Wednesday, February 08, 2017
WILL TRUMP WIN HIS COURT DECISION TO TEMORARILY STOP IMMIGRANTS FOR PROTECTION OF AMERICA SAKE.
SAN FRANCISCO — State and federal lawyers will argue before a panel of federal appellate court judges Tuesday in the pitched fight over President Donald Trump's travel and refugee ban that could reach the Supreme Court.The legal dispute involves two divergent views of the role of the executive branch and the court system.The federal government maintains the president alone has the power to decide who can enter or stay in the United States, while states suing Trump say his executive order is unconstitutional.Seattle U.S. District Judge James Robart, who on Friday temporarily blocked Trump's order, has said a judge's job is to ensure that an action taken by the government "comports with our country's laws."The Justice Department filed a new defence of Trump's ban on travellers from seven predominantly Muslim nations as a federal appeals court weighs whether to restore the administration's executive order. The lawyers said Monday the travel ban was a "lawful exercise" of the president's authority to protect national security and said Robart's order that put the policy on hold should be overruled.The filing with the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was the latest salvo in a high-stakes legal fight surrounding Trump's order.Washington state, Minnesota and other states say the appellate court should allow a temporary restraining order blocking the travel ban to stand as their lawsuit moves through the legal system.The judges hearing the arguments — two Democrat-appointed judges and one Republican appointee — are from a randomly assigned panel.The appeals court over the weekend refused to immediately reinstate the ban, and lawyers for Washington and Minnesota argued anew on Monday that any resumption would "unleash chaos again," separating families and stranding university students.The Justice Department responded that the president has clear authority to "suspend the entry of any class of aliens" to the U.S. in the name of national security. It said the travel ban, which temporarily suspends the country's refugee program and immigration from seven countries with terrorism concerns, was intended "to permit an orderly review and revision of screening procedures to ensure that adequate standards are in place to protect against terrorist attacks."The challengers of the ban were asking "courts to take the extraordinary step of second-guessing a formal national security judgment made by the president himself pursuant to broad grants of statutory authority," the Justice Department wrote.The Seattle judge's ruling triggered a Twitter rant by the president.On Sunday, Trump tweeted, "Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!"Whatever the appeals court decides, either side could ask the Supreme Court to intervene.It could prove difficult, though, to find the necessary five votes at the high court to undo a lower court order; the Supreme Court has been at less than full strength since Justice Antonin Scalia's death a year ago. The last immigration case that reached the justices ended in a 4-4 tie.How and when a case might get to the Supreme Court is unclear. The travel ban itself is to expire in 90 days, meaning it could run its course before a higher court takes up the issue. Or the administration could change it in any number of ways that would keep the issue alive.After Robart's ruling, the State Department quickly said people from the seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — could travel to the U.S. if they had valid visas.On Monday, a graduate student who had travelled to Libya with her 1-year-old son to visit her sick mother and attend her father's funeral was back in Fort Collins, Colorado, after having been stopped in Jordan on her return trip. She was welcomed with flowers and balloons by her husband and other children.Syrian immigrant Mathyo Asali said he thought his life was "ruined" when he landed at Philadelphia International Airport on Jan. 28 only to be denied entry to the United States. Asali, who returned to Damascus, said he figured he'd be inducted into the Syrian military. He was back on U.S. soil Monday."It's really nice to know that there's a lot of people supporting us," Asali told Gov. Tom Wolf, who greeted the family at a relative's house in Allentown.States challenging the ban have been joined by technology companies, who have said it makes it more difficult to recruit employees. National security officials under President Barack Obama have also come out against it.___Tucker reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Martha Bellisle and Gene Johnson in Seattle, Matthew Barakat in Chantilly, Virginia, Michael Rubinkam in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Colleen Slevin in Denver and Mark Sherman in Washington contributed to this report.-Eric Tucker And Sudhin Thanawala, The Associated Press.
