McGoldrick said.Unexploded rockets have landed inside the rebel-held port of Hodeida, he said, "reducing even further the number of ships and imports" vital for Yemen's food supplies."Given that the country is 80-90 percent dependent on imported food staples, I am compelled to raise the alarm," the UN official said."If left unabated, these factors combined could accelerate the onset of famine."Also on Tuesday, the UN children's agency warned that 462,000 children were suffering from acute malnutrition.The UN aid chief warned last month that the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country was sliding deeper into humanitarian crisis and could face famine this year.Stephen O'Brien said that without "immediate action", famine was "a possible scenario for 2017".More than 7,400 people have been killed since the intervention began nearly two years ago, including around 1,400 children, according to the United Nations.


DANIEL 7:23-25
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)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings(10 DIVSION REGION WORLD GOVERNMENT) that shall arise: and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.( BE HEAD OF 3 NATIONS)
25 And he (EU PRESIDENT) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.(3 1/2 YRS)

DANIEL 8:23-25
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king (EU DICTATOR) of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,(FROM THE OCCULT-NEW AGE MOVEMENT) shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power:(SATANS POWER) and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes;(JESUS) but he shall be broken without hand.

DANIEL 11:36-39
36 And the king (EU DICTATOR) shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers,(THIS EU DICTATOR IS JEWISH) nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.(CLAIM TO BE GOD)
38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces:(WAR) and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god,(DESTROY TERROR GROUPS) whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many,(HIS ARMY LEADERS) and shall divide the land for gain.

19 And I saw the beast,(EU LEADER) and the kings of the earth, and their armies,(UNITED NATIONS TROOPS) gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse,(JESUS) and against his army.(THE RAPTURED CHRISTIANS)

Opinion-Should Europeans spend more on defence? By Dalibor Rohac-FEB 21,17-EUOBSERVER

Washington, Today, 17:00-That European allies should spend more on defense instead of relying on America’s military might is the standard refrain of most US administrations, regardless of political party.Last week in Brussels, the new secretary of defense James Mattis warned that the US might “moderate” its commitment to Nato unless Europeans get on track towards meeting the target of spending 2 percent of their GDP on defence, a theme echoed by vice-president Mike Pence at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.It is not an unreasonable request. Only four of Nato’s European members (Greece, UK, Estonia, and Poland) currently meet the 2-percent target. The response of European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to Mattis was that Europeans are somehow making up for that deficit through their humanitarian and development assistance budgets, which is an amusing thought.Yet, there is also a dark side to a hypothetical beefing-up of Europe’s militaries. America’s dominance of Nato, and Europe’s apparent free-riding, has brought one significant benefit. Namely, there has been a taming of the regional rivalries that had long existed between European countries and had periodically devastated the continent. If land warfare between Europe’s democracies has become unthinkable, this is to say that it is unthinkable primarily in the literal, practical sense. There is no capacity to fight any such war: not enough men in uniforms, tanks, guns, or airplanes.A Europe that takes care of its own security without “free riding” on the United States would likely see traditional rivalries return. For instance, by bringing its defence spending a bit above two percent of GDP, Germany would outspend Russia and become the fourth-largest military power in the world.There are some good reasons to believe that this would be a good thing. Yet, it is far from obvious as to whether Germany’s neighbours and partners in Europe would be thrilled by this prospect. Think about the tensions already existing in the EU.-New alliances-Some have blamed Germany, rightly or wrongly, for imposing austerity on economies in the Eurozone’s Mediterranean periphery. Central European countries such as Hungary or Slovakia, in turn, soured to Berlin's leadership following chancellor Angela Merkel’s “welcome” extended to Syrian asylum seekers in September 2015.These disputes might have been heated, but they were still largely amicable. But what would the stand-off over Greek debt or the EU’s asylum policies look like if Germany were not just an economic powerhouse but also wielded real military might? How would it shape the country’s relations with the Czech Republic, which expelled two and a half million ethnic Germans from the Sudetenland after World War II? And what about with Poland? Nobody is suggesting that a Germany that spends 2 percent of its GDP on defense would become a threat to its neighbours. But a more powerful Germany would almost certainly make other European countries – some of which dislike the country's real or imagined domination of the EU – more nervous. It could induce them to form new alliances, including with illiberal and revisionist regimes, most prominently Russia.Europe holds an almost limitless list of contested territories, expulsions of ethnic groups, and other historic grievances. But nearly all have been dormant for decades. That period coincides with America’s dominant position within Nato and its investment into Europe’s multilateral political infrastructure, which has grown into the form of today’s EU.-Need to be careful-None of this is to suggest that Europeans should expect America to keep them safe in perpetuity. With the growing threat from Russia and in light of both US public opinion and the direction taken by the current presidential administration, it is simply no longer an option. Yet if Europeans are to spend more on defense, they need be careful to do it in a way that does not resuscitate the continent’s old demons.That leaves European democracies with only one option: to pursue defense and security policies jointly, at the European level. For that, the EU needs to be reformed and strengthened to create a lean federal polity, which is dedicated to providing a small number of Europe-wide public goods, including defense, and integration with Nato.If Donald Trump’s administration is serious about inducing its European partners to “pay their share,” it should do everything in its power to support the European project, instead of cozying up to those who seek to destroy it.Otherwise, any attempt to make Europeans pay more for defense runs the risk of plunging the continent into conflict – conflict that was the destructive rule, not the exception, for centuries before the era of Pax Americana.Dalibor Rohac is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

