Thursday, March 16, 2017
BIG DIG BEGINS AFTER QUEBEC SLAMMED WITH RECORD-SETTING BLIZZARD.
OTHER ISRAELI NEWS TODAY-YESTERDAY
REVELATION 6:7-8 (8 BILLION- 2 BILLION = 6 BILLION)
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,(2 BILLION) 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).
REVELATION 9:15,18 (6 BILLION - 2 BILLION = 4 BILLION)
15 And the four(DEMONIC WAR) angels were loosed,
18 By these three was the third part of men killed,(2 BILLION) by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.(NUCLEAR ATOMIC BOMBS)
HALF OF EARTHS POPULATION DIE DURING THE 7 YR TRIBULATION.(THESE VERSES ARE JUDGEMENT SCRIPTURES NOT RAPTURE SCRIPTURES)
LUKE 17:34-37 (8 TOTAL BILLION - 4 BILLION DEAD IN TRIB = 4 BILLION TO JESUS KINGDOM) (HALF DIE DURING THE 7 YR TRIBULATION PERIOD JUST LIKE THE BIBLE SAYS)(GOD DOES NOT LIE)(AND NOTICE MOST DIE IN WAR AND DISEASES-NOT COMETS-ASTEROIDS-QUAKES OR TSUNAMIS)
34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken,(IN WW3 JUDGEMENT) and the other shall be left.(half earths population 4 billion die in the 7 yr trib)
35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken,(IN WW3 JUDGEMENT) and the other left.
36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken,(IN WW3 JUDGEMENT) and the other left.
37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.(Christians have new bodies,this is the people against Jerusalem during the 7 yr treaty)(Christians bodies are not being eaten by the birds).THESE ARE JUDGEMENT SCRIPTURES-NOT RAPTURE SCRIPTURES.BECAUSE NOT HALF OF PEOPLE ON EARTH ARE CHRISTIANS.AND THE CONTEXT IN LUKE 17 IS THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION OR 7 YR TREATY PERIOD.WHICH IS JUDGEMENT ON THE EARTH.NOT 50% RAPTURED TO HEAVEN.
MATTHEW 24:37-42 (THESE ARE JUDGEMENT SCRIPTURES-SURE NOT RAPTURE SCRIPTURES)
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken,(IN WW3 JUDGEMENT) and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken,(IN WW3 JUDGEMENT) and the other left.
42 Watch therefore:(FOR THE LAST DAYS SIGNS HAPPENING) for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Exclusive: EDF tries new fixes in effort to restart nuclear reactors-[Reuters]-By Geert De Clercq-YAHOONEWS-March 15, 2017
PARIS (Reuters) - EDF is employing new techniques in a bid to restart four nuclear reactors that have been idled for months due to a series of glitches, a top executive at the French utility said.EDF had to close two of the reactors following the discovery of manufacturing problems and document falsification at the foundry of its supplier Areva, while the others were shut down by a sealing problem and an accident.The outages have led to higher power prices, are undermining France's security of supply and are costing EDF an average of one million euros in lost revenue per reactor per day, or nearly 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) on an annual basis.Philippe Sasseigne, the head of EDF's 58 French nuclear power stations, said it had found several new technical fixes and that all four plants would restart this year if its proposals get the go-ahead from French nuclear regulator the Autorite de Surete Nucleaire (ASN)."We are confident that we will get approval to restart the four plants on the scheduled dates," Sasseigne told Reuters in a telephone interview. The restart schedule, published by grid operator RTE, runs between June and November.One of EDF's most pressing problems is the closure of Areva's Creusot Forge, which is under investigation by the ASN and is not expected to restart production before the summer.Creusot Forge is EDF's main supplier of steam generators, which turn a reactor's heat into the steam that drives its power turbines. Each EDF reactors is cooled by three to four steam generators and every year EDF needs to replace one or two.The huge steel vessels - which have life spans of 30 years or more - have thousands of individual tubes inside them which gradually develop leaks and need to be blocked.In October, an Areva-made steam generator set to be installed in EDF's Gravelines 5 reactor in northern France was found to contain serious anomalies. It is scheduled to restart on June 30.Sasseigne said the ASN last month allowed EDF to fix any leaks in the tubes by inserting new, smaller tubes in a process called "sleeving". This is already practiced in the U.S., Sweden and Belgium and can extend the life of the part by two years.EDF has no plans to use the procedure on other plants, although it could do so if necessary, Sasseigne said.While sleeving could be an important fallback if Creusot Forge does not restart in time, EDF could also turn to others such as Toshiba-owned Westinghouse or Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for its steam generators.-TINY LEAK-The Fessenheim 2 reactor in northeastern France has also been halted since June after Areva discovered that one of its steam generators had higher-than-expected carbon concentrations, which could weaken its steel.EDF is not planning to repair or replace that steam generator, but hopes to convince the ASN that Fessenheim 2 can operate safely.The utility sent a first dossier to the ASN last year, but the regulator asked for more information, forcing EDF to delay the planned restart. EDF will send the ASN more data by the end of April and hopes to restart the reactor by July 31.Sasseigne said EDF was now also close to finding a solution for sealing problems at its Bugey 5 reactor in eastern France which has been closed since August 2015 as EDF has been unable to find a tiny leak in the reactor building's steel inner lining.EDF planned to redo the sealing of the entire lower part of the lining, Sasseigne said, adding that it expects to get the ASN's approval for the repair in within days or weeks.Other 900 MW reactors tested for sealing issues had shown no problems, he said.The last reactor expected to return to service is Paluel 2 in northwestern France, where a steam generator was dropped on the floor of the reactor building last year.Checks have shown this had no impact on the building's integrity and EDF expects the reactor to restart on Nov. 30, Sasseigne said.This steam generator was removed from the building in January, and EDF now needs to take out another, fix the reactor pool and install new steam generators, which have already been delivered.However, before EDF can install the new generators, it needs to get ASN approval to overhaul the plant's lifting system."There is still some way to go, but as of today we are confident we can stick to that deadline," he said.(Editing by Adrian Croft and Alexander Smith)
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)
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
1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
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)
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.
