Thursday, February 16, 2017

 

EU BACKS CANADA FREE TRADE DEAL. 90% OF THE DEAL WILL BE COMPLETE.WITH THIS SIGNING.

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

STORMS HURRICANES-TORNADOES

LUKE 21:25-26
25 And there shall be signs in the sun,(HEATING UP-SOLAR ECLIPSES) and in the moon,(MAN ON MOON-LUNAR ECLIPSES) and in the stars;(ASTEROIDS ETC) and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear,(TORNADOES,HURRICANES,STORMS) and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:(DESTRUCTION) for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.(FROM QUAKES,NUKES ETC)

Cyclone bears down on Mozambique coast-[AFP]-YAHOONEWS-February 15, 2017

Maputo (AFP) - Mozambique braced for flooding, high winds, sea surges and evacuations on Wednesday as Cyclone Dineo neared the coast, with forecasters predicting widespread damage.Dineo was set to make landfall in the southern province of Inhambane in the evening, packing winds of about 130 kilometres (80 miles) an hour, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) said.Mozambique's meterological services upgraded the storm to a tropical cyclone on Wednesday afternoon as strong winds began to slam into coastal areas.Torrential rain, flooding and a coastal storm surge were expected, with SAWS warning that Dineo was "a formidable storm system which has the potential to cause much damage to coastal and inland infrastructure".The Mozambique Red Cross dispatched emergency relief supplies and 350 workers to areas likely to be in the impact zone, where rivers are already at flood level."Many of the districts likely to be hit have been inundated by above-normal rainfall since early January," Jamie Le Sueur, Red Cross disaster management coordinator for southern Africa, said.The Red Cross warned that flooding could also contaminate water sources and spread sickness after the storm passes.- Seeking shelter -Mozambique's National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) issued an alert over the cyclone threat, advising people to prepare food and water supplies and urging vulnerable communities to seek shelter.The INGC said it was also planning evacuation routes.Local media reported that flooding was expected in the southern cities of Inhambane and Maxixe as well as in many villages, with houses, crops, roads and livestock at risk as well as human lives.Officials advised people to turn off electricity and stay away from power cables to avoid shocks, and to protect windows with wood or plastic.Heavy rains will spread into South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana on Thursday and Friday as the cyclone weakens, forecasters say.Mozambique, one of the world's poorest countries, is often battered by deadly flooding and storms.In 2000, floods claimed at least 800 lives, and more than 100 were killed in 2015.Scores have already died in the current rainy season, which began in October.The high death toll in 2000 triggered donor funding for relocations and improvements to water management infrastructure, early warning systems and emergency response resources.

Snowed-in dairy farmers dig out so milk doesn't go 'down the drain'-[CBC]-yahoonews-February 14, 2017

As blowing snow continues to make driving difficult across large parts of the province, dairy farmers are doing their best to keep driveways clear to make sure their milk hits the road and doesn't go down the drain.Milk plants send trucks to the 220 dairy farms in Nova Scotia every second day, according to Brian Cameron, general manager of the Dairy Farmers of Nova Scotia. When they can't get through, because of weather conditions, it is a serious situation. Monday wasn't too bad, he said in an email, and only two producers scheduled for pickup were held over until morning.But the situation Tuesday is "worse," he said.Missed pickups can mean a farm has more milk than it can store, and that can lead to tremendous waste."We open the bottom of the tank and let it run down the drain. That's all you can do," said Arlene MacGregor, whose family runs a dairy farm with 300 milking cows in Pictou County.About 20,000 litres of milk produced on the farm must be transported to processing plants every second day, she said.'It was in our favour'-The worst-case scenario happened to Prince Edward Island dairy farmers during the harsh winter of 2015, she said. At one point, up to 90 centimetres of snow fell and farms were forced to dump thousands of litres when milk tankers were prevented from getting through.Her family farm was fortunate this time around, MacGregor said."You have a 50-50 chance. It happened that the milk truck came yesterday morning before the storm started. For once, it was in our favour," she said."The milk truck does not come today. By the time it comes tomorrow, we should be all cleaned out — hopefully."

Evacuation lifted for 200K Californians living below dam-[The Canadian Press]-yyahoonews-February 14, 2017

OROVILLE, Calif. — Nearly 200,000 Northern Californians who live downstream of the country's tallest dam were allowed to return home Tuesday after two nights of uncertainty, but they were warned they may have to again flee to higher ground on a moment's notice if hastily made repairs to the battered structure don't hold.The fixes could be put to their first test later this week with the first of a series of small storms forecast for the region.But the real test is still to come in the weeks ahead when a record amount of snowfall melts in nearby mountains."There is the prospect that we could issue another evacuation order if the situation changes and the risk increases," Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said Tuesday, telling residents they could return home but to remain vigilant.Residents living below the Oroville Dam were suddenly ordered to evacuate Sunday afternoon after water authorities had assured them for nearly a week that the dam was sound despite a gaping and growing hole found in the structure's main spillway. The order came after authorities feared an earthen emergency spillway used when the lake behind the dam overflows its capacity appeared ready to fail Sunday because of erosion.Over the weekend, the swollen lake spilled down the unpaved emergency spillway for nearly 40 hours, leaving it badly eroded. The problem occurred six days after engineers discovered a growing hole in the dam's main concrete spillway.State and federal officials ignored calls in 2005 from environmental groups to armour the earthen spillway in concrete to prevent erosion. Federal regulators concluded the earthen spillway could handle a large amount of overflow after water agencies that would have had to pay for the upgrade argued it was unnecessary.On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. John Garamendi, a Democrat who represents an area near Oroville, called the government's failure to coat the spillway in concrete "a classic case of woulda, coulda, shoulda."He said that if the state had listened to the 2005 warnings and installed the concrete a decade ago, "This problem would not have occurred. But they didn't, and there are probably multiple reasons why," with cost a crucial one.The California Department of Water Resources said the lake was ready to take on rain and melting snow. State water officials said they have drained enough of the lake behind Oroville Dam that the emergency spillway will not be needed to handle runoff from an approaching storm.Forecasts call for 2 inches to 4 inches of rain and snow in the foothills and mountains starting Wednesday night. But the storm was looking colder than initially projected, meaning less rain and less runoff than last week's storms.Acting department chief Bill Croyle said 40 trucks have dumped 30 tons of bags loaded with sand, concrete blocks and boulders every hour into the damaged areas, while helicopters have dropped bags of rocks and cement blocks onto the problem sites.The damaged main spillway has been stable for four days and handling a heavy flow of water, reducing the reservoir's water level by 15 feet in preparation for coming rain and melting snow throughout the spring. Officials hope to drain the lake another 37 feet."We still have a large snowpack; we will see quite a spring runoff," Croyle said.Croyle said the goal is to keep the reservoir below capacity so the use of the auxiliary spillway wouldn't be used. Still, Croyle said that spillway has been repaired and that he's confident it could be used again if needed.Preliminary estimates say permanently fixing the hole in the main spillway could cost $100 million to $200 million, Croyle said. Experts are drawing up plans for repairs that will begin after the spring runoff season ends.Gov. Jerry Brown said late Tuesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved his request for federal assistance with the Oroville dam situation.Meanwhile, federal regulators have told the dam's managers at the state water resources department that they must enlist a group of "independent consultants" both to assess what went wrong and how to make long-term fixes to the damaged spillways.Water resources officials have acknowlledged cracks and repairs in the concrete in recent years. It was not clear whether those past issues played a direct role in the spillway's rupture last week. When state inspectors last visited the dam in August, they wrote that "conditions appeared to be normal" in the concrete spillway, according to inspection reports the water resources department has released.State officials clearly were on the defensive about their decision to call for mass evacuations Sunday, just a few hours after saying the situation was stable, forcing families to rush to pack up and get out.Honea said Tuesday that the call to order nearly 200,000 people to higher ground protected lives and bought time for water experts to address the problems.But after two days away from home, tens of thousands of evacuees were growing weary. They welcomed the news they could return home."You don't appreciate home until it's taken away from you," said Margaret Johnston, 69, of Oroville, who spent two nights at a church with her two sons. She had packed a few blankets, pillows and clothes into a black garbage bag.Returning residents vowed to heed the sheriff's warning to remain vigilant.Rod Remocal said he and his wife would now be ready to leave their Biggs home near the dam at a moment's notice after fleeing in a rush Sunday."We're all coming back and pack and be ready this time," Remocal said. "This time we're going to be on call like they said."___Elias reported from San Francisco.___Contributing to this report were Olga R. Rodriguez, Kristin Bender and Jocelyn Gecker in San Francisco; Don Thompson in Sacramento; Ellen Knickmeyer in Sonoma, California; and John Antczak and Justin Pritchard in Los Angeles.Jonathan J. Cooper And Paul Elias, The Associated Press.

