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June 28, 2017- Iran warns against possible U.S. military attack on Syria


 1cover The Last Chronicles of Planet Earth June 21, 2017 Edition written by Frank DiMora

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Headline: Israel gears up for Jerusalem sovereignty fight in UNESCO

Israel is pushing to sway the 21 nations on UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to reject a resolution disavowing Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, when the committee meets in Krakow, Poland, July 2-12. The diplomatic battle comes at the same time Israel is dealing with the American Jewish community over the centrality of the Western Wall as a global Jewish symbol.  Diplomatic sources told The Jerusalem Post, however, that they did not believe American Jewry’s anger over the cancellation of an egalitarian prayer section at the Western Wall would distract Israel in its campaign for UNESCO recognition of the Jewish and Israeli connection to Jerusalem. Jordan submitted a resolution on Jerusalem on Monday that calls to rescind “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem.” This includes the basic law on Jerusalem, the resolution states.
June 27, 2017

Headline: Israel strikes Hamas bases in Gaza after rocket: officials

Israeli airstrikes hit a series of targets in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip overnight Monday, officials said, hours after a rocket from the Palestinian enclave landed in the Jewish state. Strikes were recorded in at least three locations in Gaza, Palestinian security sources and eyewitnesses said, with Hamas bases struck near the southern city of Rafah and Gaza City, as well as open land southeast of Gaza City. The Israeli army said the strikes were in “response to projectile fire that hit near the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council.” “Two (Israeli) aircrafts targeted two military infrastructures belong to the Hamas terrorist organization,” it added. That rocket, fired a few hours earlier, landed in an open area close to Israeli border communities without causing any injuries. The rocket was claimed by a previously unheard of Salafist group.
June 28, 2017

Headline: Fighting intensifies in Syrian Golan Heights

Fighting between government forces and opposition fighters has intensified in the Quneitra province in Syria's south, situated in the 30 percent part of the Golan Heights under Syrian control. More than a dozen people were killed, including both pro-government forces and opposition fighters, in the latest increase in fighting in the countryside of al-Baath city and near the town of Khan Arnab, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Sunday. The deaths came as the al-Qaeda-linked Levant Liberation Committee [Hayat Tahrir al-Sham] and allied anti-government groups launched an offensive to take control of al-Baath city, one of the few towns in the province that has remained under control of Syrian government forces in recent years.Also on Sunday, Israeli fighter jets targeted Syrian government positions in the region for a second day in a row, reportedly destroying a handful of tanks. The UK-based SOHR reported that the strikes killed two Syrian army soldiers and injured several others.
***Caution: Al Jazeera news
June 26, 2017

Headline: Israel Strikes Syria After Spillover Hits Golan Heights During Netanyahu Visit

Errant fire from the Syrian war hit the Israeli Golan Heights on Wednesday, the Israeli military confirmed. There were no damages or casualties. Israel struck Assad regime targets soon after the incident in response. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was attending a ceremony marking 40 years since the establishment of the town of Katzrin in northern Israel at the time of the fire. Israel will not allow for an Iranian presence in the Golan Heights, Netanyahu said during his remarks. "We are always amazed that there is still someone who says we will return the Golan," said the prime minister. "The Golan is our and the Golan will always be ours. The Golan is ours because it belonged to our forefathers, and because it was taken back by us due to Syrian aggression." Netanyahu also threatened that, "Those who fire into our territory will encounter a swift response."
June 28, 2017


Saudi Arabia

Headline: Yemeni army forces seize strategic outpost

Yemeni army succeeded today in the liberation of a strategic mountain eastern Yemen from the grip of the coup militia. Local sources said that the Yemeni army forces and the Popular Resistance liberated the strategic Mount “Marthad” overlooking the strategic Sirwah District Center, the last main stronghold of the coup militia in Marib. The sources pointed out that “Only one outpost separates the Yemeni army forces from full control of that region.”
June 27, 2017


Headline: Hamas building buffer zone along Gaza-Egypt border

Hamas began constructing a security buffer zone between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on Wednesday in an attempt to improve relations with Cairo. The buffer, which will include observation towers, cameras and lighting, will be 100 feet wide and 7.5 miles along the southern border of the strip's coast and the Sinai Peninsula, the Hamas interior ministry said. The construction of the buffer zone "is a reassuring message directed at the Egyptian side that the national security of Egypt is the national security of Gaza," Tawfiq Abu Naim, a security chief of the Gaza-based group, said in the statement. "These continuing measures are for the sake of achieving control of the southern border and to completely prevent infiltration and smuggling," he added. "We can not allow any threat to the stable security situation on the southern border." He said the project was agreed upon during a nine-day visit to Egypt by a high-level Hamas delegation to Egypt earlier this month.
June 28, 2017