U.S. indicts Russian spies, hackers over massive Yahoo hack-[Reuters]-By Dustin Volz-YAHOONEWS-March 15, 2017
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Wednesday unsealed charges against two Russian spies and two criminal hackers for allegedly pilfering 500 million Yahoo user accounts in 2014.The indictments, announced at a news conference in Washington, represent the first time the U.S. government has criminally charged Russian officials for cyber offenses.The contents of at least 30 million accounts were accessed as part of a spam campaign and at least 18 people who used other internet service providers, such as Google, were also victimized, the government charged.The officers of the FSB, Russia’s Federal Security Service, which is a successor to the KGB, were identified as Dmitry Dokuchaev and his superior, Igor Sushchin, the government said.Both men are in Russia, it said.Alexsey Belan, who is on the list of most-wanted cyber criminals, and Karim Baratov, who was born in Kazakhstan but has Canadian citizenship, were also named in the indictment.The Justice Department said Baratov was arrested in Canada on Tuesday and his case is pending with Canadian authorities.Belan was arrested in Europe in June 2013 but escaped to Russia before he could be extradited to the United States, according to the Justice Department."The criminal conduct at issue, carried out and otherwise facilitated by officers from an FSB unit that serves as the FBI’s point of contact in Moscow on cyber crime matters, is beyond the pale,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord.McCord said the hacking campaign was waged by the FSB to collect intelligence but that the two hackers used the collected information as an opportunity to "line their pockets."The United States does not have an extradition treaty with Russia, but McCord said she was hopeful Russian authorities would cooperate in bringing criminals to justice. The United States often charges cyber criminals with the intent of deterring future state-sponsored activity.The administration of former President Barack Obama brought similar charges against Chinese and Iranian hackers who have not been extradited.The 47-count indictment includes conspiracy, computer fraud and abuse, economic espionage, theft of trade secrets, wire fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identify theft.The charges are not related to the hacking of Democratic Party emails during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Intelligence agencies have said they were carried out by Russia to help the campaign of Republican candidate Donald Trump.Yahoo said when it announced the then-unprecedented breach last September that it believed the attack was state-sponsored, and on Wednesday the company said the indictment "unequivocally shows" that to be the case.Yahoo in December also announced a breach that occurred in 2013 affecting one billion accounts, though it has not linked that intrusion to the one in 2014.The Russian hacking conspiracy, which began as early as 2014, allowed Belan to use his relationship with the Russian spy agency and access to Yahoo's network to engage in financial crimes, according to the indictment.The breaches were the latest in a series of setbacks for the Internet pioneer, which has fallen on hard times in recent years after being eclipsed by younger, fast-growing rivals including Alphabet Inc's Google and Facebook Inc.Yahoo’s disclosure of the years-old cyber invasions and its much-criticized slow response forced it to accept a discount of $350 million in what had been a $4.83 billion deal to sell its main assets to Verizon Communications Inc.Shares of Yahoo were down 0.9 percent."We’re committed to keeping our users and our platforms secure and will continue to engage with law enforcement to combat cyber crime," Chris Madsen, Yahoo's assistant general counsel, said in a statement.(Reporting by Dustin Volz and Joseph Menn; Additional reporting by Julia Edwards; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and James Dalgleish)
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)
Big dig begins after Quebec slammed with record-setting blizzard-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-March 15, 2017
A major cleanup is underway in Quebec after a record-setting storm that left hundreds stranded on a highway in Montreal and many public schools, universities and daycares closed across the province.All public schools in Montreal and most other school boards in the province are closed Wednesday, while many flights at Trudeau airport are cancelled or delayed. Air Canada announced it would waive the fees to make alternate travel plans.- DETAILS ON CLOSURES HERE | CBC Montreal Storm Centre-The storm led to a number of accidents and some major crashes, including a 50-vehicle pileup on Highway 10 near Magog.Roughly 300 drivers on a stretch of Highway 13 near Montreal's Lachine borough were left stranded overnight. Crews were able to clear Highway 13 on Wednesday morning and get traffic moving again.-'Exceptional' storm-The hours-long saga had officials scrambling to explain the slow response in a province habituated to major snowfalls.Speaking in Quebec City, Premier Philippe Couillard admitted the response was "lacking co-ordination."He said the storm was "exceptional" but that means it deserved "an exceptional response."The storm dumped nearly 60 centimetres on some parts of the Eastern Townships, while the Montérégie and Bois-Franc areas were hit with 75 centimetres.In Quebec City, Champlain Boulevard, a major street that runs along the Saint-Lawrence River, is partially closed to traffic due to flooding.Quebec City police are asking drivers to avoid the area.Highways 20 and 138 north of Quebec City were closed to traffic, while Highway 132 in the Gaspé was closed almost the whole way around the peninsula.-'You're just stuck'-Lee-Ann Kovacic, a bartender, was headed into downtown Montreal for work last night at 8 p.m. ET. She ended up getting stuck for nine hours on Highway 13. She said her car moved a few feet every 20 minutes.She told CBC News that police walked along the highway knocking on car windows, telling drivers one by one to turn around and drive the opposite way."There's no way to get off the 13, and once you were there, you're just stuck," she said. "At one point, there was this man walking over with a thermos full of coffee handing it to everybody in the cars."In Montreal, cars are buried and early morning commuters struggled to dig out as cars were covered almost up to their rooftops. Those who opted for taxis were waiting in some cases for more than an hour.-Stay home, mayor urges-Montreal was hit with more than 32 centimetres, a record for March 14, with light snow still falling this morning. The previous record for that date was 12 centimetres.The STM said more than 200 buses were stuck in some parts of the city, and the public transit agency said 100 drivers were unable to make it to work themselves.Mayor Denis Coderre is urging anyone who can to stay home today.More than 50,000 Hydro-Québec clients were without power early this morning, mostly in the Quebec City area.By mid-morning, city spokesperson Philippe Sabourin said major arteries had been cleared and crews were now working on smaller streets. Snow removal begins tonight at 7 p.m. ET.Got a story from the storm? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
One dead, 28 sent to hospital in Highway 401 pile-up east of Toronto-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-March 14, 2017
Collisions involving about 30 vehicles on a highway east of Toronto left one person dead, sent 28 others to hospital and caused a chemical spill that prompted road closures on Tuesday.Ontario Provincial Police said their investigation revealed there were two separate collisions that happened at about the same time on Highway 401 near Kingston, Ont., because of icy roads and blowing snow.Const. Sandra Barr said the first collision happened in the westbound lanes at about 2 p.m. just east of Highway 137 and involved five tractor trailers and one car. The second collision was also westbound, about one kilometre away from the first, and involved seven tractor trailers and three vehicles.Police said there were other crashes that then took place."There were multiple chain reactions after the fact behind those two collisions," Barr said in a news release. "In the same vicinity on eastbound Highway 401 three other tractor trailers were reported to have collisions."Police said one of the transport trucks involved in the collisions was leaking a toxic substance, prompting the evacuation of the immediate area around it.Barr said the driver of the truck was sent to hospital by ambulance, but succumbed to his injuries.The first responders who came to the driver's aid were sent to hospital for decontamination, she added.Kingston General Hospital spokeswoman Meagan Quinn said that a total of 29 people were treated at the hospital after the collisions, including the one fatality.Quinn said a decontamination bay was opened at the hospital for all those who were exposed to the chemical, noting that the substance had been confirmed as fluorosilicic acid.Quinn said 13 first responders underwent decontamination and were being held for observation as a precaution."Exposure to the chemical could cause irritation to the nose, throat, respiratory system, irritation, redness or swelling of the skin and severe eye irritation," Quinn said.The hospital was under a "code orange" after the crashes, meaning non-critical patients were temporarily re-routed to the nearby Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston."We had been asking the community and individuals with non-emergency care needs to go to Hotel Dieu," Quinn said Tuesday evening. "We are removing that now and we are accepting all cases in the emergency room."Quinn said some patients were being discharged from the hospital by Tuesday night.Police said homes around the highway did not have to be evacuated after the chemical spill, with Barr noting that the evacuation was only applied to the highway itself.She said the east and westbound lanes of Highway 401 will be closed to allow for the investigation, and detours have been set up.Poor weather conditions were also blamed for a highway pile-up south of Montreal.There was no immediate word on the number of people injured in that crash at about 3:30 p.m. on Highway 10 in the Magog area.Daniela Germano, The Canadian Press.
