Friday, March 23, 2018


ISAIAH 65:9,22
9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect (ISRAEL) shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect (ISRAEL) shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

9  Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel,(IN PALESTINE) and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more;(ISRAEL-NEVER DESTROYED-FOREVER AN EARTHLY NATION) neither shall the children of wickedness(ISHMAEL-ARAB/MUSLIMS-WORLD ISRAEL HATERS) waste them any more, as at the beginning,(ARAB/MUSLIMS ATTACK ISRAEL ON MAY 15,1948)

5 Even unto them (ISRAELIS) will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name,(ISRAEL) that shall not be cut off.

ISAIAH 51:3-4
3  For the LORD shall comfort Zion:(JERUSALEM) he will comfort all her waste places;(FROM NUCLEAR WAR) and he will make her wilderness like Eden,(I BELIEVE THE EZEKIEL-4TH TEMPLE WILL BE BUILT 25 MILES FROM THE CURRENT TEMPLE MOUNT AFTER JESUS RULE FOR THE 1,000 YRS FROM JERUSALEM) and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.(PRAISE TO JESUS IN THE DESERT-COULD BE THE NEW JERUSALEM-4TH TEMPLE BUILT 25 MILES INTO THE DESERT FROM THE CURRENT TEMPLE MOUNT.SINCE EZEKIELS TEMPLE IS WAY TO BIG FOR THE CURRENT TEMPLE MOUNT)
4  Hearken unto me, my people;(ISRAEL) and give ear unto me, O my nation:(ISRAEL) for a law shall proceed from me,(JESUS IN JERUSALEM) and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.(ISRAEL AND THE WORLD)

LUKE 21:28-29
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)

JOEL 2:3,30
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)

ZECHARIAH 14:12-13
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)

47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.

18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE

Palestinian leaders health scares spark succession talk-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territory — A series of recent health scares have raised new concerns about octogenarian President Mahmoud Abbas, reviving anxiety about a potentially chaotic, and even bloody, succession battle that is bound to further weaken the Palestinian cause.In the latest sign of Abbas' health troubles, officials and medical sources say a cardiologist has moved into the presidential compound in Ramallah to monitor the longtime leader.The move follows a mysterious hospital visit in the United States after Abbas appeared weak in an address to the United Nations Security Council.Abbas, a heavy smoker with long-standing heart problems who turns 83 next week, insists he is fine. But after more than a decade of avoiding discussion of the post-Abbas era, Palestinian officials acknowledge that they are concerned, and potential successors are quietly jockeying for position.The topic of succession has been taboo in Palestinian official circles since Abbas took office 14 years ago. Abbas took over as a caretaker leader following the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2004, and was elected for what was supposed to be a five-year term the following year. He has remained in firm control since then, refusing to designate a successor while a political split with rival Hamas prevented new elections.Abbas has a long history of health issues, ranging from his heart troubles to a bout with prostate cancer a decade ago. Last summer, he underwent a health checkup at a Ramallah hospital and separately, dispelled rumours he had suffered a stroke. Two years ago, he underwent an emergency heart procedure after suffering exhaustion and chest pains. He suffers from arterial plaque and has had stents implanted.Concerns deepened after Abbas' Feb. 20 appearance before the U.N. Security Council, where he appeared to struggle for breath at times.After the speech, he travelled to Baltimore for a series of tests at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Feeling fatigued, Abbas then decided to return to the West Bank rather than continue on to Venezuela, as initially planned, according to three Abbas aides who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are under strict orders not to discuss his health.It was rare for the globe-trotting Abbas to cancel a planned trip.Abbas said after his return that the medical tests conducted in the U.S. yielded "positive and reassuring" results, but did not elaborate.A Palestinian official and two medical sources said a heart specialist is now present at the presidential compound whenever Abbas is there. Abbas' regular physician visits the compound every day as well.The medical sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Abbas' health. One said he requires medication and close attention.Aides said Abbas complains of strong stomach pain and has told his staff this is a result of stress and anger — two triggers doctors told him to avoid. They said rumours that he is suffering from cancer are not true.The health scares come at an especially difficult time.Abbas took office promising to lead the Palestinians to independence with a message of nonviolence. Fourteen years later, he has little to show for his efforts.Several rounds of peace talks have failed, and relations with the U.S. are at a low point following President Donald Trump's recognition last December of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.The Palestinians, who seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital, have accused Trump of siding with Israel on the most sensitive topic in the conflict and have largely frozen ties with the White House ahead of an expected U.S. peace plan.Abbas' frustration boiled over in a speech on Monday in which he called Trump's ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, a "son of a dog" because of his support for Israel's West Bank settler movement.Abbas' self-rule government, the Palestinian Authority, has suffered from chronic financial woes, and has been unable to regain control of the Gaza Strip, which was overrun by the militant Hamas group in 2007.Last week, an explosion struck the convoy of Abbas' prime minister and security chief while they visited Gaza. Abbas has accused Hamas of being behind the blast and threatened to take tough new measures to further squeeze the financially strapped militant group until it yields power.An opinion poll released this week found that 68 per cent of the Palestinian public wants Abbas to resign, and just 33 per cent of those surveyed said they were satisfied with his performance.The poll, conducted by the respected Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, surveyed 1,200 people and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.A number of top officials in Abbas' Fatah movement head the list of potential successors.Jibril Rajoub, a former security chief, and Mahmoud Aloul, a veteran Fatah leader, are both members of the party's decision-making Central Committee.Abbas' current security chief, Majed Farraj, is another strong contender, with good behind-the-scenes working relations with both Israel and the U.S.Marwan Barghouti, a former Palestinian uprising leader serving multiple life sentences in Israeli prison, tops public opinion polls. But his incarceration would pose a strong obstacle to him taking office.Mohammed Dahlan, an exiled rival of Abbas who now lives in the United Arab Emirates, also enjoys some support, but the local leadership opposes him.For now, Abbas refuses to designate a successor. That could set the stage for bitter and potentially violent infighting down the road.Whoever ultimately emerges as the next Palestinian leader will have little to inherit, analysts say.Ghassan Khatib, a former Cabinet minister, said that for all of his shortcomings, Abbas served as a unifying figure and will be hard to replace."The Palestinian Authority is eroding and dying," said Khatib. "There is no election, no changes, and the gap with the people is getting wider and wider."Mohammed Daraghmeh, The Associated Press.