China opposes U.S. naval patrols in South China Sea-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-February 21, 2017

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Tuesday it opposed action by other countries under the pretext of freedom of navigation that undermined its sovereignty, after a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group began patrols in the contested South China Sea.The U.S. navy said the strike group, including the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson, began "routine operations" in the South China Sea on Saturday amid growing tension with China over control of the disputed waterway."China always respects the freedom of navigation and overflight all countries enjoy under international law," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news briefing."But we are consistently opposed to relevant countries threatening and damaging the sovereignty and security of littoral countries under the flag of freedom of navigation and overflight," Geng said in China's first official comment on the latest U.S. patrol since it began."We hope relevant countries can do more to safeguard regional peace and stability," he said.The U.S. carrier strike group has not referred to its recent operations in the South China Sea as "freedom of navigation" patrols.U.S. ships last year conducted several such patrols to counter any efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters.Friction between the United States and China over trade and territory under U.S. President Donald Trump has increased concern that the South China Sea could become a flashpoint.China wrapped up its own naval exercises in the South China Sea on Friday. War games involving its own aircraft carrier have unnerved neighbors with which it has long-running territorial disputes.Beijing last week warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty in the South China Sea. It claims almost all of the resource-rich waters, through which about $5 trillion worth of trade passes each year.Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim parts of the South China Sea that command strategic sea lanes and have rich fishing grounds, along with oil and gas deposits.The United States has criticized China's construction of man-made islands and build-up of military facilities in the sea, and expressed concern they could be used to restrict free movement.Foreign ministers of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Tuesday expressed concern over what they see as militarization in the South China Sea, Philippines Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay said after meeting with his ASEAN counterparts.(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Robert Birsel)


EUROPEAN UNION-KING OF WEST-DAN 9:26-27,DAN 7:23-24,DAN 11:40,REV 13:1-10


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)

Refugee claimants from U.S. strain Canada's border resources-[Reuters]-By Allison Lampert and Anna Mehler Paperny-YAHOONEWS-February 20, 2017