Flight cancellations persist as storm weakens in U.S. Northeast-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-March 15, 2017
(Reuters) - A late-season snowstorm that swept the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States began to weaken on Wednesday after killing six people and closing schools, but airline cancellations persisted.Millions of people on the East Coast faced temperatures 10 to 25 degrees below average, wind gusts of 30 mph (50 kph) and slick roads and sidewalks as they returned to work and classes on Wednesday.The cold took a toll on Washington D.C.'s famed cherry trees, many of which had reached their bloom cycle's "puffy white" stage when they were damaged by temperatures of 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-2.8 degrees Celsius) or below, the National Park Service said.The city's Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the capital's major tourist attractions and peak bloom was predicted to begin March 19-22.The rare mid-March "nor'easter" was tapering off over upstate New York and northern New England after dumping as much as a foot (30 cm) of snow with gale-force winds throughout the region on Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.Airline operations had returned mostly to normal on Wednesday, despite residual cancellations still affecting the major U.S. carriers. American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines all reported storm-related cancellations and delays through the day.American cancelled some 400 flights across 40 airports along the East Coast and mid-Atlantic, while lingering high winds at Newark Liberty International airport caused United to scrap several flight plans in the area.Delta said its schedule was largely back to normal, though it still had cancellations due to out of place aircraft and crew. As life returned to normal for many, students in Boston Public Schools had the day off while the city and surrounding area continued to dig out from heavy snowfall.Amtrak said its trains would operate on a modified schedule between New York City and Boston and between New York City and Albany on Wednesday.More than 6,000 commercial flights across the United States were cancelled on Tuesday, according to tracking service FlightAware.com. More than 220,000 homes and businesses were without power at the storm's peak.The storm capped an unusually mild winter, with otherwise below-normal snowfall.Six weather-related fatalities included the death of a 16-year-old girl in a single-car crash in Gilford, New Hampshire, according to the city police department.A snowplow driver was killed in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, local police said, and four older people died clearing snow in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, the local medical examiner said.(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee, Ian Simpson in Washington, Barbara Goldberg and Alana Wise in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and David Gregorio)
Death toll in Ethiopia landfill collapse up sharply to 113-[Associated Press]-ELIAS MESERET-YAHOONEWS-March 15, 2017
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The death toll from a collapse at a landfill outside Ethiopia's capital has risen sharply to 113, an Addis Ababa city official said Wednesday, as the country began three days of mourning for victims who were mostly women and children.Dagmawit Moges confirmed the new toll Wednesday evening. Meanwhile, Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma told state broadcaster EBC the search-and-rescue effort soon would be completed and an investigation into the cause of the accident would begin.Hopes were waning for survivors, though an official with the city's emergency department, Nigatu Mamo, said one person had been pulled out alive on Monday, two days after the disaster.Saturday's collapse of a mountain of garbage buried makeshift mud-and-stick homes inside the Koshe landfill on the outskirts of the capital. Excavators and rescuers have been pulling bodies from the black mud since then.Nigatu said excavators were being redeployed from various construction projects around Addis Ababa to help in the search."We will continue the effort until we are directed to stop it. Our rescuers are working in two shifts, day and night," the emergency official said.Residents have suggested various reasons for the collapse. Some blamed the dumping of trash that had resumed at the landfill in recent months after protests at a newer landfill site. Others blamed the construction of a new waste-to-energy plant at Koshe.Officials said they have already relocated about 300 people from the landfill, where hundreds of waste-pickers salvaged items to make a living and others found inexpensive housing.The mayor said people whose family members died in the collapse have received money ranging from $430 to $650 each, and that they would be resettled permanently in the coming years.The landfill has been a dumping ground for the capital's garbage for more than 50 years. Smaller collapses have occurred at Koshe — or "dirty" in the local Amharic language — in the past two years but only two or three people were killed, residents said.The deadly collapse has been a shock to many in a country that has prided itself on having one of Africa's fastest-growing economies.
Late-season snowstorm throws U.S. Northeast for a loop-[Reuters]-By Jonathan Allen and Scott Malone-YAHOONEWS-March 14, 2017
NEW YORK/BOSTON (Reuters) - A late-season snowstorm swept the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States on Tuesday, closing public school systems from Washington, D.C., to Boston, grounding thousands of airline flights and knocking out electricity to 200,000 customers.Tens of millions of residents from Maryland to Maine faced a "rapidly intensifying Nor'easter" that was rare for its arrival in mid-March, just a week before the official end of winter, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).The storm also capped an unusually mild winter that saw otherwise below-normal snowfalls for much of the Atlantic Coast.Many residents heeded official advice to stay home, as temperatures plunged 10 to 25 degrees below average across most of the eastern third of the country. Snow fell from the lower Great Lakes and central Appalachians to the eastern seaboard as far south as North Carolina.The heaviest snow, with accumulations of a foot (30 cm) or more, was reported across New England, upstate New York and parts of Pennsylvania. Gale-force wind gusts also buffeted much of the region, creating blizzard conditions.By comparison, the nation's capital received just a few inches of snow by late afternoon, enough to delay opening of federal government offices for three hours. The storm's greater impact for Washington was perhaps that the city's celebrated cherry blossoms, a tourist attraction and an early harbinger of spring, were encased in ice.Another rite of March, the national college basketball championship tournament, was disrupted as Tuesday's scheduled game between Syracuse University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro was postponed for one night.Hundreds of thousands of public school students got a day off, as classes were canceled for the day in New York City, Philadelphia, northern New Jersey and Boston. Schools were to be closed again in Boston on Wednesday.Still, the weather service dialed back forecasts for some urban areas, notably New York City, where residents had been warned to steel themselves for potentially record-breaking snow.Only 4 inches (10 cm) fell in Manhattan's Central Park - less than forecast. By afternoon, as snow turned to sleet, city officials were anticipating Wednesday's morning rush hour would be largely back to normal and that schools would reopen.After being canceled earlier in the day, above-ground parts of New York City's subway service and some Metro-North commuter trains to the suburbs resumed in the evening.Train service to Boston and Albany, New York, was halted. Connecticut officials said roads there would reopen to general traffic on Tuesday evening.Governors in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia declared states of emergency at the outset of the storm."Mother Nature is an unpredictable lady sometimes," the state's governor, Andrew Cuomo, said at a news conference. "She was unpredictable today."-'GHOST TOWN'-While children and dogs took to the streets to play in the snow, many New Yorkers welcomed the storm as a respite from the usual bustle of daily life."It's a ghost town," Ali Naji, 33, said as he sat listening to Mexican pop music amid the emptiness of his usually busy convenience store in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood.More than 6,000 commercial airline flights across the United States were canceled for the day, according to tracking service FlightAware.com, including all of American Airlines flights into New York's three major airports - Newark, LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International Airport.JetBlue Airways reported extensive cancellations and Delta Air Lines canceled 800 flights for New York, Boston and other northeastern airports. United Airlines said it was halting all operations at Newark or LaGuardia.Utility companies likewise reported widespread power outages, affecting more than 220,000 homes and businesses at the peak of the storm.The young at heart seemed to take the weather in stride. At the open-sided Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, the ice-slick marble floor served as a skating rink for some of the 71 eighth graders visiting from St. Mary's Academy in Englewood, Colorado.Math teacher Michael Pattison, 65, rattled off a list of all the monuments and museums the students would see that day."This weather is not going to stop us," he said, clapping his gloved hands."No, it's not," a couple of students shouted back.
