Feb. 15, 2017- Trump & Netanyahu agree: Israel-Gulf peace firstBy
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Headline: Trump directly tells Netanyahu to ‘hold off on settlements for a bit’ in Israel
Headline: Trump ‘Looking At Two States & One State’
Headline: US will not insist on two-state solution in Mideast: White House official
Headline: Palestinians enraged by US break from 2-state solution
Headline: UN chief says two-state Mideast solution is the only way
Headline: Trump & Netanyahu agree: Israel-Gulf peace first
Headline: Abbas to Netanyahu: Heed Trump and freeze settlements
President Donald Trump on Wednesday directly asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to slow the building of settlements in the West Bank and said he was confident the two nations could come to a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Trump and Netanyahu addressed reporters at a press conference before the two met privately at the White House. A reporter asked whether Trump and Netanyahu were on the same page regarding settlements. “As far as settlements, I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit,” Trump said while turning toward Netanyahu. “We’ll work something out, but I would like to see a deal be made. I think a deal will be made.” In an answer full of twists and turns, Trump wavered on a US commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying it “looked like it will be the easier of the two” but that he could “live with” a one-state solution. A senior White House official said the United States would no longer seek to dictate the terms of any eventual peace settlement, but would support what the two sides agree to together. “A two-state solution that doesn’t bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “Peace is the goal, whether that comes in the form of a two-state solution if that’s what the parties want, or something else if that’s what the parties want.” “That’s going to be up to them, we are not going to dictate what the terms of peace are going to be,” said the official.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: CIA chief meets Palestinian leader in West Bank
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met secretly with the CIA chief in the West Bank, Palestinian officials said Wednesday, as they expressed concern over the Trump administration’s suggestion that a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel is optional. Mike Pompeo and Abbas held talks Tuesday at the Palestinian government compound in the city of Ramallah, the first high-level contacts between the Palestinian leader and administration officials, said two senior officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters about the meeting. The White House and the CIA declined comment. One of the Palestinian officials said Abbas briefed Pompeo on Palestinian positions ahead of Wednesday’s White House talks between President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Palestinian leadership had previously expressed concern it would be sidelined by an administration seen as being closely aligned with Israel. The Palestinians were given a new cause for concern when a White House official told reporters in Washington that the two-state solution — a cornerstone of American diplomacy for more than two decades — was not the only option for resolving the conflict.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: Trump Intended to Move Embassy to Jerusalem at ‘12:01, Day One’
President Donald Trump was prepared to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem the moment he took office, but reconsidered after taking into account how it would impact Israel’s relationship with its Arab neighbors, a top Republican official revealed on Monday. Moving the embassy to Israel’s capital had been one of Trump’s strongest campaigning points, and he had planned on making the controversial policy change the first of his presidency, Senator Bob Corker told The Global Politico podcast in an interview, saying, “I think that was going to be their first move at one point.” “At one point they were ready to move the Embassy at 12:01 on January 20th. Maybe 12 and 30 seconds.” Indeed, in the earliest days of his tenure, Trump’s team had already begun making statements on a possible move. However, Corker said, after considering the issue from a different angle, the president chose to hold back in order to better promote Israel’s interests. The Iran deal “brought the Arab community close to Israel. And so there’s a real working relationship there right now” which Trump didn’t want to jeopardize, Corker explained.
Feb. 14, 2017
Headline: TEMPLE INSTITUTE MAKES HISTORY
Today the Temple Institute unveiled a brand new set of sacred vessels to be used in the Holy Temple: twelve gold-plated silver pans designed to hold the twelve loaves of showbread. The showbread was baked weekly and the loaves were placed in golden pans, which are set on the Showbread Table. The purpose of the specially designed pans is to enable the showbread loaves to maintain their unique shape all throughout the week, according to the Torah commandment. The twelve loaves of Showbread were baked each Friday by a particular Kohanic family, and were placed upon the twelve shelves of the Golden Table of the Showbread on Shabbat. The new loaves were placed as the old loaves were being removed, thereby fulfilling the commandment, “And you shall place showbread on the table before Me at all times” (Ex. 25:30). Now that the Temple Institute has completed the construction of the Golden Table of the Showbread, the two Golden Bezichin (Frankincense holders which were placed on the table) and the twelve Golden Pans, it is our fervent prayer that these vessels will soon be in service in the rebuilt Holy Temple!
