Friday, June 23, 2017
SCHOCK AND ANGER IN MOSUL AT DEATH CULT QURANIC ISLAMIC ISIS DESTROYING HISTORIC MOSQUE.
25 And there shall be signs in the sun,(HEATING UP-SOLAR ECLIPSES) and in the moon,(MAN ON MOON-LUNAR ECLIPSES) and in the stars;(ASTEROIDS ETC) and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear,(TORNADOES,HURRICANES,STORMS) and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:(DESTRUCTION) for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.(FROM QUAKES,NUKES ETC)
Red Deer cleaning up from wind storm after declaring state of emergency-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-June 21, 2017
RED DEER, Alta. — People in Red Deer were cleaning up Wednesday after a violent windstorm that knocked out power and prompted the central Alberta city to declare a local state of emergency.Homes where damaged Tuesday when wind gusts of more than 100 km/h hit the city of about 100,000 just after 7 p.m.Mayor Tara Veer said trees fell on power lines and wind blew debris around.One person suffered minor injuries at a campground but was released from hospital."We do know that it was a severe windstorm. We do know that there were exceedances of 112 km/h winds," Veer said.People posted images on social media of damage, including part of a roof that blew off a store and landed on nearby parked cars.Windows were blown out of the local mall and one video showed scenes of people wandering around the darkened building wondering if they had been hit by a tornado.Environment Canada said Red Deer was hit by one of a number of severe thunderstorms that rolled through the central part of the province Tuesday on the leading edge of a cold front.Meteorologist Dan Kulak said it was not a tornado. He called it a "low-end severe thunderstorm" and added that such storms happen every year in the province."It was not a tornadic event. There is no evidence of tornadoes that we can find," he said. "There were strong wind gusts across the province. It is not unusual."Kulak said thunderstorm watches were issued by Environment Canada just before noon that said conditions were favourable for the development of dangerous thunderstorms that could produce wind gusts, hail and heavy rain.Environment Canada updated the watch to a thunderstorm warning for the Red Deer area about 7:09 p.m., he said.The Red Deer airport reported peak wind gusts a few minutes later.Daelyn Hamill of Red Deer put up a picture of a giant spruce tree that had crashed onto the roof of his parent's home. He urged people to "stay safe out there!"Another photo showed a semi-trailer that had been pushed onto its side by the winds on the highway between Innisfail and Penhold.Town officials in Innisfail, 30 kilometres south of Red Deer, were also reporting widespread power outages and said the roof had blown off the town's curling rink, though an initial assessment said there was no structural damage to the building.Stronger wind gusts were recorded north of Red Deer as well in the Maskwacis area, while a rail car was reportedly blown off the tracks east of Edmonton.— With files from CTV Calgary.The Canadian Press.
London fire: Cladding in other buildings 'combustible'-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-June 22, 2017
LONDON — Tests so far have found that at least three high-rise apartment buildings in the U.K. have flammable external panels like the ones believed to have contributed to a fire that killed 79 people in London, Britain's government said Thursday.Prime Minister Theresa May's office said 600 buildings in the country have "similar cladding" to that of Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, which was destroyed by the June 14 blaze.The Department for Communities and Local Government later said that figure refers to buildings with all types of cladding and that not all of them necessarily have cladding made from the same aluminum composite material as Grenfell Tower. Landlords are being asked to check what the cladding on their buildings is made from.Police and fire officials are trying to determine whether cladding contributed to the rapid spread of the Grenfell blaze, which engulfed the 24-story building in less than an hour. They still haven't said where and how the fire started.May told the House of Commons on Thursday that government facilities have so far found combustible cladding after local officials submitted samples in the wake of the fire."The relevant local authorities and local fire services have been informed, and, as I speak, they are taking all possible steps to ensure buildings are safe and to inform affected residents," May said.May encouraged the owners of both public and private tower blocks around the country to quickly forward samples of any similar material for testing. The government will work with local authorities to make sure any dangerous material is removed and residents are safe, she said.The Department for Communities and Local Government said it would not identify the buildings with combustible panels until landlords have had the opportunity to inform tenants. The local council in Camden, a borough of London, removed cladding from one of its buildings for further testing after tests they commissioned showed some of their panels were of the flammable variety — and not the ones they ordered.It was unclear whether the Camden example was one of the three mentioned by the government.Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn called for urgent checks on around 4,000 buildings as Britain comes to grips with the potential ramifications of the disaster. Thousands need urgent assurances about their own safety, he said."At least 79 people are dead — it is both a tragedy and an outrage because every single one of those deaths could and should have been avoided," Corbyn said.Corbyn compared the tragedy to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster in which 96 people were killed in the crush of a crowded soccer stadium, and recent sexual abuse scandals involving vulnerable children, arguing that the government had long turned a blind eye to the needs of the poor."The pattern is consistent: Working-class people's voices are ignored, their concerns dismissed by those in power," he said.May has apologized for mistakes that were made in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and promised that "no stone will be left unturned" in a public inquiry into its causes."For any guilty parties there will be nowhere to hide," she said.May's comments came after the resignation of the top administrative official in the local government that serves the community devastated by the fire. Local residents and the central government have criticized the response to the tragedy.Nicholas Holgate, chief executive of the Kensington and Chelsea council, had come under intense pressure following last week's blaze. The first few days after the fire were marked by chaos on the ground as local authorities struggled to deal with the hundreds of people who were displaced.Survivors who had lost everything found it hard to get find information about missing loved ones or the services available to help them get back on their feet.Danica Kirka, The Associated Press.