Police search for suspect after Vaughan synagogue doors smashed in 'hate-motivated' crime-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

Police in York Region are searching for a suspect after the doors of a Vaughan synagogue were smashed with a rock in what they're calling a "hate-motivated" crime.On Wednesday morning, police say a man approached the place of worship in the Bathurst Street and Flamingo Road area, throwing the rock at the door multiple times, breaking the glass."It is both despicable and lamentable that someone would feel the need to resort to such vile behaviour," said Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B'nai Brith Canada, in a release. "We trust that police will investigate this matter seriously."The suspect, last seen walking northbound on Bathurst Street, is described as 20 to 30 years old, 5' 8" to 5' 10" with a medium build. He is believed to have been wearing a dark grey or black North Face-style fur-trimmed winter coat, grey jeans and black sneakers with a Nike swoosh on the toe area.Police say they do "not tolerate hate crime in any form."Anyone with information is asked to contact York Regional Police #2 District's criminal investigation bureau at 1-866-876-5423 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.


1 PET 5:8
8 Be sober,(NOT DRUGED UP OR ALCOHOLICED) be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries (DRUGS) were all nations deceived.

21 Neither repented they of their murders,(KILLING) nor of their sorceries (DRUG ADDICTS AND DRUG PUSHERS), nor of their fornication,(SEX OUTSIDE MARRIAGE OR PROSTITUTION FOR MONEY) nor of their thefts.(STEALING)

Senate gives approval in principle to bill to legalize recreational marijuana-[The Canadian Press]-yahoonews-March 22, 2018

