Thursday, June 08, 2017
THE EU TO SPEND 1.5 BILLION A YEAR ON JOINT DEFENCE.
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)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings(10 DIVSION REGION WORLD GOVERNMENT) that shall arise: and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.( BE HEAD OF 3 NATIONS)
25 And he (EU PRESIDENT) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.(3 1/2 YRS)
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king (EU DICTATOR) of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,(FROM THE OCCULT-NEW AGE MOVEMENT) shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power:(SATANS POWER) and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes;(JESUS) but he shall be broken without hand.
36 And the king (EU DICTATOR) shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers,(THIS EU DICTATOR IS JEWISH) nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.(CLAIM TO BE GOD)
38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces:(WAR) and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god,(DESTROY TERROR GROUPS) whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many,(HIS ARMY LEADERS) and shall divide the land for gain.
19 And I saw the beast,(EU LEADER) and the kings of the earth, and their armies,(UNITED NATIONS TROOPS) gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse,(JESUS) and against his army.(THE RAPTURED CHRISTIANS)
EU to spend €1.5bn a year on joint defence By Andrew Rettman, Nikolaj Nielsen, Lisbeth Kirk-june 7,17-euobserver
BRUSSELS, Today, 17:58-The European Commission has offered to put aside €1.5 billion a year for joint defence spending in what could be the first step toward the creation of an EU army.It said in Brussels on Wednesday (7 June) the EU should spend €500 million a year of its joint budget from 2020 onward on R&D of new military technologies, such as robotics or cyber defence.It said it should spend a further €1 billion a year on joint procurement of high-technology items such as surveillance drones.R&D projects would be entirely financed from the EU budget. The joint purchases, by groups of at least three firms from at least two EU states, would see the EU pay 20 percent of the cost and the participating countries, which would own and operate the assets, pay the rest.The creation of the so called European Defence Fund was billed as Europe’s response to “the most severe security challenges of the past 60 years” - Russian revanchism and Middle East instability.The fund was unveiled after the new US president Donald Trump shook faith in Nato last month by refusing to stand by its Article 5 obligation on joint defence.It was also unveiled as the UK, the EU’s main military power and the main opponent of EU defence integration, prepares to start exit talks.The Commission and the EU foreign service added in a “reflection paper” also on Wednesday that the fund could in future form part of the bloc’s “common defence and security”.They said that member states’ defence forces could one day “be pre-positioned and be made permanently available for rapid deployment on behalf of the Union”.These joint forces, or what eurosceptics have called an "EU army", would launch “operations against terrorist groups, naval operations in hostile environments or cyber-defence action”.Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign affairs chief, said on Monday that EU states which are also Nato allies would still rely on Nato for territorial defence.But she said they could also rely on EU help if they were attacked on the back of Article 42.7 of the EU treaty, which stipulates that other EU states had “an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power”.She noted that France already invoked this after the Paris terrorist attacks in 2015 and that this had led to “concrete actions” in terms of, for instance, intelligence sharing.Jyrki Katainen, a former Finnish prime minister who is now commissioner for jobs and growth, said EU mutual defence could be of special help in the event of a “hybrid” war that used military and non-military means to attack an EU country.He said a hybrid attack could see “the media shut down, the electricity [supply] shut down, bank transactions have problems, and all these three issues happen together and maybe there are also little green or grey men or women”.The phrase "little green men" refers to Russian special forces without insignia which invaded Crimea in Ukraine in 2014 .-France welcomes plan-The EU plan was immediately welcomed by France.Its armed forces minister, Sylvie Goulard, said on Wednesday the proposed EU defence fund was “a turning point for a better sharing of costs, but also for defence capabilities”.She added that it would give “political impetus” to the EU’s ambition to become “sovereign” in terms of of its technological and strategic capabilities.Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato head, also welcomed the EU initiative.“Stronger European defence … will strengthen the European pillar in Nato”, he said, adding that the defence fund would “help to develop new capabilities”.The British Conservative Party, some far-left politicians, and arms control NGOs spoke out against the scheme.Geoffrey Van Orden, a British Tory MEP, said it was an EU "ego trip" that would create "alternative structures [to Nato] that will merely increase the transatlantic divide".Sabine Loesing, a German far-left MEP, said it was the “start of a very slippery slope” that would lead to an “EU defence budget [that] will presumably be in the hundreds of billions in the near future”.Wendela de Vries from Stop Wapenhandel, a Belgian NGO, said: “These proposals will not lead to peace and security, but will only increase the profits of the arms industry”.But the Commission proposals won support from mainstream groups in the European Parliament, who will be needed to sign off on the fund.Manfred Weber, a German MEP who chairs the centre-right EPP group, the largest in parliament, said on Wednesday: “This is, after the euro, the second major development for Europe. I believe that common defence is … a must”.Guy Verhofstadt, a Belgian MEP who leads the liberal Alde group, said: “The proposed European Defence Fund is an important first step towards much needed joint capabilities on defence”.He said the Commission should have been more bold in its vision of an EU army. “We have to act now, independently and efficiently. That is why I am in favour of … joint action and a real defence union”, he said.-Prototype fund-An EU official noted on Wednesday that the Commission was already allocating €590 million to a prototype of the joint defence fund for the years 2017 to 2020.The official said the €25 million set aside for 2017 was “something that the Commission had never done before” because in the past it had stayed out of military funding.The official added that the EU institutions would not get any of their own military capabilities even if the plan went ahead at full pelt.“Member states are the ones that are going to own the capabilities at the end of the day”, the official said.The Commission noted on Wednesday that past overlaps and complications in member states’ defence planning had led to waste.EU states had 36 “defence platforms and systems” in place versus 11 in the US.It said member states’ joint projects, such as the Eurofighter Typhoon or the Tiger helicopter, had in the past cost too much, taken too long and had to produce aircraft with too many varied specifications. It said one joint helicopter, the NH90, “had to be developed in 23 versions”.But it said other projects, such as the Meteor air-to-air missile, which was developed by the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and Sweden were a “prime example” of how to work together.It noted that the €590 million for the prototype defence fund would be ripped from the EU’s existing budget for “connecting Europe” (including projects “contributing to sustainable development and protection of the environment”), as well as from the budget for satellite navigation and earth observation, and for resaerch into nuclear fusion.