Trump claims media not reporting terrorist attacks-Olivier Knox-Chief Washington Correspondent-Yahoo News-February 6, 2017
President Trump’s first speech to active duty troops since taking office went much the same way his first speech to CIA officers went. He celebrated his political triumph, promised his full support and new resources to wipe out “radical Islamic terrorism” and unleashed one of his trademark tirades against the news media.Speaking at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida on Monday, Trump gave an abbreviated history of terrorist attacks, from 9/11 to the Paris nightclub attacks to the truck massacre in Nice.“It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that,” he said. He offered no evidence for the accusation, which flies in the face of round-the-clock news coverage of terrorist violence. But one of his senior advisers has repeatedly referred to a Bowling Green, Ky., terrorist attack that did not happen.The rhetorical onslaught recalled Trump’s rant against the news media at CIA headquarters one day after his inauguration. “I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” he said in those remarks. Trump and his top aides have rarely let a day go by without making similar remarks, which are red meat for his political base.Like his remarks at the CIA, Trump’s speech in Florida left open some questions of how the new president will interact with major parts of the government’s national security machine.On the campaign trail, the entrepreneur regularly made comments seen as disparaging military commanders, at one point declaring, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.” He dismissed Sen. John McCain’s military service, saying he preferred veterans who weren’t captured. He did verbal battle with Muslim Gold Star parents who supported his rival, Hillary Clinton. He also called for a return to using torture, which the military opposes. And while he complained of overextending American forces overseas, on at least one occasion he expressed support for sending tens of thousands more U.S. troops to fight the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS.Trump has turned to retired generals for key roles in his Cabinet, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. His national security adviser, Mike Flynn, is also a retired general.But he has also pursued the idea of setting up “safe areas” for Syrian refugees, a step that top military officials have warned could escalate U.S. military involvement in or near the Middle East’s main war zone.One critical test in the developing relationship between the Pentagon and the White House will be when the military brass delivers a new plan for defeating ISIS, due in late February or early March, according to a Trump directive. It’s not clear whether Trump would embrace a recommendation for more ground troops — if one comes. During the campaign, he boasted that he had a secret plan for defeating the group.Trump’s remarks came after he had lunch with a group of soldiers serving with U.S. Central Command, which notably oversees America’s military entanglements in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, as well as Yemen.In his formal speech, Trump opened with a look back at Nov. 8. “We had a wonderful election, didn’t we?” he said, apparently touting his support among military voters. “I saw those numbers, and you liked me, and I liked you. That’s the way it worked.”He also promised to make a “historic financial investment in the armed forces of the United States,” promised to wipe out “radical Islamic terrorism,” and criticized NATO partners that have not met the alliance’s commitment to spend 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense.“We have your back every hour, every day now and always. That also means getting our allies to pay their fair share. Been very unfair to us,” he said.
Plans for 'double-digit' hydro rate hike worry business owners and poverty advocates-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-February 6, 2017
Something has changed radically in Manitoba Hydro's view of its fiscal future and there is growing concern over who will feel the brunt of big rate increases.At the end of 2015 the utility was requesting increases of 3.95 per cent year-over-year until 2024. Now a message from the board of the Crown corporation says double-digit increases will be needed for at least five years.On Friday Manitoba Hydro announced it would seek a workforce reduction of 900 staff, starting with offering severance packages to employees. The press release announcing the cuts also came with a statement from Hydro board chair Sandford Riley saying staff reductions would not be enough to improve the company's fiscal problems."Even with these reductions, double digit annual rate increases would be required for at least five years in order to re-establish Manitoba Hydro on a proper financial footing," Riley said in the statement.The statement also reiterated the board's interest in getting an injection of capital from the provincial government.-Business owner calls double-digit increases 'mind-boggling'-Just about every piece of equipment in Denny's Meat Market, from coolers to saws and grinders, consumes electricity and owner Denny Dueck sees double-digit rate increases for electricity as "mind-boggling.""We have equipment that runs on it on a daily basis, 24-7. It never quits," Dueck says. "You have an increase on that product; where am I going to get the money for the increase on that bill?"Dueck says possible rate hikes that large are just another in a long string of increased costs his business has been facing, citing bumps in property taxes and water rates. He fought off stiff competition from big-box groceries and rising meat costs, but rate hikes larger than perhaps 10 per cent a year are tough to chew."When I heard about the increase, I said, you know what? I might as well shut my doors because I'll give it to Hydro," Dueck said.Dueck also has plenty of sympathy for Hydro staff who may face layoffs."I feel bad for 1,000 people that are going to lose their jobs. That's ludicrous! It sucks!" Dueck said.Dueck has a message for the board, management and minister in charge of Manitoba Hydro on rate hikes."Give your head a shake. What are you doing out there? It's not just hurting me, its hurting everyone in the city. What, are we going to get a second job now to pay for the Hydro?" Dueck said.-Food or electricity?-Business owners aren't the only people looking at the electricity meter and worrying about the bill.Josh Brandon with the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg says people living below the poverty line and on fixed incomes will struggle to make ends meet if the cost of electricity rises so much over the cost of inflation.He says in some rural and northern regions, where natural gas is unavailable, the impact could be even more acute."People living below the poverty line are already struggling. They are having to make impossible choices already about whether they are not going to pay their Hydro bill or cut back on food or rent or other basic necessities," Brandon told CBC News.Brandon says it's even more frustrating because it's not clear how much of an increase Hydro will request from the Public Utilities Board. He says the signals from the utility are confusing because his organization was already concerned about the 3.95 per cent increase previously granted to Hydro.The Social Planning Council provided some analysis for Hydro last fall on the effect of increases from four to eight per cent. Now it may go much higher — increasing what Brandon calls the energy poverty rate."Now if we are talking about 10 or more per cent it's going to be pretty difficult for a lot of families," Brandon said.-Pallister 'concerned' about rate hikes, won't commit to Hydro bailout-Progressive Conservative Premier Brian Pallister told reporters Monday that rising power rates and Hydro's poor fiscal fortunes were created by the former NDP government."We all know the mess at Hydro and we understand the overreach of the previous administration was a mistake. We see that already in rapidly escalating hydro costs and that's hurting Manitoba families, so we are very concerned about the increasing costs and how we can strengthen Manitoba Hydro," Pallister said.Pallister was asked several times if his government was willing to make an equity investment to help Hydro's bottom line and perhaps ease a rate hike, but he told reporters it was up to the PUB to determine where the rates will be set.Riley has spoken publicly about Hydro's need for a cash injection from the province and it was mentioned last Friday in the board chair's statement on job cuts and rate increases.Pallister says his government doesn't want to see double-digit increases for electricity, but suggested the NDP went around agencies such as the Clean Environment Commission and the Public Utilities Board. Pallister says his government won't do that and will allow the PUB to make the decision on any future rate increases."I do not believe that circumventing those processes is in Manitoba's best interest, so I respect the protections that Manitobans have with those agencies and we'll make sure that we follow the proper procedures in dealing with any rate application increase," Pallister said.
