Friday, February 24, 2017
ERDOGAN FANS AN ISLAMIC NATIONALISM IN BID TO BUILD OTTMAN STYLE INFLUENCE.
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)
Thousands still forced from homes by flooding in California tech hub-[Reuters]-By Alex Dobuzinskis-YAHOONEWS-February 22, 2017
(Reuters) - The mucky water flooding a section of San Jose in Northern California forced officials on Wednesday to widen the area under mandatory evacuation orders, with about 14,000 people barred from returning to their homes following drenching rains.San Jose, a hub of high-tech Silicon Valley, suffered major flooding on Tuesday triggering evacuation orders when Coyote Creek overran its banks, swamping the Rock Springs neighborhood. Water at some sites engulfed the entire first floor of residences while in other places it reached waist-high.Officials said the city of about 1 million residents has not seen a flood approaching this magnitude since 1997.The gush of water inundating San Jose flowed down from the Anderson Reservoir, which was pushed to overflowing by a rainstorm that pounded Northern California from Sunday to Tuesday, officials said.The reservoir's operators have been releasing water at maximum levels since Jan. 9 but it was not enough to avoid a spillover because of recent storms, Rachael Gibson, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, said at a news conference.Trash-strewn floodwaters inundated city blocks in California's third-largest city, as firefighters in inflatable boats on Tuesday ferried stranded residents to dry ground.Aside from 14,000 people whom officials said were placed under mandatory evacuation orders, with many taking up residence in emergency shelters, the city has issued a less severe evacuation advisory to 22,000 people, urging them to leave their homes as well."This is nothing you ever want to see in your community," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told a news conference.Residents of the flooded area, which is near downtown and is made up of apartment buildings and townhomes, would not be allowed to return to their properties on Wednesday, Liccardo said. "We're not out of this yet," he said.The Weather Service forecasts light rain to resume this weekend in the area.It was not immediately clear how many homes suffered flood damage.A section of the 101 Freeway in San Jose and another strip of the thoroughfare south of the city were closed by flooding, according to the California Highway Patrol.Coyote Creek crested at a record-breaking 14.4 feet (4.4 meters) on Tuesday evening, said National Weather Service forecaster Bob Benjamin.The previous record was in 1922, at 12.8 feet (3.9 meters), Benjamin said."Quite possibly we won't see a return to a flood this weekend because the (weather) system does not look terribly imposing," Benjamin said.(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Sandra Maler)
Cool facts about 7 Earth-size planets circling single star-[Associated Press]-MARCIA DUNN-YAHOONEWS-February 22, 2017
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Talk about an Earth-shattering discovery.Scientists have spotted seven Earth-size planets around a nearby star, some or all of which could harbor water and possibly life. That's the biggest cluster of planets like this yet to be found.Here's a quick look:-AGE OF AQUARIUS-This star system is less than 40 light-years from Earth, or 235 trillion miles away, in the constellation Aquarius. At the hub is a small, faint star known as Trappist-1. Seven planets circle Trappist-1, with orbits ranging from 1 ½ to 20 days. If Trappist-1 were our sun, all these planets would fit inside the orbit of Mercury. That's how close they are to their star and why their orbits are so short. The planets have no real names. They're only known by letters, "b'' through "h." The letter "A" refers to the star itself.___GOLDILOCKS ZONE-Three of the planets are smack dab in the so-called habitable zone, also known as the Goldilocks zone, where conditions are just right for water and life to flourish — not too much and not too little stellar energy. The four other planets are tantalizingly close to the Goldilocks zone— so close that they, too, could harbor water and potentially life. But just because a planet is in this sweet spot, doesn't mean life exists or ever did. If aliens were observing our solar system from the Trappist-1 network, they might be saying, "Hey, there are three habitable planets there, Venus, Earth and Mars," said Sara Seager, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology astrophysicist who did not take part in the study. The point is, "let's wait and see what's out there," she cautioned.___HOW'S THE VIEW? Trappist-1, one of numerous ultracool dwarf stars out there in the galaxy, glows red. If you were to stand on one of the planets, the star might appear to be salmon-colored. Its planets are clumped so closely together, they would appear twice as big as our moon in the sky. The temperature could be pretty similar to Earth as well, at least on one of these planets.___NOW WHAT? Scientists need to study the atmospheres of these almost assuredly rocky planets before jumping to any conclusions about water and life. The Hubble Space Telescope already is on the case. The still-under-construction James Webb Space Telescope will join in once it's launched next year. The Webb will search for gases that might be a byproduct of life: oxygen, ozone and methane. Scientists say it should take five years to get a handle on all these atmospheres, and figure out whether water — and maybe life — are present. Altogether, astronomers have confirmed close to 3,600 planets outside our solar system since the 1990s, but barely four dozen are in the potential habitable zone of their stars, and of those, just 18 are approximately the size of Earth.
