Friday, July 28, 2017
ASTRONOMERS STUNNED BY STAR NURSERY AGE FIND.
7 (WOE 1) Ye who turn judgment to wormwood,(POISON) and leave (CAST) off righteousness in the earth,(GROUND)
18 (Woe 2) unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.
19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
1 (Woe 3) to them that are at ease in Zion,(JERUSALEM) and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!(WOE 3 IS THIRD WAVE OF WW3 WHEN ALL NATIONS MARCH TO JERUSALEM FOR BATTLE)
JOB 9:6-9 (COMPARE TO REV 6:12-17)
6 Which shaketh the earth out of her place,(QUAKE) and the pillars thereof tremble.
7 Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not;(THE SUN BLACKEND) and sealeth up the stars.(WHICH NOW FALL FROM HEAVEN)
8 Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.(THESE SAME MEORITES MIGHT POISON ALL THE EARTHS WATERS ALSO)
9 Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.(AND IT IS INTERESTING GOD THRONE IS IN THE NORTH.AND FROM THE SOUTH THESE METEORITES WILL BE FALLING ON EARTH)
COULD THE FALLING STARS-PLANETS BE PLEIADES AND ORION-JUST MY THOUGHT
Historically, the Pleiades were seen as a group of seven stars – its brightest stars: Alcyone, Atlas, Electra, Maia, Merope, Taygeta and Pleione are visible to the keen naked eye. However modern observations show that this most famous of open clusters is comprised of several hundred stars wreathed in intricately structured nebulosity.As the Pleiades cluster is close to the ecliptic (within 4°) in the constellation of Taurus it is a spring and autumnal 'seasonal' object in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Being close to the ecliptic, there are frequent occultations of the cluster with the Moon and planets. To our superstitious ancestors these were, no doubt, portentious events. Likewise, the apparent annual motion of the cluster would have been highly significant. The heliacal (near dawn) rising of the Pleiades in spring in the northern hemisphere has from ancient times augured the opening of the seafaring and farming season: while its dawn autumnal setting marked the season's end.And also Spring and fall are Bird migration seasons in Israel.It would not surprise me if Israeli wars are not fought around the time of the Pleiades-Orion happenings.The Bible contains three direct references to the Pleiades in Job 9:9 and 38:31, and Amos 5:8, and a single indirect reference in the New Testament. This latter passage (Revelation 1:16) describes a vision of the coming of the Messiah – who holds, in his right hand, seven stars.Well since the meteors do hit the earth in the last 6 months of the 7 year tribulation period.I believe.Jesus' return will be only 6 months or so from happening.So this Pieades (meteorites) earth hit would be warning the world that Jesus is about to return to earth literally.
AMOS 5:8 (FORGET ABOUT PLANET X-NIBURU)(HERES THE FALLING STARS HERE)
8 Seek him (GOD) that maketh the seven stars (plieades) and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death (darkness) into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:
31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? (BIND AND LOOSE THESE STARS)(GOD GIVES US A HINT-THESE ARE THE ONES THAT FALL TO EARTH)
32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth? (GOD TELLS US-I CAN THROW THESE STARS TO EARTH-I AM IN CONTROL OF ALL THINGS)
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days (NEAR THE END OF THE TRIB)(IS THE ASTEROID HIT) shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,(AS A RESULT OF THE METEORITES OR ASTEROID HITTING THE GROUND-IT SHORTENS THE DAYLIGHT HOURS BECAUSE THE EARTHS GROUND STIRS UP DUST TO THE HEAVENS AND DARKENS THE SUN AND MOON.I BELIEVE WHEN THIS ASTEROID OR METEOR HITS THE EARTH-WE WILL ONLY HAVE 8 HOURS OF SUNLIGHT A DAY-SINCE THE BIBLE SAYS 1/3 OF THE SUN AND MOON WILL BE DARKENED) and the stars (METEORITES) shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.(JESUS AND THE RAPTURED CHRISTIANS COME BACK TO EARTH AT THE END OF THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD)(AND SINCE ITS RIGHT NEAR THE END OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD-THE ASTEROID HITS.-THEN JESUS RETURNS TO EARTH)(SO WE KNOW NOW FOR SURE THAT THE ASTEROID HITS THE EARTH IN THE LAST 6 MONTHS OF THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD)(JUST BEFORE JESUS RETURNS TO EARTH)
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.(HERES THE RAPTURED CHRISTIANS FROM 7 YEARS EARLIAR-BEING GATHERED TOGETHER TO RETURN BACK TO EARTH WITH JESUS)(FOR US TO LIVE ON EARTH FOREVER WITH JESUS)
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars (METORITES) of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come;(LAST HALF OF THE 7 YR TRIB) and who shall be able to stand?