OTTAWA — The Senate gave approval in principle Thursday evening to the federal government's bill to legalize recreational marijuana, after a tense few days of manoeuvring by Conservative senators hoping to derail one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's signature election promises.Bill C-45 passed at second reading by a vote of 44-29.That does not mean the bill is out of the Senate woods, however. It will now be scrutinized by five different Senate committees, which could recommend amendments, before returning it to the upper house for a final debate and vote by June 7.Thursday's vote came hours after Trudeau issued a veiled warning to senators that they should not attempt to thwart the will of Canadians or the government they elected on a platform that included legalization of cannabis.His warning reflected concern among Liberals that the bill might not survive second reading — a concern triggered by Conservative senators, who were hoping to deliver a double-barrelled embarrassment to Trudeau: upending his promise to legalize marijuana while demonstrating the folly of his efforts to reform the Senate into a less partisan, more independent chamber.Ordinarily, approval in principle, known as a second reading vote, is not a big hurdle and is dispensed with on the basis of a quick voice vote so that a bill can be sent to committee.But, in the case of C-45, the 33 Conservative senators vowed to vote as a bloc against the bill and signalled their intention to insist upon a standing vote, where each senator's vote is counted.Although the Conservatives no longer dominate the 105-seat upper house, they had evidently hoped a handful of independent senators would join them and that — combined with a large number of absent independents who were travelling on Senate committee business — would be enough to defeat the bill.The leadership of the independent senators group scrambled to avoid that outcome, sending a memo Wednesday urging all of its absent members to return to Ottawa in time for the vote and warning that the Conservatives would blame the independents if the bill was defeated.The vast majority of independents did make it back in time and all of them voted as a bloc, along with unaffiliated and Liberal independent senators, to send the bill to committee.Conservative whip, Sen. Don Plett, said that proves the independents really make up a partisan caucus that's whipped to do the government's bidding, whereas he called the Conservatives "the most independent caucus" even though they too voted as a bloc.That said, Plett also predicted that some of the independents will ultimately support amendments to the bill or even vote against it.Sen. Yuen Pau Woo, the leader of the independent senators' group, said it's "not extraordinary at all" that all independents would vote to send the bill for thorough scrutiny by committees, which he characterized as doing their constitutional duty to give legislation sober second thought. But he too said that doesn't mean they'll all necessarily support the bill in the end, at least not as currently drafted."I fully expect that senators from different sides will discuss amendments and that these will be considered seriously by the various committees," he said.Sen. Peter Harder, the government's representative in the Senate, also acknowledged that the bill still faces some potentially big hurdles."This is a bill of high interest to the Senate. There are many issues to be dealt with," he said.Prior to the vote, Conservative Senate leader Larry Smith said if the bill was defeated, it would be because Trudeau's reforms mean the government can no longer rely on senators appointed by the prime minister to support government legislation; it wouldn't be because of partisan games played by the Conservatives."It has nothing to do with partisanship," Smith insisted."It has everything to do with Sen. Harder, as the government representative, trying to implement Prime Minister Trudeau's new system, which has holes in it. ... They have to get their troops organized to make sure they get the vote they want."Smith outlined five key areas of concern to Conservative senators about the cannabis bill: its impact on young people, public security and Indigenous people, the absence of a public education campaign and the lack of police preparedness to enforce a legalized pot regime, including the absence of a scientific test for drug impaired driving.One Conservative senator, Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, bluntly described the bill as a "piece of s---."  He later apologized for his choice of words.Earlier in the day, Trudeau said he expects the unelected Senate to scrutinize and suggest improvements to bills passed by the House of Commons. But he reminded senators that Canadians voted to end the criminal prohibition on cannabis when they elected his Liberal government."It is very clear that this bill responds first to an electoral promise that we made very clearly during the election campaign and for which Canadians voted," he said following an event in New Brunswick.The criminal cannabis regime has not protected Canadian kids, who are among the highest under-age users of marijuana in developed countries, and has put up to $7 billion every year in the pockets of organized crime, Trudeau said."The current system does not work. ... This is not something that Canadians want to see continued."Joan Bryden , The Canadian Press.

Philippine police say 13 killed in one day of drug busts-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine police killed 13 suspected drug dealers and arrested more than 100 people in dozens of anti-narcotics operations on Wednesday in a province north of the capital, its police chief said.More than 4,000 Filipinos have been killed by police during President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial 20-month-old war on drugs, and thousands more by unidentified armed men. Most killings have been in rundown areas of Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Bulacan and Cavite.Human rights groups and Duterte’s political opponents say executions of drug users and small-time peddlers are widespread, but police insist those killed were all dealers who put up violent resistance.Police in Bulacan ran about 60 drugs "buy-bust", or sting, operations in nine towns, the police chief said on Thursday.Bulacan is where 32 people were killed in a single day in August last year. Last month, an additional 10 drug suspects died in a bloody night of drug busts."These operations are part of our stepped-up campaign against drugs and all other forms of criminality in the province," Bulacan police chief Romeo Caramat said in a statement."Unfortunately, 13 of the suspects were killed when our officers fired in self-defense shortly after the suspects who were armed with concealed guns sensed they were being entrapped and started firing."More than 100 people were also arrested and 19 firearms and about 250 packets of suspected drugs were seized during the 24-hour operations, Caramat said.Last month, a prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague opened a preliminary examination into a complaint accusing Duterte and at least 11 officials of crimes against humanity.The Philippines last week notified the United Nations of its decision to withdraw from the ICC because of what Duterte called outrageous attacks by U.N. officials and violations of due process.(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Nick Macfie)


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


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

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

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

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


Boko Haram returns Nigeria girls, warns not to put in school-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