Italy asked to cut debt, Germany to increase spending By Eric Maurice-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, 22. Feb, 17:13-The European Commission has threatened to launch a procedure against Italy over its excessive debt if it doesn't take measures to cut spending by 0.2 percent of its GDP before the end of April."There would be a case to open," commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis said at a press conference on Wednesday (22 February), as Italy's debt is expected to reach over 133 percent of its GDP this year - more than twice the EU's 60 percent rule.But the commission will wait until after April before taking a decision.In a report on the European Semester - the EU economic oversight mechanism - published on Wednesday, the EU executive said that Italy's economy was marked by high government debt, weak productivity and competitiveness, as well as high non-performing loans (NPL) and unemployment."After positive reforms of the budgetary process, labour market, banking sector, insolvency procedures, judiciary system and public administration, the reform momentum has weakened since mid-2016," the commission noted.It added that Italy should do more "with regard to competition, taxation, fight against corruption and the reform of the framework for collective bargaining."In a specific report on Italy, the commission also pointed to "the possible cost borne by the government for the recapitalisation of weak Italian banks", only two months after the Italian government said it would tap into a €20-billion fund in an attempt to save the Monte de Paschi bank.-Continent of debt-The commission also found that as well as Italy, five other countries are "experiencing excessive economic imbalances" because of large debts or a high level of NPL. These countries are: France, Portugal, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus.Economy commissioner Pierre Moscovici said that France "must continue its reforms and do more" after the new government is announced following the upcoming presidential and legislative elections.The commission said that France suffered from "low productivity growth, high public debt and weak competitiveness" as well as growing debt and low efficiency in public spending and taxation. It insisted that reforms are still needed in the labour market, education system and business environment.Moscovici, a former French finance minister, said that the commission "could consider revising the classification from excessive imbalances to imbalances" if efforts were made, adding that this was a "message of encouragement" for the future government.The commission also found that five other countries - Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Sweden - are experiencing economic imbalances for reasons such as a high level of debt or increasing house prices.-German surplus dilemma-A sixth country was included - Germany - for its current account surplus, which reached a record €270 billion last year. The surplus, mainly due to Germany's positive trade balances, represented 8.6 percent of GDP, well beyond the 6 percent threshold authorised by the EU.Moscovici said that this was "not healthy" for Germany and "creates significant economical and political distortion for the whole of the eurozone".The commission did not consider Germany's imbalance excessive - which would oblige it to take measures - as the surplus is partly due to external factors and because Germany had started to increase public investment last year, at the request of the commission.But Moscovici insisted that "more has to be done" and that the commission would make recommendations in spring that it expects the next German government to follow.Overall, the commission said the economic situation in the EU was slowly improving, but warned against persistent weaknesses and risks.Dombrovskis underlined "persistent economic and social challenges" such as high unemployment, poverty or income disparities. He noted that "labour market development and efficiency of social systems vary considerably from country to country".He also pointed out "pockets of weaknesses in the banking sector, including a high volume of non-performing loans in several member states". He said that over €1 trillion in NPLs were a threat to the funding of business activities in Europe.
EU says US energy summits will continue By Peter Teffer-EUOBSERVER
Brussels, 22. Feb, 17:55-The European Union expects to continue annual energy summits with the United States, but sources in and around the US department of energy cannot confirm they will.“The EU side expects the energy council to continue and will be discussing with US counterparts in due course appropriate timing and agenda topics,” said Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for the European Commission.In 2009, US president Barack Obama's first year in office, the two parties established a EU-US energy council, aimed at cooperating on policies, increasing energy security, and working together on clean energy technologies.The two sides agreed to hold ministerial meetings annually, alternately in the EU and in the US.The last summit was held on 4 May 2016, in Washington, which means that this year's meeting should take place in Brussels.No date has been set yet, and it is not even clear whether the US wants to continue the format under its new president, Donald Trump, however.His nominee for secretary of energy, Rick Perry, gained notoriety because he had previously advocated to abolish the department of energy, and because he was unable to name it when asked during a presidential debate in 2011.He received broad support - 16 votes in favour against seven against - in the relevant senate committee in January, but still needs to be confirmed by the full chamber.He told senators he regretted calling for its abolition.He also said he believed “the climate is changing” and that “some” of it is caused by man-made activity.Trump previously called climate change a “hoax”, and threatened to pull out of the Paris climate treaty.-No updates, no idea-A source in the department of energy told EUobserver that they have “no updates on this particularly issue at this time”.Neither did John Deutch, who was chair of the advisory board of the secretary of energy under Perry's predecessor.“I have no idea which past practices secretary Perry will choose to continue when he becomes secretary of energy,” he told this website.Brussels-based Cosimo Avesani said he thought the cooperation would continue.Avesani works with the Trans-Atlantic Business Council, a business association which calls itself “a long-term stakeholder in the EU-US energy council discussions”.He said that normally “at least two months are needed to prepare” such summits, which makes it unlikely that the summit will be held before the summer.Since 2009, the summits were held every year, except in 2015.
FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
Factory fire sends plume of smoke high into Sydney sky-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-February 22, 2017
SYDNEY (Reuters) - A thick plume of black smoke rose above the Sydney skyline on Thursday as scores of firefighters battled a huge blaze at a recycling plant in the western suburbs of Australia's largest city.No injuries were reported from the blaze in an industrial park about 15 km (10 miles) west of downtown Sydney. More than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze, which broke out at about 9.30 a.m. local time.A spokeswoman from the New South Wales State fire service said several hours later the blaze had been confined to the building in which it broke out and that other factories nearby had been evacuated.Dramatic footage from the scene showed that the roof of the recycling plant had collapsed as piles of paper and plastic burned inside.The column of smoke was visible across Sydney, with social media users posting images taken from different vantage points citywide. Favorable winds kept the smoke from reaching the city center.Authorities would not comment on the cause of the fire.(Reporting by Cecile Lefort; Editing by Paul Tait)
WORLD POWERS IN THE LAST DAYS (END OF AGE OF GRACE NOT THE WORLD)
EUROPEAN UNION-KING OF WEST-DAN 9:26-27,DAN 7:23-24,DAN 11:40,REV 13:1-10
EGYPT-KING OF THE SOUTH-DAN 11:40
RUSSIA-KING OF THE NORTH-EZEK 38:1-2,EZEK 39:1-3
CHINA-KING OF THE EAST-DAN 11:44,REV 9:16,18
VATICAN-RELIGIOUS LEADER-REV 13:11-18,REV 17:4-5,9,18
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.(WORLD TERRORISM,MURDERS)(HAMAS IN HEBREW IS VIOLENCE)
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence (TERRORISM)(HAMAS) through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her,(HAGAR) Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael;(FATHER OF THE ARAB/MUSLIMS) because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he (ISHMAEL-FATHER OF THE ARAB-MUSLIMS) will be a wild (DONKEY-JACKASS) man;(ISLAM IS A FAKE AND DANGEROUS SEX FOR MURDER CULT) his hand will be against every man,(ISLAM HATES EVERYONE) and every man's hand against him;(PROTECTING THEMSELVES FROM BEING BEHEADED) and he (ISHMAEL ARAB/MUSLIM) shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.(LITERAL-THE ARABS LIVE WITH THEIR BRETHERN JEWS)
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,(SATAN) son of the morning!(HEBREW-CRECENT MOON-ISLAM) how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I (SATAN HAS EYE TROUBLES) will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.(AND 1/3RD OF THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN FELL WITH SATAN AND BECAME DEMONS)
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.(ISLAM MURDERS IN THE NAME OF MOON GOD ALLAH OF ISLAM)
Dutch MPs look set to approve Ukraine treaty By Peter Teffer-EUOBSERVER
Brussels, 22. Feb, 09:07-A majority in the Lower House of the Dutch parliament is expected to support ratification of the association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine on Thursday (23 February).Both houses of the Dutch parliament had already agreed to ratify the EU-Ukraine treaty, which was signed in 2014 and ratified by every other EU country.But their decision was suspended when a majority rejected the treaty in a non-binding referendum in April last year.Rather than ignoring the vote or ditching the treaty, prime minister Mark Rutte and foreign minister Bert Koenders opted for a third way.The Netherlands negotiated with its 27 EU counterparts a supplement text which is legally binding, but does not change the treaty itself.“This legally binding declaration clearly addresses the objections No voters had,” said Labour MP Marit Maij at a debate on Tuesday evening.The supplement, adopted at an EU summit in December 2016, stated that the EU-Ukraine treaty does not give Ukraine the right to EU membership, financial or military support.Labour and coalition partners the Liberals were joined by pro-EU opposition parties Liberal Democrat D66 and GreenLeft in expressing support for ratification. Together, the parties constitute a majority.Green MP Rik Grashoff said the choice had been a “dilemma”, but that the reasons to support the agreement with Ukraine have only increased since the referendum.“The intimidating behaviour of Putin has only increased,” he said, referring to Russian president Vladimir Putin.Other opposition parties voted against.MP Harm Beertema, member of Geert Wilders's anti-EU Party for Freedom, said “the objections of 2.5 million voters” had not been addressed with the supplement text.“This dossier has seriously undermined people's trust in politics,” said Beertema.Centre-right Christian Democrat MP Pieter Omtzigt questioned the importance of the December deal.Omtzigt told his colleagues he had asked all 27 other national parliaments in the EU whether they were informed of the text.Of the 20 parliaments who responded to his question, 15 said they had not been informed.To Omtzigt, this showed that the supplement text was “unimportant”.He was criticised by some of his colleagues, because while Omtzigt said he would vote against ratification, several media reports said that enough members of his party in the Senate would support it to help Rutte secure a majority.But Omtzigt said he did not know what his colleagues in the senate would do, noting that “maybe” the senators would also reject ratification, like their Christian Democrat peers in the Lower House.Prime minister Rutte rejected comments from opposition MPs who wanted him to guarantee that the Netherlands would exercise its veto to prevent Ukraine from joining the European Union.Rutte said he would not waste his political capital on something which an “overwhelming majority of member states is against”, and added that he personally is also against Ukraine joining the EU.