HEMMINGFORD, Quebec (Reuters) - Canadian police said on Monday they have bolstered their presence at the Quebec border and border authorities have created a temporary refugee center to process a growing number of asylum seekers crossing from the United States.The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said at a news conference that it has converted an unused basement into a refugee claimant processing center. Both the border agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are reassigning staff from other locations in the province, as needed, to accommodate rising demand.The CBSA said the number of people making refugee claims at Quebec-U.S. border crossings more than doubled between 2015 and 2016. Last month 452 people made claims compared to 137 in January 2016, the agency said.The influx is straining police, federal government and community resources from the prairie province of Manitoba, where people arrive frostbitten from hours walking in freezing conditions, to Quebec, where cabs drop asylum-seekers off meters away from the Quebec-U.S.border, the border agency said.A Reuters reporter on Monday saw RCMP officers take in for questioning a family of four - two men, a woman, and a baby in a carseat - who had walked across the snowy gully dividing Roxham Road in Champlain, New York, from Chemin Roxham in Hemmingford, Quebec."Please explain to her that she's in Canada," one Canadian officer told another officer.Police take people crossing the border in for questioning at the border agency's office in Lacolle, Quebec, which is the province's biggest and busiest border crossing. Police identify them and ensure they are not a threat or carrying contraband.They are then transferred to the CBSA for fingerprinting and further questions. If anyone is deemed a threat or flight risk, they are detained. If not, they can file refugee claims and live in Canada while they wait for a decision-"It's touching, and we are not insensitive to that," Bryan Byrne, the RCMP's Champlain Detachment Commander, told reporters near the border. "Some of these people had a long journey. Some are not dressed for the climate here."Asylum-seekers cross illegally because Canada's policy under the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement is to turn back refugees if they make claims at border crossings. But as U.S. President Donald Trump cracks down on illegal immigrants, Amnesty International and refugee advocacy groups are pressuring the Canadian government to abandon the agreement, arguing the United States is no safe haven.On Monday the city of Montreal, Quebec voted to declare itself a "sanctuary city," making it the fourth city in Canada to protect illegal immigrants and to provide services to them.(Writing by Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto; editing by Diane Craft)

Canadian troops in Iraq mount pressure on ISIL around Syrian border-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-February 21, 2017

ERBIL, Iraq — Canadian special forces have shifted their operations in northern Iraq to put pressure on ISIL in places outside the strategic city of Mosul — including along the border with Syria.The objective: To figure out the good guys from the bad so Iraqi military forces and coalition aircraft can attack.High atop a rocky hilltop Monday, two Canadian soldiers sat in a makeshift bunker located more than a kilometre behind the frontline between Kurdish forces and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.One bearded soldier looked through a high-powered viewfinder, scanning the small community that lay below, while the other took notes. A camera sat between them in case something interesting appeared.When the first Canadian soldiers arrived in the country in September 2014, their mission was to help train the Peshmerga to stop and hold back a confident and, until then, undefeated ISIL hoard.That was the first phase of the now nearly two-and-a-half-year-old mission, before ISIL lost the upper hand.Now, flying by helicopter from Erbil, the Kurds' capital in Iraq, to the Mosul Dam, one can see the barricades of dirt and defensive positions that helped the Peshmerga stop ISIL from overwhelming northern Iraq.The trenches and stone buildings hastily constructed during that period two years ago lie abandoned today, as the war — and Canada's role in it — shifted from defence to offence.Kurdish forces, supported by the Canadians, kicked off a long-anticipated attack to free Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, from ISIL in October.But the Kurds and their Canadian comrades stopped short of Mosul, as planned. Instead, they shifted to fighting the extremist group in other ways and let the Iraqi military enter and clear ISIL from the city.Briefing reporters on Monday at Camp Erable, the Canadian military camp in Erbil, a special forces officer said the mission has turned toward identifying and monitoring potential ISIL targets in the region.That includes keeping tabs through optical sights and other means, on "key enemy movement corridors" between Iraq and Syria as well as areas inside and immediately outside Kurdish territory.The officer said such monitoring helped locate ISIL forces inside a large town that was sidestepped during the early parts of the Mosul offensive and needed cleaning up.It also means a decline in the number of times Canadian soldiers have actually fired their weapons in recent months, the officer said, as potential targets are relayed to the Iraqis and coalition for destruction.The special forces officer, who asked not to be identified for security reasons, said the nature of the Mosul offensive had meant Canadian troops often found themselves in situations where they were required to fire.That isn't the case now, he said, adding that Canadian soldiers are specifically told to set up in locations where such circumstances are unlikely.The Canadians continue to work with the Peshmerga. At the hilltop encampment, a number of fighters from the Kurds' elite Zeravani stood guard on the perimeter while others relaxed inside.In fact, the special forces officer said his soldiers have started working on a program that will train some Kurds to take on the role of instructors themselves.Capt. Dhyab Mohammed Omar, commander of the Peshmerga fighters, praised his Canadian comrades and the contribution they had made in helping the Kurds fight ISIL."We are always honoured to have them at our positions," he said. "It was my wildest dream to work with the Canadians. Having them show up and help us, we would die for them."While much of the attention surrounding Canada's mission in northern Iraq has been focused on the role being played by the special forces, they aren't operating alone.Roughly 150 Canadian troops are stationed in Erbil, including a helicopter squadron, logistical staff, and medical personnel, all in support of the special forces mission and broader coalition fight against ISIL.Four Griffon helicopters from Canadian Forces Base Valcartier ferry troops and equipment from Camp Erable to the special forces troops in the field every day, zipping low like dragonflies over fields, around hills and past isolated communities to avoid enemy fire."The challenge here is the more (power) wires and the weather during winter," said Maj. Mathieu Bertrand, commander of the helicopter squadron. "We had some fog. But generally, the weather is good."Meanwhile, a Canadian military hospital located within Camp Erable's small footprint, which itself is part of a larger coalition base dominated by the U.S., stands ready to provide aid to those wounded in battle.While the hospital, whose personnel hail from CFB Petawawa, has treated more than 100 patients for various injuries, Lt.-Col. Richard Morin said only 13 had received battlefield wounds. None were Canadian."The predominance of cases we're getting are emergency department-type casualties or patients that you would get when you get over 5,000 military troops all in one place," he said.The hospital has also treated a handful of ISIL fighters who were wounded and detained by coalition forces, which Morin said falls in line with the laws governing war."We actually understand even in conflict, there are rules that you need to follow that … respects the dignity of life," he said. "That's what makes us different."The entire effort is underpinned by logistical personnel, led by Lt.-Col. Dominique Dagenais, who are responsible for Camp Erable and ensuring that everything runs smoothly.Dagenais said the biggest challenge he faces is ensuring new personnel get their Iraqi visas in time to replace those who are nearing the end of their deployments.The Iraqi government has in the past dragged its feet when it comes to Canada's mission against ISIL, including delaying deployment of the military hospital and signing off on a plan to arm the Kurds.— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter-Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press.