DAPCHI, Nigeria — Boko Haram Islamic extremists brought back nearly all of the 110 girls they had kidnapped from a boarding school last month, dropping them off in the middle of the night Wednesday with a warning: "Don't ever put your daughters in school again."Several of the girls interviewed by The Associated Press said they had been travelling for days before the convoy of vehicles arrived in the centre of the town of Dapchi around 2 a.m. Residents who had fled upon hearing that Boko Haram was headed their way watched from hiding as dozens of girls descended from the vehicles apparently unharmed."We were freed because we are Muslim girls and they didn't want us to suffer. That is why they released us," said Khadija Grema, one of the freed girls who said a Christian classmate remained captive.The extraordinary development brought elation to most of the families, but more heartache for the relatives of the six girls still unaccounted for. The sister of one girl fainted Wednesday upon hearing that she was not among those freed.One 14-year-old released by the fighters told reporters that five girls had died. She did not provide other details and it was not immediately possible to independently verify her claim.The abductions in Dapchi have evoked painful memories of the tragedy in Chibok, where 276 girls were kidnapped from their boarding school. Nearly four years later, about 100 of them have never returned home. Many had been forced to marry their captors and had children fathered by them.The Nigerian government denied that it had paid a ransom or made a prisoner swap in exchange for the girls' freedom. The girls were released "through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country, and it was unconditional," Information Minister Lai Mohammed told journalists in the capital, Abuja."No money changed hands. They only had one condition — that they will return them to where they took them. So in the early hours of today, they did return the girls and most of them went to their parents," he said.The girls were meeting with counsellors at a nearby hospital, and "will be quarantined and be counselled before they go back to their schools," he added. Nigeria's government later said they were being taken to the capital on a military plane.The fighters had rolled into Dapchi in nine vehicles and the girls were left in the centre of town. As terrified residents emerged from their homes, the extremists issued an ominous warning, resident Ba'ana Musa told the AP."We did it out of pity. And don't ever put your daughters in school again," the residents said the extremists told them. Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa language.Nigeria's government said 104 of the 110 schoolgirls had been confirmed freed.The latest mass abduction is thought to have been carried out by a Boko Haram splinter group aligned with the Islamic State group that has criticized the leader of the main Boko Haram organization for targeting civilians and has focused instead on military and Western targets.The release came a day after an Amnesty International report accused the Nigerian military of failing to heed several warnings of an imminent attack on Feb. 19 during which the girls were seized. The military has called the report an "outright falsehood."Wednesday's miraculous development also brought renewed focus to the 100 Chibok girls still missing since April 2014. Coincidentally, some of the Chibok families had already made plans to travel to Dapchi that day to lend their moral support before it was known that most of the girls had been released.Some of the Chibok families instead joined in rejoicing with the Dapchi parents, said Lawan Zannah, secretary of the Chibok parents' association."This development gives us light that ... we can take a message to our other colleagues at home that yes, what we have seen will give us hope that our own (girls) too will be released," Zannah said.___Larson reported from Dakar, Senegal. Associated Press writers Jossy Ola in Dapchi, Nigeria; Ismail Alfa Abdulrahim in Maiduguri, Nigeria; Ibrahim Abdulaziz in Yola, Nigeria; Sam Olukoya in Lagos and Bashir Adigun in Abuja, Nigeria, also contributed to this report.Haruna Umar And Krista Larson, The Associated Press.

Defeated rebels begin leaving enclave near Syrian capital-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

