SINCE THE RAPTURE OCCURS BEFORE THE FUTURE 7 YR TREATY IS SIGNED, I WONT BE AROUND TO HAVE THE ACTUAL TREATY SIGNING. BUT UNTIL THEN THIS SITE IS DEDICATED TO THE BEGININGS OF THE ISRAELI / ARAB PEACE PROCESS. AND AS CLOSE TO THE 7 YEAR SIGNING THAT WE GET BEFORE THE RAPTURE OF THE SAVED TO HEAVEN. UNTIL WE MEET JESUS IN THE CLOUDS BODILY, AND COME TO EARTH 7 YRS LATER.

Friday, January 12, 2018

EGYPT ORDERS PROBE INTO REPORT IT BACKED TRUMP ON JERUSALEM.

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)

EZEKIEL 20:47
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.

ZEPHANIAH 1:18
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.

MALACHI 4:1
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

US encouraging Israel to approve more settlements, Palestinians say-PLO could suspend recognition of Israel in upcoming leadership meeting, Abbas adviser warns-By Dov Lieber-JAN 11,18

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s top official, Saeb Erekat, charged Thursday that the American decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December has encouraged the Jewish state to “speed up” settlement construction in the West Bank.On Wednesday the Defense Ministry approved 1,126 settlement homes. Of those, 352 gained final approval for construction and 774 were advanced through a planning stage known as a “deposit.”“The Israeli government continues with its plan to bury all the chances of a political settlement by announcing the approval of 1,122 new illegal settlement units in 22 illegal colonial-settlements in Occupied Palestine,” Erekat said in a statement, employing a number reported by Peace Now.“President [Donald] Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital did not only disqualify the US from playing any constructive role towards achieving peace, but it provided the extremist Israeli government with an opportunity and a green light to speed up their plans of the disposition of the Palestinian people,” he added.The Palestinian leadership will convene on Sunday and Monday to formulate a response to Trump’s Jerusalem decision.According to Erekat, during the meeting, the leadership “will discuss several recommendations toward holding Israel accountable to advance with the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”Ahmad Majdalani, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee and a close adviser to Abbas, told the official Voice of Palestine radio on Thursday that a committee will propose suspending recognition of Israel “on the grounds that recognition could be only done between states.”The United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, also slammed Israel’s decision to approve more settlement homes, saying it was an obstacle to peace.“In the aftermath of the decision to advance over 1,000 housing units in the occupied West Bank, I reiterate that Israeli settlement construction is illegal under international law and is one of the major obstacles to peace. I urge the Israeli authorities to cease and reverse such actions,” Mladenov said in a statement.“Settlement-related activities undermine the chances for the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state as part of a negotiated two-state solution,” he added.According to the Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now, 6,742 housing projects were approved in the settlements last year, the highest figure since 2013.Much of the international community considers settlements illegal and a major obstacles to peace, as they are built on land the Palestinians claim for their future state.Wednesday’s settlement home approvals came as Rabbi Raziel Shevach, who was shot to death by a Palestinian a day earlier, was laid to rest in the West Bank outpost of Havat Maon. Both during and before the funeral of the rabbi, settler leaders and right-wing lawmakers called for substantial settlement building in response to the attack.When Education Minister Naftali Bennett was heckled by mourners chanting “revenge,” the Jewish Home party leader attempted to calm the crowd by saying that “the only revenge is to keep building.”However, Wednesday’s approvals marked a considerable decrease from the last time the Defense Ministry’s committee for settlement construction approval, the Civil Administration High Planning subcommittee, last convened in October. Then, it advanced 2,646 Israeli housing units with 1,323 earning final approval for construction.Under unofficial settlement guidelines coordinated with the White House when Trump took office, Israel agreed that the committee would meet once every three months instead of once every month. In addition, Israel was told it could add an unlimited number of housing units to any settlement in the West Bank as long as they do not dramatically expand the community’s existing “footprint.”In a December 6 speech, Trump said his decision merely recognized the reality that Jerusalem already serves as Israel’s capital and wasn’t meant to prejudge the final borders of the city. He called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites. However, the US leader later said he had taken Jerusalem “off the table.”Trump’s move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum, while enraging Palestinians and prompting condemnations worldwide.Jacob Magid and AFP contributed to this report.