Islamic State linked group expands foothold in southern Syria near Israel-[Reuters]-By Suleiman Al-Khalidi-YAHOONEWS-February 20, 2017

AMMAN (Reuters) - Islamic State-linked Syrian militant groups on Monday launched a surprise attack on moderate rebels in southwestern Syria near the Golan Heights near where the Jordanian and Israeli borders converge, seizing several villages and a large town, rebels and witnesses said.Rebels said the militants were able to extend their area of control in territory that forms a natural barrier between Syria and Israel where the Yarmouk River flows after they overran the towns of Tseel, Sahem al Golan, Adwan and Tel Jamoua."In a surprise attack Islamic State made an attack on positions held by the Free Syrian Army FSA groups which no one expected to happen so fast," said Colonel Ismail Ayoub, a Syrian opposition army defector.The militants launched a wide-scale dawn attack from their enclave where they are entrenched in the towns of Jamla, Ain Zakar Nafaa and al Shajra, deploying dozens of armored vehicles and several tanks to overrun nearby towns aided by sleeper cells among locals who helped the attackers, two rebel sources said.The jihadists were later driven out of at least two villages - Jileen and Heet - after a counteroffensive by Southern Front groups, an alliance of FSA factions that coordinates operations from a joint command center in Jordan, said Abu Yahya, a rebel official in the Jabhat Thwar Surya faction.It includes groups that have received some support from foreign states including Gulf Arab governments.The Sunni hardline militants are members of the so-called Khalid Ibn Al Walid Army, a grouping set up last year from a merger of two main militant jihadist factions who are believed to have pledged allegiance to Islamic State and now control the strip of territory southeast of the Golan Heights.Jordanian army units stationed along the border were put in a state of heightened readiness, a Jordanian security source said, and residents in the area said sounds of mortars were heard clearly from the fighting across the border.A rebel official told Reuters that several FSA rebel groups were expected to get fresh supplies of arms from Jordan in the next few weeks to beef up their defenses against the ultra-hardline Sunni radicals.Earlier this month the Jordanian air force said it conducted air strikes against the militants in the area, destroying an ammunition depot, a car bomb factory and barracks.Militants had reportedly executed several people in Tseel, the largest town that fell into militants' hands on Monday and which has been a haven for tens of thousands of displaced peoples-Tseel and most of the area captured by the militants had until early last year been in their hands until an alliance of FSA groups and rival Islamist groups wrested control and then managed to lay siege on their territorial enclave.The ultra-hardline militants' offensive came as heavy fighting between rebels and the Syrian army entered its second week in Deraa city, nearly 40 km (25 miles) east of the Yarmouk Valley, in the first such surge of violence in over a year and a half.The timing of the Islamic State-affiliated group's offensive has prompted accusations they had exploited the preoccupation of the FSA rebels in ongoing battles with the Syrian army.Rebel advances in a strategic district held by the army have prompted Russia to wage an intensive bombing campaign of rebel-held parts of the southern city for the first time since Moscow's major intervention in September 2015.The capture of Manshiya district would put the remaining government-held part of the city within firing range of the rebels and thwart repeated army attempts to rupture supply lines linking rebel-held areas to the east and west of the city.(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Seeking to secure Sinai, Egypt builds closer ties with Hamas-[Reuters]-By Lin Noueihed and Nidal al-Mughrabi-YAHOONEWS-February 21, 2017

