Thursday, August 03, 2017
WESTERN POWERS WARN IRAN ROCKET TEST A THREATENING STEP.
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.
Thick smoke hinders fight against B.C. wildfires-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-August 1, 2017
More than 840 fires have charred about 4,260 square kilometres in B.C. since April 1, and officials say hot, dry weather is expected to worsen conditions in the days ahead as smoke hangs over several communities."It creates a lot of safety issues for our aircraft," said Kevin Skrepnek with the B.C. Wildfire Service. "We can't fight what we can't see out there."The Kamloops Airport tweeted Tuesday that smoke had forced several flights in and out of the area to be delayed or cancelled.Environment Canada has declared the air quality in Kamloops an 8 — or high risk — on its air quality health index.With record-breaking temperatures expected across much of the province, it will be increasingly important to ensure crews get proper hydration, nutrition and rest, Skrepnek added.Plans are also in place in case anyone needs to be airlifted out of a fire zone due to heat-related illness, but Skrepnek said he believes that hasn't happened yet this season.Evacuation order expanded-Around 3,700 people were fighting 138 fires across British Columbia on Tuesday. Over 6,000 people are under evacuation order.The Cariboo Regional District issued an expanded evacuation order for the Kluskus, Blackwater and Clisbako area, which is about 100 kilometres west of Quesnel. It's a further expansion of the order issued on Sunday, July 30.The Cariboo Regional District also issued an expanded evacuation alert for the area south and west of Quesnel to Tatelkuz Lake. Residents are advised to be prepared to leave their premises if an order is issued.More than 300 structures destroyed-Officials have also begun to tally up the destruction wrought by the wildfires, with some estimating more than 300 structures have been destroyed.The lost structures include 71 homes, 116 outbuildings such as sheds and barns, and three commercial buildings, said Robert Turner with Emergency Management B.C.Another 115 destroyed buildings have yet to be identified.Turner said the Cariboo Regional District, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the Ashcroft Indian Band have been the hardest hit by the losses but no critical infrastructure has been destroyed.There has also been theft of critical equipment, the province said in a news release Tuesday.One water pump and 10 100-foot (30 metre) hoses went missing near the Harrop area, which the province says is hindering suppression efforts on the Harrop Creek widlfire, burning 10 kilometres south of the communities of Harrop and Procter.The RCMP is asking anyone with information about the theft to contact the RCMP or B.C. Crime Stoppers.Outside personnel to arrive-There are cuurently 761 fire personnel from outside of the province helping with the fires and another 108 firefighters and support staff from Mexico are set to join them later this week.This marks the first time crews from that country have fought wildfires in B.C., although the Mexicans have been deployed to Alberta several times, Skrepnek said."They're going to be valuable assets to us, just given what we've got," he said. "There's really no relief in sight."It's common for people in the wildfire industry to work in different jurisdictions, and British Columbia's need currently outstrips crews that are available elsewhere in Canada, he added."No agency can be prepared for their highest potential fire season," he said.With files from the Canadian Press.