Egypt orders ‘urgent’ probe into report it backed Trump on Jerusalem-Prosecutor says account of intelligence officer telling talk show hosts to downplay recognition of Israel's capital 'undermines Egypt's security'-By Agencies and TOI staff    Today-JAN 11,18

Egypt’s chief prosecutor ordered an “urgent” investigation on Thursday into a New York Times report about recordings purportedly of an intelligence officer instructing TV talk show hosts and a famous actress to downplay US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.In a statement, chief prosecutor Nabil Sadeq said the report, published over the weekend, “undermines Egypt’s security, public peace and hurts the public’s interest.”The decision followed a flurry of condemnation of the Times by lawmakers, commentators and the State Information Service.The government of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, a close Trump ally, has denounced Trump’s Jerusalem decision.Michael Slackman, The Times international editor, was quoted as saying in an article published Wednesday that the paper’s “story was a deeply reported, consequential piece of journalism, and we stand fully behind it.”The intelligence officer, Cpt. Ashraf al-Kholi, is reported to have told hosts that widespread unrest over Washington’s move would “not serve Egypt’s national security interests,” as it would “revive the Islamists and Hamas. Hamas would be reborn once more.Though he was quoted as saying Cairo would denounce Trump’s declaration, he reportedly added, “After that, this thing will become a reality. Palestinians can’t resist and we don’t want to go to war. We have enough on our plate as you know.”The Times reported that Egyptian intelligence regularly briefs TV hosts on messages leaders want them to communicate to the public, and the recordings showed the officer’s interlocutors were all very accommodating.In response to Trump’s move, Egypt publicly said the decision was a violation of international resolutions on the city’s status. It also reflected concern regarding the impact of the US move on the stability of the region and regarding its “extremely negative” impact on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.On December 6, in an address from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and said that his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was merely based on reality and insisted that he wasn’t prejudging the future borders of the city.Bitterly rejected by the Palestinian Authority, which is now boycotting the Trump administration, the move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. 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.

US task force to probe Hezbollah ‘narco-terror’-Saudi Arabia and Israel have increasingly raised the alarm over the group's growing power in Lebanon and around the world-By AFP-JAN 11,18

The US Justice Department announced Thursday the creation of a special task force to investigate what it called “narco-terrorism” by the powerful Lebanese organization Hezbollah, which the US, along with Israel and other countries, has classified as a terror group.The unit will comprise specialists on money-laundering, drug trafficking, terrorism and organized crime, targeting Iran ally Hezbollah’s sprawling network, whose reach extends across Africa and into Central and South America, the department said.“The Justice Department will leave no stone unturned in order to eliminate threats to our citizens from terrorist organizations and to stem the tide of the devastating drug crisis,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.“The team will initiate prosecutions that will restrict the flow of money to foreign terrorist organizations as well as disrupt violent international drug trafficking operations.”The move comes amid a stepped-up effort to battle Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East and expanded military capabilities of Hezbollah, one of the dominant forces in Lebanese politics.But Sessions said the creation of the Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team was also a response to criticisms that former president Barack Obama held back from cracking down on Hezbollah’s global networks, investigated under the previous Project Cassandra, in order to achieve the nuclear deal with Iran.“The HFNT will begin by assessing the evidence in existing investigations, including cases stemming from Project Cassandra, a law enforcement initiative targeting Hezbollah’s drug trafficking and related operations,” the department said.Officials in Washington and US allies Saudi Arabia and Israel, have increasingly raised the alarm over Hezbollah’s growing power in Lebanon and around the world.On Wednesday, former top Treasury Department sanctions official Juan Zarate told Congress that Hezbollah’s drug smuggling and money laundering operations are global in scale.“Recent actions by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Treasury to dismantle networks of Hezbollah’s ‘Business Affairs Component’ have exposed financial and trade nodes that the Hezbollah operates and led to arrests and enforcement actions around the world,” he told a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

