Monday, April 02, 2018
CATHOLICS CELEBRATE EASTER IN ANCIENT JERUSALEM CHURCH.
JERUSALEM — Israel's defence minister on Sunday rejected international calls for an investigation into deadly violence along Gaza's border with Israel, saying troops acted appropriately and fired only at Palestinian protesters who posed a threat.Fifteen Palestinians were killed and over 700 wounded in Friday's violence near the Israeli border, according to Palestinian health officials. It was the area's deadliest violence since a war four years ago.Human rights groups have accused the army of using excessive force, and both the U.N. secretary-general and the European Union's foreign policy chief have urged an investigation.In an interview, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel would not co-operate with a U.N. inquiry if there were one."From the standpoint of the Israeli soldiers, they did what had to be done," Lieberman told Israeli Army Radio. "I think that all of our troops deserve a commendation, and there won't be any inquiry."Friday's mass marches were largely led by Gaza's ruling Hamas group and touted as the launch of a six-week-long protest campaign against a stifling decade-old blockade of the territory. Israel and Egypt have maintained the blockade since Hamas, an Islamic militant group sworn to Israel's destruction, seized control of Gaza in 2007.In Friday's confrontations, large crowds gathered near the fence, with smaller groups of protesters rushing forward, throwing stones and burning tires.Israeli troops responded with live fire and rubber-coated steel pellets, while drones dropped tear gas from above. Soldiers with rifles were perched on high earthen embankments overlooking the scene.The military has said it responded only to violent attacks aimed at troops and the border fence. But video from the scene showed at least a handful of incidents in which people appear to have been shot either far from the border or while they were not actively rioting.The Israeli military accused Hamas of releasing videos that were either incomplete, edited or "completely fabricated." It said troops had followed strict rules of engagement, and that protesters were putting themselves in "harm's way" by operating in a dangerous area.In the interview, Lieberman said those who protested peacefully were not harmed, saying claims that peaceful protesters were harmed were "lies and inventions.""Whoever didn't get close to the fence was not shot," he said.Tamar Zandberg, leader of the dovish opposition party Meretz, posted a video over the weekend calling for an independent inquiry into Friday's violence."I'm worried about the fate of all of us, and the fate of the residents of the Gaza periphery communities, who could be sitting in bomb shelters today, tomorrow or next week," she told Army Radio, "so I'm calling to stop this now."Zandberg came under heavy criticism for her comments. "As if this were a case of innocent civilians who had been shot while doing their holiday shopping, rather than people who had been pushed to the border by Hamas in order to be killed in service to the Palestinian narrative," wrote defence analyst Alon Ben-David.The Israeli military has said those killed by troops were men who were involved in violence and who belonged to Hamas and other militant factions. The army later released the names and ages of 10 of the dead, including what it said were eight members of Hamas and two from other militant groups.Israel has also accused Gaza health officials of exaggerating the number of wounded.Four of the 15 dead were members of the Hamas military wing, Hamas said Saturday. The group said a fifth member who was not on the Health Ministry list was killed near the border, and that Israel has the body. It said another man is also missing in the border area.The protests are to culminate in a large border march on May 15, the 70th anniversary of Israel's founding. The date is mourned by Palestinians as their "nakba," or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands were uprooted in the 1948 Mideast war over Israel's creation.Israel has warned that it will not allow the border to be breached. It also accuses Hamas of trying to use protests as a cover for planting explosives and staging attacks. On Saturday, Israel's military said it will target militant groups inside Gaza if the border violence drags on.It appears unlikely that large-scale protests will continue daily, with larger turnouts only expected after Friday noon prayers, the highlight of the Muslim religious week.Inside Israel, most of the country has lined up solidly behind the army. Hamas has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings and other attacks, and it has battled Israel in three wars since taking control of Gaza.The group has been badly weakened by the blockade, international isolation and the rival Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. It appears to be taking a gamble by using the protests to attract attention to Gaza without sparking another painful war.Josef Federman, The Associated Press.
Catholics celebrate Easter in ancient Jerusalem church-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-April 1, 2018
JERUSALEM — Hundreds of Christians are marking Easter by flocking to Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site where they believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.Worshippers prayed and sang hymns Sunday in the church in Jerusalem's Old City as they lined up to admire the edicule, the chamber that tradition says marks Jesus' tomb.A historic Greek restoration was completed last year, aimed at reversing the effects of years of exposure to water, humidity and candle smoke. The limestone and marble structure stands at the centre of the church — a 12th-century building standing on 4th-century remains.The Roman Catholic services were happening as eastern Orthodox Christians celebrated Palm Sunday. The denominations, which jealously guard different sections of the church, held separate services one after another.The Associated Press.