BEIRUT — Carrying their light arms, hundreds of defeated rebels began evacuating with their families Thursday from a devastated town in eastern Ghouta, an effective surrender under a deal with the government after a long siege and bombing campaign of the enclave on the outskirts of Damascus.The departure of the powerful Ahrar al-Sham group — the first such arrangement for eastern Ghouta — could serve as a blueprint for fighters in other towns, bringing President Bashar Assad's government closer to ending years of rebellion in the territory just east of the capital.As night fell, Syrian TV showed dozens of white buses carrying opposition fighters and civilians pulling out in a long convoy after being parked all day on a main highway. Among the 1,580 evacuees from the town of Harasta were 413 gunmen, it said.Earlier, a few fighters with automatic rifles slung on their shoulders were seen milling around the buses. As the sun set, a group of rebels knelt on the Harasta highway and prayed.Ahrar al-Sham is a powerful, ultra-conservative Islamic group in Syria. It is one of the smaller rebel groups based in eastern Ghouta — and the first to acknowledge defeat. Under the agreement with the Assad government, the group's fighters and their relatives will leave their base in the town of Harasta and head to opposition-controlled Idlib in northern Syria.The deal will see 1,500 rebels and 6,000 civilians depart, according to the state-affiliated Military Media Center.The convoy of buses from Harasta, their headlights blazing, was reminiscent of those ferrying defeated rebels out of eastern Aleppo in late 2016, following a similar agreement with the government."They are leaving toward Idlib with no return," said Rabieh Dibeh, correspondent for state-affiliated al-Ikhbariya TV, when the buses started moving.The deal is modeled on others that have had rebels surrender swaths of territory around the capital and other major cities to the government. In all cases, the arrangements followed indiscriminate bombing campaigns against hospitals, markets and other civilian targets, driving thousands from their homes.As Ahrar al-Sham rebels prepared to leave Harasta, thousands of civilians streamed out of other areas in eastern Ghouta that were still being bombed by the government.Dozens of the civilians appeared to be wounded, some hobbling on crutches, another with an eye injury. Several children were seen crying in fear. A girl who appeared to be younger than 10, wearing a yellow dress, struggled to walk while carrying a toddler and some belongings.The government assault has sparked a tide of people trying to escape the violence in the Damascus suburbs. Some have moved deeper into the rebel-held enclave, while about 50,000 others have crossed the front lines toward government-controlled areas.The air and ground assault, which escalated Feb. 18, has seen the once- sprawling territory at the edge of the capital shrink to three disconnected rebel-held islands. That has made it only a question of when — not if — the Russian-backed government forces would recapture the entire region.Also on Thursday, the media arm of Lebanon's Hezbollah group and an opposition activist group said the second-largest rebel group in eastern Ghouta has declared a cease-fire in order to negotiate leaving the area.The rebel group Failaq al-Rahman will abide by a cease-fire as of midnight Thursday, according to Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.There was no immediate comment from Failaq al-Rahman. Hezbollah is fighting alongside Assad's forces.The international medical charity Doctors Without Borders said the advancing government forces had captured or destroyed 19 of the 20 hospitals the group was supporting only a week ago. Medical workers were fleeing the approaching front lines, it said.Rebels now hold only one-fifth of the territory they controlled a month ago in eastern Ghouta, according to the Observatory. But that territory includes several densely populated residential zones, including Douma, the largest town in the enclave.Iyad Abdelaziz, a member of Douma's Local Council, said a civilian committee representing the town is in talks with the Russians to reach a settlement. He said the committee has presented a proposal to the Russians for their forces to enter the town, while residents stay in place and restore state institutions there. Abdelaziz said he did not have further details."Until now, there's been no response from the Russians, but today we received a reply of rockets and bombs," he said.Commenting on Thursday's evacuations from Harasta, Douma-based Syrian opposition activist Haitham Bakkar accused the government of forcefully removing its opponents from some areas and replacing them with Assad supporters."This is a demographic change par excellence," he said.Rebels and the government exchanged 18 prisoners ahead of the Harasta evacuation, according to pro-government media.The 13 men released by the rebels identified themselves to the media outside Harasta as soldiers and civilians attached to the Syrian army who were captured in the fighting for the town. Crying in relief, they thanked God, the Syrian army and Assad for their freedom.Monther Fares, a spokesman for the rebel faction Ahrar al-Sham, confirmed that his group's fighters were preparing to depart. Fares said the rebels agreed to leave because of "civilian pressure" resulting from intense airstrikes and "warplanes that do not leave the sky," adding that Harasta residents have spent the last three months in shelters.But the arrangement leaves other fighters for the Failaq al-Rahman group still inside. They government is threatening to move on them if they do not also agree to depart.In violence elsewhere, an airstrike on a market in the village of Harem in northwestern Syria killed at least 28 people, according to observers and the opposition's Civil Defence group.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the dead included 11 children and women, and the overall death toll could still rise since many others were critically wounded.The Syrian Civil Defence , also known as White Helmets, said the airstrike killed 37, mostly women or children.Harem is in Idlib province, which is mostly controlled by rebels and has been subjected to intense airstrikes recently.___Associated Press writers Philip Issa in Beirut, Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow and an AP writer in Damascus, Syria, contributed.Bassem Mroue And Zeina Karam, The Associated Press.

Turkey says will drive Kurdish YPG from Syrian border area if no deal with U.S.[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will drive the Kurdish YPG militia away from the Syrian border if it does not reach agreement with the United States on a plan to remove the group from Syria's Manbij region, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday."If this plan is not realised, the only option left will be clearing away terrorists. This is not just valid for Syria, but also for Iraq," he said in interview with state-run Anadolu news agency.He added that President Tayyip Erdogan and President Donald Trump will speak by telephone on Thursday.(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by David Dolan)

AP Explains: How a phone may have steered hunt for bomber-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — Most people who own a smartphone take it wherever they go, a fact of modern life that enabled authorities to hunt down the man suspected in five Texas bombings before he blew himself up Wednesday.The search for the suspect, identified as Mark Anthony Conditt, drew upon technology that connects mobile phones to cellular towers and transmits the device's location. It's similar to the same way that an app installed on your phone can know where you are and, in some cases, even learn more about your favourite places to shop, buy coffee or just hang out.But some of the methods law enforcement officials have used to track people's location through their phones have raised legal issues, even when the target is suspected of committing heinous crimes like Conditt is. That's because their location-tracking techniques cast a wide net that also can capture personal information about innocent bystanders.___GETTING THE CELL NUMBER-Officials in Texas said they were able to obtain Conditt's phone number. This breakthrough came after he was linked through a license plate number to a red truck spotted on surveillance video at a FedEx store where he is suspected to have dropped off a parcel bomb.Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the same phone number showed up at the bomb sites. But he did not elaborate on how investigators obtained the information to reach that conclusion.In the most likely scenario, investigators may have asked telecommunication carriers for historical records of all traffic on certain cell towers on specific dates, said Mike Chapple, associate teaching professor of information technology, analytics and operations at the University of Notre Dame.A warrant usually accompanies requests, known as "tower dumps," but not always. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently reviewing a case involving the pulling of 127 days of cellphone information without a warrant to pinpoint the location of a robbery suspect. The question being debated is whether the investigation violated the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches.___TRACKING THE PHONE NUMBER-Once investigators had Conditt's phone number, they most likely contacted his carrier to track where the device's signal was connecting to towers.But the authorities also may have tried to get an even more precise location by using "cell-site simulators" that act as fake towers. These simulators, also known as "StingRays," broadcast radio signals stronger than legitimate cell towers to force all phones within a targeted area to connect to them.Some simulators can fit in the trunk of a police car that can cruise around a neighbourhood in an effort to find a certain phone. But in the process they can also scoop up the locations of other phones, as well as personal data stored on them, said Stephanie Lacambra, a criminal defence staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group."All bystanders in a certain radius can have their information hoovered up without their consent with some of these investigative techniques," Lacambra said.___AP writer Paul J. Weber in Austin, Texas, contributed to this story.Michael Liedtke, The Associated Press.