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)
Winter wallop dumps over 60 cm of snow in B.C.'s southern Interior-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-February 6, 2017
Communities in the B.C. southern Interior are coping with a record-breaking February snowfall resulting in highway mayhem, school closures and extreme avalanche warnings.The small town of Sparwood in the Elk Valley has already received 60 centimetres of fresh snow Monday, demolishing the previous record of 18.3. Cranbrook and Castlegar also both broke snowfall records two days in a row."A lot of areas are getting hit pretty hard," said Jennifer Hay, a meteorologist with Environment Canada."It's going to go on for the next few days. We'll definitely have a few breaks in there, but we won't see a change in the pattern until probably Friday."'Never seen anything like it'-The heavy snowfall has resulted in numerous highway warnings and closures.The Kootenay Pass remains closed due to heavy snowfall — it isn't expected to reopen until 8 p.m. PT. Snow also prompted closures or travel advisories for Highways 1, 31, 95A, 97 and 99.Anthony Arnold in Riondel on the east shore of Kootenay Lake describes it as "tons and tons and tons" of snow."I moved here in 1969 ... I've never seen anything like it," he said."I can't see out the window. All I see is snow. I just measured on the carport roof and it's 21 inches."No mail, no school, multiple avalanche warningsAvalanche Canada has issued an extreme danger rating — the highest possible level — for the South Rockies. The danger rating for the Kootenays and Columbias remains at considerable and high.Canada Post has also suspended mail service to the Kootenay Pass, saying it is not safe to send people out to deliver mail.The heavy snow also resulted in multiple school closures in the Kootenay region, including in Nelson, Rossland, Cranbrook and Castlegar.Environment Canada said most communities should expect more snow to fall before the system passes."Be prepared — maybe 10 centimetres per day in some regions. It's going to vary wildly, some areas will get just a trace and some areas will be seeing 20 centimetres or more," said Hay.With files from Daybreak South.
Rare snowfall blankets Seattle, closing schools and cutting power-[Christian Science Monitor]-Amanda Hoover-YAHOONEWS-February 7, 2017
A rare snowstorm brought about four inches of snow to the Seattle area Monday, prompting road and school closures as well as flight cancellations and power outages as the city worked to combat its heaviest snowstorm in five years.The storm began Sunday night and continued through the next day, leaving some 100,000 people without power across the Puget Sound region. Others found themselves snowed in, with icy conditions closing roads or delaying trains and flights.By Tuesday morning, much of the winter storm had subsided. The region is predicted to see mostly dry conditions, with temperatures expected to reach a high of 40 degrees.But evidence of the unusual snowstorm remains. Early Monday morning, more than 80 flights entering or departing Seattle-Tacoma International Airport had been canceled after the airport saw between three and five inches of snow. The storm affected travel plans for more than 10,000 passengers.“The conditions are so severe at Sea-Tac that it’s taking our crews 30 to 40 minutes to deice a single plane,” Wayne Newton, Alaska Airlines’ managing director of operations for Seattle, said in a statement early Monday afternoon. “If you don’t have to travel today, it’s a good day to stay home.”Several Seattle schools saw delayed openings Tuesday morning as crews continued to work to clear roads.Other Puget Sound regions outside of the Seattle metro area saw more than a foot of snow, with the Cascade Mountains receiving a 30-inch blanketing. The bulk of power outages occurred in the counties surrounding the city, where heavy snowfall damaged power lines.The storm follows several that have hit Portland, Ore., in recent weeks. Forecasters had expected another to strike the region, but high temperatures turned the snow to rain. Montana saw heavy snowfall as well, with areas along the edge of Glacier National Park bearing the brunt of the storm there.While the snowfall created hassles for some, the rare snowstorm was a welcome surprise to others in Seattle. Children and parents took advantage of the snow day, sledding in Seattle's hilly Queen Anne neighborhood."It's awesome, especially because I had a life-skill test today and now it's delayed until Thursday," 12-year-old Allette Franklin told the Associated Press.Her friend Josie Kinney, age 11, agreed. "It's almost a miniature Christmas," she said.This report contains material from the Associated Press.