Trudeau defends move to give U.S. agents more powers in Canada-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-February 22, 2017
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday defended plans to give more powers to U.S. border agents stationed in Canada, saying travelers would at all times be protected by domestic laws.As part of a 2015 deal between Canada and the United States, Trudeau's government has introduced draft legislation allowing U.S. border agents based in Canada more leeway to question and search people wishing to enter the United States.Critics say this increases the chance of abuse at a time when the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is cracking down on immigrants, prompting dozens of people to cross the border into Canada every week."Canadian laws are in place, so there is extra protection when Canadians go through American customs in Canada," Trudeau told reporters.U.S. border agents have been working in Canada since the 1950s, pre-clearing would-be visitors and addressing potential security threats. The agents are currently based at eight Canadian airports and under the 2015 deal, the program will be expanded to two more airports as well as Montreal train station.Travelers who change their minds and decide not to enter the United States are currently allowed to leave. The new law permits U.S. agents to question and if need be strip search people seeking not to enter the United States.Officials say the new tougher provisions are needed to deter militants probing for weaknesses at U.S.-operated border facilities.Trudeau is under pressure in Parliament from the left-leaning opposition New Democrats, who say U.S. border guards are already racially profiling Canadians who wish to enter the United States."What will the government do to secure clear assurances for Canadians who wish to cross the border? When will the Prime Minister stand up for Canadians ... will he stand up to the bully?" asked Jenny Kwan, the party's spokeswoman for immigration, referring to Trump.(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Alistair Bell)
U.N. mediator not expecting quick breakthrough in Syria peace talks-[Reuters]-By Tom Miles and Stephanie Nebehay-YAHOONEWS-February 22, 2017
GENEVA (Reuters) - U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura said on Wednesday he did not expect an immediate breakthrough when Syria peace talks restart on Thursday but wanted productive talks that relaunch the process towards a political solution to end the six-year war.They will be the first U.N.-mediated negotiations on Syria in almost a year, during which time the military and geopolitical context has changed massively. Even so, the same disagreements are likely to resurface.De Mistura said Russia, which has supported President Bashar al-Assad's military advances, had asked the Syrian government to "silence their own skies in the areas touched by the ceasefire" during the talks. Countries close to the opposition were also asked to urge them to lessen provocations, he said."Am I expecting a breakthrough? No, I'm not expecting a breakthrough," de Mistura told a news conference. "But I am expecting and determined for keeping a very pro-active momentum," he said.Hours later, the Syrian opposition called for face-to-face negotiations with the government delegation, saying it was hoping for a "serious partner" while casting doubt on Damascus' readiness.Spokesman Salem al-Muslet, speaking to reporters, said the opposition delegation did not want this round to be like the one a year ago that was fruitless.Referring to the delegation led by Syrian Ambassador to the U.N. in New York Bashar al-Ja'afari, he said: "We have experience with this regime. They're not here to negotiate about a political transition, but they're here to buy time and commit more crimes in Syria. There's no trust in this regime."De Mistura said he hoped neither side would seek to disrupt the talks by provoking the other and that momentum towards a political solution was necessary to thwart "spoilers" bent on derailing peace efforts.The U.N. Security Council, which met at the U.N headquarters to discuss Syria, said the humanitarian situation "will continue to deteriorate further in the absence of a political solution to the crisis."Ukraine's Volodymyr Yelchenko, the council's current president, said the council "expressed hope that the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva will produce tangible results" while moving towards "a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition."Asked if it had been discussed whether Assad would remain in power, Yelchenko said that was a subject for the Geneva talks.While the Geneva talks will focus on politics, de Mistura said he expected more rounds of talks in the Kazakh capital, Astana, convened by Russia, Turkey and Iran, to deal with the ceasefire and related humanitarian issues, including prisoners.He declined to discuss the format of the Geneva talks, which he said would start with bilateral meetings, and did not say what his objectives were for this round.But he said the negotiations would be guided by U.N. Security Council resolution 2254, which refers to the establishment of credible and inclusive governance, the process for drafting a new constitution and free and fair elections."We will be very reluctant to engage in pre-conditions, and in fact I will be refusing them," he said.(Additional reporting by Laila Bassam and Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Dominic Evans and Peter Cooney)
No mass roundups' of migrants in US Homeland Security chief says-[AFP]-YAHOONEWS-February 22, 2017
Guatemala City (AFP) - The United States is not carrying out mass roundups or deportations under its tough crackdown on undocumented migrants, but it is determined to "gain control" of its southern border, its domestic security chief said Wednesday."We are not going out and doing mass deportations," Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told a news conference in Guatemala, after talks with that country's president.He said that two memos he signed Tuesday, enacting directions from US President Donald Trump to clamp down on immigrants deemed to be in the United States illegally would prioritize "criminal offenders" while ensuring due process in US courts was upheld."But there will be no mass roundups. When we do take someone into custody they are then put into the American legal justice system -- that's the courts, and it's the courts that will decide what happens to them," he said.Kelly's visit to Guatemala -- one of three violence- and poverty-wracked Central American countries that provide many undocumented migrants to the US -- was the first by a senior US official since Trump took power last month.Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are especially concerned about Trump's drive to cut down on illegal immigration and to reduce the size of the undocumented migrant population in the US, estimated at 11 million.Many of those living in America provide a vital financial lifeline to family in Latin American countries in the form of remittances.- Migration conference -Guatemala's interior minister, Francisco Rivas, said Kelly discussed migration and the scourge of violent gangs with his president, Jimmy Morales.Rivas also said preparations were under way for a migration conference at which Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras would be represented. It could take place in Mexico or the United States, he said.Kelly said that Trump's executive order meant a boost in the number of US border patrol officers and the construction of a "physical barrier" -- the wall Trump has repeatedly vowed to have built along the entire border with Mexico.The Department of Homeland Security was therefore now working on "the expansion of expedited removal operations, prioritizing criminal prosecutions for immigration offenses committed at the border, and empowering state and local enforcement agencies to assist in enforcing immigration laws," Kelly said.He offered "sincere advice" to any Guatemalans thinking of paying people smugglers to try to get them illegally into the United States "to not do it."The journey was very dangerous, "and the very, very considerable money you will have to pay the 'coyotes' (people smugglers) will be lost because we are picking up, that is to say reinforcing, our turnback efforts on the border."He added that, "by law, we are required to return irregular migrants to their home country."Kelly did not address US plans to have deported Central Americans sent to Mexico -- something Mexico has signaled it may not accept.On Thursday, Kelly and Trump's secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, were to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.Trump has angered Mexico by vowing to build the wall to keep out migrants from Latin America and revise trade relations. During his election campaign, Trump branded some immigrants from Mexico as rapists and criminals.
