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.

Monday, January 08, 2018

ISRAEL IS FINALLY BANNING BDS GROUPS FROM ISRAEL.THE LIBERAL ISRAEL HATER MENTAL DESEASERS.

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

Israel publishes blacklist of BDS groups to be barred from country-Strategic affairs minister says the country is moving from defense to attack against organizations that seek to harm the Jewish state-By TOI staff-JAN 07.18

The Strategic Affairs Ministry on Sunday published a list of organizations it says promote the boycott of Israel and that, in cooperation with the Interior Ministry, it will block members of those groups from entering the country, including an American Jewish group.The blacklist covers some 20 groups the ministry said are part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) and which it said consistently and openly work to delegitimize Israel.“We have moved from defense to attack,” Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement that listed the targeted groups. “Boycott organizations need to know that Israel will act against them and will not allow [them] to enter its territory in order to harm its citizens.”

Here is the full list.

United States:
• AFSC (American Friends Service Committee)
• AMP (American Muslims for Palestine)
• Code Pink
• JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace)
• NSJP (National Students for Justice in Palestine)
• USCPR (US Campaign for Palestinian Rights)

Europe:
• AFPS (The Association France Palestine Solidarité)
• BDS France
• BDS Italy
• ECCP (The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine)
• FOA (Friends of al-Aqsa)
• IPSC (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
• Norgeׂׂ Palestinakomitee (The Palestine Committee of Norway)
• PGS Palestinagrupperna i Sverige (Palestine Solidarity Association in Sweden)
• PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
• War on Want
• BDS Kampagne

Latin America
• BDS Chile

South Africa
• BDS South Africa

Other
• BNC (BDS National Committee)

The list will be passed on to the Interior Ministry and the Border and Population Authority, the statement said.The groups, considered central to the boycott movement, “operate consistently, continuous and persistently against Israel, by way of pressuring entities, institutes, and countries to boycott Israel,” the statement declared.“The activities of the organizations are carried out by way of a false propaganda campaign, aimed at undermining Israel’s legitimacy in the world.”“Forming a list is another step in our campaign against the false propaganda of boycott organizations,” said Erdan, who is also public security minister. “No country would allow visitors who arrive to harm the country to enter it and certainly not when their goal is to wipe out Israel as a Jewish country.”The ministry noted that last month Denmark and Norway, under pressure from Israel, said that they were clamping down on funding of Palestinian organizations that uphold boycotts, and in some cases would cancel their funding.Interior Minister Aryeh Deri vowed to prevent boycott promoters from entering the country.“I made it unequivocally clear that I will use my authority to prevent the entry of members of organizations and individuals whose whole aim is to harm Israel and its security,” he said. “These people are trying to exploit the law and our hospitality in order to act against Israel and to defame the country. I will act against this in every way.”According to Hebrew media reports, the ministry plans to begin enforcing the blacklist in March.Also Sunday, President Reuven Rivlin met with Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide and thanked her for her government’s stance against the BDS movement.“I believe that BDS leads to increasing hatred, and does not work against it, and it symbolizes all that stands in the way of dialogue, debate, and progress,” Rivlin said. “It is against all our cooperation, and against our lives together here. You must work against it no less than we, because it stands in the way of progress.”In March, the Knesset amended the Law of Entry to prevent leaders of the BDS movement from being allowed into Israel. The amendment applies to organizations that take consistent and significant action against Israel through BDS, as well as the leadership and senior activists of those groups.Four months later, in July, five members of the Jewish Voice for Peace were prevented from boarding a flight to Israel due to their support for the boycott movement.Last week the government approved a plan setting aside $75 million to fight BDS.The plan, which would entail the largest monetary investment yet by Israel specifically toward combating the boycott campaign, calls for setting up a not-for-profit organization whose board will be made up of government officials and donors from abroad, the Ynet news site reported.The $75 million budget will come partly from the government and partly from Jewish donors and communities abroad, the report said. It did not say when the new organization would become operational or established formally.JTA contributed to this report.

Egypt denies report that it accepts Trump’s Jerusalem recognition-Cairo lambastes NY Times article that said intelligence officer briefed TV presenters on the issue, suggesting the officer does not even exist-By TOI staff-JAN 7,18