Binge Eater: Black hole taking over decade to devour star-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-February 6, 2017
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Scientists have detected a black hole that's taken a record-breaking decade to devour a star — and it's still chewing away.The food fest is happening in a small galaxy 1.8 billion light-years from Earth.University of New Hampshire research scientist Dacheng (dah-CHENG) Lin said that black hole feeding frenzies have been observed since the 1990s, but they've lasted just a year. At 11 years and counting, this is the longest known one yet.Lin and his team used data from orbiting X-ray telescopes to study the monstrous munching. X-ray flares erupt when a star gets swallowed by a black hole and cooked millions of degrees. Black holes clearly like their stars well done."We have witnessed a star's spectacular and prolonged demise," Lin said in a statement.The X-rays coming from this black hole surpass expectations in another way."For most of the time we've been looking at this object, it has been growing rapidly," said the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics' James Guillochon, a co-author. "This tells us something unusual — like a star twice as heavy as our Sun — is being fed into the black hole."The binge eating by this particular black hole began around July 2005. Based on computer models, the feasting should taper off over the next decade.The discovery was reported Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy.Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press.
DRUG PUSHERS AND ADDICTS
1 PET 5:8
8 Be sober,(NOT DRUGED UP OR ALCOHOLICED) be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries (DRUGS) were all nations deceived.
21 Neither repented they of their murders,(KILLING) nor of their sorceries (DRUG ADDICTS AND DRUG PUSHERS), nor of their fornication,(SEX OUTSIDE MARRIAGE OR PROSTITUTION FOR MONEY) nor of their thefts.(STEALING)
Calgary prepares for future with legalized marijuana-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-February 6, 2017
Eighteen cannabis stores opened in Denver, Colo. the day recreational marijuana sales became legal in that state three years ago, an official told Calgary city council on Monday.Now Denver boasts 295 licensed grow ops, 219 retail stores, 84 medical marijuana outlets and 10 testing facilities.Councillors invited Denver city official Dan Rowland to talk about that city's experiences with legal cannabis as Calgary prepares for the possibility of legalized marijuana in Canada.Ottawa's bill on pot legalization is expected in June and might be passed by the end of year.The City of Calgary created a special panel made up of police officers, Alberta Health Services experts and Rowland to help provide council with policy advice should the bill becomes law.The city's role in that new legal landscape would include oversight of retail store locations and growing operations, and handling any related nuisance complaints.In Denver, the city hired 60 new people to help it deal with businesses related to marijuana.Mayor Naheed Nenshi isn't sure that will be necessary in Calgary."I'm not particularly interested in hiring a whole bunch of people at the city to manage this, but the real issue I think is getting the regulation right so that our existing business license inspectors, and so on, can actually do their work," he said. Nenshi also wants to ensure the regulations are in place well ahead of time."The most important thing is for the city to get ahead of this so we're not caught flat-footed and we're not having to, for example, close down dispensaries that have already opened once we put in restrictions on where you can retail," he said. -City wants say in business location-The mayor said city council will likely want to control where businesses selling marijuana are allowed to operate."There's a reason that we have rules around liquor stores and how close they can be to one another, as well as how close they can be to schools, for example," he said."So those are the sorts of things that we want to work out. Maybe we just use the same rules as for the liquor stores, maybe we come up with something different."
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)
Focus-EU ready to help China fight protectionsim-By Eszter Zalan-FEB 7,17-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:12-The EU is ready to stand with China in the fight against protectionism, but Beijing needs to reform to be fair to investors, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said on Monday (7 February)."If others around the world want to use trade as a weapon, I want to use it as a tonic; a vital ingredient for prosperity and progress," she said without mentioning US president Donald Trump by name, who has been promoting protectionist policies."If rising protectionism from elsewhere is a threat to the Chinese economy, we stand ready to engage and fight against it together. If others are closing their doors, ours are still open. As long as the trade is fair," she told a business conference on EU-China relations in Brussels.Malmstroem commended Chinese president Xi Jinping's speech at the World Economic Forum last month, where the Chinese leader stood up for globalisation and multilateralism.However, the trade commissioner added that China needed to back up rhetoric with reforms."That would really indicate taking a stronger role in the world," she added.Malmstroem said that "many barriers and irritants" remained in the EU-China trade relations, which were "far from balanced".She highlighted that reform plans announced four years ago to give the market a more decisive role in the economy and reinforce the rule of law and independence of the judiciary have not materialised.Malmstroem added the European investors were increasingly concerned about "the deteriorating situation on the freedom of expression and association".After the US, China is the EU's second biggest trading partner, and the EU is China's largest.Trade with China was worth one fifth of EU imported goods but only one tenth of its goods exports.Chinese investment flows into the EU rose to a record high of almost €40 billion last year, while EU investment into China fell to a 10-year low of less than €8 billion.Malmstroem said she hoped the issue could be addressed with an EU-China investment agreement now under negotiation.She said she hoped the EU could see a "new impulse" in talks this year.The deal would mean better market access for European investors, a level playing filed "without discriminations based on origin or ownership", and "greater certainty, transparency, fairness".She stressed that the European Commission had recently proposed measures that would reinforce EU trade defence tools, among them possible higher tariffs, faster investigations against China, but negotiations are ongoing on that between member states and the European Parliament.These instruments are aimed at reducing the damage Chinese overcapacity in steel has caused to European businesses.Last month, Malmstroem lashed out against Trump, saying that new efforts to reimpose trade barriers were "doomed to fail" after the US president withdrew from the TPP agreement, a free trade deal between 11 Pacific region countries.