Hope and dignity:' Pope calls for peace in Easter message-[Associated Press]-YAHOONEWS-April 1, 2018
VATICAN CITY (AP) — On Christianity's most joyful day, Pope Francis called for peace in a world marked by war and conflict, "beginning with the beloved and long-suffering land of Syria" and extending to Israel, where 15 Palestinians were killed on the Israeli-Gaza border two days before Easter Sunday.Francis reflected on the power of Christianity's core belief — that Jesus rose from the dead following crucifixion — in his formal "Urbi et Orbi" Easter message delivered from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica to a packed square of some 80,000 faithful below.The pontiff said the message of the resurrection offers hope in a world "marked by so many acts of injustice and violence," including parts of Africa affected by "hunger, endemic conflicts and terrorism.""It bears fruits of hope and dignity where there are deprivation and exclusion, hunger and unemployment; where there are migrants and refugees, so often rejected by today's culture of waste, and victims of the drug trade, human trafficking and contemporary forms of slavery," the pope said.Francis called for a "swift end" to the seven years of carnage in Syria, demanding that aid be delivered to the war-torn country's needy and calling for "fitting conditions for the returned and the displaced."The pope also urged reconciliation in Israel, a place "experiencing in these days the wounds of ongoing conflict that do not spare the defenseless." His remarks followed the Friday deaths of Palestinian protesters who charged toward Gaza's border with Israel, the area's deadliest violence in four years.Turning to Asia, Francis expressed hope that talks underway could bring peace to the Korean peninsula, urging "those who are directly responsible act with wisdom and discernment to promote the good of the Korean people."The pope also urged more steps to bring harmony to divided Ukraine, called for peace in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo and appealed for the world not to forget victims of conflict, especially children."May there be no lack of solidarity with all those forced to leave their native lands and lacking the bare essentials for living," said Francis, who has often championed the cause of migrants and refugees.The church's first pontiff from Latin America cited in particular the problems in Venezuela. He said he hoped the country would "find a just, peaceful and humane way to surmount quickly the political and humanitarian crises that grip it."Earlier, tens of thousands of faithful underwent heavy security checks to enter St. Peter's Square to participate in Easter Sunday Mass celebrated by the pope, followed by his "Urbi et Orbi" message ("to the city and the world.") Security precautions included bag checks and metal detector wands for everyone entering the square, while the main avenue leading to the Vatican, as well as smaller adjoining streets, were closed to traffic.Francis opened Easter festivities with a tweet to his global flock: "Our faith is born on Easter morning: Jesus is alive! The experience is at the heart of the Christian message."Elsewhere, hundreds of Christians marked Easter by flocking to Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site where they believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
May promotes Brexit on 'first-anniversary' UK tour By Eric Maurice-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, 29. Mar, 17:33-British prime minister Theresa May toured all four countries within the UK on Thursday (29 March), a year to the day before it leaves the EU, vowing to "deliver a Brexit that unites" the country.May visited a cashmere factory in Scotland, a school in the north-east of England, a farm in Northern Ireland and was to due to end her tour in a Welsh valley and then west London later in the day."I am determined that the Brexit we pursue is one that strengthens the bonds that unite us - because I believe ours is the world's most successful union," she said in the Scottish town of Ayr.May's UK tour marks the first anniversary of her official 'Article 50' letter to the EU to launch the two-year Brexit process, which will end one year from now, on 29 March 2019.The prime minister secured last week the EU's agreement to start talks on a future relationship, but uncertainties remain over the first negotiations to be completed, over the divorce itself.Since it triggered Article 50 of the EU treaty - the exit procedure - the UK government has accepted EU demands for a financial settlement and for an overview of the European Court of Justice for the rights of EU citizens in the UK.It has also accepted a transition period that will be more restrictive than it wanted, and the continued access of EU fishermen in UK waters.According to a poll published on Wednesday, 44 percent of Britons think that "the government's handling of the Brexit negotiations so far has been 'a total shambles'," with 18 percent who it has been "satisfactory" and three percent "excellent."Among those who voted Leave, 35 percent share this opinion - 56 percent among