EU looks to improve strained ties with Turkey-After more than a year of insults and diplomatic standoffs, leaders seek to heal relations with Ankara-By Raf Casert-JAN 11,18

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The European Union looks set to make an opening to help improve badly damaged relations with Turkey in the near future, boosted by recent talks between Turkish and French and German leaders and officials.After more than a year of insults and a diplomatic standoff between EU member nations and Turkey, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva told a small group of reporters Thursday that the EU would be working hard to improve ties while her country holds the EU presidency over the next six months.Zaharieva said the European Commission and Council of member states have already discussed the possibility of a high-level meeting with Turkey during the Bulgarian presidency to reinvigorate relations.She couldn’t pin down a date yet, but when pressed whether it would happen during her presidency, she said “We didn’t schedule the date but I think ‘why not, why not.'”Last week brought the first major breakthrough when French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and suggested that the EU develop a special partnership with Turkey since EU membership negotiations have been in a rut for decades.Zaharieva, who will preside over all meetings of EU foreign ministers until the summer, backed Macron and said it was “more realistic” for now to target a special partnership than full-blown EU membership. When asked if she would back it if an EU consensus was within reach, she said “yes, yes.”Highlighting the difficult relationship between the huge Muslim country and the largely Christian club has been the inability of both sides to get close to a membership deal for Turkey first envisaged over half a century ago.Ties between Turkey and Europe worsened last year amid mass arrests and firings carried out by Erdogan’s government following a July 2016 coup attempt. Relations deteriorated further after authorities in several countries prevented Turkish ministers from holding political rallies to court expatriates’ votes in a referendum to expand the president’s powers.Erdogan unleashed a series of insults at NATO allies, accusing European officials of racism, harboring terrorists and behaving like Nazis.That tone has changed in the new year.Bulgaria, which shares a border with Turkey, realizes the strategic importance of its neighbor.Zaharieva pointed out Turkey’s important role as a NATO member, a military alliance to which most EU nations belong. She also said that Turkey remains a key partner in managing the flow of migrants from the Middle East. And she highlighted the economic clout of Ankara.She insisted though that any new dialogue should happen “without closing eyes for the problems,” among which she listed media freedom and human rights issues.Since the failed coup in July 2016, about 50,000 people have been arrested and 110,000 others removed from public sector jobs in Turkey. Many have protested they are innocent.

PM orders power grid hookup for illegal outpost after terror attack-Settler downplay move as 'spin' and call on Netanyahu to legalize Havat Gilad-By Jacob Magid-JAN 11,18

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Defense Ministry on Thursday to officially hook up Havat Gilad to the electricity grid, two days after a resident of the illegal outpost was slain by Palestinian terrorists in a drive-by shooting.The outpost southeast of Nablus currently receives electricity through a makeshift connection to the power grid. Regulating the service would allow for the installment of proper infrastructure linking the hilltop community to the national power network.A spokeswoman for the Samaria Regional Council said that the residents of Havat Gilad have been paying the Israel Electric Corporation for power, but that Netanyahu’s move would enable regulated electricity supply at a higher voltage.The move could be seen as a step toward legalizing the hilltop community, which was founded in 2002 in memory of Gilad Zar, security coordinator of the Shomron Regional Council, who was shot dead in an attack a year earlier.But settler leaders told The Times of Israel that the move was merely “spin.”“We’ve called on him to legalize the entire community and he comes back with this nonsense about electricity,” said one senior official.On Tuesday evening, Raziel Shevach was murdered while on his way home to Havat Gilad. Even before his burial, settler leaders and right-wing lawmakers called for the outpost to be legalized. Both Samaria Regional Council chairman Yossi Dagan and Education Minister Naftali Bennett called on Netanyahu in their eulogies to make the move.Culture Minister Miri Regev and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein made similar declarations during condolence visits to the Shevach family home on Thursday.“It’s untenable that the widow, Yael, does not know when she will have electricity, when she can shower her children, or when she can tell the mourners to come to console her [due to problems with telephone coverage],” said Regev.Earlier Thursday, Yael Raziel made a similar appeal to the prime minister when speaking to reporters.“We want to live here as proud Jews… rather than having to fight for every sliver of land as if we were thieves,” she said.

