Wednesday, December 13, 2017


JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

LUKE 21:28-29
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.)

JOEL 2:3,30
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)

ZECHARIAH 14:12-13
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

In Netanyahu’s Eurotrip, fantasies clash with reality-Extolling US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, PM urges acceptance of facts -- but then, improbably, predicts most of Europe will move its embassies to holy city-By Raphael Ahren-TOI-DEC 12,17

US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is nothing more than an acceptance of reality, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said repeatedly during his two-day trip to Europe this week.“I think what President Trump has done is put facts squarely on the table,” Netanyahu said Monday at the European Union headquarters in Brussels.“Peace is based on reality. Peace is based on recognizing reality, and I think the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital is clearly evident to all of you who visit Israel, see where the seat of our parliament, our Knesset is, the seat of our government, my office, the President’s Office, the Supreme Court.”A day earlier, during a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, Netanyahu argued that peace needs to build “on the foundation of truth, on the facts of the past and on the present.”The sooner the Palestinians accept the “reality” of Jerusalem being Israel’s capital, the better, he said. Trump’s move punctured the Palestinians’ fantasy that Jerusalem is theirs, and thus advanced the cause of peace, he argued.And then, while urging others to embrace reality, Netanyahu himself appeared to lose his grip on the facts, predicting that “all or most of the European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and engage robustly with us for security, prosperity and peace.”The Europeans made it amply clear, repeatedly, that they will neither recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital nor move their embassies to the city.“You know where the European Union stands,” EU foreign policy czar Federica Mogherini had told Netanyahu just a moment earlier.“We believe that the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states with Jerusalem as the capital of both the State of Israel and the State of Palestine along the 1967 line. This is our consolidated position and we will continue to respect the international consensus on Jerusalem until the final status of the Holy City is resolved through direct negotiations between the parties.”On Friday, France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Sweden had issued a joint statement reiterating their position that Jerusalem should ultimately be the capital of both Israeli and Palestinian states. “Until then, we recognize no sovereignty over Jerusalem,” they declared.Sure, the Czech Republic last week recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But Israeli officials are split over whether that’s good or bad for the Jewish state, given that such a partial recognition further entrenches the position that East Jerusalem is not part of Israel and will become the capital of a future Palestinian state.Even Hungary, which last week was the only one among 28 EU member states to oppose a joint statement that would have condemned Trump’s move, on Monday declared that it would not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.“Hungary sees no reason to change its Middle East policy,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who warmly hosted Netanyahu in July, told reporters on Monday. “We will continue with the balanced politics we have been pursuing.”Austrian far-right leader and likely future interior minister Heinz-Christian Strache, who in June told Netanyahu that it was “totally absurd not to locate our Austrian Embassy in Jerusalem, as we do in other capitals of other countries all over the world,” this week indicated that Vienna will not break with the European consensus on the matter.As Netanyahu’s motorcade wriggled through the snowy streets of Brussels on the way to the airport, Mogherini again reiterated that the premier’s vision of European states recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was a mere pipe dream.“I know that Prime Minister Netanyahu mentioned a couple of times that he expects others to follow President Trump’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem. He can keep his expectations for others because from the European Union member states’ side this move will not come,” she said at a lunchtime press conference.-In the ‘lion’s den’ that is the EU, the peace process still counts-Netanyahu’s voyage to the “lion’s den” — as his aides had dubbed the EU capital in light of the union’s alleged pro-Palestinian leanings — was of a very different quality than his previous trips so far this year.In 2017, Netanyahu crisscrossed the globe: he was in twice in Africa — in Liberia and Kenya — and became the first sitting prime minister to go to Latin America, Australia and Singapore. He also flew to New York, Moscow, Beijing, Budapest and other places where he could focus on promoting Israel as a rising power, as the startup nation that has much to offer to the nations of the world.In Russia, China, Central Europe and South America, very few people care about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Especially in Africa, many leaders see in Netanyahu primarily a strong leader whose country has much to contribute in terms of development aid, technological innovation and security know-how.Not so in Europe. Many leaders here, both of the EU and individual member states, are deeply concerned over the stalemate in the peace process, for which they mostly blame Netanyahu.Netanyahu came to Brussels with the goal of softening the perceived European hostility toward the Jewish state by dispelling what he calls the “myths about the Middle East” and by highlighting the various areas in which Israel can be of help.The wave of refugees from the Middle East is the Continent’s greatest challenge, he postulated at his joint appearance with Mogherini.By “preventing the collapse of many parts of the Middle East adjacent to Israel that would otherwise be taken over by these militant Islamists, driving many, many, many millions into Europe,” the Jewish state serves a very important security function for the people of Europe, said Netanyahu.Netanyahu went on to hail the prowess of Israel’s automotive, cybersecurity and natural gas industries.“Therefore, the partnership between Israel and Europe is vital; in my opinion, it’s important not only for us — clearly it is, I wouldn’t be here otherwise — but I think it’s important for Europe,” he said.He stressed Israel’s readiness to reach a peace agreement, but blamed the Palestinians’ unwillingness to accept a Jewish nation-state in any boundaries for the current stalemate.“This is what led to the conflict, and this is what continues the conflict,” he said.Two hours later, Netanyahu told reporters on the plane back home that he had urged the the EU to rethink two commonly held axioms: that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the heart of the region’s troubles, and that the settlements are at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.He cleared steer of endorsing a two-state solution, he said, asking the EU foreign ministers whether such a state would be “Costa Rica or Yemen.”There was no hostility and little resistance to his ideas, he told the reporters, adding that he succeeded “to a great extent” in convincing the foreign ministers of his views.But based on statements Mogherini made after Netanyahu had left the premises, the wish that his half-day in Brussels succeeded in convincing the EU to change its position or drop its focus on Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about as likely to come true as his prediction of Europeans moving their embassies to Jerusalem.Yes, bilateral relations and regional developments were discussed, Mogherini said at a press conference. But “obviously, the situation in Jerusalem and the perspectives of the Middle East peace process have been the main points of our exchange.”A lasting peace “remains a top priority for the European Union,” she stressed. “I have to say that Prime Minister Netanyahu realized, I think, from the ministers themselves that there is full EU unity on this: that the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states, with Jerusalem as the capital of both the State of Israel and the State of Palestine.”