EU mulls joint defence spending By Andrew Rettman-june 7,17-euobserver
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:19-The EU budget should be used for military research and the bloc could become a defence alliance akin to Nato, the European Commission is poised to say.The Commission is to outline its ideas in a legislative proposal on spending and in an ideas paper on defence due out on Wednesday (7 June).“The development of a new generation of many major defence systems is today beyond the reach of a single EU member state … ‘More Europe’ in defence and security is clearly needed”, the draft proposals, seen by Bloomberg, a US news agency, said.The reflection paper adds that the “nature of the trans-Atlantic relationship is evolving” and that “more than ever, Europeans need to take greater responsibility for their own security”.It outlines three scenarios, one of which speaks of “common defence and security” in which defence of Europe “would become a mutually reinforcing responsibility of the EU and Nato”.It says the EU should have “pre-positioned permanently available forces” for deployment “on behalf of the union” that could be used in anti-crisis or counter-terrorist operations in hostile areas.The less ambitious scenarios speak of voluntary contributions to joint defence on ad-hoc basis.The new military research budget is to be worth €250 million in its first year in 2020 rising to up to €1 billion a year from the €150-billion EU budget.It is to be spent on research into surveillance drones and cyber defence in its initial phase, but this would still mark the first time EU money had been spent directly on military assets.The defence integration is to take place until 2025.The EU reflection on defence began prior to the Brexit vote in the UK and the election of Donald Trump in the US.The UK was the EU’s pre-eminent military power and British prime minister Theresa May has flip-flopped on whether its future EU security cooperation could be withheld if Brexit talks went badly.Trump last week disappointed Nato allies by refusing to say he would honour the Nato treaty’s Article 5 on mutual defence.Germany and Italy have in the past called for the creation of an EU army, but France and Finland, among others, were more sceptical, while the UK has opposed such a move.
Focus-Nordic leaders outline visions for European security By Lisbeth Kirk-june 7,17-euobserver
Bergen, Today, 09:29-The five Nordic countries agree they need to invest more in European security, but differ on whether resources should be spent on Nato or EU defence.“I think the demand that Europe steps up on defence policies and use of money on their defence is very clear and we need to do it because we have a different security situation," Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg told EUobserver, referring to the new climate in Europe after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.The extra spending is "not because the Americans are asking us [for it],” the conservative Norwegian politician pointed out.For a long time ”both German politicians and French politicians have wanted the EU to have a stronger say on security issues and to work more on that," said Solberg, who spoke to EUobserver in the margins of a Nordic council meeting in Bergen, Norway, last week.“I still believe that Nato should be the biggest, strongest military capacity … the EU should supplement Nato on much more soft power, much more policing, much more conflict prevention and that type of work,” she said.“I think Nato has a better command structure ... and we don’t need two organisations that in fact have the same type of capabilities.”-Brexit opens way for EU defence-Norway is not a member of the EU but has always been a keen Nato partner. The alliance is currently led by a former Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg.Soon Britain will be in the same position - outside the European Union while inside Nato."I don’t think [Brexit] will change so much Nato as it may change the European Union. Of course there will be a stronger focus from Germany and from France also on security issues because we know that Britain has been one of the countries holding back a little bit [on EU defence integration],” Solberg said.Regardless of whether extra funds got to Nato or the EU, “it is important to remember that what we really do is to invest in our own defence,” Norway’s PM said.-Iceland without an army-The transatlantic security situation was highlighted recently when German chancellor Angela Merkel said "Europeans have to take our destiny into our own hands"."The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I've experienced that in the last few days," Merkel told a crowd at an election rally in Munich, southern Germany on 28 May following US president Donald Trump’s first Nato and G7 meeting.Iceland, as with Norway, is a non-EU member of Nato, but also has a special relationship with the US.“What is indicative of the situation is that things are changing rapidly and Europe needs to adapt immediately,” Iceland’s prime minister Bjarni Benediktsson told EUobserver also in Bergen.“I think one should take notice of both what the president in the US is saying but also to what Merkel is saying. I think they are more or less saying the same thing. Donald Trump is saying that Europe can not in the area of defence and security rely as heavily on their [US] expenditures as they have done in recent years and we have already taken notice of this. That was what happened in Wales,” Benediktsson said.The defence spending goal was a key talking point at the Nato summit in Wales in September 2014, when Nato states pledged "to move towards the 2% [proportion of GDP spent on defence] guideline within a decade."“If we look more closely to our Icelandic situation in the area of defence and security we are a little different as we, number one: don’t have our own army ; number two: we have a special defence agreement with the United States which is still valid and the US is even beefing up their presence in Iceland with those submarines, submarine detecting air planes coming more frequently”, Iceland’s Benediktsson added.Benediktsson said that “it is not self evident that we found the golden rule in 2 percent”, the part of GDP that the Nato says member states should give to defence spendings.He added that we should not “try and solve all issues with force, but also with civilian solutions, introducing the ideology of democracy, equality, security and peace in different ways than only with force on the battlefield."-Merkel said no news-Denmark’s liberal prime minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen also referred to the Wales summit decision and said Merkel had not really said anything new.“I do not think there is any crucial new conclusion,” he told EUobserver in Bergen.“We are the continent that is also most affected by the things that an unstable world sets in motion. We have a refugee and migration flow to Europe that the entire continent of America, both America and Canada, with all fine principles in place, for geographic reasons, can stay out of. So the effects of not having control appear with greater clarity in Europe”, he said.Loekke said the EU enlargement to the east had changed the security situation in Europe.“The threats have come closer and that's why we [Denmark] sent 200 men to Estonia, for example”, he said, referring to Nato forces that were recently posted to the Baltic states to deter Russian aggression.His own son was one of the officers planning the operation, he noted.-Non-aligned Sweden and Finland-Denmark is currently prevented from investing in EU security due to an old op-out from EU defence and security policies.Finland and Sweden, on the other hand, are not likely to invest in Nato forces because of their status as non-aligned countries, but they do participate in Nato drills, such as Baltops 2017, as so-called Enhanced Opportunities Partners.The BALTIC OPERATIONS (Baltops) drill has been held since 1972 and Russia participated in the past, with its last appearance being in 2012. Since 2015 it has not been invited to join the international exercise due to its annexation of Crimea.This year's Baltops kicked off on 1 June and will involve 4,000 shipboard personnel, 50 ships and submarines and more than 50 aircraft from 14 Nato countries plus Sweden and Finland.It is designed to ”demonstrate resolve among forces from allied and partner nations to ensure stability in and, if necessary, defend the Baltic Sea region,” according to Nato.-Putin warning Sweden-In the run-up to Baltops 17, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has warned Sweden directly against joining Nato."If Sweden joins Nato, it will negatively affect our relations because it will mean that Nato facilities will be set up in Sweden so we will have to think about the best ways to respond to this additional threat," Putin said at a meeting in St. Petersburg on 1 June, the same day as the drill began, Russian state news agency Tass reported."We will consider this [Sweden’s joining Nato] as an additional threat for Russia and will search for the ways to eliminate it," Putin added.But there is currently no reason for Moscow to fear that Sweden is applying for membership of Nato.“We will stay non-aligned, because we believe that is, we are convinced, that is the right position,” Sweden’s social democrat prime minister Stefan Loefven said when talking to EUobserver.“We have different kind of co-operations already, we are one of the partners of Nato but we are not aligned.”Asked what the EU could contribute to strengthen Swedish security, Loefven said that "it could be anything from research, developing of defence materials but also we have already - since year’s ago - formed battle groups that take part in international conflicts for example. There is a lot of co-operation that we can do,” he said mentioning cyber security as a "very important field to cooperate on.”-Finland keen on EU security-Finland is on the same path as Sweden, but its prime minister appeared even more enthusiastic about investing in security via the EU.“There is a positive chance or possibility to have a deeper cooperation inside the European Union and we are very much in favour on that approach from Finland. For example cyber threats and hybrid threats - these are the areas we can cooperate much more on inside European Union and this is something we are going to discuss in the next European council meeting,” Finnish prime minister Juha Sipilae told EUobserver.“We are in favour of this kind of approach also because there is a lot of things which are not overlapping Nato’s meaning or targets,” he said,EUobserver asked him whether the European Union could develop a new security dimension with his support.“Yes, exactly. Security and defence co-operation. It is very important for us,” he said.
DRUG PUSHERS AND ADDICTS
1 PET 5:8
8 Be sober,(NOT DRUGED UP OR ALCOHOLICED) be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries (DRUGS) were all nations deceived.
21 Neither repented they of their murders,(KILLING) nor of their sorceries (DRUG ADDICTS AND DRUG PUSHERS), nor of their fornication,(SEX OUTSIDE MARRIAGE OR PROSTITUTION FOR MONEY) nor of their thefts.(STEALING)
Almost 2,500 Canadians died from opioid-related overdoses last year: data-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-June 6, 2017
OTTAWA — New data suggests almost 2,500 Canadians died from opioid-related overdoses in 2016 — deaths that federal Health Minister Jane Philpott says were preventable.The data released Tuesday by the Public Health Agency of Canada found an estimated 2,458 people died of opioid overdoses, a national death rate of 8.8 per 100,000 people.And the agency found western Canada is feeling the brunt of the impact, with opioid-related death rates of over 10.0 per 100,000 population in Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Alberta."The data gives us confirmation of the severity of the problem," Philpott said in an interview."These are preventable deaths."Information from Quebec was not available but Philpott said discussions with provincial officials are ongoing."We hope to eventually be able to fill out all of the details of the data but the systems for data collection are different," she said. We will hopefully work toward that in the months to come."The figures remain the best possible estimate right now, Philpott added."This remains a very serious public health threat," she said."We need all players to participate in the response ... We are very, very active on this file but we would certainly be encouraging provincial and territorial governments to be diligent, to be very active in providing a comprehensive response."The numbers were released by the agency on behalf of a federal, provincial and territorial advisory committee on the opioid overdose epidemic.The committee, created in December 2016, is chaired by Canada's interim chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief public health officer.Health Canada says opioids affect the part of the brain that controls breathing and taking too many pills can cause breathing to slow, contributing to unconsciousness and death.Elaine Hyshka, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta School of Public Health, said it's positive to see Canada moving closer to compiling a national picture of the crisis."It is encouraging that we are seeing some progress but ultimately this is a national epidemic," she said.At some point, Canada must do better, Hyshka added, noting that this country falls far short of the U.S. when it comes to overdose death reporting."Our surveillance systems are a decade behind where they should be but if we are going to take this seriously as a public health crisis ... then we need the numbers and we need the counts to show this," she said."If that requires an injection of resources, if that requires compelling the provinces and territories to report data more quickly and figuring out different strategies to do that, that should all be on the table because we can't respond to this effectively without understanding it."The process of compiling the new figures revealed challenges in public health infrastructure and the national agency's authority to gather provincial and territorial data, Philpott said."We are working to remedy the challenges that have been identified."Any loss of life as result of an opioid overdose is a needless, preventable tragedy, Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins said in a statement."Through increased partnership, enhanced surveillance and data collection, modernizing prescribing and dispensing practices, and connecting patients with high quality, holistic care we will continue to take co-ordinated action to combat the opioid crisis in Ontario and across the country," he said.—Follow @kkirkup on Twitter-Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press.
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)
Opinion-Why Schengen deserves to be saved By Nicolas Tenzer-june 7,17-euobserver
BRUSSELS, Today, 14:36-Just one week after Emmanuel Macron’s landslide election victory offered a ringing endorsement of the European project in France, the prime minister of Denmark made it clear that the debate over Europe’s open borders is far from over.The European Commission announced last month (2 May) that Denmark would need to lift border controls come November, in compliance with the Schengen agreement.On 16 May, Danish prime minister Lars Rasmussen issued his defiant response: "We will continue border controls unless the EU miraculously finds ways to regain control of its outer frontiers and Italy curbs the flow of refugees … into Europe." This harsh tone needs to be taken in the context of Denmark’s delicate politics.Rasmussen’s minority government relies on parliamentary support from the far-right Danish People’s Party, which shares a strategy with Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen in using the 26-country passport-free Schengen area as a convenient target for anti-EU platforms.After all, Schengen is one of the key pillars of the European project and its dismantlement would herald the end of one of the most successful and visible achievements of the EU.The far-right candidates have had competition in this year’s high-stakes elections: in France, even some mainstream conservative candidates depicted the Schengen zone as a threat to national security and the control of migration – advocating for the return of border controls within the Schengen area or its wholesale elimination.While these populist stances are part of a transatlantic nationalist narrative that also echoes from the White House of US president Donald Trump, they are based on several fundamental untruths.-The main untruths-First of all, with highly secured passports and a standardised control process for travellers coming from non-Schengen countries, the external borders of the EU (and non-EU Schengen countries: Switzerland, Norway and Iceland) are as secure as any other.Despite widespread fears of foreign terrorists disguising themselves as refugees to cross into Europe, not one of the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks over the last two years fit this alleged profile.Whether in France, Belgium, or Germany, those responsible for these horrendous acts of terror lived in Europe for years prior – and, in most cases, their whole lives.Secondly, the argument that open borders are a drain on national economies is patently false.In reality, from an economic point of view, the disintegration of Schengen would have catastrophic effects – jeopardising trade and growth, and increasing unemployment.A recent study by the French Commissariat for Strategy explained just how much: “In the longer run, widespread permanent border controls would decrease trade between Schengen countries by a factor of 10% to 20%".The study added that "this would be equivalent to a 3% value-added tax on trade, leading to a loss for France of half a percentage point in GDP, or more than €10 billion. This figure does not include the impact on foreign investment and labour mobility."It also outlines the impact it would have on the Schengen area's overall economy: "Overall, the Schengen area’s GDP would be reduced by 0.8 points, equivalent to more than €100 billion. An additional impact on labour mobility, foreign investment and financial flows can be anticipated, but is difficult to quantify."-Opening France-Voters in France were perfectly cognisant of the importance of Europe’s open borders when they went to vote earlier this month.Freedom from internal border controls has a major impact on tourist flows, boosting an industry critical to the economies of many EU countries. This not only includes short-stay travellers, but also those coming from outside the Schengen area as part of a longer trip.By making it easy to visit multiple countries during the same trip – and sparing tourists the burden of multiple national visas – freedom of movement helps spread tourist euros across the EU.Schengen also facilitates regular cross-border movement for millions of Europeans: in France alone, 353,000 people worked in a neighbouring country in 2011.For these workers and others, including those who work in Europe’s freight industries, a return to border controls would be economically disastrous.Most importantly however, losing Schengen would signal a dramatic loss of political capital for the EU – fatally undermining the four basic freedoms of persons, capital, services, and goods.Internal borders and controls are unwelcome vestiges of the old Europe; a continent without borders is a highly political and symbolic asset, especially when compared to the barbed-wire fences being erected in some corners of the world. It also encourages non-Schengen EU countries (such as Romania and Bulgaria) to join the area.Beyond pure economics, Schengen embodies fully-fledged membership and integration into the EU. By governing institutional arrangements made with outside countries, Schengen has also become part of the EU’s soft power.-Reduce borders, increase power-For Eastern bloc countries and other emerging democracies around the world, visa-free access to the Schengen area is a prized objective.Ukraine just received final acceptance from the European Parliament in April 2017, a significant milestone after the 2014 Maidan revolution in the country that was driven by European values.Schengen has also served as a useful bargaining chip in bilateral negotiations outside Europe.Peru, for example, recently celebrated one year after having lifted Schengen visa requirements for its citizens. That newfound access was facilitated by Peru’s new, fully secured biometric passports from France’s Imprimerie Nationale and including the Netherlands' Gemalto, which prevent fraud and contribute to the fight against falsified documents.Paradoxically, while some nationalist European parties are openly considering abandoning the Schengen model, other regional blocs are thinking of embracing it: the Gulf Cooperation Council and ASEAN have just been the latest to seriously consider lifting internal border controls.By exploiting latent fears of uncontrolled immigration across open borders, far-right parties such as the Danish People’s Party, France's Front National, and the UK Independence Party (Ukip) have managed to turn the Schengen area into a political hot potato despite its manifold benefits.Macron’s victory in France has temporarily neutralised this political threat, but he himself has repeatedly assessed that the work is not over.An open Europe must successfully protect its citizens against terrorist threats, aggressive powers, and internal dumping.Otherwise, the narrative being pushed by illiberal and anti-European populists will regain traction sooner rather than later.Nicolas Tenzer is the chairman of the Paris-based Centre for Study and Research for Political Decision (Cerap), editor of the journal Le Banquet, author of three official reports to the government, including two on international strategy, and of 21 books.
Islamic State claims stunning attack in heart of Iran-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-June 7, 2017
TEHRAN, Iran — The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Wednesday for a pair of stunning attacks on Iran's parliament and the tomb of its revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which killed at least 12 people and wounded more than 40.The bloodshed shocked the country and came as emboldened Sunni Arab states — backed by U.S. President Donald Trump — are hardening their stance against Shiite-ruled Iran.In recent years, Tehran has been heavily involved in conflicts in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State, but had remained untouched by IS violence around the world. Iran has also battled Saudi-backed Sunni groups in both countries.Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard indirectly blamed Saudi Arabia for the attacks. A statement issued Wednesday evening stopped short of alleging direct Saudi involvement but called it "meaningful" that the attacks followed Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia, where he strongly asserted Washington's support for Riyadh.The statement said Saudi Arabia "constantly supports" terrorists including the Islamic State group, adding that the IS claim of responsibility "reveals (Saudi Arabia's) hand in this barbaric action."The "spilled blood of the innocent will not remain unavenged," the Revolutionary Guard statement said.Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme leader, used the attacks to defend Tehran's involvement in wars abroad. He told a group of students that if "Iran had not resisted," it would have faced even more troubles."The Iranian nation will go forward," he added.The violence began in midmorning when assailants with Kalashnikov rifles and explosives stormed the parliament complex where a legislative session had been in progress. The siege lasted for hours, and one of the attackers blew himself up inside, according to Iran's state TV.Images circulating in Iranian media showed gunmen held rifles near the windows of the complex. One showed a toddler being handed through a first-floor window to safety outside as an armed man looks on.The IS group's Aamaq news agency released a 24-second video purportedly shot inside the complex, showing a bloody, lifeless body on the floor next to a desk.An Associated Press reporter saw several police snipers on the roofs of nearby buildings. Police helicopters circled the parliament and all mobile phone lines from inside were disconnected.Shops in the area were closed as gunfire rang out and officials urged people to avoid public transportation. Witnesses said the attackers fired from the parliament building's fourth floor at people in the streets."I was passing by one of the streets. I thought that children were playing with fireworks, but I realized people are hiding and lying down on the streets," Ebrahim Ghanimi, who was around the parliament building, told the AP. "With the help of a taxi driver, I reached a nearby alley."As the parliament attack unfolded, gunmen and suicide bombers also struck outside Khomeini's mausoleum on Tehran's southern outskirts. Khomeini led the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the Western-backed shah to become Iran's first supreme leader until his death in 1989.Iran's state broadcaster said a security guard was killed at the tomb and that one of the attackers was slain by security guards. A woman was also arrested. The revered shrine was not damaged.The Interior Ministry said six assailants were killed — four at the parliament and two at the tomb. A senior Interior Ministry official told Iran's state TV the male attackers wore women's attire.Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani called the attacks a cowardly act.Saudi Arabia and Iran regularly accuse each other of supporting extremists in the region. Saudi Arabia has long pointed to the absence of IS attacks in Iran as a sign of Tehran's culpability. For its part, Iran has cited Saudi Arabia's support for jihadists and its backing of hard-line Sunni fighters in Syria.Trump's first overseas visit to Saudi Arabia last month positioned the U.S. firmly on the side of the kingdom and other Arab states in their stance against Iran. His assurances of Washington's support emboldened hawkish royals in Saudi Arabia, which is at war in Yemen against Iranian-allied rebels.The attacks are likely to deepen enmity and sharpen the regional battle for power between the two rivals. Tensions are running high this week following a cut in ties between key Arab powers and Qatar over accusations that the energy-rich nation supports terrorist groups and is aligning itself too closely with Iran.Saudi Arabia has been a target of numerous lethal attacks by IS affiliates who see the kingdom's Western-allied leadership as heretics. The group has also targeted Shiites in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.IS militants are fighting Iranian-backed forces in Syria and Iraq, and they view Shiites as apostates. Iran shares borders with Iraq and Turkey, where extremists could have slipped in.Nelly Lahoud, an expert on extremism at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Bahrain, said IS leaders may be looking to rally supporters through the attacks in Iran as they lose ground in Syria and Iraq."Now that they are unable to maintain the promise of territory, attacking Iran is to their advantage," she said. "It wouldn't surprise me if this were planned for a long time."On March 27, the IS group posted a 37-minute video in Farsi threatening Iran. The Clarion Project said the speakers claimed to represent various Iranian Sunni ethnic groups, such as the Baluchis and Ahvazis, and encouraged Iranian Sunnis to join the group.Wednesday's attacks, during the holy month of Ramadan that is observed by both Sunni and Shiite Muslims, came as the Islamic State is competing with al-Qaida for jihadi recruits.Arab separatists are active in Iran's southern city of Ahvaz, where they killed two policemen three weeks ago. Though most Iranians are Shiite, including separatists in Ahvaz, the eastern Baloch region is majority Sunni, although there are no recent census figures available. There is also a significant Sunni population in southern Hormozgan province.The attacks drew condemnation from Iran's allies — and also from the United States. That was notable because of the deep distrust between Tehran and Washington, which don't have diplomatic relations.State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. expressed condolences to the victims and their families."The depravity of terrorism has no place in a peaceful, civilized world," Nauert said.Russian President Vladimir Putin sent condolences and confirmed Moscow's willingness to aid its ally. Syria's Foreign Ministry also condemned the attacks, which it said were backed by various governments that it did not specify.The IS group often claims attacks around the world, even when links to the group cannot be confirmed. Iranian security officials have not said who might have been behind the attacks, although state media called the assailants "terrorists."There are concerns that a doubling down on security could lead to a wider clampdown on the opposition in Iran. Rights group Amnesty International urged Iranian authorities to carry out impartial investigations into the attacks.Charlie Winter, a senior research fellow at King's College London, said the attacks could provoke a disproportionate counterterrorism response in Iran."Iranian officials will be called upon to step up intervention in Iraq (and) Syria big time," he said, adding that Wednesday's attacks will significantly boost IS morale amid battlefield defeats.___Batrawy reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writers Nasser Karimi in Tehran; Sarah El Deeb and Phillip Issa in Beirut; Lori Hinnant in Paris; and producers Mohammad Nasiri and Mahdi Fattahi, and cameraman Saeed Sarmadi in Tehran contributed.Amir Vahdat And Aya Batrawy, The Associated Press.
Suspect in Notre Dame attack was ex-journalist, student-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-June 7, 2017
PARIS — The Algerian doctoral student suspected of attacking police officers in front of Notre Dame Cathedral — with cries of "This is for Syria!" and a hammer — was identified Wednesday by a relative and a friend as an ex-journalist who firmly believed in democratic values and showed no signs of radicalization.The Paris prosecutor's office said a search of a residence linked to the suspect in the suburb of Cergy-Pontoise uncovered a declaration of allegiance to the Islamic State group. A nephew in Algeria, lawyer Sofiane Ikken, said he was mystified by the finding because his uncle, Farid Ikken, had previously expressed disdain for the extremist group."I really can't understand it or believe it," the nephew said in a telephone interview. "We couldn't believe that Farid committed such an act. Everyone is calling me to say, 'We can't believe it. It's not the person we knew.'"The assault was the latest act of violence targeting security forces at high-profile sites in France, which remains under a state of emergency after a string of Islamic extremist attacks.French government spokesman Christophe Castaner told RTL radio that police quickly classified Tuesday's hammer attack as a "terrorist act" because of "the words he said." The assailant yelled "This is for Syria" while trying to strike officers patrolling outside Notre Dame, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb has said.One officer was injured slightly, police said Tuesday.Surveillance video provided Wednesday to The Associated Press showed a man lunging at officers on the plaza outside the iconic cathedral, then being shot. The attacker remained hospitalized with gunshot wounds.A student identity card showed he was from Algeria and 40 years old.University of Lorraine President Pierre Mutzenhardt told France Bleu radio that the suspect was enrolled as a student at the school in eastern France, where he had been working since 2014 on a thesis about North African media."There'd been no difficulties with him. Nothing strange had been detected," Mutzenhardt said.His thesis director, Arnaud Mercier, told broadcaster BFM that the alleged attacker spoke Swedish, Arabic and French and that his resume stated he had worked as a journalist in Sweden and Algeria."He was someone who believed a lot in democratic ideals, the expression of free thinking, in journalism," Mercier said on BFM. "Nothing, absolutely nothing, foretold that one day he'd be a jihadi who'd want to kill a policeman in the name of I don't know what cause."Neither the university president nor the thesis adviser mentioned the suspect by name.Algerian journalist Kamal Ouhnia, a friend who said he previously worked alongside Ikken on reporting assignments, described him as a bon vivant and a lover of fine wine."I don't believe at all that he was radicalized," he said in a phone interview. "I'm more inclined to think that he has suffered a nervous breakdown."The nephew said that after studying journalism in Sweden, Ikken was hired by a firm in Oslo, Norway, that sent him to Paris to work. He returned to Algeria in 2011, opening a PR agency, establishing an online newsletter and working as a journalist, before moving back to France for doctoral studies.Ikken's family is not religious, according to the nephew. When they last spoke three weeks ago, the nephew said he sensed his uncle was feeling "a little bit alone." He said they discussed Syria in the past and that Ikken was "sensitive about the massacres" there, but gave no indications of having been radicalized.The attack came as newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron is making good on a campaign promise to beef up counterterrorism efforts by creating a new unit to improve intelligence-sharing.It will be based at the presidential Elysee palace, operate 24 hours a day and act directly under the president's authority. The unit will focus on French citizens who joined the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.The presidency says the counterterrorism unit also will identify strategies to counter propaganda aimed at promoting radicalization and instructions for carrying out attacks.___Aomar Ouali in Algiers, Algeria, and Lori Hinnant, Elaine Ganley and Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed. The story has been corrected to remove reference to the attacker being shot to death.John Leicester, The Associated Press.
Obama-Trudeau Bromance Reignited Over Dinner Date in Montreal-[Newsweek]-Sofia Lotto Persio-yahoonews-June 7, 2017
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former U.S. President Barack Obama finally reunited at a Montreal restaurant on Tuesday.Obama has spent the last few weeks traveling Europe, visiting with leaders and dignitaries in Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom. A speaking engagement in the Canadian city, Trudeau's hometown, provided the perfect occasion to catch up with his old friend, with whom Obama shared many a friendly handshakes and hugs in the past.The two met for dinner at the Liverpool House restaurant, which offers an oyster bar among other “market-inspired comfort dishes,” in the neighborhood St Henri, described by Canadian channel CBC as a former “bastion of Montreal’s francophone working class,” now “a favorite of condo-developers and fine diners.”“Tonight in Montreal, Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau discussed their shared commitment to developing the next generation of leaders,” read a tweet published by the Obama Foundation.“How do we get young leaders to take action in their communities? Thanks Barack Obama for your visit & insights tonight in my hometown,” Trudeau published on his Twitter account.Social media users have other theories about the topic of conversations among the two.For some, U.S. President Donald Trump's “covfefe” tweet was on the table.Others thought they discussed Trump’s recent announcement to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.While some said it was all a show for those who'd been craving for a Trudeau-Obama reunion.Social media users have obsessed over Obama’s friendships, sparking a series of memes about a bromance with his vice-president Joe Biden and recently, Prince Harry.Trudeau too succumbed to Obama’s charm and, at the end of the American president's time in office, the Canadian leader said he was going to miss him. Recently, however, Trudeau appeared to have moved on.During the G7 summit in Italy at the end of May, the Canadian premier was pictured warmly shaking the hand of and embracing French president Emmanuel Macron, sparking a wave of excitement among social media users who thought Trudeau had found another power bromance with a young, progressive leader.But the hug between Trudeau and Obama at the end of the meal suggests that the former American president will always hold a special place in the Canadian leader’s heart.
Liberals to spend extra $14B a year on defence, mostly after 2019 election-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-June 7, 2017
OTTAWA — Canada will increase annual defence spending by $13.9 billion over the next decade, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Wednesday as he unveiled the Liberal government's long-awaited vision for expanding the Canadian Armed Forces.The money will be used to put another 5,000 troops in uniform and add new modern capabilities, such as letting the military conduct cyberattacks and to buy armed drones for unmanned airstrikes.It will also go towards offsetting the skyrocketing financial — and political — cost of buying new warships and fighter jets."If we're serious about our role in the world, we must be serious about funding our military," Sajjan told a news conference."And we are."Sajjan described the plan as being focused on necessary outputs and capabilities in order to ensure Canada is strong at home, secure within North America and able to meet its international responsibilities."This is a significant investment in defence, 70 per cent incerase in our budget within 10 years," he said."This allows the Canadian Armed Forces now to be able to have the right resources and planned sustainable funding to be able to create the right plan and sustain itself for the future."Sajjan did not directly answer, however, when he was asked whether the additional spending would be financed by higher deficits or spending cuts elsewhere.Transport Minister Marc Garneau characterized the plan as a "new course" for Canada's military to both "meet the complex defence challenges of today" as well as prepare for future demands.It means, once fully realized, an increase in annual defence spending of about 70 per cent, Garneau said.The government will also commit a large amount of money to better support Canada's military personnel, particularly the ill and injured, as well as family members.Still, while some of the money will start flowing right away, the long-awaited defence policy document shows the taps aren't expected to open all the way until after the next election.Officials say the delay is necessary to make sure money is available for when it's needed.But the delay in major new funding is expected to raise concerns among those who wanted to see immediate spending increases as a hedge against future cost-cutting efforts aimed at fighting the deficit.That is what happened with the last such vision, unveiled by the previous Conservative government in 2008 but quickly rendered unaffordable and subjected to billions of dollars in spending cuts.The Liberals' much-anticipated defence policy has been a year in the making and represents the first comprehensive vision for Canada's military in more than a decade.The policy makes the case for a major expansion of Canada's military capabilities by three trends: growing tension between global powers; the changing nature of conflict; and rapid technological advancements.The plan also comes as Canada and other NATO allies have faced pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to dramatically increase defence spending to reach two per cent of GDP.Canada currently spends about one per cent of GDP on defence, which puts it at the back of the pack among NATO members.But the policy document says Canada has been under-reporting its defence spending for years by not including the money spent by other departments on such items as peacekeeping and veterans' benefits.As a result, it says defence spending is actually closer to around 1.19 per cent this fiscal year, and that it will increase to 1.4 per cent of GDP by 2026-27.In real terms, that will mean an increase in cash spending from about $18.9 billion this year to $32.7 billion in 2026-27, with the biggest jump — at least in the short term — in 2020-21.That increase, officials said, lines up with when the government plans to begin spending in earnest on 15 new warships, which are now expected to cost up to $60 billion to build instead of the previous estimate of $26 billion.The government also plans to buy 88 new fighter jets at a cost of between $15 billion and $19 billion, which is significantly more than the $9 billion the Conservatives budgeted for 65 F-35s.But the defence policy also puts off much of the spending until after the next election in 2019.— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter-Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press.
Myanmar military plane with 120 aboard goes missing-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-June 7, 2017
YANGON, Myanmar — A military transport plane with 120 people on board went missing Wednesday on a flight from southern Myanmar to Yangon, a military spokesman said. There were fears it may have crashed into the ocean, since its route would have taken it over the Andaman Sea.Gen. Myat Min Oo said the Chinese-made Y-8 turboprop aircraft was carrying 106 passengers — mostly families of military personnel — and 14 crew members when it went missing Wednesday afternoon. In an earlier statement, the number of passengers was said to be 90. It is not unusual for such flights to carry civilians to offset transportation costs for military families stationed in the somewhat remote south."The military plane went missing and lost contact after it took off from Myeik, and now the military has started a sea and air search with naval ships and military aircraft and is preparing for rescue operations," he said.It was raining at the time, but not heavily, he said.Myeik, also known as Mergui, is a city in southeastern Myanmar on the Andaman coast.An announcement posted on the Facebook page of the commander of the military, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, said the flight took off from Myeik at 1:06 p.m. and contact with it was lost at 1:35 p.m., when it was believed to be about 32 kilometres (20 miles) to the west of Dawei, formerly known as Tavoy.The area is about 440 miles (700 kilometres ) north of the last primary radar contact with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished on a flight from Malaysia to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board. That plane is believed to have flown far off course and crashed into a remote area of the Indian Ocean.The military announcement said Myanmar received the Y-8 plane in March last year, and since then it had logged 809 flying hours.In a second announcement Wednesday night, the commander's office said six navy ships and three military aircraft were searching for the missing plane.Esther Htusan, The Associated Press.
Cosby's chief accuser denies romance before alleged assault-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-June 7, 2017
NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Bill Cosby's chief accuser on Wednesday denied they had a romantic relationship before he allegedly drugged and assaulted her at his suburban Philadelphia home.The defence resumed its cross-examination of Toronto native Andrea Constand one day after she broke her long public silence about Cosby by testifying that the comedian gave her three blue pills and then violated her with his fingers in 2004 as she lay paralyzed, unable to tell him to stop.Cosby lawyer Angela Agrusa suggested that Constand, a 44-year-old former employee of the basketball program at Temple University, once enjoyed a romantic dinner at Cosby's home before the alleged assault."You were sitting by the fire. The room was dark. There was a nice mood ...," Agrusa began, paraphrasing Constand's 2005 statement to police."I don't know what that means," Constand said."The lights were dim and the fire was going," the lawyer continued."I don't really remember how dim the lights were, but I did have to eat my dinner," Constand said.Agrusa also spent a painstaking hour going over Constand's phone records, hoping to show she changed her mind about the date she says Cosby assaulted her.Cosby arrived at the courthouse Wednesday accompanied by actress Sheila Frazier, who starred with him in the 1978 comedy "California Suite." Frazier was accompanied by her husband, John Atchison, a celebrity hairstylist whose clients include Cosby and his wife, Camille.Cosby, 79, is charged with aggravated indecent assault. The comedian once dubbed America's Dad could get 10 years in prison if convicted.Constand managed the women's basketball team at Temple, Cosby's alma mater, while he was a high-profile trustee. She said on Tuesday that she felt her continued friendship with Cosby after the alleged assault was important to the school's athletic department.His lawyers have tried to poke holes in Constand's story, citing differences between her courtroom testimony and the accounts she gave to police and in a lawsuit in 2005. The defence has argued the two had a romantic relationship, that Constand wasn't incapacitated and that the sexual encounter was consensual.The defence has pointed out that phone records show Constand called Cosby 53 times after she says he assaulted her. Constand told the jury the calls mostly involved the women's basketball team, especially around tournament time.Before Tuesday, Constand had never spoken about Cosby in public, barred from doing so under the terms of a confidential settlement they reached in 2006. Her deposition from that lawsuit remains sealed.Some 60 women have come forward to say Cosby sexually violated them, all but destroying his nice-guy image, but the statute of limitations for prosecution had run out in nearly every case. Constand's case is the only one in which Cosby has been charged.The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are sexual assault victims unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.___For more on Cosby, including trial updates, historical photos, videos and an audio series exploring the case, visit: http://www.apnews.com/tag/CosbyonTrial-Maryclaire Dale And Michael R. Sisak, The Associated Press.
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