Mexico, U.S. to help fight British Columbia wildfires-[Reuters]-By Nicole Mordant-YAHOONEWS-August 1, 2017
(Reuters) - Firefighters from Mexico and the United States were due to arrive in British Columbia this week to help fight 138 wildfires in the Western Canadian province, the provincial government said on Tuesday, as more hot and dry weather was forecast."They are going to be valuable assets to us just given the situation we've got and ... the weather forecast," British Columbia chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said in a daily call with reporters.Mexico will send 108 firefighters and the United States will send 27 to join a force of nearly 4,000 battling blazes that have shut sawmills and mines and forced thousands from their homes. It is so far the province's third worst fire season on record based on area burnt.Since April 1, 840 fires across the province have charred an estimated 460,000 hectares (1.1 million acres) and destroyed 305 structures, officials said, including homes, outbuildings such as sheds and barns, and commercial buildings. Some 115 burnt structures have not been identified.Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau got his first look on Monday at damage caused by fires in the central interior of the province when he visited the city of Williams Lake. He said he was "deeply affected" by what he had seen and thanked firefighting personnel for their work.Forestry company West Fraser Timber Co said on Sunday that its Chasm sawmill would remain closed while the nearby community of Clinton, British Columbia, was under an evacuation order. Many of the workers at the mill live in Clinton.Imperial Metals Corp said last week that it planned to have its Mount Polley mine fully operational from Wednesday after residents of Williams Lake, where many of its workers live, were able to return after an evacuation order was lifted.Around 6,000 people in British Columbia are unable to return to their homes, said Robert Turner, assistant deputy manager of Emergency Management B.C. Last month there were some 45,000 evacuees, the most since the fires began this year.The fires have cost the province C$188 million ($149.94 million) so far this fire season, Turner said.(Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Toni Reinhold)
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)
At U.N., Western powers warn Iran rocket test a 'threatening step'-[Reuters]-By Michelle Nichols-YAHOONEWS-August 2, 2017
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States, Britain, France and Germany warned the United Nations on Wednesday that Iran had taken "a threatening and provocative step" by testing a rocket capable of delivering satellites into orbit and asked the U.N. chief to investigate.In a report submitted to the U.N. Security Council's Iran sanctions committee and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the four countries described the July 27 launch as inconsistent with a 2015 U.N. Security Council resolution.They asked Guterres to report "fully and thoroughly on Iran's ballistic missile and space launch activity" to the 15-member Security Council.Most U.N. sanctions were lifted 18 months ago under a deal Iran made with key world powers to curb its nuclear program. But Iran is still subject to an arms embargo and other restrictions, which are not technically part of the nuclear agreement.Guterres reports every six months to the Security Council on the implementation of the remaining sanctions and restrictions."The technologies necessary for the conception, the fabrication and the launch of space launch vehicles are closely related to those of ballistic missiles, in particular to those of an intercontinental ballistic missile," the four powers wrote in their report, seen by Reuters."This launch therefore represents a threatening and provocative step by Iran," they wrote. "Iran's longstanding program to develop ballistic missiles continues to be inconsistent with (the U.N. resolution) and has a destabilizing effect in the region."U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley submitted the report on behalf of the four countries.Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, denied on Friday that Tehran had missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads.The four countries also planned to raise the issue of the launch during the next Security Council meeting on the implementation of the resolution so the Council can discuss possible responses. It was not clear when that meeting would be held.However any Security Council action would likely be difficult. Under the U.N. resolution, Iran is "called upon" to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years. Some states argue that the language of the resolution does not make it obligatory."We call on Iran to immediately cease all activities related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology," the United States, Germany, Britain and France wrote.The United States imposed sanctions on six subsidiaries of a company key to Iran's ballistic missile program, a day after Iran launched the rocket last week.(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Frances Kerry)
Iran says new U.S. sanctions violate nuclear deal, vows "proportional reaction"-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-August 2, 2017