Egypt’s government on Sunday denied and harshly criticized a New York Times report that said Cairo has quietly sought to convince the Egyptian public to accept the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite publicly opposing it.The newspaper said in a report published Saturday that it obtained audio recordings in which an Egyptian intelligence officer, speaking with influential talk show hosts, asked them to downplay the significance of US President Donald Trump’s decision.“The Times’ report contains allegations regarding Egypt’s position on the Jerusalem issue mentioned in the so-called ‘audio recordings.’ It is inappropriate for The New York Times, a reputable newspaper, to publish such allegations,” the Egyptian government said in a statement.“Egypt’s positions on international issues are not derived from alleged leaks from an anonymous source. Rather, Egypt’s positions are conveyed by the President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and in official statements as well,” the statement added.The statement pointed out that Egypt sponsored a UN resolution opposing the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite threats by Washington to reduce aid.In the report, an officer identified as Cpt. Ashraf al-Kholi, is reported to have briefed TV hosts, saying  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.”The statement noted that two of the talk show hosts mentioned in the report no longer have shows and never presented any news regarding the Jerusalem decision. The statement also said that news presenter Azmi Megahed, the key on-the-record interview for the Times report, denied remarks attributed to him by the American paper.The government statement also said there is no evidence that al-Kholi is actually a member of the security services.“The Times’ report claims that Captain Ashraf al-Kholi is an officer with the Egyptian General Intelligence without presenting its readers with the slightest evidence as to the truth of this piece of information or that a person by this name exists in the first place,” the statement said.In the Times report, al-Kholi allegedly told the news hosts, “How is Jerusalem different from Ramallah, really?”“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,” al-Kholi allegedly said regarding the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.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 conversation partners were all very willing to accommodate the official viewpoint.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.Israeli leaders have long said Jerusalem has been quietly cultivating its ties with Arab states, in the face of commons threats posed by Iran and Islamist extremism.In his December 6 address from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace, a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as merely based on reality.Bitterly rejected by the Palestinian Authority, which is now boycotting the Trump administration, the move was hailed by 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.An Israeli report Friday said the US, furious over the Palestinians’ reaction to Trump’s Jerusalem recognition, has frozen $125 million in aid to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency.For its part, the US denied the Channel 10 report, saying a decision on UNWRA funding was still “under review.”Times of Israel staff and agencies contributed to this report.

Orthodox patriarch: ‘Jewish settlers’ threat to Christian presence in Holy Land-In opinion piece published in UK Guardian newspaper, Theophilos III says Jewish takeover of two Old City buildings main threat to entire Christian population-By Stuart Winer and TOI staff-JAN 7,18

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilos III said that “radical Israeli settlers” in Jerusalem are threatening to upset the religious status quo and are threatening the very presence of Christian life in the Holy Land.In an opinion piece published in the UK Guardian newspaper Sunday, as Orthodox Christians celebrated Christmas according to their calendar, Theophilos wrote that Jerusalem is not the property of anyone one group, but rather should be shared by all, while also indicating that joint Christian-Muslim custodianship is the basis for a peaceful status quo.“One of the foremost threats to Christians in the Holy Land is the unacceptable activities of radical settler groups, which are attempting to establish control over properties around the Jaffa gate,” wrote Theophilos of two hotel buildings in the Old City of Jerusalem purchased in 2004 by the pro-settlement Ateret Cohanim organization.“If the settler groups were to gain control of the properties, they would be able to pursue their aggressive campaign of removing non-Jews from the City and from these strategic centers at the heart of the Christian quarter, threatening the very presence of Christians in the Holy Land,” he warned.Israel does not view Jews living in Jerusalem as settlers. Israel annexed East Jerusalem, which it captured in the 1967 Six Day War, and regards the whole city as its capital, a move not recognized by much of the international community.In August, Theophilos himself denounced an Israeli court ruling upholding deals made before his appointment between the church and Ateret Cohanim for the two Old City hotel properties — the New Imperial and the Petra. The 2004 agreements were for 99-year leases on the properties near Jaffa Gate.Property transactions with Jewish buyers anger Palestinians, who see East Jerusalem, which contains the Old City, as the capital of their promised state.The church went to court against Ateret Cohanim, claiming the deals were signed illegally and without its authorization.The Greek Orthodox Church is the largest and wealthiest Christian Church in Israel.Its Jerusalem patriarchate commands massive wealth, largely in land portfolios in Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan.Grappling with tens of millions of dollars of debt, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem has managed to raise cash by selling and leasing plots to a number of overseas companies all headed by Jewish investors, senior figures in the Greek Orthodox Church told The Times of Israel recently.It is not clear why Theophilos singled out these two property deals as singlehandedly jeopardizing Christian communities all over Israel and the Palestinian areas.The Christian exodus has been underway for decades, as economic hardship and the violence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have sent Christians searching for better opportunities overseas.Christians in the Holy Land have dwindled from over 10 percent of the population on the eve of Israel’s founding to between 2% and 3% today, according to the local Roman Catholic church.The decline began with high Jewish immigration and Christian emigration after the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s establishment, and has been abetted by continued emigration and a low birthrate among Christians who stay.Israeli restrictions in the West Bank have also persuaded Christians to leave, as have economic hardship and corruption in the Palestinian areas, and instances of Islamic extremism, particularly in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.Most of the decline has been in Palestinian areas. About 38,000 Palestinian Christians live in the West Bank, 2,000 in Gaza, and 10,000 in Jerusalem, according to the local Roman Catholic church.Israel has 130,000 Arab Christians. There are also nearly 200,000 non-native Christians in Israel, including Christians who moved from the former Soviet Union because of Jewish family ties, guest workers and African migrants.The Foreign Ministry said it had no response to the comments, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has frequently touted Israel as the only country in the region that guarantees the rights of all religious groups.Theophilos’ article also comes after US President Donald Trump’s shift in policy to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, writing that “as well as the threat to the political status quo, there is a threat also to the religious status quo, a threat instigated by radical settlers in and around Jerusalem, the heart of Christianity.”Recalling the two-thousand year history of Christians in the Holy Land, Theophilos noted that Christians have “survived countless invasions, and have flourished under many different forms of government.”“Our survival has depended on the principle that the holy places must be shared by and be accessible to all,” he noted.An agreement between Christians and Muslims to share custodianship was reached after Caliph Omar ibn al-Khattab invaded Jerusalem in 637, he stated.It was “a covenant that paved the way for an era of peace. This covenant was based on an understanding of shared custodianship of the holy places.”Theophilos also raised his concerns about a Knesset bill that would confiscate lands in Israel the patriarchate has sold to private investors, seeing the move as an unacceptable attempt by the state to interfere in the church’s right to deal freely with its own real estate. The patriarch recently traveled to the UK to drum up opposition to the bill, meeting with church figures, government ministers, and Prince Charles.The bill was proposed by MK Rachel Azaria (Kulanu) after it was revealed during the summer that the church had sold to anonymous businessmen land in central Jerusalem on which some 1,500 homes have been built on a leasehold basis.Theophilos has also faced heated criticism from Palestinians over the sale of land to Israelis.In Bethlehem, on Saturday, protesters thumped on the patriarch’s car as he arrived for Christmas celebrations at the Church of Nativity.The church elected Theophilos in 2005 after dismissing his predecessor Irineos over an alleged multi-million-dollar sale of church land to Jewish buyers. He leads a predominantly Arab flock of 220,000 Christians in Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.Agencies contributed to this report.

