Thursday, April 19, 2018
GERMANY MP WANTS JERUSALEM AS ISRAELS CAPITAL ALSO.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE
German far-right MP pushes recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital-Though boycotted by Israel, Alternative for Germany lawmaker Petr Bystron says he's planning to visit later this year with a Bundestag delegation-By Raphael Ahren-APR 18,18-TOI
A lawmaker from the far-right Alternative for Germany party has been urging the government in Berlin to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.In a press release, Petr Bystron, one of the party’s chief foreign policy spokespeople, explained that his faction is strongly supportive of the State of Israel and US President Donald Trump’s December 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.“What is the capital of Israel? (Please only respond with the name of a location). Please answer this question in writing,” Bystron asked in a written query filed with the federal government on Tuesday.The German government has a week to reply to his query.Official Israel boycotts the populist opposition party, known by its German acronym AfD, due to its nationalist and xenophobic policies.Similar to other far-right parties in Europe, the AfD formally rejects anti-Semitism and professes to strongly support Israel, seeing a common enemy in radical Islamism. However, the party is largely rejected by the local Jewish community, which argues that it promotes xenophobia and fails to adequately distance itself from anti-Semites within its ranks.In his press release, issued last week, Bystron noted that the AfD in December criticized the German government for voting in favor of a United Nations General Assembly resolution that called Trump’s Jerusalem recognition null and void. Rather, his party “voiced its support for a strong and free Israel with Jerusalem as its capital,” he recalled.Bystron, a Czech-born MP from Munich, noted that last month, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met in Jerusalem with President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.“Since the new foreign minister was just in Israel, which I hope to visit in summer with a Bundestag delegation, I’m sure Mr. Maas will be able to answer this simple question,” said Bystron. “What is the capital of Israel?”The “mainstream media” likes to portray the AfD as right-wing or even anti-Semitic, “but sees itself as a staunch supporter of Israel and President Trump,” the press release concluded.-MP Petr Bystron’s query asking the Federal Government about Israel’s capital-In response to a Times of Israel query on the government’s position on Jerusalem, a spokesperson for the German Embassy in Tel Aviv referred to the coalition agreement that serves as the foundation for Berlin’s policies.“The status of Jerusalem, as well as other final status issues, will only be settled in the course of negotiations in order to be permanently accepted and durable,” reads the agreement between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Conservatives and the Social Democrats.Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas reiterated that Berlin will not accept any changes to Jerusalem’s status in the absence of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. “That means that the government does not share a position that creates facts prior to that,” he said during a visit to Jordan.Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon declined to comment on Bystron’s comments and his plan to visit to Israel, but stressed that “our policy is no contacts with the AfD.”A spokesperson for Bystron, Collin McMahon, told The Times of Israel on Tuesday that the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee is planning a trip to Israel this year “in conjunction with the Israeli government,” though he said that no date had been set.Bystron is the spokesperson of the AfD delegation in the Foreign Affairs Committee.Before the September 24 election, Bystron was surveilled by the Verfassungsschutz, Germany’s domestic intelligence service, due to his praise for the white nationalist so-called Identitarian movement.As opposed to the Austrian Freedom Party, which has deep Nazi roots, Israel never formally announced a “no contact” policy with the AfD, though the Israeli ambassador in Berlin, Jeremy Issacharoff, said the party’s strong showing in last year’s election was of “great concern” to Jerusalem.“In the AfD, you have a party that is now the third-largest force in parliament and from whose ranks came a series of anti-Semitic remarks,” Issacharoff said.For instance, AfD leader Alexander Gauland said that Germans could be “proud” of their soldiers who fought in World War II, Issacharoff noted. “This doesn’t jibe with the long way the Federal Republic of Germany has come since it assumed responsibility for the Holocaust and for the special relations with Israel.”Prime Minister Netanyahu has never publicly commented on the AfD, but in September called on the next German government to assume “historic responsibility.”“Israel is worried about the rise of anti-Semitism in recent years among political elements on the right and on the left, as well as among Islamist elements,” he said, according to his office.Felix Klein, the German government’s newly installed special envoy for Jewish life and combatting anti-Semitism, this week lamented that the AfD condones its members’ anti-Semitic sentiments.“As a whole it is not anti-Semitic,” Klein told the Bild daily in an interview, “but it tolerates that important representatives make anti-Semitic statements. That’s unacceptable.”