Texas bomber 'not sorry' on confession tape: report-[AFP]-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

Chicago (AFP) - The man behind a series of package bombs that terrorized Texas state capital Austin left a recorded confession expressing no remorse and describing himself as a "psychopath," a newspaper reported Thursday.Mark Conditt, who was wanted for a series of bombings over three weeks that killed two people and injured several others, died after detonating a bomb in his car Wednesday as police closed in.Police said the 23-year-old left a video recording on his phone, characterizing it as a "confession." They have not released the recording or described its contents in detail, citing an ongoing investigation.The Austin American-Statesman newspaper, citing anonymous sources briefed on the approximately 25-minute recording's contents, said Conditt threatened more attacks."I wish I were sorry but I am not," Conditt said, according to the newspaper.Conditt described himself as a "psychopath," said he had been disturbed since childhood, and threatened to blow himself up inside a crowded McDonald's restaurant if he thought he was about to be caught, the newspaper reported.The Austin Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Investigators are still working to determine a motive for the bombings and whether there were accomplices.They released the second of Conditt's two roommates on Thursday, after questioning them both. The first was released Wednesday and police said neither was under arrest.Investigators are also trying to determine how Conditt, described as an unemployed young man who had not completed college, learned to make the bombs that police said had a degree of sophistication in their construction.Austin police chief Brian Manley told a news conference Wednesday night that Conditt did not reveal his motives on his confession tape, but did describe all of the seven package bombs that he had built."What is clear from listening to that video, is this was a very troubled young man who was talking about challenges in his life that led him to the point where he took the actions that he took," Manley said."And there were also indications of actions he was willing to take in the future," he added.The bombings that began on March 2 terrorized Austin -- a city of nearly one million people. Hundreds of federal and local law enforcement officers conducted a massive manhunt to find the bomber.A major break came when Conditt shipped two explosive packages via an Austin FedEx office, allowing authorities to capture enough information to identify a suspect.

Texas bomber's roommates released by police after questioning-[Reuters]-By Jon Herskovitz-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Two roommates of the 23-year-old man behind this month's deadly bombing spree that unnerved Austin have been questioned and released from custody, police in the Texas capital said on Thursday.The move came as law enforcement officials searched for what motivated Mark Conditt, an unemployed man from the Austin suburb of Pflugerville, to commit the attacks that killed two people. Authorities are also anxious to learn whether anyone helped him build or plant his bombs.Police say Conditt confessed to a three-week string of bombings in a 25-minute video made on his cellphone hours before he blew himself up, as law enforcement closed in on him Wednesday.One of the two roommates was questioned and released on Wednesday and the other released after that. Police did not say exactly when the second roommate was freed."Their names will not be released because they are not under arrest at this time," the department said on its Twitter feed.Conditt's bombs, which also injured five people, primarily targeted Austin. Three were left as parcels outside victims' homes, one by a sidewalk with a trip-wire mechanism attached and two shipped as FedEx parcels, which helped investigators unmask the bomber's identity."Even though the bomber's dead, our focus is to ensure that he wasn't working with anyone else," said Michelle Lee, a spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation's San Antonio office.The second and third bombs went off while Austin was hosting its annual South by Southwest music, movies and tech festival, which draws about half a million people.The confession video showed a troubled young man, police said, but did not outline a clear motive for the attacks that began March 2."We may never get a clear picture of what motivated the Austin bomber," Fred Burton, chief security officer for security consultancy Stratfor, said in a phone interview.Austin police were unlikely to make the video public while the investigation continued, said spokeswoman Destiny Wilson.Investigators sought further clues on Thursday from the Pflugerville home Conditt shared with his roommates. Bomb-making material was found in a room there.Conditt and his three siblings were home-schooled through high school, his mother wrote on Facebook. He attended classes at Austin Community College between 2010 and 2012, but did not graduate.(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles and Jonathan Allen in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown)

Maryland high school shooting victim to be taken off life support: mother-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