Poll: 91% of Palestinians oppose Trump Jerusalem move-45% back a violent uprising, cutting all contact with US, and turning to International Criminal Court in response to recognition-By AP-TOI-DEC 12,17

A new Palestinian opinion poll finds overwhelming opposition to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.The poll found that 91 percent consider Trump’s declaration last week a threat to Palestinian interests.Almost half, or 45% believe the Palestinians should cut all contacts with the US, submit a complaint to the International Criminal Court and launch an armed uprising.While Trump said his declaration does not prejudge future talks on the status of Jerusalem, 72% of respondents said they believe his administration will not submit any peace plan. It also found widespread distrust of the Palestinians’ Arab allies.In an address last Wednesday from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace, a new approach was long overdue. He described his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.Hamas, the terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, in response called for a new intifada against Israel and urged Palestinians to confront soldiers and settlers, while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement joined in a call for “days of rage.”The poll, conducted by the respected Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, questioned 1,270 adults and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

After Iron Dome shoots down rocket fired at Ashkelon, IDF hits Gaza targets-Two rounds of rocket fire and Israeli responses, a day after Israel blew up Hamas terror tunnel dug under the border-By TOI staff-DEC 12,17

Israeli forces attacked Hamas targets in the northern Gaza Strip early Tuesday after Palestinians fired a rocket toward the southern city of Ashkelon, the army said. The rocket was intercepted by an Iron Dome anti-missile battery.After the rocket fire, Israeli aircraft and a tank attacked Hamas sites in the Strip, the army said, noting that it holds the terror group, which runs Gaza, responsible for all rocket attacks.This was the second round of Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli responses in the day.The rocket, fired at about 11:30 p.m., triggered early warning sirens in Ashkelon, the Lachish region and in the area around the Gaza Strip.The IDF said the Iron Dome successfully intercepted the rocket. No injuries were reported.There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket fire, which came hours after Israel shelled a Hamas position in Gaza in response to a missile shot from Gaza.No impact site was identified from the rocket fired earlier Monday, the army said, but reports indicated at least one missile landed in an open area near the border fence in the Eshkol region, opposite the southern Strip.“The IDF hold Hamas responsible for these aggressive acts originating from the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said.Tensions have steadily risen between Israel and Gaza since last week, when US President Donald Trump announced recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, setting off protests along the border, among other places, and a call by Gaza’s Hamas rulers for a new intifada.Over the weekend, several rockets were fired at Israel by terrorists in Gaza, including one that hit near a home in Sderot and another one that damaged a kindergarten. A third rocket was shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system.Israel hit a number of Hamas positions in retaliation, killing two members of the terror group, which is the de-facto ruler of the Palestinian enclave. The group vowed revenge on Sunday.“The enemy will pay the price for breaking the rules of engagement with the resistance in Gaza,” the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement.On Monday, Israel said it had destroyed a tunnel dug by Hamas into Israeli territory, apparently for use in an attack.Hamas on Thursday called for a new intifada against Israel, on Friday urged Palestinians to confront soldiers and settlers, and has allowed thousands of Gazans to confront Israeli troops at the Gaza border fence in recent days. Its leader Ismail Haniyeh on Friday praised the “blessed intifada,” urged the liberation of Jerusalem, and made plain the group was seeking to intensify violence against Israel.

Funeral for ultra-Orthodox spiritual leader draws hundreds of thousands-Police close off roads ahead of midday burial of Rabbi Aharon Yehudah Leib Steinman; procession begins from his Bnei Brak home-By TOI staff and AFP-DEC 12,17

Hundreds of thousands of mourners attended the Tuesday funeral of the leader of the Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Israel, Rabbi Aharon Yehudah Leib Steinman, who died earlier in the day.Police closed several major roads near the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak ahead of the funeral for the rabbi, who was 104 years old. The procession began at noon at his Bnei Brak residence at 5 Hazon Ish Street.There were no eulogies, as requested by Steinman in his will. The will, which was read at the ceremony by a student, also saw the rabbi ask his followers not to name their descendants after him or publicize any articles about him in the newspaper.“Ten people at my funeral would be enough,” he wrote in the document.Estimates on the number of funeral-goers varied, with Israel Radio reporting police were expecting some 600,000 to arrive over the course of the afternoon.Magen David Adom said it had treated some 70 people for light injuries, including fainting, feeling unwell and minor injuries due to the crowd.By mid-morning, thousands of people had already gathered outside the late rabbi’s home.In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mourned the spiritual leader, hailing his “true love” of the Jewish people.“With the death of Rav Steinman, the Jewish people lost a central beacon of spirituality, heritage and ethics,” Netanyahu said. Steinman “was an important link in the chain of Torah which spans millennia. His memory will forever remain in the pages of our nation’s heritage.”Earlier, President Reuven Rivlin said Steinman was “a giant of Torah and a guide who instructed the lives of thousands upon thousands,” and noted that “despite his firm views, he knew how to present his opinions in a gentle way, with a deep love for every Jew. His wisdom was second only to his humility.”From 10 a.m., police started closing roads in and out of the mostly ultra-Orthodox city, including routes 1, 4, 5 and 20 near the city and the entire length of Highway 471.Police said in a statement that private vehicles will not be given access to the funeral and urged mourners to use public transportation.Steinman had been considered the top leader of the community since the 2012 death of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv. He was also the spiritual leader of the Degel Hatorah faction of the United Torah Judaism political party.Born in 1913 in Belarus, he studied there and in Switzerland before emigrating to British-mandate Palestine in 1945.He taught at the leading Talmudic schools in Bnei Brak, a predominantly ultra-Orthodox city outside Tel Aviv where he also lived.His influence grew in the 1980s when he became part of the rabbinical committee running Degel Hatorah, a component of the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) alliance, whose six lawmakers are members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition.Steinman was famous for eschewing wealth and the trappings of power. He held almost no formal positions in ultra-Orthodox institutions and lived out his days in a modest apartment.Steinman arrived at the Maayanei Hayeshua medical center on November 20 for treatment and a medical checkup but doctors decided to keep him hospitalized. Since then he remained in the center and his condition had become progressively worse.Steinman had been hospitalized multiple times in recent months amid growing concerns for his health.He died around 8 a.m. Tuesday from heart failure after resuscitation efforts failed, according to hospital officials.Ultra-Orthodox Jews account for some 10 percent of Israel’s eight million population.