Analysis-Arab ire at US Jerusalem move looks unlikely to spark action-Saudi Arabia and Gulf states seem unwilling to jeopardize ties with Trump as they seek to counter Iranian threat to region-By Mohamad Ali Harissi-TOI-APR 18,18
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AFP) — Arab leaders at a summit in Saudi Arabia have slammed Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move its embassy there, but analysts say their words are unlikely to lead to action.Welcomed by Israel, the shift by US President Donald Trump has sparked deep anger across the Arab world, particularly among Palestinians, who see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.But it seemed clear at the Arab League summit, held in the eastern city of Dhahran on Sunday, that regional rulers, particularly in the Gulf, are unwilling to jeopardize close ties with Trump as they seek to counter Iran.“Generally, Arab League summits produce more rhetoric than action,” said Denis Bauchard, an expert from the French Institute on International Relations. “I don’t think this will go beyond declarations.”For Riyadh, he said, “what is essential is the relationship with Washington.”Israel captured mainly Arab East Jerusalem and the surrounding region in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it, declaring it part of its capital.Neither move was recognized by the international community — but the United States is now set to shift its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May.That breaks with decades of US policy and international consensus that the status of the city should be settled in negotiations.Nour Odeh, a Palestinian political analyst, said Palestinians had low expectations for any Arab response.“Ordinary people and politicians alike understand the dismal state of Arab affairs, and no Arab government is going to confront Trump,” she said.Saudi King Salman dubbed the Dhahran conference the “Jerusalem summit” and used his opening speech to denounce Washington’s decision and announce a $150 million donation for the maintenance of Islamic heritage in the eastern part of the holy city.Other leaders queued up to add their criticism, and the summit’s final statement also slammed Trump’s move.But an Arab diplomat, who asked not to be named, said that “even Washington’s allies (Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Cairo) know very well that they don’t have many diplomatic options.”“Their aim is to improve the situation of the Palestinians as much as possible, but they won’t go as far as confronting” the Trump administration, the diplomat said.Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian academic and former minister, said they were “not capable” of doing so, “especially with all the problems in the Arab world.”He said Arab governments were “not willing to risk their relationships with the United States.”-‘Concerned with Iran’-The American decision on Jerusalem comes as ties warm between the US and key allies in the region — Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.That follows years of tension under former president Barack Obama as Washington improved ties with Iran, culminating in a historic 2015 deal to lift sanctions in exchange for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program.Saudi Arabia and Iran have spent years fighting proxy wars across the region, from Syria to Yemen.Trump has openly sided with Riyadh and threatened to back out of the Iran nuclear accord — possibly also in May.“Saudi Arabia and the UAE… have felt since the nuclear deal with Iran that Washington was not taking into account their concerns about Iran’s strong presence in the region,” said Khalil Harb, editor of Journal, an Arabic-language website focusing on Gulf affairs.The two countries are now trying “to push the Trump administration… to review the American position on the nuclear deal. At a political moment like this, Riyadh doesn’t want to embarrass or anger America,” he said.Karim Bitar, from the Paris-based Institute of International and Strategic Affairs, said those states are “so concerned with the Iranian threat that they realize that they might have to coordinate the anti-Iranian effort with the US and Israel.”-Peace with Israel? Amid the controversy surrounding Trump’s decision on Jerusalem, observers have said the move could spark renewed violence in the region.But there have been growing signs of a diplomatic opening between Saudi Arabia and Israel.Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 32-year-old son of the king and heir to the region’s most powerful throne, said during a US tour days before the summit that Israel also had a right to its own land.King Salman called Trump hours later to reaffirm the kingdom’s support for “the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to establish their own independent state with its capital in Jerusalem.”Shortly before the summit, Saudi daily newspaper Al-Riyadh published an editorial entitled “Dhahran summit: peace with Israel and confrontation with Iran.”It argued that “the Arabs must realize that Iran is more dangerous to them than Israel.”In an unprecedented statement for Saudi newspaper, it said: “The Arabs have no other option than reconciliation with Israel, signing a comprehensive peace agreement and freeing themselves up to tackle the Iranian project in the region.”