CAIRO/GAZA (Reuters) - After years of strained relations, Egypt is moving closer to Hamas in Gaza, offering concessions on trade and free movement in return for moves to secure the border against Islamic State fighters who have killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers in northern Sinai.Egypt has been at odds with Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, since a crackdown by Cairo on the armed group's Islamist allies. Egypt closed the border, opening it only rarely.But in recent weeks Egypt has eased restrictions, allowing in trucks laden with food and other supplies, and providing relief from an Israeli blockade that has restricted the flow of goods into the coastal territory.The relaxation follows high-level Hamas visits to Cairo, which wants to restore its role as a regional powerbroker and crush Islamic State followers in the Sinai Peninsula, a strategic area bordering Gaza, Israel and the Suez Canal.It builds on what Egyptian and Palestinian sources say are efforts by Hamas to prevent the movement of militants in and out of Sinai, where they have killed hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police since general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.Egyptian and Palestinian officials say the changes could signal a new era of closer cooperation after years of tension."We want cooperation in controlling the borders and tunnels, the handover of perpetrators of armed attacks and a boycott of the Muslim Brotherhood. They want the crossing to be opened and more trade," one senior Egyptian security source said."This has actually begun, but in a partial way. We hope it will continue."While it doesn't engage directly with Hamas, Israel is working with Egypt on border security and monitoring of Gaza. Military officials have voiced support for any steps that bring greater stability to northern Sinai and Gaza.Hamas has increased security along its side of the border with Sinai over the past year, deploying hundreds of security forces and erecting more watchtowers. The group has also moved to round up Salafi Jihadists, who oppose an Egyptian-brokered 2014 ceasefire with Israel.Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel's destruction but which has no ambitions for global jihad, has not said how many militants it has captured and refuses to call them jihadists.Egypt has given Hamas a list of about 85 fugitives, who it says are implicated in attacks and wants extradited, the Egyptian security source said. Hamas denied links with some of them and sources in the group said extraditions were unlikely though it might make its own inquiries.Hamas has however let Egypt know that it has no interest in stoking unrest in an Arab neighbor that has mediated several truces with Israel and among rival Palestinian factions."If we compare it with a year ago, the situation or the relationship is better but it is not yet what is needed," Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas official, told Reuters."The needs of our people are great, their need to travel, pursue education or treatment, attend to their businesses and families abroad, and also the need for open trade with Egypt."-MUTUAL DISTRUST, COMMON INTERESTS-The blossoming ties have been advanced by intense diplomacy, culminating last month in a visit by Ismail Haniyah, a deputy leader of Hamas, to meet Egyptian intelligence officials.A series of conferences on Palestinian affairs have also taken place in Egypt in recent months attended by figures from Palestinian factions.Organizers said the conferences were part of efforts to restore Egypt's regional role following the chaos of the 2011 Arab Spring revolts."The situation now is returning to normal," said Elazb al-Tayeb Taher, writer on Arab affairs at the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper, which hosted one of the conferences in November."Egyptian intelligence is restoring its relationship with Hamas in accordance with certain guidelines, chief amongst them being that Hamas does not become a major gateway for threats from Gaza targeting Egypt's national security."Despite mutual distrust, Hamas and Egypt kept communication channels open, with Hamas officials regularly invited to Egypt.But ties hit a low in 2013, after Sisi overthrew President Mohamed Mursi, banned the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and jailed many of its supporters.Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a militant group that emerged in North Sinai in the chaos of 2011 and initially attacked Egypt's gas pipelines to Israel, turned its guns on Egyptian forces. In 2014, it joined Islamic State and has since attacked in Cairo, killing 28 people in a church in December.-'EARLY TO TALK OF TRADE'-Blockaded by Israel and facing the closure of their only other outlet, Gazans dug thousands of tunnels to smuggle in building materials and consumer goods and, according to Egyptian officials, smuggle out arms and fighters.In a bid to crush the militants, Egypt's military razed hundreds of homes and destroyed at least 2,000 tunnels.Curfews, checkpoints and air strikes have devastated an area that once drew holidaymakers to its Mediterranean shore.The desire to secure the area and restore a semblance of normality is as strong for Egypt, which wants to lure back foreign investors who fled after 2011, as it is for Gazans.Egyptians who organized the Palestinian conferences suggested the border might be reopened to trade for 10 or 15 days at a time - rather than a few days every six weeks at present - to build trust.But the ultimate aim is more ambitious; a free trade area and an industrial zone on the Egyptian side to facilitate commerce, allow Gazans to travel abroad, and create jobs for those who might otherwise join the militants."We've gotten to a point now with Hamas where we're working on a framework on which to build for the coming period, and this will be contingent upon controlling the borders and the crossing will be open routinely," said Tareq Fahmy, of the state-linked National Center for Middle East Studies, which co-organized two Palestinian conferences last year."We're thinking of direct trade and all this is pivotal for our brothers in Hamas and the Gaza Strip, but ... trust-building processes don't take place overnight."For residents of northern Sinai, who face a gamut of checkpoints each day, open trade seems an outlandish notion. The conflict has rendered the area a wasteland of demolished houses, sand berms and trenches."It's early to talk of trade. We are still living in a security zone," said one resident.(Additional reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan in Cairo; editing by Giles Elgood)

