Thursday, May 04, 2017
CHINA URGES ALL SIDES IN NORTH KOREA STANDOFF TO STOP IRRITATING EACH OTHER.
12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates;(WERE WW3 STARTS IN IRAQ OR SYRIA OR TURKEY) and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.(THE TURKEY ATATURK DAM ON THE EUPHRATES CAN BE SHUT AND DRIED UP ALREADY BY TURKEY)
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon,(SATAN) and out of the mouth of the beast,(WORLD DICTATOR) and out of the mouth of the false prophet.(FALSE POPE)
14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.(WERE 2 BILLION DIE FROM NUKE WAR)
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.(ITS AT THIS TIME I BELIEVE WHEN AMERICA GETS NUKED BY RUSSIA ON THE WAY TO THE MIDEAST)
DANIEL 11:44 (2ND WAVE OF WW3)
44 But tidings out of the east(CHINA) and out of the north(RUSSIA, MUSLIMS WHATS LEFT FROM WAVE 1) shall trouble him:(EU DICTATOR IN ISRAEL) therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.( 1/3RD OF EARTHS POPULATION)
12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four(DEMONIC WAR) angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.(WORLDWIDE WAR)(TURKEY-IRAQ-SYRIA)(EUPHRATES RIVER CONSISTS OF 760 MILES IN TURKEY,440 MILES IN SYRIA AND 660 MILES IN IRAQ)
15 And the four(DEMONIC WAR) angels were loosed,(WORLDWIDE WAR) which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.(1/3 Earths Population die in WW 3 2ND WAVE-2 billion)
16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand:(200 MILLION MAN ARMY FROM CHINA AND THE KINGS OF THE EAST) and I heard the number of them.
17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.(NUCLEAR BOMBS)
18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.(NUCLEAR BOMBS)
China urges all sides in North Korea standoff to 'stop irritating' one another-[Reuters]-By Ben Blanchard-YAHOONEWS-May 3, 2017
BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Wednesday called on all parties in the Korean standoff to stay calm and "stop irritating each other" a day after North Korea said the United States was pushing the region to the brink of nuclear war.The United States has urged China, reclusive North Korea's lone major ally, to do more to rein in its neighbor's nuclear and missile programs which have prompted an assertive response from the Trump administration, warning that the "era of strategic patience" is over.The United States has sent a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to Korean waters and a pair of strategic U.S. bombers flew training drills with the South Korean and Japanese air forces in another show of strength this week.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, asked about the bomber flights, the drills and North Korea's response, stressed that the situation was "highly complex" and sensitive."The urgent task is to lower temperatures and resume talks," he told reporters."We again urge all relevant parties to remain calm and exercise restraint, stop irritating each other, work hard to create an atmosphere for contact and dialogue between all sides, and seek a return to the correct path of dialogue and negotiation as soon as possible."The flight of the two bombers came as U.S. President Donald Trump raised eyebrows when he said he would be "honored" to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the right circumstances, and as his CIA director landed in South Korea for talks.North Korea said the bombers conducted "a nuclear bomb dropping drill against major objects" in its territory at a time when Trump and "other U.S. warmongers are crying out for making a preemptive nuclear strike" on the North."The reckless military provocation is pushing the situation on the Korean peninsula closer to the brink of nuclear war," the North's official KCNA news agency said on Tuesday.Tension on the Korean peninsula has been high for weeks, driven by concern that the North might conduct its sixth nuclear test in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.-CHINA OPPOSES THAAD-The U.S. military's THAAD anti-missile defense system has reached initial operational capacity in South Korea, U.S. officials told Reuters, although they cautioned that it would not be fully operational for some months.China has repeatedly expressed its opposition to the system, whose powerful radar it fears could reach inside Chinese territory, just as Trump has praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for his efforts to rein in North Korea.It was widely feared North Korea could conduct a nuclear test on or around April 15 to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the North's founding leader, Kim Il Sung, or on April 25, the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People's Army.The North has conducted such tests or missile launches to mark significant events in the past.Instead, North Korea held a big military parade featuring a display of missiles on April 15 and then a large, live-fire artillery drill 10 days later.Trump drew criticism in Washington on Monday when he said he would be "honored" to meet North Korea's young leader."If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it," Trump told Bloomberg News.Trump did not say what conditions would be needed for such a meeting to occur or when it could happen."Clearly conditions are not there right now," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.Trump warned in an interview with Reuters on Thursday that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible, while China said last week the situation on the Korean peninsula could escalate or slip out of control.Trump has stepped up outreach to allies in Asia to secure their cooperation to pressure North Korea, and over the weekend he spoke with the leaders of Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines in separate phone calls.The U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, Joseph R. Donovan, told reporters Indonesia was among several countries that the United States was urging take a "fresh look" at their North Korea ties.He declined to go into details of what action the United States wanted, but said: "We are hoping that countries will look at what they can be doing to bring North Korea around to meaningful steps to end its nuclear and missile programs.”Chinese President Xi and his Philippine counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte, discussed the Korean situation by telephone on Wednesday, China's Xinhua state news agency said. It did not give details.Trump's calls to the Asian leaders came after North Korea test-launched a missile that appeared to have failed within minutes, its fourth successive failed launch since March. It has conducted two nuclear tests and a series of missile-related activities at an unprecedented pace since the beginning of last year.The North is technically still at war with the South after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty, and it regularly threatens to destroy the United States, Japan and South Korea.Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday meanwhile spoke by telephone about Syria and "about how best to resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea", the White House said.(Additional reporting by Steve Holland in WASHINGTON and Tom Allard in JAKARTA; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Robert Birsel)
As U.S. and China find common ground on North Korea, is Russia the wild card?-[Reuters]-By James Pearson and Alexei Chernyshev-YAHOONEWS-May 3, 2017
SEOUL/VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters) - When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent Lunar New Year greetings this year, the first card went to Russian President Vladimir Putin, ahead of leaders from China and other allies of the isolated country, according to its official news agency.Some academics who study North Korea argue Kim could be looking for Russia to ease any pain if China, which accounts for about 90 percent of North Korea's trade, steps up sanctions against the isolated country as part of moves to deter its nuclear and missile programs.U.S. President Donald Trump lavished praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping last week for Beijing's assistance in trying to rein in Pyongyang. A day later, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pressed the United Nations Security Council to impose more sanctions to further isolate Pyongyang.There is no sign of any sustainable increase in trade between Russia and North Korea, but business and transport links between the two are getting busier.A new ferry service starting next week will move up to 200 passengers and 1,000 tonnes of cargo six times a month between North Korea and the Russian port of Vladivostok.Shipping data on Thomson Reuters Eikon shows there has been a recent steady flow of oil tanker traffic from Vladivostok into North Korean east coast ports.Last Thursday, five North Korean-flagged oil tankers had loaded up at Vladivostok-area ports and identified North Korean ports as their destination. It was not known what products they were carrying.Earlier this year, Russian government officials visited Pyongyang to discuss more cooperation in rail transport, according to media reports. A Russian-built railway link between the Russian eastern border town of Khasan and the North Korean port of Rajin has been used to carry some coal, metals and various oil products."North Korea does not care about China's pressure or sanctions because there is Russia next door," said Leonid Petrov, a North Korea expert at Australia National University."Pyongyang has been playing off Beijing and Moscow for half a century, letting them compete for the right to aid and influence North Korea."Russia, especially Vladivostok, is also home to one of the largest overseas communities of North Koreans in the world, and they send home tens of thousands of dollars in much-needed hard currency each month.Speaking at the United Nations last week, Tillerson called on states to sever diplomatic and financial ties with Pyongyang and suspend the flow of North Korean guest workers. The Security Council has not yet agreed on any course of action.While Russia has not indicated it will oppose U.N. sanctions or seek to dilute them, its ties with the United States are fraught, which could complicate its joining any U.S.-led initiative on North Korea.Trump and Putin spoke in a telephone call on Tuesday and discussed North Korea, among other issues, both sides said. There was no word of any agreement.-"LOYAL PARTNER"-Samuel Ramani, a Russia expert at Oxford University, said support for the Pyongyang regime could bring economic benefits for Moscow. It would demonstrate Russia was "a loyal partner to anti-Western regimes facing international isolation and sanctions", he said."As Russia has close economic links with other countries at odds with the West, like Iran, Venezuela and Syria, this symbolic dimension of the Russia-North Korea relationship has strategic significance."The United States is calling for an embargo in oil sales to North Korea, which imports all its fuel needs. China, North Korea's main supplier, is unlikely to agree because that would be potentially destabilizing for the Pyongyang regime, but it may impose curbs on the trade, experts say.China exports about 500,000 tonnes of crude and 270,000 tonnes of products each year, oil industry sources in China say. Russia, the other major supplier of oil to North Korea, exported about 36,000 tonnes of oil products in 2015, the latest year for which figures are available, according to U.N. data.Russia has already taken over the supply of jet fuel to North Korea after China halted exports two years ago, according to the industry sources in China.Russia is also the source of foreign exchange for North Korea, mostly from Vladivostok.The city of 600,000 people, just about 100 km (60 miles) from the border with North Korea, is home to thousands of North Koreans who mainly work on construction or do home renovations. A city web site advertises "Korean Professional Contractors" and says they work "Cheaply and Fast".One North Korean man, who works as a handyman, told Reuters he was obliged to hand over a portion of his income - $500 – to the North Korean state each month. Thin and in his 30s, he did not disclose his monthly income, but said he charged 4,000 rubles (about $70) for a day’s labor.The man said he had worked in Russia for 11 years, leaving his wife and daughter back home whom he only saw on rare visits.Like all North Koreans, he wore a badge on his lapel bearing the portrait of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung."It's better here than in North Korea," said the man, who did not want to be named. "It's a very difficult life there. Here you can make money."But the most symbolic upturn in ties between Russia and North Korea is the start of regular trips of the Mangyongbong ferry from Monday between Vladivostok and the North Korean town of Rajin.Vladimir Baranov, the head of Vladivostok-based Investstroitrest company, told Reuters his company had chartered the Mangyongbong and would be the general agent for the ferry route. The ageing boat used to ferry tourists between Japan and North Korea, but Tokyo banned its visits in 2006 as part of sanctions against Pyongyang.An editorial in Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper described the ferry service to Russia as "a move that puts a damper on international efforts to strengthen the encirclement of North Korea aimed at halting its nuclear and missile development."Still, despite the differences with the United States and the existing links with North Korea, experts say Russia is unlikely to sharp increase trade with Pyongyang because of its low foreign exchange reserves and general unreliability."All trade with North Korea has to be subsidized," said Andrei Lankov, a Russian North Korea expert at Seoul's Kookmin University. "I do not see the Russian government spending its dwindling currency reserves to support the regime they despise and see as incurably ungrateful, and also prone to risky adventurism".(Additional reporting by Maria Tsvetkova, Natalia Chumakova, Gleb Gorodyankin, Alexander Winning and Andrew Osborn in Moscow, Steve Holland in Washington,; Michelle Nichols at the United Nations, Chen Aizhu and Josephine Mason in Beijing; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
US tests intercontinental ballistic missile-[AFP]-YAHOONEWS-May 3, 2017
Washington (AFP) - The US Air Force test-launched an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile from California early Wednesday, the military said.Air Force Global Strike Command spokesman Joe Thomas told AFP from California that the test was routine and not meant to be a show of force in the standoff with North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile program.The Minuteman III missile blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 0702 GMT, the strike command said in a statement.The missile traveled some 4,200 miles (6,700 km) and went down near a Pacific Ocean atoll that is part of the Marshall Islands and features a US military ballistic missile test site.The Minuteman III, capable of being fitted with a nuclear warhead, is tested like this about four times a year, said Linda Frost, also a spokeswoman for the strike command.Air forces photos of the launch show bright, roaring flames at the moment of liftoff, then a pale, slender, orange trail against the night sky as the missile arced over the ocean."These test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a continued safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent," the strike command said in a statement."The ICBM test launch program demonstrates the operational capability of the Minuteman III and ensures the United States’ ability to maintain a strong, credible nuclear deterrent as a key element of US national security and the security of US allies and partners," it added.
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.
Barnier unveils EU's Brexit goals By Eszter Zalan-MAY 3,17-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 08:04-The EU’s negotiating position on how to handle citizens’ rights, divorce fees, and Ireland in the Brexit talks is to be made public for the first time on Wednesday (3 May).Coming in a sour climate between Brussels and London, the European Commission aims to adopt the recommendation for a mandate at its weekly meeting before giving the stage to its lead negotiator, Michel Barnier, to brief press in the EU capital.A draft text, seen by this website, holds few surprises after EU leaders already set out its political parameters at a summit last weekend.It will have to be rubber stamped by member states’ EU affairs ministers at a meeting on 22 May before it becomes, in the words of one EU spokesman, Barnier’s “specific tool for actually negotiating”.It also covers just the first phase of the talks, on the terms of the UK’s exit from the bloc, with a second mandate, on post-Brexit UK-EU relations, to be agreed further down the line.-EU priorities-The draft text said the EU-27’s top priorities were citizens’ rights, the UK’s financial bill, and the need to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.It said workers, self-employed, and inactive EU citizens who resided in the UK prior to its exit should keep full rights.The draft said their family members, who were in the UK prior to Brexit or who joined them at any point afterward, should also get full rights and that UK citizens in the EU should enjoy the same benefits.It listed the rights as being: residency, freedom of movement, welfare access, and the right to take up self-employment.It added that diplomas and other academic or professional qualifications obtained prior to Britain’s exit should be mutually recognised.-Divorce fee-The draft text said the UK should honour prior obligations to the EU budget, EU-linked banks, and other EU funds in a single financial settlement.It said the sum should be calculated based on the EU’s official yearly accounts, denominated in euros, and open to annual adjustments.The text also said that any products sold in the EU market under EU rules prior to Brexit should remain on the market under the same regime.It said the divorce deal should set out the UK’s obligations on ongoing EU state aid probes and infringement procedures.It also envisaged an important role for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg.The draft said the EU court should remain competent on pending UK-linked cases and should have the last say in any future disputes arising from implementation of the Brexit agreement.It noted that any alternative dispute settlement tribunals must offer "equivalent guarantees of independence and impartiality" to the ECJ.-Transparency-The EU mandate is to due out amid a prickly atmosphere between Brussels and London.EU officials told a German newspaper that European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker thought the British prime minister, Theresa May, had “delusions” on Brexit after meeting her last week.She told British press on Tuesday that she was capable of being a “bloody difficult woman” in future meetings.May had urged Juncker to hold the UK-EU divorce talks behind closed doors, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a German newspaper, said.But Juncker, in a letter to the EU Omudsman, Emily O'Reilly, last week pledged to keep them as transparent as possible.O'Reilly told EUobserver in March that "it [was] in the EU's interest to be as transparent as possible, and it is not in the UK's".
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
OH BY THE WAY WHEN THE MEDIA SAYS ALLU-AK-BAR MEANS GOD IS GREAT LIE. IN ISLAM ALLU-AK-BAR MEANS OUR GOD IS GREATER OR GREATEST. THIS IS HOW THE MEDIA SUCK HOLES UP TO ISLAMIC-QURANIC-MUSLIMS. BY WATERING DOWN THE REAL MEANING OF THE SEX FOR MURDER DEATH CULT ISLAM. TO MAKE IT SOUND LIKE A PEACEFUL RELIGION (CULT OF DEATH AND WORLD DOMINATION).
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)
Arab youth disapprove of Trump, see him as anti-Muslim: poll-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-May 3, 2017
DUBAI (Reuters) - A majority of young Arabs see Donald Trump's election as the factor most influencing their region in the next five years, a survey published on Wednesday showed, and they expressed concern that the U.S. president was anti-Muslim.Trump signed an executive order in March banning citizens from six Muslim-majority nations from traveling to the United States, citing security reasons, but the action was blocked by a court.The annual survey by Dubai-based public relations firm ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller of people aged between 18-24 across 16 Arab countries showed 64 percent of respondents viewed the Trump presidency with "concern, anger or fear".Eighty-three percent viewed Trump unfavorably, far up from the 52 percent recorded by his predecessor Barack Obama and even exceeding the 77 percent disapproval rating for George W. Bush, whose invasion of Iraq made him especially unpopular in the Arab world.Around 70 percent of respondents said Trump was anti-Muslim. Half said his proposed travel ban would make it easier for militant groups to recruit young Muslims.Respondents listed oil prices as the factor next most likely to impact the region in the next five years, followed by the Islamic State group, which was seen as the biggest challenge in the region in last year's poll.The survey was based on 3,500 face-to-face interviews carried out in countries ranging from Morocco and Egypt to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.(Reporting By Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)
Internal border controls to end in six months, says EU-By Nikolaj Nielsen and Aleksandra ErikssonMAY 3,17-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:01-The EU member states imposing border controls to stop migration flows from Greece will have to remove them before the end of year.EU migration and home affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Tuesday (2 May) that Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and non-EU member state Norway will only be allowed to extend existing controls one last time."This is the last prolongation, I repeat it, this is the last prolongation," Avramopoulos told reporters in Brussels.The controls, first launched in 2015, can no longer be extended under EU rules unless a new reason or threat emerges. Such a process would likely entail a long administrative and technical probe into weaknesses in the external border, similar to the one initially carried out in Greece.Avramopoulos's statements follows an announcement by Sweden, also on Tuesday, to stop ID controls for people travelling from Denmark.The current ID checks were due to end on 4 May. They were first introduced in January 2016 to reduce the number of asylum seekers after Sweden saw tens of thousands of refugees arrive every week in the autumn of 2015.Since then, the number of asylum seekers has dropped to less than 500 a week.Sweden's interior minister, Anders Ygeman, said there was no longer a need for ID checks, but seemed to suggest greater border controls as a consequence."We will make greater use of automatic licence plate recognition and xray vehicle screenings at the borders," he told reporters on Tuesday.The government wants everyone entering Sweden to be checked this way.The wider use of surveillance mechanisms seemed in line with EU demands.-Proportionate controls-When asked if Sweden's stronger border controls corresponded with the commission's demands, commissioner Avramopoulos said that controls have to be "proportionate, in line with our recommendations today"."So, I think it's a very positive development," he added.Later, he said that Sweden was "a responsible country", acting in the "cooperative spirit that we demand".Sweden's decision was also welcomed by the Danish prime minister, Lars Loekke Rasmussen, who however failed to mention whether Denmark would scrap its own border checks against Germany.Austria had also announced plans last week to possibly impose indefinite controls and resort to national measures, if necessary.In an interview with the German daily Die Welt, Austria's interior minister, Wolfgang Sobotka, said the country wants to know who enters the country."In terms of public order and internal security, I simply need to know who is coming to our country," he told the paper.But an internal report earlier this year from Austria's ministry of the interior, seen by EUobserver, casts a long shadow over Sobotka's comments.-Lack of data-The Austrian report said that it had "no data on the number of crossings and the number of persons controlled" despite the internal border checks already in place under the EU's watch.An EU official said Sobotka was yet to raise the issue with the EU commission, but that it may surface when the Council of the EU, the institution that represents member states, endorses the latest and final recommendation to extend the controls.Despite the lack of data, the EU commission in February still recommended for the council to grant extensions for all five countries for another three months until mid-May.Tuesday's announcement comes amid another EU commission recommendation to impose more police checks along motorways, in an effort to prevent asylum hopefuls from reaching their preferred destinations.Avramopoulos said the plan also promotes more cross-border police cooperation, such as joint-police patrols in border areas.He noted that the beefed up border agency Frontex, rebranded the European Border and Coast Guard agency, means external borders of the Schengen area are also better secured, given it has a pool of some 1,500 guards at its disposal.Tens of thousands have been trapped in Greece following a Western Balkan border closure early last year, forcing many to resort to smugglers.An estimated 60,000 still remain in Greece, which is sparking fears that they may attempt to venture further north regardless of the barricades and dangers.
Merkel and Putin fail to see eye-to-eye By Peter TefferMAY 3,17-EUOBSERVER
Brussels, Today, 09:29-Differences between Germany and Russia were put on display on Tuesday (2 May), as German chancellor Angela Merkel visited Russia for the first time in two years.Merkel travelled to Russia in preparation for a G20 summit - an international forum of countries, including Russia - which Germany currently chairs.The German chancellor met with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Sochi and told a press conference that there was a need to continue dialogue despite their clashing views.But international reporters present at the press event noted that the atmosphere was tense, and that the two leaders barely made eye contact.Merkel said it was important that NGOs were allowed to work freely in Russia and voiced concern about attacks on gay men in Chechnya, a semi-autonomous Russian republic.The German leader asked Putin “to protect the rights of minorities”.Last month, a Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, reported that some 100 gay men had been detained or had disappeared.But Putin said Russian authorities had not broken any laws.He added that his law enforcement agencies, which are notorious for corruption and human rights abuses, were “far more restrained and lenient in their conduct than their colleagues in some European countries”.The Russian leader also said his government had “never” tried influence foreign elections, despite a US intelligence report in January that said Russia tried to sway last year's vote.Merkel and Putin diverged on the war in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-armed and controlled forces were still fighting with the Ukrainian army.Putin claimed that a coup in Kiev had caused the war, but Merkel said the Ukrainian government was democratically elected.“We have different views on the causes of this conflict,” said Merkel.The chancellor said Russia's president had “the responsibility to implement the Minsk Agreements”, referring to an EU-brokered ceasefire deal.She said there was “not much progress” on Ukraine's side of the Minsk obligations either, but she dismissed the idea of creating a new peace accord.“I do not think it is advisable to enter into new agreements,” said Merkel.The two sides noted that, despite political differences, Russia and Germany had close economic ties, with Germany being “the number one investor in the Russian economy”, according to Putin.
Sajjan pulls out of fundraiser for veterans amid Afghan battle controversy-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-May 2, 2017
OTTAWA — Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan on Tuesday bowed out of an annual fundraising event originally set up for veterans of the war in Afghanistan, an event whose main beneficiaries include military personnel returning from combat.He is pressing ahead with a major speech on Wednesday to industry and military experts that is expected to address the Liberals' much-anticipated defence policy.The embattled minister had been scheduled to speak at the 8th annual "To the 'Stan and Back" event at Ottawa City Hall on Tuesday.But founder Cheri Elliott said she was told at the last minute that a scheduling conflict had arisen and he would not be able to attend."The official reason for his not being able to attend is he was asked to be elsewhere at the time. That is what I was told," said Elliott, who is the mother of a serving Canadian Forces member.Sajjan spoke last year at the event, which raises money for service members as well as first responders dealing with PTSD and other psychological trauma.The minister's office would not reveal the nature of the scheduling conflict, but said Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr stood in for Sajjan at the fundraising event.A spokeswoman also confirmed the minister still planned to deliver the keynote address to a luncheon hosted by the Conference of Defence Associations Institute on Wednesday.Conservative defence critic James Bezan accused Sajjan of skipping the fundraiser to hide from veterans, especially those who had served in Afghanistan."If he walked away from that (CDAI speech), it would be vacating his responsibilities as a minister," Bezan said. "But it is incredibly disappointing and cowardly for him not to be at the Afghanistan veteran fundraiser."Sajjan, a former soldier and veteran of the Afghan war, faced sustained fire again in question period on Tuesday over his comments exaggerating his role in Operation Medusa, a key battle involving the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan in 2006.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood alongside his minister as interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose repeatedly called for Sajjan's resignation.Ambrose accused Sajjan of having embellished his military record for political gain, while Trudeau praised Sajjan's "exemplary record" as a soldier, police officer and minister.The prime minister also rebuffed NDP calls to open an inquiry into the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan, which Sajjan had earlier refused.New Democrats later released a letter from NDP leader Tom Mulcair to Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson asking her to look again at whether Sajjan was in a conflict of interest in this decision because of his work as an intelligence officer in Afghanistan.Dawson earlier refused to open such an investigation, after Sajjan told her that he was not involved in, nor had any knowledge about the transfer of Afghan detainees.The partisan bickering on Tuesday extended beyond question period, as the Liberals pushed back a so-called opposition day that they had promised to the Conservatives for Thursday.Conservative House leader Candice Bergen accused the government of postponing the opposition day until next week to avoid a full day of questions about Sajjan's conduct.Central to that would have been a non-binding motion the Tories say they intended to table and which would have seen MPs vote on whether they still had confidence in the defence minister."The minister of defence has to resign, and this is a motion that would have forced the prime minister and the minister of defence to address this," Bergen said.Government House leader Bardish Chagger, however, said the scheduled opposition day had to be postponed because more time was needed this week to debate a budget bill."There's a slight tweaking taking place in the calendar because we do need to debate certain pieces of legislation," she said.Meanwhile, a watchdog group that tracks military imposters says many veterans are still upset with Sajjan despite his apology Monday, but that Ambrose went too far in accusing him of "stolen valour."Ian White of Stolen Valour Canada said the term refers to the fraudulent wearing of military medals and other decorations, which is illegal under the Criminal Code, but which Sajjan didn't do."We see absolutely no benefit the minister of defence could have derived from these lies — in fact it appears to be hurting his reputation more than anything," White said."Regardless, it is not stolen valour in the context of the Criminal Code of Canada."- Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press.
Suicide attack on NATO convoy in Kabul kills eight civilians-[Reuters]-By Mirwais Harooni-YAHOONEWS-May 3, 2017
KABUL (Reuters) - A suicide bombing in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday killed eight people and wounded at least 28, officials said, in an attack on a convoy of armored personnel carriers used by the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.The blast hit the NATO coalition convoy during the morning rush hour in one of the busiest areas of Kabul. Public health officials in the capital said eight civilians were killed and at least 25 wounded, with a number of civilian vehicles that were near the convoy destroyed or badly damaged.A Resolute Support Spokesman, U.S. Navy Captain Bill Salvin, said three U.S. service members were wounded in the attack. The armored personnel carriers, which are designed to withstand large blasts, were able to return to a coalition base under their own power, he said.The attack follows a threat by the Taliban to target foreign forces in the spring offensive that it launched last week.Witnesses said traces of blood and clothing could be seen on the ground at the blast site. Kabul television stations earlier reported that at least three people had been killed.The heavily armored MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles that coalition forces use to travel in Kabul appeared to have suffered only relatively minor external damage, witnesses said.(Reporting by Mirwais Harooni; Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Paul Tait)
Some 900 Jordanians fight in Syria, Iraq; recruitment slumps: senior official-[Reuters]-By Suleiman Al-Khalidi-YAHOONEWS-May 2, 2017
AMMAN (Reuters) - Around 900 Jordanians are fighting for Islamic State and al-Qaeda-inspired groups in Syria and Iraq but recruitment numbers have fallen sharply to their lowest ever levels, a senior Jordanian official told Reuters on Tuesday.Those now fighting in Iraq and Syria mostly left Jordan, a staunch U.S. ally which borders the two countries, in the early years of the conflict between 2013 and 2014, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.Numbers joining the ultra-hardline jihadist groups slumped in the last three years as an intelligence-led campaign helped Jordanian security forces nip plots in the bud and arrest radicalized youths who were planning to leave, he said.Prison sentences for militants arrested before finding safe passage to Syria or for those who returned after short stints were stiffened in 2014 under amended anti-terror laws have acted as a powerful deterrent, he said.Jordan's borders with Syria have been tightly sealed and the trickle who left since 2014 have mainly found safe passage through third countries, security sources say.This strategy explains why far fewer fighters have come from Jordan than from other countries that do not share borders with Iraq and Syria, the official said."As a neighbor ... the (recruitment) figures should have been much higher under different circumstances," he added.Jordan plays a prominent role in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, providing military, logistical and intelligence support, Western diplomats and regional intelligence sources say.Amman is anxious to forestall any danger from the return of radicalized citizens who have fought with an organization with unrivalled brutality, prompting the accelerated efforts at an early stage that have resulted in hundreds of arrests of people before they head to Syria."If they leave and participate in fighting, they become battle hardened and exposed to brutality, therefore posing a bigger threat if they come back," he said."Our priority is to ensure they don't leave the country in the first place," he said.The country's powerful security apparatus differentiates between youths radicalized by the carnage in Syria they blame on Syrian President Bashar al Assad's violent crackdown on the opposition, and those hardliners more influenced by Islamic State's ideology, the official said.But authorities have also sought to avoid tough punitive measures that might turn would-be radical Sunni sympathizers or first-time offenders into hardline fundamentalists, he added.Jordan's Western-trained security forces, which are partners with the CIA and considered among the most advanced in the region, have long been credited with deploying tactics and strategies that have helped spare the country the type of large-scale militant attacks seen elsewhere.Two of global jihad's top scholars, Sheikh Abu Mohammad al Maqdisi and Sheikh Abu Qutada, who were let out of prison, are under close surveillance where their outspoken views against Islamic State's violent ideology are tolerated to counter the ultra-hardliners within the jihadist camp.Jordanian security sources say the militants do not have an organizational network in the kingdom even though there are concerns about the growing risks of radicalization. Countless plots by home-grown militants have been quietly foiled.(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by John Stonestreet and James Dalgleish)
Boko Haram leader Shekau 'injured in air strike'-[AFP]-Aminu ABUBAKAR-YAHOONEWS-May 3, 2017
Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) - Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau has been injured and one of his deputies killed in an air strike in northeast Nigeria, civilian and security sources told AFP on Wednesday.Two Nigerian Air Force jets bombarded fighters who had gathered for prayers in Balla village, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Damboa, on the edge of the Sambisa Forest, last Friday."Shekau was wounded in the bombings and is believed to be receiving treatment near the Nigerian border with Cameroon around Kolofata," said one source with contacts within Boko Haram."His deputy, Abba Mustapha, alias Malam Abba, was killed in the attack along with another key lieutenant, Abubakar Gashua, alias Abu Aisha," he added.Babakura Kolo, a member of the civilian militia in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, gave a similar account, saying "Shekau was injured and a number of commanders were killed."Among them is his deputy called Malam Abba. They suffered heavy casualties because the bombings targeted a large gathering of his followers attending Friday prayers."There was no immediate comment from the Nigerian military when contacted by AFP. The authorities have previously claimed to have killed Shekau on at least three occasions.In an emailed statement on Tuesday night, the air force said it had bombed "a gathering of Boko Haram terrorists" last Friday "in a village 3.42 km northeast of Mangosum".The "air interdiction mission" in the remote region involved three jets."Battle damage assessment conducted after the strike showed that several leaders of the Boko Haram terrorist organisation and their followers were killed during the attacks," it added.- Reprisals -A senior military officer in Maiduguri confirmed the air force bombed Boko Haram positions "in the Damboa area on Friday where they hit the targets with precision"."We got intel (intelligence) that the terrorists were gathering at the location and we acted on the report," he added, requesting anonymity as he was not authorised to speak about the operation.He said he was unable to comment on Shekau but the source with contacts in Boko Haram said Mustapha was preaching when the first jet bombed the mosque at about 1:00 pm (1200 GMT).Moments later a second jet targeted worshippers as they fled."Shekau was just leaving a house nearby for the mosque when the first jet struck. He was injured in the second strike," said the source, describing the casualties as "huge"."They spent the rest of Friday and the whole of Saturday burying the dead," he said, without specifying numbers.Shekau had been bed-ridden for days with malaria before the attack, he added.Local people in the Konduga area said Boko Haram fighters went on the rampage following the air strike."They came by the river hurling insults at us, accusing us of providing information about their locations and movements to the military," said fisherman Ibrahim Bawa."They said we were responsible for the attack on their mosque which killed many of their people. They were very angry," added another fisherman, Usman Sallau.The jihadists rounded up six fishermen and slit their throats. Others escaped by swimming across the river, he said.Boko Haram has killed over 20,000 people since it took up arms against the Nigerian government in 2009 to establish a hardline Islamist state.The insurgency has decimated northeast Borno state with the violence displacing 2.6 million from their homes and causing a hunger crisis.After years of suffering humiliating losses to Boko Haram, the Nigerian military has reclaimed swathes of territory back from the jihadists.Yet despite claims that Boko Haram is a spent force, the Islamists still launch attacks.
NSA collected Americans' phone records despite law change: report-[Reuters]-By Mark Hosenball-YAHOONEWS-May 2, 2017
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency collected more than 151 million records of Americans' phone calls last year, even after Congress limited its ability to collect bulk phone records, according to an annual report issued on Tuesday by the top U.S. intelligence officer.The report from the office of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was the first measure of the effects of the 2015 USA Freedom Act, which limited the NSA to collecting phone records and contacts of people U.S. and allied intelligence agencies suspect may have ties to terrorism.It found that the NSA collected the 151 million records even though it had warrants from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court to spy on only 42 terrorism suspects in 2016, in addition to a handful identified the previous year.The NSA has been gathering a vast quantity of telephone "metadata," records of callers' and recipients' phone numbers and the times and durations of the calls - but not their content - since the September 11, 2001, attacks.The report came as Congress faced a decision on whether to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which permits the NSA to collect foreign intelligence information on non-U.S. persons outside the United States, and is scheduled to expire at the end of this year.Privacy advocates have argued that Section 702 permits the NSA to spy on Internet and telephone communications of Americans without warrants from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and that foreign intelligence could be used for domestic law enforcement purposes in a way that evades traditional legal requirements.The report said that on one occasion in 2016, the FBI obtained information about an American in response to a search of Section 702 data intended to produce evidence of a crime not related to foreign intelligence.The report did not address how frequently the FBI obtained information about Americans while investigating a foreign intelligence matter, however.On Friday, the NSA said it had stopped a form of surveillance that allowed it to collect the digital communications of Americans who mentioned a foreign intelligence target in their messages without a warrant.-TRUMP'S ALLEGATIONS-The new report also came amid allegations, recently repeated by U.S. President Donald Trump, that former President Barack Obama ordered warrantless surveillance of his communications and that former national security adviser Susan Rice asked the NSA to unmask the names of U.S. persons caught in the surveillance.Both Republican and Democratic members of the congressional intelligence committees have said that so far they have found no evidence to support either allegation.Officials on Tuesday argued that the 151 million records collected last year were tiny compared with the number collected under procedures that were stopped after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the surveillance program in 2013.Because the 151 million would include multiple calls made to or from the same phone numbers, the number of people whose records were collected also would be much smaller, the officials said. They said they had no breakdown of how many individuals' phone records were among those collected.In all, according to the report, U.S. officials unmasked the names of fewer Americans in NSA eavesdropping reports in 2016 than they did the previous year, the top U.S. intelligence officer reported on Tuesday.The report said the names of 1,934 "U.S. persons" were "unmasked" last year in response to specific requests, compared with 2,232 in 2015, but it did not identify who requested the names or on what grounds.Officials said in the report that U.S. intelligence agencies had gone out of their way to make public more information about U.S. electronic eavesdropping."This year's report continues our trajectory toward greater transparency, providing additional statistics beyond what is required by law," said Office of the Director of National Intelligence spokesman Timothy Barrett.(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Additional reporting by Dustin Volz; Editing by John Walcott and Jonathan Oatis)
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