Druze in Israel’s Golan Heights rally in support of Syria’s Assad-Some 500 residents of Ein Qiniye march to mark Syrian Independence Day and to protest Western airstrikes against alleged chemical weapons sites-By AFP-TOI-APR 18,18
EIN QINIYE — Hundreds of Druze in the Israeli Golan Heights marched Tuesday — Syrian Independence Day — in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad and in protest over Western airstrikes against suspected chemical weapons sites.An AFP journalist said that more than 500 people waving Syrian flags and carrying portraits of Assad took part in the rally in the village of Ein Qiniye, about 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the Syrian-controlled part of the heights.They chanted “Bashar defeated the terrorists” and “Bashar beat the American bombers,” referring to US-led strikes over the weekend in which British and French forces participated.Israeli officials say there are about 20,000 Druze on the 1,200 square kilometer (460 square mile) strategic plateau which Israel captured from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War and formally annexed in 1981 in a move not recognized by the international community.Israel and Syria are still officially in a state of war.Living alongside some 20,000 Israelis, the vast majority of the Golan Druze retain Syrian nationality and have family ties to Druze in Syrian government-controlled territory.Another 110,000 Druze live in the Galilee district of northern Israel, where most have Israeli nationality and perform compulsory military service, unlike other Arab citizens.
US city bars police from training in Israel after pro-Palestinian protest-Activists in Durham, North Carolina, start petition against 'military-style' exchanges with Jewish state; council says such programs do not support 'the kind of policing we want'-By Stuart Winer-TOI-APR 18,18
A North Carolina city council has issued a statement against local police participating in international exchange programs that offer “military-style” training, after pro-Palestinian activists launched a petition against the force sending delegates to Israel, which it accused of “using tactics of extrajudicial killing.”After a two-hour debate Monday night the Durham City Council put out the statement, which opened by citing a memo from Police Chief Cerelyn C. J. Davis that said: “There has been no effort while I have served as chief of police to initiate or participate in any exchange to Israel, nor do I have any intention to do so.”A former police chief did participate in such an exchange program.The statement declared the “council opposes international exchanges with any country in which Durham officers receive military-style training since such exchanges do not support the kind of policing we want here in the City of Durham.”The council statement was in response to a petition by the Demilitarize from Durham2Palestine group of organizations which called for ending cooperation with Israel. Among those included in the umbrella group are Jewish Voice for Peace — Triangle, Durham for All, Inside-Outside Alliance, and Black Youth Project 100.Former Durham police chief Jose Lopez, who traveled to Israel on an exchange visit in the past, told local WRAL television that the petition misrepresents what happens on the programs.“The training that I got had all to do with managing major crisis situations where bombings had occurred, shootings, things of that nature. Things that really a lot of Americans need to concern themselves with now,” Lopez said. “Nothing of the training had anything to do with militarization.”During the debate, Mayor Steve Schewel, who is Jewish, said that “so many people are being given completely false information that our police are training with the Israeli army and would be again … it’s so damaging to police-community relations,” the Heraled Sun reported.“If you want to make change in the American Jewish community’s response to what’s happening in Israel and Palestine, then you have to be truthful,” Schewel continued. “Remember who we are as Jews. I’m 67. Six years before I was born … the Holocaust wiped out half of us on earth.”The mayor further warned that it was lies about Jews that made the Holocaust possible, the report said.In its online petition, Durham2Palestine wrote: “The Israeli Defense Forces and the Israel Police have a long history of violence and harm against Palestinian people and Jews of Color. They persist in using tactics of extrajudicial killing, excessive force, racial profiling, and repression of social justice movements. Such tactics have been condemned by international human rights organizations for violating the human rights of Palestinians.”“These tactics further militarize US police forces that train in Israel, and this training helps the police terrorize Black and Brown communities here in the US.”Seven rabbis from the so-called Triangle — a group of three university cities — signed a notification to the council against the petition.Doron Ezickson, Washington DC regional director of the Anti-Defamation league, also sent a letter to the council. The ADL helps organize counter-terrorism and police training for US law enforcers in Israel.“Far from training that ‘helps the police terrorize black and brown communities,’ ADL’s law enforcement programs, including those in Israel, are designed to equip officers with the knowledge, understanding, and sense of accountability necessary to help safeguard all of our communities and ensure that our civil rights and liberties are rigorously protected,” Ezickson wrote, according to the Herald.Eran Efrati, who is on the board of directors for Jewish Voice for Peace, wrote a message of congratulations on his Facebook page and said Durham had become the first US city to ban training with Israel’s police force.“The incredible coalition who came together to say: We believe in a different idea of what security is and what it could be in our city, through community investment and not through militarized policing. A historic resolution and victory, the first of many for the Deadly Exchange campaign.”
