Wednesday, July 05, 2017
NORTH KOREA TESTS INTERCONTINENTAL BALLISTIC MISSLE FOR FIRST TIME.
12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates;(WERE WW3 STARTS IN IRAQ OR SYRIA OR TURKEY) and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.(THE TURKEY ATATURK DAM ON THE EUPHRATES CAN BE SHUT AND DRIED UP ALREADY BY TURKEY)
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon,(SATAN) and out of the mouth of the beast,(WORLD DICTATOR) and out of the mouth of the false prophet.(FALSE POPE)
14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.(WERE 2 BILLION DIE FROM NUKE WAR)
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.(ITS AT THIS TIME I BELIEVE WHEN AMERICA GETS NUKED BY RUSSIA ON THE WAY TO THE MIDEAST)
DANIEL 11:44 (2ND WAVE OF WW3)
44 But tidings out of the east(CHINA) and out of the north(RUSSIA, MUSLIMS WHATS LEFT FROM WAVE 1) shall trouble him:(EU DICTATOR IN ISRAEL) therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.( 1/3RD OF EARTHS POPULATION)
12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four(DEMONIC WAR) angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.(WORLDWIDE WAR)(TURKEY-IRAQ-SYRIA)(EUPHRATES RIVER CONSISTS OF 760 MILES IN TURKEY,440 MILES IN SYRIA AND 660 MILES IN IRAQ)
15 And the four(DEMONIC WAR) angels were loosed,(WORLDWIDE WAR) which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.(1/3 Earths Population die in WW 3 2ND WAVE-2 billion)
16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand:(200 MILLION MAN ARMY FROM CHINA AND THE KINGS OF THE EAST) and I heard the number of them.
17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.(NUCLEAR BOMBS)
18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.(NUCLEAR BOMBS)
North Korea says first intercontinental ballistic missile test successful-[Reuters]-By Christine Kim and Jack Kim-YAHOONEWS-July 4, 2017
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said on Tuesday it successfully test-launched a first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which some analysts said could put all of the U.S. state of Alaska in range for the first time.U.S. television networks Fox News and NBC said U.S. officials had told them they believed Tuesday's test was of an ICBM, marking a milestone in Pyongyang's missile development.The launch, on the eve of U.S. Independence Day, took place days before leaders from the Group of 20 nations were due to discuss steps to rein in North Korea's weapons program, which it has pursued in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions.North Korea's state media said the launch was ordered and supervised by leader Kim Jong Un and sent the Hwasong-14 933 km (580 miles) reaching an altitude of 2,802 km (1,741 miles) over a flight time of 39 minutes.North Korea has said it is working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the U.S. mainland, something U.S. President Donald Trump vowed in January would never happen.Some analysts said the flight details on Tuesday suggested the new missile had a range of more than 8,000 km (4,970 miles), which would put significant parts of the U.S. mainland in range, representing major advances in its program. Others said they believed its range was not so far.David Wright, co-director of the Global Security Program at the U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists, said the flight time and distance suggested the missile could reach a maximum range of about 6,700 km (4,163 miles), bringing Alaska into range.South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the missile was believed to be an intermediate-range type, but the military was looking into the possibility it was an ICBM.The Pentagon and State Department said on Tuesday that they and other U.S. government agencies were working on a more detailed assessment of the launch. On Monday night, the Pentagon described the missile as an intermediate-range type that traveled for 37 minutes.Analysts have said they believed North Korea was still years away from having an operational nuclear-tipped ICBM capable of hitting the United States. Such a missile would require not only sufficient range, but also a warhead small enough to be mounted on it and technology to ensure stable re-entry into the atmosphere.North Korea said its missiles were now capable of striking anywhere in the world.Officials from South Korea, Japan and the United States said the missile landed in the sea in Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone after being launched on a high trajectory.Kim Dong-yub, a military expert at Seoul's Kyungnam University, said it appeared the test was successful and that if launched on a standard angle, the missile could have a range of more than 8,000 km (4,970 miles)."But we have to see more details of the new missile to determine if North Korea has acquired ICBM technology."-TRUMP FRUSTRATION WITH CHINA-Trump has been urging China, North Korea's main trading partner and only big ally, to press North Korea to give up its nuclear program. In an apparent reference to Kim Jong Un, Trump tweeted: "Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?""Hard to believe South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer," he added. "Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!"Trump has indicated he is running out of patience with Beijing's efforts to rein in North Korea. His administration has said all options are on the table, military included, but suggested these would be a last resort and that sanctions and diplomatic pressure are its preferred course.While China has responded to previous North Korean tests of suspected ICBM technology by agreeing to tougher U.N. sanctions, on Tuesday it emphasized its call for a return to talks with North Korea by signing a joint statement with Russia.Under China's plan, North Korea would suspend its ballistic missile program in return for a moratorium on large-scale military exercises by the United States and South Korea, which Washington and Seoul say are essential to maintain defense readiness.Trump is due to meet both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 in Germany this week.Japan said on Monday it would have a trilateral summit with the United States and South Korea on North Korea at the G20. Its Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would ask the presidents of China and Russia to play more constructive roles.North Korea was a major topic in phone calls between Trump and the leaders of China and Japan this week.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang called on Tuesday for calm and restraint, and reiterated China's opposition to North Korea's violation of U.N. resolutions on missile tests.Responding to Trump's tweet, Geng said China had been working hard to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue."China's role is indispensable," he told a daily news briefing. "We hope all sides can meet each other half way."North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, two since the beginning of last year, and the pace of missile tests has risen significantly. It says it needs to develop its weapons in the face of what it sees as U.S. aggression.Analysts say it often conducts tests to show its defiance and to raise the stakes when it sees regional powers getting ready for talks or sanctions.(Additional reporting by Soyoung Kim in SEOUL, Kiyoshi Takenaka and Elaine Lies in TOKYO, Ben Blanchard in BEIJING and David Brunnstrom and Ayesha Rascoe in WASHINGTON; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Howard Goller)