Chopped off heads, torn out hearts in brutal Brazil gang war-[Associated Press]-MAURICIO SAVARESE-YAHOONEWS-February 22, 2017
MANAUS, Brazil (AP) — Shortly after midnight on New Year's Eve, hundreds of inmates watched from a Manaus prison yard as the sky lit up with fireworks, paid for by the gangs that dominate the jail system.The revelry continued well into the next day, and inmates celebrated with their wives and girlfriends. But then the guards noticed something strange: The prisoners were asking their guests to go. "That is all for today, leave now," guards heard prisoners say. The last family member left at 4:09 p.m. on New Year's Day.What happened next would go beyond any worst-case scenario imagined by guards or authorities, unleashing a brutality that would lay bare a failed prison system and a gruesome battle between gangs for influence in Latin America's largest nation. The bloodshed would be the worst at any Brazilian prison in the past 25 years.The Associated Press gained exclusive access to the Complexo Penitenciario Anisio Jobim. What follows is based on the facility visit, footage from inmates on their mobile phones, forensics reports obtained by the AP and more than a dozen interviews with families of victims, authorities, lawyers, prison guards, judges, the warden and investigators."This was unprecedented," said Carlos Procopio dos Reis, in charge of the medical forensics unit in Manaus. "I still dream that I am in a truck throwing heads for people to catch."___Known by its Portuguese acronym of Compaj, the Manaus prison compound sprawls into the Amazon jungle. Families spend at least an hour on a prison bus line to get to the isolated penitentiary. Designed for 592 inmates, it held 1,224 on New Year's Day.Manaus, a violent and gritty northern city of 2 million people, is the jumping-off point to the Amazon and central to Northern Brazil's growing drug trade. Drugs come here from Peru and Colombia through the Solimoes River and head to Belem, a port city by the Atlantic Ocean. Control of that waterway means access to the lucrative European market.From prisons like Compaj around the nation, gang leaders oversee enormous drug businesses. For years, Brazil's two most powerful gangs had a non-aggression pact. But that truce ruptured in October, for reasons experts say are still unclear, leading to riots in several prisons. At least 130 inmates have been killed nationwide since Jan. 1.At the rough prison complex of Manaus, the New Year's celebrations started with a rare moment of joy, as inmates danced to funk music with their wives and girlfriends inside the concrete 20-foot-tall walls. The next day, after everyone left, the tense moment came when prisoners needed to be locked up again.But the lockup never happened. Instead, inmates linked to the Family of the North gang surrounded a prison guard and took him hostage, with a blade to his neck. Then they announced their larger intention: To get rid of all members of the rival First Command gang, also known as PCC."We will kick out of this prison every single PCC brain!" a prisoner from Family of the North yelled to the Compaj cameras.That was among the last moments captured on film by the prison security cameras. Just after, inmates started to break the cameras, as they took over the prison. "It is all ours," one of them shouted.From then on, the only reports available came from witnesses and footage shot on mobile phones smuggled in to the prisoners.The Family of the North moved quickly. Carrying knives, homemade shivs and even several pistols, prisoners led the first hostage into the atrium. There, they took another 14 guards and other staff hostage, including a cook and a nurse. Authorities say the inmates smuggled in their guns and blades through tunnels that enter a few areas of the prison and possibly holes in the wall.While the main target was the rival gang, the attacking prisoners had a score to settle first with former policeman Moacir Jorge Pessoa da Costa, who had been jailed for killing drug dealers. At 4:17 p.m., the attackers told the others that Costa would be the first to be killed.The inmates wanted to behead and dismember him, but they struggled to break the lock on his cell. So instead, reaching through the bars, they lit mattresses in his cell on fire and burned him alive. Rapists in the same wing would later meet a similar fate.At 4:30 p.m., Family of the North prisoners began entering an area where many members of First Command were housed. The wing was known as "the safe.""Vai morrer!," they shouted into a cell made for eight inmates but jammed with at least 27. "You're going to die!"___The battle between Family of the North and First Command is basically over drug routes in northern Brazil. The rift escalated last year when Family of the North from the Amazon teamed up with Comando Vermelho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's second biggest gang. The evidence of that union is carved below the paint of some Compaj walls, where the acronyms FDN and CV can be seen.On the other side of the war is the powerful First Command, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil's richest and most organized gang. First Command was born out of the largest prison massacre in Brazil's history, when military police killed at least 111 inmates during a 1992 rebellion. The gang has been expanding north, and now wants to take control of the Solimoes River from its rivals.Family of the North local leaders — nicknamed "Maraba," ''Caroco," ''Demetrio," ''Garrote," ''Rivellino" and "Maguila" — headed the charge at Compaj. Authorities still don't know whether the carnage was ordered from the outside by the gang's top leaders, who are held in high-security federal prisons far from Manaus.Crammed into their cells, many First Command prisoners had little room to run or means to fight back. Over the next 15 minutes, several were shot, stabbed or both. The screams of horror and pain filled the lockup.Some First Command men managed to get to the roof of their cell block to hide. At least three jumped into the gutter, spending half a day drenched in feces and urine. A group