13 Calgary police members file bullying complaints urging cultural, leadership changes-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-February 21, 2017

The Calgary Police Service is facing complaints by more than a dozen members, urging significant changes to the culture and leadership structure of the force, one of the complainants says."I hope this brings on a cultural change," Jen Magnus told The Calgary Eyeopener on Tuesday."It is necessary. I know that this exists in a lot of police organizations and military organizations and it is time for change to happen."Magnus, a 14-year member, tried to draw attention to the issues by offering her resignation at a public Calgary Police Commission meeting last month.Chief Roger Chaffin refused to accept her resignation at the meeting, asking her to take some time to reflect.Mayor Naheed Nenshi urged her not resign after learning of the emotional meeting.Last week, Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart resigned from the Calgary Police Commission, a day after the commission chair said she may have violated its code of conduct by speaking publicly about the complaints.Magnus alleges she has been bullied, sexually harassed and intimidated. Her public resignation renewed questions about harassment and intimidation on the force.-Need to start holding people to account-The 13 members announced Tuesday that complaints are being filed through a legal team."I believe every employee in Canada has a right to a safe and respectful workplace and the Calgary police should be no different," Magnus said."In order for that to happen, I think they need to acknowledge that changes need to come in the way of the culture and the way the leadership handles things. They need to start holding people accountable."Last October a damning 2013 workplace review surfaced showing a culture of bullying, harassment, intimidation and retaliation.Chaffin said at the time he needed to hear complaints directly in order to take action.He added old attitudes and old police culture are likely still lingering when it comes to female officers, and need addressing."You can't address problems, you can't fix things, you can't get at the root of things if you don't have the information," the chief said at the time.A lawyer involved with the complaints announced Tuesday that sometimes workplace issues become legal in nature."Employers have obligations and employees have rights and entitlements," Rachel West said."Sometimes they need lawyers involved, either in the background or the foreground, to assist them in protecting those rights, obtaining those entitlements and protecting their interests within the workforce or, if they chose to leave the workforce, in order to affect change from the outside."Magnus, meanwhile, says her future with Calgary police is unclear right now."I feel like I am giving up, but for my mental health and my family it is something I have to do."Calgary police have not yet responded to the complaints.With files from The Calgary Eyeopener.