Remain voters."I am determined that our future will be a bright one," May said ahead of Thursday's tour.She argued that "it's a future in which we trade freely with friends and partners across Europe and beyond," and the UK would thrive.At this midpoint in the Brexit process, May - weakened by a failed snap election in June last year and who has been undermined by hardline Brexiteers within her own cabinet - can however count on only an ambivalent public opinion.According to Wednesday's poll, by ComRes for the Daily Express, only 29 percent are "optimistic" that their household "will be better off" after Brexit, and 35 percent are optimistic that the UK will be able to negotiate a trade deal with the EU before leaving.Some 65 percent think however that "the UK economy will be back to business as usual within a couple of years".Despite misgivings about the government's performance and doubts about the result of the negotiations with the EU, 68 percent of the respondents say that "those who voted against Brexit should respect the will of the majority" - with only 35 percent thinking there should be a second referendum."There is some sign of movement, but not enough to suggest that the country is anything other than more or less evenly divided down the middle on the subject, much as it was on referendum day itself," political scientist John Curtice wrote in a recent studypublished by The UK in a Changing Europe, a London-Based think tank.He noted that there was "far from sufficient evidence to be sure that a second ballot would see a reversal of the original result."For May, the most difficult issue, and the main obstacle to a divorce agreement with the EU, is the Irish border issue.During her visit to Bangor, Northern Ireland, on Thursday, she repeated her "commitment to avoid a hard border" between the UK region and the Republic of Ireland, and to "protect" the 1998 peace agreement.While she accepted last week the principle of keeping a "regulatory alignment" between both parts of the island, she also repeated on Wednesday her "absolute responsibility to protect the integrity of the United Kingdom as a whole."She insisted that there should be "no new barriers within our common domestic market and that "no prime minister could leave these things to chance, because they are absolutely crucial to our success as a country in the future."
Ted Nugent: Parkland teens attacking the NRA have 'no soul'-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-March 31, 2018
Rocker Ted Nugent says the Florida students calling for gun control have "no soul" and are "mushy brained children."He made the comments Friday while defending the National Rifle Association as a guest on the Joe Pags Show, a nationally syndicated conservative radio program.Nugent, an NRA board member, said survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are wrong to blame the NRA for mass shootings.He went on to say that "the evidence is irrefutable, they have no soul," and that the gun-control measures they support amount to "spiritual suicide."A representative for the 69-year-old Nugent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Stoneman Douglas senior Kyra Parrow says on Twitter that Nugent is "is being a 5 year old acting like a bully."The Associated Press.
PROOF HALF ON EARTH DIE DURING THE 7 YR TRIBULATION PERIOD (8 BILLION ON EARTH)
REVELATION 6:7-8 (8 BILLION- 2 BILLION = 6 BILLION)
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse:(CHLORES GREEN) and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth,(2 BILLION) to kill with sword,(WEAPONS) and with hunger,(FAMINE) and with death,(INCURABLE DISEASES) and with the beasts of the earth.(ANIMAL TO HUMAN DISEASE).
REVELATION 9:15,18 (6 BILLION - 2 BILLION = 4 BILLION)
15 And the four(DEMONIC WAR) angels were loosed,
18 By these three was the third part of men killed,(2 BILLION) by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.(NUCLEAR ATOMIC BOMBS)
HALF OF EARTHS POPULATION DIE DURING THE 7 YR TRIBULATION.(THESE VERSES ARE JUDGEMENT SCRIPTURES NOT RAPTURE SCRIPTURES)
LUKE 17:34-37 (8 TOTAL BILLION - 4 BILLION DEAD IN TRIB = 4 BILLION TO JESUS KINGDOM) (HALF DIE DURING THE 7 YR TRIBULATION PERIOD JUST LIKE THE BIBLE SAYS)(GOD DOES NOT LIE)(AND NOTICE MOST DIE IN WAR AND DISEASES-NOT COMETS-ASTEROIDS-QUAKES OR TSUNAMIS)
34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken,(IN WW3 JUDGEMENT) and the other shall be left.(half earths population 4 billion die in the 7 yr trib)
35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken,(IN WW3 JUDGEMENT) and the other left.
36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken,(IN WW3 JUDGEMENT) and the other left.
37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.(Christians have new bodies,this is the people against Jerusalem during the 7 yr treaty)(Christians bodies are not being eaten by the birds).THESE ARE JUDGEMENT SCRIPTURES-NOT RAPTURE SCRIPTURES.BECAUSE NOT HALF OF PEOPLE ON EARTH ARE CHRISTIANS.AND THE CONTEXT IN LUKE 17 IS THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION OR 7 YR TREATY PERIOD.WHICH IS JUDGEMENT ON THE EARTH.NOT 50% RAPTURED TO HEAVEN.