Evacuees from California dam allowed home even as storms near-[Reuters]-By Deborah M. Todd-YAHOONEWS-February 14, 2017

OROVILLE, Calif. (Reuters) - Californians who were ordered to evacuate due to a threat from the tallest dam in the United States can now return home after state crews working around the clock reinforced a drainage channel that was weakened by heavy rain.Officials had ordered 188,000 people living down river from the Oroville Dam to evacuate on Sunday and reduced that to an evacuation warning on Tuesday, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said.That means people can move back to their homes and businesses can reopen, but they should be prepared to evacuate again if necessary, Honea told a news conference.Both the primary and backup drainage channels of the dam, known as spillways, were damaged by a buildup of water that resulted from an extraordinarily wet winter in Northern California that followed years of severe drought.The greater danger was posed by the emergency spillway, which was subject to urgent repairs in recent days. Though damaged, the primary spillway was still useable, officials said.More rain was forecast for as early as Wednesday and through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, but the state Department of Water Resources said the upcoming storms were unlikely to threaten the emergency spillway.Evacuees received more good news from President Donald Trump, who declared an emergency in the state, authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate disaster relief efforts.The lifting of the mandatory evacuation improved the mood among evacuees at Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico, where families packed cars and sifted through piles of donated clothing.Philip Haar, 37, of Oroville, prepared to take his five dogs back home. He also would be able to feed the rabbit he left behind."I'm confident with the warning, at least we'll know the next time something happens to be prepared more than this time," Haar said.But Richard and Anna Lawson of Oroville said they were not rushing home. Officials last week expressed calm, then abruptly ordered the evacuation on Sunday."They kept contradicting themselves. Every time they said something they turned around and said something different," said Richard, 25."We're waiting until tomorrow to hear something. We're going to wait until the storm comes through," said Anna, 21.The sheriff credited swift action by the Department of Water Resources to shore up the emergency spillway and use the main spillway to relieve pressure on the dam, averting the immediate danger of a dam failure, Honea said.A failure could have unleashed a wall of water three stories tall on towns below.State officials used 40 trucks carrying 30 tons of rock per hour to reinforce the eroded area around the emergency spillway while two helicopters dropped rock and other materials into the breach."We're aggressively attacking the erosion concerns that have been identified," said William Croyle, acting director of the Department of Water Resources.Water authorities had been relieving pressure on the dam through the concrete-lined primary spillway last week, but lake levels rose as storm water surged in and engineers moderated its use. Then the rising water topped over the earthen backup spillway, which has a concrete top, for the first time in the dam's 50-year history over the weekend.When the emergency spillway showed signs of erosion, engineers feared a 30-foot-high section could fail, leading to the evacuation order on Sunday. Both spillways are next to the dam, which itself is sound, engineers say.(Additional reporting by Gina Cherelus and Sharon Bernstein; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Peter Henderson, James Dalgleish and Lisa Shumaker)

DISEASES

REVELATION 6:7-8
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 bird flu deaths surge in what could be the worst season ever-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-February 15, 2017