Headline: Egyptian warplanes hit arms convoy from Libya

Egyptian warplanes struck a convoy of 12 vehicles about to be driven across the border from Libya carrying weapons and ammunition, the military said on Tuesday. The military said in a statement that it had acted on “intelligence indicating a number of criminal elements had gathered to cross the border into Egypt using a number of four-wheel-drive vehicles.” An official in the armed forces told AFP the vehicles had been on the move from Libya. Air force units found “the hostile targets, confirmed their coordinates and dealt with them for more than 12 hours,” the military said, without specifying when the raids were carried out. “The operation led to the targeting and destruction of 12 four-wheel-drive vehicles carrying quantities of weapons, ammunition, and explosive materials,” it added.
June 28, 2017


Headline: Syria chemical attack may be being prepared, US warns

The US says Syria's government appears to be preparing for a chemical weapons attack and has warned that it will "pay a very heavy price" if one takes place. The White House said similar activities had been seen before the nerve agent Sarin was allegedly dropped on rebel-held Khan Sheikhoun in April. Dozens of people were killed, prompting President Donald Trump to order a missile strike on a Syrian airbase. Syria's government denies it is preparing a chemical attack.On Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Capt Jeff Davis said activity had been spotted at the Syrian army's Shayrat airfield, from where the US says jets departed before the Khan Sheikhoun incident. "This involved specific aircraft in a specific hangar, both of which we know to be associated with chemical weapons use," Capt Davis said. In a statement on Monday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the US had "identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children". He added that if "Mr Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price". The White House provided no supporting evidence or further explanation.
June 27, 2017

Headline: Air strike on IS prison in Mayadin 'kills dozens'

Almost 60 people have been killed in a suspected US-led coalition air strike on a prison run by so-called Islamic State in eastern Syria, activists say. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 42 prisoners and 15 militants died when the facility near Mayadin, in Deir al-Zour province, was hit on Monday. The Deirezzor24 news website said dozens of civilians and Syrian rebel fighters were detained there. A coalition spokesman said it was looking into the casualty reports. Mayadin, which lies in the Euphrates river valley about 45km (28 miles) south-east of the city of Deir al-Zour, has been targeted frequently by coalition aircraft. US intelligence officials believe IS moved most of its leaders to the town in recent months as Iraqi government forces advanced into the Iraqi city of Mosul and a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters encircled the Syrian city of Raqqa.
June 27, 2017


Headline: Iraqi military says it has retaken two Mosul neighborhoods from Daesh

Iraq’s military said on Wednesday it had retaken two more neighborhoods from Daesh in Mosul’s Old City, bringing it closer to total control of the city. The army’s 16th infantry division captured Hadarat Al-Saada and Al-Ahmadiyya, northwest of the historic Grand Al-Nuri Mosque which the militants destroyed last week. Daesh still controls the mosque’s grounds and about half of the last territory it runs in the Old City. Federal police and elite units of the Counter-Terrorism Service have also been fighting inside the district’s maze of narrow alleyways since the battle began 10 days ago.
The military estimates up to 350 militants are dug in among civilians in wrecked houses and crumbling infrastructure. They are trying to slow the advance of Iraqi forces by laying booby traps and using suicide bombers and snipers.

June 28, 2017










Headline: Turkey returns fire on YPG in Syria, warplanes hit militants in Iraq

Turkish forces retaliated with an artillery barrage overnight and destroyed Kurdish YPG militia targets after the group's fighters opened fire on Turkey-backed forces in northern Syria, the military said on Wednesday. It said Turkish warplanes separately struck Kurdish militants in northern Iraq on Wednesday, killing seven fighters from the PKK group which Ankara says is closely linked to the YPG. The strikes came after Turkey's defense minister warned that Ankara would retaliate against any threatening moves by the YPG and after reports that Turkey was reinforcing its military presence in northern Syria. Turkey's army said YPG machine-gun fire on Tuesday evening targeted Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army elements in the Maranaz area south of the town of Azaz in northern Syria. "Fire support vehicles in the region were used to retaliate in kind against the harassing fire and the identified targets were destroyed/neutralised," the military statement said.
June 28, 2017


Headline: Iran warns against possible U.S. military attack on Syria

Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday warned against any possible U.S. military attack on Syria. Any military action against Syria under the allegations of "potential" chemical weapon use by the Syrian government would only help the terrorists, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying. Qasemi dismissed as baseless Washington's recent claims that the Syrian government is preparing for a chemical weapon use in the country. He made the remarks in response to a recent White House statement that the United States has "identified potential preparations" by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad for another chemical attack.
June 28, 2017


Headline: Afghan officials: 4 police officers killed in 2 attacks

An Afghan official says that two policewomen have been killed by gunmen in northeastern Badakhshan province. Abdullah Naziri, head of the Badakhshan provincial council, said Wednesday that both victims were sisters who were returning to their jobs after Eid holidays. Meanwhile Jelani Farahi, the deputy police chief for southern Zabul province, said two policemen were killed when their checkpoint came under insurgent attack. Farahi said two insurgents were also killed in the attack late Tuesday night in Qalat, the provincial capital. No one has immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Taliban insurgents have increased their attacks against Afghan security forces across the country.
June 28, 2017,7340,L-4982213,00.html


Headline: Nearly 80 police hurt in latest Morocco unrest: official

Nearly 80 police officers were injured in two days of clashes with protesters in Morocco's restive Rif region, an official said on Wednesday, although the number of demonstrators hurt was unknown. Around 50 members of the security forces were hurt on Monday in the northern city of Al-Hoceima, most of them struck by stones, a high-ranking interior ministry official told AFP. On Tuesday, 29 police officers were injured during new clashes in the neighbouring town of Imzouren, the same source said, adding that they were all later released from hospital. The Rif region has been rocked by unrest since a fishmonger was crushed to death in a rubbish truck in October as he tried to retrieve swordfish confiscated for being caught out of season.In the eight months since then, demands for justice and anger over the region's perceived marginalisation snowballed into a grassroots movement centred on Al-Hoceima. Clashes broke out in Al-Hoceima again on Monday, with activists saying police had blocked access to the city and violently dispersed any attempts to demonstrate.
June 28, 2017


Headline: Venezuela crisis: Helicopter launches attack on Supreme Court

A helicopter has attacked Venezuela's Supreme Court in what President Nicolás Maduro called a "terrorist" incident. Four grenades were dropped on the court and 15 shots fired at the interior ministry on Tuesday, officials said. Rogue policeman Oscar Pérez said he had piloted the stolen helicopter to attack what he called a "criminal government". His whereabouts are unknown. Venezuela is in the midst of a political and economic crisis that has sparked mass protests.The government said 15 shots were fired at a social event at the interior ministry. The helicopter then flew to the court and dropped four Israeli-made grenades of "Colombian origin". One failed to detonate. No-one was injured. President Maduro appeared on state television to denounce the attack. He said: "I have activated the entire armed forces to defend the peace. And you can be assured that sooner or later, we are going to capture that helicopter and those that carried out this terror attack against the institutions of the country."
June 28, 2017

Headline: More civilians found dead in Philippines as fighting drags on in Marawi

The mutilated bodies of more than a dozen civilians were found on a street in the Philippines on Wednesday, and military officials believe they were killed by the regional Maute terrorist group. Seventeen bodies were found on the street in Marawi on Wednesday morning. Five had been decapitated, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said.Philippine authorities say the regional Maute syndicate operates in line with the Islamic State terror group, although it is not formally affiliated with the radical Islamist organization. Government armed forces have been fighting Maute insurgents in Marawi for more than a month, and officials said nearly 300 Maute militants have been killed in that time. Military officials said more "atrocities" could happen to civilians as the fighting continues between militants and Philippine troops and the government tries to gain more ground. AFP Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the civilian death toll from fighting has so far risen to 27 — not including the 17 bodies found Wednesday.
June 28, 2017


Headline: "Mind reading" technology can now decode complex thoughts

In the past, "mind reading" systems have been able to guess what single-digit number a person might be thinking of, but deeper thoughts have been beyond the technology's reach. Now, a team from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has developed a way to accurately read more complex concepts from a brain scan, and even piece together entire sentences. Even the most basic sentence is loaded with more information than you might realize: each word represents a new concept, and their placement and relationship to each other can drastically change the meaning of the whole. The CMU team found that the "building blocks" the mind uses to construct thoughts are made up of concepts, rather than being based on words themselves. That suggests the brain processes concepts in a universal way, regardless of a person's language and culture.The study tested how the brain codes complex thoughts, and how an fMRI scanner, with a little help from machine learning algorithms, can decode them. The researchers put together 240 "complex events," which are sentences like "The witness shouted during the trial." These events were made up of 42 different building blocks, or meaningful components like person, setting, size, social interaction and physical action.
June 27, 2017


Headline: 900+ earthquakes shake Yellowstone in 2 weeks

More than 120 people reported feeling a magnitude 4.4 quake on June 15, the largest in the swarm.  Average swarms consist of a few dozen earthquakes over a couple days, according to Jamie Farrell, U of U professor studying seismic activity in the country's first national park. "When it gets to these bigger ones, we pay attention to them just because we need to monitor these things just in case something changes," Farrell said. Farrell believes the activity is caused by stress building up under the crust of the massive volcano. He says there is no reason to panic along the Wasatch Front. "This is an active volcano. This is what happens. We get a lot of calls asking if they should cancel their trip to Yellowstone. Definitely no. I would say even the opposite of that. Go there and maybe you'll feel an earthquake. It would be kind of neat," said Farrell.
June 27, 2017

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