EU refuses to 'name and shame' environment slackers By Peter Teffer-FEB 7,17-EUOBSERVER
Brussels, Today, 08:56-The EU's environment commissioner has refused to "name and shame" countries that are failing to implement Europe-wide rules.Karmenu Vella was responding to queries at the launch of the first Environmental Implementation Review (EIR) on Monday (7 February), which identified many problems with member states but did not name the worst offenders.“I have to say that the reason for coming up with this EIR is not to provide a ranking between the member states, it's not that we are shaming and blaming anyone,” said Vella, a Maltese politician.Instead, the review is aimed at showing member states in what environmental sectors they need to improve themselves, and to learn from member states who have successfully implemented EU policies.The EIR was announced last May as a way to get countries to comply with EU environmental law.“If we really wanted to name and shame, there was no need to come up with another tool. We could have easily done it. The idea is to help those who are in need, the idea is to continue to encourage those who have got best practices,” said Vella.He also noted that some member states may do very well reducing waste, but then are “weaker” providing their citizens with clean air.“You cannot overall generalise who is best and who is worst,” he said.The review included 28 country-specific reports, but also an overall summary document. This text did not mention specific countries.It said for example that “two member states” had not drawn up the required plans for how they will prevent waste, and “one member state” did not have a national programme on waste management.The summary report said that such waste plans are “a precondition” to receive cohesion policy funding, the EU's financial tool to reduce regional disparities, during the 2014-2020 budget period.The legal text governing rules on cohesion policy said the commission may decide to suspend such funds if certain requirements are not met by 31 December 2016. This includes, among many other requirements, the waste plans.An EU commission press officer told EUobserver that it was “too soon” to speak about suspending funding, because member states have until mid-2017 to report.Vella said he did not think “that we have any member state who is refusing to come with these plans”.“For the time being I don't see any reason for any member state to have their funding stopped,” he said.Vella also did not believe that EU countries are flaunting the rules on purpose, even though they have agreed to them themselves as part of the Council.“Why do member states commit and then they do not deliver? I don't think this is the general intention of any member state when they commit themselves in council,” said Vella.-Good intentions-“I think that most of the member states, or all of the member states come in council with very good intentions, and they leave councils with very good intentions, but at the end we have to be realistic, at the end we have to be practical.“We often have then 28 different member states running at 28 different speeds. The important thing is they are all running in the same direction.“The idea is that those who are not, for one reason or another, keeping up with their promises, this tool will help them … by identifying the causes of non-compliance, and by coming up with good solutions as well.”He invited EU member states to ask the commission for help via “dialogues”, but also indicated that these are not obligatory.“Those who feel that they will gain by having a dialogue with the commission, will just let us know, and we will help them,” said Vella.He noted that two member states, Belgium and Slovakia, had already informed the commission they wanted its help.
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)
Homeland Security sec doesn't expect to meet immigration agent hiring goals within 2 yrs-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-February 7, 2017
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told a congressional panel on Tuesday that he does not expect to meet President Donald Trump's hiring targets for U.S. Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents within the next two years.Trump has called for an additional 5,000 Customs and Border Protection agents and 10,0000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in an executive order, but he did not specify a timeline.Kelly said he would not "skip on training and standards" to speed up the pace of hiring.(Reporting by Julia Edwards Ainsley; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
EU wants Ukraine ceasefire respected amid renewed fighting By Nikolaj Nielsen-FEB 7,17-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:04-EU foreign ministers want the ceasefire in Ukraine respected following a sharp escalation of fighting last week between Kiev and Russia-backed separatists."We restated with all the ministers the strong support of the European Union to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements," the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters in Brussels on Monday (6 February)."The European Union will continue to support Ukraine."Britain's foreign minister Boris Johnson told reporters ahead of the meeting that for the UK, sanctions would also not be lifted on Russia for annexing Crimea. "There is no case for the relaxation of the sanctions," he said.Belgium's foreign minister Didier Reynders said the European Union also needed to have a greater role in the three-year-old war. But not everyone was happy with Hungary's foreign minister Peter Szijarto describing the sanctions against Russia as having little impact.-The Trump Putin gamble-The EU call comes amid contradictory signals from the US administration on Russia.Donald Trump's flattery for Russia's president Vladimir Putin, despite evidence of US election rigging, has sowed confusion.Trump said sanctions would remain but had also said "we’ll see what happens".Nikki Haley, the new US ambassador to the United Nations, took a clearer line. She said earlier this month that Crimea-related sanctions would continue until Russia returns control of the peninsula to Ukraine.The Ukraine government appears undeterred by the mixed signals from the US, however.On Monday, its vice-prime minister Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze told MEPs in Brussels that Trump's administration would "get the whole picture" in the coming months."US policy is being built on the national interests of the United States of America, that includes among other things, the secure stable democratic development in this part of the world," she said.Klympush-Tsintsadze accused Russian forces of deliberately shelling humanitarian aid centres in Avdiivka, a city in eastern Donetsk province.The city was gripped in some of the most intense fighting between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed insurgents last week since 2015. Klympush-Tsintsadze said 15 Ukrainian military personnel and three civilians were killed in the region.She said Russian regular military forces and armed groups had attempted to break through the Ukrainian defence lines on 29 January. The attack happened a day after Trump had spoken to Putin about Ukraine and “mutual cooperation” on the phone.The town, with a population of over 20,000, was left without electricity as winter temperatures plummeted to well below freezing.Klympush-Tsintsadze also said that Russia continues to send troops, weapons, and mercenaries, across the 409km border that separates the two countries.A lull in fighting appears to have set in over the past few days but an official from the EU's foreign policy branch, the EEAS, said the conflict remains highly volatile."There is still frequent use of rocket artillery, heavy artillery, mortars and tanks along the contact line," he said.