North Korea claims it tested first intercontinental missile-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-July 4, 2017
SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — North Korea on Tuesday claimed it successfully test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, a potential game-changing development in what may be the world's most dangerous nuclear standoff and, if true, a direct rebuke to U.S. President Donald Trump's earlier declaration that such a test "won't happen!"The launch appeared to be North Korea's most successful missile test yet. A U.S. scientist examining the height and distance said the missile could potentially be powerful enough to reach Alaska.In typically heated rhetoric, North Korea's Academy of Defence Science said the test of an ICBM — the Hwasong-14 — marked the "final step" in creating a "confident and powerful nuclear state that can strike anywhere on Earth."It will be difficult to confirm many details about what happened. North Korea's weapons program is perhaps the most closely held state secret in one of the world's most suspicious nations. U.S., South Korean and Japanese officials earlier assessed that the North fired an intermediate-range missile into waters near Japan.Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declined to comment on whether Japan thinks it was an ICBM, and South Korea's Defence Ministry said it was analyzing whether the North's statement was accurate.North Korea has previously launched satellites in what critics said were disguised tests of its long-range missile technology. A test-launch of an ICBM, however, would be a major step in developing nuclear-armed missiles that could reach anywhere in the United States.The launch sends a political warning to Washington and its chief Asian allies, Seoul and Tokyo, while also allowing North Korean scientists a chance to perfect their still-incomplete nuclear missile program. It came on the eve of the U.S. Independence Day holiday, days after the first face-to-face meeting of the leaders of South Korea and the United States, and ahead of a global summit of the world's richest economies.Most outside and North Korean analyses of the missile's height, distance and time in the air were roughly similar.U.S., South Korean and Japanese officials say it flew for about 40 minutes and reached an altitude of 2,500 kilometres (1,500 miles), which would be longer and higher than any similar North Korean test previously reported. It also covered a distance of about 930 kilometres (580 miles).North Korea said the missile flew as high as 2,802 kilometres before hitting a designated target in the ocean about 933 kilometres away from the launch site in the North's northwest. It said the missile flew for about 39 minutes and was made at the highest possible angle.Russia's military, however, said the missile flew considerably shorter and lower than others reported.Before North Korea's announcement of an ICBM, South Korean analysts said it was likely that it was a retest of one of two intermediate-range missiles launched earlier this year.One U.S. missile scientist, David Wright, estimated that the highly lofted missile, if the reported time and distance are correct, could have a possible maximum range of 6,700 kilometres (4,160 miles), which could put Alaska in its range, if fired at a normal trajectory.Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer of the British Armed Forces Joint Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Regiment, said that "in capability of missile terms and delivery, it is a major step up and they seem to be making progress week-on-week." He added, however, that "actually marrying the warhead to the missile is probably the biggest challenge, which they appear not to have progressed on."North Korea has a reliable arsenal of shorter-range missiles and is thought to have a small arsenal of atomic bombs, but is still trying to perfect its longer-range missiles. Some outside civilian experts believe the North has the technology to mount warheads on shorter-range Rodong and Scud missiles that can strike South Korea and Japan, two key U.S. allies where about 80,000 American troops are stationed. But it's unclear if it has mastered the technology needed to build an atomic bomb that can fit on a long-range missile.Soon after the morning launch, President Trump responded on Twitter: "North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!""This guy" presumably refers to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. China is North Korea's economic lifeline and only major ally, and the Trump administration is pushing Beijing to do more to push the North toward disarmament.After North Korea claimed earlier this year it was close to an ICBM test launch, Trump took to Twitter and said, "It won't happen!"China and Russia proposed on Tuesday that North Korea declare a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests while the United States and South Korea refrain from large-scale joint military exercises. North Korea views the exercises as preparation for an invasion and has repeatedly demanded their cancellation. It says it needs nuclear weapons and powerful missiles to cope with what it calls rising U.S. military threats.The Chinese and Russian foreign ministries issued the proposal in a joint statement after talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.They urged other nations to create a "peaceful atmosphere of mutual trust" to encourage talks between the two sides on commitments not to use force and to make the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons.Regional disarmament talks on North Korea's nuclear program have been deadlocked since 2009, when the North pulled out of the negotiations to protest international condemnation over a long-range rocket launch.The missile test could invite a new round of international sanctions, but North Korea is already one of the most sanctioned countries on Earth. U.N. Security Council resolutions ban it from engaging in any ballistic activities. Since late 2012, North Korea has placed two satellites into orbit with long-range rockets, each time triggering new U.N. sanctions and worldwide condemnation.Last year, North Korea conducted its fourth and fifth atomic bomb tests and claimed a series of technical breakthroughs in its efforts to develop long-range nuclear missiles. The fifth nuclear test in September was the North's most powerful atomic detonation to date.In their meeting last week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Trump vowed to oppose North Korea's development of atomic weapons.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sharply criticized North Korea for the launch. "The latest launch clearly showed that the threat is growing," Abe said.Abe, who talked by phone with Trump on Monday, said the two leaders plan to seek co-operation from world leaders when they attend a G-20 summit in Germany.On May 14, North Korea launched a Hwasong-12 missile which its state media said flew as high as 2,111 kilometres (1,310 miles) and landed in a targeted area in the ocean about 787 kilometres (490 miles) from the launch site. On May 21, North Korea tested a Pukguksong-2, which travelled about 500 kilometres (310 miles).The Korean Peninsula has been divided since before the 1950-53 Korean War. Almost 30,000 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea.___Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.Hyung-Jin Kim And Foster Klug, The Associated Press.