8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star (ASTEROID) from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
11 And the name of the star (ASTEROID) is called Wormwood:(bitter,Poisoned) and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.(poisoned)
12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars;(LITERAL STARS) so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.(HERES WERE THE ASTEROID HIT BLOCKS THE SUN AND MOON-SHORTENING THE DAYLIGHT HOURS TO 8 HOURS A DAY ONLY)
13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe,(1) woe,(2) woe,(3) to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels,which are yet to sound!
MATTHEW 24:29 STAR MEANS ASTER OR ASTEROID ALSO-http://biblehub.com/text/matthew/24-29.htm
REVELATION 6:13 STAR MEANS ASTER OR ASTEROID ALSO.-http://biblehub.com/text/revelation/6-13.htm
REVELATION 8:10 STAR MEANS ASTER OR ASTEROID ALSO.-http://biblehub.com/text/revelation/8-10.htm
REVELATION 8:11 STAR MEANS ASTER OR ASTEROID ALSO-http://biblehub.com/text/revelation/8-11.htm
REVELATION 8:12 STARS MEAN LITERAL STARS NOT ASTEROIDS-http://biblehub.com/greek/792.htm
JOB 9:7 STAR MEANS - LITERAL STARS NOT ASTEROIDS.-http://biblehub.com/text/job/9-7.htm - http://biblehub.com/hebrew/strongs_3556.htm
AMOS 5:8 STAR MEANS - LITERAL STARS NOT ASTEROIDS-http://biblehub.com/text/amos/5-8.htm
Astronomers stunned by star 'nursery' age find-Agence France-Presse-yahoonews-July 27, 2017
Paris (AFP) - Surprised astronomers have found stars of three different ages in a stellar "nursery" in the Milky Way, throwing into question the scientific consensus on how stars are formed.The European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope in Chile spotted three distinct groups of baby stars in the Orion nebula -- the closest star "factory" to Earth, a team reported Thursday."Looking at the data for the first time was one of those 'Wow!' moments that happen only once or twice in an astronomer's lifetime," ESO astronomer Giacomo Beccari said in a statement.The images reveal "without any doubt that we are seeing three distinct populations of stars in the central parts of Orion."Previously, it was thought that all stars in a young nebulae were formed simultaneously. Now it appears that star birth happens in bursts, "and more quickly than had been previously thought," said the team.Based on the brightness and colour of the stars in the Orion nebula, the team determined that three different groups of stars were born within a span of three million years.Nebulas are massive clouds of gas and dust where stars originate. The best known to us is the Orion nebula some 1,350 light years from Earth.It is visible with the naked eye as the brightest spot around the "belt" of the Orion constellation.
In US first, scientists edit genes of human embryos-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-July 27, 2017
For the first time in the United States, scientists have edited the genes of human embryos, a controversial step toward someday helping babies avoid inherited diseases.The experiment was just an exercise in science — the embryos were not allowed to develop for more than a few days and were never intended to be implanted into a womb, according to MIT Technology Review, which first reported the news.Officials at Oregon Health & Science University confirmed Thursday that the work took place there and said results would be published in a journal soon. It is thought to be the first such work in the U.S.; previous experiments like this have been reported from China. How many embryos were created and edited in the experiments has not been revealed.The Oregon scientists reportedly used a technique called CRISPR, which allows specific sections of DNA to be altered or replaced. It's like using a molecular scissors to cut and paste DNA, and is much more precise than some types of gene therapy that cannot ensure that desired changes will take place exactly where and as intended. With gene editing, these so-called "germline" changes are permanent and would be passed down to any offspring.The approach holds great potential to avoid many genetic diseases, but has raised fears of "designer babies" if done for less lofty reasons, such as producing desirable traits.Last year, Britain said some of its scientists could edit embryo genes to better understand human development.And earlier this year in the U.S., the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine said in a report that altering the genes of embryos might be OK if done under strict criteria and aimed at preventing serious disease."This is the kind of research that the report discussed," University of Wisconsin-Madison bioethicist R. Alta Charo said of the report of Oregon's work. She co-led the National Academies panel but was not commenting on its behalf Thursday."This was purely laboratory-based work that is incredibly valuable for helping us understand how one might make these germline changes in a way that is precise and safe. But it's only a first step," she said."We still have regulatory barriers in the United States to ever trying this to achieve a pregnancy. The public has plenty of time" to weigh in on whether that should occur, she said.One prominent genetics expert, Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California, said gene editing of embryos is "an unstoppable, inevitable science, and this is more proof it can be done."Experiments are in the works now in the U.S. using gene-edited cells to try to treat people with various diseases, but "in order to really have a cure, you want to get this at the embryo stage," he said. "If it isn't done in this country, it will be done elsewhere."___Marilynn Marchione can be followed at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP-Marilynn Marchione, The Associated Press.