BEIJING (Reuters) - As many as 79 people died from H7N9 bird flu in China last month, the government said, stoking worries that the spread of the virus this season could be the worst on record.January's fatalities were up to four times higher than the same month in past years, and brought the total H7N9 death toll to 100 people since October, data from the National Health and Family Planning Commission showed late on Tuesday.Authorities have repeatedly warned the public to stay alert for the virus, and cautioned against panic in the world's second-largest economy.But the latest bird flu data has sparked concerns of a repeat of previous health crises, like the 2002 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)."It's mid-February already and we are just getting the January numbers. With the death rate almost catching up with SARS, shouldn't warnings be issued earlier?" said one user of popular microblog Sina Weibo.Other netizens in the Chinese blogosphere worried about the pace of infections, and called for even more up-to-date reports.The People's Daily, the official paper of the ruling Communist Party, warned people in a social media post to stay away from live poultry markets, saying it was "extremely clear" that poultry and their excrement were the cause of the infections."The situation is still ongoing, and our Chinese counterparts are actively investigating the reported cases," the World Health Organization's China Representative Office said in an emailed statement to Reuters."As the investigation is ongoing, it is premature to conclusively identify the cause for the increased number of cases. Nevertheless, we know that the majority of human cases got the A(H7N9) virus through contact with infected poultry or contaminated environments, including live poultry markets."Chinese chicken prices sank to their lowest levels in more than a decade on Wednesday. -RECORD HIGH INFECTIONS-China, which first reported a human infection from the virus in March 2013, has seen a sharp rise in H7N9 cases since December. The official government total is 306 since October, with 192 reported last month.But others believe the number of infections is higher.The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota last week estimated China had at least 347 human infections so far this winter, eclipsing the record of 319 seen three years ago."An important factor in the past waves of H7N9 cases among humans in China has been rapid closure of live poultry markets," said Ian Mackay, a virologist at the University of Queensland in Australia."This season there seems to have been a slower response to the outbreak, which may be leading to greater numbers of human exposures to infected birds."Most of the H7N9 human infections reported this season have been in the south and along the coast.In Hong Kong, where two of the four patients infected with H7N9 this winter have died, health officials said they would step up checks at poultry farms.H7N9 had spread widely and early this year, but most cases were contained in the same areas as previous years, including the Yangtze River Delta and Guangdong, Shu Yuelong, head of the Chinese National Influenza Center, told state radio.Beijing on Saturday reported its first human H7N9 case this year. The patient is a 68-year-old man from Langfang city in neighbouring Hebei province.A second human case was reported on Tuesday."It is highly likely that further sporadic cases will continue to be reported," the WHO said."Whenever influenza viruses are circulating in poultry, sporadic infections or small clusters of human cases are possible."The World Health Organization recently said it had not been able to rule out limited human-to-human spread in two clusters of cases although no sustained spread has been detected so far.The Health and Family Planning Commission of southwestern Yunnan province said a woman died from H7N9 on Tuesday night.The victim was the mother of a three-year old toddler who died of H7N9 earlier this month, the official Xinhua news agency reported late Wednesday, citing the Yunnan commission.The two had travelled to Jiangxi last month and had contact with live poultry in the southeastern province. The mother developed symptoms on Feb. 4 and was hospitalised four days later as she had close contact with her daughter, who died on Feb. 7.(Reporting by Ryan Woo and Josephine Mason; Additional reporting by Nick Heath, Christian Shepherd, Dominique Patton and Lusha Zhang in BEIJING and Venus Wu in HONG KONG; Editing by Randy Fabi and David Evans)

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.

EU Parliament backs landmark Canada trade deal-[AFP]-Clément ZAMPA with Alex PIGMAN in Brussels-YAHOONEWS-February 15, 2017

Strasbourg (France) (AFP) - The European Parliament backed a contested EU-Canada free trade deal on Wednesday, facing down protests by activists and Donald Trump-inspired calls for protectionism.MEPs hailed the deal as a rare victory for an imperilled global trade system that is under threat from US President Trump who opposes far-reaching trade deals.The accord, known as CETA, is tipped as Europe's most modern ever and a possible model for relations with Britain after its leaves the EU.MEPs meeting in Strasbourg, France, solidly approved the pact with 408 votes in favour, 254 against and 33 abstentions."This is a watershed moment - EU trade policy will never be the same again," said senior Scottish MEP David Martin, whose Socialists and Democrats group split on the issue.Approval by the parliament allows the provisional implementation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement as early as next month.Protesters attempted to disrupt the vote, with about 700 people marching outside parliament to voice their opposition to the deal.Anti-globalisation activists dressed in surgical masks dramatically blocked the entrance to the parliament building, before being dragged off by riot police."Saying yes to CETA is a trampling of the people," said a banner.Following the approval by parliament, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will address MEPs in person on Thursday.EU states and Canada formally signed the deal in October after seven years of tough talks, overcoming last-minute resistance from a small Belgian region that blocked its national government from approving the accord."By adopting CETA, we chose openness and growth and high standards over protectionism and stagnation," said Latvian MEP Artis Pabriks, a conservative from the EPP group who sponsored the law.- 'Blow to EU' -Opponents to CETA slam the deal as a "trojan horse" to big business and a danger to health, democracy and the rule of law."The disconnect between MEPs and public concerns over living standards, public health and the environment is another blow to the EU," said Greenpeace's EU trade policy adviser Shira Stanton.Some of the more controversial aspects, including a much-derided investor court system, still require ratification by EU member states, which could take years.CETA will remove 99 percent of non-farm customs duties between the two sides, a big win for exporters on both sides of the Atlantic.And unlike classic trade deals, CETA harmonises regulations on matters such as health and the environment, a major concern for activists.Some industries are left untouched. The CETA deal will not remove tariff barriers for public services, audiovisual and transport services and a few agricultural products, such as dairy, which is heavily subsidised in Canada.A major flashpoint for opponents is the proposal to set up special courts to settle disputes between investors and national authorities that is central to the deal.Opponents believe this provision hands too much power to multinationals that will use powerful lawyers to undermine national regulation."Multinationals will be able to attack governments in a privatised court system," said France's far-right presidential candidate and MEP Marine Le Pen, who voted against CETA.But the deal's EU negotiator, Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem, told MEPs that "nothing in this agreement undermines a government's right to regulate in the public interest".The vote comes at a particularly sensitive time for global trade matters, with Britain poised to leave the European Union and new US president Trump rejecting an Asia-Pacific trade deal.Trump is also widely expected to drop a similar proposed deal with the EU known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP.Trudeau met with Trump on Monday in Washington.Trump had vowed to put "America first" and rip up the North America Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, but significantly toned down that rhetoric after meeting Trudeau.