China, Russia offer plan for easing North Korea tensions-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-July 4, 2017
MOSCOW — Russia and China on Tuesday proposed a plan for defusing tensions over North Korea, suggesting that Pyongyang declare a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests while the United States and South Korea refrain from large-scale military exercises.The Russian and Chinese foreign ministries made the recommendation in a joint statement after talks between President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping and another North Korean missile test.The missile flew higher and longer than previous ones North Korea has launched, sparking concerns around the world. Moscow and Beijing called Tuesday's test "unacceptable."The foreign ministries said that as a "voluntary political decision," North Korea should declare a "moratorium on testing nuclear devices and test launches of ballistic missiles." In turn, the U.S. and South Korea should "accordingly refrain from large-scale joint manoeuvrs ," the joint statement added.They said "the confronting parties" involved should sit down for talks to agree on principles that include a refusal to use force and a pledge to make the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons.At the same time, the document emphasized that the North's "sensible concerns" must be respected and urged other nations to create a "peaceful atmosphere of mutual trust" to help launch the talks.In an apparent hint at the U.S., Beijing and Moscow spoke against the "non-regional powers' military presence in Northeast Asia and its buildup under the pretext of countering North Korea's nuclear and missile programs."They specifically opposed U.S. missile defence systems in the region, saying their deployment "seriously damages strategic security interests of regional powers, including Russia and China" and hinders peace and stability.Xi's visit to Russia came amid a flare-up of tensions between China and the U.S. over an American destroyer sailing within the territorial waters of a Chinese-claimed island in the South China Sea.Before arriving in Moscow Monday, Xi warned President Donald Trump that "some negative factors" were hurting U.S.-China relations.Putin hailed Xi during their Kremlin talks as a "big friend" and presented him with Russia's highest award for his efforts to strengthen ties.Xi said "the Russian-Chinese relations are now the best ever."After the talks, the two countries' officials signed several dozen agreements to bolster their co-operation .Trump, Putin and Xi are scheduled to attend the Group of 20 summit in Germany this week. Putin and Trump are to hold their first meeting there.Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press.
Scientists baffled by strange sea creatures near Alaska-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-July 3, 2017
JUNEAU, Alaska — Strange sea creatures that resemble large pink thimbles are showing up on the coast of southeast Alaska for the first time after making their way north along the West Coast for the last few years.Scientists say the creatures are pyrosomes, which are tropical, filter-feeding spineless creatures usually found along the equator. They appear to be one long pink tube, but in reality, they're thousands of multi-celled creatures mushed together, generally about 6 inches (15 centimetres ) long.Pyrosomes have been working their way north, Ric Brodeur, a researcher with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told the Associated Press on Monday.Brodeur, who is based at the agency's Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Newport, Oregon, said pyrosomes were first seen on the Oregon coast in 2014 and every year since. More recently, the animals have made their way up farther north on the Washington state coast, Canada's British Columbia and Alaska.Jim Murphy, a biologist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said pyrosomes spotted near Alaska this year marked the first documented presence of the animals that far north, and their appearance is cause for concern."It means that we are clearly seeing really big changes in the marine ecosystem," he told The Juneau Empire (http://bit.ly/2tiGSle).Researchers have speculated that the bloom is tied to warmer ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean in recent years. But temperatures have nearly cooled back to normal this year, Murphy said, and these pyrosomes started showed up in the middle of winter.Leon Shaul, a biologist with Fish and Game, has been tracking the appearance of pyrosomes in southeast Alaska. He said he's "emailed the whole world" about the issue, but hasn't heard much back.Brodeur told the AP that it's also unusual how close to shore the pyrosomes have come, although they are now being found farther offshore again.He said the creatures have a low nutritional value, and that raises concerns on how they will affect the fish that eat them."They're not the greatest food for the animals out there, compared to the things they normally have," he said.Pyrosomes aren't harmful to humans, but they have puzzled those who've encountered them.Angler Don Jeske was fishing for king salmon in February when he said he found himself surrounded by "millions" of the tube-shaped creatures and he'd never seen anything like it in his 50 years of trolling around Sitka, a fishing town about 90 miles southwest of Juneau."They were all over out there, they were everywhere. . I would say millions, not hundreds of thousands," he said. "This is a weird organism, man."___This story has been corrected to show that the U.S. agency is called National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, not the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.___Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com-The Associated Press.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast (EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADING BLOCKS-10 WORLD REGIONS/TRADE BLOCS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings(10 NATIONS-10 WORLD DIVISION WORLD GOVERNMENT) that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(EITHER THE EUROPEAN UNION DICTATOR BOOTS 3 COUNTRIES FROM THE EU OR THE DICTATOR TAKES OVER THE WORLD ECONOMY BY CONTROLLING 3 WORLD TRADE BLOCS)
9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.(THE VATICAN IS BUILT ON 7 HILLS OR MOUNTAINS)
10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen,(1-ASSYRIA,2-EGYPT,3-BABYLON,4-MEDO-PERSIA,5-GREECE) and one is,(IN POWER IN JOHNS AND JESUS DAY-6-ROME) and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.(7TH-REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE OR THE EUROPEAN UNION TODAY AND THE SHORT SPACE IS-7 YEARS.THE EUROPEAN UNION WILL HAVE WORLD CONTROL FOR THE LAST 3 1/2 YEARS.BUT WILL HAVE ITS MIGHTY WORLD POWER FOR THE FULL 7 YEARS OF THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD.AND THE WORLD DICTATOR WILL BE THE BEAST FROM THE EU.AND THE VATICAN POPE WILL BE THE WHORE THAT RIDES THE EUROPEAN UNION TO POWER.AND THE 2 EUROPEAN UNION POWER FREAKS WILL CONTROL AND DECIEVE THE WHOLE EARTH INTO THEIR DESTRUCTION.IF YOU ARE NOT SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS.YOU WILL BE DECIEVED BY THESE TWO.THE WORLD POLITICIAN-THE EUROPEAN UNION DICTATOR.AND THE FALSE PROPHET THAT DEFECTS CHRISTIANITY-THE FALSE VATICAN POPE.