NYU: Students’ pledge to boycott pro-Israel groups is ‘at odds with our values’-Statement comes after 51 campus organizations vow not to co-sponsor events with groups including Birthright and AIPAC-By JTA-TOI-APR 18,18
NEW YORK — New York University said it opposes boycotts of student groups after 51 campus organizations pledged to boycott pro-Israel groups.“The University opposes any kind of boycott or official refusal by some student groups to interact with other student groups because of differing points of view. It is at odds with our traditions and values, especially our core belief in the free exchange of ideas,” university spokesman John Beckman said in a statement on Monday.Last week, 51 student organizations signed a resolution in which they pledged not to co-sponsor any events with two Israel advocacy campus groups — Realize Israel and TorchPAC — as well as eight off-campus groups, including Birthright-Taglit, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee and the Anti-Defamation League. The groups also promised to boycott Israel and expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against the Jewish state.NYU’s chapters of Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine organized the resolution, and its signatories included groups such as the African Student Union, the Black Students Union, College Libertarians, the Mexican Student Association and the Muslim Students Association.In its Monday statement, Beckman said NYU encourages conversations between groups with opposing opinions.“We would suggest that student groups proposing the boycott to find a pathway forward to engage in constructive dialogue. The University, as always, stands ready to facilitate this,” he said.On Friday, leaders of the two pro-Israel groups singled out in the resolution told JTA that they were surprised by the momentum it had gained.Realize Israel President Adela Cojab, 21, described the climate surrounding Israel at NYU as “one of animosity.”
After French mayor barred from W. Bank, Paris asks Israel to allow officials in-French foreign affairs ministry request follows Israel's refusal to permit entry to head of Paris suburb, due to his pro-Palestinian views, support for BDS-By TOI staff-APR 18,18
France has asked Israel not to bar its elected officials from entering Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza in the wake of Israel’s refusal Monday to permit a Paris suburban mayor to pass from Jordan into the Jewish state because of his pro-Palestinian views.The request came from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs which said Patrice Leclerc’s intended visit was aimed at helping international projects in the Palestinian territories, the Haaretz newspaper reported Tuesday. The ministry expressed “regret” over the Israeli decision.Leclerc, who serves as the French Communist Party mayor of the Gennevilliers city council on the outskirts of Paris, was turned away as he tried to cross the Allenby Bridge border crossing from Jordan to Israel.Interior Minister Aryeh Deri refused entry to Israel for Leclerc and his wife, citing his support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel and recognition of Palestinian statehood, as well as for honoring Marwan Barghouti — a Palestinian terrorist and member of the PLO who is serving multiple life sentences in Israel for the murder of Israeli victims in attacks he helped plan.After his entry was refused, Leclerc posted on Facebook that, “This situation marks a hardening of the state of Israel’s position regarding those who act for the right of the Palestinians to have a free and independent state.”Leclerc had also been scheduled to visit Israel in November 2017 as part of a 20-member French delegation to Israel and the West Bank, but he withdrew after being denied entry on that occasion also.Leclerc’s office recognized the state of Palestine on January 21, but nullified the policy on February 14, under pressure from local government.The recognition move was symbolic and has no bearing on French foreign policy.Last week, Deri announced that he would bar Dublin’s first lord mayor, Mícheál Mac Donncha, from entering Israel. Mac Donncha, a member of the leftists Sinn Féin party, was planning to attend a conference on the status of Jerusalem in Ramallah, at the invitation of the Palestinian Authority.
Fake views-Egypt’s mufti issues fatwa against buying Facebook ‘likes’-Sunni cleric Shawki Allam says inflating page subscription numbers is a form of fraud and 'he who deceives is not of us'-By AP-APR 18,18
CAIRO, Egypt — Egypt’s top mufti has issued a fatwa, or a religious decree, saying that buying Facebook “likes” is prohibited under Islam because it’s a form of fraud and deception.Grand Mufti Shawki Allam regularly issues all sorts of fatwas, usually in response to questions by Muslims seeking religious guidance in matters related to even the most trivial issues.The questions are asked of the Dar al-Ifa, the Sunni Muslim institution in charge of religious rulings, mainly based on the Muslim holy book of Quran and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad.The mufti posted on the institution’s Facebook page earlier this week that it is “religiously prohibited” to pay someone to click a “like” on a promotion.Allam says “it’s deceptive,” citing Muhammad’s saying, “He who deceives is not of us.”