of evangelical prisoners pleaded with the killers to stop, but they were locked in their cells.No guards tried to intervene, as several had been taken hostage. But an elite police force surrounded the prison, in an attempt to keep hundreds of inmates from escaping through a hole in one wall.Over the next 30 minutes, with police still outside, prisoners dragged dozens of bodies into the area dubbed Pavilion 3. Then Family of the North members, and other prisoners forced to take orders, began cutting. By the time they were done, 39 heads were lined up on the floor.They also lopped off and piled up limbs, even from bodies that had been carbonized. They cut out 13 eyes and two hearts, and used them to terrorize others. One guard was forced to eat an eyeball. A transvestite prisoner was made to take bites of a heart, throwing up as she did so.In the meantime, prisoners used their cellphones to capture photos and video of themselves, with a Family of the North flag in the background. At one point, a headless body appears. At another, an inmate holds up the hand of a dead person and waves to the camera, "He is saying bye."But Family of the North members wanted more. They wanted the whole prison, which housed about 200 more First Command members in other areas. If they succeeded, the massacre would get even worse.___The first negotiations started at 6:30 p.m., when human rights activist and lawyer Epitacio Almeida, who knew most of the prisoners by name, talked with them through a radio device. But the talks were complicated after inmates shot a policeman in the right arm.At 6:45 p.m., the first hostage was released for medical attention. By 9 p.m., a full battalion of riot police was firing on about 225 prisoners trying to escape, some by climbing the walls. It's unclear how many died. Families and prison guards believe there are still bodies in the surrounding woods.Amazonas state Public Security Secretary Sergio Fontes called in state Judge Luis Carlos Valois to mediate the crisis and gave him a bulletproof vest. At 10 p.m., the two men went past dozens of desperate family members outside the main gates to negotiate via radio.As a sign of initial goodwill, inmates freed three hostages. Still, the standoff was far from over."You could cut the tension in the air with a knife," said prison guard and union leader Rocinaldo Silva. "We feared for our colleagues inside, but we also worried about other prisons that could face the same problem after hearing the news."Fontes and Valois needed to meet with Family of the North leaders face-to-face. It took three hours, but at 1 a.m. "Maraba" and "Maguila" appeared with a list of demands.In the meantime, the sickening stench of dozens of bodies took over the entire complex. Inmates asked for medical forensics agents to take away heads and limbs from the floor. The same carts inmates used to carry food were prepared to take remains.At 3 a.m., after negotiations Fontes described as "surreal," an agreement was reached. The prisoners bargained for regular visitation of family and women, time outside the cell and collection of bodies by medical forensics. In exchange, they would release the remaining 12 hostages and hand over weapons and cellphones.When Valois told the rebellion leaders that he could not stop the entry of riot police or future transfers to other prisons, the inmates got upset. So the judge and secretary made it clear that either inmates put an immediate end to the rebellion or police would do it forcefully.At about 7 a.m., the first of 39 heads arrived at the coroner's office in downtown Manaus. In total, 57 prisoners were killed. Fearing the worst, dozens of families lined up in front of the building.By 7:30 a.m., more than 15 hours after the rebellion began, the last hostages were released. Survivors who were hiding slowly reappeared.___The massacre has left devastated families in its wake. Maria Angelina Muniz had two sons killed at Compaj: 20-year-old Antonio and 27-year-old Antony, who had been there just 10 days. Antonio was in jail for theft and Antony for drug trafficking, but neither son had been convicted.Muniz said her family is sparing her from the details of how they died. The caskets were closed at the funeral."We knew they had a debt to society, they were paying," Muniz said. "But now my life is destroyed because of this war."Seventeen inmates have been prosecuted and sent to tight-security federal prisons. Prison director Jose Carvalho da Silva, who is suspected of allowing weapons and mobiles into Compaj in exchange for money, has lost his job. Silva denies wrongdoing.Former Amazonas Prison Secretary Pedro Florencio, a respected retired federal policeman, was also sacked because the massacre happened on his watch."To this day, I close my eyes and see parts of bodies of inmates everywhere," Florencio said. "For me that New Year's Day will never end."Days after the riot, smaller uprisings erupted in other prisons. And the slaughter is likely to continue.Speaking to the AP through a human rights activist, Family of the North inmates said a recent song described what they did and promised more to come. Prisoners said they sent the lyrics to a funk artist, who put the song on YouTube."The strength of Family of the North is building," goes the song. "So have no doubt that the war has just begun."
MIGRATING BIRDS IN ISRAEL EATS HUMANS FLESH FOR COMING AGAINST ISRAEL-JERUSALEM
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog (RUSSIA/ARAB/MUSLIMS) a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers (EAST OF THE DEAD SEA IN JORDAN VALLEY) on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog (RUSSIAN) and all his multitude:(ARAB/MUSLIM HORDE) and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.(BURIEL SITE OF THE 300 MILLION,RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS)
12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.(OF ISRAEL)
16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.(OF THE ISRAEL-GOD HATERS)
17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.(OF RUSSIAN/ISLAMIC HORDES AGAINST ISRAEL)
18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.