Report: At least 13,000 hanged in Syrian prison since 2011-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-February 6, 2017
BEIRUT — Syrian authorities have killed at least 13,000 people since the start of the 2011 uprising in mass hangings at a prison north of Damascus known to detainees as "the slaughterhouse," Amnesty International said in a report Tuesday.It covers the period from 2011 to 2015, when Amnesty said 20-50 people were hanged each week at Saydnaya Prison in killings authorized by senior Syrian officials, including deputies of President Bashar Assad, and carried out by military police.The report referred to the killings as a "calculated campaign of extrajudicial execution."Amnesty has recorded at least 35 different methods of torture in Syria since the late 1980s, practices that only increased since 2011, said Lynn Maalouf, deputy director for research at Amnesty's regional office in Beirut.Other rights groups have found evidence of massive torture leading to death in Syrian detention facilities. In a report last year, Amnesty found that more than 17,000 people have died of torture and ill-treatment in custody across Syria since 2011, an average rate of more than 300 deaths a month.Those figures are comparable to battlefield deaths in Aleppo, one of the fiercest war zones in Syria, where 21,000 were killed in the province since 2011."The horrors depicted in this report reveal a hidden, monstrous campaign, authorized at the highest levels of the Syrian government, aimed at crushing any form of dissent within the Syrian population," Maalouf said.While the most recent data is from 2015, Maalouf said there is no reason to believe the practice has stopped since then, with thousands more probably killed."These executions take place after a sham trial that lasts over a minute or two minutes, but they are authorized by the highest levels of authority," including the Grand Mufti, a top religious authority in Syria, and the defence minister, she said.Syrian government officials rarely comment on allegations of torture and mass killings. In the past, they have denied reports of massacres documented by international human rights groups, describing them as propaganda.The chilling accounts in Tuesday's report came from interviews with 31 former detainees and over 50 other officials and experts, including former guards and judges.According to the findings, detainees were told they would be transferred to civilian detention centres but were taken instead to another building in the facility and hanged."They walked in the 'train,' so they had their heads down and were trying to catch the shirt of the person in front of them. The first time I saw them, I was horrified. They were being taken to the slaughterhouse," Hamid, a former detainee, told Amnesty.Another former detainee, Omar Alshogre, told The Associated Press the guards would come to his cell, sometimes three times a week, and call out detainees by name.Alshogre said a torture session would begin before midnight in nearby chambers that he could hear."Then the sound would stop, and we would hear a big vehicle come and take them away," said Alshogre, who spent nine months in Saydnaya. Now 21, he lives in Sweden.Speaking in an interview from Stockholm via Skype, Alshogre described how he was forced to keep his eyes closed and his back to the guards while they abused or suffocated a cellmate.The body often would be left behind, or there would be a pool of blood in the cell for other prisoners to clean up."We can tell from the sound of the prisoner as he dies behind us. He dies a meter away. I don't see anything, but I see with my ears," said Alshogre, who at age 17 moved among nearly 10 detention facilities in Syria for two years before landing in Saydnaya.Alshogre survived nine months in the prison, paying his way out in 2015 — a common practice. He suffered from tuberculosis and his weight fell to 35 kilograms (77 pounds).Two cousins detained with him in western Syria didn't survive, dying a year apart in a military intelligence detention facility. The younger one died in Alshogre's arms, deprived of food and so weak he was unable to walk to the bathroom on his own.Still, Alshogre said nothing could have prepared him for Saydnaya.At one point, Alshogre was called out by his guards "for execution," he said. He was brought before a military trial and told not to raise his gaze at the judge, who asked him how many soldiers he had killed.When he said none, the judge spared him.Death in Saydnaya was always present, "like the air," Alshogre said.Once when he was deprived of food for two days, a cellmate handed him his food ration — and died days later."This is someone who gave me his life," he said. Another cellmate died of diarrhea, also common in the prison."Death is the simplest thing. It was the most hoped for because it would have spared us a lot: hunger, thirst, fear, pain, cold, thinking," he added."Thinking was so hard. It could also kill," said Alshogre, who keeps a photo of one of his tormentors on the wall of his home.Sarah El Deeb, The Associated Press.