(Reuters) - Iran said new sanctions imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday break the terms of its nuclear deal with the United States and other world powers, and vowed an "appropriate and proportional" response.Trump, who during his election campaign called the nuclear agreement - negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama - "the worst deal ever", signed the new sanctions into law along with measures against Russia and North Korea.Iran had already said it would complain to the body that oversees the 2015 deal - under which it accepted curbs on its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief - about the measures passed in Congress last week in response to a missile development program and human rights abuses."In our view the nuclear deal has been violated and we will show an appropriate and proportional reaction to this issue," Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said in an interview with state TV, according to the ISNA news agency.While Russia has reacted to the sanctions by ejecting U.S. embassy staff, Iran has no diplomatic relations or direct trade links with the United States so its options are limited. Araqchi said Tehran's response would be "intelligent"."The main goal of America in approving these sanctions against Iran is to destroy the nuclear deal and we will show a very intelligent reaction to this action," Araqchi said."We are definitely not going to act in a way that get us entangled in the politics of the American government and Trump."The new U.S. sanctions, signed a day before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani takes part in a ceremony before being sworn in for a second term, are likely to embolden his hardline critics who say the nuclear deal was a form of capitulation.The United States is one of six countries to sign up to the deal with Iran, and the others - Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - have said they see it as a success in easing concerns that Iran might be trying to develop nuclear weapons.The deal has also meant European countries flocking back to invest in oil-rich Iran, with France's Total agreeing to develop a new phase of the South Pars gas field, the world's largest.Araqchi said the Europeans would not allow Trump to destroy the nuclear deal."What Total did and the contract that was signed between this company and Iran sent a message from Europe to the Americans that whatever the conditions they will continue their economic relations with Iran," he said.In a separate announcement, Tehran confirmed that Rouhani would keep on two important ministers for his second term: Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, who is largely credited for closing the Total deal, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's lead negotiator in the nuclear agreement.(Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Louise Ireland)
Afghan suicide bomber kills two U.S. soldiers in NATO convoy-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-August 2, 2017
KABUL (Reuters) - A suicide bomb attack killed two American soldiers in a NATO convoy near the airport in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Wednesday, a Pentagon spokesman said.Navy Captain Jeff Davis announced the deaths from Washington. He gave no further details.A local security official said the attacker drove an explosives-laden vehicle into the convoy.The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in an online post by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.He said the explosion destroyed two vehicles and killed 15 foreign soldiers, including two "high-ranking officers".Photos of the site showed one partially destroyed armored vehicle, with the rear of the truck particularly badly damaged.A Reuters witness said military helicopters landed at the site at least four times as responding troops secured the area and removed the damaged vehicle.The airport in Kandahar is home to a major military base for international troops helping Afghan security forces in their struggle to contain the Islamist Taliban insurgency.The coalition maintains nearly 13,000 troops from 39 countries as part of a mission to train, advise and assist Afghan troops.U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan have asked for several thousand additional troops, but the request is stalled in Washington, where President Donald Trump has expressed scepticism over extending the U.S. commitment.(Reporting by Josh Smith in Kabul and Phil Stewart in Washington; Editing by Louise Ireland)
Trump backs GOP plan to push legal immigration changes-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-August 2, 2017
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday embraced legislation from two Republican senators that would place new limits on legal immigration and seek to create a system based more on merit and skills than family ties.Trump joined with Sens. David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas to trumpet the bill, which has so far gained little traction in the Senate. The president said if approved the measure would represent "the most significant reform to our immigration system in half a century."The president has made cracking down on illegal immigration a hallmark of his administration and has tried to slash federal grants for cities that refuse to comply with federal efforts to detain and deport those living in the country illegally.But he has also vowed to make changes to the legal immigration system, arguing that immigrants compete with Americans for much-needed jobs and drive wages down.Most economists dispute the president's argument, noting that immigration in recent decades doesn't appear to have meaningfully hurt wages in the long run. Increased immigration is also associated with faster growth because the country is adding workers, so restricting the number of immigrants could slow the economy's potential to expand.The bill's supporters, meanwhile, say it would make the U.S. more competitive, raise wages and create jobs.Perdue and Cotton's legislation would replace the current process for obtaining legal permanent residency, or green cards, creating a skills-base point system for employment visas. The bill would also eliminate the preference for U.S. residents' extended and adult family members, while maintaining priority for their spouses and minor children.The bill would also aim to slash the number of refugees in half and eliminate a program that provides visas to countries with low rates of immigration.Cotton told reporters the bill would double the number of green cards available to high-skilled workers and would not affect other high or low-skilled