OZONE DEPLETION JUDGEMENT ON THE EARTH DUE TO SIN
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:
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.
FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS
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.
Wildfire forces evacuations, threatens structures near Kamloops, B.C.[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-July 26, 2017
KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A rapidly-moving wildfire has forced people to flee dozens of properties east of Kamloops, B.C.The Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued an evacuation order for 39 properties in Monte Lake Wednesday night, saying a fire burning in the area posed an "imminent threat" to people and property.Another 58 properties were put on evacuation alert, warned that they may need to leave at a moment's notice.Evacuees have been told to head to Kamloops, where thousands of others have taken refugee as more than 150 fires burn across the province.The BC Wildfire Service said the fire was about 60 hectares in size Wednesday night, and was threatening multiple structures.The agency said 31 firefighters were working to tackle the blaze and airtankers were working on containment.Officials with the wildfire service have warned that persistent hot, dry weather in southern parts of the province is likely to make the fire situation worse in coming weeks.There are still approximately 19,100 people displaced, and Robert Turner of Emergency Management BC said more support is coming for Kamloops and Prince George, the communities that have helped most of those residents forced out of their homes."The commitment and dedication of these people has seen some truly heroic efforts and I think we're finding now with the situation going on for so long that a lot of them are getting tired," Turner said, adding the relentless fire conditions are also taking a toll on fire crews and volunteers.He said the province is working with local governments to ensure any additional support needed, including human resources, will be made available as people remain out of their homes.For the first time in days, a new evacuation order was issued by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District late Tuesday night for residents on a handful of properties northeast of Clinton, about 350 kilometres north of Vancouver.The 615-square kilometre wildfire has been threatening the region for nearly three weeks and already destroyed dozens of homes from Ashcroft north to Loon Lake, east of Clinton.RCMP announced Wednesday that a wildfire that raced through a Lake Country neighbourhood in the Okanagan and destroyed eight homes was arson.Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said police want to speak with a group of adults who were using the recreational area near where the fire started on July 15 and are also encouraging anyone with photos or video footage to contact police.He said several residents suffered substantial financial and emotional damage and it was lucky that no one was injured or killed by the fast-moving flames.Fires have charred about 3,790 square kilometres of timber, bush and grassland in B.C., since April 1, and crews are continuing to try to bring more than 150 wildfires under control.The Canadian Press.
Spanish PM denies knowledge of party corruption-By EUOBSERVER-july 27,17
Today, 08:33-Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy told a Madrid court on Tuesday that he "never heard anything" about corruption in his Popular Party (PP) because he was "not in charge of accounting" in the party. Rajoy was heard at the National Court as a witness in the so-called Gürtel case, in which 37 PP officials and businessmen stand accused of bribery, money laundering and tax evasion.