Victoria moves to evict illegal live-aboard boats-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-February 20, 2017

The City of Victoria is taking action against illegally moored boats in the Gorge waterway after limited success in persuading occupants to move voluntarily.City clerk Chris Coates told On the Island host Gregor Craigie that notices are being served to about 15 boats anchored in the tidal inlet that connects Victoria Harbour to Portage Inlet.The notices advise boat owners of city plans to seek an injunction to enforce zoning regulations that prohibit long-term moorage."There's notice served on those folks and then they have 21 days to respond as to whether they're going to comply or whether they want to challenge the city on the injunction," Coates said.About half the boat owners have been served the notice. So far none has responded to the ultimatum, he said.At least seven of the boats are occupied "with some degree of regularity," Coates said.Seven other boats and their occupants left voluntary."They went elsewhere. We're not especially clear where that is," Coates said."We did our best to connect them with services on land for alternative housing," he said.Victoria's bylaw banning overnight moorage was passed in August 2015.The city then applied for and received a licence of occupation from the province, which allowed it to enforce the bylaw.Concerns about the boats include environmental impact on sensitive eel grass habitat as well as on salmon and whale populations.As well, residents living along the Gorge have complained about noise, garbage and dumping of sewage by boat occupants.With files from On the Island.

Thousands of demonstrators across US say 'Not My President'-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-February 20, 2017

Thousands of demonstrators turned out Monday across the U.S. to challenge Donald Trump in a Presidents Day protest dubbed Not My President's Day.The protests on the federal holiday didn't draw nearly as many people as the million-plus who thronged the streets following the Republican president's inauguration a month earlier, but the message was similar.Thousands of flag-waving protesters lined up outside Central Park in Manhattan. Many in the crowd chanted "No ban, no wall. The Trump regime has got to fall." They held aloft signs saying "Uphold the Constitution Now" and "Impeach the Liar."Nova Calise, one of the New York City organizers, said Presidents Day was "a perfect time to protest the person that's currently holding the title of President of the United States," adding Trump didn't share the values of those demonstrating Monday.A rally in downtown Los Angeles also drew thousands. Demonstrators there called attention to Trump's crackdown on immigration and his party's response to climate change and the environment. Organizers said they chose to rally on the holiday as a way to honour past presidents by exercising their constitutional right to assemble and peacefully protest. They chanted: "Love not hate makes America great."In Chicago, several hundred rallied across the river from the Trump Tower, shouting "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go."Rebecca Wolfram of Chicago, who's in her 60s, said concerns about climate change and immigrant rights under Trump prompted her to start attending rallies."I'm trying to demonstrate as much as possible until I figure out what else to do," said Wolfram, who held a sign that said "Old white ladies are really displeased."Several hundred demonstrated in Washington, D.C. Dozens gathered around the fountain in Dupont Circle chanting "Dump Trump" and "Love, not hate: That's what makes America great."Dozens marched through midtown Atlanta for a rally named with a Georgia flavour : "ImPEACH NOW! (Not My) President's Day March."Hundreds of protesters chanting "This is what democracy looks like" marched through Salt Lake City.The Salt Lake Tribune reports ( that the crowd marched to push back against Trump and his administration's stance on such issues as the environment, immigration, free speech and Russia.Some people raised signs that said "Not My President," while others held up a large American flag. Protester Reg Brookings warned the crowd that Trump is trying to divide the country by making such groups as immigrants the enemy.A small but unruly group of protesters faced off with police in downtown Portland, Oregon.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports ( the police confronted the crowd in front of the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building. Police took some people into custody.Hundreds of Trump opponents and supporters turned out in Rapid City, South Dakota.A larger anti-Trump faction stood on a street corner as part of a "Not My President" protest, similar to other demonstrations being held across the country. A group supporting the president lined up on a different corner at the same intersection. Police were on hand and the groups remained peaceful.The Rapid City Journal ( reported the anti-Trump protesters held up posters including some reading, "Make America Think Again" and "Build bridges, not walls." Supporters of the president waved American flags and held signs saying "God Bless our Presidents; Go Trump" and "Veterans for Trump."___Walker reported from New York City. Associated Press writers Jeff Martin in Atlanta, Tammy Webber in Chicago, Alanna Durkin Richer in Richmond and Martha Bellisle in Seattle, Washington, contributed to this story.Julie Walker, The Associated Press.