Feb. 14, 2017
Headline: Jordan set to play more important role in Middle East
The meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump will be closely watched in Jerusalem, of course, but just as closely in Amman, less than 50 miles away. Jordan’s King Abdullah has already met the American president, although briefly, and a second one-on-one meeting is scheduled soon. Jordan’s King Abdullah was the first Arab leader to meet with the new president earlier this month when both attended the National Prayer Breakfast. The Palestinians, in contrast, have struggled to make connections with the Trump Administration. Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat told media outlets that the president had rebuffed overtures from Abbas repeatedly, although security officials did meet the Palestinian security chief Majed Faraj last week. The lack of close ties between the Palestinian Authority and Washington makes Jordan nervous as well. About three-quarters of Jordan’s population are Palestinians, while many of the Palestinians who live on the West Bank hold Jordanian citizenship. Jordan has historically played an important role in the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, which have been a flashpoint of Israeli-Palestinian violence in the past. Days later, Netanyahu announced that almost 6,000 new homes will be built in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, another move that Palestinians say takes aim at a future independent Palestinian state. On both of these issues, analysts say, Jordan stepped in to argue the Palestinian case. “I met the King a few days ago and he said he spoke with US officials about the consequences of moving the US embassy (to Jerusalem), and the damaging role of enlarging the settlements,” Oraib al-Rantawi, the director of the Al-Quds Center in Amman, told The Media Line. “The King told the president that these moves could put an end to a viable Palestinian state, which would also affect Jordan’s stability and security.”
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: Lebanon PM Hariri stands firm on Assad ‘crimes’
Headline: Lebanese president: Hezbollah needed to counter Israel
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Monday he stood firm against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s “crimes”, at an event marking the anniversary of his father’s assassination that he has blamed on Damascus. Hariri, whose father Rafiq Hariri was killed along with 22 other people in a February 14, 2005 bomb blast on the Beirut seafront, was appointed prime minister in November for a second time, under an arrangement struck with the pro-Syrian Shiite group Hezbollah. “We negotiated and we made compromises to preserve stability” in Lebanon, he said in an address to a packed hall in Beirut. “We have not made, and will not make, any compromise on principles such as the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, on our point of view on Assad’s regime, our stand on illegitimate arms and on Hezbollah’s implication in Syria,” he said to loud applause. The Hague-based tribunal is responsible for trying Rafiq Hariri’s assassination.
Feb. 15, 2017
***Lebanon’s president is firmly a Hezbollah man as seen in the 2nd headline
Headline: Yemeni officials say Saudi-led airstrike kills 5
At least one Saudi-led airstrike near Yemen’s rebel-held capital killed at least five people on Wednesday, the country’s Houthi rebels and medical officials said. The head of the Houthis’ media office, Abdel-Rahman al-Ahnomi, told The Associated Press an airstrike hit a group of women attending a funeral and a second airstrike hit first responders in Arhab, some 40 kilometers from Sanaa. He said the strikes killed and wounded dozens of people.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: Can Egypt be the path to peace for the Middle East?