Iran 'thanks' Trump, rebuffs U.S. warning on missiles-[Reuters]-By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin-YAHOONEWS-February 7, 2017
DUBAI (Reuters) - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday dismissed the U.S. decision to put Iran "on notice" over its missile tests and called President Donald Trump the "real face" of American corruption.In his first speech since Trump's inauguration, Iran's supreme leader called Iranians to take part in demonstrations on Friday, the anniversary of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, to show they were not frightened of American "threats"."We are thankful to (Trump) for making our life easy as he showed the real face of America," Khamenei told a meeting of military commanders in Tehran, according to his website.Trump responded to a Jan. 29 Iranian missile test by saying "Iran is playing with fire" and imposed fresh sanctions on individuals and entities, some of them linked to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.The White House said the missile test was not a direct breach of Iran's 2015 nuclear pact with six world powers, but that it "violates the spirit of that".Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran would not renegotiate the nuclear deal that Trump consistently criticized as being a gift to the Islamic Republic."I believe Trump will push for renegotiation. But Iran and European countries will not accept that," Zarif told Tuesday's edition of Ettelaat daily. "We will have difficult days ahead."On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly promised to tear up the nuclear deal. While Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has not called for that, he has suggested a "full review" of it.Khamenei, Iran's top authority, said Trump had confirmed "what we have been saying for more than 30 years about the political, economic, moral and social corruption in the U.S. ruling system."Iran analysts said his comments were relatively restrained as they included no threat to respond militarily."(Trump) says 'you should be afraid of me'. No! The Iranian people will respond to his words on Feb. 10 and will show their stance against such threats," Khamenei said.President Hassan Rouhani backed Khamenei's call for Iranians to rally across the country on Friday to "show their unbreakable ties with the Supreme Leader and the Islamic Republic."A U.N. Security Council resolution underpinning the nuclear deal urges Iran to refrain from testing missiles designed to be able to carry nuclear warheads, but imposes no obligation.Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some U.S., European and U.N. economic sanctions. Critics of Iran said the deal emboldened it to increase its involvement in wars in Arab countries, something Tehran denies.(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Writing by William Maclean; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Robin Pomeroy)
Islamic State sees chance to revive fortunes in Trump presidency-[Reuters]-By Samia Nakhoul-YAHOONEWS-February 7, 2017
BEIRUT (Reuters) - President Donald Trump has set out to crush Islamic State when it is already at a low ebb, but Islamists and some analysts say his actions could strengthen the ultra-hardline group by creating new recruits and inspiring attacks on U.S. soil.IS has been weakened in recent months by battlefield defeats, the loss of territory in Iraq, Syria and Libya, and a decline in its finances and the size of its fighting forces.Trump's pledge to eradicate "Islamic extremism" looks at first sight to be yet another blow to Islamic State's chances of success.But Middle East experts and IS supporters say his election triumph could help revive the group's fortunes. They also believe his move late last month to temporarily ban refugees and bar nationals from seven mainly Muslim countries could work in the group's favor.The executive order, on which IS has been silent, is in limbo after being overturned by a judge. But whether or not it is reinstated, it has angered Muslims across the world who, despite Trump's denials, see it as evidence that he and his administration are Islamophobic.The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the accusations of Islamophobia. But White House spokesman Sean Spicer said last week: "The president's number one goal has always been to focus on the safety of America, not the religion. He understands that it's not a religious problem."Denying the travel ban would make the United States less safe, Spicer has said "some people have not read what exactly the order says and are reading it through misguided media reports."Yet such comments have not silenced the criticism."The ban on Muslim countries will undoubtedly undermine the global effort to discredit extremists," said Hassan Hassan, a writer on Islamist radicalism and co-author of the 2015 book "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror".The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which comprises 57 member states, said such "selective and discriminatory acts will only serve to embolden the radical narratives of extremists."Jihadists are still celebrating Trump's election triumph in online forums, saying it vindicates their argument that his views show the United States' true face and that his policy will polarise communities, one of the militants' goals."It is a blessing from Allah to the Muslims who lost their loyalty and faithfulness and preferred to choose the worldly life with all its luxuries that exists in the apostate land over the land of belief," one jihadist wrote on the Islamist website al-Minbar.-DECLINING FORTUNES-IS has in recent months been significantly weakened on many fronts, with the caliphate it has created in parts of Iraq and Syria -- where it has also imposed its ultra-hardline rule on residents -- shrinking.In Iraq, the group has lost territory in and around its northern stronghold of Mosul since U.S.-backed Iraqi forces last October began the biggest ground operation in the country since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.A growing number of disillusioned local Sunnis are now cooperating with the Iraqi army and helping in the fight against Islamic State and its financial resources have been badly hit. Turkey has also sealed its border, denying IS a route for bringing in foreign fighters and smuggling in other goods.Islamic State's presence in Iraq is mostly concentrated in the north, but it still has significant strongholds such as Tal Afar, to the west of Mosul, and nearby areas such as Al Qaem near the Syrian border. Even so, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said IS will be driven out of the country by April.IS still holds swathes of Syrian territory and is putting up fierce resistance in Raqqa, its capital in eastern Syria. It still holds around 90 percent of the province of Deir Ez-Zor near the Iraqi border, along with Raqqa and some parts of the eastern countryside of Aleppo in northern Syria. It also controls Palmyra and some pockets in Deraa in the south.Its opponents in Syria include the Turkish army and Syrian rebel groups northeast of Aleppo. On several fronts it is fighting Syrian government forces supported by the Russian air force and Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has indicated he sees Trump's views on Islamic State as promising.In Libya, IS has lost control of the Mediterranean port city of Sirte to Libyan forces backed by U.S. air strikes. This defeat deprived the group of its main stronghold in North Africa, though it retains an active presence in other parts of Libya.The number of IS fighters is now estimated by analysts and experts to be at 20,000 in Iraq and Syria compared with 36,000 in 2014. Since then, a large number of fighters and IS leaders have been killed in air strikes by the U.S.