Palestinians say two protesters killed in clashes with IDF-One teen shot dead in riot along Gaza fence, the other killed during a violent demonstration outside Nablus-By Judah Ari Gross-JAN 11,18

Palestinian officials said that two teenage protesters were killed by Israeli soldiers on Thursday, one during a violent demonstration along the Gaza fence and the second in a clash with troops outside the city of Nablus.The Gaza health ministry said that in addition to the teenage protester killed, three people were wounded by Israeli gunfire during violent protests along the security fence across from the central Gaza city of el-Bureij. A ministry spokesperson said the extent of their injuries were not immediately known.The official Palestinian Wafa news outlet reported that another Palestinian teenage protester had been shot and killed by Israeli forces during clashes near the Iraq Burin refugee camp, south of Nablus. Four more were reportedly injured in the exchange.The Palestinian Ma’an news site quoted local residents as saying that the shots were fired during a violent demonstration that broke out in response to a checkpoint that the army had set up in the area, as part of the military’s ongoing search for the terrorists who shot and killed an Israeli man, Raziel Shevach, on Tuesday night on a nearby highway.An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said that Palestinians at the checkpoint began throwing “massive amounts of rocks” at troops.In response, the soldiers fired live rounds at the “main instigators,” the spokesperson said.She added that the army was aware of and looking into the reports that a protester had been killed and four more injured.Wafa identified the slain protester as 16-year-old Omar Qino.The Gaza health ministry identified the Palestinian killed outside el-Buriej as 16-year-old Amir Abd al-Hamid Abu Moussad.The IDF confirmed that shots were fired at three “main instigators” who were approaching the Gaza barrier, but would not say if the military was aware of Palestinian casualties.The army said that in addition to the el-Bureij demonstration, a second violent protest took place along the fence in the southern Gaza Strip. In total, dozens of Palestinian took part in the two riots, rolling burning tires and throwing rocks at the security fence and the soldiers on the other side, the army said.An IDF spokesperson said that warning shots were first fired into the air, but as protesters continued toward the border shots were fired directly at them as they posed a “danger to the fence.”Gaza residents have staged regular protests at the barrier around the Strip since US President Donald Trump announced he was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, in a move that infuriated Palestinians.Dov Lieber contributed to this report.

Syrian insurgents in counteroffensive in northwestern area-Relief group says hundreds of civilians fleeing fighting arrive daily in crowded Idlib province-By AP-JAN 11,18

BEIRUT — Syrian insurgent groups launched a counteroffensive Thursday against government forces advancing toward a major rebel-held airbase in the country’s northwest, capturing several villages and taking prisoners, opposition groups said.State media said the attack was repelled.The push by several factions, including the al-Qaeda-linked Levant Liberation Committee, started overnight. By Thursday morning, it had slowed the government offensive toward the Abu Zuhour airbase that has been held by rebels since 2015.Recapturing the airbase has been a key government goal since late October and Syrian forces have captured some 160 villages since they first launched the offensive. The operations also aim to secure the road linking the capital, Damascus, with the northern city of Aleppo, Syria’s largest.The fighting has displaced an estimated 100,000 people who have fled north toward safer areas close to the border with Turkey.Idlib province, the largest remaining rebel-held territory in Syria, is packed with civilians, many of whom have fled there from fighting in other areas across Syria.A statement Thursday by the International Rescue Committee said it received hundreds of newly displaced people from the southeast of the province in the past few days, joining thousands who fled over the past month.Many of the newly displaced brought only the belongings they could carry, the committee said, adding that one mother of twin babies recounted the initial panic of fleeing the airstrikes. The woman was so frightened, she initially left one of her children behind.“We couldn’t think properly. The fear affected our brains,” the IRC quoted her as saying. The baby was unharmed, she added.The IRC said nearly two-thirds of the displaced in Idlib are living in makeshift tents that are unable to withstand winter conditions while others live in abandoned or partially built homes that have well water but no toilets.The Aamaq media arm of the extremist Islamic State group reported Thursday that its fighters are clashing with Syrian troops on the eastern edges of Idlib, and released a video purporting to show four soldiers it claimed to have captured.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed insurgents have retaken several villages from government troops and said 11 pro-government fighters were captured. The Observatory’s chief Rami Abdurrahman said 16 insurgents were killed in the fighting but didn’t have a figure for government troops.The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said troops repelled the attack, adding that the militants suffered losses.