Headline: Egypt Denies Proposing to Give Sinai Land for Palestinian State
In the Middle East, what they say is not what they mean, and what they mean is not what they say. According to The New York Times, US President Donald Trump is “developing a strategy on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict that would enlist Arab nations like Saudi Arabia and Egypt to break years of deadlock.” It would behoove his new foreign policy team to reflect carefully on these words before forging ahead with Middle East diplomacy. The key to any possible path to conflict resolution in this region is to understand the shifting web of “interests” that motivate the players on this chessboard in the sand. During meetings in Egypt and Israel this past week, almost everyone I spoke with cautioned against over-reaching beyond what is possible for the region at this time. The American abstention on UNSC Resolution 2334 has cast a dark cloud. For the first time ever, an Israeli presence over the 1949 armistice line is labeled an internationally recognized illegal act, with the blessing of the United States. What I heard from those on the ground, including an international observer, is that 2334 will become a major obstacle to a two-state solution, the exact opposite of what the Obama administration claimed was their intent.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: Syria talks in Astana ‘to be held behind closed doors’
Headline: Syria Peace Talks Delayed Until Thursday
Headline: Turkey, Russia differ on Astana agenda
Kazakhstan said Tuesday that a new round of Astana talks on the Syria conflict led by Russia, Turkey and Iran will take place behind closed doors, as the make-up of any rebel delegation remained unclear. The “closed format” negotiations are set to start Wednesday in the Kazakh capital some three weeks after representatives from Damascus and the armed opposition failed to make a breakthrough at indirect talks in the city. Meanwhile, Jordan will also be represented by a “high level delegation”, Government Spokesperson and Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani said. The meeting — pushed by key regime supporter Moscow — is viewed as a warm-up for UN-led negotiations on the protracted war that are due to begin in Geneva on February 23.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: Syria war: ‘Dozens killed’ as jihadists clash in Idlib
Dozens of fighters have been killed in clashes between two jihadist factions in northern Syria, reports say. The battles involved Tahrir al-Sham, formerly an al-Qaeda affiliate, and Jund al-Aqsa, regarded as close to so-called Islamic State (IS). UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the fighting was a “war for influence” in Idlib province. Nearly 70 people have been killed in the latest fighting, which began on Monday morning, according to the SOHR and a rebel commander. Tahrir al-Sham has captured six villages from Jund al-Aqsa, the SOHR said. The two sides are also reported to have clashed in the north of neighbouring Hama province. Idlib province, in the country’s north-west, has long been a rebel stronghold, dominated by Ahrar al-Sham and JFS/Tahrir al-Sham. The SOHR said the fighting erupted after Jund al-Aqsa carried out a suicide bombing on Tahrir al-Sham, killing nine people, AFP news agency reported. However, a Jund al-Aqsa commander told the Associated Press that Tahrir al-Sham had attacked his group’s positions first.
Feb. 14, 2017
Headline: Russian jets pounded rebel-held areas of the Syrian city of Deraa
Russian jets pounded rebel-held areas of the Syrian city of Deraa on Tuesday for a second day in the first such intensive bombing campaign since Moscow’s major intervention in Syria more than a year ago, rebels and witnesses said. Rebel groups on Sunday stormed the heavily-garrisoned Manshiya district in a battle dubbed “Death rather than Humiliation” saying the campaign sought to obstruct any army attempts to capture a strategic border crossing with Jordan. The army’s control of the rebel held crossing and swatches of territory in the southern strip of the city would sever the rebel link between the eastern and west parts of the city. The Syrian army said the “terrorists” had failed to make gains and its troops had inflicted many casualties. State media said the armed insurgents showered civilian districts of the southern city with mortars, wrecking many homes. The opposition fighters are drawn from both moderate Free Syrian Army groups and members of a newly formed alliance – Tahrir al Sham – spearheaded by a faction that was once al-Qaeda’s official affiliate. A rebel source said there were at least 30 Russian sorties on Tuesday, thwarting further rebel gains in the heavily defended enclave that had allowed them so far to secure significant parts of the Manshiya. “When the regime began to lose control of some areas … the Russian jets began their operations,” said Ibrahim Abdullah, a senior rebel commander.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: U.N. warns of catastrophic dam failure in Raqqa Syria battle
The United Nations is warning of catastrophic flooding in Syria from the Tabqa dam, which is at risk from high water levels, deliberate sabotage by Islamic State (IS) and further damage from air strikes by the U.S.-led coalition. The earth-filled dam holds back the Euphrates River 40 km (25 miles) upstream of the IS stronghold of Raqqa and has been controlled by IS since 2014. Water levels on the river have risen by about 10 meters since Jan. 24, due partly to heavy rainfall and snow and partly to IS opening three turbines of the dam, flooding riverside areas downstream, according to a U.N. report seen by Reuters on Wednesday. “As per local experts, any further rise of the water level would submerge huge swathes of agricultural land along the river and could potentially damage the Tabqa Dam, which would have catastrophic humanitarian implications in all areas downstream,” it said. The entrance to the dam was already damaged by airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition, it said. “For example, on 16 January 2017, airstrikes on the western countryside of Ar-Raqqa impacted the entrance of the Euphrates Dam, which, if further damaged, could lead to massive scale flooding across Ar-Raqqa and as far away as Deir-ez-Zor.” The town of Deir-ez-Zor, or Deir al-Zor, is a further 140 km downstream from Raqqa, and is besieged by IS. The U.N. estimates that 93,500 civilians are trapped in the town, and it has been airdropping food to them for a year.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: Turkish Army uses ISIS as an excuse to attack Kurdish forces in northern Syria