(Additional reporting by Laila Kearney and Gina Cherulus in New York, Ian Simpson in Washington and Valerie Vande Panne in Boston; Writing by Steve Gorman and Daniel Wallis; Editing by Bill Trott and Cynthia Osterman)
FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
U.S. wildfires ravage ranches in three states-[Reuters]-By Lucas Jackson-YAHOONEWS-March 15, 2017
LIPSCOMB, Texas (Reuters) - When the Schwerzenbach family saw a wildfire racing toward their remote ranch in Lipscomb, Texas, there was no time to run."We had a minute or two and then it was over us," said 56-year-old Nancy Schwerzenbach.The fire, moving up to 70 miles per hour (112 kph), was one of several across more than 2 million acres (810,000 hectares) that hit the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma and Kansas last week, causing millions of dollars of damage and killing thousands of livestock.Burning through nearly all 1,000 acres of the Schwerzenbach ranch, the fire killed some 40 cattle. A mile away, a young man in the rural community was killed."The fire was about two miles away before we knew what happened to us," she said.Numerous smaller fires burned in Colorado, Nebraska and the Florida Everglades, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.In Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas ranchers are returning home to survey the damage from the fires, fueled by tinder-dry vegetation and high winds. Local farmers from the Great Plains have helped those who have been affected by the wildfires by donating hay and fencing material.In Oklahoma, the fires scorched a Smithfield Foods Inc. hog farm in Laverne, killing some 4,300 sows."When we drive down the road and look out on the pasture lands, there's no grass. There's dead deer, dead cows, dead wildlife, miles of fence gone away. It looks like a complete desert," said Ashland Veterinary Center co-owner Dr. Randall Spare, who is helping in relief efforts in Clark County, Kansas.Oklahoma Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian Rod Hall said bulldozers were being used to bury dead animals."They're digging large pits and burying the animals in there," he said.In Texas, state government agencies estimate about 1,500 cattle were lost, according to Steve Amosson, an economist at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension."When we value the deaths of cattle at market value, including disposal costs, we're talking about $2.1 million at this point, and I expect that to go up," he said. "We're still dealing with chaos, they're still trying to find cattle."Amosson estimates it could cost $6 million to recover 480,000 acres burned in Texas fires along with $4.3 million to replace and repair fences in the northern Texas Panhandle either destroyed by the fire or by cattle trampling them to escape the blaze.Texas is the top U.S. cattle producing state with some 12.3 million head and Kansas is third at 6.4 million.For Troy Bryant, 34, a rancher in Laverne, Oklahoma, the impact from the fires has been devastating. He lost livestock-worth about $35,000 and fencing worth about $40,000."We saw 4,000 acres burned here. Some places further west of here lost much more," he said.(Reporting by Lucas Jackson in Lipscomb, Texas; Additional reporting by Renita D. Young and Theopolis Waters in Chicago; Writing and additional reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Melissa Fares and Diane Craft in New York)
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).
Poultry breeder Aviagen culls U.S. flock over bird flu fears-[Reuters]-By Tom Polansek-YAHOONEWS-March 14, 2017
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Aviagen [EWESJA.UL], the world's leading poultry breeding company, has euthanized chickens at a farm in Alabama over concerns about bird flu, the company said on Tuesday, as likely cases of the disease emerged in a top chicken-producing state.Alabama officials said they suspected that poultry at three sites in the state were infected with the virus, about a week after some 90,500 chickens were culled over infections at two commercial operations across the border in Tennessee.Aviagen detected the presence of antibodies for the flu virus in a flock in Alabama that showed "no evidence of clinical disease," company spokeswoman Marla Robinson said in an email. The company is based in Alabama.The company euthanized the flock and "all eggs which were collected from that farm in the production system were traced and removed," she said. Aviagen did not respond to a question about how many birds were killed.Tony Frazier, Alabama's state veterinarian, said the company chose to cull about 15,000 birds. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the farm had 153,000 birds.A national USDA lab is testing samples from poultry in Alabama to identify the strain of the virus and how lethal it is for birds, after another agency-approved lab identified the H7 subtype of the disease in samples, USDA spokeswoman Lyndsay Cole said.The birds in Alabama did not show clinical signs of sickness, which indicates they did not have a highly lethal, or pathogenic, form of the virus, Cole said.In Tennessee, both cases were identified as H7N9. The USDA on March 5 confirmed that one was the United States' first infection of highly pathogenic flu in commercial poultry in a year. Days later, the state said it had found the other case nearby and it was low pathogenic.Highly pathogenic bird flu led to the deaths of about 50 million birds, mostly egg-laying hens, in the United States in 2014 and 2015.Another highly pathogenic outbreak would likely represent a financial blow for poultry operators such as Tyson Foods Inc and Pilgrim's Pride Corp because it would kill more birds or require flocks to be culled.It also would likely trigger more import bans from trading partners, after South Korea, Japan and other countries limited imports after the highly pathogenic case in Tennessee.Health officials have said the risk of bird flu spreading to people from poultry or making food unsafe was low.Separately, Frazier said the owner of a backyard flock suspected of having the virus chose to cull about 70 birds. No poultry linked to the third suspected case, which involved birds at a flea market, have been culled, he said.Frazier said the cases were still only suspected flu infections and needed to be confirmed by the USDA. Earlier, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries called a news conference to discuss what it said were three findings of avian influenza.Alabama raised more than 1 billion chickens for meat in 2015, making it the country's third largest producer, according to the USDA.The national USDA laboratory, to which samples from the state were sent, is the only one in the United States that officially confirms cases.The World Organization for Animal Health requires that all confirmed low-pathogenic H5 and H7 bird flu subtypes be reported because of their potential to mutate into highly pathogenic strains. Highly pathogenic cases also must be reported.(Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Frances Kerry, Toni Reinhold)