MATTHEW 24:37-42 (THESE ARE JUDGEMENT SCRIPTURES-SURE NOT RAPTURE SCRIPTURES)
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken,(IN WW3 JUDGEMENT) and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken,(IN WW3 JUDGEMENT) and the other left.
42 Watch therefore:(FOR THE LAST DAYS SIGNS HAPPENING) for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
MIGRATING BIRDS IN ISRAEL EATS HUMANS FLESH FOR COMING AGAINST ISRAEL-JERUSALEM
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog (RUSSIA/ARAB/MUSLIMS) a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers (EAST OF THE DEAD SEA IN JORDAN VALLEY) on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog (RUSSIAN) and all his multitude:(ARAB/MUSLIM HORDE) and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.(BURIEL SITE OF THE 300 MILLION,RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS)
12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.(OF ISRAEL)
16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.(OF THE ISRAEL-GOD HATERS)
17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.(OF RUSSIAN/ISLAMIC HORDES AGAINST ISRAEL)
18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.
21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;(AGAINST ALL NATIONS ARMIES THAT COME AGAINST JERUSALEM AND ISRAEL)
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:TOBOLSK)
4 And I (GOD) will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY) of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.(AFRICAN MUSLIMS,SUDAN,TUNESIA ETC)
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back,(RUSSIA-ARAB MUSLIM ISRAEL HATERS) and leave but the sixth part of thee,(5/6TH OR 300 MILLION DEAD RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS I BELIEVE) and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR ATOMIC BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
Pope, after Gaza violence, says 'defenseless' being killed in Holy Land-[Reuters]-By Philip Pullella-YAHOONEWS-April 1, 2018
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis, in his Easter address on Sunday, called for peace in the Holy Land two days after 15 Palestinians were killed on the Israeli-Gaza border, saying the conflict there "does not spare the defenseless".The pope made his appeal in his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica to tens of thousands of people in the flower-bedecked square below where he earlier celebrated a Mass.He also appealed for an end to the "carnage" in Syria, calling for humanitarian aid to be allowed to enter, and for peace in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.Francis appeared to refer directly to the Gaza violence last Friday, calling for "reconciliation for the Holy Land, also experiencing in these days the wounds of ongoing conflict that do not spare the defenseless."Israel's defense minister has rejected calls for an inquiry into the killings by the military during a Palestinian demonstration that turned violent at the Gaza-Israel border.U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign policy chief, and other leaders have called for an independent investigation into the bloodshed.The Pope also begged for peace for "the entire world, beginning with the beloved and long-suffering land of Syria, whose people are worn down by an apparently endless war.""This Easter, may the light of the risen Christ illumine the consciences of all political and military leaders, so that a swift end may be brought to the carnage in course ... " he said.He spoke a day after the Syrian army command said it had regained most of the towns and villages in eastern Ghouta. Tens of thousands of people have now evacuated once-bustling towns in the suburbs east of the capital, which had nearly 2 million people before the start of the conflict and were major commercial and industrial hubs.Francis called for international assistance for Venezuela, so that more people would not have to abandon their homeland because of the economic and political crisis.He hoped the "fruits of dialogue" would advance peace and harmony on the Korean peninsula, where the two sides are set to hold their first summit in more than a decade on April 27, after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged his commitment to denuclearisation.Francis, celebrating his sixth Easter as Roman Catholic leader since his election in 2013, urged his listeners to work for an end to the "so many acts of injustice" in the world.He prayed the power of Jesus' message "bears fruits of hope and dignity where there are deprivation and exclusion, hunger and unemployment, where there are migrants and refugees - so often rejected by today’s culture of waste - and victims of the drug trade, human trafficking and contemporary forms of slavery".(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Mark Potter)
Expelled Russian diplomats return from US amid spy dispute-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-April 1, 2018
MOSCOW — The Russian diplomats who were expelled from the United States and their families have returned to Moscow.Russian news agencies say they returned on two flights that landed Sunday at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport. One carried diplomats from the Russian Embassy in Washington; aboard the other were diplomats from the New York consulate and Russia's United Nations mission.The United States last week ordered 60 Russian diplomats to leave, part of a widespread expulsion of diplomats by Britain and some of its allies in connection with the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter.Britain alleges Russian involvement in the March 4 nerve agent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury. Moscow adamantly denies that and has ordered tit-for-tat expulsions of Western diplomats.The Associated Press.
China and Vietnam call for maritime disputes to be settled-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-April 1, 2018
HANOI (Reuters) - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday China and Vietnam should settle their disputes in the South China Sea through talks and move to jointly exploit its waters."We have agreed that settling the maritime issues is extremely important for the healthy and sustainable development of bilateral relations," he told reporters after a meeting with Vietnamese Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi.China claims 90 percent of the potentially energy-rich maritime territory and has been building on and militarizing rocky outcrops and reefs in its waters.Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also lay claim to parts of it, through which about $5 trillion of trade passes each year. Vietnam is the country most openly at odds with China over the issue."The two sides should better manage disputes through talks and refrain from taking unilateral actions that may further complicate and expand the disputes," Wang said."At the same time, (the two sides) should promote cooperation at the sea, including holding talks on joint exploitation."Wang and Minh said bilateral relations had seen positive development, with rising trade and investment as the two neighbors further opened up markets to each other. Bilateral trade exceeded $100 billion last year.Minh said Vietnam and China shared responsibility to maintain peace and stability in the region, reiterating Vietnam's stance that the maritime disputes must be resolved peacefully manner and according to international law.(Reporting by Khanh Vu and Minh Nguyen; Editing by Andrew Roche)
Malian authorities hand over jihadist leader to ICC-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-April 1, 2018
BAMAKO, Mali — The International Criminal Court says authorities in Mali have handed over a jihadist leader for prosecution on war crimes charges.Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud is accused of crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Timbuktu while the town was under the control of extremists between April 2012 and January 2013.In a statement released late Saturday, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said Al Hassan was accused of persecution on "both religious and gender grounds." Those allegations include rape and sexual slavery through forced marriages.During the jihadist rule in Timbuktu, the extremists imposed their harsh interpretation of Islamic Shariah law.A French-led military operation in 2013 forced Al Hassan and others from power, though elements have continued to stage numerous attacks on Malian and international forces.The Associated Press.
Small number of rebels start to leave Syria's Douma-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-April 1, 2018
BEIRUT — A rebel faction trapped by Syrian government forces outside the capital agreed to evacuate to northern Syria on Sunday as talks continued over lifting the siege against the town of Douma, where tens of thousands of civilians await relief.The Syrian government sent buses into Douma to transport fighters from the Faylaq al-Rahman group to the rebel-held province of Idlib, SANA state news agency reported.It was the first organized evacuation of fighters from Douma, which has held out against government forces through 7 years of war. The town was one of the hubs of the Arab Spring uprising against President Bashar Assad's government in 2011, which drew a brutal response from security forces, sparking the ongoing civil war.Some 1,300 fighters, activists, and civilians signed up to leave the town, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.Faylaq al-Rahman did not have a significant presence in Douma, in the eastern Ghouta region outside Damascus. They were instead pushed into the town by a recent government offensive that broke rebel lines and cleaved eastern Ghouta into three parts, said local media activist Ahmad Khansour.The fighters in Douma were following their Faylaq al-Rahman comrades trapped in the other two Ghouta pockets, who relocated to northern Syria last week. Government forces extended their control over those areas in the course of a five-week offensive that killed at least 1,600 civilians and displaced tens of thousands more, according to the Observatory, an opposition-linked group that monitors both sides of the conflict.Rebels, activists, and thousands of civilians agreed to leave instead of submit to the government's authority, and evacuated on buses.Douma remains in the control of the Army of Islam rebel group. Local activists say over 100,000 civilians are trapped inside the town, which suffered catastrophic damage during the government assault.___Associated Press writer Albert Aji contributed from Damascus, Syria.Philip Issa, The Associated Press.
Violence erupts in Kashmir after security forces kill militants: police-[Reuters]-By Fayaz Bukhari-YAHOONEWS-April 1, 2018
SRINAGAR (Reuters) - At least 12 people, including eight suspected militants, were killed in gun battles with Indian security forces in southern Kashmir, police officials said, in one of the most violent days in the restive region this year.Two Indian soldiers and two civilians were also killed, and more than 30 people were injured when hundreds of protesters pelted stones at the security forces to disrupt their anti-militant operations, police said.Troops used tear gas and pellet guns to disperse the crowd, and later opened fire. Most of the injured sustained pellet wounds but six had gunshot wounds, said S.P. Vaid, the director general of the state police.Local residents put the number of injured at over 50. Muslim separatists have been waging a violent campaign against Indian rule since the late 1980s in Indian-held Kashmir.Vaid said the army received information on Saturday night about militants hiding in an area near Dragad village in Shopian district, about 50 km (30 miles) south of Kashmir's capital of Srinagar."In Dragad, 7 bodies of militants were recovered including top commanders. They were killed in a gun battle," Vaid said, adding that the owner of the house in which the militants were trapped was also killed.Another militant was killed in Dialgam village in Anantnag district, about 60 km (37 miles) south of Srinagar, while one was caught alive, he said.Two Indian soldiers and one civilian were killed in another gun battle in Kachdoora village, which is also in Shopian district, where a battle with a separate group of 4-5 militants was ongoing, Vaid said.Train services to south Kashmir have been suspended as a precautionary measure, a railways official said, and internet services in five districts have also been blocked.In south Kashmir's Pulwama district the local administration has imposed restrictions on the movement of people and vehicles to prevent any violence.(Writing by Aditi Shah; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
Rally seeks justice for black man shot by police in backyard-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-April 1, 2018
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The family of Stephon Clark joined hundreds at a rally Saturday, urging California's capital city not to let his memory or calls for police reform fade nearly two weeks after the 22-year-old unarmed black man was killed by Sacramento officers.Clark's fiancee, Salena Manni, stood on stage with his two young sons, grandmother and uncle for the gathering organized by Sacramento native and former NBA player Matt Barnes, who pledged to create a scholarship fund for the children of black men killed by police."All he wanted to do was go see his sons again, and unfortunately he can't," Curtis Gordon, Clark's uncle, said as he recalled seeing his nephew hours before the shooting. "So remember that — while we mourn, while we shout, while we cry — because it ain't just our pain, it's their pain."Barnes amplified calls for charges against the two officers who are on administrative leave."It's more than colour — it comes down to right and wrong," he said. "You're trying to tell me I can kill someone and get a paid vacation?"The peaceful demonstration that drew between 200 and 300 people to a downtown park came a day after a private autopsy released by the family showed Clark was shot from behind.Clark was killed March 18 by two police officers responding to a call of someone breaking into car windows. They yelled that he had a gun before shooting, but it was only a cellphone. The police department says it has not received an official autopsy report from the county coroner's office.Activists and faith leaders called for justice not just for Clark, but for all black men killed by police. Family members of Joseph Mann, who was killed by Sacramento police in 2016, also spoke. The chairman of a police oversight commission urged attendees to continue their activism by showing up to meetings and pushing for systemic change.Community leaders urged the city to set a national example."This little small town can show this nation our great big heart," the Rev. Kevin Ross said.The night before, several hundred protesters marched through downtown streets for nearly four hours, with Black Lives Matter Sacramento leaders diffusing tensions on several occasions to keep the march peaceful.About 150 people attended another vigil and protest Saturday night outside a sheriff's department office. It was the latest disruptive but mostly peaceful demonstration since Clark was killed.Protesters have twice blocked fans from entering games involving the NBA's Sacramento Kings at a downtown arena, but there were no signs of trouble amid a big police presence at a game Saturday night against the Golden State Warriors.The Friday release of the private autopsy commissioned by Clark's family has prompted fresh outrage. Pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, known for his study of a degenerative brain condition in football players, announced that Clark was hit by eight bullets — six in the back, one in the neck and one in the thigh — and took three to 10 minutes to die. Police waited about five minutes before rendering medical aid.Omalu said the proposition that Clark was assailing the officers, meaning he was facing them, is "inconsistent with the prevailing forensic evidence." He said it was unclear if Clark would have survived had he gotten immediate medical attention.A day after the shooting, police distributed a news release that said the officers who shot Clark "saw the suspect facing them, advance forward with his arms extended, and holding an object in his hands."Police video of the shooting doesn't clearly capture all that happened after Clark ran into his grandmother's backyard. Clark initially moved toward the officers, who were peeking out from behind a corner of the house, but it's unclear if he was facing them or knew they were there when they opened fire after shouting "gun, gun, gun."After 20 shots, officers called to him, apparently believing he might still be alive and armed. They eventually approached and found no gun, just a cellphone.Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, called Clark's death tragic and said it "raises a number of very serious questions." He said he supports the state attorney general's independent oversight of the investigation.___Associated Press reporters Sophia Bollag and Don Thompson in Sacramento and John Antczak in Los Angeles contributed to this story.Kathleen Ronayne, The Associated Press.