Headline: Turkish Aggression Against Syrian Kurds Threatens to Halt U.S. Anti-ISIS Operations in Syria
The Turkish Army and their rebel associates have recently intensified their attacks against the Kurdish-led “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) in northern Syria, despite the fact they are nowhere near the front-lines with the Islamic State (ISIS). Turkish-backed rebels boasted on their social media accounts, Tuesday, about targeting the Kurdish forces in the northern countryside of Aleppo. The constant harassment of the Kurdish forces is part of the Turkish Army’s plan in Syria, as their battle with the Islamic State is just a facade that is hiding their true intentions. Fearful of a PKK (outlawed Kurdish group in Turkey) safe-haven in northern Syria, the Turkish Army has shifted their attention to the YPG and SDF controlled towns in the Al-Raqqa, Aleppo, and Al-Hasakah governorates. While no major clashes have begun yet, the Turkish Army and their rebel allies have recently stated they plan on continuing their military operations until they seize Raqqa City. This presents a problem because the SDF is currently involved in a heated battle against the Islamic State forces in the western countryside of Al-Raqqa. Should the Turkish Armed Forces choose to launch this Al-Raqqa offensive, they will no doubt run into the SDF and YPG units that are surrounding the provincial capital.
Feb. 14, 2017
Headline: Suicide bombing kills at least 15 people in Iraq
A suicide bomber detonated a pick-up truck on Wednesday in Sadr City, a heavily-populated Shia suburb of Baghdad, killing at least 15 and wounding 50, Iraqi security sources have said. The explosion, the deadliest in Baghdad so far this year, targeted a crowded street full of garages and used-car dealers.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: Kurdish conference takes place in Moscow
Representatives of Kurdish groups across the Middle East have met in Moscow on Feb. 15 to attend a conference on Kurds and their future. Asya Abdullah, the co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and Anwar Muslim, the chairman of the Kobane canton inside Syria, attended the conference on the Middle East, along with other representatives of Kurdish groups in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey. People’s Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers from Turkey’s Şanlıurfa province, Osman Baydemir and Dilek Öcalan, also attended the meeting, during which they shared their views over the current status of Kurds and how to tackle the problems they face. Baydemir was a former mayor of Diyarbakır. The conference was held on the 18th anniversary of the capture of the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, by Turkish special forces in Kenya.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: Fears Grow Over Fairness of Upcoming Election in Turkey
Headline: Top human rights official urges Turkey to ‘change course’
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signed into law constitutional amendments aimed at giving him sweeping new powers under an executive presidency. The reforms are deeply divisive, with supporters saying they will strengthen democracy, while critics warn of dictatorship. Turks will decide in a referendum set for April 16. Doubts over its fairness are growing among opponents of the reforms, who claim a crackdown against them already has started. Leading right-wing politician Meral Aksener recently spoke at a rally to oppose the presidential constitutional reforms. The meeting ended up being held in darkness after the electricity to the venue was mysteriously cut. Aksener said she had little doubt the blackout was deliberate, shouting to the audience, “President, what you are afraid of, me as a woman opposing you and your powerful state.” “We look for democracy in darkness and hopefully on April 16th we will find democracy coming out of the ballots,” she later said to reporters.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: Shadowy Iranian general visits Moscow, violating sanctions
Headline: US looks to form Arab alliance against Iran — report
A shadowy Iranian general responsible for the deaths of nearly 500 Americans traveled to Moscow Wednesday to meet with high-ranking Russian officials — a trip that violated multiple United Nations resolutions forbidding him from leaving his country, multiple western intelligence officials with direct knowledge of the visit told Fox News. Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani arrived in Terminal A of Vnukovo airport outside Moscow on Feb. 14 on Mahan Air WD084 at 12:13 p.m. local time and was scheduled to remain in Russia for a few days for meetings, officials said. Soleimani is visiting Moscow to express his displeasure with the Russian government over their relationship with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, mainly regarding weapons deals and strengthening economic ties, sources told Fox News. “These are two countries that want to cause trouble for the United States, and they’re talking together which means even more trouble for the United States,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, told Fox News’ “Happening Now.” He added, “If there are no consequences to violating sanctions, then they’ll just do more of it.” The CIA would not immediately answer a request for comment. A State Department spokesman said he was unaware of the visit.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: Libya rivals agree to explore ways to end rift: Egypt