11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
Heres the scripture 1 week = 7 yrs Genesis 29:27-29
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week:(7 YEARS) and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
26 And after threescore and two weeks(62X7=434 YEARS+7X7=49 YEARS=TOTAL OF 69 WEEKS OR 483 YRS) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMAN LEADERS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.(THERE HAS TO BE 70 WEEKS OR 490 YRS TO FUFILL THE VISION AND PROPHECY OF DAN 9:24).(THE NEXT VERSE IS THAT 7 YR WEEK OR (70TH FINAL WEEK).
27 And he ( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant (PEACE TREATY) with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE ANIMAL SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Juncker lashes out at 'ridiculous' EU parliament By Eric Maurice-JULY 4,17-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 11:03-[Updated at 17.15 on 4 July] European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker lashed out against the "very ridiculous" European Parliament, in a debate that only a handful of MEPs attended on Tuesday morning (4 July).Juncker was in the European Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg for a debate about the outcome of the six-month Maltese presidency of the Council of the EU, which ended on Friday.But when he took the floor, around 9.15 in the morning, the room was almost empty."The European Parliament is ridiculous, very ridiculous," Juncker said straightaway."I salute those who made the effort to be in the room. The fact that about 30 deputies attend this debate demonstrates sufficiently that the parliament is not serious," he went on.There are 751 MEPs in total.Speaking about the Maltese prime minister, Joseph Muscat, who was also there to report on his government's work during the EU presidency, Juncker added that "if Mr Muscat was Ms Merkel (chancellor of Germany) or Mr Macron (president of France), we would have a full house."-Juncker's angry comments at the EU parliament on Tuesday morning-"The parliament is totally ridiculous," he repeated, banging into the microphones in front of him, before being interrupted by the parliament's president, Antonio Tajani."Please, Mr president. You can criticise the parliament, but the commission is not going to control the parliament. It's the parliament that has to control the commission," said Tajani, a fellow member of the centre-right EPP party."There are only few members to control the commission. You are ridiculous," Juncker insisted."I ask you to use a different language. We are not ridiculous," Tajani angrily retorted."I will never again attend a meeting of this kind," said a visibly upset Juncker."The commission is under the control of the parliament, but the parliament has to respect even the presidencies of smaller countries," added the EU commission chief, referring to Malta, the smallest EU state. Juncker was the prime minister of Luxembourg for 18 years, a country of just over 550,000 inhabitants.While Muscat witnessed the angry exchange between the two EU institution leaders with a smile, both Juncker and Tajani were applauded by some of the MEPs who were in the room.Tajani and Juncker met later and the commission president said that he regretted the language he used, according to the parliament's spokesman."Tajani considers the case closed," Jaume Duch said on Twitter."This is what happens when passionate politicians speak from the heart," commission vice president Frans Timmermans told journalists in the afternoon.He said that Juncker wanted to stand up for small countries, "because their prime ministers deserve the same amount of respect".Last month, MEPs already came under criticism when Hilda Heine, the president of the Pacific's Marshall Islands, spoke about climate change and the threat it poses to her country in front of an almost empty plenary room.