Palestinian teen caught with knife at entrance to Tomb of the Patriarchs-17-year-old Hebron resident detained after trying to enter holy site with hidden box cutter-By TOI staff-DEC 12,17

Border Police officers on Tuesday arrested a Palestinian teenager who tried to enter the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron with a knife.At a security checkpoint at the entrance to the holy site, a box cutter was discovered hidden on the teenager’s person, according to police.The 17-year-old Hebron resident was detained and taken in for questioning.Last month, two 17-year-old Palestinians were also detained after attempting to smuggle a knife into the site, in two separate incidents a day apart.The flashpoint city of Hebron, where Palestinians live in close proximity to settlers who are guarded by Israeli troops, has been the scene of numerous stabbings and attempted stabbings since a wave of attacks carried out by Palestinians began in October 2015.

Israel joins world’s space agencies to propose setting up climate observatory-More than half of the 50 essential climate variables can be measured only from space-By AFP-TOI-DEC 12,17

The heads of several of the world’s space agencies, including Israel’s, have proposed the creation of a climate observatory to pool acquired data and share it with scientists around the globe, according to a declaration adopted Monday in Paris.On the eve of the One Planet Summit organised in the French capital, the space agencies’ chiefs met to discuss climate monitoring from space, including such areas as greenhouse gases, water resource management and the use of satellites during natural disasters.“Satellites are vital tools for studying and gaining new insights into climate change in order to mitigate its effects and help societies devise coping strategies,” France’s National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), which hosted the talks, said in a statement.It added that more than half of the 50 essential climate variables could be measured only from space.“The Paris Declaration we have just adopted proposes to set up a Space Climate Observatory that will act as a hub between space agencies and the international scientific community,” the CNES president Jean-Yves Le Gall said after the meeting.He said that most countries did not currently share the climate data gathered by satellites.The countries that adopted the declaration initiated by France were China, Japan, India, Europe, Britain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Romania, Israel, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.Absent at the talks were the Russian space agency and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).French President Emmanuel Macron is hosting a summit with world leaders on Tuesday two years to the day since 195 nations adopted the climate-rescue Paris Agreement, with the focus this time on the money necessary to implement the pact’s goals.The United States under President Donald Trump has become the only country to reject the agreement.

Trump tells NASA to send Americans to Moon-US president wants to establish foundation for eventual trip to Mars and 'perhaps someday to many worlds beyond'-By Jerome Cartillier-TOI-DEC 12,17

WASHINGTON (AFP) — US President Donald Trump directed NASA on Monday to send Americans to the Moon for the first time since 1972, in order to prepare for future trips to Mars.“This time we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint,” Trump said at a White House ceremony as he signed the new space policy directive.“We will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars and perhaps someday to many worlds beyond.”The directive calls on NASA to ramp up its efforts to send people to deep space, a policy that unites politicians on both sides of the aisle in the United States.However, it steered clear of the most divisive and thorny issues in space exploration: budgets and timelines.Space policy experts agree that any attempt to send people to Mars, which lies an average of 225 million kilometers (140 million miles) from Earth, would require immense technical prowess and a massive wallet.The last time US astronauts visited the Moon was during the Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s.On July 20, 1969, US astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon.Trump, who signed the directive in the presence of Harrison Schmitt, one of the last Americans to walk on the Moon 45 years ago, said “today, we pledge that he will not be the last.”The better known Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon after Armstrong and a fervent advocate of future space missions, was also present at the ceremony but not mentioned by Trump during his speech.Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the newly revitalized National Space Council, have previously vowed to explore the Moon again, but offered few details.Nevertheless, the announcement was welcomed by NASA’s Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot, who said the agency “looks forward to supporting the president’s directive” and “strategically aligning our work to return humans to the Moon, travel to Mars and opening the deeper solar system beyond.”-‘We’re dreaming big’-Former US president George W. Bush also pledged to send Americans to the Moon as part of the Constellation program, which ran from 2005 to 2009.Constellation was projected to cost $100 billion, and aimed to get boots on the Moon’s surface by the late 2020s.In 2009, then president Barack Obama deemed it too costly and repetitive of missions already achieved, and canceled the program in order to focus on reaching Mars by the 2030s.Trump vowed his new directive “will refocus the space program on human exploration and discovery,” and “marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972.”The goal of the new Moon missions would include “long-term exploration and use” of its surface.“We’re dreaming big,” Trump said.His administration has previously held several meetings with SpaceX boss Elon Musk and Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, who also owns Blue Origin.A White House statement acknowledged that partnerships with other nations and private industry could well be on the cards.The US “will work with other nations and private industry to return astronauts to the Moon, developing the technology and means for manned exploration of Mars and other destinations in our solar system,” it said.