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)
Macron creates confusion over Libyan 'hotspots' By Eric Maurice-july 27,17-euobserver
BRUSSELS, Today, 17:09-A reported French plan to create "hotspots" in Libya this summer, to check asylum seekers before they try to come to Europe, remains unclear amid legal and practical difficulties."The idea is to create hotspots to avoid people taking crazy risks when they are not all eligible for asylum," French president Emmanuel Macron was quoted as saying by Agence France Presse (AFP) on Thursday (27 July).According to AFP, he said that he would send staff from Ofpra, the French office for the protection of refugees and stateless persons, to Italy, Libya, and, possibly, to Niger."I intend to do it this summer," he added.He noted that "other European countries are very reluctant" and that France would "do it" even without the EU.The announcement - made while visiting a refugee facility in Orleans, in central France - appears to have been premature."Security conditions must be met, however. Today they are not," the president's office later told AFP, casting doubt on whether his intentions would be followed by action.A French source told EUobserver that Macron meant asylum requests should be treated as closely as possible to the migrants' countries of origin.In a speech he gave during the visit, the French leader said he wanted that the EU "is able to go process asylum seekers as close as possible to the ground, in the safest third country, close to the country of origin".He said France would send Ofpra missions to Italy and "on African soil, in safe countries," and did not specifically mention Libya.In his speech, he referred to Libya to point out that 800,000 to 1 million people lived in camps there and would not all be eligible for asylum. He also said that he wanted to "politically stabilise" the country.The idea of opening hotspots in Libya caught the EU by surprise.A spokeswoman for the European Commission, Natasha Bertaud, said that the EU executive would need time to "define exactly what is being proposed."-Too much in a word-"We're open to discussing with any and all of our member states how we can improve the situation along the central Mediterranean route," said Bertaud.The use of the word "hotspots" by Macron also created confusion.The so-called EU hotspots, established in Greece and Italy, are facilities where migrants are identified, registered, and where they can request asylum.Bertaud noted that "many things are comprised in the word 'hotspot'," and stressed that it was difficult to see what it could refer to in the case of a non-EU country like Libya.Creating hotspots in Libya, an EU source pointed out, would suppose they followed the rules of Eurodac, the EU's fingerprint database, for identifying applicants, and would mean bringing in judges to supervise the process.Processing asylum seekers in Libya would also mean that EU countries, and at least France, accepted relocating them."I don't think that's what Macron has in mind," the source said.A spokesman for Austrian foreign minister Sebastian Kurz welcomed Macron’s ”important contribution to the closure of the Mediterranean route and stopping illegal migration".-Refugee camps-Kurz, as well as the Hungarian government, have been pushing for the opening of refugee camps in Libya in order to prevent people from coming to Europe.Some 30 camps already exist in Libya for migrants and displaced people. The UNHCR, the UN's refugee agency, and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), operate in about 20 of them.Bertaud said, for now, the EU was working with the UNHCR and the IOM to improve conditions in the camps and to resettle asylum seekers in the EU.Macron's announcement comes two days after he hosted Libya's rival political leaders, Fayez al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar, for a meeting in which they agreed to a ceasefire and to elections next year.Meanwhile, the EU continues its effort to prevent smugglers transporting people across the Mediterranean.On Tuesday, it extended the Sophia EU maritime mission until the end of 2018 and, on Thursday, a commission spokesman said that the EU was "ready to move to the next phase”, in which EU ships would intervene in Libyan waters.
Member states relocate 3,000 migrants in June-By EUOBSERVER
26. Jul, 13:13-Over 2,000 migrants that had arrived in Greece were relocated to other EU member states in June, and almost 1,000 migrants from Italy. On Wednesday, the total number of relocations was 24,676, far lower than the EU's initial target of 160,000. The new target is 33,000, which the commission said on Wednesday "remains feasible before September". A separate scheme, involving resettling refugees from Turkey, reached 17,179 resettlements (of 22,504).
EU judges rule to keep Hamas funds frozen-By EUOBSERVER
26. Jul, 10:24-The EU court in Luxembourg has set aside a previous judgment from 2014, which said that Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, should not be designated as a terrorist entity and should have its funds unfrozen. The 2014 ruling said the EU had wrongly listed Hamas on the basis of media reports, but Wednesday's verdict said member states were entitled to use outside sources as well as their own information.
Israel removes railings, overhead bridge near holy site-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-July 26, 2017
JERUSALEM — Israel removed railings and an overhead metal bridge it had recently installed near a contested Jerusalem holy site, meeting a demand by Muslim protesters and causing thousands of Palestinians to celebrate in the streets early Thursday.Muslim leaders said they would decide later in the day whether worshippers could return to the shrine for prayers and end a crisis that Israel hoped it had resolved by making concessions at the site.The head of the Supreme Islamic Committee, Ikrema Sabri, had said previously that worshippers would not return to the shrine until Israel removed the new railings and cameras it installed after a deadly attack there.Sabri said that even after Israel removed metal detectors, more steps were required to restore calm. He said mass prayer protests would continue until the gates of the compound are opened, metal railings and an iron bridge removed and newly installed cameras removed."We will not enter the mosque until these things are implemented," Sabri told The Associated Press. "Now we are awaiting the response of the police."The demands set off the prospect of a renewed showdown ahead of Friday prayers, when a large number of worshippers arrive for the centerpiece of the Muslim prayer week.It was unclear whether Israel's removal of the railings and overhead bridge would meet the demands, but Palestinians danced, chanted "God is Great" and set off fireworks early Thursday.Israel installed the new security measures earlier this month after Arab gunmen shot and killed two police officers from within the site. It said they were necessary to prevent more attacks, while Palestinians claimed Israel was trying to expand its control over the site. The issue sparked some of the worst street clashes in years and threatened to draw Israel into conflict with other Arab and Muslim nations.Under intense pressure, Israel removed the metal detectors and said it planned to install sophisticated security cameras instead.But Palestinian politicians and Muslim clerics say that isn't enough and are demanding Israel restore the situation at the shrine in Jerusalem's Old City to what it was before the July 14 attack.Israel's decision to add security measures there triggered Muslim protests, and low-level clashes have continued in and around Jerusalem in the days since. The Red Crescent said 13 people were treated Tuesday night after being hit by rubber bullets during protests.The continued standoff highlighted the deep distrust between Israel and the Palestinians when it comes to the shrine — the third-holiest in Islam and the most sacred in Judaism.The 37-acre (15-hectare) compound, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, has been a lightning rod for the rival religious and national narratives of the two sides and has triggered major confrontations in the past.The latest development could put Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a tough spot, as he tries to tamp out a wave of unrest that has triggered international pressure while not appearing to his hard-line base as capitulating.His government has faced a growing backlash at home for what critics said was hasty decision-making and embarrassing policy reversals. Even Israel Hayom, a free daily owned by Netanyahu's billionaire patron Sheldon Adelson, denounced Israel's response to the crisis as "feeble and frightened."In an unprecedented headline, the paper — which has been an unequivocal source of support for the prime minister — led with "Netanyahu's demonstration of helplessness."In a face-saving compromise, and after Netanyahu spoke to Jordan's King Abdullah II and others, Israel's security Cabinet announced on Monday that in place of the metal detectors, it would employ nonintrusive "advanced technologies" — reportedly smart cameras that can detect hidden objects. The new security system is said to be set up in the next six months at a cost of $28 million.Netanyahu appeared to be doubling back again Wednesday when he instructed police forces to conduct thorough inspections at the site.Israeli police, meanwhile, acknowledged their forces have been preventing journalists from entering parts of Jerusalem's Old City. Reporters have said they were being blocked this week from covering the unrest around the shrine while tourists have been able to freely move about the city and film with their mobile phones.Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said "journalists are being prevented from coming in those specific areas where there have been disturbances and riots." He said it was a decision made by the Jerusalem police district.The Foreign Press Association derided the move, calling it "a kind of innovative censorship that is surprising in a country that prides itself on press freedom."Israel has also found itself in a new scuffle with Turkey, whose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been among its fiercest critics. On Tuesday, Erdogan accused Israel of using security measures as a pretext to take over holy sites in Jerusalem.Israel's foreign ministry responded by calling the comments "delusional, baseless and distorted.""The days of the Ottoman Empire are over," it said. "He who lives in a palace of glass would be better off not throwing stones."Netanyahu's office also chimed in, saying it wondered what Erdogan would have to say to Kurds and residents of north Cyprus. "Erdogan is the last one who can preach to Israel," it said in a statement.On Wednesday, Turkey's foreign ministry called the Israeli statements "arrogant."____Daraghmeh reported from Ramallah, West Bank.Aron Heller And Mohammed Daraghmeh, The Associated Press.