Tusk: No deal on Brexit would hit UK hardest By Eszter Zalan-MAR 16,17-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 16:50-Ending the Brexit negotiations without a deal would hit the UK the hardest, European Council president Donald Tusk warned on Wednesday (15 March), fending off threats from London that no deal would be better than a bad deal."I want to be clear that a 'no deal scenario' would be bad for everyone, but above all for the UK, because it would leave a number of issues unresolved," the recently re-elected head of the European Council told MEPs in Strasbourg.A few hours earlier, the UK's Brexit secretary, David Davis, again reiterated that the government was ready to leave the EU without a deal.The British government has used that argument to say that London would not be bullied into anything.Prime minister Theresa May warned in January that any attempt by the EU 27 to inflict a punitive outcome would be an "act of calamitous self-harm" and hinted at the UK slashing taxes to attract companies.Tusk said those types of threats would not work."We will not be intimidated by threats, and I can assure you they simply will not work. Our goal is to have a smooth divorce and a good framework for the future," he told MEPs.He also added that Britain will be "dearly missed" as an EU member, and the bloc's doors will remain open for Britain in the future.In the meantime, Davis admitted to a committee of MPs in London that the government has not carried out a full assessment of the potential economic impact of Britain leaving the EU without a trade deal.-Waiting for the letter-Tusk also said the EU is "carefully preparing" for the talks, once the UK launches the exit talks. British PM Theresa May has said she would do it by the end of the month.On Monday, the UK parliament cleared the way for May to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and officially notify the European Council of the UK's intention to withdraw its membership.Article 50 does not specify how that notification needs to happen, but a letter is expected from London stipulating its intentions.Tusk has said that within 48 hours of the UK's notification the EU would be ready with a response.It means Tusk will then outline the negotiating guidelines for the European Council, a broad, political document that will not go into details, but will instead set out basic principles for the EU 27 during the exit negotiations.When asked about a template, diplomats point to the statement adopted last December by the EU 27 and the statement from last June after the Brexit referendum, which state, for instance, that access to the single market and the EU's four freedoms are inseparable.The 48 hours will be used to make any last-minute changes if there is something in Theresa May's letter that needs to be reflected on or reacted to.The guidelines will then be adopted with consensus by the 27 EU leaders at a summit, most likely taking place around 3-4 weeks after the UK's has triggered Article 50 at the end of April or in early May.Then, the European Commission will make a recommendation on the negotiation directives, basically requesting a mandate to start the talks on behalf of the 27 member states.-The negotiations-The EU executive promises to do that within 24 hours after the summit of the EU 27 has adopted the guidelines. The directives will go into the details of the negotiations, including on familiar issues such as the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and how much Britain will have to pay as it leaves the bloc.Those directives will then have to be adopted by the the general affairs council, the body of ministers responsible for EU affairs.A council meeting scheduled for 16 May could deal with the issue, but EU countries might decide to hold an extraordinary meeting to speed things up.Once the council adopts the directives, and gives a negotiating mandate to Michel Barnier, the EU commission's chief negotiator, talks can start.All in all, this could take 6-8 weeks following May's notification to Brussels.Barnier has said before that October 2018 is the latest feasible date for a draft Brexit deal, in order to provide enough time for the EU leaders and the European Parliament to approve it.This leaves a little over a year to hammer out a series of complex arrangements. According to Article 50, two years after the notification, the member state in question is automatically out of the EU, with or without a divorce deal.The EU 27 can unanimously decide to extend the time for negotiations, but it is unlikely to happen, as the member states and EU institutions will be preparing for the European Parliament elections in June 2019.
China e-commerce confusion catches Australian retailers on the hop-[Reuters]-By Swati Pandey and Muyu Xu-YAHOONEWS-March 14, 2017
SYDNEY/BEIJING (Reuters) - Australian retailers and manufacturers are rejigging their business models and reviewing strategies to sell goods into China amid confusion over a threatened government crackdown on e-commerce platforms.Supermarket giant Woolworths Ltd late last year sacked an Australian online retail specialist it had hired specifically to spearhead its drive into online sales in China, a source told Reuters, replacing it with a Shanghai-based firm.Other retailers, including supplement provider Mr. Vitamins, are also reconsidering their options after a move by China last April to raise taxes on goods bought on overseas e-commerce platforms failed to put the anticipated dampener on China's booming e-commerce market.While the April decision initially led to panic dumping of products and sent some producers' shares tanking, normal business has largely resumed.An army of informal traveling shopping agents, known as "daigou", meanwhile has continued to grow, catching some firms which pursued new sales channels on the hop."Many Australian e-commerce companies have had to change their business models completely," Genevieve Carrier, a director at Sydney-based healthfoods company Halo Foods, told Reuters.Halo canceled a plan to sell products to China following the April crackdown but was now reviewing a more "fool-proof" strategy to make it work, Carrier added.-CRACKDOWN CONFUSION-Australian online exports to China have been one of the first markets to explode since a free trade agreement between the two countries took effect in December 2015.Online cross-border purchases made in China are expected to reach $111 billion in 2017, up 30 percent on last year, according to United States researcher eMarketer Inc.But the great prize remains distant for many in a market susceptible to consumer fickleness, nuanced regulatory changes and the whims of tens of thousands of "daigou" shoppers."Companies and brands need to be very proactive about how they do business in China otherwise it's very easy to become outdated," said Livia Wang, director at Sydney-based consultancy Access CN which advises Australian retailers on their China strategy. "The market moves very quickly."Woolworths hired eCargo Holdings Ltd in December 2015 to sell its wares on China's Tmall store, the consumer site of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, just months before the April crackdown.But Woolworths terminated eCargo's contract late last year, the source cited earlier told Reuters. Australia's biggest company by sales confirmed the move, saying the change followed regular analysis of "ways to improve our offer."Woolworths declined to name the replacement contractor or comment on the new arrangement. Sydney-listed eCargo did not respond to requests for comment.Infant formula maker Bellamy's Australia was also burned by the unpredictability of the Chinese market, issuing a profit warning in December after the Beijing directive that sent its shares tumbling.The company said it had sold to too many daigou and other dealers who were competing for the same consumers.Bellamy's and vitamins manufacturer Blackmores Ltd, which blamed challenges in China for a 41 percent slump in first-half profit, both say they are pursuing a more stable arrangement with trusted wholesale dealers or larger daigou in order to get a reliable direct channel in to China.-FROM DAIGOU TO WESHANG-While some companies were stung by daigou shifts, New Zealand formula maker a2 Milk Co Ltd stood out last month when it posted a near 300 percent jump in half-year profit.The company, which has embraced daigou sales, has lifted its online brand recognition among Chinese parents to over 40 percent, double that of Bellamy's, according to February report by UBS.Meanwhile daigou, who were initially spooked into dumping products at airports last March, say it's very much business as usual."When the policy came out last year, all of us were worried that our business might be affected," said Perth resident Zhang Jingyi, a college student and daigou, who shops in Australia and ships products to China."But the policy is more talk than real action," she added. "Nothing has changed."China's General Administration of Customs did not respond to requests for comment about the implementation of the rule changes.But a customs agent in Jiangsu province said daigou were still operating to meet massive demand for imported goods, despite the practice being technically illegal in China."Normally customs will ask daigou people to pay taxes - if they are caught - or send them to smuggling suppression department if they carry huge amount of money," said the agent, who was not authorized to speak to media. "But considering the amount of luggage every day, it is impossible for customs to check all the daigou."The five-year-old daigou business model is also evolving. Rather than buying products in Australia and transporting them over, a new breed of shopper-sellers now base themselves in China, where they can engage with customers more easily.These intermediaries, now known as "WeShang" shoppers, or "social media-driven business", then send instructions to all-in-one "pack-and-send" offices in Australia for delivery."This is a safer way to do business in China and is very well appreciated in China too," said Access CN's Wang.(Additional reporting by Byron Kaye and Tom Westbrook in SYDNEY, and Adam Jourdan in SHANGHAI; Editing by Jane Wardell and Lincoln Feast)
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)
France, Germany seek European center against radicalization-[Associated Press]-YAHOONEWS-March 15, 2017
PARIS (AP) — The top security officials in France and Germany are calling for the creation of a European center to combat the radicalization of people the Islamic State group tries to attract with its propaganda.French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux and his German counterpart, Thomas de Maiziere, said Wednesday that the European center would not replace national anti-terrorism initiatives, but would link and complement them.De Maiziere said: "Internet propaganda from the Islamic State can be very tempting. And they are targeting young Muslims in Western Europe, regardless of who they are."Thousands of radicalized Europeans, most of them young adults, have left the continent to join extremists, including the Islamic State group. Security officials fear they will return to carry out attacks, as some did in Paris in November 2015.
Suicide bomber strikes Damascus justice building, killing 30-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-March 15, 2017
DAMASCUS, Syria — A suicide bomber detonated his explosives' vest inside the main judicial building in the Syrian capital on Wednesday, killing at least 30 people and wounding many others, state media said.The official news agency, SANA, said another suicide explosion struck a restaurant in Rabweh district of Damascus, leading to an unknown number of casualties.The bombing inside the Justice Palace, located near the famous and crowded Hamidiyeh market in Damascus, was the latest in a spate of deadly explosions and suicide attacks targeting government-controlled areas in Syria and its capital.It came as Syrians mark the sixth anniversary of the country's bitter civil war, which has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions of others. The conflict began in March 2011 as a popular uprising against President Bashar Assad's rule but quickly descended into a full-blown civil war. The chaos allowed al-Qaida and later the Islamic State group to gain a foothold in the war-torn nation.The recent attacks have struck at highly symbolic targets, and may mark the start of a new insurgency campaign by al-Qaida-linked militants to try and counter recent military advances by Assad's forces, backed by Russia and Iran.According to Damascus police chief Mohammad Kheir Ismail, the Justice Palace attacker struck in the early afternoon — at 1.20 p.m. A man wearing a military uniform and carrying a shotgun and grenades arrived at the entrance to the palace, the police chief told state TV.The guards stopped the man, took away his arms and asked to search him. At that point, the man hurled himself inside the building and detonated his explosives, the chief said.Syria's attorney general, Ahmad al-Sayed, who was in the building just a few meters away from the explosion, confirmed that account to state TV, saying that when the security guards tried to arrest the man, he threw himself inside the palace and blew himself up. He said 30 people were killed and 45 others wounded."This is a dirty action as people who enter the palace are innocent," he said, noting that the timing of the explosion was planned to kill the largest number of lawyers, judges and other people who were there at the time.Ambulances rushed to the scene to transfer casualties to hospital.In the second attack, in Rabweh district, SANA said a suicide bomber blew himself up in a restaurant, killing several people. The Ikhbariyeh TV channel said the attacker was being chased by security agents when he rushed into a restaurant and detonated his explosives' vest. There was no immediate claim for that attack either.Wednesday's bombings followed twin attacks on Saturday near holy shrines frequented by Shiites in Damascus that killed at least 40 people.On Feb. 25, insurgents stormed into heavily guarded security offices in Syria's central city of Homs, clashed with government troops and then blew themselves up, killing a senior officer and at least 31 others.The high profile attacks were claimed by an al-Qaida-linked insurgent coalition known as the Levant Liberation Committee, formerly known as the Nusra Front.There was no immediate claim for Wednesday's bombing, which came during a new round of peace talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana. Syria's armed opposition boycotted those talks due to what they say are ongoing government military offensives across the country.Syria's U.N. ambassador said earlier Wednesday he was concluding his participation in the latest round of talks in Astana, after two days of meetings without rebels. Bashar Jaafari said discussions were "constructive" but only one official paper was produced — about demining Palmyra, the historic Syrian town that pro-government forces recaptured from the Islamic State group two weeks ago.Syrian rebels did not send any delegates to this, third round in Astana, accusing the government and Russia — one of Damascus' main backers — of breaking cease-fire pledges and obligations to distribute humanitarian aid.The Astana talks, brokered by Russia and Turkey, are centred on reaching a cease-fire in Syria and getting humanitarian relief to millions of suffering civilians. They run parallel to the U.N.-mediated political talks in Geneva aimed at ending Syria's civil war.Meanwhile, taking stock of six years of Syria's civil war, the U.N. health agency said in Geneva on Wednesday that over half of all hospitals and public health centres in the violence-wracked country have closed or are partially functioning, and nearly two-thirds of health-care workers have fled.The head of the World Health Organization's emergencies program, Peter Salama, said resources to help the health care system are "stretched to the limit," citing security threats to health care workers and a lack of access to medicines and medical equipment.Salama called for "systematic and unhindered access" for life-saving materials like vaccines and medical supplies "on this sad anniversary of the start of war in Syria and before more lives are lost."___Karam reported from Beirut. AP writers Philip Issa in Beirut and Jamey Keaten in Geneva contributed to this report.-Albert Aji And Zeina Karam, The Associated Press.
Somali pirates demand ransom for oil tanker, EU force says-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-March 14, 2017
MOGADISHU, Somalia — Armed men are demanding a ransom for the release of an oil tanker they have seized off the coast of Somalia and the crew is being held captive, the European Union anti-piracy operation in the region announced late Tuesday.An EU Naval Force statement said the operation had finally made contact with the ship's master, who confirmed that armed men were aboard the Comoros-flagged tanker Aris 13.Monday's hijacking was the first such seizure of a large commercial vessel off Somalia since 2012. It came as a surprise to the global shipping industry as patrols by the navies of NATO countries, as well as China, India and Iran, had suppressed Somali pirate hijackings for several years.However, the United Nations warned in October that the situation was fragile and that Somali pirates "possess the intent and capability to resume attacks." One expert said some in the region had let down their guard as the situation calmed. NATO ended its anti-piracy mission off Somalia in December.A Somali pirate who said he was in touch with the armed men aboard the tanker said the amount of ransom to demand had not yet been decided.Bile Hussein told The Associated Press that the armed men have locked most of the crew in one room and cut off communication lines. "Their main concern now is a possible rescue attempt, so that's why all communications were cut off in the afternoon," he said.The Aris 13, manned by eight Sri Lankan sailors, was carrying fuel from Djibouti to Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, when it was approached by men in two skiffs, said John Steed, the director of Oceans Beyond Piracy. The EU statement said the ship's master issued a mayday alert.An official in Somalia's semiautonomous state of Puntland said over two dozen men boarded the ship off the country's northern coast, an area known to be used by weapons smugglers and members of the al-Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.The ship was anchored Tuesday off the town of Alula, said Salad Nur, a local elder. "The ship is on the coast now and more armed men boarded the ship," he told the AP by phone.The EU Naval Force said it had passed the information from its contact with the ship's master to the oil tanker's owners and an investigation was underway.Sri Lanka's Foreign Ministry said in a statement it was in touch with shipping agents and officials abroad for more information to help ensure the crew's "safety and welfare."A U.N. shipping database shows the Aris 13 is owned by Armi Shipping SA, whose address is listed in care of Aurora Ship Management FZE, a company based in the United Arab Emirates. Calls and emails to Aurora went unanswered.Australian government records from 2014 list the ship's owner as Flair Shipping Trading FZE in the UAE. An address listed for Flair Shipping in Dubai was for a company called Flair Oil Trading DMCC. A woman there told an AP reporter the firm wasn't connected to the ship and directed him to another office.When no one answered there, the reporter returned to find Argyrios Karagiannis, the managing director of Flair Shipping, entering the first office. "We will not be releasing any information," Karagiannis said before shutting the door.The incident involving the Aris 13 represents the first commercial pirate attack off Somalia since 2012, Steed of Oceans Beyond Piracy said."The pirates never went away, they were just doing other forms of crime and if any of the measures reduce (which they have, or ships take risks) the pirates are poised to exploit the weakness," he said in an email.Somali pirates usually hijack ships and crew for ransom. They don't normally kill hostages unless they come under attack.Piracy off Somalia's coast was once a serious threat to the global shipping industry. It has lessened in recent years after an international effort to patrol near the country, whose weak central government has been trying to assert itself after a quarter-century of conflict. In that time, concerns about piracy off Africa's coast have largely shifted to the Gulf of Guinea.But frustrations have been rising among local fishermen, including former pirates, at what they say are foreign fishermen illegally fishing in local waters.Nur, the local elder, told the AP that young fishermen including former pirates have hijacked the ship."They have been sailing through the ocean in search for a foreign ship to hijack since yesterday morning and found this ship and boarded it," he said. "Foreign fishermen destroyed their livelihoods and deprived them of proper fishing."___Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writers Adam Schreck in Dubai; Bharatha Mallawarachi in Colombo, Sri Lanka; Rodney Muhumuza in Kampala, Uganda and Ben Curtis in Nairobi, Kenya, contributed to this report.___Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellap. His work can be found at http://apne.ws/2galNpz.Abdi Guled And Jon Gambrell, The Associated Press.
Aid convoys reach four Syrian towns, first time since November-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-March 14, 2017
GENEVA (Reuters) - Aid convoys reached four besieged towns in Syria on Tuesday, delivering food and medical supplies to 60,000 people for the first time since November, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and United Nations said."We are entering #Madaya, #Zabadani, #Foaa & #Kafrya with @SYRedCrescent & @UN delivering much-needed food & medical items," the ICRC said in a tweet.Separate convoys of trucks were carrying medical supplies, food, wheat flour, and nutritional items to some 40,000 people in Madaya and Zabadani, two towns blockaded by pro-government forces near the Lebanese border, and to 20,000 in Foua and Kafraya in Idlib, besieged by insurgents, a spokeswoman said.Kevin Kennedy, U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syrian crisis, said on Tuesday that not a single inter-agency convoy last month was able to deliver, of 20 that were requested.(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Tom Miles; editing by Larry King)
Israel shuts Palestinian map office, citing sovereignty breach-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-March 14, 2017
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel ordered the closure of an office in Arab East Jerusalem on Tuesday saying it was funded by the Palestinian Authority and involved with monitoring the sale of Palestinian property to Jews, police said.Israel forbids any official activity by the Western-backed Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem, saying it breaches Israel's sovereignty over the city, which it has declared its indivisible capital, although this is not recognized internationally.But a Palestinian official said that the map office run by Khalil Tafakji, who was detained briefly by Israeli police, was not funded by the Palestinian Authority and was not in breach of any agreements.Although Israel forbids the Palestinian Authority from operating in Jerusalem, in the 1990s, after the Oslo interim peace accords were signed, then-Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres promised the Palestinians in a letter not to harm their institutions in the city.Israel's internal security minister said the office, which drafts maps, was "monitoring and documenting" Palestinian-owned land in East Jerusalem, scrutinizing changes Israel has made to the terrain and passing on the names of landowners planning to sell."Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan ordered the closure of the Palestinian map office which has resumed operations in Beit Hanina in Jerusalem," a police statement said.Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat called the closure a "provocative act" and part of an effort by Israel "to erase any Palestinian presence in the city".However, in a statement Erdan said: "The Palestinian map office is part of the PA's plan to harm our sovereignty in Jerusalem and to threaten Arabs selling real estate to Jews in the city. I will continue to act firmly to prevent any Palestinian government foothold in Jerusalem."Police seized documents and computers from Tafakji's office, in Beit Hanina, a Palestinian neighborhood in the northern part of Jerusalem. A family member said he was released hours after being detained.The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, together with the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Israel occupied East Jerusalem after capturing it in a 1967 war, a move not recognized internationally.Since annexing East Jerusalem in 1980, Israel has greatly expanded its presence in that part of the city, building settlements and major pieces of infrastructure. Private Jewish groups have also sought to buy up Palestinian homes in eastern neighborhoods to expand the Jewish presence in the east.(Reporting by Ammar Awad, and Ali Sawafta in Ramallah, Writing by Ori Lewis, editing by Ralph Boulton)