EUROPEAN UNION-KING OF WEST-DAN 9:26-27,DAN 7:23-24,DAN 11:40,REV 13:1-10



GENESIS 6:11-13
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.(WORLD TERRORISM,MURDERS)(HAMAS IN HEBREW IS VIOLENCE)
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence (TERRORISM)(HAMAS) through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

GENESIS 16:11-12
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her,(HAGAR) Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael;(FATHER OF THE ARAB/MUSLIMS) because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he (ISHMAEL-FATHER OF THE ARAB-MUSLIMS) will be a wild (DONKEY-JACKASS) man;(ISLAM IS A FAKE AND DANGEROUS SEX FOR MURDER CULT) his hand will be against every man,(ISLAM HATES EVERYONE) and every man's hand against him;(PROTECTING THEMSELVES FROM BEING BEHEADED) and he (ISHMAEL ARAB/MUSLIM) shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.(LITERAL-THE ARABS LIVE WITH THEIR BRETHERN JEWS)

ISAIAH 14:12-14
12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,(SATAN) son of the morning!(HEBREW-CRECENT MOON-ISLAM) how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14  I (SATAN HAS EYE TROUBLES) will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.(AND 1/3RD OF THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN FELL WITH SATAN AND BECAME DEMONS)

JOHN 16:2
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.(ISLAM MURDERS IN THE NAME OF MOON GOD ALLAH OF ISLAM)

Subway bomber wounds self, three victims in New York-[Reuters]-By Nick Zieminski and Daniel Trotta-YAHOONEWS-December 11, 2017

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Bangladeshi man set off a homemade pipe bomb strapped to his body in a crowded New York City commuter hub during the morning rush hour on Monday, officials said, immediately calling it an attempted terrorist attack.The suspect, Akayed Ullah, 27, was taken to a hospital after suffering burns from the explosive device, which was attached to his body with Velcro and zip ties and did not fully ignite, officials said. Investigators told Reuters they believe the attack in midtown Manhattan was intended to be a suicide bombing.The blast, which occurred around 7 a.m. (1200 GMT) in a busy underground passageway between the subway station underneath the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Times Square subway station, sent commuters fleeing for the exits and police officers rushing to the scene, as officials scrambled to reroute trains and shut down streets.Three people, including a police officer, suffered minor injuries.The attack came just six weeks after police say an Uzbek man, Sayfullo Saipov, plowed a truck through a crowd of pedestrians along a bike path in lower Manhattan, killing eight in an act for which Islamic State later claimed responsibility. In September 2016, a man injured 31 people when he set off a homemade bomb in New York's Chelsea neighborhood.In recent years, numerous people claiming to be inspired by Islamic State have carried out attacks across Europe, the Middle East and the United States.A law enforcement official familiar with the Ullah investigation said investigators have found evidence that he watched Islamic State propaganda on the internet.'AMATEUR-LEVEL'-The weapon used in Monday's attack was "amateur-level," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference near the explosion site. He told CNN the homemade bomb may not have fully ignited, possibly limiting the damage.Officials said the attempted bombing underscored New York City's status as a target for such attacks, citing the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which killed more than 2,750 people in New York and nearly 3,000 people in all, and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six people."Let's be clear, as New Yorkers, our lives revolve around the subways," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference. "And let's also be clear, this was an attempted terrorist attack."In a statement, President Donald Trump said the attack emphasized the need for U.S. immigration reforms."America must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country," he said.The president also criticized the visa program that allowed Ullah to enter the United States in 2011 because he had family members already in the country, saying such family visas are "incompatible with national security."Ullah lived with his mother, sister and two brothers in Brooklyn and was a green card holder, said Shameem Ahsan, consul general of Bangladesh in New York.Authorities did not immediately comment on Ullah's motives. When asked whether Ullah had claimed any connection to Islamic State, New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill said, "He did make statements but we're not going to talk about that right now."Several U.S. officials familiar with the investigation told Reuters there was no immediate information indicating Ullah was previously known to any American spy or law enforcement agency for any connection to militants or terrorism, though a connection could still be found.Ullah is from the Bangladeshi city of Chittagong and is a U.S. resident, said the country's police chief. He had no criminal record there and last visited Bangladesh on Sept. 8, the chief said.Ullah had a black cab/limousine driver's license from 2012 to 2015, the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission said.Monday's incident was captured on security video, police said. Video posted on showed smoke and a man lying in a long tunnel that connects sections of the sprawling Times Square subway station. A photograph showed a man lying facedown, with tattered clothes and burns on his torso.'EVERYBODY WAS SCARED-The explosion turned a normal start to the work week into a chaotic scene."There was a stampede up the stairs to get out," said one commuter, Diego Fernandez. "Everybody was scared and running and shouting."The bus terminal was temporarily closed, and a large swath of midtown Manhattan was closed to traffic. Subway travel was disrupted but later returned to normal.In December, New York experiences a surge of visitors who come to see elaborate store window displays, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and Broadway shows.More than 200,000 people use the Times Square station, the city's busiest, each weekday, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Ten train lines stop at the station.The bus terminal is the busiest in the United States, according to the Port Authority. On a typical weekday, about 220,000 passengers arrive or depart on more than 7,000 buses.The bus terminal is adjacent to and above the subway station's western section. A long, narrow underground tunnel connects that part of the station to its eastern section, and is used by thousands of commuters during rush hour.The incident rippled through American financial markets, briefly weakening stock markets as they were starting trading for the week and giving a modest lift to safe-haven assets such as U.S. Treasuries.Technology and energy stocks closed higher Monday, helping Wall Street shake off uncertainties following the explosion.(Reporting by Nick Zieminski and Dan Trotta; Additional reporting by Simon Webb, Gina Cherelus, Joseph Ax and Fred Katayama in New York; Serajul Quadi in Dhaka; Roberta Rampton, Lisa Lambert, Mark Hosenball and Makini Brice in Washington; and Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman)

