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August 2, 2017- The Battle over Jerusalem Has Just Begun

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 1coverThe Last Chronicles of Planet Earth July 20th Edition written by Frank DiMora

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Headline: "The Battle over Jerusalem Has Just Begun"

The Palestinian "victory" celebrations that took place after Israel removed metal detectors and surveillance cameras from the entrances to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem bode badly for the future of stability and peace in the Middle East. To the Palestinians and many Arabs and Muslims, the Israeli move is viewed as a sign of weakness. In their eyes, the removal of the security cameras and metal detectors is capitulation, pure and simple. How do we know this? Easy: look at the Palestinian response. Rather than acknowledging the conciliatory nature of the Israeli government's decision, aimed at easing tensions and preventing bloodshed and violence, the Palestinians are demanding more. As far as the Palestinians are concerned, the controversy over the Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount, which came after three terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers at the holy site on July 14, is part of a larger battle with Israel. We have reached a new level in this discourse: Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are now openly admitting that it is not the metal detectors or security cameras that are at issue. Instead, they admit, this is a battle over sovereignty on the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. For the Palestinians, the real battle is over who controls Jerusalem and its holy sites. The real battle, in their eyes, is over the Jews' right to live in their own state in the Middle East. Many Palestinians have still not come to terms with Israel's right to exist, and that is what this battle is really about. The Palestinians, feeling triumphant now that Israel has complied with their demand to remove the metal detectors and security cameras, have been clarifying that it is only the first step in their fight to eradicate any Israeli presence in the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
Aug 1, 2017

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10758/battle-over-jerusalem

Headline: China urges support for new Israel-Palestinian peace plan

China's UN ambassador urged the international community on Monday to support President Xi Jinping's new four-point proposal to end the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict and establish an independent Palestinian state. Liu Jieyi said at a news conference that China's future diplomatic efforts will focus on trying to move toward a negotiated solution based on the four proposals. Xi signaled China's stepped-up engagement in the Middle East when he met about two weeks ago in Beijing with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and outlined the plan. The four points are:
1.) Advancing the two-state solution based on 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as the capital of a new Palestinian state.
2.) Upholding "the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security," immediately ending Israeli settlement building, taking immediate measures to prevent violence against civilians, and calling for an early resumption of peace talks.

3.) Coordinating international efforts to put forward "peace-promoting measures that entail joint participation at an early date."
4.) Promoting peace through development and cooperation between the Palestinians and Israel.
China views both Israel and the Palestinians as "important partners" in its "One Belt, One Road" initiative, a mammoth Chinese-funded push to develop transport routes including ports, railways and roads to expand trade in a vast arc of countries across Asia, Africa and Europe, the ambassador said.
Aug 1, 2017

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4997024,00.html

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Headline: For First Time in Millennia, Jewish Priests Will Undergo Training to Enter Temple's Holy of Holies

For the first time in 2,000 years, a group of Kohanim (men of the Jewish priestly caste) living close to Jerusalem’s Old City are studying the relevant Jewish laws to be able to ascend the Temple Mount and enter the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence is said to dwell. This development was initiated by Israel’s first responder organization ZAKA, based on a decision by the ZAKA Rabbinical Council following an event occurring during the three weeks of austerity leading up to the Ninth Day of Av: the July 14 Palestinian terror attack against Israeli police officers that left three dead (including the terrorist), the most powerful source of ritual impurity, on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. Horrific as the attack was, one Temple activist said it may have served a divine purpose. “When the Jewish people are not moving ahead quickly enough, God does something to force it upon us,” Yaakov Hayman, a prominent Temple Mount activist and expert, told Breaking Israel News. “When those Arabs did what they did, they created a new situation on the ground. We weren’t preparing for it, so something happened that forced us to deal with it.”The “new situation on the ground” is that Kohanim, men descended patrilineally from Aaron the Priest, will now be trained for the first time in millennia to enter the area where the Holy of Holies once stood. Their purpose will not be to offer sacrifices or pray for the Jewish people, but to retrieve dead bodies should the need arise again.
July 31, 2017