MEPs set to approve Canada trade deal By Eszter Zalan-feb 15,17-euobserver

STRASBOURG, Today, 08:45-MEPs are expected to approve Ceta, the EU-Canada trade agreement, on Wednesday (15 February), amid concerns about the US administration’s trade protectionism.“I’m grateful for [US president] Trump. His attitude toward global trade opened the eyes, and urged sceptics to think twice,” Artis Pabriks, a centre-right Latvian MEP and the parliament's rapporteur for Ceta, told this website.The new US president has pulled out from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) with 11 countries and has been an opponent of TTIP, the EU-US trade deal under discussion.“It’s a litmus test for the future of European Union,” Pabriks said, adding that it will show whether Europeans “are willing to join those who preach protectionism, who are willing build walls, who are willing to look inwards, or if [they] are the ones who want to go forward, it is the only way to go out of these challenges”.Pabriks also argued that if Ceta fails, it would be difficult for the EU to conclude any other free trade agreement.As Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau travels to Strasbourg to deliver a speech on Thursday (16 February), the EU and Canada are eager to show they still promote open and free global trade.Trade, a non-controversial aspect of the EU’s powers for decades, has come under attack from populists, who argue that globalisation have hurt local labour force, as well as from transparency, labour right and environment advocates, who have said the EU’s trade deals are too opaque and threaten European standards.-Concerns remain-Centre-right, liberal and conservative MEPs are expected to vote in favour of the accord, which the European Commission says will increase the EU GDP by €12 billion each year .The social-democratic group also decided on Tuesday evening to back Ceta, despite opposition to the deal from the French, Belgian and Austrian delegations. Its leader Gianni Pittella argued that Ceta represents a key step forward.However, strong concerns remain over the deal, especially with regards to labour and environmental standards, and the controversial investment court system, which is aimed at protecting investors if they think that state regulation might hurt their profits.The Greens have said they would vote against the deal.“The reforms [that have been implemented in the deal] are very small,” Ska Keller, co-chair of the Greens in the EP told journalists.“An investor can still sue a government if its profits are hurt, but I cannot go to a court if my rights were harmed by an investor,” she argued, adding that national courts could also deal with investors’ complaints, and that there is "no need for a special tribunal".-Wait and see-While most of the accord’s chapters will come into force as early as April, provisional application means that for instance the investment court system, designed to protect investors, will not go into effect just yet.Ceta still needs to be ratified by all EU national parliaments to enter into full force, a process that might take years.Belgium, whose French-speaking Wallonia region’s 11th hour opposition to the deal almost derailed the accord last year, will turn to the EU’s top court to check if the court system is in line with EU law.Pabriks argued that Belgium and other countries should wait a year of the provisional application before their national parliaments vote, to see that the deal delivers “good things”.“I promise they will see only positive things, and maybe they will lose an appetite to use it for their internal political games,” he said of the Belgium’s plans to go to court.Ceta has been seen as a possible template for the US-EU free trade deal, which has been under discussion for three years but is now most likely to never materialise under the Trump administration.However, opponents argue that Ceta could still be used as a basis for other trade deals, a cause for concern for them.Not everybody is in a celebratory mood.Philippe Lamberts, the co-chair of the Green group said that Trudeau did not agree that leaders of the political groups intervene after his speech in the EP.“Mr. Nice Guy doesn’t want to risk anybody in the assembly anybody contradicting him, he focuses on image more than on content,” Lamberts said.

AMERICA (POLITICAL BABYLON)(NUKED BY SNEAK ATTACK FROM RUSSIA)

IN REVELATION 17 & 18 IS THE DESTRUCTION OF THE RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL BABYLONS.IF YOU CAN NOT DECERN BETWEEN THE 2 BABYLONS IN REV 17 & 18.YOU WILL JUST THINK THEIR BOTH THE SAME.BUT NO-THERES A RELIGIOUS BABYLON (THE VATICAN IN REV 17)(AND THE POLITICAL BABYLON IN REV 18 (AMERICA OR NEW YORK TO BE EXACT)

ISAIAH 34:10
10  It (AMERICA-POLITICAL BABYLON) shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.

JEREMIAH 51:29-32 (CYBER ATTACK 1ST)
29  And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon,(AMERICA-NEW YORK) to make the land of Babylon (AMERICA) a desolation without an inhabitant.
30  The mighty men of Babylon (AMERICA) have forborn to fight, they have remained in their holds: their might hath failed; they became as women: they have burned her dwellingplaces; her bars are broken.
31  One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to shew the king of Babylon (NEW YORK) that his city is taken at one end,
32  And that the passages are stopped,(THE WAR COMPUTERS HACKED OR EMP'D) and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.(DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO)

COMPLETE SILENCE AFTER AN EMP GOES OFF
REVELATION 8:1
1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

JEREMIAH 50:3,24
3 For out of the north (RUSSIA) there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.
24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon,(AMERICA) and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD. (RUSSIA A SNEAK CYBER,EMP ATTACK,THEN NUKE ATTACK ON AMERICA)

REVELATION 18:3-6,19-21
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,(U.S.A) and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her,(U.S.A) and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her,(AMERICA) my people,(CHRISTIANS,JEWS) that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
6 Reward her (AMERICA-NEW YORK) even as she rewarded you,(WITH FALSE FLAG TERRORISM) and double unto her double according to her works:(DOUBLE-EMP 1ST,THEN RUSSIA NUKE ATTACKS U.S.A) in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.(PROBABLY A RUSSIAN CYBER ATTACK WILL SET THE WHOLE SITUATION UP AS RUSSIA HACKS THE USA ARMY COMPUTERS.THEN THE EMP,THEN THE NUKE ATTACK)
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

Opinion-Russia’s cyber war: past, present, and future By David Batashvili-feb 15,17-euobserver

TBILISI, Today, 08:54-News reports about Russian hackers infiltrating one country or another are now a daily occurrence.Some of these attacks are more significant than others, such as the Russian assault on the American election of 2016. Now France and Germany are voicing concerns that their elections may be the next target.Other serious incidents involve cyber attacks on critical infrastructure, such as the power grid in western Ukraine.In this context, it is instructive to revisit the beginnings of Russia’s cyber warfare strategy.The first case of a massive Russian cyber attack occurred in Estonia in 2007. During a politicised dispute over a historical legacy issue between Russia and its former colony, Estonian government agencies and businesses came under massive DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks that crippled dozens of websites.As it turned out, that cyber assault against Estonia was only a dress rehearsal. An even more spectacular instance of cyber warfare occurred during the Russo-Georgian War in August 2008.On 7 August 2008, while Russian army units were crossing the border into Georgia, a cyber attack originating from Russia was launched against Georgian government and media websites.According to the Report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia, on the same day several Georgian servers and swathes Internet traffic were seized and placed under external control.The Russian cyber offensive continued throughout the war, which ended with a ceasefire on 12 August. The Russians had apparently tested their capabilities shortly before the invasion, on 20 July, when they shut down the website of the president of Georgia for 24 hours.During the war massive Russian cyber attacks closed virtually all Georgian government websites. Other targets of the attacks included media, as well as Georgian financial, business and other organisations.The purpose was to support the Russian military operation, disrupting the response to its military assault by the Georgian state and society, and making it more difficult for information about what was happening in the warzone to get out to the outside world.According to a report by the US Cyber Consequences Unit, “the primary objective of the cyber campaign was to support the Russian invasion of Georgia, and the cyber attacks fit neatly into the invasion plan”.The attacks served their purpose, since they “significantly impeded the ability of the Georgian government to deal with the Russian invasion by interfering with communications between the government and the public, stopping many payments and financial transactions, and causing confusion about what was happening”.This case of cyber warfare gained historical significance as it was the first instance of a cyber offensive used as an integral part of a conventional interstate war.-Next level-Russia’s cyber war in August 2008 thus became a landmark, taking strategic use of cyber weapons to the next level.We now have to expect massive use of cyber warfare in any future attacks by Russia against another state. That is why recent cyber attacks against Ukraine are a worrying signal.On 29 December 2016, Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko said that during November-December 2016 Ukrainian state institutions were attacked by hackers about 6,500 times. The targets included ministries of defence and finance, as well the state treasury and the capital city’s power grid.According to the Ukrainian president, the attacks were staged by Russian security services. The basic operational logic of these attacks conforms to what Russians did during the cyber campaign against Georgia in 2008 - this is the scary part.Right now the military conflict in Ukraine has a form of slow positional warfare in the Donbass region. And yet attacks such as those conducted against Ukraine in November and December 2016 do not make much sense unless their timing is critical.The impact of such attacks is only temporary, without lasting damage for the targeted country. They have an effect for a limited period of time, and therefore make sense only when launched during a crucial period such as prior to a military offensive - just as it happened in Georgia in August 2008.Since these latest attacks against Ukraine have no immediate strategic purpose, it is logical to conclude that they constitute a test of Russian cyber capabilities and Ukrainian vulnerabilities in preparation for a possible future wider military attack against Ukraine.Cyber warfare will probably figure prominently in most future interstate wars, and definitely in those between technologically advanced countries.-Political aggression-Support of military offensives is not the only use Russians have for their cyber operations, however. They are also employing them as an integral part of their information warfare against Western states.The last American presidential election was not an isolated case, as there are indications that elections in France and Germany, to be held in 2017, may also be targeted by Russians.Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French defence minister, and Guillaume Poupard, head of the Network and Information Security Agency (ANSSI), have voiced concerns about potential Russian electoral meddling. So has the DGSE - the primary French intelligence agency.The party of the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has warned that his campaign is being targeted by Russians with both cyber attacks and fake news.The pro-European Macron is a problem for the Kremlin, since he has emerged as a leading candidate, likely to defeat both Francois Fillon and Le Pen – the two candidates favoured by Moscow.The heads of the German intelligence agencies have also voiced worries about Russian cyber activities directed against Germany and its election. The chancellor, Angela Merkel, herself raised the same concern.As Moscow employs all available means to achieve its geostrategic objectives, the cyber domain has become one of the primary theatres for Russian military and political aggression.Tested in Estonia and tried in Georgia, Russia's cyber arsenal is now pointed not just at Ukraine but at the very heart of Europe itself.David Batashvili is a freelance writer who worked for the National Security Council of Georgia in 2008-2013