Rival powers in Libya have agreed to form a committee to explore amending a UN-backed deal to end the country’s political turmoil, Egypt announced on Wednesday after hosting talks. The head of Libya’s unity government Fayez al-Sarraj and rival army chief Marshal Khalifa Haftar had been in Cairo this week for talks mediated by the Egyptian army. They agreed to set up “a joint committee” to formulate amendments to the deal that set up the unity government, the military said in a statement. Libyan media reported that Sarraj and Haftar did not meet face to face during the talks in Cairo. Sarraj’s UN-backed Government of National Accord has struggled to assert its authority across the North African country since starting work in Tripoli nearly a year ago. Haftar, whose forces control much of the eastern Cyrenaica region, is backed by a parliament based in the east that has refused to pass a vote of confidence in the unity government.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: Polisario Front insists Morocco must recognize Western Sahara’s independence
The Saharawi liberation movement says it is time Morocco accepted Western Sahara’s independence. The Polisario Front said on Tuesday that since Morocco has rejoined the African Union and accepted the group’s principles, it must recognize Western Sahara or it could face possible sanctions or requests to leave the regional organization. AP news reported that Ahmed Boukhari, Polisario Front’s UN representative said that the independence movement will be watching what Morocco does between now and the next AU summit in July . “If they are going to play games, it’s not against the Western Sahara Republic, it’s against the African Union and they have a right to ask Morocco : Are you a member of our family or not ?” he said. Adding, “if not, there is a possibility of sanctions or even requests to Morocco to get out again.” Meanwhile Morocco says it does not plan to recognize the independence of Western Sahara. The ambassador of Morocco to Russia, Abdelkader Lecheheb, said on Monday. “We will defend our selves from inside the African Union, but this does not mean that we recognize Polisario.”
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: ‘Polarized & divided’ US may become destabilizing factor for world – EU foreign policy chief
Headline: Military trains for domestic political problems
Headline: Charlie Daniels: It’s Only a Matter of Time Before There Is Blood on the Streets
The US, polarized and divided as never before, could become a destabilizing factor for the rest of the globe unless it stays “domestically strong and united,” Federica Mogherini warned after her first meeting with the Trump administration in Washington. “I have never seen the US so polarized, divided and burdened by conflicts as now. However, the one who would like to play a global leadership role needs to be internally strong, self-confident and cohesive,” the chief of EU diplomacy told Die Welt on Wednesday. Mogherini maintained that the current developments in the US will surely have ramifications on international stability. “If the greatest democracy in the world is beset with tensions of such scale, then it becomes a destabilizing factor for the rest of the globe,” she said. Her interview to Die Welt and leading European newspapers came on the heels of her recent visit to Washington where she met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as some other top administration officials.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber targets judges in Peshawar
Headline: Taliban suicide bombing kills 5 in northwestern Pakistan
A suicide bomber from the Pakistani Taliban militant group attacked a van carrying judges in northwestern city of Peshawar on Wednesday, wounding several judges and killing the driver, police said. It was the region’s second attack of the day in a new surge in militant violence. In the Mohmand agency area north of Peshawar, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a government office, killing five people. Security has improved in Pakistan over the past few years but a spate of attacks in recent days, and a threat by hardline militants to unleash a new campaign against the government, has raised fears of bloodshed. “A suicide bomber on a motor bike rammed into an official van in which some judges were traveling,” senior superintendent of Peshawar police Sajjad Khan told journalists. Khan said three female judges and one male judge had been taken to a nearby hospital while the driver of the van had been killed. Earlier in the day Geo TV, citing Khan, said two people had died in the attack but that figure was later revised to one. Mohammad Khurassani, spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, said the group was behind the blast and threatened more attacks.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline:Bahrain Protesters, Police Clash as Island Marks Uprising
Anti-government protesters have clashed with police in Bahrain as they marked the sixth anniversary of the tiny island kingdom’s Arab Spring uprising. Images posted on social media Tuesday showed masked protesters hurling rocks and other projectiles at riot police, who responded with tear gas. Protesters elsewhere were seen marching peacefully through rain-soaked streets carrying the national flag. Large-scale protests led by Bahrain’s Shiite majority erupted on Feb. 14, 2011, demanding political reforms from the country’s Sunni monarchy. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets then, with many occupying a prominent roundabout known as Pearl Square. Authorities backed by forces from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates eventually suppressed the protests. The government later agreed to some reforms, but low-level unrest continues.