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/92517/first-time-2000-years-jewish-priests-will-learn-lost-laws-holy-holies/

Headline: Israelis March Demanding Access to Temple Mount and Building of Third Temple

Monday evening marked the beginning of the Jewish fast of Tisha B'Av, which commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples.Thousands of Israelis participated in an annual march around the walls of Jerusalem's Old City, with a special focus on the Temple Mount. Though it is Judaism's holiest site, Jews are still not allowed to pray there due to threats of Muslim violence. Government officials participating in the march noted that the people of Israel are seeking much more than just the right to pray atop a Muslim-occupied Temple Mount. They want the Third Temple. "Everyone who came here tonight proved with his feet that we want the Temple back – and quickly," Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan told Arutz 7.
Aug 2, 2017

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/32094/Default.aspx

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Jordan

Headline: Jordanian king donates $1.4 million to Waqf after Temple Mount fight

Jordan’s king on Wednesday announced that he would donate 1 million Jordanian dinars ($1.4 million) to the Waqf Islamic Trust, which administers the Temple Mount compound in the Old City of Jerusalem. The money is seen as a major show of support for the Waqf, which led protests against Israeli security measures at the holy site last month, ramping up tensions between Israel and the Arab world. The Waqf, a Jordan-based organization in charge of the Muslim holy sites on the Temple Mount, said that the money will go to the Islamic Museum in the compound and to a cash bonus of 300 dinar ($423) to each of the Waqf workers, the Hebrew media Ynet website reported.  The donation comes amid strained relations between Israel and Jordan after recent violent clashes sparked following the introduction by Israel of walk-through metal detectors — later removed — at the Jerusalem holy site. New security equipment was set up in the days after a terror attack on July 14 in which three Arab Israelis killed two Israeli policemen using guns that were smuggled onto the Temple Mount. Presiding over a meeting of government ministers Wednesday, Abdullah said that Amman was closely following the situation in Jerusalem. He said the challenge in keeping calm in the city was not only related to security, but diplomatic as well.
Aug 2, 2017

http://www.timesofisrael.com/jordanian-king-donates-1-4-million-to-waqf-after-temple-mount-fight/

Saudi Arabia

Headline: Iran Revolutionary Guards find new route to arm Yemen rebels

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have started using a new route across the Gulf to funnel covert arms shipments to their Houthi allies in Yemen's civil war, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters. In March, regional and Western sources told Reuters that Iran was shipping weapons and military advisers to the Houthis either directly to Yemen or via Somalia. This route however risked contact with international naval vessels on patrol in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. For the last six months the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has begun using waters further up the Gulf between Kuwait and Iran as it looks for new ways to beat an embargo on arms shipments to fellow Shiites in the Houthi movement, Western and Iranian sources say. Using this new route, Iranian ships transfer equipment to smaller vessels at the top of the Gulf, where they face less scrutiny. The transhipments take place in Kuwaiti waters and in nearby international shipping lanes, the sources said.
Aug 1, 2017

http://jordantimes.com/news/region/iran-revolutionary-guards-find-new-route-arm-yemen-rebels