21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;(AGAINST ALL NATIONS ARMIES THAT COME AGAINST JERUSALEM AND ISRAEL)
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:TOBOLSK)
4 And I (GOD) will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY) of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.(AFRICAN MUSLIMS,SUDAN,TUNESIA ETC)
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back,(RUSSIA-ARAB MUSLIM ISRAEL HATERS) and leave but the sixth part of thee,(5/6TH OR 300 MILLION DEAD RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS I BELIEVE) and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR ATOMIC BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
Erdoğan fans an Islamic nationalism in bid to build Ottoman-style influence-[Christian Science Monitor]-Scott Peterson-YAHOONEWS-February 22, 2017
They portray themselves as the “average Joes” of Turkish politics: a builder-handyman and his fiancée, a cleaner, who both work for the same small Istanbul company that has been going through tough times.Harun Demir, whose hands bear the signs of hard work, wears a small beard and an easy smile; Seniz Kaya’s long thick curls are fashionably dyed, and very visible since she doesn’t wear a headscarf.The couple could not look less religious, or less political. Yet they are the face of a new politics in Turkey, a staunchly held view of Islamic nationalism deliberately and painstakingly carved by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).They believe – like many of their fellow Turks – that Mr. Erdoğan’s heavy hand on everything from press freedom to engineering unprecedented presidential power is justified as the best path to solve Turkey’s constellation of problems. The country was convulsed by 30 attacks last year, faces a struggling economy, and is at war in southeast Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.They also echo officials when they say that Turkey is in the process of restoring its historical Ottoman influence as a leader of the Islamic world. Those references point to a moderate, inclusive form of Islam, but also authoritarian rule in the form of a sultan.Indeed, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım last month portrayed Erdoğan as a descendant of a well-regarded Ottoman-era sultan. Last fall, a local AKP official controversially posted on his Facebook page that Erdoğan “will be the Caliph of the Presidency,” and that in 2023 – when the Turkish republic reaches its 100th birthday – “Allah will finish the light.”“Now there seems to be a new pattern of leadership: Erdoğan, Russian President [Vladimir] Putin, and Trump. They are not dictators, they are strongmen,” says Mr. Demir, approvingly. Erdoğan “is talking to people, he is doing it for the people. Maybe he is twisting some arms, but it is for a good cause."Turks should be patient and have faith in the changes, says Ms. Kaya: “For it to work, you must have trust [in Erdoğan]. It’s our role as Turkish citizens to trust our leader.”That is a perspective Erdoğan is happy to feed. While critics charge that his largely unfettered rule has dragged Turkey into a domestic quagmire of social division, anti-Western sentiment, financial troubles, and multiple conflicts abroad, the president has promoted a much more flattering narrative, casting even the escalating attacks by the so-called Islamic State and Kurdish militants as a response to his country’s resurgent greatness.Fifteen years into his rule, Erdoğan has gradually turned his country away from the secular tradition of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who founded the modern state from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in 1923. And there is little room for any competing views as the once ardently secular eastern anchor of NATO, which has aspired to membership in the European Union, weakens once-promising linkages with the West, promotes the role of religion in public life, clamps down on opponents and the media, and moves ever more firmly away from democratic norms.“Turkey is under very serious attack both inside and outside,” Erdoğan said on Jan. 10. “It is not because we are a weak country, but because we are a stronger and stronger country.”-RELIGIOUS MAJORITY-Demir and Kara could not agree more. And recent polls indicate that Turkey’s conservative, religious political bloc, to which they belong, is a majority that will shape Turkish politics for the foreseeable future.“They think that Turkey is facing big troubles – and they are correct on that – but they think those troubles are created by malicious forces conspiring against Turkey. That’s Erdoğan’s narrative, they buy into that,” says Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish analyst of politics and culture, and author of the new book “The Islamic Jesus.”“They think this conspiracy will only be undone by a very powerful, defiant leader, which is of course Erdoğan himself,” says Mr. Akyol, currently a senior fellow of the Freedom Project at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.“That political propaganda is in your face every day, every single moment. If you turn on TV, if you open newspapers, 70 to 80 percent of them almost will be telling that to you,” says Akyol, noting that Erdoğan’s opponents have been “marginalized, silenced, jailed, exiled.”For decades, the military served as a self-declared bulwark of Turkish secularism – mounting four coups since 1960 to block Islamists from governing – but AKP rule has since neutered the military’s role in politics, and made many changes in Turkish society in the name of religion.On Wednesday, for example, female Army officers and cadets were officially allowed to wear headscarves as part of their uniforms. The move is the culmination of years of AKP chipping away at a decades-long headscarf ban that saw a similar ruling for policewomen last year, and in 2013 for civil servants and in schools.In another sign of AKP reshaping, last week ground was broken on a new mosque on the edge of Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square, after years of controversy.There has “always been a xenophobic, paranoid nationalism, but since it was based on Atatürk, it was also a secular nationalism and maybe didn’t [sit well] with the conservative Islamic camp,” adds Akyol. “But now it is nationalism [with] a heavy dose of Islam, so it appeals to religious conservatives very strongly.”Ruling party operatives have sometimes pushed too hard, as did an AKP youth leader in the southern coastal city of Mersin. Last week, he tweeted that, “if only [Atatürk] did not exist,” and suggested that the father of the nation should not be considered a Turk because he was born in Ottoman-era Thessaloniki, in modern-day Greece, and “doesn’t look Turkish.”