Magnitude 6.8 earthquake recorded off Guatemalan coast-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-June 22, 2017
GUATEMALA CITY — A magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit off Guatemala's Pacific coast on Thursday, shaking much of the country and neighbouring El Salvador. Local officials said there were initial reports of only minor damage.The Geological Survey said the 6:31 a.m. (1231 GMT; 8:31 a.m. EDT) quake was centred about 24 miles (38 kilometres ) southwest of Puerto San Jose and 6 miles (10 kilometres ) below the surface.The quake sent people fleeing into the streets in El Salvador.Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales sent tweets urging people to remain calm and saying the government was collecting information about possible damage.The spokesman for Guatemala's national disaster agency, Julio Sanchez, said there did not appear to be any injuries and said damage appeared to be minor. Local news media showed images of damage to some adobe-walled homes and small cracks in old buildings.The Associated Press.
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.
Heres the scripture 1 week = 7 yrs Genesis 29:27-29
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week:(7 YEARS) and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
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.
May to soothe EU leaders' post-election Brexit worries By Eszter Zalan-june 22,17-euobserver
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:29-EU leaders will gather on Thursday and Friday (22-23 June) in Brussels for a two-day summit on the week Brexit negotiations kicked off.The 27 leaders will hear from UK prime minster Theresa May, upon her request, on her struggles to form a government after a bruising election two weeks ago and how it will influence Brexit.May is also expected to outline some principles of the UK's paper on citizens rights which will be published early next week.However, after May is finished with her talk during Thursday’s dinner, leaders are not expected to quiz the British PM.“We do not encourage our leaders to engage in a discussion following her presentation: May is aware of it, it is not in her interest to engage in a discussion either,” said a senior EU diplomat-He added that Monday’s Brexit talks created a "very positive atmosphere" between London and Brussels.“We don’t have the ambition to sort out all the problems until the end of the week, but we want to build trust that would allow to the negotiations to go smoothly,” said another senior EU official.Brexit talks kicked off on Monday, and the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, will brief EU leaders after May has left the room on Thursday night.EU leaders will also discuss the criteria for relocating the two EU agencies currently based in London, but a decision on the move will only be made in October.-China screening-French president Emmanuel Macron is expected to push for curbing foreign takeovers in strategic industries by scrutinising investments at the EU summit on Friday.Concern is rife among some EU members, including Germany, that China is aiming to take over companies in Europe that have advanced technology in strategic sectors.State-owned ChemChina recently bought Swiss farm company Syngenta, deepening those concerns.On Friday, leaders will discuss the concept of screening investments at EU level, but decisions on investments lie with the EU member states.“This is about China. But we as EU should be careful not to send protectionist signals, a compromise formulation will emerge on this,” one EU official said.European Council president Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker will brief leaders on the meeting with US president Donald Trump, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.The two EU institution leaders will also talk with the heads of EU countries about the EU-China summit and have a wider discussion on the EU’s role in the world.A discussion on Turkey might emerge among leaders, as Austria pushes for EU accession talks to officially freeze over Erdogan’s crackdown on his opponents.But EU leaders are keenly aware that Turkey is a crucial partner as a Nato ally and for halting the flow of migrants on the Western Balkan route.“Everybody is aware of what is at stake, I expect some cynical pragmatism to prevail,” said an EU official.-The elephant in the room-Migration will be on the table on Friday, where leaders are expected to give new political guidance on reforming the bloc’s asylum system.Last December, the EU leaders set a June deadline for agreeing on reforming the so-called Dublin system, but major fault lines persist with regard to the quotas set to relocate asylum seekers from frontline states.Some countries - such as Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic - said they would refuse to take in migrants.“The elephant in the room is the responsibility and solidarity and how that translates into legislation,” said one diplomat.Leaders will try to build momentum on issues where there is more agreement on external aspects, such as tackling migration on the central Mediterranean route and beefing up help for patrolling Libya’s southern border.They will also discuss an EU-wide safe third country concept.-Sanctions-French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to recommend another six-month rollover of tough economic sanctions imposed in 2014 against Russia over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.The French and German leaders will brief fellow leaders on the Minsk ceasefire process, which has seen continued clashes between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels.-Security-In the wake of the terror attacks in Europe, security will feature high on the EU leaders’ agenda on Thursday.This time they want to encourage the internet industry to develop new technology and tools to combat online terrorism and radicalisation.Leaders will also want a new mechanism to better track the movement of people moving in and out of the Schengen zone to be finalised and operational.
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)
Prosecutor: Paris attacker asked family to see him as martyr-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-June 22, 2017
PARIS — The man killed when he drove his car packed with arms and explosives into a police convoy had pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State group and asked his family to remember him not as a suicide bomber but as a martyr, France's anti-terrorism prosecutor said Thursday.Paris prosecutor Francois Molins, citing a letter written in the form of a will dated the day before the Monday attack on the French capital's famed Champs-Elysees Avenue, said the man, born in a Paris suburb, had pledged his allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and practiced shooting "to prepare for jihad."The letter to his loved ones asked that his attack plan be treated not as a suicide attack but as a "martyrdom operation," Molins said.Molins said the attacker, whom he identified only as Adam D., had a huge cache of weapons both at home and in the vehicle he drove. Evidence from the investigation shows the suspect wanted to join IS forces in Syria and Iraq, the prosecutor said.The attack was aborted when the car exploded after the driver rammed the lead car in the police convoy, killing himself, Molins said.Police jumped out of the vehicle, ran to the car, smashed its windows and pulled out the driver in an apparent attempt to save him.Police officials earlier identified the suspect as 31-year-old Adam Djaziri from the Paris. He was born in Argenteuil, a Paris suburb, Molins said.Elaine Ganley, The Associated Press.
Champs Elysees attacker had been in Turkey and had huge arsenal of weapons: official-[Reuters]-yahoonews-June 22, 2017
PARIS (Reuters) - The man behind this week's attempted attack in Paris's Champs Elysees avenue had been to Turkey several times in 2016 where authorities questioned him over large amounts of gold and jewelry in his possession, and he had a huge arsenal of weapons, said the Paris prosecutor.Paris public prosecutor Francois Molins added at a news conference on Thursday that the attacker - whom he named as French national "Adam D" - had also wanted to go to Syria and had pledged allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.On June 19, the individual had rammed a car carrying weapons and explosives into a police van as it drove in a convoy down Paris's Champs Elysees, and subsequently died."The arsenal of weapons discovered in the vehicle, highlights the scale of the terrorist act that was being prepared, which - if it had succeeded - would have had terrible consequences on human life," said Molins.Molins said authorities had not yet identified the nature of orange smoke coming out of the car after the attack. In his car were an assault rifle, two pistols, ammunition and two large gas canisters, authorities had previously said.Adam D was married to a Tunisian and had two children, added Molins.(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Michel Rose)
Montreal man suspected in stabbing of police officer at Michigan airport-[CBC]-yahoonews-June 21, 2017
A Montreal resident accused of stabbing a police officer at Bishop International Airport in Flint, Mich., on Wednesday is being described by acquaintances as a "good person" and a quiet family man.U.S. authorities named Amor Ftouhi, who is approximately 50 years old, as the suspect in Wednesday's attack, which the FBI is investigating as an act of terror.On Wednesday afternoon, police descended on the apartment on Bélair Street in Montreal's St-Michel neighbourhood that Ftouhi shared with his wife and three children.Three people were questioned, and RCMP were expected to take over at the scene to begin a search and seizure operation.In an update Wednesday evening, Montreal police spokesperson Benoit Boisselle said the police operation was part of anti-terrorism procedures triggered when national security is believed to be at risk.Boisselle said no threats to public security were detected, but national security investigators will remain on site.Mohcin Asrii, who lives in the building, told CBC that Ftouhi is a quiet family man who was always kind. Luciano Piazza, who has owned the building for 55 years and is Ftouhi's landlord, said he was "very surprised" to hear his tenant is the suspect."He's a good person, very quiet. I've never had any problems with him," Piazza said, adding Ftouhi and his family moved in more than five years ago. "They're really good people."Ftouhi had been working as a driver through a job placement agency.His Facebook page says he is originally from Tunis, Tunisia. It's not clear when he moved to Montreal.According to a Facebook post, he graduated from Collège O'Sullivan on Mountain Street in downtown Montreal in 2009.Two Muslim women living in the neighbourhood expressed worry and anger when they were told of the allegations facing Ftouhi."It scares me," Ichrak Laib told Radio-Canada. "Stupid acts like that put our lives in danger." "That's not us," said Seloua Ghalem. "No religion calls for violence and terrorism. It's ridiculous."Officer wounded in knife attack-FBI spokesperson David Gelios said Ftouhi crossed legally into the U.S. on June 16 at Lake Champlain, N.Y. He didn't have information on why the suspect was in Flint.Gelios said Ftouhi arrived alone at Bishop International Airport Wednesday morning and spent some time at a restaurant prior to the attack, which took place at 9:45 a.m. ET. Gelios said Ftouhi stabbed the officer in the neck with a 30-centimetre knife after yelling "Allahu akbar," which is Arabic for "God is great.""He made a statement something to the effect of, 'You have killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and we are all going to die,'"- Gelios said.'A lone wolf attacker'-The attacker was quickly subdued by the wounded officer, identified as Lt. Jeff Neville, and three others.The stabbing sent Neville to hospital in critical condition. His condition has since stabilized.In an affidavit filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, FBI special agent Thomas M. Sondgeroth said Ftoui "asked the officer why he did not kill him."Gelios said preliminary evidence indicates the suspect acted alone and there is "nothing to suggest a wider plot.""At this time, we view him as a lone wolf attacker," he said.During questioning, Gelios said the suspect was co-operative and talked about his motive for attacking the officer. "Suffice it to say he has a hatred for the United States and a variety of other things," Gelios said.Ftoui is charged with committing an act of violence at an international airport, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.Gelios said Ftouhi was not known to the FBI, and that searches are continuing.At a media scrum in Ottawa Wednesday afternoon, federal Public Security Minister Ralph Goodale condemned the "heinous and cowardly attack" and said the RCMP are co-operating with the FBI, which is leading the investigation.
Suicide car bomb outside Afghan bank kills at least 29-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-June 22, 2017
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — A suicide car bomb exploded Thursday at a bank in Afghanistan's Helmand province as Afghan troops and government workers waited to collect their pay ahead of a major Muslim holiday, killing at least 29 people, officials said.Most of the casualties in the explosion near the bank in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah were civilians, said provincial Gov. Hayatullah Hayat. At least 60 people were wounded, he said.The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack at the Kabul Bank in the southern province, which has been the centre of bitter battles between the insurgents and security forces, aided by NATO troops.The militants, believed to control nearly 80 per cent of the province's countryside, increasingly have been making a push into Lashkar Gah to try take the city.Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi said in an email that the bomb targeted Afghan security personnel collecting their salaries. He said no civilians were killed and gave a higher death toll. But the provincial governor and police chief emphasized that most of the dead were civilians. Witnesses said children were among the wounded.The Taliban recently have overrun Helmand's key Sangin district, where British and U.S. troops had fought for years to keep them at bay.The attacker struck as scores of people, including many Afghan soldiers and civil servants, waited outside the bank ahead of the Eid-al-Fitr holiday, which follows the holy month of Ramadan, expected to end this weekend.Esmatullah, a border policeman who was at the scene of the deafening explosion, said many people were missing in the ensuing chaos as bystanders, survivors and ambulances struggled to get the most seriously wounded to the hospital."We are taking children to the hospital," said Esmatullah, who like many Afghans uses only one name.A 12-year-old girl named Hosnia was crying outside the bank as she searched for her father who had brought her to buy shoes ahead of the holiday."I couldn't find anyone, my brother and my father," she said. "My father told me he will take me to buy shoes. We came here and then there was the explosion."President Ashraf Ghani assailed the attackers as "enemies of humanity." He said the relentless assaults in Afghanistan are particularly offensive during Ramadan, when the faithful seek forgiveness for their wrongdoings."These brutal terrorist attacks ... prove that they (insurgents) have no respect for any religion or faith," Ghani said in a statement.Afghanistan has faced a series of large-scale attacks as the Taliban stepped up the war against the Kabul government in this year's summer offensive. In addition, the emerging Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan has tried to increase its footprint with attacks in urban areas.The worst occurred May 31, shortly after Ramadan began, when a truck bomb exploded in the heart of the capital of Kabul, killing 150 people. It was the worst attack since the Taliban ouster in 2001.Pakistan also condemned Thursday's suicide bombing, saying that "we firmly stand with our Afghan brothers in this hour of grief and anguish."Afghanistan and Pakistan routinely accuse each other of harbouring the insurgents.Helmand is considered a key region because it is one of the largest opium-producing provinces for the Taliban, who charge traffickers a hefty tax to move their contraband to market. Corrupt government officials also benefit from the production and trade of opium, the raw material for heroin.Afghanistan is the world's largest opium-producing country, producing more than all other countries combined, according to U.N. estimates.Meanwhile, a militant attack Wednesday night in a mosque in eastern Afghanistan killed two members of the local council.Salim Sallhe, spokesman for the provincial governor in eastern Logar, said gunmen opened fire at worshippers in Baraki district. Two other local officials were wounded.Sallhe said police are investigating. A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, denied the insurgents were behind the shooting.___Shah reported from Kabul. Associated Press writer Abdul Khalik in Lashkar Gah contributed.Mirwais Khan And Amir Shah, The Associated Press.
Shock and anger in Mosul after Islamic State destroys historic mosque-[Reuters]-By Kawa Omar and Ahmed Rasheed-YAHOONEWS-June 22, 2017
MOSUL/BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - The leaning al-Habda minaret that has towered over Mosul for 850 years lay in ruins on Thursday, demolished by retreating Islamic State militants, but Iraq's prime minister said the act marked their final defeat in the country's second city."In the early morning, I climbed up to my house roof and was stunned to see the Hadba minaret had gone," Nashwan, a day- laborer living in Khazraj neighborhood near the mosque, said by phone. "I felt I had lost a son of mine."His words echoed the shock and anger of many over the destruction of the Grand al-Nuri Mosque along with its famous minaret, known affectionately as "the hunchback" by Iraqis.The demolition came on Wednesday night as Iraqi forces closed on the mosque, which carried enormous symbolic importance for Islamic State. Its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi used it in 2014 to declare a "caliphate" as militants seized swathes of of Syria and Iraq.His black flag had been flying on the 150-foot (45-metre) minaret since June 2014, after Islamic State fighters surged across Iraq, seizing vast swathes of territory.Russia said on Thursday there was high degree of certainty Baghdadi was now dead, according to RIA news agency. Moscow said last week its forces may have killed him, but Washington could not corroborate and Western and Iraqi officials were skeptical.Baghdadi has left the fighting in Mosul to local commanders and is believed to be hiding in the border area between Iraq and Syria.Some analysts said the destruction of the mosque could in fact speed operations to drive Islamic State out of what had been its chief Iraqi stronghold. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi went further."Blowing up the al-Hadba minaret and the al-Nuri mosque amounts to an official acknowledgement of defeat," he said on his website.The insurgents chose to blow up the mosque rather than see the flag taken down by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces battling through the maze of narrow alleys and streets of the Old City, the last district still under control of Islamic State in Mosul.In the dawn light, all that remained was the base projecting from shattered masonry. A video on social media showed the minaret collapsing vertically, throwing up a pall of sand and dust.Defense analysts agreed the decision to destroy the mosque could indicate that the militants are on the verge of collapse."They had said they would fight until their last breath defending the mosque," Baghdad-based security expert Safaa al-A’sam told Reuters. "The fact is that they are no longer capable of standing in the face of Iraqi government forces."The assailants will be freer in their attacks as they don't have to worry about damaging the mosque anymore, he said.The minaret was built with seven bands of decorative brickwork in complex geometric patterns also found in Persia and Central Asia. Its tilt and the lack of maintenance made it particularly vulnerable to blasts.U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the U.S.-led international coalition assisting in the Iraqi effort to defeat Islamic State, said Iraqi security forces were continuing to push into remaining ISIS-held territory,""There are two square kilometers left in West Mosul before the entire city is liberated," he told Reuters by phone.-"SYMBOL OF IDENTITY"-The United Nations' education organization UNESCO said the Minaret and mosque "stood as a symbol of identity, resilience and belonging" and deplored their destruction.Baghdadi proclaimed himself "caliph", or ruler of all Muslims, from the mosque's pulpit on July 4, 2014.The fall of Mosul would in effect mark the end of the Iraqi half of the "caliphate", though Islamic State would still hold territory west and south of the city. U.S.-backed militias are closing on Islamic State's Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.The mosque was named after Nuruddin al-Zanki, a noble who fought the early crusaders from a fiefdom that covered territory in modern-day Turkey, Syria and Iraq. It was built in 1172-73, shortly before his death, and housed an Islamic school.The mosque's military and religious history embodies the spirit of Mosul, a conservative city which supplied the armed forces with officers since modern Iraq was created, about 100 years ago, and until the fall of Saddam Hussein, after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion which empowered the Shi'ite majority.The Sunni city balked at its loss of influence and some joined the insurgency against the new rulers of the country. When Islamic State swept into Mosul in June 2014, they were welcomed by those who saw the takeover as promising an end to harsh treatment by Shi'ite-led security forces.The Mosque's destruction occurred during the holiest period of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, its final 10 days. The night of Laylat al-Qadr falls during this period, marking when Muslims believe the Quran was revealed to the prophet Mohammed.Islamic State fighters have destroyed many Muslim religious sites, churches and shrines, as well as ancient Assyrian and Roman-era sites in Iraq and in Syria."Many different enemies controlled Mosul over the past 900 years but none of them dared to destroy the Hadba." said Ziad, an arts students. "By bombing the minaret, they proved the are the worst of all barbarian groups in history."(For a graphic on battle for Mosul, click http://tmsnrt.rs/2rG1BO6)-(Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; editing by Ralph Boulton)
AP Analysis: Saudi shakeup, Qatar crisis show a Gulf on edge-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-June 22, 2017
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — There was a time when the mention of the Persian Gulf brought to mind images of pampered societies ruled by aging monarchs content to preside quietly over their oil money and fantastical skyscrapers while the U.S. kept the peace.Not anymore.A sudden royal shake-up in Saudi Arabia early Wednesday is only the latest wild card to be thrown in days of head-spinning developments in the typically staid Gulf.The kingdom led nations in unexpectedly cutting off nominal ally Qatar from the clubby Gulf Cooperation Council, which suddenly looks so incredibly unco-operative that is has raised fears of war among its members. The fact that Qatar hosts one of the biggest and most important foreign U.S. air bases has so far proved to be a good insurance policy for the tiny emirate — but the dispute brings headaches for Washington.The main adversary the Arab nations set up the council to stand against, Iran, meanwhile launched a volley of ballistic missiles at militants in Syria, its first such strike in more than a decade and a half.That's not even getting into low global oil prices squeezing their largely petrodollar-driven economies. Nor does it account for the ongoing threat posed by the Islamic State group, which struck Tehran for the first time, or the stalemated war in Yemen that's led to extensive civilian suffering.So what's actually going on? Some analysts have pointed to the fact that much of the turmoil came after U.S. President Donald Trump's trip last month to Saudi Arabia, his first state visit designed to show the Republican had a far different worldview than his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. In truth, many of the tensions currently on display — with both Iran and Qatar — go back years. But Trump's strong public endorsement of Riyadh as his primary regional partner may have emboldened the Saudis and changed some of the geopolitical math.Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations like the United Arab Emirates were deeply suspicious of Obama's diplomatic detente with Iran, which culminated in the 2015 nuclear deal."The Obama administration's apparent attempt to disengage from the region engendered a change in the Gulf's strategic culture, making some U.S. partners more confident in their ability to act on their own," wrote Michael Eisenstadt, the director of the Military and Security Studies Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.However, "arms sales or military surges cannot compensate for policy errors and missteps whose effects are regional in scope and geopolitical in scale," he added.U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's efforts at trying to mediate the Qatar crisis while Trump's own tweets appear to back the Saudi-led isolation over allegations the country supports terrorism have only compounded the uncertainty gripping the Gulf. Qatar long has denied backing extremist groups, though Western diplomats say its lax oversight allowed funding of Sunni militants like Syria's al-Qaida branch.The State Department this week demanded the countries boycotting Qatar spell out their complaints, suggesting the Trump administration was losing patience over the spat among its Gulf partners.In Iran, Tillerson's comments last week before Congress that the U.S. is working toward "support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government" angered officials there already suspicious of Trump.Meanwhile, citizens of Tehran openly accused Saudi Arabia of backing the Islamic State attack on parliament and the shrine of the Islamic Republic's founder that killed 18 people and wounded over 50.Their evidence? Newly minted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's own comments in May that the kingdom would "work so that it becomes a battle for them in Iran and not in Saudi Arabia."So when Iran launched its first missile attack in over 15 years on foreign soil this week targeting Islamic State fighters in Syria over the Tehran assault, it openly acknowledged it was a message for Saudi Arabia and America.That crisis between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which cut diplomatic ties in 2016, has extended into a disputed shooting in the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia said it captured three members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard aboard an explosives-laden boat that it alleges planned to attack a major offshore oilfield. Iran dismisses the allegation, though it earlier acknowledged the death of one citizen it called a fisherman who was shot by Saudi forces.There's turmoil striking other Gulf countries as well, particularly the tiny island of Bahrain, which is linked to Saudi Arabia by a causeway. A government crackdown on dissent for over a year continues unabated. Militants have responded by stepping up attacks on security forces, including one Sunday that killed a police officer.In Kuwait and Oman, citizens worry about the health of their current leaders, respectively the 88-year-old Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah and 76-year-old Sultan Qaboos bin Said. In Oman, there's no clear successor to the sultan while in Kuwait, a leadership struggle is possible.That challenge of continuing dynastic rule in Gulf Arab nations is tied to the task of handling burgeoning youth populations who expect to live as well or better than their parents. In Saudi Arabia, King Salman putting his assertive, 31-year-old son as next in line to the throne could prove popular with the kingdom's youth — if he can pull off his ambitious plans to wean the country from its oil-soaked economy.That all could be derailed with the dissention among the Arab Gulf states in the region and the ever-heating war of words between Iran and Saudi Arabia. In a way, that trouble has been there for decades, simmering just under the surface.Now it's boiling to a crisis at a level unseen since the 1990 Iraq invasion of Kuwait. That ended with a war and burning oil fields, something no one wants to see now.___EDITOR'S NOTE — Adam Schreck, the Gulf news director for The Associated Press, has reported from each of the Persian Gulf states and other locations across the Middle East since 2008. Jon Gambrell, an AP journalist since 2006, has covered the Middle East from Cairo and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, since 2013.___Follow Adam Schreck on Twitter at www.twitter.com/adamschreck . Follow Jon Gambrell at www.twitter.com/jongambrellap .This is an AP analysis of the situation in the Persian Gulf region following the latest developments. Adam Schreck, the Gulf news director for The Associated Press, has reported from each of the Persian Gulf states and other locations across the Middle East since 2008. Jon Gambrell, an AP journalist since 2006, has covered the Middle East from Cairo and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, since 2013.Adam Schreck And Jon Gambrell, The Associated Press.
Trudeau to drop name of residential schools proponent from Langevin building-[CBC]-yahoonews-June 21, 2017
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marked National Aboriginal Day by promising to strip the name of a residential schools proponent from a federal building and to rename the annual occasion as National Indigenous Peoples Day.Trudeau also formally announced that 100 Wellington St. in Ottawa, a heritage building and former U.S. embassy, will become a space dedicated to Inuit, Métis and First Nations peoples.During an event outside the building located across from Parliament Hill, Trudeau said there has never been a space dedicated to Indigenous peoples in the parliamentary precinct."That changes today," he said told the crowd of assembled Indigenous leaders and community members."It is our hope that this historic building will be a powerful symbol of the foundational role of Indigenous peoples in Canada's history as well as our close relationship towards our shared future."Trudeau also announced that the building currently called the Langevin block, which houses the Prime Minister's Office, will be renamed.The building is named after Hector-Louis Langevin, a father of Confederation and a prominent member of Sir John A. Macdonald's cabinet. He proposed the creation of the residential school system as the quickest way to assimilate First Nations children into Euro-Canadian society.He served as secretary of state for the provinces when the country's first residential schools were introduced."There is a deep pain in knowing that that building carries a name so closely associated with the horror of residential schools," Trudeau said. "Keeping that name on the Prime Minister's office is inconsistent with the values of our government, and it's inconsistent with our vision of a strong partnership with indigenous peoples in Canada."The building will "practically" be renamed The Office of the Prime Minister and the Privy Council, he said.Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde called the announcement "a big thing" that represents a milestone in building the nation-to-nation relationship.But NDP MP Romeo Saganash stood in question period Wednesday afternoon, and speaking in his native Cree, asked Trudeau if he had consulted representatives of the Algonquin People or spoken to the Penoshway family, who were removed from the land now occupying Parliament Hill, before changing the name of Langevin block.Trudeau responded by thanking Saganash for his words, which were not translated in the House, and saying he wished he had the capacity to understand what was being said."I thank the member for his question and look forward to working with him on the path to true reconciliation," Trudeau said.In a statement released earlier Wednesday morning, Trudeau said the government is determined to make a real difference in the lives of Indigenous Canadians by closing socio-economic gaps, supporting greater self-determination and creating more opportunities to work on "shared priorities.""No relationship is more important to Canada than the relationship with Indigenous Peoples. Our government is working together with Indigenous Peoples to build a nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, government-to-government relationship – one based on respect, partnership, and recognition of rights," the prime minister's statement reads.The statement said it is the government's intention is to rename the day National Indigenous Peoples Day, and that the government is reviewing all federal laws and policies to make progress on calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.The name change, which requires an order-in-council, will be in place for next year.Bellegarde welcomed the move, saying it would be more reflective of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples."It's important to be consistent with international terminology. It's an important step, no question," he told CBC News in an interview.Bellegarde called the day a chance to celebrate the contributions to the country and the resilience of Indigenous people.-'We're still here'-"In spite of the genocide from the residential schools and the colonization and oppression of the Indian Act and the exploitation of the land and territories, everything we have faced in the last 500 years, we're still here as Indigenous peoples," he said. "You can still hear our songs and our dance and our culture."Bellegarde said there is an awakening in Canadians about the quality of life gap that persists for Indigenous people, including housing, education, access to water and suicide rates."What's hopeful for me is that Canadians are starting to get it. To have those statistics that plague Indigenous peoples be real in 2017 is just not acceptable anymore," he said. "To see the poverty, and to see the systemic discrimination within police and within health care system, it's just not acceptable and I think there's a crying need for changes. That's what's hopeful and providing inspiration for a better country going forward."Trudeau said the day is an opportunity to recognize the "fundamental contributions" that First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation have made to the country, and urged Canadians to take part in Aboriginal Day activities in their communities to learn about the history, cultures and traditions of Indigenous people."The 150th anniversary of Confederation this year reminds us of the legacy of the past. As we look forward to the next 150 years, we commit to move ahead together in a spirit of reconciliation and respect," he said.The NDP also released a statement marking National Aboriginal Day as an occasion to honour the contributions of Indigenous people, including work to champion environmental protection and social justice, while reflecting on the many challenges Indigenous people still face today."Every day that we, as Indigenous Peoples, walk through a society built on colonial values is a day that we are reminded of how much work there is still to do to ensure a successful future for all our children," Indigenous and Northern Affairs critic Romeo Saganash.Statutory holiday? NDP MP Georgina Jolibois has tabled a private member's bill to make National Aboriginal Day a national statutory holiday."The timing of this bill is significant for many people because while many are celebrating Canada 150, few are recognizing the sad realities and history of Indigenous Peoples. This recognition is necessary for reconciliation, and a renewed and sincere nation-to-nation relationship," Jolibois said in the statement."We can't change the past; however, we can be honest and educate ourselves so that history does not repeat itself."Bellegarde supports making it a national statutory holiday."Education and awareness are two steps that lead to understanding that should lead to action," he said. "Having a statutory holiday for Indigenous Peoples Day is a way of educating Canadians, it's an opportunity to listen and learn. I think we've got to really interact more together and learn from each other because there's just not enough integration either way. We still live in solitudes."Paul Duchesne, a spokesman for the Privy Council Office, said there is no intention at this time to change the status of the day to be a statutory holiday. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May issued a statement urging government action to address pressing issues such as the lack of clean drinking water and discrimination against Indigenous children."Advocates are pushing the federal government to abide by an order to provide equitable funding for child and family services on reserves. This year's budget contained nothing to address this shortfall in funding. This blatant discrimination tarnishes Canada's human rights record."
Thousands of yogis search for serenity in Times Square-Agence France-Presse-yahoonews-June 21, 2017
New York (AFP) - Thousands of yoga aficionados celebrated the summer solstice amid the neon lights and cacophony of Times Square Wednesday, searching for inner peace in the heart of New York on International Yoga Day."I have always wanted to come to yoga in Times Square. This year I retired so now I can," said 62-year-old former school principal Kathy Gaffney, who took the ferry bright and early from Staten Island to get a good place in line.Around 12,000 people were expected to take part in six one-hour yoga classes beginning at 7:30 am (1130 GMT) to celebrate the official start of summer and the longest day of the year. The event is now in its 15th year.For the last three years, it has coincided with International Yoga Day."It is mind over matter," laughed Magdalena Leszko, 40, of the surrounding Times Square din. "To have fun and to be part of a community. It tests the limits."Chloe Liu, a Malaysian living in New York, came with two Chinese friends."To be able to do yoga in Times Square, in the middle of this chaotic and noisy scene, to be able to find calmness and equanimity," she said. "I was able to -- not the whole time, but in and out," said the delighted 49-year-old.Under the watchful eye of police in one of the busiest plazas in the world, organizers handed out green yoga mats and bottles of water, before talking participants through their postures."The first year there were only three people who participated, the weather that day was horrible, raining," said Douglas Stewart, yoga teacher and co-founder of the event. "But it started to grow year after year," he added.In 2015, when the event coincided with the first International Yoga Day, 17,000 people took part, including then UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon.
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