U.S. suggests Russia, Syria may tamper with Douma evidence, Moscow denies it-[Reuters]-By Laila Bassam and Anthony Deutsch-YAHOONEWS-April 17, 2018
DAMASCUS/THE HAGUE (Reuters) - The United States accused Russia on Monday of blocking international inspectors from reaching the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Syria and said Russians or Syrians may have tampered with evidence on the ground.Moscow denied the charge and blamed delays on retaliatory U.S.-led missile strikes on Syria on Saturday.British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron faced criticism from political opponents over their decisions to take part in the air strikes.Syria and Russia deny unleashing poison gas on April 7 during their offensive on Douma, which ended with the recapture of the town that had been the last rebel stronghold near the capital, Damascus.Relief organizations say dozens of men, women and children were killed. Footage of young victims foaming at the mouth and weeping in agony has thrust Syria's civil war - in which half a million people have been killed in the past seven years - to the forefront of world concern again.Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) traveled to Syria last week to inspect the site, but have yet to gain access to Douma, which is now under government control after the rebels withdrew."It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site," U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Ward said at an OPCW meeting in The Hague on Monday."It is our concern that they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation," he said. His comments at the closed-door meeting were obtained by Reuters.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied Moscow had interfered with any evidence. "I can guarantee that Russia has not tampered with the site," he told the BBC.Increasing regional jitters, Syrian anti-aircraft defenses shot down missiles fired at the Syrian air base of Shayrat in Homs province, Syrian state television said.The Pentagon said there was no U.S. military activity in that area "at this time".Separately, the pro-Iranian Hezbollah militia said Syrian air defenses intercepted three missiles aimed at Dumair military airport northeast of Damascus.An Israeli military spokesman said: "We don't comment on such reports".-TRUMP WANTS U.S. TROOPS HOME-Two days after the missile strikes that he hailed as a well-executed military operation, President Donald Trump still wants to bring the small number of U.S. troops in northern Syria home, the White House said.But spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said he had not set a timeline for a pullout. Trump was also willing to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, she added, while indicating that no such encounter was imminent.Britain's delegation to the OPCW accused Russia and the Assad government of stopping inspectors from reaching Douma. "Unfettered access is essential," it said in a statement. "Russia and Syria must cooperate."The team aims to collect samples, interview witnesses and document evidence to determine whether banned toxic munitions were used, although it is not permitted to assign blame for the attack.British Ambassador Peter Wilson said in The Hague that the United Nations had cleared the inspectors to go but they had been unable to reach Douma because Syria and Russia had been unable to guarantee their safety.Moscow blamed the delay on the air strikes, in which the United States, France and Britain targeted what the Pentagon said were three chemical weapons facilities."We called for an objective investigation. This was at the very beginning after this information (of the attack) appeared. Therefore allegations of this toward Russia are groundless," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.A Russian defense ministry official said later the OPCW experts would travel to Douma on Wednesday.Russia's defense ministry said the United States and its allies had hit military targets and not just research facilities, Interfax news agency reported.The RIA news agency quoted the ministry as saying the Syrian military destroyed 71 out of 103 cruise missiles detected in Syrian airspace.The inspectors met Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in the presence of Russian officers and a senior Syrian security official in Damascus for about three hours on Sunday.OPCW inspectors have been attacked on two previous missions to the sites of chemical weapons attacks in Syria.Syrian flags flew in Douma on Monday, security forces stood on street corners and Russian military police patrolled the streets. State aid trucks handed out bread, rice and pasta to people who had lived under siege for years.A government-organized media tour did not include the building where, according to rescue workers and medics who were in town at the time, dozens of people were killed by poison gas.Doctors at the hospital where suspected victims were treated told reporters on the tour that none of the patients that night had suffered chemical weapons injuries - they were asphyxiated by dust and smoke in a bombardment.Medical aid groups and the White Helmets rescue organization have said such statements - already aired on state television in recent days - were made under duress.-'RIGHT THING TO DO'-The U.S.-led strikes did nothing to alter the strategic balance or dent Assad's supremacy, and the Western allies have said the aim was to prevent the further use of chemical weapons, not to intervene in the civil war or topple Assad.At a meeting in Luxembourg, the 28 EU foreign ministers endorsed the missile strikes and considered steps to deepen Assad's isolation.Britain's May told parliament the decision to conduct air strikes against Syria was in the British national interest and not as a result of pressure from Trump."We have not done this because President Trump asked us to, we have done it because we believed it was the right thing to do, and we are not alone. There is broad-based international support for the action we have taken," May said.May has said she did not seek a green light from parliament for the attacks, citing the need to act quickly.(Additional reporting by Jack Stubbs and Andrey Ostroukh in Moscow, Jeff Mason, Susan Cornwell, Leslie Wroughton, Yara Bayoumy and Steve Holland in Washington, Michelle Nichols in New York, Samia Nakhoul, Tom Perry, Ellen Francis and Angus McDowall in Beirut, Kinda Makieh in Barzeh, Syria, Elizabeth Piper, Michael Holden and Guy Faulconbridge in London, Laurence Frost, Michel Rose and Ingrid Melander in Paris and Suleiman Al-Khalidi in Amman; Writing by Angus MacSwan and Richard Balmforth; Editing by Alistair Bell and Peter Cooney)
Defence cross of Cosby accuser reflects change in strategy-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-April 18, 2018
NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Bill Cosby's lawyers have changed the way they talk about his chief accuser and her relationship with him.At Cosby's first sexual-assault trial, the defence argued that Andrea Constand, a former Temple University women's basketball administrator, and the 80-year-old married comedian were lovers having an affair. A mistrial was declared when jurors couldn't reach a verdict after six days of deliberations.At the retrial, Cosby's new lawyer, Tom Mesereau, has called Constand a "con artist" who baited Cosby by feigning romantic interest in him and wound up with a $3.4 million civil settlement after she levelled a false claim of sexual molestation.Mesereau's cross-examination of Constand, which ended Monday, reflected this change in strategy.Like last time, though, the defence team hit a brick wall when it asked Constand about a key figure in the case, Marguerite Jackson, who says Constand spoke about fabricating sexual-assault allegations against a celebrity to file suit. After Constand denied knowing Jackson at the first trial, a judge barred her from testifying for the defence . The judge has tentatively ruled that Jackson can take the stand at the retrial, but that could change because Constand, for a second time, has denied knowing her.Here's a glimpse at each defence team's cross-examination of Constand.ON CONSTAND'S DINNER WITH COSBY-First trial: Cosby lawyer Angela Agrusa suggested Constand once enjoyed a romantic dinner at Cosby's home."And the room was dark and there was a nice mood in the room, correct?" Agrusa asked."I don't know what that means," Constand replied."The lights were dimmed, and the fire was going, right?" the lawyer continued."I don't really remember how dim the lights were, but I did have to eat my dinner," Constand said.Second trial: Mesereau didn't ask about the dinner.ON THE 'PONZI SCHEME'-First trial: The defence didn't ask Constand about emails she had sent that promised big returns for a risk-free $65 investment — what the defence at the second trial has called a "Ponzi scheme."Second trial: Mesereau asked Constand about the emails, seeking to bolster his claim that she's a con artist. During cross-examination, Constand struggled to remember why she'd sent them but said she was only trying to help out a friend.ON MARGUERITE JACKSON-First trial: Agrusa asked Constand, "When you travelled to the away games while you were director of basketball operations, did you know or work with a woman named Margo Jackson?"Constand replied, "Her name sounds familiar, but I don't really remember her. ... I don't know her."Second trial: Constand testified she doesn't "recall ever having a conversation with" Jackson.ON CONSTAND'S CIVIL SETTLEMENT-First trial: Agrusa ran through a list of personal-injury lawyers whom Constand called after the alleged assault and referred to her police statement in which she said she had contacted an attorney who "specializes in sexual assault lawsuits." Constand said a lawsuit "was not my intention." Agrusa's ability to question Constand about her $3.4 million civil settlement with Cosby was limited due to a ruling from the judge.Second trial: This time, the defence was allowed to ask her about the 2006 settlement.Mesereau suggested Constand violated a confidentiality provision of the settlement by co-operating with prosecutors when they reopened the criminal investigation in 2015. He asked if she offered to give the money back and wondered, "Didn't you think when Mr. Cosby paid you this large sum of money he was hoping it would all go away?"Constand agreed, saying he she wanted it to go away, too. "I was glad it was over," she said.___Rubinkam contributed to this story from northeastern Pennsylvania.___This story has been corrected to show jurors at the first trial deliberated for six days, not five.Michael R. Sisak And Michael Rubinkam, The Associated Press.