Syria

Headline: Russia flies 2,000 mercenary troops into Syria

Russia is engaged in a major buildup in Syria, both in support of the de-escalation zones established in conjunction with the United States, and in order to solidify its military control of the country.
debkafile’s military and intelligence sources reported exclusively on Wednesday, August 2, that 2,000 mercenaries had just been airlifted into the country, boosting to a total of 5,000 the number of mercenaries on hire from the Wagner Group private contractors for service under the Russian flag in Syria. They are all retirees from elite units of the Russian ground forces, air force or navy.
In another new Russian project, our military sources also report the arrival in the past few days of Muslim troops from the republic of Ingushetia. Although clad in Russian military police uniforms, they are actually commandoes trained in anti-terror warfare. They have been posted as “ceasefire monitors” at the three de-escalation zones established by Russia and the United States along the Syrian borders with Israel, Jordan and Iraq. President Vladimir Putin and his defense minister Gen. Sergei Shoigu have ramped up the Russian military presence in Syria without adding ground and armored troops – even though the Russian constitution bars the recruitment of mercenaries to fight overseas for profit. Moscow is a veteran client of the Wagner Group contractors, which largely resemble the US Blackwater security contractor now calling itself Academi. It was hired to provide military personnel during 20014 and 2015 for Moscow's battle to conquer Crimea and in support of the pro-Russian separatists fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Aug 2, 2017

http://debka.com/article/26165/Russia-flies-2-000-mercenary-troops-into-Syria

Headline: ISIS attacks Syrian army east of Homs

Islamic State militants attacked Syrian government forces and their allies in countryside east of Homs and Hama on Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Heavy fighting raged around the mountainous Jabal al-Shomariya area in Homs province, and the government side was carrying out air strikes there, the British-based monitoring group said. Pro-Damascus media outlets quoted a military source saying warplanes had hit targets in the eastern Hama countryside, which borders Jabal al-Shomariya to the north.
Aug 2, 2017

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4997709,00.html

Headline: Russian embassy compound in Damascus comes under mortar fire

The Russian embassy’s compound in Damascus came under mortar fire on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, adding that nobody was hurt. “On August 2, the Russian embassy’s compound in Damascus came under a mortar attack from positions held by terrorist militants,” the ministry said, as cited by TASS. “Two shells crashed on the premises of the Russian diplomatic mission and two others [landed] just outside the perimeter fence.” The material damage caused was minimal, according to the statement.
Aug 2, 2017

https://www.rt.com/news/line/

http://tass.com/world/958770

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 Iran

Headline: Western powers warn Iran rocket test a 'threatening step'

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 UN chief to investigate. In a report submitted to the UN Security Council's Iran sanctions committee and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the four countries described the July 27 launch as inconsistent with a 2015 UN 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 UN 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 UN resolution) and has a destabilizing effect in the region."
Aug 2, 2017

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4997867,00.html

Afghanistan

Headline: Suicide bomber hits NATO convoy in Afghanistan

Headline: US service members killed in Afghanistan attack

A suicide bomber struck a NATO convoy near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Wednesday, causing casualties, the US military said. Lt. Damien E. Horvath, a military spokesman, could not say how many casualties there were, or provide their nationalities. The NATO mission, known as Resolute Support, “can confirm that a NATO convoy was attacked in Kandahar. The attack did cause casualties,” he said. Kandahar police spokesman Zia Durrani also confirmed the attack and the area on the edge Kandahar was quickly cordoned off. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Aug 2, 2017

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1138526/world

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/08/02/nato-convoy-attacked-in-afghanistan-leaving-casualties.html

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Headline: Russia takes over US compound in Moscow in retaliation over sanctions

Russian authorities on Wednesday took over a summer-house compound in Moscow leased by the US embassy, five days after the Kremlin ordered Washington to slash its diplomatic presence in Russia. In retaliation for new US sanctions, President Vladimir Putin has ordered the United States to cut around 60 percent of its diplomatic staff in Russia by Sept. 1, and said Moscow would seize a dacha country villa used by US embassy staff and a warehouse. US employees cleared out the dacha on Tuesday and a Reuters journalist who visited the property on Wednesday saw a large metal padlock securing the front gate. The one-story building and courtyard, previously used by diplomatic staff at weekends and to host embassy parties, was empty and cleared of barbecue equipment and garden furniture. Two policemen in a car in front of the main entrance said they had been instructed to guard the property and did not expect any visits from US or Russian officials.
“I don’t know when this situation will change,” one of the policemen said.