worker visa programs such as H1-B and H2-B visas. The Trump Organization has asked for dozens of H-2B visas for foreign workers at two of Trump's private clubs in Florida, including his Mar-a-Lago resort.The White House said that only 1 in 15 immigrants comes to the U.S. because of their skills, and the current system fails to place a priority on highly skilled immigrants.But the Senate has largely ignored the measure, with no other lawmaker signing on as a co-sponsor. GOP leaders have showed no inclination to vote on immigration this year, and Democrats quickly dismissed it."The bottom line is to cut immigration by half a million people, legal immigration, doesn't make much sense," said Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer of New York, who called it a "nonstarter."The bill would create a new points-based system for applicants seeking to become legal permanent residents, favouring those who can speak English, have high-paying job offers, can financially support themselves and offer skills that would contribute to the U.S. economy. A little more than 1 million green cards were issued in 2015.In a nod to his outreach to blue-collar workers during the campaign, Trump said the measure would prevent new immigrants from collecting welfare for a period of time and help U.S. workers by reducing the number of unskilled labourers entering the U.S."This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and puts America first," Trump said during an event in the White House's Roosevelt Room.But the president is mischaracterizing many of the immigrants coming to the United States as low-skilled and dependent on government aid.The Pew Research Center said in 2015 that 41 per cent of immigrants who had arrived in the past five years held a college degree, much higher than the 30 per cent of non-immigrants in the United States. A stunning 18 per cent held an advanced degree, also much higher than the U.S. average.During a much-hyped speech last August in Phoenix, Trump talked tough on illegal immigration — warning that "no one" who entered the country illegally would be safe from deportation.Lost in the bluster was a vow to reform the legal immigration system "to serve the best interests of America and its workers.""Within just a few years immigration as a share of national population is set to break all historical records," he said at the time, arguing that immigration levels should be kept within "historical norms" as a share of population and that immigrants should be selected based on their likelihood of success in the U.S. society, based on merit, skill and proficiency.Some immigrant advocates have criticized the proposal, saying that slashing legal immigration would hurt industries like agriculture and harm the economy."Our system is broken, but the response should be to modernize it, not take a sledgehammer to it," said Jeremy Robbins, executive director of New American Economy, a group of business leaders, mayors and others backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg that advocates for comprehensive immigration reform.Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement the bill would "end programs known to be rife with fraud and abuse and finally improve the vetting process, making our country--and working-class wages--much safer and stronger."__Associated Press writers Josh Boak, Erica Werner and Donna Cassata contributed to this report.__Follow Ken Thomas at http://twitter.com/kthomasDC and Jill Colvin at http://twitter.com/@colvinj-Ken Thomas And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press.
Italy seizes German group's rescue boat in immigration probe-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-August 2, 2017
ROME — Italian authorities ordered a German group's migrant rescue vessel seized Wednesday, alleging that its crew took on migrants directly from smugglers' boats near Libya's coast.The vessel operated by Jugend Rettet was seized in the port of Lampedusa, a tiny fishing island off Sicily, where many of the hundreds of thousands of migrants rescued at sea in the last few years are taken.While investigators suspect "the crime of clandestine immigration" was committed by some of the Jugend Rettet boat's crew, prosecutor Ambrogio Cartosio told reporters that "my personal conviction was that the motive is humanitarian, exclusively humanitarian."The preventive seizure of the Dutch-flagged Iuventa was based on evidence that emerged from three episodes in which crew members had contact with human smugglers operating boats crowded with migrants, Cartosio said. One happened in September 2016, two in June."There were contacts, meetings, understandings," between the group's boat and the smugglers, the prosecutor, who is based in the Sicilian port city of Trapani, said.The passengers on the human traffickers' boats "weren't saved" by the Iuventa, he alleged. Instead, migrants "were handed over" to the German group's 33-meter (about 110-foot) -long boat by smugglers who escorted the migrants toward the Iuventa, the prosecutor said.Later the migrants were transferred to Italian military vessels or other non-profit vessels to be taken to Italian ports, Cartosio said.Police in Trapani said the Iuventa "is regularly devoted to the rescue of migrants near the Libyan coast" and that an investigation opened in October has uncovered information to suggest the vessel was used "to aid and abet clandestine immigration."Jugend Rettet, a group based in Berlin, is mainly made up of young volunteers. Its website says its volunteers' "motivation derives from the will to rescue lives and to improve the humanitarian situation on the Mediterranean."The group said on its Facebook page Wednesday that it went to Lampedusa on instructions from the Rome-based maritime rescue co-ordination centre after being asked to help in a search-and-rescue mission on Tuesday."As it happened during other stops at this port, the crew was questioned by the local police, which also entered the ship," Jugend Rettet