Feature-Catalonia ponders independence 'leap of faith' By Eric Maurice-JULY 4,17-EUOBSERVER
Barcelona, Today, 09:17-In less than three months, on 1 October, Catalan voters will be asked whether they want their region to "become an independent state in the form of a Republic."Until Carles Puigdemont, the president of the Catalan government, officially calls the vote at the end of August or early September, the debate on Catalonia's independence will not yet have disturbed the Mediterranean summer.As tourists flooded Barcelona's seafront, streets and monuments last week, only a few stickers and red and yellow Catalan flags displayed in windows served as reminders of the feverish political atmosphere that could potentially lead to the break-up of Spain, the EU's fifth largest state.A visit to Catalonia's second-most visited landmark - after Gaudi's Sagrada Familia basilica - may be a good way to understand how the campaign is taking shape in people's mind."Mes que un club" - more than a club - reads a giant message in the Camp Nou, the 99,000-seat stadium and home to the globally famous "Barca", Barcelona's main football club.In Catalonia and its capital, Puigdemont told EUobserver, "Barca plays a social role, more than a political role."In the club's museum that sits in the Camp Nou, a sign says that "ever since its foundation, FC Barcelona's identity has been inextricably linked to its country, Catalonia. This commitment is accepted by Catalan society and understood by Barcelona supporters from the rest of the Spanish state, and the world."Every match, after 17 minutes and 14 seconds, the most politicised supporters strike up chants about Catalonia's independence to commemorate the defeat of Catalan forces against the Spanish king's army in 1714.In early May, the Barca signed the "national pact for a referendum", an online petition that states "Catalonia’s desire to decide its own political future" and calls on Catalan and Spanish authorities to agree on the modalities of the vote.Polls say that two-thirds of Catalans support the initiative, whereas Spanish authorities have said that the vote will be illegal and have refused any discussion on the matter.But despite its commitment to Catalonia's identity, Barca will not take a side in the referendum."Barca is pro-referendum. They say nothing about independence, because part of their supporters are against independence," Puigdemont explained, adding that a majority of Catalans, including opponents of independence, said they will accept the result."Barca is a reflection of this," he said.Ahead of October's referendum, Catalans are almost united on the need to go to the ballot box to express themselves. But they are also divided on the referendum question and uncertain about the result and the consequences.-Uncertainties-The Spanish government has said that it would use "all means" to prevent the vote or independence from happening, and there is also no guarantee that an independent Catalonia would be recognised by the EU.Puigdemont, in an interview with several European media outlets, including this website, said that "nothing will stop" his government.He added that he would try to find an agreement with the Spanish government and the EU on "how Catalonia can become a fully independent state"."If a majority of Catalans vote for 'Yes' … the European Union must accept reality," he said.Adding to the uncertainty, the Catalan government is still yet to presented the "secession bill," which will outline the transition process towards becoming an independent state.Detailed figures on how much the process would cost have not been put forward either - for example, whether to build state infrastructure or to assume part of the Spanish debt."We will act as an independent state from the first minute. We'll calculate the needs and financial capacities," Puigdemont said in his interview.He also said that he wanted to base Catalonia's share of the debt on the level of Spanish public investment in the region over recent years, although it would "not be strange" to calculate it according to Catalonia's population - 16 percent of the Spanish overall population.In the face of the momentous decision to take, independence supporters argue that it is a question of principles."It's a matter of democracy," said Raul Romeva, the region's foreign minister.He said that the independence movement "was born on the streets because of an accumulation of frustrations.""Frustration mobilises people. And there is a solution to the problem, that's called democracy," he said.-Price to pay-Many date the rise of the independence movement back to 2010, when the Spanish Constitutional Court rewrote 14 articles of Catalonia's statute of autonomy, and reinterpreted 27 others.The court said, in particular, that the reference to Catalonia as a "nation" within Spain was unconstitutional.The "Estatut" (statute) had been ratified in a referendum in 2006, after an initial version adopted by the Catalan parliament in 2005 had been modified by the Spanish parliament.The ruling was a turning point for Catalonia."Our project was to increase and improve self-governance and autonomy step-by-step within the Spanish state, but we were blocked," noted Artur Mas, who then became Catalan leader a few months after the constitutional ruling.As a result, "Catalonia is the only Spanish autonomous community that doesn't have the statute of autonomy that it had adopted," pointed out Puigdemont, who succeeded Mas in January 2016.Mariano Rajoy, the conservative Spanish prime minister, who was elected in 2011, had maintained a hard line to defend the country's unity.Mas was prosecuted and barred from public office for organising a consultation on independence in 2014.Carme Forcadell, the speaker of the Catalan parliament, is also under trial for letting the assembly vote on the independence process last year."It's the price I must pay for the debate and democracy," she said, echoing a sentiment that Spanish authorities are putting the country's unity above democratic values.In the feverish atmosphere, some minority voices reject the separatist arguments.-Opening dialogue-"We're facing a populist movement and we're afraid of that," said Antonio Sitges-Serra, who is a surgeon and vice-president of the Left Federalist association."It's crazy to divide society this way," he added, pointing to the fact that "the next day, we'll have to speak with the government. So why not now?"Anti-independence politicians are also divided.While the local branch of the Rajoy's Popular Party rejects the referendum, the Catalan Socialist Party supports the idea of a reform of the Spanish constitution that would be put to a different referendum.They place their hopes on the national Socialist leader, Pedro Sanchez, who could try to bring down Rajoy with a motion of defiance in parliament.In the meantime, some, such as former Socialist MEP Ernest Maragall, see the Catalan referendum as "the only possibility to open a dialogue" with the Spanish government to obtain more autonomy.The radical left Podemos party says that the referendum could be a first step towards a solution to the Catalan question, but that the main debate should be about social issues, not independence.Although the Catalan government says it is "100 percent committed" to declaring independence if they win the referendum, some independence leaders suggest that the process could change track once the Spanish government is ready to talk."Our attitude will be a positive attitude, it will not be to impose our criteria," said former Catalan leader Mas.-Miracle-Mas, who is the leader of Puigdemont's Catalan European Democratic Party, said the fact that "Catalans can vote on their political future" was "more independent than independence"."To achieve a concrete agreement, everyone has to yield a little," he added.If a 'Yes' vote happens, the Catalan leadership's capacity to negotiate - with Madrid, as well as with the EU - would depend on the result's legitimacy.As the Spanish government has refused to discuss the modalities of the vote, the result would likely be discarded if the majority for independence is small and if turnout is low.In the 2014 consultation, which was not binding, over 80 percent of voters supported Catalonia's independence, but the participation in the vote - which was not officially published - was estimated to be between 37 and 40 percent.Although a majority of Catalans say they support the idea of a referendum, it is impossible to say how many will go to the ballot box, especially if the Spanish government tries to prevent the vote.As a decisive summer begins for Catalonia and Spain, independence has never been so close, yet so difficult to achieve.The decision will be "a leap of faith," admitted Ismael Pena-Lopez, an academic who is also a member of Omnium, an association to promote Catalan language and culture."It will be miracle if we become independent," said a close observer of the process.This article is the second in a two-part report about Catalonia's independence referendum, written after a press trip organised by Catalan authorities. The first article is an interview of Carles Puigdemont, the president of the Catalan government.