EU urges Russia's man to give back Libya ports By Andrew Rettman-MAR 16,17-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:28-EU states and the US have urged a Russia-backed Libyan warlord to hand back oil ports, after a US warning that Russia was trying to do in Libya what it did in Syria.The British, French, Italian, and US ambassadors to Libya said oil facilities “belong to the Libyan people and must remain under the exclusive control” of central authorities.Their joint statement, on Tuesday (14 March), also voiced “strong concern regarding violence in the oil crescent” and called for “an end to hostilities”.They spoke after Khalifa Haftar, a Russia-backed warlord, said on Facebook that he had captured the ports of Ras Lanuf and al-Sidra, two of Libya’s main oil terminals.His assault included 1,300 ground troops and air strikes, the Libyan military said.The EU and US are helping the UN-recognised Libyan government, the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, to extend its control over the country.The EU is also working with the GNA to stop migrants after 181,000 people came via Libya to claim asylum in Europe last year.Haftar, whose so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) controls eastern Libya, has received funding, military training, and diplomatic support from Russia.Agila Saleh, a Haftar political ally, told Ria Novosti, a Russian state news agency, on Tuesday: “They [Russia] promised to help us in the fight against terrorism.”“We asked the Russian government to help us with training the soldiers in our armed forces and the repair of military equipment by Russian specialists”, he said.Haftar in January toured a Russian warship and spoke to Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu.He met Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow in November.Thomas Waldhauser, a US general in charge of its Africa operations, told a Senate hearing last week that Russia posed a threat to Western interests in Libya.Asked if Russia was trying to do in Libya what it did in Syria, where it has redoubled its military presence, the general said: “Yes, that's a good way to characterise it”.He said Russia's support for Haftar was designed to “influence” Libya’s future.-Russian troops-The Reuters news agency on Tuesday reported that Russia had deployed a 22-man special forces unit at a base in Egypt next to Libya’s eastern border.Russia and Egypt denied the report, however.Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said “we don’t have that information”.An Egyptian spokesman said: “There is no foreign soldier ... on Egyptian soil.”Russian MPs branded the Reuters report a “hoax”, while Alexey Pushkov, a Russian senator, trolled the EU on Twitter.“In 2016, 180,000 immigrants crossed to the EU from N.Africa, mainly Libya. Was it intelligent to bring down Gaddafi to obtain such a result?”, he said, referring to Western air strikes against Muammar Gaddafi, the late Libyan dictator, six years ago.The US last year also conducted air strikes in Libya in support of the GNA.Waldhauser told the Senate that these could “serve as a model for future operations in the region”.“The instability in Libya and north Africa may be the most significant, near-term threat to US and allies’ interests on the continent,” he said.He said Libya fighting risked “spilling into Tunisia and Egypt and the broader Maghreb, allowing the movement of foreign fighters, [and] enabling the flow of migrants out of Libya to Europe”.-’If I may be so blunt’-EU foreign relations chief Federica Mogherini said on Tuesday that she “welcomed” Russia’s new effort to broker a ceasefire in Syria.But she pointed to the brutality of its bombing campaign there, which the UN said amounted to war crimes.Europe was “a humanitarian partner [for Syria] that has helped, not bombed, the country, if I may be so blunt”, she said in the European Parliament.She said her work with Turkey on Syria was “constructive” despite the dispute over Turkish rallies in the EU.She also unveiled a European Commission plan on how to rebuild Syria if the war ended.The blueprint covered a new constitution, security sector reform, refugee returns, and job creation.She said the Syrian war, which began six years ago in March, had claimed 320,000 lives and that it was still claiming “victims every day”.
EU leaders bash Turkey over the Netherlands By Nikolaj Nielsen-MAR 16,17-EUOBSERVER
STRASBOURG, Today, 17:33-European Council chief Donald Tusk and senior MEPs hit back at Turkey in a widening diplomatic dispute between Ankara and the Netherlands.Turkey's president Erdogan had described the Netherlands as a bastion of Nazi fascism, after Dutch authorities had prevented his ministers from campaigning in the country ahead of an April referendum, which aims to further tighten the Turkish leader's grip on power.Clashes broke out in Rotterdam last weekend between the Dutch police and Turkish-Dutch citizens who were demonstrating outside the Turkish consulate.In a speech to the EU parliament's plenary sitting in Strasbourg on Wednesday (15 March), Tusk noted that Rotterdam was "the city of Erasmus, brutally destroyed by the Nazis, which today has a mayor born in Morocco.""If anyone sees fascism in Rotterdam, they are completely detached from reality. We all show solidarity with the Netherlands," he said, before repeating the message in Dutch.-The Turkey deal-Erdogan on Wednesday also took a shot at the failure of the Dutch to protect around 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys from slaughter in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.The widening rift and war of words from an increasingly authoritarian Erdogan has prompted renewed calls among leading MEPs to once again cut short accession negotiations for Turkey to join the EU.The talks were only temporarily stalled last summer, with the EU parliament voting for a resolution in November asking to formally freeze them.German MEP Manfred Weber, who leads the centre-right group, said that full membership for Turkey was not realistic in "the foreseeable future."The Greens have called for the migrant deal, agreed last year between the EU and Turkey, to be scrapped. But Weber said he wanted to keep the deal alive. Asked if Turkey is using it as leverage against the EU, Weber said that it is not."I have no indication that they will use this as leverage," he told EUobserver, adding that it was "a win-win situation".The deal is viewed by the EU as a success, given the dramatic decline in refugees and reduction in people arriving on the Greek islands from Turkey.Turkey has curbed the flow in exchange for concessions linked to accession and visa waivers, while the EU pours billions into financing refugee projects in the country.But the misery for the some 13,000 people now stranded on the Greek islands was further illustrated by recent reports of suicides and a spike in those suffering from anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.-Rupturing ties-Turkey is a member of Nato and, on Wednesday, German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen warned against rupturing ties.Weber also spoke of trade, noting that Turkey depends on the EU for almost half of its exports."Forty-four percent of the whole export of Turkey is linked to the European Union and only 2 percent is linked to Russia," he told reporters.Turkey on Wednesday had also posted its worst budget and unemployment statistics since 2009.Erdogan's purge since the failed military coup last July may have factored into it, given that more than 100,000 people have been detained or lost their jobs.He has also jailed more journalists than any other country in the world, including a German reporter from the newspaper, Die Welt.“He asks for freedom of speech in Europe for his ministers, but at the same time he is jailing critical journalists," said Guy Verhofstadt, the Belgian leader of the liberal group.The EU commission had earlier in the week issued a carefully crafted statement, following a critical opinion from the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe on efforts to change Turkey's constitution - giving Erdogan more autocratic powers."Turkey has the sovereign right to decide over its system of governance," noted EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and commissioner Johannes Hahn in a joint statement on Monday.On Wednesday, pro-Erdogan hackers defaced Twitter accounts belonging to Amnesty International, Unicef and BBC North America, with the words "Nazi Germany" and "Nazi Holland".Some of posts featured Turkish flags and messages of "see you on 16 April" - the date of Erdogan's referendum.Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland have also opposed hosting pro-Erdogan campaigns ahead of the April vote.
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