New York charges Times Square bomb suspect; Bangladesh questions wife-[Reuters]-By Ruma Paul and Daniel Trotta-YAHOONEWS-December 12, 2017

DHAKA/NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York officials on Tuesday said they charged a Bangladeshi man with terrorism, accusing him of setting off a pipe bomb a day earlier in a crowded Manhattan commuter hub, as investigators in his home country questioned his wife.Akayed Ullah, 27, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, supporting an act of terrorism, and making a terroristic threat under New York state law, the New York Police Department said, adding U.S. authorities may also bring federal charges.Investigators in Bangladesh were questioning Ullah's wife, according to two officials who declined to be identified as they were not permitted to discuss the matter publicly. They did not provide details on the questioning, but said the couple have a six-month-old baby boy."We have found his wife and in-laws in Dhaka. We are interviewing them," one of the police officials told Reuters.New York police say Ullah set off a pipe bomb in an underground corridor of the subway system that connects Times Square to the Port Authority Bus Terminal at rush hour on Monday morning, injuring himself and three others.New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called it an attempted terrorist attack, and U.S. officials said it appeared to be a rare if not unprecedented attempt at suicide bombing on U.S. soil.Ullah survived with burns and lacerations and was taken to hospital in police custody. The three bystanders sustained minor injuries.The NYPD and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were conducting the investigation in conjunction with other agencies through the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and were asking the public for any information about the suspect.Authorities in Bangladesh began to track down Ullah's family soon after news of the attack broke and they first found a cousin, said a third official, Mahiuddin Mahmud."We learned from his cousin that he had a wife and a baby in Bangladesh," Mahmud said.The cousin, Emdad Ullah, told Reuters that Ullah and his family originally lived in the Chittagong region in southern Bangladesh, but had moved to the capital, Dhaka, years ago.Ullah married a Bangladeshi woman about two years ago and she lived in Dhaka, the cousin said, adding that he was educated in Bangladesh before he moved to the United States.Bangladesh's police chief had told Reuters on Monday that Ullah had no criminal record in his home country, which he last visited in September.Ullah lived with his mother, sister and two brothers in Brooklyn and was a green card holder, said Shameem Ahsan, consul general of Bangladesh in New York.A U.S. enforcement official familiar with the investigation into Monday's attack said officers had found evidence that Ullah had watched Islamic State propaganda on the internet.IMMIGRATION REFORM-Bangladesh strongly condemned the attack."A terrorist is a terrorist irrespective of his or her ethnicity or religion, and must be brought to justice," the government said in a statement.U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said the attack emphasized the need for U.S. immigration reforms."America must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country," he said in a statement.The president also criticized the visa program that allowed Ullah to enter the United States in 2011 because he had family members already in the country, saying such family visas are "incompatible with national security."H.T. Imam, a political adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said he believed the attack would have no "negative impact" on relations with the United States."The U.S. government is well informed about the Bangladesh government's attitude regarding terror activities," Imam said.The U.S. Supreme Court last week handed a victory to Trump by allowing his latest travel ban, targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries, to go into full effect even as legal challenges continued in lower courts.The ban covers people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen seeking to enter the United States. Trump has said the travel ban is needed to protect the United States from terrorism by Islamist militants.Bangladesh is not among the countries impacted by the ban.(Additional reporting by Serajul Quadir; Writing by Euan Rocha and Daniel Trotta; Editing by Scott Malone and Bernadette Baum)

NY bomber not on Bangladesh terror list, Dhaka police say-Little information uncovered about 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, who said he wanted to avenge US airstrikes on Islamic State-By AFP-TOI-DEC 12,17

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh police Tuesday were scrambling for details about New York subway bomber Akayed Ullah, but uncovered little about the extremist sympathizer who detonated a homemade pipe bomb.The 27-year-old immigrant from Bangladesh set off a crude bomb strapped to his body in a crowded New York subway passage on Monday but the device failed to detonate properly, leaving him the only one seriously harmed.Ullah told police investigators he wanted to avenge US airstrikes on the Islamic State group and was also inspired by Christmas terror plots in Europe.Bangladesh police are investigating whether Ullah was radicalized in his Muslim-majority homeland, where foreigners have been among those targeted in deadly assaults claimed by the Islamic State group and Al Qaeda.But a probe into his background has revealed little apart from the fact Ullah did not have a criminal record and was not on a watch-list of extremist suspects.“So far, his name is not on our wide-range list of radicalized persons or members of terror groups, both from Bangladesh and outside,” senior counter terrorism police officer Sanwar Hossain told AFP.“We are trying to gather more details,” he said.Ullah arrived in the United States seven years ago as the member of a family already living there under what is known as “chain immigration.”Bangladesh police said Ullah’s family hailed from Sandwip, an island off the coast of the southern port city of Chittagong, but his father had migrated to the capital Dhaka some 30 years ago.Police could provide little else at this stage about Ullah’s early life in Bangladesh.The impoverished riverine nation of 160 million has been waging a war against homegrown extremism in the wake of numerous attacks by radical groups in recent years.In July last year militants stormed a Dhaka cafe and massacred 22 hostages, including 18 foreigners, in an assault claimed by the Islamic State group.Bangladesh last month arrested an alleged militant from Ansarullah Bangla Team, a homegrown extremist group with links to al-Qaeda, over the 2015 stabbing murder of a prominent US blogger in Dhaka.The secular government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has vowed to root out extremism but says international radical groups do not operate inside Bangladesh.Security forces have killed more than 70 alleged militants in a fierce crackdown since the high-profile cafe siege last year.