Hamas says fighters shot at Israeli drone over Gaza-Likely doing reconnaissance, the UAV was reportedly not hit and returned into Israeli airspace-By Dov Lieber and TOI staff-JAN 11,18

Gazan fighters shot at a small Israeli drone taking photographs of the southern Gaza Strip, a Hamas-affiliated news site said Thursday.Al-Shehab said members of the “resistance” tried to take down the Phantom drone, was flying west of the Kisufim military base in the Negev.It was not hit by the bullets, and flew back into Israeli territory, the report said.There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.Tension remains high on the Israel-Gaza border due to the spike in rocket attacks against Israeli towns in November and December. That spike brought the total number of rocket attacks from the Strip in 2017 to 35, far higher than the 15 rocket attacks in 2016 and 21 in 2015.Both the Hamas terror group that runs the Strip and the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad have large rocket arsenals in the territory.In retaliation to the rocket and mortar attacks, the Israel Defense Forces struck 59 targets in the Gaza Strip in 2017, according to the military’s figures.

Austrian far-right minister says he wants to ‘concentrate’ migrants-New interior minister, Herbert Kickl, elicits outcry after using term associated with Nazis, but says he did not 'intend to provoke'-By AFP and TOI staff-JAN 11,18

Austria’s new far-right interior minister sparked an outcry Thursday by saying that his government wants to “concentrate” asylum-seekers, employing a word widely associated with Nazi camps.Herbert Kickl told a news conference he wants “basic services centers, suitable infrastructure that enables us to concentrate people in the asylum process in one place.”The comments quickly provoked outrage, with Alexander Pollak, head of migrants charity SOS Mitmensch, calling it a “deliberate provocation” and left-wing essayist Robert Misik saying “a Rubicon has been crossed.”The opposition Green Party warned against the “language of National Socialism creeping into our way of thinking and feeling,” while the NEOS party said Kickl must apologize for his “deliberate provocation.”Kickl, who became interior minister last month when his Freedom Party (FPOe) formed a coalition with the center-right following elections in October, back-pedaled, saying he did not “intend to provoke anyone.”He said the government would implement a “very, very strict asylum policy” in response to what he said was a rise in crimes committed by foreigners last year.The head of the FPOe, Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, also caused unease this month by appearing to suggest that asylum-seekers should be kept in empty military barracks and subjected to an evening curfew.The party was formed by former Nazis in the 1950s. In the 1990s it was headed by Joerg Haider, whose many controversial comments included calling Hitler’s employment methods “orderly.”On Wednesday, Austrian Jewish community leaders said that they would continue to shun any contact with the FPOe, including with government ministers from the party.The Jewish Community of Vienna, which represents most Jews in Austria, said that its leadership voted unanimously against establishing contacts with representatives of the Freedom Party (FPOe). The decision continues a practice started in 2000.