THESE LIBERAL-DEMOCRAT MIXED BAG OF RETARD LUNATIC HYPOCRITS. ARE JUST SO OVER JOYED THAT MICHAEL WOLFF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING THAT INFILTRATED THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE BY DECIET. TO WRITE THIS BOOK OF LIBERAL DUNG OVER FLOWING THE WHEEL BARROW. WOLFF ADMITED ON THE FAKE NEWS NETWORK CNN (OR COLLUSION NEWS NETWORK LEADER) AGAINST TRUMP. WOLFF ADMITTED ON THAT SHOW THAT HE SAID OR DONE ANY THING TO GET CLOSE IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OR CAMPAIGN. SO WOLFF WAS THE WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING THAT ALL THE LAME BRAIN MEDIA COUNTED ON TO INFILTRATE TRUMPS ADMINISTRATION. SO HE COULD GET A TRUMP HATE BOOK OUT TO BRING DOWN TRUMPS LEADERSHIP. AND WRITE ANY THING THAT MAKES TRUMP LOOK BAD. ALSO THE LIBERALS FOR THE LAST YEAR PLUS THOUGHT BANNON WAS THE DEVIL. BUT IN THE LAST WEEK. SUDDENLY BANNON IS WORSHIPPED AS GOD BY THE LIBERAL MIXED BAG OF RETARD LUNATIC HYPOCRITS. FOR THE THINGS HE SAID ABOUT TRUMP IN WOLFF BOOK OF DUNG. THIS JUST SHOWS HOWS NUTS THESE LIBERALS ARE. TO TRY TO SAY TRUMP IS UN FIT FOR OFFICE. TO TRY TO IMPEACH HIM ANY WAY POSSIBLE. THIS WILL REVEARSE ON THE LIBERAL MENTAL NUT JOBS HEADS. GOD WILL GET REVENGE ON THE LIBERALS FOR COMING AGAINST TRUMP WHO HE PUT IN OFFICE TO GET THE SCUM OFF THE TOP OF THE SWAMP. THEN CLEAR THE SCUM FILLED EVOLUTIONIST MENTAL CASES FROM THE SWAMP ONCE AND FOR ALL.IT WOULD NOT SURPRISE ME IF THE REPUBLICANS WIN 3/4S OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE SEATS IN THE 2018 MID TERM ELECTIONS. BECAUSE THE AMERICAN CITIZENS SEE HOW NUTS AND OBSESSED THESE LIBERAL-DEMOCRATS ARE TO DESTROY TRUMP. AND TO VOTE AGAINST ANY THING TRUMP WANTS TO PROTECT AMERICA WITH. THESE LIBERAL-DEMOCRAT MIXED BAG OF RETARD-LUNATICS.ARE JUST THAT.MENTALLY RETARDED DISEASED DEVILS FROM THE PITS OF HELL LIKE THEIR FATHER SATAN.

Trump assails ‘Fake Book’ as allies hail ‘political genius’-Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley and Stephen Miller slam Michael Wolff's tell-all book, saying no one 'questions the stability of the president'-By Brian Knowlton-TOI-JAN 7,18