(Reuters) - A 16-year-old girl who was critically wounded this week when she was shot by a fellow student at her high school in Maryland will be taken off life support on Thursday evening, her mother said.Melissa Willey told a news briefing at Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly, Maryland, that she would take her daughter, Jaelynn Willey, off life support because she was brain dead."She will not make it. We will be taking her off life support this evening. She is brain dead and has nothing, no life left in her," Melissa Willey told reporters.A tearful Melissa Willey held one of her younger children as her husband, Daniel, stood beside her while she spoke about Jaelynn, the second eldest of her nine children.The fundraising website YouCaring showed on Thursday night that more than $72,500 of a goal of $75,000 had been raised to pay medical expenses.Austin Rollins, a 17-year-old student at Great Mills High School, is suspected of bringing his father's handgun to the school on Tuesday morning and shooting Willey in a hallway, according to the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office.Rollins had been in a relationship with Willey that recently ended, the sheriff's office said in a statement on Wednesday.School resource officer Blaine Gaskill confronted Rollins and fired one shot at him as Rollins simultaneously fired a shot, according to police. Rollins died hours later at a hospital. The officer was not harmed.An autopsy is being carried out on Rollins to determine whether he was killed by a shot fired by the officer or from a self-inflicted gunshot. Investigators also remain uncertain over who fired a shot that hit a 14-year-old student in the leg, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office said.(Reporting by Andrew Hay; Editing by Sandra Maler, Lisa Shumaker and Paul Tait)

Duclos defends gender-neutral language amid criticism from opposition-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

MONTREAL — Canadian activists praised Service Canada's decision to ask its employees to adopt gender-neutral language when interacting with the public as a step toward greater inclusivity, while members of the political opposition mocked the policy mercilessly.Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos defended the federal institution's internal directive Wednesday, saying it was a matter of respect and an effort "to adapt to the reality of 21st-century families."According to the directive issued to managers and team leaders in January, Service Canada employees are asked to use gender-neutral or gender-inclusive language to avoid "portraying a perceived bias toward a particular sex or gender."Workers are instructed to use a client's full name or ask how they would prefer to be addressed instead of using honorifics such as Mr., Mrs. or Ms., which "can be seen as gender specific by a client," reads the memo, which was first obtained by Radio-Canada.They are also being asked to eschew the terms "father" and "mother" in favour of "parent."Some members of the opposition were quick to criticize the directive, including Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, who described it as "ridiculous."Rheal Fortin, the former Bloc Quebecois MP who now sits as an Independent, concurred, saying, "it's bordering on harebrained.""I almost want to say I'm glad they don't have any bigger problems than that at Service Canada," he joked.But Duclos told reporters that Service Canada's policies are a matter of respect.He specified in a tweet the government department is not eliminating the use of Mr. or Ms."Let us be clear, @ServiceCanada_E will continue to use Mr/Ms when interacting with Canadians," he wrote on social media."We are only confirming how people want to be addressed as a matter of respect."Two prominent activists praised the initiative, describing it as a positive step toward inclusivity.Helen Kennedy, executive director of national LGBTQ human rights organization Egale Canada, praised the directive as "a good first step" but said it needs to be accompanied with more awareness training and education around non-binary and gender-neutral language."Some people may be very well-intentioned but they may not have the understanding or knowledge that they need in order to ask the right question in a manner that's not going to be offensive," she said in a phone interview.The backlash from the opposition is a sign of how far Canadian society still has to come when it comes to inclusion, she said."Issues around gender-neutral language are extremely important, and they may not be important to the opposition but I can tell you they're very important to members of our community," Kennedy said.Gabrielle Bouchard, the first transgender president of Quebec's main women's federation, called the move a step toward "making sure all Canadians can start an interaction with civil servants in the right way."In a phone interview, she said neither she nor the policy were advocating for an end to the use of gendered pronouns, noting that some transgender people prefer to use "Mr." or "Ms." as a way of reaffirming their gender."What we want isn't the elimination of choice, what we want is to add more choice," she said.Duclos' press secretary, Emilie Gauduchon-Campbell, said the directive was issued in response to requests from members of the public who criticized Service Canada for a lack of inclusivity, including same-sex parents who complained about the mother/father designation.She added Duclos did not see the internal directive before it was circulated Jan. 18.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to respond Wednesday morning to the initial Radio-Canada report, saying he needed more time to look into the matter.-- With files from Melanie Marquis in Ottawa-Morgan Lowrie , The Canadian Press.

