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Sept. 20, 2017- Earthquake death toll climbs to 225 in Mexico while the strongest hurricane is 80 years hits Puerto Rico


 1coverThe Last Chronicles of Planet Earth Sept. 20, 2017 Edition written by Frank DiMora

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Headline: Hamas Invites Abbas to Resume Control of Gaza

Hamas on Tuesday invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to send officials to Gaza to resume control of the coastal enclave the Islamic militant group seized a decade ago. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said his group is serious about returning power to the Western-backed Palestinian leader and called on him to respond with “practical steps.” Hamas has said it will dismantle a contentious committee that has governed Gaza in recent months – answering a key Abbas demand. It has also said it is ready to hand over all government functions to Abbas and to hold elections in Gaza and the West Bank. “We extend a clear and frank invitation without obstacles for the consensus government to work in Gaza,” Haniyeh said after returning from Cairo, where he and other Hamas leaders held rare talks with Egyptian officials.
Sept. 19, 2017

Headline: Abbas: UN must try to end Israeli occupation ‘within set timeframe’

In a speech to the UN General Assembly, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas implores the UN to make efforts to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and prevent the forfeiture of the two-state agreement. Abbas, addressing the United Nations General Assembly, warned that if the two-state solution were to be destroyed, Palestinians would have no choice but to “continue the struggle and demand full rights for all inhabitants of historic Palestine”. Abbas opened his speech by lamenting the fact that 24 years had passed since the signing of the Oslo Accords, which gave the Palestinians hope to establish their own state, and asked: “What remains of this hope today?” “We examined every option in an attempt to achieve peace, and together with the Arab states we adopted the Arab initiative, according to which Israel will withdraw from the territories and in return will gain the recognition of the Arab world. And what was Israel’s response? Not interested,” he fumed.
Sept. 20, 2017,7340,L-5019291,00.html



Headline: Egypt’s Sisi salutes ’more than 40 years’ of peace with Israel, calls on Palestinians to ‘overcome differences’

Egypt’s more than 40 years of peace with Israel can be repeated in the Palestinian territories if Palestinian Arabs are willing to overcome their differences with Israelis and one another, Egyptian President Abdul Fatah Sisi said in an address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 19. Addressing Israelis, Sisi said, “We have an excellent experience in Egypt in peace with you for longer than 40 years.” The 1979 peace accord between Israel and Egypt marked the first time an Arab nation signed a treaty with Israel. “We can repeat this experience and this excellent step once again – the peace and security of the Israeli citizens together with the peace and security of the Palestinian citizens,” Sisi said. “I tell the Palestinian people it’s extremely important … to overcome the differences and not to lose opportunities and to be ready to accept co-existence with the other, with Israelis in safety and security.” Sisi addressed the General Assembly hours after he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It was the first time Sisi and Netanyahu have held public talks. They twice met for closed-door talks in 2016. A statement by Netanyahu’s office following the meeting said the two leaders held a “comprehensive discussion about the problems of the region.”
Sept. 20, 2017


Headline: Extremists launch big attack on Syrian government near Hama

Extremists launched an offensive against government-held parts of northwestern Syria near Hama on Tuesday in their biggest attack there since March, triggering heavy air strikes on rebel territory, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. It said air strikes hit three hospitals, a medical centre and premises used by a rescue service in rebel-held Idlib. A Syrian military source denied the report, saying only insurgent convoys and positions had been hit. A Syrian army source cited by state media said the attack launched on several fronts was being repelled, and the insurgents had suffered losses. “The clashes are continuing and the air force and artillery are targeting the headquarters and movements of the terrorist convoys in the area,” said the source. An insurgent source told Reuters that rebels were making advances in the northern Hama countryside, in an area where President Bashar Assad and his allies have been steadily rolling back rebel gains over the last two years. The observatory said insurgents taking part in the assault included Tahrir Al Sham, the extremist Turkistan Islamic Party, and rebels fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army. They had captured four villages, it said.
Sept. 20, 2017


Headline:  Iraqi forces ‘attack last IS bastion on Syria border

Iraqi forces are reported to have launched an operation to recapture the last stronghold of so-called Islamic State in the country’s western desert. A military source told the BBC that soldiers, Anbar provincial police and Sunni Arab tribal fighters began moving on the town of Ana on Tuesday morning. Their progress was slowed initially by dozens of booby-traps, the source said. The Iraqi military source said the assault on Ana and its surrounding district was being supported by US-led coalition air strikes and military advisers on the ground. Coalition warplanes had destroyed an explosives-packed car driven by a suicide bomber shortly after the start of the operation, the source added. After retaking Ana, the troops will target Rawa, 12km (7.5 miles) to the north, and then al-Qaim, the last town before the border with Syria.
Sept. 19, 2017

Headline: Erdogan says Turkey to consider sanctions over Kurdish independence vote

Turkey will consider imposing sanctions on Kurdish northern Iraq over its planned independence referendum, President Tayyip Erdogan was cited by state-run Anadolu news agency as saying.
Turkey escalated its opposition to the Kurdish referendum on Tuesday, training tank guns and rocket launchers across the southern border and saying the break-up of its neighbors could lead to global conflict. Erdogan, who is attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York, told world leaders on Tuesday that the referendum in northern Iraq could lead to fresh conflicts in the Middle East. Speaking to reporters outside his hotel, Erdogan said Turkey’s national security council and cabinet would discuss potential sanctions on northern Iraq when they meet on Friday.

Sept. 20, 2017



Headline: Erdogan Ready to Send More Troops to Syria, Praises Russian Role

Turkey is ready to send more troops into Syria, where it’s working with Russia to bring an end to more than six years of civil war, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. “Our soldiers on the border are ready for a mission at any moment,’’ Erdogan said at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York. He said the Turkish army, which has fought with Islamic State jihadists and Kurdish militants in northern Syria since August last year, will expand or reduce its forces there depending on what’s required.Erdogan said his country, a NATO member, is “achieving a result’’ by working with Russia in Syria. He said that Turkey had extensive talks on the issue with the U.S. during the Obama administration, “but couldn’t get any results.’’ The Turkish president, who’s due to meet his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on Thursday at the United Nations summit in New York, said he’ll hold further discussions with Russia’s Vladimir Putin when the two leaders have dinner next week.
Sept. 20, 2017


Headline: ‘Time to correct US miscalculations:’ Iran’s army chief vows ‘painful response’ to Trump’s UN speech

The US will see “painful responses” from Iran following the accusations made by President Donald Trump in his speech at the UN General Assembly, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said. “Taking a decisive stance against Trump is just the beginning. What is strategically important is that the United States faces more painful responses in the actions, behavior and decisions that Iran takes in the coming months,” Jafari said in a statement, as cited by Sepah News, the media outlet of the Revolutionary Guards. He went on to say that Trump revealed the “true face” of the US, which is that of a “corrupt and bullying state,” to the whole world when he made “slanderous accusations against Iran” in his UN speech. “Today, the world sees the same image of the United States that Iran has been trying to reveal for many years,” the major general added. In his speech on Tuesday, Trump called Iran a “depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos,” saying that it funds “terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.” He also slammed the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran as “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions” in US history. In his Wednesday statement, Jafari expressed his hope that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani would give “a decisive” answer to these accusations and urged the government to “use all options to defend the interests of the Iranian nation.”“It is time to correct the miscalculations of the United States,” he said.
Sept. 20, 2017


Headline: Trump is sending more than 3,000 troops to Afghanistan

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis announced on September 18 that the US will send more than 3,000 troops to Afghanistan in an effort to win America’s 16-year war there — the longest in US history. It’s also a reversal for President Trump, who entered office promising to minimize America’s involvement abroad. They will add to the approximately 11,000 US troops already serving in Afghanistan, bringing the total to at least 14,000. These new service members will help Afghan forces in their effort to defeat the nearly 20 terrorist groups in the country — especially the Taliban, ISIS, and al-Qaeda — by advising them and providing artillery and air support. The announcement comes less than a month after Trump outlined his war strategy in a high-profile August 21 speech in front of around 2,000 troops at Fort Myer, Virginia. Trump said the US would win the war but didn’t disclose when US troops would come home. “Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on,” he said in his remarks, which were heavy on harsh rhetoric but strikingly light on details.
Sept. 19, 2017


Headline: Angry protests in Barcelona as Catalan referendum crisis deepens

Headline: Spanish police seize millions of Catalan referendum ballots

Thousands of people took to the streets of Barcelona on Wednesday as police detained 14 Catalan government officials ahead of an independence referendum deemed illegal by Madrid. Shouting “we will vote” and “no pasaran” (Spanish for “they shall not pass”), the protesters refused to move as the day wore on, further angered by news that police had seized “close to 10 million ballot papers” destined for the October 1 vote. Over in Madrid, supporters of the referendum in Catalonia, a region deeply divided over independence, prepared to gather Wednesday evening in the central Puerta del Sol square known for hosting scores of anti-austerity protests during the Spanish economic crisis. Spain’s conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called for calm, while his government’s spokesman accused separatists of “looking for legitimacy they don’t have in street protests”. But Catalan President Carles Puigdemont retorted that Madrid had imposed a “de facto” state of emergency to stop the referendum.
Sept. 20, 2017


Headline: Earthquake death toll climbs to 225 in Mexico

Rescuers searched massive piles of rubble for any signs of life Wednesday morning after dozens of buildings collapsed across central Mexico in Tuesday’s violent earthquake, which killed at least 225 people, injured at least 1,000 and caused chaos in Mexico’s capital. Firefighters, soldiers and volunteers worked through the night clearing debris and scrambling to find survivors, at times working with bare hands and donated flashlights. There were a few moments of relief when several still-breathing, dust-covered survivors were pulled from the wreckage and transported to hospitals. But many others were found dead. At least 20 children and two adults died when a three-story school collapsed on the south side of the city. At least two children had been rescued, but up to 30 others and eight adults were still missing, said Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Sept. 20, 2017

Headline: Maria knocks out power, triggers flooding in Puerto Rico

The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in over 80 years tore off roofs and doors, knocked out power across the entire island and unleashed heavy flooding Wednesday in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. territory deeper into financial crisis. Leaving at least nine people dead in its wake across the Caribbean, Hurricane Maria blew ashore in the morning in the southeast coastal town of Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph (250 kph). It was expected to punish the island of 3.4 million people with life-threatening winds for 12 to 24 hours. As people waited it out in shelters or took cover inside stairwells, bathrooms and closets, Maria brought down cell towers and power lines, snapped trees and unloaded at least 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain. Widespread flooding was reported, with dozens of cars half-submerged in some neighborhoods and many streets turned into rivers. People calling local radio stations reported that doors were being torn off their hinges and a water tank flew away. As of 2 p.m. EDT, Maria had weakened to a Category 3, with winds of 115 mph (185 kph). It was off Puerto Rico’s northwestern coast, moving at about 15 mph (20 kph), and was expected to pass off the coast of the Dominican Republic late Wednesday and Thursday.
Sept. 20, 2017

note All earthquakes are instantly posted to the ETRM Facebook page- you do not need to sign up; click the photo below to see the earthquake album


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What’s shaking? an_eq

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



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