Iranian leaders vow to back Hamas in fight against Israel-Rouhani speaks with Gaza terror group's chief Ismail Haniyeh, offers support in countering Trump recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Jewish state-By TOI staff and Agencies-DEC 12,17

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke with the leader of Hamas Monday, as Iran vowed to back the terror group in fighting Israel after US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Hamas has been urging Palestinians to launch a new intifada.Rouhani and Haniyeh spoke by phone on the issue, according to Iranian state-run media.Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ elite Quds Force, also spoke by phone Monday with leaders of the Hamas military wing, reassuring them that Iran will back Palestinians in their “resistance” to Israel, Iran’s Press TV reported.“The oppressed people of Palestine and Islamic ummah (community) will undoubtedly defeat the US-Israeli plan with their unity and resistance,” Rouhani told Ismail Haniyeh, as quoted by the Iranian government’s website.In an address last Wednesday from the White House, US President Donald Trump insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace, a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.The move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum, and opposed by most of the international community.Rouhani said Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital “revealed the nature of the US and Zionist regime to the world and showed that they do not want to officially recognize the Palestinian people’s rights at all,” according to a report from the semi-official Press TV website.Haniyeh responded to Rouhani that Palestinians will never allow the US plan to go ahead and that a new Palestinian intifada was beginning.There have been daily protests in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip against Trump’s announcement, although they tailed off after thousands rioted on Friday.Jerusalem’s status is one of the most sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel sees the entire city as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state. Trump stressed during his speech that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.Hamas has called for a new intifada against Israel, has urged Palestinians to fight against soldiers and settlers, and has allowed thousands of Gazans to confront Israeli troops at the Gaza border fence in recent days. Haniyeh on Friday praised the “blessed intifada,” urged the liberation of Jerusalem, and made plain the group was seeking to intensify violence against Israel.Four people have been killed in Gaza during border clashes with IDF troops or in retaliatory strikes following rocket attacks.On Sunday a West Bank Palestinian stabbed a security guard at the Jerusalem central bus station, critically injuring him. The stabber was arrested and the guard remains hospitalized in a serious condition.Also Monday, a few hundred diehard Iranian conservatives rallied in Tehran against Israel and Trump’s policy move on Jerusalem.Iran’s Lebanese proxy, the Hezbollah terror movement organized a rally in Beirut attended by tens of thousands. Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah spokes via video to the crowds telling them that Trump’s recognition of Israel was the “beginning of the end” for Israel.Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran’s opposition to Israel and support for the Palestinian cause has been central to its foreign policy. Iranian officials regularly call for Israel’s destruction and Tehran has provided military aid to its Lebanese proxy terror group Hezbollah and also to Hamas, both of which are sworn to destroy Israel.

Lebanon crisis overshadows EU aid for Syrian refugees By Nikolaj Nielsen-DEC 12,17-EUOBSERVER

Beirut, Today, 09:29-Perched on the side of a mountain some 50km from the Syrian border, St John's monastery in Lebanon is home to around a dozen hermits and priests.A printing press that published books in Arabic, the world's first, can still be found within its halls.Today, the monastery has become an educational refuge for Syrian children hoping for a future that was removed from them when the regime under Bashar al-Assad indiscriminately dropped barrel bombs on his own people.In one class of around a dozen children, a 10-year old girl calls out the letters of the alphabet in French. Some have never attended school before.Learning French is among many obstacles they face in an effort to insert them into a wider Lebanese public school system where they'll be segregated and most likely bullied."One of the main reasons why [Syrian refugee] children are out of school in Lebanon is language," said Poppy Alice Hardee, an area manager for the NGO, Terre des Hommes Italia.Public schools in Lebanon are taught in English and in French, depending on the area, which puts Syrians at an immediate disadvantage.A consortium of NGOs with money from the European Union regional trust fund (Madad) are trying to give the kids at the monastery, where they rent the space, a fighting chance in a country that is hostile to their presence.The consortium has launched similar school projects in Tripoli in the north and Saida, a town near the south, where they hope to help thousands over the next few years.Some attending their classes, especially those over ten, are also working either on farms or selling goods on the streets. Others have been forced into early marriage.One Syrian mother from Aleppo, who asked not to be named, said her kids finally have a future thanks to the specialised course work. It is a sentiment unlikely shared by those not enrolled in the NGO programme, also known as 'Back to the Future'.Nearby villages requires them to remain indoors when night falls in late afternoon, under a curfew.A Syrian father, who also asked not be identified, says people are now having to pay up to $300 to get smuggled in from Syria. Before it was $100."Returning to Syria is not just about declaring the war is over, there needs to be security and jobs," he says, noting that boys and men caught crossing back into country are conscripted into the army.-Xenophobia and hatred-Lebanon is host to well over a million Syrian UN-registered refugees, although many more are likely in a country whose own population is just above four million. Of those, around 20,000 have been resettled to an EU member state, according to the UN refugee agency.The large refugee inflow has inflamed tensions given stretched resources, an economy in free fall, and mounting pressure ahead of upcoming elections to have them sent back to Syria."There is a lot of xenophobia, there is a lot of racism and it is very sick discourse," said Maha Yahya, an expert from Carnegie Endowment based in Beirut.She said Syrian refugees in Lebanon are being used for populist ends, and have triggered "an existential crisis for many Lebanese."In September, a town in the north forced Syrian families to leave following the murder of a young Lebanese girl by a Syrian.The collective punishment and pressure has rendered the lives of Syrians, who often live in poor urban areas, even more difficult as municipalities impose curfews that ban them from leaving their homes after dark.Many are not allowed to work over fears they'll take jobs from other Lebanese, with the state imposing expensive permits and bureaucratic restrictions for those that seek to enter into any kind of formal employment.Children are not exempt from anti-Syrian abuse.Hazma, an 11-year old boy in Saida, is often accused of faking his disability and being a beggar. The boy had broken his back after saving his older brother from a reckless driver in the city. He now spends his days in a battered red wheelchair, his withered legs strapped together below the knees.Asked what he hopes to become later in life, he falls silent, his mother unable to afford proper medical care.-Political turmoil-The latest political upheavals affecting the region and the country appear to have somewhat eased pressure on the strained community.Often at the blunt end of populist discourse, the issue of refugees moved out of the public spotlight following prime minister Saad Hariri's three week 'exodus' in Saudi Arabia.Hariri had announced a surprise resignation in the Saudi capital Riyadh early November - only to rescind it last week in Beirut.In an interview with EUobserver, the EU's ambassador to Lebanon Christina Lassen described it as a reprieve for the Syrians forced to flee their homes.

Bitcoin risky but 'limited phenomenon', says EU By Peter Teffer-DEC 12,17-EUOBSERVER

Brussels, Today, 15:10-On Tuesday (12 December), traders were paying around $17,000 (€14,440) for a single bitcoin – more than twenty times its price a year ago.The virtual currency has received renewed interest since late November, when it passed the €10,000 mark for the first time in its eight-year history.This has led Ewald Nowotny, a member of the European Central Bank's (ECB) governing council, to say on Monday that because of the scale, "it is certainly increasingly necessary to discuss whether and in what form regulations are needed here".Some go further. Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitz said two weeks ago bitcoin "ought to be outlawed", and that it was only popular because it could be used to circumvent oversight.But there is not much appetite in Brussels to ban trading in the decentralised cryptocurrency, as China did earlier this year."It's just not possible to ban it," Lithuanian MEP Antanas Guoga told EUobserver in an interview."China banned it, but the people still use it. You have VPNs. People get around any ban."Virtual private networks (VPNs) are connections which allow their users to mask their internet use.Guoga himself has bought bitcoins in the past "to test it out", and he called on his fellow MEPs to do the same to know what they were talking about. He has since sold them all."I'm not actively speculating myself," he said. "It's been a good year. So I'm happy to be out."The centre-right Lithuanian used to be a member of the liberal group, but joined the largest parliament family, the European People's Party in October 2016.-Blockchain vs bitcoin-He said a clear distinction should be made between cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, and the underlying technology called blockchain.Blockchain allows its users to record data in a decentralised and distributed way, and is sometimes called distributed ledger technology (DLT)."We should not mix things up between speculation and cryptocurrency, which … has very little fundamental value, and blockchain technology," said Guoga."I'm a big fan of blockchain. I wouldn't say cryptocurrencies, but of blockchain I'm a very big fan," he added.The blockchain technology could bring many benefits, he said, and replace old ways of doing things.As an example, Guoga could see people's wills or testaments go on a blockchain. The advantage would be that a copy will also be saved, and changes can be tracked."It's obviously is a threat to government, because the more you have these sort of technologies like blockchain, it does take a lot of government functions away," he said.The Lithuanian therefore believes that it is too early to start regulating blockchain, or even cryptocurrencies like bitcoin."My advice is to wait and see, observe, and then regulate," he said."The best regulation is just [the] warning that you could lose your money."-Value 'could drop to zero'-Mostly, that is what the EU has done.Four years ago to the day on Tuesday, the London-based European Banking Authority (EBA) warned Europeans they should be aware of the risks associated with cryptocurrencies "including losing your money"."The value of your virtual currency can change quickly, and could even drop to zero," the EBA warned.The EU agency warned not to buy bitcoins with money "that you cannot afford to lose".The possible risks were highlighted last Thursday, when Slovenian cryptocurrency marketplace NiceHash was hacked. Reuters reported that almost a million bitcoins had been stolen.The hack followed a similar warning from Finland's Financial Supervisory Authority.It said that cryptocurrencies were not primarily used as a means to purchase products, but as speculative investments."There is no solid foundation to their value formation," the authority said about cryptocurrencies."Moreover, no-one pays a real return, such as a dividend or interest, on bitcoin. The expected return is based solely on the expectation that someone will purchase the investment later at a higher price."The Finns also noted that there is a risk that cryptocurrencies, which allow for anonymity, are used for illegal activities.Money laundering-This concern is also the main angle which the European Commission has so far focussed upon when it comes to cryptocurrencies.A 2016 commission proposal to update anti-money laundering rules, which still needs approval by the European Parliament and EU national governments, would require virtual currencies traders to be licensed or registered.When this website asked the commission to comment on the request for new regulation on bitcoin, it referred to statements made two weeks ago by Valdis Dombrovskis, commissioner for the euro."From regulatory point of view, as you know, we do not treat bitcoin as a currency - there is only one currency in the eurozone that is the euro," Dombrovskis told Bloomberg."So, it is rather to be treated like a commodity where the price is determined by demand and supply and we are not commenting the price movements here."-Dombrovskis talking to Bloomberg reporters-The former Latvian prime minister noted that the commission saw bitcoin "still as a relatively limited phenomenon".The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) told this website it did not want to make any comment about bitcoin.ESMA did confirm that its position on distributed ledgers technologies (DLTs) – or blockchain – had not changed, since a February report came out.That ESMA report said that DLTs "could bring a number of benefits to securities markets", but that it was "premature to fully appreciate the changes that the technology could bring and the regulatory response that may be needed".Nevertheless, the bitcoin craze - or bubble - can also have some positive side-effects for government authorities.The international Southeast European Law Enforcement Center reported last May that Bulgarian authorities seized 213,519 bitcoins, worth $500m at the time.Cryptocurrency news website Coindesk calculated last week that the seized assets have since risen in value to up to $3bn."As far as we can tell, the refugee situation was not affected by the political crisis around Hariri's resignation. If anything, the strong focus on the political crisis in the past few weeks caused less debate about the refugee presence," she said.Most want to return but remain fearful of a regime that had indiscriminately destroyed their homes and families with barrel bombs and Russian fighter jets."I love my country but there is nothing to go back to," Hala Wardee, a 40-year old Syrian mother from Homs, said in Tripoli.Wardee's husband made it to Germany by crossing through Turkey before the EU cut a deal with Ankara last year to keep others from doing the same.She has had to care for her crippled seven-year old child Tala and several other older daughters on her own ever since.Asked what she misses most of Syria before the war, Hala breaks down. "My family. Here I am alone," she says.Hariri's fractured government and Saudi-backed allies wants people like Hala to voluntarily return to Syria.But government coalition partners, such as the Iranian-backed Shia group Hezbollah, are more direct in their demands to send her to a country they helped destroy.Hezbollah has fought for Syrian president al-Assad's government, is the only armed militia group in Lebanon, and is more battle hardened than the Lebanese army.Few refugees have made any efforts to try to take boats to nearby Cyprus. Yet Cyprus - at 200km away, the nearest EU member state - only recently announced it would finance a search and rescue centre in Lebanon, which the EU says it is not involved in.Julien Barnes-Dacey, an expert from the European Council on Foreign Relations, a London-based think tank, said Sunni, Shias, and Christians in the country, despite rifts, still manage to keep the peace."Lebanon is a model of what is happening right across the region with different parties working together, prioritising stability over confrontation," he said. The prime minister is Sunni, the president is Christian, and the parliament speaker a Shia.-EU balancing act-The EU finds itself in a delicate balancing act within a mix of competing interests.As a top donor in the region, it has doled out some €1.2 billion to help refugees and host communities in Lebanon over the past few years. But EU aid is not limited to refugees.The EU is also working with the Lebanese to tackle security and counter-terrorism inside the country and has shored up millions for border management.Among the big issues are recurring assassinations, and violent flare ups in the Ain al Helweh, a Palestinian refugee camp in the south of the country.Lebanese security agencies have also managed to dismantle sleeper cells affiliated with the jihadist groups like the Islamic State or Jabhat Al Nusra.Around €7 million worth of equipment from the EU were supplied over the past ten years for the effort."The stability for Lebanon is not just capital for its inhabitants, it is for the whole of region, already affected by violent conflicts," said French president Emmanuel Macron last week in Paris, along side Hariri.