WASHINGTON (AFP) — US President Donald Trump on Sunday assailed as a “Fake Book” an explosive behind-the-scenes account that questions his fitness for office, as allies lined up to defend the US leader, with one dubbing him a “political genius.”The White House has been pushing back hard against the unflattering portrayal of the president in “Fire and Fury,” a supposed tell-all book by Michael Wolff published Friday.Trump tweeted Sunday that the instant bestseller — which paints him as disengaged, ill-informed and unstable, with signs of serious memory loss — was a “Fake Book, written by a totally discredited author.”A day earlier, seeking to refute Wolff’s suggestion that he lacked stability, Trump called himself a “very stable genius.”Senior Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller treated the book derisively, while insisting that his boss was in fact “a political genius,” in an interview with CNN on Sunday.I’ve had to put up with the Fake News from the first day I announced that I would be running for President.Now I have to put up with a Fake Book, written by a totally discredited author. Ronald Reagan had the same problem and handled it well. So will I!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2018-Wolff, Miller said, “is a garbage author of a garbage book.” He assailed Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon, reportedly a key source for the author, as “vindictive” and “out of touch with reality.”Wolff defended his work on Sunday, telling NBC he “absolutely did not” violate any off-the-record agreements in his reporting, but conceding, of the total three hours he said he spent with Trump, that the president “probably did not think of them as interviews.”He also portrayed a high level of concern in the White House over whether Trump risks being removed from office as unfit, as is possible — if difficult — under the constitution’s 25th Amendment.Almost daily, he said, White House aides would say, “We’re not at a 25th Amendment level yet.”-‘Not going to succeed’-Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, rejected that notion, telling ABC that no one at the White House “questions the stability of the president.” She suggested that Wolff was someone who would “lie for money and for power.”But Wolff insisted he did not enter the book project with an anti-Trump bias or agenda.“I would have been delighted to have written a contrarian account here: ‘Donald Trump, this unexpected president, is actually going to succeed.’ Okay, that’s not the story. He is not going to succeed. This is worse than everybody thought.”Meanwhile, CIA director Mike Pompeo, appearing on Fox News Sunday, insisted that Wolff’s portrayal of Trump was “just pure fantasy.”Far from being detached and unable to deal with complex policy issues, Pompeo said, “the president is engaged, he understands the complexity, he asks really difficult questions of our team at the CIA.” He described Trump as an “avid consumer” of the agency’s intelligence.Pompeo added that Trump was “completely fit,” saying it was “ludicrous” to suggest otherwise.-‘Hysterical coverage’-But in a possible sign of White House sensitivities over the book, Miller lashed out in an unusually raw clash with his CNN interviewer, Jake Tapper.When Tapper attempted to question Miller about his work with Bannon, the interview deteriorated into a rapid-fire series of mutual interruptions and recriminations.Miller called Tapper “condescending” and “snide,” and accused CNN of engaging in “negative anti-Trump hysterical coverage” and “spectacularly embarrassing false reporting.”The two men repeatedly spoke over each other before Tapper declared, “I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time. Thank you, Stephen,” then turned away from Miller — who was still talking — to tersely announce the next guest.Miller was not treated kindly in Wolff’s book. The author wrote that Miller “was supposed to be the house intellectual, but was militantly unread. He was supposed to be a communications specialist, but he antagonized almost everyone.”Miller’s combative performance on CNN got a thumbs up from his boss.“Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!” Trump tweeted after the segment aired.

Republican senator slams Wolff's 'looseness with the truth' in new Trump book-By Olivia Beavers - 01/07/18 11:08 AM EST-THE HILL

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Sunday took aim at the credibility of Michael Wolff, the author of the new bombshell book that paints President Trump as an unstable leader leading a White House in chaos."This is a book by a New York gossip columnist who has been known to fabricate stories, who says in his own preface that looseness with the truth is an elemental thread of the book," Cotton said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” Wolff said he conducted over 200 interviews for his new book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," in which "every" staffer described Trump as mentally unfit to lead and mentally unstable. Wolff acknowledges in the book’s introduction that certain parts of the book reflect “a version of events I believe to be true" but that are sometimes based on conflicting accounts.Cotton said this tell-all book is similar to other claims the media made when describing other Republican presidents."I can tell you this, the media made similar claims about [former presidents] Ronald Reagan and George Bush. What they all have in common is they are Republican presidents," the GOP senator told Stephanopoulos.Cotton joined the White House in pushing back on the claims made in the book. Trump tweeted Sunday that he would handle the "Fake Book" the way Reagan handled similar situations. Cotton described Trump as "active, engaged and effective," while touting what he views as the president's successful policies on immigration, health care, defense and the economy."When I have worked with the president and the people around him and Republican senators, he's been an active, engaged and effective leader on issues like repealing the individual mandate of ObamaCare, cutting taxes for working people, getting immigration under control, leading the fight against [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] and turning this economy around," he said."It's not just the growing economy, but it's also that this administration is getting unskilled and low-skilled immigration under control," he added.

Bannon tries to make amends, says support for Trump ‘unwavering’-Responding to explosive book, former strategist walks back 'treasonous' comment about Donald Trump Jr., says he is 'both a patriot and a good man'-By Jill Colvin-TOI-JAN 7,18