Sacre bleu!' New post-Brexit British passport to be made by Franco-Dutch firm-[Reuters]-By Costas Pitas-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

LONDON (Reuters) - The new blue British passports that Prime Minister Theresa May hailed as "an expression of our independence and sovereignty" after Brexit will be made by a Franco-Dutch firm, the boss of the British company which lost the contract said on Thursday.The news produced awkward headlines for May, who announced in December that Britain, which adopted burgundy passports in 1988 in line with EU recommendations, would switch back to the "iconic" dark blue it had used for decades.British passports are now made by De La Rue, which despite its French name is a British company that prints them in northern England. The company's CEO said it lost the tender for the new version after being undercut on price.Franco-Dutch company Gemalto won the contract, the Sun newspaper said. Gemalto would neither confirm nor deny it."I'm going to have to go and face those workers, look them in the whites of the eyes and try and explain to them why the British government thinks it's a sensible decision to buy French passports not British passports," De La Rue CEO Martin Sutherland told BBC radio."I'd like to invite Theresa May or (interior minister) Amber Rudd to come to my factory and explain to my dedicated workforce why they think this is a sensible decision to offshore the manufacture of a British icon.""Sacre Bleu!" headlined the pro-Brexit Daily Mail tabloid.When May announced the switch back to blue passports in December, she said on Twitter: "The UK passport is an expression of our independence and sovereignty – symbolizing our citizenship of a proud, great nation. That's why we have announced that the iconic #bluepassport will return after we leave the European Union in 2019."The European Union does not require any particular color of passport but recommends member states adopt burgundy. Croatia, which joined the EU in 2013, retained its blue passport with no plans to change its color scheme.De La Rue's contract, which ends in July 2019, is worth 400 million pounds ($566 million). Its shares fell 5 percent in early trading.Britain's interior ministry defended the decision."The preferred bidder has been selected following a rigorous, fair and open competition," it said in a statement."The chosen company demonstrated that they will be best able to meet the needs of our passport service with a high quality and secure product at the best value for money for our customers and the taxpayer."The Sun reported that Gemalto had been awarded the passport deal worth 490 million pounds. Gemalto said in a statement it would not comment for now, as "the process is still ongoing and the terms of engagement are confidential".Britain's biggest trade union Unite hit out at the government's choice and said the French government would never have made such a move."It wouldn’t happen in France because of national security and it shouldn’t happen in the UK," said national officer Louisa Bull."Ministers need to reverse this decision and start supporting British business and UK workers through public procurement and an industrial strategy which is more than just soundbites."(Additional repoting by Estelle Shirbon in London, Igor Ilic in Zagreb and Michel Rose and Bate Felix in Paris; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Peter Graff)

Britain unveils new fintech plans, including cryptocurrencies-[Reuters]-By Huw Jones and Emma Rumney-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain announced a task force on Thursday to exploit the technology underpinning cryptoassets, such as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as part of new plans to help fintech companies find more customers.British finance minister Philip Hammond said he was committed to helping fintech grow and flourish by taking a series of domestic steps and forging links overseas."As part of that, a new task force will help the UK to manage the risks around cryptoassets, as well as harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology," Hammond told a fintech conference hosted by the finance ministry.Investors have flocked to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin despite wild price swings.Regulators have warned that investors could lose all their money, but see promise in the blockchain technology that underpins cryptoassets.Britain's announcement comes after finance ministers from the Group of 20 richest economies (G20) were unable this week to find enough consensus for global regulation of cryptocurrencies.Britain's financial services minister John Glen said he expected an interim report on cryptoassets soon, though initial guidance is that the scale of activity does not pose any significant risks."Regulation could be an enabler of a stable, flourishing cryptocurrency sector," Glen told reporters.Bank of England Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden said the central bank has set up a new fintech hub to consider both how the Bank understands and how it applies fintech, relevant to its mission.Ramsden said the hub would be a central point of contact for the fintech sector and would play a role in the new taskforce announced by Hammond.BREXIT DISTRACTION-Britain has become a major center for fintech and wants to reassure the sector of its support ahead of the country's departure from the European Union next March.The EU has also stepped up efforts to make itself more attractive as a location for fintech firms.France plans to create a legal framework for raising funds via cryptocurrencies and aims to become a leading center for offerings in bitcoin-style digital currencies, its finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, wrote on a news website.Glen said despite French President Emmanuel Macron rolling out the red carpet to fintech firms, he saw no significant evidence of a serious appetite among firms in London to move to new jurisdictions.While Brexit could be a distraction, there was also no evidence it was impeding investment in UK fintech, Glen said."We are still seeing great buoyancy and I expect that to continue. In fintech we see global opportunities," Glen added.But HSBC Chairman Mark Tucker told the conference that Britain also faces considerable challenges from other financial centers, highlighting China's leadership in the mobile and digital economies."Even with London’s pre-eminent position, commercial advantage must be constantly worked for and renewed," Tucker said.Hammond said the fintech strategy would include schemes to pilot "robo regulation", or the use of software by fintech firms to comply with regulation to save time and money.New industry standards will enable fintech firms to team up with banks more easily to offer complex services and reach more customers, he said.Industry and government will create "shared platforms" to remove barriers faced by fintech firms setting up new systems, