Wednesday, July 19, 2017



JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)


ISAIAH 30:26-27
26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold,(7X OR 7-DEGREES HOTTER) as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people,(ISRAEL) and healeth the stroke of their wound.
27 Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:

MATTHEW 24:21-22,29
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened,(DAY LIGHT HOURS SHORTENED) there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake (ISRAELS SAKE) those days shall be shortened (Daylight hours shortened)(THE ASTEROID HITS EARTH HERE)
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.


7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

Canada musters military to fight wildfires, 39,000 evacuated-[Reuters]-yahoonews-July 17, 2017

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Canada was deploying military aircraft and Australia was sending 50 firefighters to battle rapidly spreading wildfires in British Columbia that have forced 39,000 people from their homes, federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said on Monday.Goodale told reporters the western Canadian province had made two requests of the federal government for military assistance to fight the fires, which he said were expected to worsen.The military has sent two planes and five helicopters to help with evacuations and transportation for first responders, according to the Department of National Defence.British Columbia chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said in a conference call the Australians were due to arrive on Wednesday.There were 159 fires across the province in an area between 150 km (95 miles) to 350 km (217 miles) northeast of Vancouver, including 17 new ones, although the total numbers were down slightly from 162 on Sunday, Skrepnek said. No casualties have been reported."In a few cases, it is because we had amalgamated some of these fires together," he said. "But for the most part, that decrease in terms of the total fires burning is an indication of progress."Skrepnek said the area burned for the wildfire season was estimated at 188,000 hectares (465,000 acres), costing the province C$90 million ($70.92 million) to handle.British Columbia has announced C$100 million in emergency funds. The Canadian Red Cross will hand out stipends of C$600 for displaced people.Forestry producers West Fraser Timber Co, Norbord Inc and privately held Tolko have suspended some operations.Tolko said on Monday that many employees were forced from homes and that resources in the city of Kamloops, which has been taking in evacuees, may be overwhelmed.Pipeline operator Enbridge Inc, which has taken a natural gas compressor station offline, said on Sunday it had no firm time line for restarting it.Kevin Boon, general manager of the British Columbia Cattlemen's Association, said 30,000 cattle were being threatened by the fire.Boon said ranchers had been trying to move their cattle to safety and some had deployed water pumps. The fire was not affecting prices beyond British Columbia, a relatively small producer, he said.EnGold Mines Ltd has suspended exploration. Imperial Metals Corp and Taseko Mines Ltd said separately on Monday they had suspended operations at mines in the area.In 2016, fires in Fort McMurray in neighboring Alberta displaced 88,000 people.(Reporting by Ethan Lou in Calgary, Alberta; Additional reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Toni Reinhold and Peter Cooney)

Tens of thousands of Canadians flee huge forest fires-[AFP]-Julien BESSET-yahoonews-July 17, 2017

Montreal (AFP) - Almost 40,000 Canadians have fled their homes under threat of huge wild fires, with British Columbia facing its largest emergency evacuation ever, officials said Monday.Canada scrambled thousands of firefighters and hundreds of aircraft from across the country to tackle raging infernos in the western province, and had even drafted extra firefighters from Australia, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said.He said 39,000 people had been forced from their homes so far, noting that the emergency measures constituted "the largest evacuation in the history of British Columbia," the worst-hit region in the country."I would note that we're expecting at least 50 forest firefighters to be coming in from Australia over the course of the next couple of days. And if there are additional resources needed from other parts of the world, we will access those as well," he said.Southern and central British Columbia have been hit by scorching weather that has left the forested province on high alert for the past 10 days.Authorities had hoped to have the fires under control late last week, but they returned with a vengeance over the weekend, fanned by strong winds and increasing in number as lightning strikes sparked new blazes.Wild fires were also devastating forests in California, where a lightning storm on Sunday near Yosemite National Park started a blaze dubbed the "Detwiller fire" which razed 7,100 acres (2,870 hectares), according to Cal Fire.Around 50 alerts were issued in towns and villages in British Columbia, forcing residents to flee their homes with no guarantee they can return anytime soon.On Saturday, the 11,000 residents of Williams Lake were forced to abandon their homes and spend hours stuck in traffic jams on the only evacuation route still open from their town, surrounded by flames in the middle of the night.A dozen towns set up emergency centers to accommodate those fleeing the fires, providing camp beds and food. But towns such as Kamloops and Prince George were starting to be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people arriving every day.- Rockies under threat -Around 3,000 firefighters from all over Canada, together with 200 helicopters and fire-fighting planes, were battling more than 150 blazes in British Columbia, several of which were raging out of control.A fire-fighting helicopter crashed in the region on Saturday, and its pilot -- who was alone on board -- was being treated in a hospital.Since April 1, 657 fires have destroyed some 730 square miles (188,800 hectares) of forest in the province.Some of the worst fires, such as the blaze near the town of Ashcroft, cover tens of thousands of hectares.Fires are also threatening areas further east in the Rocky Mountains, home to some of the country's most important national parks like the nature reserve in Banff.A part of that park -- which receives almost four million tourists each year -- was closed Monday as a new fire menaced the surrounding area.The Parks Canada authority also closed parts of the neighboring Kootenay National Park.The fires come at the height of tourist season and just as Canada is expecting a flood of visitors to celebrate its 150th anniversary, when it will grant free access to its national parks.


LUKE 21:25-26
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)

Tropical Storm Don heads toward eastern Caribbean-[Associated Press]-yahoonews-July 18, 2017

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Tropical Storm Don approached the Windward Islands on Tuesday as it moved toward the eastern Caribbean after forming in the Atlantic Ocean.A tropical storm warning was in effect for Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, while a tropical storm watch was in effect for Barbados and St. Lucia.The storm had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph) and was moving west at 18 mph (30 mph) on Monday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was located about 350 miles (570 kilometers) east-southeast of Barbados and 485 miles (780 kilometers) east of Grenada, forecasters said.The storm's center is expected to move through the Windward Islands and drop between two to four inches (five to 10 centimeters) of rain through Wednesday morning.An Air Force Reserve crew found the storm small and well-defined but not particularly well-organized. Forecasters said Don is expected to dissipate within 72 hours.

Strong earthquake strikes off Peru, no damage seen-[Reuters]-yahoonews-July 18, 2017

LIMA (Reuters) - An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 struck off the coast of Peru on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, though Peru’s civil defense institute Indeci said there was no risk of a tsunami and no immediate damage.The quake, which was initially measured by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center at 6.3, was 44 km (27 miles) deep and centered 194 km (120 miles) southwest of Puquio, Peru, the USGS said.The quake was felt in Peru's second largest city of Arequipa and in northern Chile, local media reported.Mining company Southern Copper had no reports of damage at its two mines in southern Peru, company spokesman Guillermo Vildalón said.Arequipa region's President Yamila Osorio said on Twitter authorities were monitoring rocks that had fallen on local roads.Though the earthquake appeared not to have caused injuries, residents of small towns like Caravelí were startled and ran out of their homes, Caraveli mayor Santiago Neyra told local radio station RPP.Earlier on Monday a magnitude 7.8 magnitude earthquake off Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula triggered a tsunami warning but the threat soon passed, the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Pacific Tsunami Center said.(Reporting By Marco Aquino; Additional reporting by Eric Meijer; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Michael Perry and Kim Coghill)

Magnitude 7.8 quake hits off Russia's Kamchatka: USGS-[Reuters]-yahoonews-July 17, 2017

(Reuters) - A powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.8 off Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula triggered a tsunami warning but the threat has now passed, the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Pacific Tsunami Center said.The quake struck at 11:34 a.m. on Tuesday (2334 GMT on Monday) some 125 miles (200 km) from the city of Nikolskoye on Bering island off the Kamchatka Peninsula. The epicenter was west of Attu, the westernmost and largest island in the Near Islands group of Alaska's remote Aleutian Islands.The earthquake was very shallow, only 6 miles (10 km) below the seabed, which would have amplified its effect, but it was far from any mainland and there were no immediate reports of any casualties or damage.The Kamchatka branch of Russia's emergency situations ministry had warned that waves up to 50 cm (1-2/2 feet) high could reach Nikolskoye.The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center had warned earlier that "hazardous tsunami waves were possible for coasts within 300 km (186 miles) of the earthquake epicenter." But it later said that based on all available data the tsunami threat from this earthquake had passed.The quake was initially reported as a magnitude 7.7 before being revised down to 7.4 and finally upgraded to 7.8, a major quake normally capable of causing widespread and heavy damage when striking on or near land.The quake was followed by numerous aftershocks, including several above magnitude 5.0.(Reporting by Sandra Maler; Additional reporting by Alex Winning in Moscow; Editing by Peter Cooney and Diane Craft)

In post-quake rebuilding, Kathmandu's carvers reclaim a fading heritage-[Christian Science Monitor]-Atul Bhattarai-yahoonews-July 17, 2017

In a workshop inside the courtyard of a 17th century palace, Tirtha Ram Shilpakar is surrounded by the guts of ancient temples. The floor around him is crowded with carved wooden beams, ashy with age. The walls are lined with pillars and detached windows. A few steps off lies a 11-foot wide doorway, dissected on the floor.Tirtha Ram sits hunched in a corner, one leg curled over a giant beam. Amid the scream of power saws and the blare of '80s Bollywood hits, he carves into the beam, hammer and chisel in hand, copying a floral pattern from a sketch beside him.As the workshop’s naike, or leader, he makes occasional rounds of the premises. Of the 24 craftsmen he oversees here most share his family name: “skilled worker” in Nepali, although they also go by Sikarmi, or wood-worker. These men were inducted into the craft before they started the first grade, driving nails and planing surfaces in family workshops; most abandoned school before their fifteenth birthdays to work full-time.“For us Shilpakars, wood is our work by birth and caste,” Tirtha Ram says. “Our fathers, our grandfathers, everyone we know did this.”Their work, however, is a far cry from that of their ancestors, the temple-builders of the Malla period, who raised the elaborate tiered pagodas that Kathmandu is famed for. Since patronage for temple construction petered out some 250 years ago, Shilpakars have been consigned to the plain staples of modern woodwork: furniture, decorative windows, gates, and tourist merchandise, often crude miniatures of statues and parts of these very temples. Feeling unappreciated and underpaid, many have fled the profession, leaving it close to its demise.But their future took a turn on April 25, 2015, when a 7.8-magnitude earthquake tore through Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people and wreaking havoc on centuries of heritage in the Kathmandu Valley. Among the structures flattened by the quake were Hari Shankar and Char Narayan, 18th- and 16th-century Newar temples in Patan Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KVPT), which has restored sites in the city since 1991, took up responsibility for rebuilding these two temples by 2019. Shortly after, Tirtha Ram, taking a hiatus from his private workshop, was recruited into the project full-time, alongside other craftsmen from nearby Bhaktapur. For more than two years his team has been resurrecting Hari Shankar and Char Narayan, using ancestral skills they have trained for their entire lives but have seldom had occasion to use.But if the earthquake has breathed new life into their craft, it has also exhumed strains between the past and present: between the role of temples as relics, and as functional spaces today; and between Kathmandu’s storied heritage, and the needs of the men restoring it.Historically, Shilpakars have been stereotyped as manual laborers rather than artists, robbing them of income and prestige, explains Rohit Ranjitkar, KVPT’s country director. He calls them “the real heroes of conservation.”While the restoration work may not remedy their financial woes, Tirtha Ram says it carries “glory.”“Lattice windows are simple to make,” he explains, referring to a popular tourist replica. “But this is heavy, very heavy. Even most Shilpakars can’t do it: it’s special work.”-'AS DIFFERENT AS EARTH AND SKY'-Since it was erected in 1565, Char Narayan, the oldest temple in Patan Durbar Square, had been rattled by earthquakes every century. Had it received proper upkeep, the 2015 quake might have been just another entry to that list.Instead, as the temple lurched back and forth at four minutes to noon, the immense weight of its masonry sheared off weaker joints and knocked out its base columns. The roof’s overhang folded like an umbrella. Beams snapped in midair or were crushed by falling debris. Carved doorways and windows crashed to the ground, shattering instantly. In seconds, the whole structure was a heap of rubble.In the days that followed, KVPT sifted through the wreckage to identify what could be kept – it was “a huge jigsaw puzzle,” Mr. Ranjitkar recalls. Most parts were deemed salvageable, although pillars and other weight-bearers would have to be rebuilt from scratch. Cracked and scarred portions would be excised and spliced in with carved blocks of rosy new wood. “Like patching up old jeans,” says Bijay Basukala, who supervises the craftsmen.Today in the workshop, Pushpa Raj Shilpakar, one of the project’s most gifted carvers, is bent over a statue of a two-toned goddess: half old, half new. She has gone stub-nosed, details having blurred through the centuries. Flicking away woodchips, Pushpa Raj carves her new hand into a plain block, shaping fingers, and with his finest chisel, her minuscule nails.Asked if he had worked on similar designs before the earthquake, he gave a wistful smile. “Nothing like this,” he says. “These designs – it’s like they were made by a god. I still can’t understand how they did it.”Kathmandu’s Newar temples stand apart from other Asian architectures for their maddening irregularity. It’s clear carvers for temples like Char Narayan were never issued firm blueprints, architects say, allowing them to work individual styles and whimsies into the patterns. A row of columns might appear identical, but peer closer and every element is done up differently: the flowers, figures, even standard flourishes.“Extraordinary architecture,” Ranjitkar calls it.But only a handful of conservation projects stress fidelity to original designs. The rest are tendered out to contractors who are more invested in minimizing costs than upholding quality, Tirtha Ram says. He reckons if he were to put as much care into tourist pieces as the temples, they would take four times as long to complete. A single large window would consume four months of uninterrupted work and cost far too much to stand a chance in the market.In Tirtha Ram’s private workshop in Bhaktapur, his colleagues fashion windows for two traditional guesthouses in Patan Durbar Square that caved during the earthquake. Hanging on the walls are tourist windows made of cheaper wood with shallower carvings, like those on the face of a coin.“This is a flower. This is also a flower,” he says, pointing to the filigrees on one window and the plain patterns on the other. “But they’re as different as earth and sky.”-THE COST OF CRAFT-Despite their work with KVPT, the craftsmen live in a state of financial uncertainty. For generations, their families eked out a small living building furniture and gates for homes. After Nepal opened up to visitors in the 1950s, a tourist market emerged. But for these goods, cost competes with craft, and work is hurried to meet buyers’ budgets and deadlines: delicate fretwork and subtle details are left out; complex traditional wood joinery is swapped for nails.The more successful craftsmen keep workshops in Bhaktapur, where they made $100 to $300 a month before the earthquake. Demand for tourist merchandise has since evaporated, and unsold statuettes, returned from the shops, stand in dusty rows in Pushpa Raj’s bedroom. Even when they were marketable, however, shopkeepers purchased his pieces for $6 to $12 and resold them for up to $50, taking home most of the gains.“You can’t keep track of profits in the shops,” Pushpa Raj says grinning. “The shopkeepers are wily. They tell the tourists, ‘This is a masterpiece!’ and cheat them.”Tirtha Ram feels he’s swallowing losses to take part in the KVPT project, where craftsmen receive $12 to $15 for six hours of work per day. In private workshops, where they are compensated per contract, the daily wage averages only $11 – but in times of need, they sometimes power through 18-hour shifts, wrapping up orders ahead of time to pocket larger profits.And this has been a time of need. Since 2015, like many in Nepal, Pushpa Raj and his family have lived in temporary housing, a shed of corrugated tin sheets arranged into walls and ceilings. Tirtha Ram has crowded into a relative’s house with his wife and two children, one of whom has cerebral palsy. Both men’s family homes were battered by the earthquake, and neither knows if he will ever be able to gather the estimated $30,000 needed to rebuild.“If you can build a house for yourself, your life is successful,” says Surya Bahadur Shilpakar, a colleague in Tirtha Ram’s workshop. “We build one house with difficulty – with difficulty – and only a few of us at that. Everyone says it's important work, our profession. Our ancestors said don't leave it. But people who have done other things earn so much more.”Many Shilpakars feel indentured to the trade, unable to pursue better-paid jobs because of their truncated schooling, Surya Bahadur says. He would rather his children not join their ranks. Several of the craftsmen’s younger relatives, seeing the precarious finances they would inherit, have shunned the grueling apprenticeship to qualify as a carver, a rite that can take upwards of a year. This trend could spell the end of traditional woodcarving.Tirtha Ram is buoyed only by the significance of temple restoration, which he frames as his “actual” work, as opposed to his “commercial” work.“The thing about temple work is, I can tell people I did even this,” he says. “Who do I tell that I built a closet?”-THE PRESENT PAST-As the Shilpakars attempt to reconcile their heritage with the future of their craft, a similar tension plays out among the architects. KVPT seeks to freeze the temples in time, as archives of the past, but they have always been pastiches, renewed piecemeal by successive generations of craftsmen. In previous centuries, damaged wood would have been switched out and tossed into a fire.Ranjitkar considers the dizzying variety of designs in the temples a part of the historical record, and requires they be reproduced stroke for stroke – including mistakes. He fears deviations might “mislead historians.”But replication is always inexact, says Niels Gutschow, an architect who has consulted for restoration projects in Kathmandu since the 1970s. Purists, horrified at the idea of “recreating” designs, would leave replacements shorn of decoration. But Dr. Gutschow maintains that in Nepal the craftsmen, as descendants of the “original carvers,” are “able and even entitled to recreate what is lost.”Sirish Bhatt, a consulting architect for KVPT, notes her admiration for the temple’s history is a world away from how the temple is popularly viewed. Valuing something simply because of its age is a foreign concept in Nepal.For most Nepalis, “this is not art,” she says, gesturing toward the temples in the square. “This is not a dead monument. In the West, these places become museums. It’s so formal, you pay an entrance fee. There’s none of that here. Maybe it’s a bit chaotic, not clean, but it has life, I feel. It’s part of the everyday.”In late afternoon, as the craftsmen trickle out of the workshop, Patan Durbar Square beats with activity. Schoolchildren gather in chattering groups. Tourists stroll between temples wrapped in scaffolding, cameras bouncing off their bellies. Circulating the open space are boys selling cotton candy, hoisting their suspiciously pink wares on long sticks, like standards. On a ledge facing the stump of Char Narayan, an old man naps as a teenage couple holds hands surreptitiously a few feet away.Inside, asked if he would have gone about restoration in the same way as KVPT has, Tirtha Ram hesitates. “No,” he says finally. “They want to save the wood.” He points to a frieze depicting a faceless goddess, her features weathered away. A crack snakes down half the length of her body.“This will hold, but it’s like the temple is missing teeth,” he says. “If we had to do it, we would use old pieces too. But we would mostly build new. After all, whatever we make now, it will be seen for another 500 years.”

DANIEL 7:23-24
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)
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.

DANIEL 9:26-27
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.

Trial opens for ex-Vatican hospital execs for diverted funds-[Associated Press]-NICOLE WINFIELD-yahoonews-July 18, 2017

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Two former executives of the Vatican's pediatric hospital are going on trial on charges they diverted 422,000 euros ($485,000) in hospital donations to renovate the retirement home of the Catholic Church's retired second-in-command.Former hospital president Giuseppe Profiti and ex-treasurer Massimo Spina face between three to five years in prison and fines starting at 5,000 euros if found guilty of embezzlement. The penalty can be reduced if the amount diverted is repaid before the trial starts.Profiti has said the funds he used from the Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) foundation to renovate the 300-square meter (3,230-square-foot) apartment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone was an investment, since he intended to use it for future fundraising events for the hospital.Bertone agreed to host such parties, saying he would take care to ensure that "third parties" — not the foundation — would pay for any renovations needed. Whatever happened to those "third parties" is unclear, but Bertone spent 300,000 euros of his own money for the work on top of the 422,000 that came from the foundation.The scandal is the latest to strike the Holy See as Francis works to clean up centuries of shady business dealings in the walled-in, 44-hectare (109-acre) offshore city state, the world's smallest. And it comes as Francis copes with the fallout from the embarrassing exit of his top financial adviser, Cardinal George Pell, who returned to his native Australia last week to face trial on sex abuse charges.Bertone, the former Vatican secretary of state, wasn't charged or placed under investigation in the case, even though he personally benefited from the donations. After the scandal broke in 2015, Bertone made a 150,000-euro "donation" to the hospital for research, but insisted he had no idea the foundation had paid for his flat repair.Also spared were the Castelli Re construction company and its owner, Gianantonio Bandera, a longtime Bertone associate who received around three-quarters of a million euros for the whole project.Prosecutors accuse Profiti and Spina of a conspiracy to "illicitly use money belonging to the Baby Jesus foundation to benefit Bandera." The indictment, however, makes no suggestion of kickbacks or any other wrongdoing, merely that money belonging to the hospital foundation instead went to "completely extra-institutional" uses.Profiti has said none of the donations used were intended for childcare.Spina's lawyer, Alfredo Ottaviani, said the expenditures were in the "general interest" of the foundation for fundraising purposes, and that regardless, Spina had no authority to make any decisions about how the money was spent.Profiti resigned suddenly as president of the hospital in January 2015, nine months into a new three-year term. According to a recent Associated Press investigation, a secret Vatican-authorized task force concluded in 2014 that under his administration, the hospital's mission had been "lost" and was "today more aimed at profit than on caring for children."

Opinion-Ceta and pesticides: A citizens' rights issue-july 18,17-euobserver-By Layla Hughes and Elise Vitali

BRUSSELS, Today, 08:46-The EU and Canada will begin provisionally applying the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (Ceta) on 21 September 2017.The EU’s obligation for data protection under this agreement is in conflict with EU law on public access to information, particularly in relation to pesticides. Therefore, the EU will soon be forced to choose between honouring its trade commitments and abiding by the law on public access to environmental information.Before pesticides can be marketed, companies must conduct tests and studies to assess their safety and efficacy, which entails significant financial investment.On one hand, the information generated from these studies can be considered valuable intellectual property belonging to the company and therefore subject to protection and confidentiality. But, on the other hand, it can also be considered important health and environmental information to which the public should have access.Providing public access to the studies can help the public to make informed choices related to their health and the environment.It is also necessary for allowing independent researchers to assess the validity of the results - to ensure that the studies have been conducted independently, objectively and transparently as required by the regulation for the marketing of these products.At the international level, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has oscillated in its position on the importance of protecting the proprietary rights of regulatory data, but has most recently encouraged governments to develop “legislation that permits public access to information about pesticide risks and the regulatory process, while safeguarding intellectual property.”-Aarhus Convention-While not addressing the issue of pesticide test data directly, the Aarhus Convention - to which the EU is a party but Canada is not - guarantees public access to information for environmental matters. In contrast, Ceta protects regulatory data related to pesticides and undermines EU law on public access to information.The Aarhus Convention is incorporated into EU law through the EU Aarhus Regulation. Under the regulation, the “overriding public interest in disclosure shall be deemed to exist where the information requested relates to emissions into the environment” and “the grounds for refusal shall be interpreted in a restrictive way.”When Greenpeace Netherlands requested information from the European Commission about studies submitted in support of an application for the approval of the pesticide active ingredient glyphosate, the Commission refused, stating that the request fell within the intellectual property exception for disclosure.However, the EU's Court of Justice overturned this decision, finding that the disclosure of information about glyphosate was an overriding public interest when balanced against the interest of protecting intellectual property. Thus, EU law guarantees the right of access to regulatory data containing environmental information about pesticides.Contrary to EU law, Ceta does not provide any guarantee of access to environmental information, but instead obliges the parties to protect confidential commercial information without exception.The joint interpretative instrument, which elaborates on the general intent of the Ceta parties, also emphasises the right of the parties to protect data, but is silent with regard to public access to information.This is in contrast to the Trips Agreement of the World Trade Organization, which allows the disclosure of test data “where necessary to protect the public,” as well as to Ceta's provisions regarding pharmaceutical test data, which also allows for disclosure to protect the public, suggesting that the absence of a similar exception for pesticides was done by design.-Canada-EU conflicts-Under EU law, regulatory data for “classic” pesticides can be protected for ten years, while data related to low risk pesticides can be protected for up to 13 years, and data for minor use pesticides can be protected for up to 15 years. The EU pesticides regulation explicitly prohibits periods of data protection exceeding these limits.Ceta, however, requires the parties to protect data related to tests and studies on pesticides for “at least 10 years” and provides no upper limit on the number of years data can be protected. Thus, under Ceta, Canada can protect regulatory data indefinitely, while in the EU, data must, in all circumstances, be made public after 15 years.This threatens the health of European citizens, who will be exposed to pesticide residues on products coming from Canada without any guarantee that the risks of these products will eventually be disclosed.In addition, as international agricultural association CropLife points out: “Providing an inconsistent period of protection between trading partners creates market distortions and an uncertain regulatory environment for investment.”Ceta's regulatory cooperation provisions provide a number of forums where Canada will have the opportunity to challenge the EU’s approach to data protection and to seek the EU’s approval - and perhaps adoption - of Canada’s approach.Ceta’s failure to recognise the difference between low risk and classic pesticides is also a potential basis for dispute between Canada or a Canadian company and the EU.For example, if a Canadian company provides data in support of registering a pesticide that it believes is low risk and the EU makes that data public after 10 years because it believes the pesticide is not low risk, the Canadian company could potentially challenge the EU under Ceta's investment arbitration provisions.The possibility for disagreement over risks is a real one, as Canada and the EU approach risk analysis in different ways.Ceta is likely to undermine the right of access to environmental information on pesticides as provided in EU law; provide a commercial advantage to companies registering pesticides in Canada; and threaten the health and environment of European citizens.While most of these issues will arise as soon as provisional application begins, member states may still decide to reject the agreement altogether, while it passes through national parliament ratification.Layla Hughes is a staff attorney, and Elise Vitali is a trainee at the Center for International Environmental Law (Ciel).


EUROPEAN UNION-KING OF WEST-DAN 9:26-27,DAN 7:23-24,DAN 11:40,REV 13:1-10



GENESIS 6:11-13
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.

GENESIS 16:11-12
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)

ISAIAH 14:12-14
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)

JOHN 16:2
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)

Grandmas, grandpas from travel ban states now welcome: U.S. cable-[Reuters]-By Arshad Mohammed and Yeganeh Torbati-yahoonews-July 17, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Grandparents of U.S. citizens from six Muslim-majority countries are now eligible to receive U.S. visas, according to a State Department memo seen by Reuters that reflects the latest court ruling on U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban.The memo, or cable, from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was sent to all U.S. diplomatic posts overseas on Friday after a U.S. district judge in Hawaii issued a ruling late on Thursday limiting the scope of the administration's temporary ban on refugees and travelers from the six countries.U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu found the government cannot bar grandparents and other relatives of United States citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from getting visas under the ban.Watson declined to put his ruling on hold pending appeal, meaning it went into effect immediately. The administration has asked the Supreme Court and the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to block the decision.The July 14 cable updated the definition of "close family" that are exempt from the temporary travel ban laid down in Trump's March 6 executive order. (The cable can be read at: The cable reversed the State Department's previous, narrow definition of close family and stated that "grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, and cousins" are eligible for visas.Consulates and embassies do not need to reopen any visa applications refused under the prior, narrower definition of close family members, the cable said.Between March 10 and March 17, Tillerson issued four cables, originally giving instructions on implementing the travel ban, then rescinding much of his guidance because of court rulings and because it had been issued without approval from the White House Office of Management and Budget.In another reversal, the State Department had originally interpreted the Supreme Court's June 26 ruling to exclude fiancés, saying they do not count as a close family relationship eligible for an exemption to the travel ban. Just before the 90-day travel ban was to take effect on June 29, the State Department said fiancés would be counted as close family."These guys (consular officers) have had enough whiplash over the past six, seven months but they continue to fulfill their role, which is to process visa applications," said Stephen Pattison, a former State Department consular official now working as an immigration attorney. "The people who are really getting whiplash are the people in the department who are responsible for formulating the policy, getting it approved and getting it sent out."A State Department official declined to comment on internal communications."We regularly provide updated operational instructions to our embassies and consulates around the world to ensure that our consular officers are using the most up-to-date vetting procedures as they adjudicate visas," the official said on condition of anonymity."We are processing visa applications for nationals of the six affected countries as directed by the Executive Order and to the extent permitted by court decisions," the official said.Last month the Supreme Court partially revived the March 6 ban that had been blocked by lower courts. It said the ban could take effect, but people with a "bona fide relationship" to a U.S. person or entity could not be barred.(Additional reporting by Lawrence Hurley in Washington)

Australia centralizes national security agencies amid heightened threat-[Reuters]-By Colin Packham-yahoonews-July 17, 2017

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday Australia's domestic security bodies, including the police and the national spy agency, will be centralized under a single minister as Canberra tackles the rising threat of "lone wolf" attacks.Oversight of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the police force had previously been the responsibility of three government officials but would now be handled by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, Turnbull said, under a model similar to that used by the British Home Office.Turnbull said the centralized model would ensure greater coordination between Australia's security agencies.The national security overhaul came as Australia, a staunch ally of the United States, reshapes its counter-terrorism response after a series of lone-wolf attacks and heightened fear of attacks by home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East."Our security environment is being shaped by changes in our region and beyond," Turnbull told reporters in Canberra."It is being shaped by the very real threat of home-grown terrorism that is increased with the spread of global Islamist terrorism," he said.The Cabinet shake-up came a day after Turnbull said Australia's military would be more readily deployed to respond to "terrorist incidents" at home.Under those proposed law changes, state and territory governments would be able to call for military help at any time after a "terror incident" has been declared. Previously, the military could only be called upon once police concluded they could no longer deal with an incident.Australia's domestic security policies have come under close scrutiny since a lone gunman staged a 16-hour siege at a Sydney cafe in December 2014, during which two hostages were killed.A coronial inquiry found in May that police failed to respond quickly enough to end the siege, which has been described as Australia's deadliest incident inspired by Islamic State extremists. The gunman, who was killed by police, had no direct ties to the militant group.(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Paul Tait)

Russia, after U.S. meeting on diplomatic row, says ready to retaliate-[Reuters]-yahoonews-July 18, 2017

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday Moscow reserved the right to take retaliatory measures against the United States after a meeting in Washington ended without a deal on returning seized Russian diplomatic property.Barack Obama, then U.S. president, ordered the seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in December over what he said was their involvement in hacking the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign, something Russia flatly denies.Moscow has said a lot would depend on the outcome of a meeting in Washington on Monday between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon who discussed the diplomatic row.But the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday a resolution to the problem had not yet been found."The Russian side stressed (in the meeting) that if Washington does not remove this and other irritants, including continued obstacles to the work of our diplomatic institutions, we reserve the right to take retaliatory measures based on the principle of reciprocity," the statement said.Russia wanted to resume regular dialogue with the United States about strategic stability too, it said, saying it was up to Washington to make a move on the issue.(Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhny; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

Singapore voids marriage after husband's sex change: report-[AFP]-yahoonews-July 18, 2017

Singapore (AFP) - Singapore has voided the marriage of a couple after the husband underwent a sex change, making their partnership a same-sex union that contravened the city-state's laws, a report said Tuesday.The couple married as man and woman in 2015 but the husband underwent a sex change operation and updated his national identity card to read "female", the Straits Times newspaper reported.But when the unidentified couple tried to buy a government-built apartment, they had to inform the authorities. Married couples receive state grants for first-time purchases of government apartments.The marriage was voided several months later, making them ineligible to buy the apartment they wanted, the paper said.Singapore's Registry of Marriage said it would not give details on individual cases but cited the country's laws which state marriage is a union between a man and a woman."At the point of marriage, a couple must be man and woman, and must want to be and want to remain as man and woman in the marriage," it said in a statement.Despite calls for change, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said the country is not yet ready for same-sex marriage since society is still conservative.Singapore maintains legislation dating back to British colonial rule making sex between men a criminal act although it does not actively enforce the law.Jean Chong, who co-founded Sayoni, a Singapore-based lesbian advocacy group, told AFP that "policies need to catch up with the realities of society"."Families come in all shapes and sizes and of course while people get married as man and woman, there are those who transition along the way, so does this mean their marriage is no longer valid?"Taiwan's top court ruled in favour of gay marriage in May, paving the way for the island to become the first place in Asia to legalise same-sex unions.

Philippines' Duterte asks Congress to extend martial law-[Associated Press]-yahoonews-July 18, 2017

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte asked Congress on Tuesday to extend martial law in the southern third of the country until the end of the year, saying the rebellion there will not be quelled by July 22, the end of his 60-day martial law proclamation.Duterte declared martial law on May 23 following a bloody siege of the southern city of Marawi by Islamic State group-aligned militants, the most serious security crisis he has faced since assuming power in June last year.In a letter to the Senate and the House of Representatives read by his spokesman Ernesto Abella on Tuesday, Duterte said that after consulting security officials, he has concluded that the rebellion in the south will not be quelled completely by July 22.He asked Congress to extend martial law until Dec. 31.Under the constitution, in case of invasion or rebellion, when public safety requires it, the president can declare martial law for no more than 60 days. He can ask Congress to extend such a proclamation to a period of time to be determined by the lawmakers.More than 550 people, including 413 militants, have been killed in nearly two months of fighting in Marawi, a bastion of Islamic faith in the south.

Call for Boko Haram peace talks masks ethnic tensions-[AFP]-Aminu ABUBAKAR with Phil HAZLEWOOD in Lagos-yahoonews-July 17, 2017

Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) - A group of community elders in northeast Nigeria where Boko Haram has waged a bloody eight-year insurgency are urging the Islamists to enter peace talks, a move some see as motivated by ethnic self-interest.The Borno Elders Forum of retired military and civilian officials, all ethnic Kanuri, said it was "time they (Boko Haram) put down their arms" and they should "repent and rejoin the larger society"."If our leaders had the leeway to negotiate with the Boko Haram for the release of some of their captives, they should employ the same tactics to negotiate for the end of the insurgency," they said in a newspaper advertisement last Friday."The Government of Nigeria had earlier negotiated with the Niger Delta militants and succeeded. Let the Government do the same with Boko Haram."President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general, has given no sign of wanting to negotiate a settlement since he came to power in 2015.His government has, however, held back-channel talks that secured the release of more than 100 of the 219 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014.But the call for negotiations by the elders of Borno state, where the Kanuri is the main ethnic group, has led to speculation that it is driven less by a desire for peace than by ethnic issues.- 'Flying a kite' -Boko Haram's ranks have been dominated by ethnic Kanuris. In its early days, the Islamist militant group was known to have members from the families of the region's political and religious elite.Abdullahi Bawa Wase, a security analyst who tracks the conflict, said the elders were "flying a kite" to gauge reaction.The peace talks proposal "could be a Boko Haram idea being sold by the Borno elders on their behalf", he said.A senior member of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), the militia assisting the military with security, said the proposal was "in bad faith"."The elders know how to get in touch with their sons, nephews and brothers who are high-profile Boko Haram leaders," he said on condition of anonymity."If they really mean what they say, they should convince their Boko Haram relations to renounce membership of the group and surrender."- Ethnic rivalry -Kanuri dominance in Boko Haram sparked claims in the earlier stages of the violence that the uprising was a push for a homeland.Few maintain that view since its leader Abubakar Shekau declared a caliphate in August 2014 and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group the following March.Ethnic rivalry has, however, been seen as having contributed to the religiously inspired violence, adding another layer of complexity to the conflict."People despise Boko Haram for the death and destruction they cause," said Abubakar Gamandi, the head of the Borno state fishermen's union."But in terms of ethnic sentiments, some give tacit support to them when the victims are non-Kanuri."Many Kanuris feel Boko Haram are weakening their ethnic adversaries against whom they have been struggling for social, economic and political supremacy in Borno."The Kanuri mainly hold political power, while the ethnic Hausa control agriculture, fishing and trade, and the Fulani and Shuwa tribes dominate cattle herding.Tensions pre-date Boko Haram. The Nigerian military has previously accused the Borno elders of hampering the counter-insurgency.Gamandi suggested the scale of attacks has had a tribal dimension."They (Boko Haram) wrought more destruction and deaths on non-Kanuri towns and settlements populated by Hausa and Shuwa Arab than on Kanuris," he said.- 'Sworn enemies' -The call for talks, at a time when the Nigerian military is out to destroy Boko Haram, is considered by some in the northeast as an attempt at Kanuri self-preservation.The fear of losing a whole generation of Kanuri men, giving the upper hand to the Hausa, Fulani and Shuwa, could explain the recent surrender of Boko Haram fighters to the military."The elite have been encouraging them to surrender to the military through local community chiefs with promise they would ensure they are given soft landing and reintegrated into society," said Gamandi.Another potential complication for a lasting, long-term peace is local attitudes to the insurgents after so much bloodshed and hardship.Abba Aji-Kalli, the Borno state coordinator of the CJTF, said his so-called vigilantes and the Islamists were "sworn enemies" and would remain so, whatever happens."We will never see eyeball to eyeball with Boko Haram. Nothing can change that," he said.An amnesty for repentant former insurgents "will never work" he added. "We know that because we very well know who they are. They lived among us, we grew up with most of them."

New South Korea government proposes military talks with North-[Reuters]-By Christine Kim-yahoonews-July 17, 2017

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea on Monday proposed military talks with North Korea, the first formal overture to Pyongyang by the government of President Moon Jae-in, to discuss ways to avoid hostile acts near the heavily militarized border.There was no immediate response from North Korea to the proposal for talks later this week. The two sides technically remain at war but Moon, who came to power in May, has pledged to engage North Korea in dialogue as well as bring pressure to impede its nuclear and missile programs.The offer comes after North Korea claimed to have conducted the first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) earlier this month, and said it had mastered the technology to mount a nuclear warhead on the missile."Talks and cooperation between the two Koreas to ease tension and bring about peace on the Korean peninsula will be instrumental for pushing forth a mutual, virtuous cycle for inter-Korea relations and North Korea's nuclear problem," South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told a news briefing.The United States, South Korea's main ally, which has been trying to rally international support for tougher sanctions on North Korea, appeared cool to the proposal, recalling President Donald Trump's statements that conditions must be right for dialogue."I think the President has made clear in the past with respect that any type of conditions that would have to be met are clearly far away from where we are now," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a news briefing.The South Korean defense ministry proposed talks with the North on July 21 at Tongilgak to stop all activities that fuel tension at the military demarcation line.Tongilgak is a North Korean building at the Panmunjom truce village on the border used for previous inter-Korea talks. The last such talks were held in December 2015.Cho also urged restoration of cross-border military and government hotlines that North Korea cut last year in response to South Korea's imposition of new economic sanctions after a nuclear test by Pyongyang.South Korea also proposed separate talks by the rival states' Red Cross organizations to resume a humanitarian project to reunite families separated during the 1950-53 Korean War.The South Korean Red Cross suggested talks be held on Aug. 1, with possible reunions over the Korean thanksgiving Chuseok holiday, which falls in October.The last such reunions were in October 2015.-BEIJING IN FAVOR-China, which has close ties to Pyongyang despite its anger over North Korea's missile and nuclear tests, welcomed the proposal, saying cooperation and reconciliation could help ease tensions."We hope that North and South Korea can work hard to go in a positive direction and create conditions to break the deadlock and resume dialogue and consultation," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing.The proposals come after Moon said at the G20 summit in Hamburg this month he was in favor of dialogue despite the "nuclear provocation" of North Korea's latest missile test.When Moon visited Washington after being elected president, he and Trump said they were open to renewed dialogue with North Korea but only under circumstances that would lead to Pyongyang giving up its weapons programs."The fact that we wish to take on a leading role in resolving this (North Korean) issue has already been understood at the summit with the United States and the Group of 20 summit meetings," Cho said on Monday.In the proposal for talks, South Korea did not elaborate on the meaning of hostile military activities, which varies between the two Koreas. South Korea usually refers to loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts by both sides, while North Korea wants a halt to routine joint U.S.-South Korea military drills.Moon suggested this month that hostile military activities at the border be ended on July 27, the anniversary of the 1953 armistice agreement. Since no truce was agreed, the two sides remain technically at war.Asked if South Korea was willing to be "flexible" on military drills with the United States should North Korea be open to talks, Cho said the government had not discussed the matter specifically.Pyongyang has said it will not engage in talks with Seoul unless it turns over 12 waitresses who defected to South Korea last year after leaving a North Korean restaurant in China.North Korea says South Korea abducted the waitresses, but Seoul has said they defected of their own free will. Cho said this matter was not included on the talks agenda.(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING and David Brunnstrom in WASHINGTON; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Diane Craft)

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