The Latest: Police sergeant says DA shut down Cosby probe-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-April 18, 2018
NORRISTOWN, Pa. — The Latest on the Bill Cosby's sexual-assault retrial (all times local):12:05 p.m.A police sergeant has told jurors that a suburban Philadelphia prosecutor abruptly shut down an initial investigation into allegations that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted a woman.Cheltenham Township Police Sgt. Richard Schaffer testified Tuesday that then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor announced he was closing the 2005 probe just hours after investigators met to discuss leads that needed to be followed up.Castor ended the investigation into Cosby four weeks after Andrea Constand told police the comedian had drugged and molested her about a year earlier. The prosecutor has said the evidence showed both parties "could be held in less than a flattering light."His successors reopened the criminal case in 2015 after Cosby's testimony from Constand's civil suit was unsealed.Cosby says his encounter with Constand was consensual.The Associated Press doesn't typically identify people who say they're victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.___9:30 a.m.The judge in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial says jurors can hear the comedian's prior testimony about giving quaaludes to women before sex.Judge Steven O'Neill ruled Tuesday that prosecutors can read the testimony into the record at Cosby's retrial on charges he drugged and molested Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004.Cosby testified at a deposition related to Constand's lawsuit against him that he had gotten quaaludes from his doctor in Los Angeles in the 1970s. He said he was given seven prescriptions for the now-banned sedative, ostensibly for a sore back.Cosby said he never took the drug, instead giving it to women he wanted to have sex with.Cosby's lawyers argued the testimony is irrelevant to his retrial because there's no evidence he gave Constand the drug.The Associated Press doesn't typically identify people who say they're victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.___8:30 a.m.Bill Cosby has arrived for his sexual assault retrial, where prosecutors are building to a close in their case.A spokeswoman for the 80-year-old comedian blasted his chief accuser and her mother as they arrived at a suburban Philadelphia courthouse Tuesday morning.Ebonee Benson says that Andrea and her mother Gianna Constand's testimony "seemed to be more colorful and more embellished" than during last year's trial that ended with a hung jury.Constand on Monday denied making up her story to set up a big pay day, and her mother testified that Cosby apologized.Cosby is on trial over charges he drugged and molested Constand in 2004. He says the encounter was consensual.Investigators and a pharmaceutical expert are expected to take the stand on the seventh day of the proceedings.The Associated Press doesn't typically identify people who say they're victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.___12:30 a.m.Prosecutors are building to the conclusion of their case against comedian Bill Cosby in his sexual assault retrial.Investigators and a pharmaceutical expert are expected to take the stand beginning Tuesday.Prosecutors on Monday delivered a one-two punch as chief accuser Andrea Constand rejected defence allegations that she concocted her story to score a big payday, and her mother testified that Cosby apologized.Andrea and Gianna Constand's testimony followed that of five additional accusers who told jurors that Cosby had drugged and assaulted them two decades earlier.Andrea Constand has accused Cosby of drugging and molesting her at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Cosby has denied the allegations.The Associated Press doesn't typically identify people who say they're victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.The Associated Press.
Order of nuns opposed to location of Summerside cannabis store-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-April 18, 2018
An order of nuns in Summerside, P.E.I., is opposed to the location of a new cannabis retail store opening down the street from where they want to have a daycare."It is too close to our location here where we plan to have the daycare," said Sister Margherita Ianni, of the Sisters of Sacred Heart of Jesus of Ragusa convent in Summerside.The sisters are just starting to move in, but eventually there will be seven of them, and they plan to open a daycare centre in their building. They've already received permission from the city to do so."That's the reason why, one of the main reasons why, we came here was to open a faith-based daycare in Summerside," Ianni said. "We've always worked with young children and we know the impact that early years have on children."1 of 4 government-owned retail stores-The former Starbucks on Granville Street will be one of four provincially-owned retail locations scheduled to open sometime this year.Summerside councillor Tyler Desroches said he doesn't like the location of the cannabis store either. He said he would have preferred to see the province locate its cannabis store downtown.He also doesn't like the store's proximity to Athena Consolidated, although the school is more than 300 metres away."Any new business is great, we're always looking to grow Summerside," he said."It's just, I would have liked to seen it in a different spot."Councillor unhappy with location-He added that he approached some business owners to see if they were interested in bidding on the tender for the retail store."I really didn't want to see it in a school district or with Sacred Heart Parish going up right beside us.There were a couple of places in the downtown core that I thought would have been ideal for it."The cannabis store is located less than 200 metres from the convent, according to the city.Summerside's current zoning bylaw does not require a specific distance between pot stores and daycares.In an email statement to CBC News, a spokesperson from the Finance Department said it took proximity to schools into consideration when looking at possible locations for a retail cannabis store."We will continue to work closely with the Summerside City Council as we move towards federal legalization of cannabis," the province told CBC.No one from the department could be reached Monday to clarify whether it was aware a daycare was planned down the road from the store.Ianni says her group is continuing with its plans to open a daycare, although they do not have a firm opening date.