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)
EU has 'no silver bullet' for Italy on migrants By Andrew Rettman-JULY 4,17-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 19:13-The European Commission said €35 million in additional funds and EU refugee resettlements from Africa could help Italy cope with irregular migration.It also said Italy should expel more economic migrants, while admitting that other EU states had failed to show solidarity.Frans Timmermans, the Commission’s first vice presient, unveiled its response to Italy’s cry for help in Strasbourg on Tuesday (4 July).He said EU interior ministers would discuss the measures at an informal meeting in Estonia on Thursday after Italy threatened to close its ports to NGO rescue boats and after Austria said it might send soldiers to its border with Italy.The alarm call came after more than 12,000 people arrived in Italy in the past few days, pushing levels so far this year more than 20 percent higher than in the same period last year.Timmermans said Europe’s door should remain open to people in need despite the political problems that caused.“We would not be the European Union without the values we share and one of those values is that people who flee war and persecution should find shelter,” he said.“This issue will not go away tomorrow, or next year, not in a decade - it is here to stay for generations,” he said.The Commission plan published on Tuesday restated the need to implement previous accords.The list included EU support for the Libyan coast guard and border guards, sending more staff from EU migration agencies to Italy, increasing aid to African countries that migrants come from or transit, and reforming EU asylum laws which, currently, place the burden on frontline states such as Italy and Greece.It promised €35 million more to help Italy build up its migrant reception centres and “additional funding”, but with no amount mentioned, to pay people in Libya and Niger to go home instead of coming to the EU.The Commission also said there should be “a new resettlement pledging exercise, notably from Libya, Egypt, Niger, Ethiopia and Sudan” to take in UN-registered refugees in a more orderly way.It said Italy ought to “step up returns” of non-refugees.It also said the EU should “possible endorse” a new “code of conduct” for NGO rescues that is to be drafted by Rome.Timmermans admitted there was little that was new in the list, which made no mention either of migrant quotas or of Italy’s request for rescued people to be taken to other EU states in the region.The EU two years ago voted to share 120,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy, but fewer than 20,000 out of them were taken in amid boycotts by Poland, Hungary and others.“I’m not saying we’re coming up with a silver bullet,” Timmermans said of Tuesday’s plan.“It would already make world of difference if they [member states] just did what they agreed to do before [on quotas],” he added.“If it needs more money … we will find the funds,” he said of Italy.He said the NGO code of conduct could help reduce the risk of accidents at sea and remove what he called “misunderstandings” amid accusations that NGO rescues encouraged migrants to come.He added that unless economic migrants are returned home in greater numbers, Europeans will lose the “will” to help refugees.Speaking earlier on Tuesday in the European Parliament, some MEPs voiced anger at the status quo.“We’re not racist, we’re realistic,” Mara Bizzotto, from Italy’s far-right Lega Nord said, adding “it’s time to physically close the ports”.Kristina Winberg, from the far-right Swedish Democrats party, said: “We need to say No to NGOs transporting people in boats from Libya to Italy. I know people will talk about international law and asylum law, but we need to find a solution”.
Austrian military set to stop Italy migrants By Andrew Rettman-JULY 4,17-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:28-The Austrian military is preparing to stop migrants coming from Italy amid sharpening rhetoric ahead of elections.Seven hundred and fifty soldiers, including Pandur armoured vehicles, stand ready to go to the Austrian-Italian border at 72 hours notice, Austria’s defence minister, Hanspeter Doskozil, told the Kronen Zeitung newspaper, an Austrian daily, on Monday (3 July)."We need to prepare for migration developments in Italy, and I expect that, very soon, border controls will be activated and [military] assistance will be requested”, Doskozil said.He added that the measure would be “indispensable if the inflow into Italy does not ease”.Doskozil’s statement comes after Austria’s armed forces chief, Othmar Commenda, said that EU navies should intercept migrant boats coming from Libya and return people to safe zones in north Africa.“From a military point of view, almost all of these refugee boats, which are heading towards Europe, can be intercepted,” he told the Kronen Zeitung newspaper on 20 June.The military solutions are being discussed amid a surge in migrants from Africa to Italy.The UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, said on Monday that 83,650 people have come to Italy this year - a 20 percent increase on the same period in 2016.It said 70 percent of them were economic migrants with little chance of getting asylum.The Italian, French, and German interior ministers held talks on the situation in Paris on Monday.They decided to create a code of conduct for NGOs who rescued people at sea and took them to Italy and urged the EU to help secure Libya’s coasts and southern borders.The military talk in Austria comes ahead of snap elections in October, with the far-right FPO party trying to put immigration centre stage.“Let’s put an end to this policy of Islamisation as soon as possible,” FPO leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, said at a party meeting in Salzburg, Austria, on Monday, referring to the EU and Austria’s handling of the migration crisis.He said Muslim migrants were “misogynistic, anti-liberal” and should “return to their Muslim country” if they did not accept Austrian values.Chancellor Otto Kern, from the centre-left SPO party, said at a speech in the Vienna University of Technology, in Kern, Austria, the same day that the EU must ensure “sound protection of external borders”.Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s foreign minister, who will challenge Kern on behalf of the centre-right OVP party, has called for the EU to “block” the central Mediterranean route.Austria already imposed checks at the Brenner Pass, its crossing point from Italy, last year.That move led irregular migrants to go in greater numbers to Switzerland in what Frontex, the EU border control agency, said at the time was “a diversification in routes and modi operandi”.Austria and Hungary’s decision, in 2015, to seal borders to people coming to the EU via Greece saw a drastic fall in numbers on that route.An EU deal with Turkey to keep Syrian refugees from going to Greece also led to that fall.Fewer than 10,000 people have so far come to Greece this year, according to the International Migration Organisation, a Geneva-based body.The Turkey pact included €3 billion in EU aid in 2016 and 2017 to help the almost 3 million refugees in Turkey, as well as faster EU-Turkey accession talks and visa-free travel.The accession and visa moves have stalled due to the Turkish president’s authoritarianism.But Guenther Oettinger, the EU budget commissioner, told Die Welt, a German newspaper, also on Monday that the deal should be extended with another €3 billion pledge."I am in favour of deciding a follow-up agreement between the EU and Turkey for the coming years,” he said."A significant part of this money should come from the EU budget," he said.