Petition pushes back against move to exclude police from Vancouver Pride Parade-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-February 21, 2017

VANCOUVER — A campaign to exclude police from Vancouver's Pride Parade is experiencing pushback from a group that says not allowing officers to take part risks undermining the positive relationship between the LGBTQ community and law enforcement.Sandy Leo Laframboise, a longtime transgender activist in the city, said more than 2,600 people have signed a counter-petition opposing demands from a local chapter of Black Lives Matter that the Vancouver police be banned from this year's parade."How do you make progress if you don't involve others? How do the oppressor and oppressee work together if they're not involved together, if we don't have those open discussions?" Laframboise asked Monday.Black Lives Matter Vancouver asked police last summer to remove their float from the parade as a "show of solidarity and understanding," to acknowledge the presence of uniformed officers makes some participants feel unsafe.The request from the activist group came shortly after its Toronto counterpart brought that city's parade to a standstill until organizers agreed to a list of demands, including barring police floats from future marches.The Vancouver chapter launched an online petition three weeks ago asking that the Vancouver Pride Society, which runs the event, prohibit uniformed police officers from marching. By Monday, it had collected 875 signatures.Black Lives Matter Vancouver did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but in an open letter published last July it said allowing police to participate is "insulting" to protesters who made Pride celebrations possible."We acknowledge that in certain contexts police presence to perform a job of civil service may deter acts of homophobia and violence, especially at designated queer events such as Pride," the letter said."However, we cannot divorce the policing institution from its historical and continued violence against indigenous and (minority) communities, racial profiling or inaction around our missing indigenous women."Laframboise said while the grievances of Black Lives Matter are real and warrant discussion, the Pride Parade isn't the appropriate venue because it has evolved from a protest march to a celebration of diversity and inclusion.The Vancouver Pride Parade regularly attracts more than 100 floats and crowds in excess of 500,000. This year's event will take place in early August. Police have marched in Vancouver's parade since 2002.Kieran Burgess, executive director of operations with the Vancouver Pride Society, said in an email that the group's board received the counter-petition Monday afternoon and was looking into allowing the organizers to speak at the society's board meeting in March.Laframboise delivered the document alongside fellow activists Velvet Steele and Kristine Andersen."I think it went really well," Steele said after leaving the Vancouver Pride Society office."We're not here to start an argument," she added. "We're not trying to divide the community."The media accompanying the group was prevented from entering the society's office.Laframboise said the Pride society had agreed to meet with them on March 21, about a week before the society is scheduled to meet with the Vancouver Police Board.In the early 1990s, Laframboise was involved in a liaison committee aimed at improving relations between the transgender community and Vancouver police.The self-described transgender Metis activist calls Vancouver police one of the most progressive law enforcement agencies in Canada and commended the administration for its willingness to sit down with community groups to work on policy."Have there been some bad apples? Yes. Have there been some rude police officers? Absolutely. Have there been some issues in the trans community? Absolutely," Laframboise said."But I still want to work with the police to affect changes."— Follow @gwomand on Twitter-Geordon Omand, The Canadian Press.-Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version omitted Sandy Leo Laframboise's last name.

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