EU recycles old promise to fund supercomputers By Peter Teffer-EUOBSERVER

Brussels, Today, 16:48-The European Commission implied on Thursday (11 January) that an announcement on the development of supercomputing would see it receive new EU money - but in fact the plan is based on past promises made."Commission proposes to invest €1 billion in world-class European supercomputers," said the headline of a press release featuring as the first item in Thursday's daily newsletter from the EU's executive body.But a closer look at the proposed legislation and its staff working documents showed that the EU is banking on commitments made by national governments, as well as previously agreed EU funds.The commission, under the previous administration, already announced in 2013 that it would spend some €700m on supercomputing during the current seven-year budget period, which ends in 2020.A 'supercomputer' refers to a machine which can process information and make calculations so fast it can do complex predictions and modelling."These supercomputers are vital tools in order to understand the complex challenges we face," said digital affairs commissioner Mariya Gabriel at a press conference on Thursday."These supercomputers open up the path to new scientific and industrial applications, for example the design of new medicines and cosmetic products and the simulation of the effects of these medicines; the design of new aircraft; personalised medical diagnostics; the development and modelling of the human brain; or how we can predict the effects of climate change," she said.However, Europe is lagging behind in the field of supercomputing.According to an often-cited ranking the two fastest such computers are located in China.Non-EU member Switzerland hosts the computer that occupied number three on the list, but the remainder of the top ten consisted of machines based in the US and Japan.Computers in EU countries appear in the list as 14th (Italy), 15th (UK), 16th (Spain), and 19th (Germany).But much of the technology underpinning even those Europe-based machines is developed outside Europe."We cannot risk being dependent on third countries for these computers," said Gabriel.-Exaflops and petaflops-However, the publicly-stated headline that suggested the EU would allocate €1bn in new money from the EU budget was somewhat misleading.Instead, what the commission is proposing is the establishment of a new separate legal entity, which would coordinate spending on supercomputing, to become more efficient.Currently, EU spending on supercomputing is, in the words of the commission, "fragmented", because it takes place through four different EU funds: three working programmes under the so-called Horizon2020 fund, and one from the so-called Connected Europe Facility (CEF).In addition, several member states have their own programmes.What the commission wants is to set up a temporary EU public-private partnership which would pool funding and knowledge, and will order two supercomputers.Computer performance is measured in floating point operations per second, or flops. Ten flops to the fifteenth power is a petaflop, while ten flops the the eighteenth power is an exaflop.The commission proposed that the two supercomputers the new EU body would buy, would have computing power in the range of between 100 petaflops and one exaflop.-Joint undertaking-The public-private partnership would take the legal shape of a 'joint undertaking', of which the EU already has several.The joint undertakings are sometimes lumped together with the dozens of EU agencies - they are after all members of the EU Agencies Network - but are generally much smaller, set up temporarily and involve private entities.The new EU body would be called the European High performance Computing Joint Undertaking, and would be the owner of the supercomputers bought with EU money.The joint undertaking would decide who gets to use the two supercomputers, which will be each sited in different countries.It would have its seat in Luxembourg, and employ between 11 and 16 temporary or contract staff from 2019 to 2026, at a cost of €9m in total.The office to be rented is expected to cost €3m over the seven-year period. The commission also proposed to set €2.4m aside for communication.The EU would contribute €486m in total, as was already allocated through the Horizon2020 and CEF funds.According to the regulation proposed on Thursday, national governments would have to chip in a similar amount.-€422m from industry-The commission proposal also said that private companies should contribute at least €422m to the joint undertaking, although there is no guarantee that they will.The EU already has several joint undertakings, including one aimed at developing electronic components and systems, called the Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL) joint undertaking.Industry members are supposed to contribute at least €1.6bn to ESCEL over a ten-year period, but according to a European Parliament resolution published last year, their contribution in 2015 was only €58.7m, and that only 11 of 28 participating member states had made contributions that year.If the commission finds that contributions by member states and industry do not match those made from the EU budget, it can pull the plug on the operation.The setting up of the joint undertaking needs to be approved by national governments, but does not need the consent of the European Parliament.The commission wants it to start operations next year.

US and EU face 'common' China challenge, says US official By Eric Maurice-EUOBSERVER