Aug 2, 2017

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1138561/world

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Headline: Venezuelan Default Fears Rise With Billions in Debt Coming Due Soon

Investors have been bracing for a Venezuela debt default for more than a year, but fallout from the country’s widely criticized election last weekend could prove to be the tipping point. The government and state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA, also known as PdVSA, together owe $5 billion in principal and interest payments due between now and the end of the year, according to Caracas Capital Markets. The country has $725 million due this month alone, the Venezuelan investment bank said. The problem: Venezuela only has about $3 billion of its foreign reserves in cash, according to S&P Global Ratings. That means the country is dependent on oil exports to make up the difference. The U.S. government has been threatening tough sanctions to punish President Nicolás Maduro for what Washington and other governments have called an illegal vote on Sunday, designed to advance the president’s power. Mr. Maduro has said that the vote was necessary to give the government the ability to fix Venezuela’s political and economic crises, and put an end to antigovernment protests. While the Trump administration on Monday imposed sanctions against Mr. Maduro personally, it hasn’t ruled out restrictions on the Venezuelan crude-oil trade that could deprive the government of its only real source of cash. Last week, the U.S. had leveled sanctions on 13 high-ranking Venezuelan officials. The Venezuelan government didn’t respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
Aug 2, 2017

https://www.wsj.com/articles/venezuelan-default-fears-rise-with-billions-in-debt-coming-due-soon-1501680162

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Headline: Violent July Leaves Chicago Murders On Pace To Exceed 2016, The Bloodiest Year In Two Decades

One month ago, President Trump vowed to "send in the Feds" after Chicago's murder rate continued to track roughly in-line with 2016, the most violent year for the city in nearly two decades. Alas, with the month of July now over, the 'Feds' don't seem to be helping. With 77 people killed in July alone, murders are up 4% year-over-year despite the federal assistance.  Moreover, those killed as the result of gun violence is up 9%. Meanwhile, the month of July also recorded one of the city's most violent Fourth of July holidays in history, with more than 100 people shot over the four-day weekend. That's compared to 66 people shot over the holiday in 2016. According to Chicago police, there have been 417 murders in the city so far this year on a total of 2,202 shootings.
Aug 1, 2017

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-01/violent-july-leaves-chicago-murders-pace-exceed-2016-bloodiest-year-two-decades

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Headline: New Eruption at Indonesia Volcano Spreads Ash for Miles

Mount Sinabung on the Indonesian island of Sumatra blasted volcanic ash as high as 4.2 kilometers (2.6 miles) on Wednesday, one of its biggest eruptions in the past several months of high activity. Isya Nurrahmat Dana, an official at a volcano monitoring post in North Sumatra province, said at least 19 eruptions followed by lava flows were recorded by midday Wednesday. Hot ash tumbled down the mountain's slopes as far as 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) east and southeast into the Labortus River. Media reports said students from an elementary school in Kuta Rakyat were sent home because volcanic ash covering the village was considered dangerous. There were no reports of casualties. National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said thousands of people in 10 villages were directly affected by ash fall from the latest eruption.
Aug 2, 2017

https://www.voanews.com/a/new-eruption-at-indonesia-volcano-spreads-ash-for-miles/3969063.html

Headline: Seismic Zone Off Alaska Could Trigger Massive Earthquake and Tsunami

A so-called seismic zone off the coast of Alaska could trigger deadly tsunamis like the one that caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, a new study finds. Identifying other seismic zones — a region high in seismic activity such as tremors and earthquakes — with these features could help researchers identify areas that could produce catastrophic waves, the scientists added. Tsunamis are monster waves that can grow to be more than 100 feet (30 meters) high. They are typically caused by earthquakes; for example, the 2004 Banda Aceh earthquake and tsunami killed about 250,000 people in Indonesia, and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that struck offshore Japan killed about 20,000 people and triggered the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Aug 2, 2017

https://www.livescience.com/60008-alaska-faces-high-risk-of-deadly-tsunamis.html

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What’s shaking? an_eq

List & map of USGS Earthquakes ~Click the shaking house~

 

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