said. After a warrant-authorized search of the ship, authorities seized the Iuventa, which will eventually be taken to the main island of Sicily.Cartosio stressed that no individual members of the crew had been charged and the investigation was ongoing to see which of them might have made contact with smugglers at sea."There is no indication (the crew) was paid," by smugglers, "nor is there any element to make us think there is a stable tie between the ship and Libyan traffickers,' Cartosio said.Any allegation that contacts between Jugend Rettet's boat and the boats transporting migrants resulted from " co-ordinated planning" is tantamount to "science fiction," Cartosio said.A judge in Trapani ordered the preventive seizure upon prosecutors' request.A few months ago, prosecutors in Trapani and in Catania, another Sicilian city, said they suspected some non-governmental organizations which rescue migrants, were also essentially aiding traffickers.Jugend Rettet was one of several NGOs which declined this week to sign on to new rules promoted by Italy's interior minister and aimed at ensuring rescue groups don't end up effectively helping human traffickers.The smugglers crowd flimsy rubber dinghies or aging fishing boats with migrants, essentially counting on European or Italian military patrol boats, NGO rescue vessels or passing cargo ships to pluck the passengers to safety and bring them to Italian shores.Objections to the new rules included fears that armed Italian military or police personnel would come aboard the NGO vessels, compromising the groups' humanitarian missions.With elections due in 2018, Premier Paolo Gentiloni's centre -left government is becoming bolder in trying to hold back the tide of migrants entering Italy. Many Italians have grown impatient with the number of newcomers awaiting decisions on asylum requests in their communities.Italy's Parliament on Wednesday approved having Italian military vessels help Libya's coast guard stop smuggling boats from leaving Libya for Europe. Italy's defence minister has insisted the mission won't be a naval blockade, although lawmakers from the anti-migrant Northern League, an opposition party, are demanding just that.A spokesman for the Libyan navy, Ayoub Gassim, told The Associated Press the Italians will provide "technical assistance" at Libya's request and that a patrol boat arrived in Tripoli Wednesday.___Rami Musa contributed from Benghazi, Libya.Frances D'Emilio, The Associated Press.
EU snubs Venezuela vote, but holds off sanctions By Eric Maurice-AUG 2,17-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 17:00-[Updated at 18.50 on Thursday, to take into account the EU statement] The EU said on Wednesday (2 August) that it does not recognise last Sunday's election in Venezuela but refrained to impose sanctions to put pressure on president Nicolas Maduro to end violence and free his opponents."The European Union and its member states cannot recognise the constituent assembly as they have concerns over its effective representativeness and legitimacy," EU high representative Federica Mogherini said in a statement."The effective installation of the Constituent Assembly should be suspended," she said.She noted that the vote, during which at least 10 people were killed, "has durably worsened" the crisis.She said that the vote "risks undermining other legitimate institutions foreseen by the Constitution such as the National Assembly," and that it raises "further doubts about the ability of the Constituent Assembly to effectively represent all components of the Venezuelan population."She said that the EU called on Maduro "to take urgent measures to rectify the course of events," and "on all parties to refrain from violence.""The European Union and its member states are ready to gradually step up their response in case democratic principles are further undermined and the Venezuelan Constitution is not respected," Mogherini said.The statement was published after diplomats from member states met in Brussels to agree on a common position and course of action.European Commission spokeswoman Catherine Ray told journalists during the meeting that "the whole range of actions" were discussed, but EU states decided not to follow the US in imposing sanctions on president Nicolas Maduro.On Monday, US president Donald Trump's administration froze Maduro's assets in the US and banned US companies from doing business with him."There are different sensitivities" between member states, an EU source noted, insisting on the need to keep diplomatic channels open with Maduro's government.The source also pointed out that sanctions would be "a tool, not an objective", and that EU states still needed to agree on whether they wanted to engage in diplomatic efforts, while no obvious regional mediating country had emerged."We promote a political solution to the crisis and we are ready to support ongoing regional mediation efforts," said the Commission’s Ray.She said that the EU's priority was "the urgent relief of the Venezuelan people and deescalation of the tension."Among EU member states, Spain has been the most vocal to act against Maduro and his government, but Madrid opposes sanctions that would hurt the population, and is pushing for sanctions on individuals, such as travel restrictions.Other states, mainly Greece, are said to oppose sanctions, with the question of whether to recognise Sunday's vote also still on the table.Greece considers the election of a constituent assembly not to be against the Venezuelan constitution, even if the timing was bad, a Greek source told EUobserver.The country also considers the problem of sanctions having a counter-effect for the opposition, if they made the government less willing to talk.In Mogherini's statement, the EU also called for the release of "all jailed political opponents" and asked Maduro's government to clarify the whereabouts of two opponents, Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma, who were taken away from house arrest on Monday.