BRUSSELS, 10. Jan, 17:41-China's economic and trade policies are a "common challenge" for the EU and the US, a top US official said in Brussels.David Malpass, the US Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, said that China "has moved away from the liberalisation path that had been a strong theme in earlier years".He noted that China "is putting emphasis on state-owned enterprises, on the involvement of the Communist party into the business sectors" and that "heavy subsidies distort the allocation of capital."He added that Chinese authorities were "very aggressive" in the use of credit agencies as well as regarding intellectual property. "They need to stop their practice of forcing business that involves the transfer of the property to China, or the lack of protection for intellectual property as its used within companies," he added.Malpass, who spoke to a group of journalists between meetings with EU officials, noted that accelerating world growth gave the EU and the US "an opportunity to work together on challenges.""China is certainly one which presents a common challenge for the US and Europe in terms of its investment practices, its trade practices and its own moving away from market liberalisation," he said.He insisted that the US was looking "free, fair and reciprocal" trade relationships but that "with China, one of the problems is there is not reciprocity."The US official also noted the US and "other countries have a common interest in more transparency from China and that extends into steel."Malpass made his comments three weeks after Donald Trump's administration published its National Security Strategy in which China was described, with Russia, as a "revisionist" power threatening US supremacy.In the strategy's chapter on Europe, the Trump administration said that it would work with the EU "to contest China's unfair trade and economic practices and restrict its acquisition of sensitive technologies."Last year, the EU launched plans to screen Chinese investment in strategic sectors and introduced new rules on dumping that angered Beijing.Malpass's comments also come on the heels of a visit to China by French president Emmanuel Macron, where he stressed the need for more reciprocity in EU-China economic and trade relationships.Malpass, who was one of Trump's economic advisers during his presidential campaign, however stressed "the limits of multilateralism."He said that "in some areas, we have gone too far" and that "too much multilateralism impedes the growth process.""We'd like too see more modesty in the international organisations as far as what they can accomplish versus what really comes out of the people of the various countries operating on their own for their own advancement," he said.He added that the US wanted "less expensiveness in terms of [international organisations'] demands on taxpayers around the world."The US official defended Trump's decision to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) signed by his predecessor Barack Obama.He said that it would have been "wishful thinking" to expect the trade deal, which did not include China, "would have pulled China more into the world trade system.""The world has tried to give China opportunity to be a market-based economy, but it is not moving in that direction now," he said.

Macron was right: democracy must tame the internet By Michael Meyer-Resende-EUOBSERVER

BERLIN, 10. Jan, 09:04-French president Emmanuel Macron's recent announcement of legislation to fight back against 'fake news' has been met with much scepticism in the public debate.Critics argue that too little is known about the effects of fake news and that the risks to freedom of expression are too high.It is true that scientific enquiry about effects of digital content is only at the beginning. However, waiting for many years before acting is a luxury democracy cannot afford. The story of the US elections has starkly highlighted the risks to elections when the power of digital platforms is abused.To highlight these risks, it is instructive to imagine all that is happening on the internet in the non-digital world.One could imagine a demonstration by 100,000 people that gains significant attention in the media, but later it turns out that the demonstrators were robots masquerading as humans.Or we could imagine a public discussion at which one speaker is shouted down and insulted, while another is applauded enthusiastically. Later we learn that the entire audience was paid to do this by somebody, but it is not clear by whom.One could also imagine that a foreign government distributes leaflets in a neighbourhood: each leaflet is specifically designed to appeal to the most private dreams, fears, and aspirations of its recipients. Nobody ever sees the leaflet being distributed and nobody knows who printed them or why they were printed.-Fanciful?-It sounds fanciful, but this is the unappealing world of manipulation on the internet.The fake demonstrators are called 'bots' (automated accounts pretending that a certain cause has major public support) and the shouters and sycophants are called 'trolls' (people who are paid by governments or companies to influence debates on social media). The distributor of highly targeted anonymous leaflets is Facebook.In the past, a government could not reach a targeted audience of 10 million people in a country on the other side of the world at a cost of only $100,000 with nobody noticing, as Russia did last year in the US.One could not profile millions of voters quickly and cheaply, because there was no internet where they left their traces.Research suggests that once you have left more than 300 likes on Facebook, the company will know you better than your husband or wife. That is an election campaigner's dream, but it becomes democracy's nightmare when it is used by those who undermine democracy.Today elections can be influenced through digital action. Undecided voters in swing states can be specifically targeted. Social divisions can be exacerbated. Vicious rumours can be spread at the last moment before voting starts.All this from anywhere, by anybody, at little costs and zero transparency.-Action-Macron is right to take action.Democracy has always been concerned with the way public discourse is organised - one only needs to think of editorial standards for media or public broadcasting, which is held to high standards of pluralism and balance.That is why it cannot be complacent when public discourse changes dramatically.Macron's speech may have been unfortunate in putting the fight against 'fake news' at the centre of his announcement, as this makes him easily accused of trying to 'police the truth', which is a reasonable concern.In last year's presidential elections far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and right-wing media tried to create a social media firestorm around a falsified document which suggested that Macron had an offshore bank account.However, at the heart of his suggestions are not fake news but the targeted propaganda that hostile governments and anti-democratic forces spread on the internet.In response, Macron proposes that digital ads display who financed them and that there should be spending limits during political campaigns.-Sensible-These are sensible proposals that transfer regulation which already exists in the non-digital world to the digital realm.He also proposes that France's media authority may suspend agreements with foreign TV stations during elections if they engage in anti-democratic propaganda.It is understandable that the French state should not provide its public goods - airwaves, digital connections - to actors that undermine French democracy.He also proposes that judges could block stories and websites that propagate fake news during elections.This is more sensitive as here the question of 'policing the truth' comes into play. There is a legitimate interest to push back against orchestrated last-minute falsifications, but such an action would need to be narrowly defined.Once published, the exact legislative proposals will need to be carefully studied, but overall Macron's announcement is welcome.Democrats should not wait and see how democratic institutions are being dismantled in front of their eyes. Democracy has a right to self-defence.Michael Meyer-Resende is the executive director of Democracy Reporting International, a Berlin-based NGO.