WASHINGTON (AP) — Steve Bannon is trying to make amends.US President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist released a statement Sunday reaffirming his support for the commander in chief and praising Trump’s eldest son as “both a patriot and a good man.”Bannon infuriated Trump with comments to author Michael Wolff describing a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York between Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign aides and a Russian lawyer as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”Bannon said his description was aimed at former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who also attended the meeting, and not at Trump’s son.“I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr has diverted attention from the president’s historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency,” according to the statement, first obtained by the news site Axios. Bannon said his support for Trump and his agenda was “unwavering.”Hours before the statement came out, administration officials used appearances on the Sunday news shows to rally behind Trump and try to undermine Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” which portrays the 45th president as a leader who does not understand the weight of his office and whose competence is questioned by aides.Chief policy adviser Stephen Miller, in a combative appearance on CNN, described the book as “nothing but a pile of trash through and through.”He also criticized Bannon, who is quoted at length by Wolff, saying it was “tragic and unfortunate” that Bannon “would make these grotesque comments so out of touch with reality and obviously so vindictive.”CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who said Trump was “completely fit” to lead the country, said he paused before answering because it was such “a ludicrous question.”“These are from people who just have not accepted the fact that President Trump is the United States president and I’m sorry for them and that,” Pompeo told “Fox News Sunday.” He gives Trump his regular intelligence briefings.Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said that she is at the White House once a week, and “no one questions the stability of the president.”“I’m always amazed at the lengths people will go to, to lie for money and for power. This is like taking it to a whole new low,” she told ABC’s “This Week.”To Miller, “the portrayal of the president in the book is so contrary to reality, to the experience of those who work with him.”Miller’s interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” quickly grew heated, with Miller criticizing CNN’s coverage and moderator Jake Tapper pressing Miller to answer his questions.Tapper abruptly ended the interview, saying: “I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time.”Soon afterwards, Trump tweeted: “Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!”Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2018-Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to defend his fitness for office, insisting he is “like, really smart” and, indeed, a “very stable genius.” He pressed the case again on Sunday as he prepared to depart Camp David for the White House.“I’ve had to put up with the Fake News from the first day I announced that I would be running for President. Now I have to put up with a Fake Book, written by a totally discredited author,” he tweeted.I’ve had to put up with the Fake News from the first day I announced that I would be running for President. Now I have to put up with a Fake Book, written by a totally discredited author. Ronald Reagan had the same problem and handled it well. So will I!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2018-Wolff’s book draws a derogatory portrait of Trump as an undisciplined man-child who did not actually want to win the White House and who spends his evenings eating cheeseburgers in bed, watching television and talking on the telephone to old friends.The book also quotes Bannon and other prominent advisers as questioning the president’s competence.Chatter about Trump’s mental fitness for office has intensified in recent months on cable news shows and among Democrats in Congress.White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders this past week called such suggestions “disgraceful and laughable.”“If he was unfit, he probably wouldn’t be sitting there and wouldn’t have defeated the most qualified group of candidates the Republican Party has ever seen,” she said, calling him “an incredibly strong and good leader.”Trump and some aides have attacked Wolff’s credibility, pointing to the fact that the book includes a number of factual errors and denying that the author had as much access as he claimed.“He said he interviewed me for three hours in the White House. It didn’t exist, OK? It’s in his imagination,” Trump said Saturday.Wolff told NBC on Sunday that “I truly do not want to say the president is a liar,” but that he had indeed spoken with Trump for about three hours during and since the campaign.Trump has repeatedly invoked Ronald Reagan, tweeting Sunday that the former president “had the same problem and handled it well. So will I!”Reagan died in 2004, at age 93, from pneumonia complicated by the Alzheimer’s disease that had progressively clouded his mind. At times when he was president, Reagan seemed forgetful and would lose his train of thought while talking.Doctors, however, said Alzheimer’s was not to blame, noting the disease was diagnosed years after he left office. Reagan announced his diagnosis in a letter to the American people in 1994, more than five years after leaving the White House.

Palestinians seek to join UN as full member – report-PA said planning to soon apply to Security Council in first stage of bid to upgrade status, though Jerusalem expects US to veto the move-By TOI staff-JAN 7,18

The Palestinian Authority intends to try to upgrade its status at the United Nations and become a full state member, it was reported Sunday as Ramallah looks for ways to respond to a series of setbacks.In a unilateral step, the PA intends to apply to the UN Security Council to upgrade it from observer status to full membership in the international body, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported.The move comes in response to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, followed by threats from the president to cut US funding to the Palestinians.Though viewed as an extreme, last-ditch attempt, it would be a largely symbolic attempt.To gain full membership in the United Nations, the Palestinians would have to first gain approval from nine out of the 15 members of the Security Council, and even if they succeed, Jerusalem reportedly expects that the US would use its veto to scuttle the move.Additionally, from January 1, Poland, Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea joined the Security Council, all of whom are viewed as sympathetic to Israel and may vote against the move, although Peru, the other new member, recognized Palestine as a state in 2011.Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, said on Saturday that the Palestinians failed to understand their situation. “After years of ignoring Israel and promoting unilateral moves, they mistakenly think they can ignore the US and establish facts on the ground,” he said.Relations between Trump’s White House and the Palestinians have soured since Trump’s December 6 announcement recognizing Jerusalem, in the course of which he stressed that he was not taking a position on future borders between Israel and the Palestinians.The declaration led Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to break off all contact with the Trump administration, and he has refused to meet with US officials regarding the peace process, including envoy Jason Greenblatt and Vice President Mike Pence, angering the administration.In a tweet hitting back at the PA, Trump threatened to withdraw funding from the UNRWA , which provides humanitarian assistance to some 5.3 million Palestinians classified by the agency as refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and throughout the Middle East.On Friday, senior US officials denied reports that $125 million in aid to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency had been frozen.“Contrary to reports that we have halted funding to UNRWA, the decision is under review,” a State Department official told The Times of Israel. “There are still deliberations taking place, and we have missed no deadline.”Earlier on Friday, Channel 10 news reported that $125 million in US funding that should have been transferred to UNRWA by January 1 was being held up.

Hamas member dies in ‘accidental explosion’ in Gaza, terror group says-Qassam Brigades says terrorist met his end after 'a great and honorable jihadi journey'-By Dov Lieber  -JAN 7,18

A member of Hamas’s military wing died on Sunday in an “accidental explosion” in the northern Gaza Strip, the Palestinian terror group said.Hamas’s military wing the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement on its website that 22-year-old Mohammad Fathi Janid, “one of its heroic jihadi fighters from the town of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, was killed by an accidental explosion.”The statement added that Janid was killed after “a great and honorable jihadi journey.”The terror group posted pictures of Janid on its website.#صورة الشهيد القسامي/ محمد فتحي جنيد pic.twitter.com/gvFkrKI5n6— مقاومة فلسطين (@qassam_arabic10) January 7, 2018-Janid was buried later on Sunday, in a service attended by hundreds.#صور من وداع الشهيد القسامي "محمد جنيد" بجنازة مهيبة بجباليا البلد شمال قطاع #غزة#كتائب_القسامhttps://t.co/Ixw3PVpaMl pic.twitter.com/xLvPH4tFVq— مقاومة فلسطين (@qassam_arabic10) January 7, 2018-Several Hamas operatives have been killed or injured in accidental blasts and tunnel collapses in recent months.In November, 10 Islamic Jihad and 2 Hamas members were killed when Israel blew up an attack tunnel that ran under the border into Israel.Hamas is engaged in training its fighters, building rockets and digging tunnels in preparation for another round of conflict with Israel. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.Gaza terrorists have dug dozens of tunnels, many reaching under the border into Israel, to launch attacks inside the Jewish state. While Israel destroyed many of them during the summer 2014 war, it says Hamas has since been rebuilding the network, and Hamas has bragged about doing so.Last year, 22 members of Hamas’s armed wing were killed while “preparing equipment,” the majority in a string of tunnel collapses, the terror group said.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard claims victory against anti-government protests-Called out by demonstrators for its massive budget and costly regional interventions, paramilitary force blames unrest on Israel, the US and Saudi Arabia-By Agencies-TOI-JAN 7,18

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said Sunday that the nation and its security forces have ended the wave of unrest linked to anti-government protests that erupted last month.In a statement on its website, the Guard blamed the unrest on the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well as an exiled opposition group known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, and supporters of the monarchy that was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.Price hikes sparked protests in a number of cities and towns late last month, and at least 21 people were killed in scattered clashes. The protests, which vented anger at high unemployment and official corruption, were the largest seen in Iran since the disputed 2009 presidential election, and some demonstrators called for the overthrow of the government.The Revolutionary Guard is a powerful paramilitary force loyal to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Many of the demonstrators protested against the Guard’s massive budget, its costly interventions across the region, and against the supreme leader himself.Hundreds of people have been detained since the protests began. They include around 90 university students, reformist lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeghi was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency.Iranian lawmakers held a closed session on Sunday in which senior security officials briefed them on the protests and the conditions of the detainees, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.Lawmakers probed Interior Minister Abdolrahmani Rahmani Fazli, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, the parliament’s ICANA website reported.“It was emphasized that foreign elements, and in particular the United States, played a basic role in forming and manipulating the recent unrest,” IRNA quoted lawmaker Jalal Mirzaei as saying.Some voiced concern over the internet controls put in place during the unrest, including a ban on Iran’s most popular messaging app, Telegram, which officials said had been used to incite violence.“The parliament is not in favour of keeping Telegram filtering in place, but it must pledge that it will not be used as a tool by the enemies of the Iranian people,” Behrouz Nemati, spokesman for the parliament’s presiding board, wrote on Instagram, which was also temporarily blocked during the unrest.Many Iranians use Telegram as their main source of news and a way of bypassing the highly restrictive state media, with almost a third of Iran’s 80 million people using the app daily.The United States and Israel have expressed support for the protests, which began on December 28 in Iran’s second largest city, Mashhad, but deny allegations of fomenting them.In recent days, government supporters have held several mass rallies across the country to protest the unrest.

One dead, one hurt in blast outside Stockholm area subway-Police say man succumbed to injuries sustained when he picked up hand grenade; no suggestion it was a terror attack-By AFP-JAN 7,18-TOI

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — One person died and another was slightly hurt Sunday in a blast outside a metro station in a Stockholm suburb, police said.A man in his 60s died after succumbing to injuries sustained when “according to witnesses he picked up an object off the ground which promptly exploded,” police spokesman Sven-Erik Olsson told AFP.He died in the hospital, police said on their website.A woman aged 45 was also hurt, suffering facial injuries, police said.The blast occurred mid-morning at the Varby gard station in Huddinge, a southern suburb of the Swedish capital.Police cordoned off the station and the square where the blast happened as the bomb squad moved in to investigate.The Expressen and Aftonbladet newspapers said the device was a hand grenade.“It is too early to say. Technicians are still working on it. Nothing indicates that the (injured) couple were targeted,” said Olsson, adding there was nothing to suggest an act of terrorism.

STORMS HURRICANES-TORNADOES

LUKE 21:25-26
25 And there shall be signs in the sun,(HEATING UP-SOLAR ECLIPSES) and in the moon,(MAN ON MOON-LUNAR ECLIPSES) and in the stars;(ASTEROIDS ETC) and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear,(TORNADOES,HURRICANES,STORMS) and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:(DESTRUCTION) for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.(FROM QUAKES,NUKES ETC)

ISAIAH 30:26-27
26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold,(7X OR 7-DEGREES HOTTER) as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people,(ISRAEL) and healeth the stroke of their wound.
27 Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:

MATTHEW 24:21-22,29
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened,(DAY LIGHT HOURS SHORTENED) there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake (ISRAELS SAKE) those days shall be shortened (Daylight hours shortened)(THE ASTEROID HITS EARTH HERE)
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

REVELATION 16:7-9
7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

Sydney swelters through its hottest day in almost 80 years-[Associated Press]-YAHOONEWS-January 7, 2018

SYDNEY (AP) — Dangerous heat is roasting parts of Australia with temperatures that haven't been seen in decades.The temperature in Sydney hit an almost 80-year high of 47.3 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) on Sunday — a sharp contrast to the bitter cold that has gripped much of the U.S.The temperature was just shy of the city's all-time high of 47.8 C (118F), set in 1939.New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said the state's heat wave plan had been activated to respond to "severe to extreme heat conditions."Thousands were left without power, and total fire bans were put in place as officials warned of a severe danger.Residents were urged to drink extra water and limit their time outdoors because of air pollution resulting from the hot weather.

Spanish army called in as snow traps thousands on roads-[AFP]-YAHOONEWS-January 7, 2018

Madrid (AFP) - Spain deployed 250 soldiers on Sunday to help rescue thousands of people trapped in their vehicles by heavy snow overnight on a highway near Madrid, officials said.The army's emergency unit UME said it sent two companies of specialist soldiers and 95 vehicles to free over 3,000 vehicles that became stranded on the AP6 highway linking Madrid and the northwestern city of Segovia."The vehicles were removed one by one. There were cars with babies inside that did not have water or food," said UME spokesman Aurelio Soto.Videos posted on Twitter by emergency services showed soldiers and police battling snow drifts as they used shovels to clear snow from around trapped cars.About 70 kilometres (45 miles) of the highway in the centre of the country were blocked by snow just as families were returning home after the end of the Christmas holidays.Motorists took to social media to complain that they had been trapped on the road since Saturday night without anything to eat and no heating, amid freezing temperatures."My husband and I didn't eat anything to give the little we had to our children," Sara Ramos, who was trapped in her car for 15 hours with her husband and two children aged two and six, told Spanish public television."It was really distressing because it was many hours of waiting. It was a really difficult situation. There were people who had no heat because their car battery ran out."Public Works Minister Inigo de la Serna said the government had opened an inquiry to see if the toll road operator that runs the AP6 highway -- Iberpistas, a subsidiary of Spain's Abertis -- "had fulfilled all protocols" for a snow storm.The minister said many other roads were covered by snow but these were closed and cleared without drivers being trapped in their vehicles for so long. He urged people not to use their cars in areas affected by he snow storm "unless it is strictly necessary".Spain's weather office issued alerts for 37 provinces on Sunday because of the risks posed by the heavy snow,strong winds and rain.

U.S. to endure another day below freezing before relief comes-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-January 7, 2018

(Reuters) - The bitter cold that has gripped much of the United States since the new year will last another day, forecasters said on Sunday, predicting an end to a frigid spell that featured a "bomb cyclone" snowstorm and frozen iguanas falling from trees in Florida.The U.S. Northeast will endure at least one more day of sub-freezing temperatures before the arrival of a thaw that could help residents in some areas of New England recover from a foot (30 cm) or more of snow dumped by Friday's blizzard.Much of the central part of the country was due for snow, ice and rain on Sunday, forecasters said.Temperatures are finally expected to climb above freezing on Monday."A warm-up is in store for next week," the U.S. National Weather Service said, adding that temperatures would return to seasonal norms or warmer.Boston and New York awakened on Sunday morning to Fahrenheit temperatures in the single digits. Washington and Chicago were slightly warmer but still well below freezing.In the central United States, a wintry mix was seen developing over eastern Kansas and spreading eastward across southern Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and far western Indiana on Sunday, AccuWeather said in a forecast. The Tennessee and Ohio valleys could expect similar conditions into Sunday night.The snow and cold have brought parts of the Northeast to a standstill and were blamed for at least 18 deaths over the past several days.New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport closed from Thursday to Friday morning when snow created white-out conditions, and on Saturday set an all-time low for Jan. 6 at 8 F (minus 13 Celsius), the U.S. Weather Prediction Center said.The East Coast's first snowstorm of 2018 was energized by a rapid drop in barometric pressure that some weather forecasters called a bombogenesis, or a bomb cyclone.The phenomenon gave rise to gusts of more than 70 miles (113 km) per hour and produced snowfall totals of 22 inches (56 cm) in parts of Maine and 17 inches (43 cm) in parts of Massachusetts, the weather service said.The cold snap dropped snow into sub-tropical Florida, where numerous people posted social media pictures of iguanas that had fallen from trees in recent days. Zoologists warned people not to assume they were dead as the cold-blooded reptiles were capable of springing back to life after warming up.(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Frank McGurty and Lisa Von Ahn)