Ottawa reportedly set to pay millions to Omar Khadr-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-July 4, 2017
The Canadian government will apologize and give millions to former Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prisoner Omar Khadr, according to multiple reports.Khadr — who pleaded guilty to killing a U.S. army medic when he was 15, under interrogation that was later deemed "oppressive" — will receive a settlement of more than $10 million, according to unnamed sources who spoke to The Associated Press, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail.The Star said Khadr, who now lives in an apartment in Edmonton, will get more than $10 million, not the $20 million he sought in a civil suit. Other reports said he will receive about $10 million.The government and Khadr's lawyers negotiated the deal last month, according to AP.Speaking to reporters in Ireland, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would not confirm any details."There is a judicial process underway that has been underway for a number of years now, and we are anticipating, like I think a number of people are, that that judicial process is coming to its conclusion," Trudeau said.Born in Toronto, Khadr was 15 when he was captured by U.S. troops following a firefight at a suspected al-Qaeda compound in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of Sgt. Christopher Speer.Khadr was suspected of throwing the grenade that killed Speer. The Canadian was taken to Guantanamo Bay and ultimately charged with war crimes by a military commission.He pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges that included murder and was sentenced to eight years plus the time he had already spent in custody. He returned to Canada two years later to serve the remainder of his sentence and was released in May 2015 pending an appeal of his guilty plea, which he said was made under duress.Khadr spent 10 years in Guantanamo Bay. His case received international attention after some dubbed him a child soldier.The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2010 that Canadian intelligence officials obtained evidence from Khadr under "oppressive circumstances," such as sleep deprivation, during interrogations at Guantanamo Bay in 2003, and then shared that evidence with U.S. officials.Khadr, now 30, was the youngest and last Western detainee at the U.S. military prison.His lawyers filed a $20-million wrongful imprisonment lawsuit against Ottawa, arguing the government violated international law by not protecting its own citizen and conspired with the U.S. in its abuse of Khadr.The widow of Speer and another U.S. soldier blinded by the grenade in Afghanistan filed a wrongful death and injury lawsuit against Khadr in 2014 fearing Khadr might get his hands on money from his wrongful imprisonment lawsuit.A U.S. judge granted $134.2 million in damages in 2015, but the plaintiffs acknowledged then that there was little chance they would collect any of the money from Khadr because he lives in Canada.Khadr's lawyers have long said he was pushed into war by his father, Ahmed Said Khadr, whose family stayed with Osama bin Laden briefly when Omar Khadr was a boy.Khadr's Egyptian-born father was killed in 2003 when a Pakistani military helicopter shelled the house where he was staying with senior al-Qaeda operatives.After his 2015 release from prison in Alberta, Omar Khadr apologized to the families of the victims. He said he rejects violent jihad and wants a fresh start to finish his education and work in health care.Human rights groups welcomed the reports."For 15 years Omar Khadr's case has been a stark reminder of the many ways that an overreaching and unchecked approach to national security readily runs roughshod over universally protected human rights," said Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada.Neve said Khadr's rights were violated or ignored in Afghanistan, at Guantanamo Bay and in Canadian prisons, and that U.S. interrogators, jailors and officials refused to recognize him as a child soldier.The previous Conservative government offered "inflammatory rhetoric" instead of making an effort to help him, Neve said.Last month, the NDP wrote a letter to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould urging her to act on an e-petition that said Canada abandoned Khadr to a decade of torture and abuse."We recognized that his fundamental rights had been deprived as has been explained by the Supreme Court of Canada and this was really about the treatment he received while he was incarcerated," he said. "It's fortuitous and maybe a nice coincidence these reports have come out now after we sent that letter."The e-petition, which opened March 22 and closes July 20, now has 2,448 signatures.Retired Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire, founder of the Child Soldiers Initiative, said the apology and compensation is a first step in a long healing process."An apology does not absolve Canada for its many years of inaction, but does give it an opportunity to finally lead once again on issues of children," he said in a statement.The National Council of Canadian Muslims said it would welcome a "long overdue" apology and compensation."It is the right decision in light of the callous and unlawful treatment meted out to Mr. Khadr with the complicity of Canadian officials," NCCM executive director Ihsaan Gardee said in a news release.Others condemned the reported deal, including the federal Conservatives.Public safety critic Tony Clement rejected the argument that Khadr was a child soldier because he "admitted his guilt." Clement called it "completely inappropriate" that the government would strike a deal to compensate and apologize to Khadr, forcing the Speer family to relive the ordeal."We're absolutely astounded this has happened, that he is now one of the richest Canadians in the country because of this settlement," he told CBC News. "We feel this is an act that betrays those innocent Canadians who were killed on 9-11, 25 of them, and also our soldiers who were working so hard in Afghanistan at the time."He said any financial compensation should be given to Speer's widow and two children.Alberta Progressive Conservative Leader Jason Kenney also denounced the reported deal."Odious. Confessed terrorist who assembled and planted the same kind of IEDs that killed 97 Canadians to be given $10 million by Justin Trudeau," the former federal immigration minister under Stephen Harper tweeted.
Portugal suspects terrorists behind theft at national armoury-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-July 4, 2017
LISBON, Portugal — Portuguese authorities suspect international terrorists and arms traffickers are behind a "very professional" theft last week at the country's national armoury , the attorney general's office said Tuesday.The suspicions have prompted the attorney general's office to broaden the scope of its investigation into the theft of hand grenades, 9mm ammunition and possibly other weapons, a statement said.The armed forces have not made public a full list of what was stolen from the arsenal last Wednesday at the Tancos Air Base, 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Lisbon.At the time, Defence Minister Jose Alberto Azeredo Lopes called the theft a "very professional" job. He said criminals broke in by cutting a hole in a perimeter fence and that he had informed Portugal's European Union and NATO partners of the theft.The public prosecutor will be assisted in the case by police, military police investigators and the National Counter-Terrorism Unit, according to the attorney general's office.No further details of the investigation will be provided due to Portugal's judicial secrecy law, which forbids the release of information about open investigations.The Associated Press.
Fierce fighting as East Libyan forces close in on last Benghazi holdout-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-July 4, 2017
BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - East Libyan forces battled to advance into a final area of Benghazi controlled by their opponents on Tuesday, clearing mines and roadblocks and targeting snipers with cover from tank rounds.Khalifa Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) says it is close to concluding a three-year campaign for control of Libya's second city, having surrounded rival fighters in a strip of the seafront district of Sabri little more than two km wide.The campaign has been halting, with the LNA suffering high casualties even after gaining the upper hand early last year.A medical source said at least 16 troops had been killed and at least 36 wounded in fighting since Monday. The LNA said it had killed 19 of its opponents."The special forces and supporting units from the army advanced today and tightened the grip on the terrorist groups on the Sabri front, gaining control over important sites," said special forces spokesman Milad al-Zawi. He said one of the sites was a block that contained a large number of snipers.Parts of Benghazi have been left in ruins since Haftar launched his "Dignity Operation" against Islamists and other opponents in May 2014.Many of the buildings in Sabri and the neighboring historic neighborhood of Souq al-Hout have been wrecked by street fighting, shelling and air strikes. Much of the area was heavily mined.Three years ago Libya split into two broad and shifting rival alliances based in the east and west of the country, loyal to competing governments, worsening the turmoil that followed a 2011 uprising that ousted veteran ruler Muammar Gaddafi.Haftar's LNA has gained ground in Benghazi and other parts of eastern and southern Libya while rejecting a U.N.-backed government that arrived in the capital, Tripoli, in March 2016.(Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Gareth Jones)
Russia may deploy military in Syrian buffer zones within weeks-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-July 4, 2017
ASTANA (Reuters) - Russia may deploy its military to police the borders of planned de-escalation zones in Syria within two to three weeks after finalizing an agreement with Turkey and Iran, Russian negotiator Alexander Lavrentyev said on Tuesday.Moscow hopes to sign the final documents with Ankara and Tehran on Wednesday, he told reporters after a series of meetings in the Kazakh capital, Astana.Russia and Iran, which back President Bashar Assad's government, and Turkey, which supports some of the rebels, agreed in principle to create four "de-escalation zones" in Syria in a previous round of talks in May, but put off a planned June meeting where they were supposed to work out the details.Since the May agreement was announced, the rebel-held stronghold of Idlib province in the northwest of Syria has been mostly calm.But fighting has continued on other frontlines in western Syria, including Eastern Ghouta of Damascus and the southwestern city of Deraa, where government forces and their allies are trying to crush remaining pockets of rebellion.Lavrentyev told reporters that Moscow and its partners were still discussing detailed maps and other conditions related to the Idlib and southern zones, while the borders of two other zones, in Homs province and near Damascus, had been agreed."Overall, (the agreement) provides for the presence of Russian military police in the buffer zones, but once again this matter has not been agreed yet," he said."Depending on when the documents on safe zones are signed, I think one should expect concrete measures on the deployment of forces within 2-3 weeks."-OPPOSITION SKEPTICAL-The Syrian opposition, some of whose delegates walked out of the previous round of talks in protest against Iran's participation, has routinely criticized Russia for failing to enforce the ceasefire and was skeptical of Moscow's plan.Armed opposition leader Muhammad Alloush, who led the opposition delegation in earlier rounds of the Astana process, is not attending the current talks.A Syrian opposition official said the aim of Astana "is to set out the areas of influence between the three states that sponsor it, and it embodies the interests of these states and their areas of influence on the ground, unfortunately with an intended American absence and suspicious European silence"."It will succeed in the north because the desire of the states and their interests dictate that, and if we want to interpret it on the Syria-wide level, it represents the strengthening of Russian and Iranian influence on the ground.”Riyad Nassan Agha, a member of the opposition Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee, told Reuters the opposition feared the Astana talks aimed to undermine the U.N.-backed peace talks in Geneva, reiterating the opposition’s view that Iran could not act as a guarantor of any deal because "it is a hostile state"."What they are talking about (de-escalation) did not happen. So the Syrian people no longer have faith in these agreements that happened in Astana," he said.Lavrentyev, who earlier on Tuesday met Stuart Jones, acting U.S. assistant secretary of state for the Near East, said he would meet Syrian opposition delegates on Wednesday.(Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Vladimir Soldatkin and Gareth Jones)
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