Commission: 120 minutes to remove illegal online content By Nikolaj Nielsen-EUOBSERVER

BRUSSELS, 9. Jan, 17:08-The European Commission is demanding social media platforms share illegal content with police amid broader threats of imposing EU-wide legislation to enforce the takedown of such material.In a closed-door meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (9 January) between several EU commissioners and some 20 firms, the commission also demanded swifter removals.EU home affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopolous said removals should not take more than two hours."Information on removed content should be shared with law enforcement so it can be used as evidence in investigations," he said, along side commissioners Andrus Ansip, Elzbieta Bienkowska, Vera Jourova, Julian King and Mariya Gabriel.Their demand is part of a broader effort by the EU to coerce the firms to take swifter action against online content deemed to incite hatred, violence and terrorism.But what constitutes such an incitement to hatred, violence and terrorism is often open to interpretation.The EU commission, in a paper last September, said "what is illegal offline is also illegal online" although national rules may differ on similar content.Internet platforms will have to look at individual member state rules, understand and apply their respective cases laws on things like hate speech, and then decide if the content should be removed.Europol, the EU police agency, already has a special unit designed to refer the content to internet service providers.But figures on how many referrals led to investigations is unknown given that the agency does not keep such data.Critics say US firms at risk of fines are instead more likely to remove questionable content regardless of whether it is actually illegal."Facebook and Twitter will censor legal material because they are scared of fines," the London-based NGO, Open Rights Group, told the BBC in December.The firms, which broadly oppose having to police the web, instead want clear regulations, according to EU justice commissioner Jourova."Many of them [Silicon Valley] told me that we do not feel ourselves comfortable by being those who decide on this," she told reporters in September.-8,000 tweets per second-The task is large.Every second around 8,000 messages are posted on Twitter. Over 72,000 people per second view a YouTube video. Another 820 images per second are also uploaded to Instagram.Earlier this month, Titanic, a German satirical magazine had its Twitter account banned after poking fun at a right-wing AfD member, which poses questions on freedom of expression.Twitter, along with other social media platforms, now face a potential €50 million fine in Germany since the start of the year if content that violates German hate speech laws is not removed within 24 hours.Last September, the French ministry of interior had also ordered two Indymedia websites to remove content deemed a "provocation to terrorism".The same content had been published in more mainstream media outlets but without recrimination from the ministry.But EU security commissioner King, in a tweet, said more action is needed by the companies."Today we discussed, with industry, the need for faster action. If possible on a voluntary basis - but, if necessary we'll look at further steps," he said.Last year's commission's paper on illegal content, known as a communication, was widely criticised by MEPs who said its ideas on automatic detection of bad content risked undermining rule of law.The paper also followed the adaption of an EU terrorism directive, which leaves concepts like the definition of indirect incitement to terrorism open to national interpretation."The respect for human rights is not an obstacle to security, it is a route towards stronger and better security," Michael O'Flaherty, the director of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, told MEPs on Monday.