Brutal cold snap stuns U.S. East Coast after blizzard-[Reuters]-By Scott Malone and Gina Cherelus-YAHOONEWS-January 6, 2018

BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - A shroud of bone-chilling arctic air covered the U.S. East Coast and Midwest on Saturday, creating dangerous conditions as tens of millions of people struggled to clean up from a blizzard that dumped deep, drifting snow in many areas earlier this week.Wind chill and freeze warnings stretched from New England to Ohio and Pennsylvania, while the National Weather Service warned of freezing rain in Missouri and areas to the northeast.In some of those places, exposed skin could freeze within 30 minutes, said meteorologist Dan Petersen of the National Weather Service's Maryland-based Weather Prediction Center.At the Whoopie Pie Cafe in Bangor, Maine, business was slow because of the cold, cashier and waiter Liz Gallagher, 58, said by phone. "Nobody goes out when it's really cold, at least I wouldn't," said the life-long Bangor resident.The cold snap complicated efforts by crews to clear snow and ice from roadways after the blizzard, which clobbered the Northeast after sprinkling snow in areas as far south as Savannah, Georgia and Tallahassee, Florida.In New England and the Middle Atlantic states, the storm forced hundreds of schools to close and commuter rail services to suspend or reduce service.Cold and snowy weather was blamed for at least 18 deaths in the past few days, including four in North Carolina traffic accidents and three in Texas."The magnitude of the cold and the area of coverage of the cold is really what's impressive to me," said meteorologist Ed Vallee, owner of Vallee Weather Consulting.Killington, the famous Vermont ski resort, closed on Saturday even though snow conditions were excellent, saying wind chill on the slopes was at least minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 46 degrees Celsius)."It's just too cold to put folks out there," the resort said on its website.In neighboring New Hampshire, the ambient air temperature on Mount Washington plunged to -36 F (minus 38C), two degrees short of a record low for Jan. 6. But sustained winds of 99 miles per hour (159 km/h) and gusts of up to 112 mph (180 km/h) atop the 6,200-foot (1,990-metre) peak made it feel more like minus 92 F (minus 69 Celsius), the NWS said.The brutal cold in parts of the East Coast and Midwest shows no sign of abating this weekend, but a thaw should begin on Monday, said meteorologist Bob Oravec of the Weather Prediction Center. Before then, conditions will probably worsen.Overnight, more than 30 cities from New England to the mid-Atlantic states could experience record cold, Petersen said. New York and Boston are among the big cities where records could fall.Among the coldest places in the country on Saturday afternoon were the small Minnesota towns of Cotton and Embarrass, where the mercury plummeted to minus 39F (minus 39C), the NWS said."The air hurt my face," Charlie Jessen, 25, an employee at the Superamerica gas station in Cotton, 36 miles (58 km) northwest of Duluth, said by phone.Even so, temperatures for those hamlets in the northeastern corner of Minnesota fell short of a record low for the area, where sub-zero readings are not unusual in January.In the more populous Northeast, New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport set an all-time low for Jan. 6 at 8 F (minus 13C), Oravec said.The airport had closed from Thursday to Friday morning when snow created white-out conditions. Some passengers endured more delays on Saturday after the wing of a China Southern plane clipped the tail of a Kuwait Airlines jet on the tarmac.The East Coast's first snowstorm of 2018 was energized by a rapid drop in barometric pressure that some weather forecasters called a bombogenesis, or a "bomb cyclone." The phenomenon gave rise to gusts of more than 70 mph (113 km/h) and produced snowfall totals of 22 inches (56 cm) in parts of Maine and 17 inches (43 cm) in parts of Massachusetts, the NWS said.(Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles, Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and Harriet McLeod in Charleston, South Carolina; Editing by Frank McGurty and Meredith Mazzilli)

At least 18 killed in explosion in Syria's Idlib: war monitor-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-January 7, 2018

BEIRUT (Reuters) - At least 18 people were killed and tens more injured, including civilians, in an explosion in Syria's northwestern city of Idlib, a war monitor reported on Sunday.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the explosion targeted the headquarters of a minor rebel faction in Idlib. It was not immediately clear what the nature of the attack was.Ambulances and rescue teams rushed to the explosion site and efforts are under way to pull out the bodies and rescue the injured trapped under the rubble of the targeted building and neighboring houses, the monitor added.Idlib province is a stronghold of rebels in Syria and is situated on the border with Turkey, one of the main backers of rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad.The Syrian army and its allies launched an offensive in October to recapture the provinces of Idlib and Hama, and it has since been making swift advances.The main rebel force in Idlib is Tahrir al-Sham, spearheaded by the former al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria previously called Nusra Front.The Syrian army lost Idlib to insurgents when the provincial capital fell in 2015. It became the only province fully under opposition control.(Reporting by Dahlia Nehme and Omar Fahmi; Editing by Alison Williams and David Goodman)