Grim forecast for UK banks after Brexit By Andrew Rettman-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, 1. Aug, 09:21-Banks will need up to $50 billion (€42.3 billion) in extra capital and see higher costs of $1 billion (€846 million) to diversify out of the UK and into the EU after Brexit, a leading consultancy has said.Up to 35,000 jobs in the financial services sector overall and 17,000 jobs in the wholesale banking area were likely to shift out of the UK to the EU in the medium term, Oliver Wyman, a New York-based consultancy, said in a report out on Monday (31 July).The move would come as banks opened new branches and subsidiaries in the EU in order to be able to keep trading there freely.But the movement of jobs from the UK "could ultimately be greater” in the long term as banks pooled staff in Europe to “encourage collaboration among salespeople, traders, and risk managers”.European Central Bank (ECB) requirements for big banks to show they “have strong local control and governance” would also contribute to the trend.Wholesale banks, which sell services to corporate and institutional clients, could alone move 40,000 people out of London to EU alternatives in the long term, Oliver Wyman estimated.It said Amsterdam, Dublin, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, and Paris were “emerging as the main destinations”.It said Frankfurt, the home of the ECB, was popular for the sake of “supervisory stability and influence”. Dublin was liked for its low taxes, while Paris and Amsterdam were considered “attractive and convenient locations”.Oliver Wyman said a hard Brexit, in which the UK lost access to the single market, would “fragment the European wholesale banking market” and “make it significantly less profitable” as banks would have to finance their new EU branches and store capital for new operations.“Banks could see two percentage points knocked off their returns on equity of their wholesale banking operations in the region,” the US consultancy said.It said many bank CEOs were looking to “minimise expense and disruption by relocating as little as possible in the first instance”, while awaiting how Brexit talks panned out.But with the UK exit looming in March 2019, “over the next six to 12 months … actions will be needed that are more costly and harder to reverse - such as injecting new capital into EU entities, moving employees, appointing senior management, and building dealing room infrastructure”, it added.The consultancy said issues like the Irish border, citizens’ rights, and the Brexit divorce bill, rather than the banking sector, were the politicians’ top priorities for now.It said “job losses in London and reduced tax revenues mean the UK has a clear interest in avoiding” loss of access to the single market.But it added that: “So long as the outcomes of the Brexit negotiations remain unpredictable, banks must act as if a hard Brexit is coming”.
Every summer, Spain hosts annual exodus to north Africa-Alvaro VILLALOBOS-Agence France-Presse-YAHOONEWS-August 1, 2017
Algeciras (Spain) (AFP) - It's the largest annual human migration in Europe: millions of people from France, Belgium and Italy cross Spain every summer to spend their holidays with family in north Africa.This year, close to three million are expected to make the trip there and back through 16 ports in Spain, Morocco and Algeria in an exodus that presents a huge logistical challenge.In 2016, Spain's civil protection agency registered 2.8 million passengers crossing the country, and it expects even more to make the trip this year.As a result, some 13,000 police officers have been mobilised on the Spanish side, along with translators and Red Cross volunteers.Said Arrhamani, who lives in France's northeastern Ardennes region, knows the route off by heart, having done it since he was a kid when his family would spend their summer holidays in Rabat in Morocco.It's now his turn to drive his four young children more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) down to the port of Algeciras in Spain's south, through which more than half of those crossing the country transit."Thirty years ago, this was pretty unhealthy," says the 36-year-old in the port where a hectic atmosphere reigns, with cars, trucks and buses filling all available parking spaces, waiting to board ferries."We could wait two days before boarding, and there were traffic jams that reached the outskirts of Algeciras."Now there are agents who speak to us in French and guide us until the end."As drivers approach southern Spain, road signs also appear in Arabic giving directions to the ports.- Longer but cheaper -At the Algeciras port, most cars -- some modest, others expensive -- are filled with clothes, food, nappies and blankets.While some holidaymakers eat and chat, others sleep inside their car or lie down on carpets in the shade, and still more smoke hookah pipes.Children play football nearby."We left Nice (in southeastern France) yesterday at nine at night, and we arrived this afternoon," says Karima Bel Hafout, travelling to Rabat via Tangier with her husband and two children."It's close to 2,000 kilometres, but we save 2,700 euros ($3,200) compared to taking the plane."Others have taken the bus, and arrive even more tired."I've done my back in trying to sleep," says Hamid Hafid, with a mix of resignation and humour, having come from Agen in southern France."It's hard and long," adds his friend Said Khadrouf, drinking from his water bottle.- High security -After spending time back home, they will all go back north again in August and the first half of September under the watchful eye of Spanish security agents.To avoid illegal immigration and fearing extremist attacks, agents from 16 other European countries have been mobilised to work with officers in Spain.Last year, they checked 1.6 million passengers, Spanish police said.Manuel Alcazar, the port's chief of protection, says all this activity takes its toll on the port, one of the biggest in Europe.Sitting in front of a high-definition screen in his office, where he examines the footage of close to 700 security cameras, he explains that on peak days, authorities give priority to passengers.This, however, means that the loading of trucks carrying merchandise goes slower.And this is an important part of the activity of a port which deals with merchandise from Spanish textiles group Inditex, spare parts for car-maker Renault, which has a factory in Tangier, agricultural products and seafood.But for shipping companies, the annual exodus is good for business, particularly for those who operate in the Strait of Gibraltar -- they make 40 percent of their annual turnover between mid-June and mid-September.The mass migration wave also creates temporary jobs in Algeciras, a city of 120,000, where 28,000 direct and indirect posts depend on the port.Among these are more than 200 young people wearing fluorescent yellow shirts who help direct the traffic and count the vehicles with the help of smartphones.Isabel Corrales, about to start her last year of studying administration and finance at university, is one such temporary worker.She's been doing this every summer for five years, and the money earned -- close to 1,000 euros -- helps her finance her studies."This money is very welcome," she says with a large smile.
The Latest: Pennsylvania town evacuated after train derails-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-August 2, 2017
HYNDMAN, Pa. — The Latest on train derailment in Pennsylvania (all times local):2 p.m.All residents of a small Pennsylvania town are being evacuated hours after a freight train carrying hazardous materials partly derailed, setting some cars ablaze.Bedford County 911 co-ordinator Harry Corley says officials have ordered everyone within a 1-mile radius of the derailment to leave. He says that encompasses the entire town of Hyndman, about 100 miles (161 kilometres ) southeast of Pittsburgh.At least 32 cars on a CSX freight train derailed early Wednesday.CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle says at least one car containing liquefied petroleum gas and one containing molten sulfur have leaked and are on fire.There are no reports of injuries.Gov. Tom Wolf says health officials are conducting air and ground studies to determine possible health effects.A number of roads are closed and some flight restrictions are in place.___11:50 a.m.Officials say some train cars that derailed in Pennsylvania were carrying hazardous materials and the cars still are burning hours after the derailment.CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle says at least 32 cars on the CSX freight train derailed about 5 a.m. Wednesday in Hyndman, about 100 miles (161 kilometres ) southeast of Pittsburgh.He says at least one car containing liquefied petroleum gas and one containing molten sulfur have leaked and are on fire.There are no reports of injuries.Firefighters evacuated everyone within a half-mile of the site. A state emergency management spokeswoman says hundreds of people had to leave their homes.Doolittle says the train was travelling from Chicago to Selkirk, New York, and had five locomotives and 178 rail cars.There's no word on what caused the derailment.___8:10 a.m.Part of a freight train has derailed in Pennsylvania setting three train cars afire and prompting emergency officials to evacuate nearby homes.No injuries were reported.Bedford County 911 co-ordinator Harry Corley says six cars on the CSX freight train derailed about 5 a.m. in Hyndman, about 100 miles (161 kilometres ) southeast of Pittsburgh. A nearby residential garage caught fire and residents in a 1-mile radius (1. 61-kilometres ) were urged to leave their homes.Corley says some of the train cars were filled with flammable liquid asphalt, but it wasn't immediately clear whether the derailed or burning cars were carrying the asphalt or something else.CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle says the company is working with first responders to protect public safety and CSX personnel. No word on what caused the derailment.The Associated Press.
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