US-backed Syrian fighters now control almost half of IS city-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-July 27, 2017
RAQQA, Syria — U.S.-backed Syrian fighters have captured almost half of the Islamic State group's de facto capital of Raqqa, but the push into the city in northern Syria has slowed due to stiff resistance and large amounts of explosives planted by the extremists, a spokeswoman for the fighters and monitors said Thursday.The assault on Raqqa by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led fighting coalition, began June 6, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and U.S. troops advising the local forces.Since then, the SDF has made steady advances from the eastern and western sides of the city, reaching the walled old quarter.The fall of Raqqa, IS' self-proclaimed capital, would be a huge loss for the extremist group, which earlier this month lost the Iraqi city of Mosul. But much tougher fighting still lies ahead.Army Col. Ryan Dillon, the spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, said 45 per cent of Raqqa is now under the control of the SDF.In a series of tweets, he said the SDF cleared about 9 square miles of terrain this past week fighting against "stiff, sporadic resistance" from IS militants entrenched in Raqqa.Nisreen Abdullah, the Kurdish spokeswoman, told The Associated Press that the pace of the advance into Raqqa has slowed because of massive amounts of explosives laid by IS fighters.As the extremists become more surrounded, they have increased their suicide attacks against fighters of the SDF, she added."Raqqa has become a booby-trapped city and this shows their (IS') weakness," said Abdullah, of the Women's Protection Units or YPJ, speaking from northern Syria. "They are also using civilians as human shields and this is slowing the push as well."She said the Syrian Democratic Forces, which includes the Kurdish YPJ women fighters, now controls 45 per cent of Raqqa. She added that since the offensive began, SDF fighters have fully captured eight neighbourhoods .Plumes of smoke could be seen behind buildings in Raqqa a day earlier as the coalition pounded IS targets in the city. Syrian children looked on as U.S. armoured vehicles drove by. One American soldier on a vehicle made the victory sign.Mustafa Bali, who heads the SDF media centre , confirmed on Thursday that the group now has half of Raqqa and said the most important areas liberated in the past four days were the Nazlet Shehadeh and Panorama Square neighbourhoods — both on the southwestern part of the city.But he said there are IS counterattacks, militant sleeper cells and tunnels in the area."It was not easy, we have casualties and martyrs," he said, adding that the fighting was ongoing.In the eastern front, where SDF forces breached IS defences on the edge of the old city about a month ago, fighters have now reached the old citadel, an SDF commander in charge of one sector in the front told the AP."As we move forward we find a tunnel every 100 metres ," Jihad Khabat said. He said the enemy, "besieged and in distress," hides in deep and long tunnels under the city, from where they can hit Syrian fighters in daily counterattacks.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said SDF fighters control half of Raqqa. The attacks on the city have claimed many casualties among the tens of thousands of civilians who are still trapped in areas controlled by IS.The Observatory said 29 people, including eight children, were killed in airstrikes on the city on Wednesday. The activist-operated Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently group said 36 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in airstrikes and shelling.The reports could not be independently confirmed.In central Syria, fighting edged closer to the IS stronghold of Sukhna, the last major town held by IS in the Homs province, according to the Observatory and the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media.SCMM said Syrian troops killed and wounded a number of IS fighters in battles near a mountain that overlooks the area. The Observatory said troops are now about 5 kilometres (3 miles) from Sukhna, which has been held by IS since the summer of 2015.Near the border with Lebanon, a cease-fire went into effect between the militant Hezbollah group and al-Qaida-linked fighters on Thursday morning as negotiations were underway to reach a deal that would eventually lead to the evacuation of Syrian fighters to the northwestern rebel-held province of Idlib.The truce followed a six-day offensive by Hezbollah and Syrian troops who besieged al-Qaida-linked fighters in a small border area.Senior Lebanese security official, Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, who is leading the negotiations, told reporters in Beirut that the details of the deal will remain secret, adding that fighters and their families who decide to leave for Idlib will do it under the supervision of Lebanese authorities.Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV said the deal will include the release of five members of the Shiite group who are held by insurgents in Syria.___Associated Press writer Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed to this report.Sarah El Deeb, The Associated Press.