WORLD POWERS IN THE LAST DAYS (END OF AGE OF GRACE NOT THE WORLD)

EUROPEAN UNION-KING OF WEST-DAN 9:26-27,DAN 7:23-24,DAN 11:40,REV 13:1-10
EGYPT-KING OF THE SOUTH-DAN 11:40
RUSSIA-KING OF THE NORTH-EZEK 38:1-2,EZEK 39:1-3
CHINA-KING OF THE EAST-DAN 11:44,REV 9:16,18
VATICAN-RELIGIOUS LEADER-REV 13:11-18,REV 17:4-5,9,18

WORLD TERRORISM

GENESIS 6:11-13
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.(WORLD TERRORISM,MURDERS)(HAMAS IN HEBREW IS VIOLENCE)
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence (TERRORISM)(HAMAS) through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

GENESIS 16:11-12
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her,(HAGAR) Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael;(FATHER OF THE ARAB/MUSLIMS) because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he (ISHMAEL-FATHER OF THE ARAB-MUSLIMS) will be a wild (DONKEY-JACKASS) man;(ISLAM IS A FAKE AND DANGEROUS SEX FOR MURDER CULT) his hand will be against every man,(ISLAM HATES EVERYONE) and every man's hand against him;(PROTECTING THEMSELVES FROM BEING BEHEADED) and he (ISHMAEL ARAB/MUSLIM) shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.(LITERAL-THE ARABS LIVE WITH THEIR BRETHERN JEWS)

ISAIAH 14:12-14
12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,(SATAN) son of the morning!(HEBREW-CRECENT MOON-ISLAM) how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14  I (SATAN HAS EYE TROUBLES) will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.(AND 1/3RD OF THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN FELL WITH SATAN AND BECAME DEMONS)

JOHN 16:2
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.(ISLAM MURDERS IN THE NAME OF MOON GOD ALLAH OF ISLAM)

Syrian government rejects report on Aleppo chemical weapons use-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-February 15, 2017

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Damascus "utterly rejects" a recent Human Rights Watch report that said its military and allied forces had used chemical weapons during their capture of Aleppo last year, Syrian state media reported on Wednesday."An official source at the Foreign Ministry confirmed that the government... utterly rejects the false allegations," Syria's official SANA news agency reported.Human Rights Watch, which monitors abuses around the world, said in the report published on Monday that Syrian government forces had dropped chlorine bombs "in residential areas in Aleppo on at least eight occasions" late last year.Syria and its ally Russia, which helped the government's troops in the assault on Aleppo, have repeatedly denied using chemical weapons in the conflict and have instead accused rebels of deploying poison gas.Syria's civil war pits President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russia, Iran and Shi'ite militias against rebel groups including some supported by the United States, Turkey and Gulf monarchies, as well as jihadist factions.The army's capture of Aleppo in late December after months of siege and an intense bombardment gave Assad his biggest victory in the war so far, but involved an air and artillery bombardment that caused destruction across whole districts.(Reporting By Angus McDowall Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

Syria talks in Kazakh capital delayed, delegations downgraded-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-February 15, 2017

ASTANA (Reuters) - The start of Syrian crisis talks has been delayed by a day after the late arrival of Syrian rebel negotiators, who have decided to only send a group technical experts after threatening to boycott the meeting, sources and the delegation said.U.N. special envoy Staffan de Mistura - who had also been invited and attended the previous Astana meeting in January - said he would not attend the talks and Turkey also sent a lower-level delegation than before.The talks also involve Syrian government backers Russia and Iran.Russia and Turkey, which backs the rebels, have sought to revive diplomacy towards ending the war since the Syrian government and its backers defeated the rebels in Aleppo in December, their biggest defeat of the conflict.A new round of broader, U.N.-backed peace talks is due to begin in Geneva next week.Syrian rebels had threatened to boycott the Astana talks, accusing Russia of failing to get Damascus to comply fully with a ceasefire or take any confidence-building steps.The rebel delegation said in an emailed statement on Wednesday it would send a group of "technical experts" to discuss ways of reinforcing a ceasefire.Two sources close to the talks said the rebel delegation had not arrived in Astana in time to start the meetings on Wednesday, which prompted the delay - announced officially without any explanation.One of the sources also said the sides hoped that talks on Thursday would produce a joint document.Kazakhstan, Moscow's close political ally, said last week the negotiations would focus on consolidating the ceasefire.Delegations of the Damascus government and the rebels who attended the previous round of Astana talks refused to negotiate directly with each other or sign any documents at the time.Senior Russian negotiator Alexander Lavrentiev told reporters on Wednesday that delegations which had already arrived in Astana held a series of bilateral meetings ahead of the main round of talks."I would like to say that work is progressing well, there are of course some difficulties but they can be overcome," he said without elaborating. "We will try to reach agreement on these issues by tomorrow."He also said de Mistura's absence had been expected. Turkey has sent a lower-level delegation to the talks, compared with the previous round, because some senior diplomats were accompanying President Tayyip Erdogan on a foreign visit, Lavrentiev said.The main Syrian opposition body said on Wednesday it wanted face-to-face negotiations with the Damascus government about a political transition at the Geneva talks.Salim al-Muslit, spokesman of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), also told Reuters the opposition was sticking to its position that President Bashar al-Assad can have no role in the transition, saying "the heavy price paid by the Syrian people" would have been wasted if he remained in power.(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov and Raushan Nurshayeva; Additional reporting by Tom Perry in Beirut and Tom Miles in Geneva; Editing by Alison Williams)