7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

Firefighters hold back massive Southern California wildfire-[Reuters]-By Ben Gruber-YAHOONEWS-December 11, 2017

VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - Firefighters, taking advantage of a lull in the winds, on Monday held in check a massive Southern California wildfire that has torched hundreds of buildings and charred an area larger than New York City.The Thomas Fire ignited a week ago and has burned 231,700 acres, in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, about 100 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) officials said at a news conference. It continued to grow on Monday, but at a slower pace, burning an additional several hundred acres.The fire threatens 18,000 structures, including some in the wealthy enclave of Montecito where a number of celebrities have their homes.Hot and dry Santa Ana winds, which blow from the deserts to the ocean, allowed the fire to explode in size last week. But gusts were light on Monday, National Weather Service meteorologist Kathy Hoxsie said, even though the air was warm and dry.The fire crept along ridge lines above Montecito and the city of Santa Barbara, and firefighters were bracing to keep it from coming downhill into those communities, officials said.Most of the nearly 900 homes, outbuildings and businesses destroyed by the fire are in neighboring Ventura County, where the blaze first erupted.Arthur Hurtz, 59, is among the local residents coming to terms with being homeless. He fled from his house in the city of Ventura overlooking the Pacific Ocean last week, just minutes before a wall of flames engulfed it, he said."It’s completely gone. I’ve never seen anything like it," said Hurtz, who is now staying at an emergency shelter.The fire, in addition to destroying buildings, has damaged about 180 structures and ranks as the fifth-largest wildfire on record in California, according to Cal Fire.The fire, for which investigators were still seeking to determine the cause, was 20 percent contained on Monday evening, up from 15 percent earlier in the day.Public schools in Santa Barbara and some school systems nearby have canceled classes this week and will not reconvene until the annual winter break is completed in January, said Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider.Celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, who are reported to have homes in Montecito just outside Santa Barbara, took to Twitter to express concern."Our house is under threat of being burned," DeGeneres wrote on Twitter on Sunday. "We just had to evacuate our pets."A spokesman for DeGeneres declined to provide any other details on Monday.Some of the other fires burning over the past week in San Diego and Los Angeles counties have been largely controlled by the thousands of firefighters on the ground.The Creek and Rye fires in Los Angeles County were both at least 90 percent contained, officials said, while the Skirball Fire in the posh Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles was 85 percent contained.North of San Diego, the 4,100-acre (1,660 hectare) Lilac Fire was also 90 percent contained on Monday, after destroying 151 structures.(Additional reporting by Mike Blake in San Diego, Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Keith Coffman in Denver and Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Writing by Joseph Ax and Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Peter Graff and Andrew Hay)