-led coalition and others have been captured by the Iraqi army or fled the country.-STRIKING BACK-Despite the setbacks, Islamic States is putting up fierce resistance and remains a deadly threat to the United States and its Western allies.IS has started developing lethal alternatives to its caliphate, ranging from rural insurgencies in Syria and Iraq to carrying out attacks in Europe and targeting Western allies across the Middle East from Turkey to Egypt.Now, some Islamist experts believe, IS may redouble its efforts to strike inside the United States, and replicate the fatal attacks carried out in the last 15 months in Paris, Brussels, Nice, Berlin and Istanbul.Like al Qaeda before it, IS has long said the West has deep-seated hostility towards Muslims. Over the past decade, this narrative has been a factor in the steady growth of a radical audience in the Middle East and beyond.Trump's policies will make it a lot easier for the jihadists, says Mokhtar Awad, Research Fellow in the Program on Extremism at George Washington University."They will simply double down on the strategy (of attacks) and instead of investing totally in the battlefields they use, they will try even harder than they have already to activate cells in different Middle Eastern and Western countries," Awad said."An attack in the U.S., as horrific as it may be, is the perfect thing that will work in their favor to show Trump is weak, and embolden the most exclusionary and xenophobic attitudes that some in this (U.S.) administration may have."-BUILDING COMMUNAL DISTRUST-An important aim of IS strategy is to polarise societies and cause distrust of Muslim neighbours. Experts say IS believes that even if a Muslim does not join the group, he or she will be less inclined to oppose the militants if society is polarised.Many analysts say the most urgent fight for Islamic State's opponents is a political battle -- how to make the group irrelevant to those who support it now.Under Trump, who was inaugurated on Jan. 20, Washington has signalled it is looking for partners in the Middle East to take on IS.In Iraq, U.S. forces, at the forefront of the Mosul campaign, are in practice aligned, though not allied, with Iran, whose influence with Baghdad's Shi'ite-dominated government could increase if measures such as the U.S. entry ban go ahead or are reinstated.In Syria, U.S. forces are relying on Syrian Kurdish fighters to encircle Raqqa. But this has upset NATO ally Turkey, which sees the Syrian Kurd militia as identical to Turkish Kurd insurgents it regards as terrorists. The United States and European Union list them as terrorist groups.Trump's overtures to President Vladimir Putin suggest Russia and the United States could become closer in the fight against IS, though many of their goals and allies are different.This potentially budding relationship could also be an opportunity for IS. Analysts say it has already come to see Russia's alliance with Shi'ite Iran as a recruiting tool because it has caused such anger among some Muslims.(Additional reporting by Tom Perry, Editing by William Maclean and Timothy Heritage)
Cars torched as tensions flare in Paris suburb-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-February 7, 2017
PARIS (Reuters) - Gangs of French youths torched cars and bins in a showdown with police in a north Paris suburb overnight in a grim reminder of the simmering tension that sparked weeks of more serious rioting in the area a decade ago.It was the third night of tension since four police officers were suspended pending an inquiry into accusations they had used excessive force while arresting a 22-year-old man there, including shoving a baton into his anus.At one point in the skirmishes in Aulnay-sous-Bois late on Monday night, several police who ran out of tear gas fired real bullets into the air to scare off a crowd that had surrounded them, said police representative Luc Poignant."Things could have been a lot worse. We could have had eight dead police officers," he said in defense of the law enforcement staff deployed to the area.One of the police officers involved in the man's arrest on Feb. 2 has been placed under formal investigation for suspected rape and three others for unnecessary violence.President Francois Hollande visited the victim at the Aulnay hospital on Tuesday, an Elysee source said.The riots played out against a backdrop of growing political uncertainty in France, where far-right leader Marine Le Pen leads the pack of candidates to succeed Hollande in May and conservative standard bearer Francois Fillon has been slowed by accusations he had his wife paid by the state for a fake job.Aulnay-sous-Bois is one of several areas where riots erupted in 2005 after two teenagers who fled police in the nearby neighborhood of Clichy-sous-Bois died from accidental electrocution in a power station where they had taken cover.That incident sparked three weeks of rioting in which 10,000 cars and 300 buildings were set on fire, prompting then interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy to declare a state of emergency and drawing worldwide attention to the contrasts between Paris and the bleak suburbs around it.In Aulnay, where the unemployment rate of 19 percent is near double the national average, petrol bombs were thrown and police used tear gas in confrontations around a sprawl of buildings that were built in the late 1960s to house workers at a nearby car factory. That plant closed in 2013."This violence is incomprehensible," Mayor Bruno Beschizza said of the incidents in Aulnay-sous-Bois, about 15 km (9 miles) northeast of central Paris.A hospital examination of the arrested man revealed wounds to his rectum, face and head, it said.Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux, questioned in parliament, said the arrested man was now in hospital with serious injuries but called for calm in the area.(Writing by Brian Love and Richard Balmforth; Editing by Tom Heneghan)
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