Wednesday, March 22, 2017
THE EUROPEAN UNION MARKS 60TH BIRTHDAY IN ROME.
Jerusalem (AFP) - A major restoration project at the shrine inside the Jerusalem church where Jesus is said to have been buried was completed Monday ahead of its inauguration, an AFP reporter said.Work at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City began at the end of last May.It was carried out by Greek specialists who reconstructed the Edicule, which for decades had been supported by metal beams following an early 20th century earthquake.The restoration and cleaning has uncovered the original details of the Edicule, the reporter said.The work also included opening what Christians believe to be Jesus's tomb for the first time since at least 1810, when the last restoration work took place after a fire, and possibly earlier.On Wednesday, the renovated site will be inaugurated in the presence of senior political and religious leaders from Greece, as well as Holy Land clergy.The work was funded by the three main Christian denominations that share the Holy Sepulchre -- Greek Orthodox, Franciscans and Armenians -- as well as from public and private contributions.The church also contains the area where Jesus is believed to have been crucified and his body anointed.
PROOF HALF ON EARTH DIE DURING THE 7 YR TRIBULATION PERIOD (8 BILLION ON EARTH)
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.
North Korea engine test may be prelude to partial ICBM flight-[Reuters]-By Ju-min Park-YAHOONEWS-March 20, 2017
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has likely mastered the technology to power the different stages of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and may show it off soon, analysts say, but it is likely still a long way from being able to hit the mainland United States.North Korean state media announced its latest rocket-engine test on Sunday, saying it would help North Korea achieve world-class satellite-launch capability, indicating a new type of rocket engine that could be compatible with an ICBM.The test showed "meaningful" progress, a spokesman for South Korea's Defence Ministry said on Monday, with the firing of a main engine and four auxiliary engines as part of the development of a new rocket booster.Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis declined to give a specific assessment of the test but said it was "consistent with the pattern we've seen by North Korea to continue to develop their ballistic missile program."The North Korean announcement came as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Beijing at the end of his first visit to Asia for talks dominated by concern about North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Lee Jin-woo said the test showed progress in engine function, but added that further analysis was needed to show the exact thrust produced and possible uses for the engine.North Korea's state media released pictures of the high-thrust engine test overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, and said he had called it "a new birth" of the country's rocket industry.Experts say space rockets and long-range missiles involve fundamentally identical technologies, but with different configurations for trajectory and velocity for the stages.-MOTOR FOR ICBM?-Kim Dong-yub of Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies said he believed North Korea had carried out "a comprehensive test for the first-stage rocket for an ICBM.""It appears that North Korea has worked out much of its development of the first-stage rocket booster," he said.Joshua Pollack, of Washington's Nonproliferation Review, said four steering nozzles had also been seen in older, long-range rockets North Korea used to launch objects into space in 2012 and 2016. But he said the main engine was quite different from anything seen previously and appeared roughly the right diameter to serve as either the first or second stage of an ICBM.U.S. aerospace expert John Schilling, a contributor to the 38 North North Korea monitoring website, said the motor appeared too big for any ICBM North Korea has been known to be working on, but would be a good fit for the second stage of a new space rocket it is planning - or for a yet-unknown ICBM design.Kim said North Korea had not yet mastered the re-entry technology needed for an ICBM, so still had work to do before it was able to hit the United States. It might though soon be able to demonstrate that it had perfected an ICBM system's booster rocket stage."What could be next is they would make a new type of ICBM with this new engine system and launch it, but not the entire stages, but to make only the first stage, fly about 400 km and drop. They are not going to show it all at once."A U.S. administration official declined to give a specific technical assessment of the test but said it showed North Korea was "150 percent" committed to its weapons programs."This is one more indication that they are going to act in a way that is counterproductive," he said.North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests and a series of missile launches in defiance of U.N. resolutions, and experts and Western officials believe it is working to develop nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach the United States.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said this year the country was close to test-launching an ICBM, prompting U.S. President Donald Trump to tweet: "It won't happen!"Last week, Tillerson issued the Trump administration's starkest warning yet to North Korea, saying a military response would be "on the table" if it took action to threaten South Korean and U.S. forces.Trump told reporters on Sunday he held meetings on North Korea over the weekend and said Kim was "acting very, very badly."China said on Monday the situation with North Korea was at a new crossroads with two scenarios - a deterioration to war or a diplomatic solution."Any chance for dialogue must be seized, as long as there’s hope," Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Beijing.(Additional reporting by James Pearson in Seoul and David Brunnstrom, Matt Spetalnick and Idrees Ali in Washington; Editing by Jack Kim and James Dalgleish)
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)
9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.(THE VATICAN IS BUILT ON 7 HILLS OR MOUNTAINS)
10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen,(1-ASSYRIA,2-EGYPT,3-BABYLON,4-MEDO-PERSIA,5-GREECE) and one is,(IN POWER IN JOHNS AND JESUS DAY-6-ROME) and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.(7TH-REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE OR THE EUROPEAN UNION TODAY AND THE SHORT SPACE IS-7 YEARS.THE EUROPEAN UNION WILL HAVE WORLD CONTROL FOR THE LAST 3 1/2 YEARS.BUT WILL HAVE ITS MIGHTY WORLD POWER FOR THE FULL 7 YEARS OF THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD.AND THE WORLD DICTATOR WILL BE THE BEAST FROM THE EU.AND THE VATICAN POPE WILL BE THE WHORE THAT RIDES THE EUROPEAN UNION TO POWER.AND THE 2 EUROPEAN UNION POWER FREAKS WILL CONTROL AND DECIEVE THE WHOLE EARTH INTO THEIR DESTRUCTION.IF YOU ARE NOT SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS.YOU WILL BE DECIEVED BY THESE TWO.THE WORLD POLITICIAN-THE EUROPEAN UNION DICTATOR.AND THE FALSE PROPHET THAT DEFECTS CHRISTIANITY-THE FALSE VATICAN POPE.
11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
26 And after threescore and two weeks(62X7=434 YEARS+7X7=49 YEARS=TOTAL OF 69 WEEKS OR 483 YRS) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMAN LEADERS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.(THERE HAS TO BE 70 WEEKS OR 490 YRS TO FUFILL THE VISION AND PROPHECY OF DAN 9:24).(THE NEXT VERSE IS THAT 7 YR WEEK OR (70TH FINAL WEEK).
27 And he ( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant (PEACE TREATY) with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE ANIMAL SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
EU marks 60th birthday in Rome under Brexit's shadow-[AFP]-Danny KEMP-YAHOONEWS-March 20, 2017
Brussels (AFP) - European Union leaders gather in Rome this week to proclaim their "common future" on the bloc's 60th birthday, despite a wave of crises including Britain's looming exit from the bloc.The 27 leaders will use Saturday's anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome on March 25, 1957, to hail the peace and prosperity they say the project has brought Europe in the aftermath of World War II.But the ghost at the banquet will be British Prime Minister Theresa May, who instead of joining the party in the splendour of a 16th-century palazzo will be in London preparing to trigger the Brexit divorce just four days later.From migration and terrorism to populism and the eurozone debt crisis, Brexit is one of a host of existential challenges clouding the birthday celebrations of a union formed to rebuild Europe from the ashes of war.Perhaps seeking divine inspiration to help with their troubles, the EU leaders will have a special audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday afternoon.On Saturday they will gather for a ceremonial meeting in the Hall of the Horatii and Curiatii, in the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Capitoline Square, the same place where the Treaty of Rome was originally signed.They will issue a declaration that "Europe is our common future" in a rapidly changing world and set out a roadmap for the next 10 years, before posing for a "family photo".- 'Challenges for the union' -But in a sign of the underlying tensions in today's union, there are still last-minute rows over how far the declaration will go in suggesting that EU states can have "different paces and intensity" of cooperation.EU President Donald Tusk said in his summit invitation letter that Rome would be an "opportunity to celebrate our history together and take stock of sixty years of integration."He warned of the challenges ahead in a changing geopolitical situation, including an uncertain ally in US President Donald Trump, an aggressive Russia and increasing protectionism.Crucial elections this year in France -- where far-right leader Marine Le Pen has been showing strongly in polls -- and Germany are adding to the general sense that Europe is at a turning point."It is no secret that the historical moment we are facing requires deeper and more solid reflection on the challenges for the union," Tusk, a former Polish premier, said.Sixty years ago it was just six countries -- Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and West Germany -- that joined to form the European Economic Community.Now called the European Union, it has since expanded to become a political and economic bloc that covers 28 countries with 508 million people, together representing the world's largest economy.But cracks have appeared in recent years, with its rapid expansion into the former Soviet-dominated east and the problems of managing the single euro currency.The rise of nationalist and populist parties poses a particular threat to the EU's dream of itself, particularly in Poland, Tusk's homeland.- 'Advance without excluding' -The run-up to Rome was marred by a nasty spat between Brussels and the rightwing government in Warsaw, which was furious when EU leaders overrode their objections to give Tusk a new term as president until 2019.Poland has now warned that it will not accept a "multi-speed" Europe that would leave some countries behind while the Franco-German "engine" of Europe powers ahead.But Berlin and Paris want to be allowed to cooperate more closely on matters such as defence and the economy, if the EU is to move on from the trauma of Britain's June 2016 vote to become the first country to leave the union."In reality, those who fear this multi-speed Europe are afraid of being relegated to the second division," Charles de Marcilly, of the Schuman Foundation think-tank in Brussels, told AFP."It will be a difficult balance to advance without excluding and to progress without stigmatising."For her part, May "sends her very best wishes" to her EU colleagues, the British premier's spokesman said, adding: "The EU 27 are moving in one direction, the British public voted to go in another direction."
Scottish lawmakers debate new independence referendum-[AFP]-Mark MCLAUGHLIN-YAHOONEWS-March 20, 2017
Edinburgh (AFP) - Scottish lawmakers on Tuesday begin a two-day debate on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's call for an independence referendum -- a major headache for Prime Minister Theresa May as she prepares to launch Brexit.The Scottish parliament's vote on Wednesday is widely expected to endorse Sturgeon's campaign to get the British government to agree to a second vote after a 2014 one in which Scots voted to stay in Britain.The semi-autonomous Scottish government wants to ask the people of Scotland to reconsider their vote against independence with a new referendum before Britain is expected to leave the EU in 2019.Sturgeon, leader of the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP), intends to use the Edinburgh parliament's voice to assert Scotland's "sovereign right" to choose its own future.She said her Brexit compromise for Scotland to be allowed to remain in the European single market even as the rest of Britain leaves had been met with "a brick wall of intransigence" in London.The Scottish parliament cannot hold a legally-binding referendum without London's consent -- and Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May has insisted that "now is not the time" for a vote.But Sturgeon has said it would be "democratically indefensible" to block a referendum, although she has signalled she is willing to negotiate on a date."This crucial decision over our future should not be made unilaterally by me, or by the Prime Minister,” she said."It should be made by the people of Scotland, and I call on parliament to give the people that choice."The SNP does not have an outright majority in Edinburgh, but it has already secured the support of the Green party for another independence bid.Patrick Harvie, leader of the Greens, said: "I think Theresa May will be taking a huge risk... if she refuses to acknowledge that we have a right in Scotland to have a say about our future."- 'No public or political consent' -Scotland voted against independence by 55 percent in 2014, but the campaign left the unionist camp politically divided while nationalists flocked to the SNP in their droves.The SNP won all but three Scottish seats in the British parliament in 2015 and Sturgeon stood for re-election to the Edinburgh parliament in May 2016 on a pledge to hold another independence referendum if Scotland was "dragged out" of the EU against its will.The SNP gained twice as many votes as the other parties, and Scotland was indeed outvoted by England and Wales in the Brexit referendum the following month, sparking a fresh constitutional crisis.But Sturgeon has yet to convince a sceptical electorate, with a series of recent polls showing support for independence has barely moved since 2014 -- including a Panelbase poll concluded on Friday which found it stood at 44 percent."We believe a referendum cannot happen while the Brexit process is being played out," said Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson -- May's most senior representative in Edinburgh."We believe a referendum should not happen when there is no public or political consent for it to happen-John Curtice, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, suggested May's intransigence and the current lack of public support for another referendum may actually work in Sturgeon's favour."The 'Yes' side still has considerable ground to make. More time to argue her case might, in truth, be just what Nicola Sturgeon wants," he said.
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)
Russia says has no plans for new military bases in Syria-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-March 20, 2017
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia does not plan to open new military bases in Syria, the defense ministry said on Monday, after the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said it had reached a deal with Moscow for a new military base in northwestern Syria."There are no plans to deploy new Russian military bases on the territory of Syria," the defense ministry statement read.It added that a section of its "reconciliation center", which Russia says helps negotiate local truces between the warring sides in Syria, was located in Aleppo province near Afrin for the prevention of ceasefire violations.YPG spokesman Redur Xelil told Reuters that Russian troops had already arrived in the northwestern region of Afrin with troop carriers and armored vehicles as part of an agreement concluded on Sunday.(Reporting by Alexander Winning and Tatiana Ustinova; Editing by Christian Lowe)
Terror victims let down by Belgian bureaucracy By Nikolaj Nielsen-euobserver
BRUSSELS, 20. Mar, 19:24-Dressed in a smart suit, but with soot covering his lower face, a man in his mid-30s walked out of the Saint-Jean Clinic in Brussels.It was early Tuesday on 22 March 2016 and a jihadist had that same morning detonated a bomb at the Maalbeek metro station in the EU capital.Visibly shaken, the man briefly recounted what he had seen."There were so many injuries. It was horrific. I'm in shock," he told EUobserver at the time.The metro blast had come quickly after a first bomb at Brussels International Airport.Together, the explosions killed 32 people and injured over 300.All told, 324 people from the attacks received hospital treatment. Of those, 224 stayed for more than 24 hours.Almost a year later, Karen Northshield, a 31-year old Belgian-American, is still recovering at hospital.A former top-ranking athlete, Northshield is still suffering from massive injuries.Over the weekend, she told Belgian newspaper De Standaard that the government had abandoned her."How can you not take of your own people, of your own victims?”, she said.Her father accused the airport of seeking short terms solution for his daughter, who will likely require life-long care."The airport insurance company offered provisional, limited compensation if we would sign a statement releasing them of responsibility. We did not sign that statement," he said.Brussels International Airport is yet to respond for a comment on her case.But Florence Fay, a spokeswoman for the Saint-Jean Clinic, which also treated victims, said many people were struggling with insurance claims."One of the things that the victims said was there was no proactive action towards them to ask: ‘How are you doing? Are you fine? Do you need help?”, she told EUobserver.The past 12 months have revealed a series of Belgian state security mistakes that allowed the attacks.They have also prompted soul-searching in Belgian society over how Molenbeek, a Brussels district with a large Moroccan minority, had become home to several of the assailants.-Belgian bureacracy-The lack of proper care for the victims has exposed other problems with Belgian bureaucracy."The only thing that we can all agree on is Belgium has a very complicated state system and it is not easy for people [victims] to find their way around," a spokesperson from Belgium's minister of social affairs told EUobserver.Various ministries have different lists of victims and different figures for emergency funds available to help them.The justice ministry has a fund that grants people access to up to €30,000 for medical costs and up to €6,000 for funeral expenses, but not everyone knows it exists.Over 1,300 people filed insurance claims following the bombings, but a lot fewer went to the ministry for help - just 370 by one account.To further complicate matters, people who want psychological help have to seek treatment from micro-administrations in the Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels regions in the Belgian federation.The ministry of public health did create a single contact point for victims, but insurance companies did not follow suit.Meanwhile, the ministry's contact point still needs to be endorsed by a law, a so-called statute of national solidarity with victims of terrorist attacks.The Belgian government said a vote on the law is being delayed pending the outcome of an internal investigation by a parliamentary committee, known as Comite P, into the alleged state security failures.Once the statute becomes law, victims will receive a special identity card that entitles them to amenities like life-long pensions.It is not clear when this will happen.-Insurance delays-Insurance companies have also been dragging their feet.The firms generally pay out physical and so-called moral damages, but compensation for moral damages are only received when a victim's file has been nearly closed.This could take years in some cases.Earlier this month, Belgium's health minister Maggie De Block told insurance companies to quicken the pace."There were some meetings with the prime minister, with our minister, and the insurance companies, and they have agreed to pay the moral damages a lot sooner, like in the next week or next two weeks," said De Block's spokeswoman.She said the companies had agreed to double the amount they usually pay.Once the compensations is paid, extenuating medical costs will be covered by the yet-to-be-voted-on statute, she said.
Turkey-EU relations plumb new depths By Andrew Rettman-euobserver
BRUSSELS, 20. Mar, 09:15-Turkey’s quarrel with the EU escalated on all fronts over the weekend, with fresh “Nazi” insults, “terrorism” accusations, and death penalty and migrant threats.The Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, personally accused German chancellor Angela Merkel of being a Nazi at a rally in Istanbul on Sunday (19 March).“You are right now employing Nazi measures. Against who? My Turkish brother citizens in Germany and brother ministers,” he said.He accused Germany of backing the Kurdish separatist PKK group, which both the EU and Turkey have designated as a terrorist entity, saying “the masked ball is over” on Turkey-EU relations.He also accused Deniz Yucel, a Turkish-German journalist, of being a Kurdish “terror agent”.Yucel was working for Germany's Die Welt newspaper in Turkey until his arrest last month after a story that embarrassed Erdogan’s son-in-law.Erdogan said on Saturday that he would “approve … without any hesitation” the reinstatement of the death penalty in Turkey if MPs did “the necessary thing” in voting for it.He had said on Friday that Turkish families living in Europe should have “not just three but five children” each, in order to “stake a claim”.-Turkish referendum-The dispute comes after Germany, as well as Austria and the Netherlands, blocked Turkish ministers from attending political rallies with Turkish expats ahead of Turkey’s referendum on 16 April.The vote is designed to change the Turkish constitution to give Erdogan sweeping powers.Erdogan has long-complained that Germany is not doing enough to fight the PKK and is not helping him to crack down on the followers of Fethullah Gulen, an exiled Muslim guru, whom the Turkish president says organised last July’s failed coup in Turkey.Some 30,000 Kurdish protesters in Frankfurt on Saturday brandished pro-PKK banners and called for Turkey to free the group’s leader.The head of Germany’s BND intelligence agency, Bruno Kahl, also told Der Spiegel, a German magazine, on Saturday that he did not believe Gulen was behind the coup.“Turkey has tried to convince us of that at every level but so far it has not succeeded," Kahl said.Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, told CNN Turk on Sunday that “it is unacceptable to see PKK symbols and slogans ... when Turkish ministers and lawmakers are being prevented from meeting their own citizens”.He added that the BND comments were “a sign of their [Germans’] support for Feto”, an acronym for the label “Fethullah terrorist organisation”."Why are they protecting them? Because these are useful instruments for Germany to use against Turkey”, the Erdogan spokesman said.The Turkish interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, added on Friday that Turkey would “blow the mind" of Europe by sending over 15,000 Syrian refugees a month.-Bogeyman-The German foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, and European Commission president, Jean Claude-Juncker, reacted to the tirade in strong terms.Gabriel told the Passauer Neue Presse, a German newspaper, in remarks published on Monday, that Erdogan’s comments on Merkel were “shocking” and that “a boundary has been crossed here”.He told Der Spiegel on Saturday that Erdogan’s “provocations” were designed to create a foreign “bogeyman” to help him win the referendum.“Turkey is definitely further away from becoming a member of the EU than ever before,” he said.Juncker, speaking in Bild, a German newspaper, on Sunday said he was against formally halting EU-Turkey accession talks because they had stopped anyway in de facto terms.He added that the death penalty was a “red line”, however: "If the death penalty is reintroduced in Turkey, that would lead to the end of negotiations."-Little Erdogans-He said he did not believe in Turkey’s threats to abandon last year’s EU deal on stopping migrants because “it is not in Turkey’s interests to have smuggling rings and bandits in charge along its coast”.He also said that most Turkish people living in Europe shared EU values and made a positive contribution to Europe’s economy.“Not all Turks are little Erdogans,” Juncker said.
U.S.-allied Kurd militia says struck Syria base deal with Russia-[Reuters]-By Tom Perry-yahoonews-March 20, 2017
BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said Russia was setting up a military base in northwestern Syria under a bilateral agreement and will help train its fighters - a step that would anger Turkey as it tries to block Kurdish gains near its borders.The Russian defense ministry, however, said it had no plans to open any new military bases in Syria; it said a branch of its "reconciliation center", that negotiates local truces between the warring sides in Syria, had been located in Aleppo province near Afrin.One of the major forces in the Syrian conflict, the YPG is also a military ally of the United States and is playing a major part in U.S.-backed operations against Islamic State in areas of Syria further to the east.YPG spokesman Redur Xelil told Reuters the agreement had been concluded on Sunday and that Russian troops had already arrived at the position in the northwestern region of Afrin with troop carriers and armored vehicles. "It is the first (agreement) of its kind," he said in a written message.Such an agreement would further illustrate how the Syrian Kurds have managed to bring both Washington and Moscow onto their side after showing themselves as an organized force able to confront jihadist groups and take back territory from Islamic State.A Russian deployment would help deter cross-border attacks against the Kurdish-dominated area of Afrin from Turkey, which is hostile to the YPG, seeing it as an arm of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that is pressing an insurrection in Turkey.Earlier this month, some 100 km (60 miles) further east, a deployment of U.S. forces near Manbij deterred a Turkish attack against YPG-allied fighters who control that city, after Ankara and its Free Syrian Army rebel allies vowed to take it.Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said in response to a question on Afrin that Ankara would never allow what he called a "terror region, a terror state" to be established in northern Syria," in reference to the YPG.“We have conveyed this to all interested parties in almost every meeting. The Russians know this, and the Americans know this and other countries know this,” Kurtulmus said during a news conference in Ankara.-SIGHTS ON RAQQA-YPG control over swathes of northeastern Syria and the Afrin region of its northwest is of great concern to Turkey.Helped by allied FSA groups, Turkey has been waging an offensive in northern Syria to stop the YPG creating a contiguous Kurdish territory along most of its border with Syria.Kafr Jina - the area where the Russian deployment is being set up - has previously been shelled by Turkish forces from across the nearby frontier, Xelil said. He declined to say how many Russian troops had arrived in Kafr Jina."The agreement came into force today," he said.Xelil said the YPG had shown its effectiveness in "fighting terrorism". "This is what pushed many forces to cooperate and make alliances with the YPG," he said.The YPG also said on Monday it planned to expand its force by about two thirds to more than 100,000 fighters this year with the aim of turning it into a more organized force that resembles a traditional army.Russia deployed its air force in Syria in 2015 in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his war against insurgents battling to unseat him. Despite a long history of enmity between the Syrian Kurds and government, the YPG and Damascus have mostly avoided conflict in the six-year-old conflict."The Russian presence ... comes in agreement between (the YPG) and the Russian forces operating in Syria in the framework of cooperation against terrorism and to help train our forces on modern warfare and to build a direct point of contact with Russian forces," Xelil said in a written statement.Turkey has been pressing Washington to abandon its alliance with the YPG and instead back its rebel allies in a final assault to capture Raqqa city, Islamic State's remaining redoubt. The head of the YPG told Reuters last week the assault would begin in early April, and that the YPG would take part alongside Arab fighters.The Pentagon said no decision had been taken.U.S. support in the fight against Islamic State is funneled to an alliance of militias called the Syrian Democratic Forces, which includes the YPG. Ankara views it as a front for the YPG.(Writing by Tom Perry Additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk in Istanbul; Editing by Samia Nakhoul and Ralph Boulton)
Canada refugee claims spike in first two months of 2017-[Reuters]-By Anna Mehler Paperny-YAHOONEWS-March 20, 2017
TORONTO (Reuters) - A spike in refugee claims for the first two months of 2017 put Canada on track for the highest number since at least 2011. A fifth of those claimants were caught crossing the border illegally.Growing numbers of asylum-seekers are coming to Canada in the wake of the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has pledged to crack down on refugees and undocumented immigrants.Canada's federal government has taken heat from opponents on both the left and right for its wait-and-see approach to the influx. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found almost half of Canadians want people who entered the country illegally to be deported.Statistics released by the government on Monday evening show 5,520 people made refugee claims in Canada in January and February.If the pace of asylum-seekers keeps up, it will mean upwards of 33,000 refugee claims filed in Canada this year - almost 40 percent higher than 2016.Despite the images of individuals hauling babies and belongings across the snowy border, only 20 percent of those who have filed refugee claims in Canada so far this year - 1,134 - were intercepted by Royal Canadian Mounted Police as they crossed the border illegally.Of those, the majority - 677 - were caught crossing into Quebec, with the rest in British Columbia and Manitoba (and five in the prairie province of Saskatchewan).(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny; Editing by Leslie Adler)
UN rejects Saudi-led coalition call to supervise Yemen port-[AFP]-YAHOONEWS-March 20, 2017
United Nations (United States) (AFP) - The United Nations on Monday rejected a call by the Saudi-led coalition battling rebels in Yemen for the key port of Hodeida to be placed under its supervision.The coalition made the appeal following an attack on a boat carrying Somali refugees off the coast of Yemen that killed 42 people, and as the country faced famine.UN spokesman Farhan Haq said the warring sides in Yemen have a responsibility to protect civilian infrastructure and civilians."These are not obligations they can shift to others," Haq said.Hodeida, which is a key transit point for desperately-needed imports, is controlled by Huthi rebels fighting the Saudi-backed government.The coalition said in a statement Sunday that it was not responsible for the attack on the refugee boat in the area of Hodeida and called for the port to be "placed immediately under United Nations supervision."Hodeida serves 70 percent of the country's population affected by a severe food crisis in Yemen, which is almost entirely dependent on imports of food and other commodities."The humanitarian community delivers assistance in Yemen solely based on needs and not on political considerations, and will continue to do so through all available means," added Haq.About 7.3 million people in Yemen are in dire need of food aid in the largest food insecurity emergency in the world, according to the United Nations.The Saudi-led coalition waging a military campaign against rebels has been accused of imposing a blockade on Yemen to prevent supplies from reaching civilians.Placing Hodeida under UN supervision would "facilitate the flow of humanitarian supplies to the Yemeni people, while at the same time ending the use of the port for weapons smuggling and people trafficking," said the coalition statement.More than 7,000 people have died since the coalition began its air war in March 2015 to drive out the Iran-allied Huthis.The United Nations is calling for an inquiry by all the parties of the attack on the refugee boat.
Germanwings victims' families slam push to absolve co-pilot-[AFP]-YAHOONEWS-March 20, 2017
Berlin (AFP) - The father of a Germanwings co-pilot whose plane slammed into the Alps in 2015 is trying to prove his son did not crash the jet deliberately, sparking anger among victims' families.German prosecutors in January closed their investigation into the crash after concluding that Andreas Lubitz was suicidal and bore sole responsibility for the disaster that killed all 150 people on board.The probe focused on whether any doctors who treated Lubitz, 27, had been criminally negligent in not reporting him to the authorities before the plane came down in France.Guenter Lubitz has called a press conference in Berlin for Friday, March 25, the second anniversary of the disaster, where he plans to present his own findings alongside journalist Tim van Beveren, who he called "an internationally recognised aerospace expert"."Up to now, everyone believes the theory of a co-pilot who was depressed for a long time, who deliberately crashed his plane into a mountain in a planned act. We are convinced this is false," the father said in a press release.For Elmar Giemulla, a lawyer representing several of the victims' families, Guenter Lubitz is pursuing an "irresponsible" campaign that will be traumatic for grieving relatives."I imagine that Mr Lubitz wants to promote a theory that would absolve his son of any responsibility," Giemulla told the Rheinische Post newspaper.Andreas Lubitz's parents had already angered the families last year when they placed a heartfelt newspaper announcement in their son's memory to mark the first anniversary of the crash.Entitled simply "Andreas" and featuring a smiling photograph of the co-pilot, the brief text ended with a message to their son in bold letters: "We miss you very much but you are and will remain in our hearts".They spoke of a year "filled with horror and fear" but did not explicitly mention the 149 other people killed in the crash.French investigators have been carrying out their own manslaughter inquiry over the crash, and victims' relatives have filed a lawsuit against the Lufthansa-owned flight school that trained Lubitz.Germany's doctors' association has criticised Germanwings's parent company, Lufthansa, and aviation regulators for failing to keep Lubitz from flying, saying that medical controls focused largely on "physical findings and laboratory tests" but neglected psychological examinations.
Japan cabinet approves anti-conspiracy bill amid civil rights concerns-[Reuters]-By Linda Sieg-yahoonews-March 20, 2017
TOKYO(Reuters) - Japan's cabinet on Tuesday approved legislation that would penalize criminal conspiracies, a move critics say threatens civil liberties, but officials say is needed to prevent terrorist targeting events like the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.Proponents say the steps are vital in a security climate where terrorism risks have grown and in order to ratify a U.N. Treaty aimed at battling international organized crime."Considering the current situation regarding terrorism and looking ahead to the Olympics and Paraolympics three years hence, it is necessary to fully prepare to prevent organized crimes including terrorism," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.Japanese governments have tried to pass similar legislation three times since 2000, when the United Nations adopted a Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, but the bill stands a better chance of success this time.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition has a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament and public worries about terrorism ahead of the Olympics have grown after deadly attacks overseas, although an opinion poll released by Kyodo news agency on March 12 showed 45.5 percent were opposed to the bill while 33 percent favored it.Suga said the legislation would apply only to groups preparing to commit terrorist acts and other organized crime groups and would not target the "legitimate activities" of civil groups or labor unions.Opponents, including the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, have doubts. They view the proposed change as part of Abe's agenda to tighten control at the expense of individual rights, chilling grassroots opposition to government policies such as the construction of a U.S. military base on Okinawa island."It is very clear that the Japanese public security sector – police and prosecutors – employ an extremely expansive interpretation of any aspect of criminal law so ... regardless of the limited list of potential crimes, they will interpret it in an extremely elastic way," said Lawrence Repeta, a law professor at Meiji University in Tokyo.The lawyers' association has said Japanese law already prohibits preparations to commit certain serious crimes such as murder, arson and counterfeiting or plotting an insurgency or the use of explosives, so additional legislation is unnecessary.(Additional reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
UK banks 'handled' $740 mn in laundered Russian money: reports-[AFP]-YAHOONEWS-March 20, 2017
London (AFP) - Several British banks allegedly processed nearly $740 million in a multi-billion dollar Russian money-laundering scam, The Guardian newspaper reported on Monday.According to documents obtained by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, at least $20 billion was moved out of Russia between 2010 and 2014 in a vast criminal operation called "The Global Laundromat".The scam involved over 500 people including oligarchs and Russian criminals with links to the government and the spy agency, KGB.Over that period, British banks including HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Barclays and Coutts reportedly handled over 1,900 transactions -- out of 70,000 -- worth nearly $740 million.A further 373 operations are believed to have gone through US banks, for a total amount of $63 million."Barclays complies with the rules and regulations in all the jurisdictions in which it operates and has systems and controls in place to mitigate the risk of the bank being used to facilitate financial crime," a spokesman for the bank said.HSBC responded to the allegations saying: "The bank has systems and processes in place to identify suspicious activity and report it to the appropriate government authorities."This case highlights the need for greater information sharing between the public and private sectors, each of whom holds important information the other does not."RBS said they were "committed to combating financial crime and money laundering in line with our regulations and have controls and safeguards in place to identify, assess, monitor and mitigate these risks."According to The Guardian, while all major British banks will face questions over why they did not raise the alarm on suspicious money transfers, they only processed money that had already been laundered.The newspaper reported however that American banks, including CitiBank and Bank of America, are the only ones that raise money-laundering concerns.
Uruguay pulling troops out of UN mission in Haiti-[Associated Press]-YAHOONEWS-March 20, 2017
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Uruguay will soon pull its soldiers out of a United Nations stabilization mission in Haiti that began operations in 2004 and is facing sharp cutbacks, the leader of the South American country announced Monday.President Tabare Vazquez said at a public event that his country's troop contributions to the Haiti mission will end this month and the roughly 250 Uruguayan peacekeepers will return home in early April. The country had as many as 1,000 forces deployed in Haiti at the height of the mission.U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq in New York expressed appreciation for Uruguay's contribution and said, "If their rotation is going to be ending now and they'll be moving out, what we're going to try to do is make sure that they can be quickly replaced so that there's no security void in the country."The announcement by the Uruguayan leader comes days after U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the world body's Security Council that he believed that "the military component should undergo a staggered but complete withdrawal of the 2,370 personnel" in Haiti. The soldiers come from 19 countries.In a March 16 report, Guterres called for the military component of the Haiti mission to be wrapped up six months after its current mandate expires in April.He also said the number of "formed police units" should be reduced from 11 to seven, with individual officers cut from 1,001 to 295, to continue efforts to strengthen the Haitian National Police and ensure "a progressive testing" of their capacity to assume full security responsibilities.The U.N. Security Council is due to debate Guterres' recommendations and vote on the future of Haiti operations in mid-April.The U.S. administration of President Donald Trump has pushed for cutbacks in an operation that costs $346 million a year. Washington, the Haiti mission's main check-writer, is reviewing all 16 U.N. peacekeeping missions.Col. Luis Antonio Ferreira Marques Ramos, deputy commander of the Brazilian peacekeeper contingent in Haiti, recently told The Associated Press that "the important thing is to leave in a good way."The U.N.'s first-ever "stabilization" mission came to Haiti in 2004 following a rebellion that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and had the chronically troubled country on the brink of collapse.
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