Aleppo district shows Assad's delicate dance with Kurds-[Reuters]-By Angus McDowall-yahoonews-July 27, 2017
ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) - Kurdish fighters wearing the blue eagle insignia of the Asayish security force stopped the taxi entering the Sheikh Maqsoud district in Aleppo, checking papers and searching for contraband.When they waved it on into the Kurdish-controlled district, it stayed inside the city while leaving, in effect, the Syrian Arab Republic of President Bashar al-Assad.Inside Sheikh Maqsoud, Kurdish banners flutter from the rooftops and Assad's image is replaced by that of a Kurdish leader."We won't give up Sheikh Maqsoud unless they kill us all," said Souad Hassan, a senior Kurdish politician.That the government tolerates Kurdish rule in the enclave, generally allowing movement in and out, shows its willingness to accept, for now, a Kurdish movement whose vision for Syria directly rivals its own, but which is not an immediate enemy.But friction between Sheikh Maqsoud - population 40,000 - and the government points to potential future problems.It is an uneasy relationship, complicated by a web of international alliances and enmities, that will grow more important as both sides seize more ground from Islamic State.Assad's government trumpeted the defeat of rebels in Aleppo as his greatest victory of the war so far, the return of state control to a city that was once the country's biggest.But he has made no move to regain Sheikh Maqsoud, which sits on a hilltop surrounded by areas held by the army.There is no military presence around the district except a Syrian army checkpoint on the road in. Many government workers and students inside Sheikh Maqsoud commute daily into the city.Still, Asayish leaders there complained to Reuters that government checkpoints hinder the movement of goods and services into Sheikh Maqsoud.-LEFTIST IDEOLOGY-In an upstairs room of the local "Democratic Community Academy", 15 men and women, note pads and pens on their laps, attended a lecture on the YPG's leftist, federalist ideology.A woman rose to speak and the man and woman giving the course nodded approvingly before correcting a point of doctrine.A wall-sized photograph of Abdullah Ocalan, founder of the PKK in Turkey, and political lodestar of the YPG and the main Syrian Kurdish political party, the PYD, dominated the room.Graffiti in Sheikh Maqsoud included several references to the PKK and to "Apo", as Ocalan is known. Street posters of martyrs included not just those killed with the YPG in Syria, but some who had died fighting for the PKK in Turkey.Those ties to the PKK alarm Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, whose intervention in Syria is based partly on stopping a Kurdish mini-state emerging along the border.They have also complicated the YPG's relationship with the United States, which backs it as the spearhead of its fight against Islamic State in Syria, but which regards the PKK as a terrorist organization.The Kurds have forsworn independence from Syria. Instead they want a decentralized state in which communities elect local councils, led by both men and women, with representation from all ethnic and religious groups.Critics say the governing structures they have set up under this model in northern Syria are less democratic than they appear, and are dominated by officials committed to the PKK.Still, their vision is at odds with Assad's Syrian state, which is highly centralized and emphasizes the country's Arab roots.Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem has suggested that an "accommodation" could be reached with the Kurds, and Assad has indicated he accepts their bearing arms for now.But Assad has also vowed to take back "every inch" of the country and described Kurdish governing bodies as "temporary structures".-FIGHTING-One reason for Assad's tolerance of the YPG is clear: its enmity with rebel groups that are his own main foe.The Kurds' front against the rebels helped Assad when his forces retook east Aleppo last year. Their fight against Islamic State has also deprived the jihadists of resources they might have used against the Syrian government.The Syrian government has also benefited from Turkish anxiety about the YPG's links to the PKK. Ankara's involvement in Syria, where it was a main supporter of rebels, is now focused on containing Kurdish influence.The Kurds have allowed government enclaves to persist near Hasaka and Qamishli, two cities they control in northeast Syria, but they have also clashed with the army there.Reuters visited Sheikh Maqsoud with a Syrian government official and was escorted by a truck of Asayish soldiers.Mohammed Ali, the head of the Asayish in Sheikh Maqsoud, was very critical of the Syrian government, saying it often obstructed passage between Sheikh Maqsoud and other areas, blocking humanitarian supplies."This is wrong behavior by the Syrian government. It looks at Sheikh Maqsoud as if it is a military area, not a civilian one," he said.Reuters did not see any of the Kurdish YPG militia fighters in Sheikh Maqsoud, only the armed security service the Asayish, although YPG flags were flying.-CHECKPOINTS-There are only two primary schools and no high schools in Sheikh Maqsoud, Ali said. Older children and people in the district with jobs in other parts of Aleppo must commute into government territory.However, he said the checkpoint was only open from 8am-5pm in summer and until 3pm in winter. Reuters saw some traffic cross later than this.All supplies including food, medicine and diesel for electricity generators - needed to power pumps to raise water from wells - come from outside.Produce in Sheikh Maqsoud street stalls was all purchased from the central Aleppo fruit and vegetable market each morning, the barrow men said - but charged 50 lira ($0.10) per kilo by the checkpoint soldiers.Sheikh Maqsoud is about 17km (10 miles) from the nearest Kurdish-run territory in Syria - Afrin. Civilians are able to pass without much difficulty, but Kurdish fighters are not. Young men risk forcible conscription at army checkpoints.The checkpoints sometimes refused shipments attempting to enter Sheikh Maqsoud without warning and seemingly without reason, Ali said, noting a recent diesel shipment denied entry.Heavy trucks and construction machinery, such as bulldozers, required to lift the rubble in badly damaged areas were also forbidden entrance, he added.