O'Leary, Chong among most appealing Tory leadership candidates, survey reveals-[Yahoo Canada News]-Ramisha Farooq-Yahoo Canada News-February 15, 2017

Kevin O’Leary and Michael Chong are the most ‘politically appealing’ Tory leadership candidates, a new Nanos research survey suggests.O’Leary received favourable reviews from nearly 15 per cent of Canadians surveyed who found him the most appealing of all 14 candidates currently in the running for the Conservative party’s top job.Chong, the MP for Wellington—Halton Hills, trailed with 9.2 per cent. He is the only candidate to have embraced a carbon pricing plan.Chong was followed by Maxime Bernier at 8.5 per cent and Lisa Raitt at 7.1 per cent.Other candidates, including Kellie Leitch, Erin O’Toole, Steven Blaney and Andrew Scheer, were found most appealing by only about 2 per cent of survey respondents. Meanwhile, Chris Alexander, Deepak Obhrai, Pierre Lemieux, Brad Trost, Rick Peterson and Andrew Saxton received one per cent or less.Pollster Nik Nanos said survey results indicate appeal is about more than just name recognition and media exposure.“If this was just name recognition, realistically Kellie Leitch and Kevin O’Leary would be at the top of the list,” Nanos said in an interview with CTVNews.ca.Nanos pointed out that Chong, Bernier and Raitt’s appeal also shows that each one of them “brings something different to the race that people find appealing.”Chong’s progressive ideas and youth give him an edge, whereas Bernier’s appeal in Quebec and Raitt’s success as a former cabinet minister make them appealing, Nanos said.“For Kevin O’Leary, whether you love him or hate him, he is a brash personality that is very focused on jobs and the economy.”On the topic of bilingualism, survey results revealed a divide among Canadians. Thirty-three per cent of those surveyed said they would likely vote against a party leader who couldn’t speak both of Canada’s official languages. Another 16 per cent said they would be ‘somewhat likely’ to vote against a bilingual candidate.Meanwhile, 34 per cent of those surveyed said they’d be ‘unlikely’ to vote against a party leader who couldn’t speak both English and French.Many of the Conservative party leader candidates have struggled to communicate in French.Nanos added that the candidates’ overall appeal to Canadians doesn’t mean they have a better chance of winning the leadership race, since only Conservative party members vote for the party’s new leader.

Canadians lost $17M to online dating scams in 2016: RCMP-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-February 14, 2017

It started with a Facebook conversation with a stranger, then progressed to Skype exchanges, declarations of affection and promises to meet up in person.By the time Louise, 56, contacted police roughly a year later, she still hadn't met her online connection — but she had sent roughly $100,000 overseas at his request, and spent another $25,000 on travel and related expenses."He was very charming, very nice," said Louise, who did not want her full name used in order to protect her privacy. "I thought he was sincere, that he would pay me back."With people increasingly looking for love online, RCMP are warning Canadians to protect their wallets as well as their hearts.Some 748 people lost more than $17 million to online dating scams last year, the force said as it urged anyone using apps or websites to find dates to be cautious.The victims are largely in their mid-40s to late 50s, with each gender as likely to fall prey to scams, said Sgt. Guy-Paul Larocque. Some, like Louise, have been cheated out of more than $100,000, he said."It's devastating, some of them have lost all their savings...It hurts their pride as well," he said."The victims are basically falling for that person, they have some type of affection going on, and the scammers take advantage of that," he said. "We've all fallen in love, we know the high when we think we've found the person that we've been looking for, and from there we can become very vulnerable."Louise said they spoke for months before the man asked for money, and even then, it was small amounts, purportedly to help him deal with unexpected expenses related to his exporting business, she said.Over time, those expenses ballooned and he began asking for tens of thousands of dollar at a time, vowing to reimburse her, she said.She grew suspicious in September of last year when they made plans to meet in Toronto but he never showed up, claiming he'd been detained in the Ivory Coast after getting caught with an ivory bracelet meant for her.The financial loss has meant pushing back retirement, said Louise, adding the bank put limits on her credit. She has also had to leave her home in Fort MacMurray, Alta., and move in with her mother in northeastern Ontario.She filed a report with the RCMP in Fort MacMurray and they are investigating, but no arrests have been made.The experience has caused Louise tremendous stress and made her far more vigilant online, she said.RCMP said many people who fall prey to such scams are reluctant to report the crime, out of embarrassment or — in the case of older people — out of fear that they will lose independence as concerned family members step in.Scammers create fake online profiles in order to gain someone's trust then ask for money, often claiming to be faced with an emergency, RCMP said. That can involve fake social media profiles as well as those on dating sites or apps.Some red flags to watch for include someone professing their love before meeting in person, or claiming to be from the same town but working overseas, which may be a setup to ask for money later, the force said.The best solution is to simply not send anyone money, it said.RCMP also said there are safety risks with online dating because it's difficult to verify a person's identity or motivations before meeting them.They recommend having the first date in a public place and arranging your own transportation so that the other person doesn't know where you live.They also suggest telling a friend or family member the person's name and where you're meeting them as well as when you expect to be back.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press.

Advocates demand New York lawmakers outlaw child marriage-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-February 14, 2017