Facebook must face class action over facial recognition: U.S. judge-[Reuters]-By David Ingram-YAHOONEWS-April 18, 2018
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge ruled on Monday that Facebook Inc must face a class action lawsuit alleging that the social network unlawfully used a facial recognition process on photos without user permission.The ruling adds to the privacy woes that have been mounting against Facebook for weeks, since it was disclosed that the personal information of millions of users was harvested by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.U.S. District Judge James Donato ruled in San Francisco federal court that a class action was the most efficient way to resolve the dispute over facial templates.Facebook said it was reviewing the ruling. "We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously," the company said in a statement.Lawyers for the plaintiffs could not immediately be reached for comment.Facebook users sued in 2015, alleging violations of an Illinois state law about the privacy of biometric information.The class will consist of Facebook users in Illinois for whom Facebook created and stored facial recognition algorithms after June 7, 2011, Donato ruled. That is the date when Facebook launched "Tag Suggestions," a feature that suggests people to tag after a Facebook user uploads a photo.In the U.S. court system, certification of a class is typically a major hurdle that plaintiffs in proposed class actions need to overcome before reaching a possible settlement or trial.(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Sandra Maler and Cynthia Osterman)
Quebec City mosque gunman wished he had killed more people: report-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-April 18, 2018
QUEBEC — The man who murdered six Muslim men in 2017 told a social worker several months after the killings that he wished there had been more victims, evidence tabled in court Monday indicated.In her report tabled by the Crown, social worker Guylaine Cayouette said Alexandre Bissonnette told her he had idolized serial killers since his adolescence and he wanted to make a splash of his own."I regret not having killed more people," Bissonnette reportedly said in September 2017, eight months after he entered a Quebec City mosque and shot dead six men following evening prayers. "The victims are in the sky and I'm living in hell."Cayouette's report was entered as evidence during sentencing arguments for Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty last month to six charges of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder in the shooting.She had met Bissonnette on the request of a nurse, who said he had not been feeling well. Cayouette noted that as soon as the 28-year-old entered her office in the Quebec City prison, he began to cry.The social worker added that Bissonnette also told her, "I wanted glory."Also Monday, Aymen Derbali, who lost the use of his legs in the shooting, testified in court.He was the first of Bissonnette's victims to take the stand.Derbali, who is confined to a wheelchair, said he was configuring his son's television on Jan. 29, 2017, when he realized he was likely going to be late for 7:30 p.m. prayers.He said he hesitated a bit, and then decided to go to the mosque.Derbali, a father of three, had just entered the mosque when he heard gunshots."I was the closest one," he told the court.He said he was hit in the leg and fell to the floor.Derbali, 41, said he tried to crawl and stop the shooter, but then Bissonnette blasted him.Bissonnette fired seven bullets into Derbali's body, including one that remains lodged in his spinal cord.Derbali was asked by reporters what it was like to be in the courtroom along with Bissonnette."I didn't look at him at all," Derbali said. "He was just — I didn't look at him at all."Earlier in the day, a report of Bissonnette's internet search history on his laptop indicated he visited websites about guns, U.S. President Donald Trump, feminism, Islam and the terrorist group ISIL in the weeks preceding the murders.On the actual day of the killings, Bissonnette visited the mosque's website 12 times, a report compiled by the RCMP said.Bissonnette allegedly visited the Facebook page belonging to the Muslim student association at his university on 10 different days in January 2017 and was a frequent visitor to the websites of two women's groups, including one also based at his school.He also allegedly made multiple searches on Trump as well as on firearms.It's unclear what percentage these topics represented of Bissonnette's total internet search history.Also in January 2017, Bissonnette is said to have looked up videos of shootings and information on guns and ammunition. Shortly before he entered the mosque, he allegedly searched for videos on the Glock pistol, the same type of firearm he used to kill six men.The RCMP report said Bissonnette searched the web for information on mass killers, including white supremacist Dylan Roof as well as Marc Lepine, the shooter in Montreal's 1989 Ecole Polytechnique massacre.Bissonnette told police during his interrogation in the hours after the shooting that he approved of Trump's attempt to limit immigration to the U.S. because terrorists could sneak into the country.On the day of the killings, Bissonnette also allegedly looked up a Twitter message written the previous day by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who used the social platform to welcome refugees to Canada.Bissonnette can receive consecutive sentences, which would mean up to 150 years in prison, but his legal team is hoping he receives concurrent sentences, which would see him eligible to apply for parole after 25 years.Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press.