-DEPENDENCE-In the main ward of Sheikh Maqsoud's only clinic, a former school, a motionless soldier and an old man lay on two of the four chipped metal beds.A plastic cupboard against one wall was untidily piled with old medical equipment and supplies. A half-full plastic bin bag lay open in a corner with discarded surgical gloves inside.The hospital cannot perform surgery under anesthetic and usually just provides first aid before moving patients to private hospitals in government-held Aleppo.This apparent dependence on links to government areas is reflected in other Kurdish areas in Syria, where their other borders, with Turkey and Iraq, are hostile.There was no sign in Sheikh Maqsoud of the ties between the YPG and the U.S. But Reuters saw a Russian armored vehicle slowly driving down one road.Moscow is Assad's biggest ally in the war but the presence of Russian forces in the Kurdish Afrin region has also helped avert possible Turkish attacks there, Kurds believe.Still, Kurdish leaders in Sheikh Maqsoud say they see no reason to accept rule by Damascus unless their people want it."Around 30-40 percent of Syrian land is under our control and the will of the people is what is strongest," said Mohammed Haj Mustafa, head of the PYD in Sheikh Maqsoud.(Editing by Giles Elgood)
EU warns of possible delays to Brexit talks, London confident of schedule-[Reuters]-By Jan Strupczewski and Gabriela Baczynska-yahoonews-July 27, 2017
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Talks between Britain and the European Union on their future relationship are now less likely to start in October, the EU's top negotiator has said, due to a lack of progress on Brexit divorce issues so far, EU officials said.The EU's top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Wednesday briefed ambassadors from the 27 countries that will remain in the EU after Britain leaves in March 2019 on the outcome of the July round of the monthly divorce talks with London last week."He said the likelihood of starting the future relationship talks in October appeared to be decreasing," one EU official involved in the Brexit talks said.Britain's Brexit government department responded by saying it was confident it would make enough progress by October to move on to talks about the future relationship with the bloc."We have already made good progress on a number of issues, ... government officials are working at pace, and we are confident we will have made sufficient progress by October to advance the talks to the next phase," a spokesman for the department said.Barnier had earlier hoped that sufficient progress on the key divorce issues -- a financial settlement, citizens rights and a solution for a non-physical border between Northern Ireland and Ireland -- could be made by October.This would allow EU leaders to give their consent to starting talks with London on the main aspects of the relationship after Brexit -- a discussion Britain is keen to start as soon as possible to provide more clarity to businesses.But with no progress on the financial settlement except Britain's general admission that it would owe the EU an unspecified amount, and little to no real progress on other issues, the odds of a future trade relationship discussion starting in two months are declining."On the financial settlement, we have been clear that we recognize the UK has obligations to the EU and that the EU also has obligations to the UK," the Brexit department spokesman said.EU officials said progress was difficult not because Britain had unacceptable demands, but because it had no position at all on many issues."Barnier expressed concerns that sufficient progress in October looked difficult now. Mainly because Britain has no position on finances, but also because they don't have positions on other issues as well," a second EU official said."The more they drag on, the less time is left for (the) second phase and special relationship they want," the second official said.The EU's rough estimate is that Britain may owe it around 60 billion euros after it leaves in various legal commitments London has made as a member of the bloc, but talks are to focus on the methodology of calculation rather than the sum itself."There has still been no kick-off on money, Britain still refuses to accept anything – either the methodology, or the sum. This blocs everything else, there won’t be any real progress over the next two months, clearly that won’t create grounds for opening phase two on trade," a third EU diplomat said."On citizens' acquired rights, it’s a mixed picture. We have a list of things we agree on, disagree on and are some way in between. But that at least allows us to negotiate," the third official added.Diplomats said that on Ireland, talks have not moved beyond restating positions that have already been presented in public."They have actually not discussed the Irish border in any detail, there were no technical talks at all," a fourth official said.The next round of talks is scheduled for late August.(Additional reporting by Kylie MacLellan in London; Reporting by Jan Strupczewski and Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Catherine Evans and Hugh Lawson)
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