ALBANY, N.Y. — Child advocates in New York are attempting to overturn a law that allows children as young as 14 years old to wed because they say it can trap minors in sexual abuse and domestic violence.Democratic Assemblywoman Amy Paulin on Tuesday introduced a bill to raise the minimum age for marriage to 17. New York is one of three states that allow 14-year-olds to marry with parental and judicial consent.Paulin called the law an appalling loophole for adults to sexually abuse children and avoid statutory rape charges."I can't even begin to imagine the physical, psychological and emotional traumas these children have suffered," she said. "We must safeguard the health, safety and welfare of our children, who are the future of our society."According to data from the Tahirih Justice Center, a non-profit that protects immigrant women and girls, and the National Conference of State Legislatures, North Carolina and Alaska also allow 14 year olds to marry with parental and judicial consent. Twenty-seven states have no minimum age in state statutes, meaning children of any age could technically marry with court approval.Paulin said children have no escape from forced marriages because minors have limited access to legal services and domestic violence shelters. Paulin's proposal would prohibit marriage of children under 17, and children age 17 to 18 would require court approval.Fraidy Reiss, founder and executive director of Unchained at Last, a non-profit to end forced marriage, said religion, economic status and tradition motivate thousands of forced child marriages a year.Health department data shows that between 2000 and 2010, 3,853 minors were married in New York. Eighty-four per cent were minor girls married to adult men."The impacts of child marriage on a girl's life are devastating and long-lasting, undermining her health, education and economic opportunities and increasing her risk of experiencing violence," Reiss said.Safia Mahjebia of New York's Brooklyn borough was 16 years old when a close friend in her tight-knit Bangladeshi community was forced into a marriage with a 25-year-old man."Our immediate response was unanimous fear. Fear for her safety, fear for her future, and fear in the air to know you could be next," Mahjebia, now 20, said.Mahjebia said she felt betrayed to learn the marriage was legal in New York, and it was only her parents' ignorance of that fact that prevented her own marriage as a young girl.Advocates from Unchained At Last and the Human Rights Watch wore white gowns and chains on their wrists outside the Assembly chamber Tuesday singing "Save the girls. Be the change. Help us to break the chains."Anna Gronewold, The Associated Press.

Woman arrested in killing of N. Korean leader's half brother-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-February 15, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian police arrested a woman Wednesday in the apparent assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the North Korean leader's exiled half brother who South Korean spies say once begged his sibling to spare his life.The astonishing killing, which reportedly came at the hands of two female assassins, set off waves of speculation over whether North Korea had dispatched a hit squad to kill a man known for his drinking, gambling and complicated family life.Kim Jong Nam, who was 45 or 46, was estranged from his younger brother, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and had been living abroad for years. He reportedly fell out of favour when he was caught trying to enter Japan on a false passport in 2001, saying he wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland.According to two senior Malaysian government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case involves sensitive diplomacy, the elder Kim died en route to a hospital on Monday after suddenly falling ill at the budget terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport.He told medical workers before he died that he had been attacked with a chemical spray, the Malaysian officials said. Multiple South Korean media reports, citing unidentified sources, said two women believed to be North Korean agents killed him with some kind of poison before fleeing in a taxi.Malaysia started an autopsy Wednesday to determine the cause of death. But a Malaysian government official, who also demanded anonymity because of the case's sensitivity, said North Korea objected to the procedure because they wanted the body back. But the Malaysian official said the autopsy was still continuing.Also Wednesday, Malaysian police arrested a woman carrying Vietnamese travel documents bearing the name Doan Thi Huong at the Kuala Lumpur airport budget terminal, where Kim Jong Nam was attacked. It was not immediately clear whether the passport was genuine. She was identified using earlier surveillance video from the airport, police said.Still photos of the video, confirmed as authentic by police, showed a woman in a skirt and long-sleeved white T-shirt with "LOL" across the front.Police said they were hunting for more suspects. No further details were released.Since taking power in late 2011, Kim Jong Un has executed or purged a number of high-level government officials in what the South Korean government has described as a "reign of terror."South Korea's spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, said Wednesday that North Korea had been trying for five years to kill Kim Jong Nam. The NIS did not definitively say that North Korea was behind the killing, just that it was presumed to be a North Korean operation, according to lawmakers who briefed reporters about the closed-door meeting with the spy officials.The NIS also cited a "genuine" attempt by North Korea to kill Kim Jong Nam in 2012, the lawmakers said. The NIS told them that Kim Jong Nam sent a letter to Kim Jong Un in April 2012, after the assassination attempt, begging for the lives of himself and his family.The letter said: "I hope you cancel the order for the punishment of me and my family. We have nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, and we know that the only way to escape is committing suicide."Details of the Malaysia case were sketchy, but the NIS cited Kim Jong Un's "paranoia" about his half brother. The NIS has a history of botching intelligence on North Korea and has long sought to portray the country's leaders as mentally unstable.Although Kim Jong Nam had been originally tipped by some outsiders as a possible successor to his late dictator father, Kim Jong Il, others thought that was unlikely because he lived outside the country, including recently in Macau.He also frequented casinos, five-star hotels and travelled around Asia, with little say in North Korean affairs.But his attempt to visit Tokyo Disneyland reportedly soured North Korea's leadership on his potential as a successor. Kim Jong Nam had said he had no political ambitions, although he was publicly critical of the North Korean regime and his half brother's legitimacy in the past. In 2010, he was quoted in Japanese media as saying he opposed dynastic succession in North Korea.Among Kim Jong Un's executions and purges, the most spectacular was the 2013 execution of his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, once considered the country's second-most powerful man, for what the North alleged was treason.Kim Jong Il had at least three sons with two women, as well as a daughter by a third. Kim Jong Nam was the eldest, followed by Kim Jong Chul, who is a few years older than Kim Jong Un and is known as a playboy who reportedly attended an Eric Clapton concert in London in 2015. It's unclear what positon he has in the North Korean government.A younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, was named a member of the Workers' Party of Korea's Central Committee during a North Korean party congress last May.Kim Yong-hyun, professor of North Korean Studies at Dongguk University in South Korea, said Kim Jong Nam could have faced threats from any number of directions.He was probably not viewed as a direct threat to his half brother, but as "an obstacle to Kim Jong Un's plan to maintain the regime for the next 20 to 30 years," the professor said."So there is a possibility of Kim Jong Un directly or indirectly giving orders to get rid of those who could threaten the plan in the long term," he said. "The other possibility that cannot be ruled out is that of North Korean elites, who are competing against each other to show their loyalty to Kim Jong Un, making a move against Kim Jong Nam."___Associated Press writers Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea, and Tim Sullivan in New Delhi contributed to this report.Eileen Ng, The Associated Press.

North Koreans tried to stop autopsy on body of leader's half-brother-[Reuters]-By Praveen Menon and Emily Chow-YAHOONEWS-February 15, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - North Korean officials spent hours on Wednesday trying to talk Malaysia out of conducting an autopsy on Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother, who was murdered at Kuala Lumpur airport this week, three sources familiar with the stand-off told Reuters.Malaysian authorities refused the request, said the sources, all Malaysian government officials. The events have not previously been reported by international media.The body of Kim Jong Nam was taken in the morning to a hospital for investigations into his mysterious death. North Korean embassy officials followed, and were there so long that they ordered a meal from KFC, reporters at the hospital said.According to information from Malaysian, South Korean and U.S. officials, Kim Jong Nam was poisoned in the departure hall of the airport by two North Korean female agents who fled in a taxi while he fell gravely ill and died en route to hospital.Malaysian police said on Wednesday they had arrested a woman who was carrying Vietnamese travel papers and were looking for a "few" other foreign nationals in connection with the case.Malaysian authorities refused a request from the North Koreans not to conduct an autopsy, said the three sources. They said no decision had been taken on whether the body would eventually be handed over to North Korea."Malaysia said it won't be pressured into anything ... we will stick to procedures," one source said.Journalists at the hospital said North Korea's ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol, and colleagues arrived at the hospital in the early afternoon and remained there into the evening.Police said that Kim Jong Nam, the gregarious eldest son of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, was at Kuala Lumpur airport's budget terminal on Monday for a flight to Macau when someone grabbed his face from behind. He approached a help desk, saying he felt dizzy, and then his condition worsened.According to local media reports, the two female agents splashed Kim's face with a chemical.Kim Jong Nam had spoken out publicly against his family's dynastic control of North Korea, and had spent many years outside the reclusive state, traveling in Macau and Hong Kong as well as mainland China.A Malaysian government said Kim Jong Nam had been in Malaysia several times before, likely on holidays.Malaysia is one of a dwindling number of countries that has close relations with North Korea, which is under tightening global sanctions over its nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches, the latest of which took place on Sunday. Malaysians and North Koreans can visit each other's country without visas.(Writing by John Chalmers, Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Texas attorney general backs Trump in travel ban litigation-[Reuters]-By Andrew Chung-YAHOONEWS-February 15, 2017

(Reuters) - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday asked a federal appeals court for permission to file legal papers in support of President Donald Trump's travel ban, making Texas the first state to back Trump in closely watched litigation over the ban.Paxton asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California to file a friend-of-the-court brief. He said the full court should reconsider whether a lower court judge was justified in halting the ban.U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle suspended Trump's entire order across the country on Feb. 3 after its legality was challenged by Washington state. That ruling was upheld by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit in San Francisco last week, raising questions about Trump's next step.Trump's directive, which he said was necessary to protect the United States from attacks by Islamist militants, barred people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days. Refugees were banned for 120 days, except those from Syria, who were banned indefinitely.In the brief Paxton said Trump's executive order falls within the president's executive powers and does not violate any constitutional rights.(Reporting by Andrew Chung in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

Trump says peace deal will ultimately be up to Israelis, Palestinians-[Reuters]-yahoonews-February 15, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he would work to bring about peace between Israel and Palestinians, but it would be up to the parties themselves ultimately to reach an agreement."The United States will encourage a peace and really a great peace deal," Trump said during a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."We will be working on it very, very diligently. But it is the parties themselves who must directly negotiate such an agreement," Trump said.(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Howard Goller)

White House: Mideast peace may not be 2-state solution-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-February 15, 2017

WASHINGTON — As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the White House, the Trump administration is going back and forth over whether its vision for Middle East peace includes a Palestinian state.A senior White House official, speaking to reporters before President Donald Trump's meeting Wednesday with Netanyahu, said Trump is eager to begin facilitating a peace deal between the two sides and hopes to bring them together soon.It will be up to the Israelis and Palestinians to determine what peace will entail, and that peace, not a two-state solution, is the goal, according to the official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the leaders' session before it took place and spoke on condition of anonymity.State Department officials said they were not aware of any policy shift on the desirability of an agreement establishing an independent Palestine side-by-side with Israel — long the bedrock of U.S. policy in the region.Three officials said the department was seeking clarification from the White House, which came as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was having dinner with Netanyahu on Tuesday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.On Wednesday, another White House official wouldn't clarify if the two-state solution was indeed being abandoned. Instead, the official said peace is "our primary focus" and all options were on the table. The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly ahead of the talks and spoke on condition anonymity.It was not clear if the White House had intended to declare a major shift in policy during the hastily arranged briefing Tuesday night.Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, were greeted Wednesday by Trump and first lady Melania, who welcomed them from the White House's South Lawn entrance.The two leaders planned a news conference before convening for meetings and a working lunch. The prime minister was expected then to Capitol Hill for meetings with lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.CIA chief Mike Pompeo secretly held talks in the West Bank with Mahmoud Abbas, in what was the first high-level meeting between the Palestinian leader and an administration official.Two senior Palestinian officials said the meeting took place Tuesday at Abbas' headquarters in Ramallah. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters about the meeting, which had not been announced. The White House declined to comment.For decades, the U.S. position has been that Israelis and Palestinians must work through direct negotiations to establish two states living side by side and at peace. All serious peace negotiations in that time have assumed that the two-state solution was the basis for an end to the conflict.Trump takes pride in his deal-making skills and said during his campaign that he'd love the challenge of negotiating a Mideast agreement. He has appointed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to lead the effort.The White House official said the visit was meant to mark a new, closer relationship between Israel and the United States, an alliance that came under strain under President Barack Obama.Trump and Netanyahu were likely to discuss peace efforts as well as expanded Israeli settlements, Iran and Trump's campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The latter would signal U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a move that would infuriate Palestinians. They claim the eastern sector of the city, captured by Israel in the 1967 war, as their capital.American presidents have struck a delicate balance in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, stressing the close U.S. friendship with Israel and lavishing the Jewish state with bountiful aid. But recent presidents also have called out Israel for actions seen as undermining peace efforts, such as expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank.Trump told The Associated Press during his campaign that he wanted to be "very neutral" and try to get both sides together. But his tone became decidedly more pro-Israel as the campaign progressed. He has spoken disparagingly of Palestinians, saying they have been "taken over" by or are condoning militant groups. Some of his top aides challenge the legitimacy of Palestinian demands for a state.After repeatedly clashing with Obama for eight years, capped by a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, Netanyahu has seemed pleased by Trump's arrival. Trump slammed Obama's decision to abstain from the U.N. vote in December, saying Israel was treated "very, very unfairly."Now in office, however, Trump has been forced to re-evaluate and revisit his position on a number of issues, including those relating to Israel.After initially greeting Israel's settlement announcements with a shrug, Trump appears to be having second thoughts. In an interview with a pro-Netanyahu Israeli daily last Friday, Trump said, "I am not somebody that believes that going forward with these settlements is a good thing for peace."__Associated Press writers Josh Lederman in Washington, Karin Laub in Ramallah, West Bank and Josef Federman in Jerusalem contributed to this report.Jill Colvin And Vivian Salama, The Associated Press.

Trump offers national security adviser job to Vice Admiral Harward - sources-[Reuters]-yahoonews-February 15, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration has offered the job of White House national security adviser, vacated by former U.S. intelligence official Michael Flynn, to Vice Admiral Robert Harward, said two U.S. officials familiar with the matter on Wednesday.It was not immediately clear if Harward, a former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command who has Navy SEAL combat experience, had accepted the offer, according to sources.A White House spokesperson had no immediate comment.(Reporting by Mark Hosenball and John Walcott; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and James Dalgleish)



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