Feb. 14, 2017
Headline: Russia tells White House it will not return Crimea to Ukraine
Headline: Russia Deploys Missile, Violating Treaty and Challenging Trump
Headline: Russian spy ship patrols 30 miles off the coast of Connecticut
Headline: Kremlin denies allegations it violated U.S. missile treaty
Russia said on Wednesday it would not hand back Crimea to Ukraine or discuss the matter with foreign partners after the White House said U.S. President Donald Trump expected the annexed Black Sea peninsula to be returned. Moscow says an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to become part of Russia in a 2014 referendum wanting protection from what the Kremlin cast as an illegal coup in Kiev. Ukraine says the referendum was a sham held at gunpoint after Russian troops illegally annexed the peninsula, that Russia-friendly president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted by people power, and that Moscow should return Crimea. “We don’t give back our own territory. Crimea is territory belonging to the Russian Federation,” Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, told a news briefing on Wednesday. The 2014 annexation prompted the United States and the European Union to impose sanctions on Russia, plunging Western relations with the Kremlin to their worst level since the Cold War. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Tuesday that Trump expected and wanted to get along with Russia, but was expecting Moscow to hand Crimea back. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, when asked about Spicer’s comments, said President Vladimir Putin had already explained why Crimeans had turned to Russia. “The theme of returning Crimea will not be discussed … Russia does not discuss its territorial integrity with foreign partners,” Peskov told a conference call with reporters.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: China warns U.S. against fresh naval patrols in South China Sea
Headline: China deploying troops at North Korea border after assassination
China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty, responding to reports the United States was planning fresh naval patrols in the disputed South China Sea. On Sunday, the Navy Times reported that U.S. Navy and Pacific Command leaders were considering freedom of navigation patrols in the busy waterway by the San Diego-based Carl Vinson carrier strike group, citing unnamed defense officials. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said tension in the South China Sea had stabilized due to the hard work between China and Southeast Asia countries, and urged foreign nations including the U.S. to respect this. “We urge the U.S. not to take any actions that challenge China’s sovereignty and security,” Geng told a regular news briefing on Wednesday. Meanwhile, The assassination of Kim Jong Un‘s older half-brother at an airport in Malaysia has placed China on alert, and Beijing may have deployed more troops at its border with North Korea in case of a contingency. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters at a regular press briefing on Wednesday that his government is “paying attention to reports” regarding the slaying of Kim Jong Nam, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: Jim Rogers prophesizes death of cash & total govt control of spending
The time will come when you won’t be able to buy a cup of coffee without being traced, warns investment guru Jim Rogers. To control people, governments will increasingly seek to hunt down cash spending, he adds. “Governments are always looking out for themselves first, and it’s the same old thing that has been going on for hundreds of years. The Indians recently did the same thing. They withdrew 86 percent of the currency in circulation, and they have now made it illegal to spend more than, I think it’s about $4,000 in any cash transaction. In France you cannot use more than, I think it’s a €1,000,”said Rogers in an interview with MacroVoices Podcast. “Many countries are already doing this. Some states in the US you cannot make cash transactions above a certain amount. Governments love it. Then they can control you. If you want to go and buy a cup of coffee, they know how many you drink, where you buy them, etc., if they can all put it into electronic formats and they will. The world is all going electronic,” the investor said. According to Rogers, governments will claim they are doing it for the public good, not for themselves. “When it’s done, the governments are going to be very, very happy they are going to say they’re doing it for our own good, this is not them, this is for our good. That they’re doing this, but it’s coming, and it’s going to be a whole different world in which we live. Probably we are not going to have as many freedoms as we have now even though we are already losing our freedoms at a significant pace,” Rodgers told the radio.
Feb. 14, 2017
Headline: World’s 2nd Largest Stockpile Of Gold Leaves The United States
Headline: US Economic Freedom Has Hit a Historic Low
Federal Reserve Bank of New York houses the largest known depository of gold in the world. Late last week the German government moved $13 billion worth of gold from New York to Frankfurt. None of that gold, of course, belongs to the Fed. The Federal Reserve doesn’t own a single ounce of gold. Almost all of that gold is owned by foreign governments and central banks. It’s been that way since the end of World War II—European governments wanted to store their wealth overseas, out of the reach of the Soviet Union. As a kind of professional courtesy among governments and central banks, their gold has been stored for free by the Fed for the last 70+ years. Even after the Soviet Union fell, most governments still chose to keep their gold in New York. It was safe. America was a rich, trusted ally. Why bother moving it? Fast forward a few decades and the world has clearly changed. The US government is in debt up to its eyeballs. It has been caught blatantly spying on its own allies. And it’s much less predictable than ever before. Germany was among the first out the door. Even as early as 2013, the German government announced that they would bring back at least half of their country’s gold reserves (the second largest in the world) by the end of 2020. They’re ahead of schedule. Late last week the German government moved $13 billion worth of gold from New York to Frankfurt. That shipment puts them nearly at their goal, almost four years earlier than planned.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: Hate crimes on rise in US for second consecutive year
Headline: ‘Record hate crimes’ after EU referendum
The number of hate crimes committed in the US has risen for the second year in succession, said the Southern Poverty Law Center, which works to combat domestic racism and extremism, in a report issued Wednesday. The Center made a direct connection between the “radical right” and Donald Trump, saying his election as president had “energized” such groups. The annual census found that the rise in extremism posed the greatest threat to the Muslim community, saying that the number of anti-Muslim hate groups almost tripled from 34 in 2015 to 101 in 2016. This growth, the Center said, was “accompanied by a rash of crimes targeting Muslims.” Meanwhile, A majority of police forces in England and Wales saw record levels of hate crimes in the first full three months following the EU referendum, according to new analysis. More than 14,000 hate crimes were recorded between July and September. In 10 forces the number of suspected hate crimes increased by more than 50%, compared to the previous three months. Those 5,468 reports indicated there had been a spike in reports – supporting anecdotal evidence across the country of an increased number of threatening, violent or abusive incidents.
Feb. 15, 2017
Headline: At least 6 tornadoes cause damage southwest of Houston
Residents of a coastal area southwest of Houston are cleaning up debris after severe storms, including at least six tornadoes, swept through the area. At least six people were injured in Van Vleck, about 70 miles southwest of Houston, by a weak tornado rated by a federal survey team as of EF1 strength with winds of 86 to 110 mph. An EF2 tornado with winds of 111-135 mph caused extensive damage to subdivisions 27 miles southwest of Houston. A weak tornado also was confirmed in Wharton. Elsewhere, more than 3 inches of rain fell in some areas west of Austin, and rain was mixing with snow in the Texas Panhandle, resulting in slick roads and delays in school openings.
Feb. 14, 2017
Headline: A massive lake of molten carbon the size of Mexico is discovered under the US
A huge well of molten carbon that would spell disaster for the planet if released has been found under the US. Scientists using the world’s largest array of seismic sensors have mapped a deep-Earth area, covering 700,000 sq miles (1.8 million sq km). This is around the size of Mexico, and researchers say it has the potential to cause untold environmental damage. The study, conducted by geologists at Royal Holloway University in London, used a huge network of 583 seismic sensors that measure the Earth’s vibrations, to create a picture of the area’s deep sub surface. What they found was a vast buried deposit of molten carbon, which produces carbon dioxide and other gases, situated under the Western US, 217 miles (350km) beneath the Earth’s surface. As a result of this study, scientists now believe the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s upper mantle may be up to 100 trillion metric tons. In comparison, the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates the global carbon emission in 2011 was nearly 10 billion metric tons – a tiny amount in comparison. The area covered by the study includes Yellowstone National Park, where previous research has uncovered evidence of a supervolcano which could also spell danger for the planet.
Feb. 15, 2017
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