“History is being written,” tweeted Hasan Baki. “It’s not a revolution of enlightenment or wannabe Westernization, it is the revolution of the Islamic case.” The AKP asked him to resign, and opposition party officials are taking him to court for “insulting Atatürk.”-POST-COUP NATIONALISM-The trend of Islamic nationalism has only accelerated since an attempted coup last July, in which Erdoğan’s call to loyalists to take to the streets to stop putchist soldiers brought the coup attempt to a swift end. Nightly rallies across the country for a month organized by the AKP blended nationalist and Islamist imagery with strident messages of unity.A state of emergency has been renewed twice so far, and some 125,000 people have been purged and nearly 50,000 arrested, according to some estimates, for suspected links to the coup attempt. In the political whirlwind, the AKP has convinced one opposition party to join it in rewriting the Constitution to realize Erdoğan’s dream of creating an unassailable executive presidency – to its critics, the post of a modern-day sultan.Ahead of a national referendum in April, an annual poll by Kadir Has University found a deeply divided society, but one with an ever-coalescing majority.“The facts are very obvious,” Hasan Bülent Kahraman, the vice president of Kadir Has, told Hürriyet Daily News. “There is a 70 percent majority in Turkey and it is their way of thinking, their ideological thinking, that is already dominating and will dominate in the future.”Giving religion a higher profile has been part of the Islamist-rooted AKP’s agenda from the start, and signs have taken hold everywhere, from the increase in the number of women wearing headscarves – in concert with gradual lifting of the ban in government institutions – to the build-up of mosques in the country from 78,608 in 2006 to 86,762 in 2015, according to the Directorate of Religious Affairs.It has also been manifest in a national campaign by the directorate. “Mosque Week” was declared the first week of last October, and slogans for the year-long campaign include: “We are going to the mosques, we are reading [the Quran]”; and “Let the voice that echoes in your heart be found in the mosque.”“We are trying to make religion more in social life, to be practiced in homes and make it a more vital part of life,” says Aydin Yiğman, the mufti of the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, a ranking official expert in the Turkish state religious authority. He wears a suit and tie, not religious garb, and is clean-shaven, in keeping with Turkey’s secular custom for officials since the 1920s.“We don’t want people to think of the mosque only on Friday,” says Mr. Yiğman. “We want to spread awareness of religion, so when people hear the call to prayer they are more aware…. It is not something bad or under pressure. We want to build this upon love, so people are receptive to God’s call, because it is God’s call.”He suggests these days there is no greater religiosity among Turks, yet the scene appears different from years past, as the faithful these days spill onto the streets around mosques in some Istanbul districts during Friday prayers. The new Sunday morning prayer meetings for youth attract up to 250 people a time, though even if there were one-tenth the number, he says, “we would be happy with that.”He notes that the number is small, in a district with 100 mosques and 250,000 residents, but says progress is being made. “The goal of this education is so people learn the correct Islam,” says Yiğman.Anecdotally, such efforts are visible. In recent weeks, for example, as frigid cold gripped Istanbul, a van drove through one district announcing free tea at a local mosque, and a program about Ottoman history with a reading of the Quran. And overheard on a bridge crossing the Golden Horn, one headscarf-wearing woman suggested to her mixed group of young men and women that they “hang out at the local mosque.”-'A DIFFERENT KIND OF TURKEY'-That would be no surprise to Demir and Kaya, who shy away from the term “Islamic nationalism,” but say that “Turkey is more diverse and needs religion to tie everyone together.“Some people think he is more authoritarian, that he is more dictatorial. But look at where Erdoğan has brought us,” Demir says. “It’s a different kind of Turkey.”For Demir, Turkey under Erdoğan can shape an Islamic form of government that differs from the austere practices that Saudi Arabia promotes, through money and funding religious schools and mosques, to Muslim countries around the world.“Our hope for 2023 is that we want to be educated, cultured, and Muslim. We are redefining Islam, and what it is today,” says Demir. “It’s in our genes. The Islam that has been exported from Saudi Arabia and northern Africa failed to work, because of lack of education. We have Ottoman culture to be open and moderate.”Former AKP Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in 2015 that Turkey “will re-found the Ottoman state,” in just one example of officials portraying themselves as rightful heirs of the Ottoman legacy.“Turkish religious conservatives have always had this feeling that Turkey was the standard-bearer of Islamic civilization,” says author Akyol. They say, “‘Turks were the leaders, and that unfortunately collapsed…and that has to be corrected. Turks once again should lead the ummah [Islamic community] as the new Ottomans.’”“That’s a dream in the religious conservative camp for decades, that is not something new,” he says. “Erdoğan is now giving the message: ‘I am now realizing this.’ That creates a big sentiment around him, from people with Islamic conservative leanings.”“The problem is we are not living in Ottoman times, we are not living in the era of sultans,” says Akyol. “We’re living in the era of liberal democracy, and Turkey’s not heading there.”
Links to this post: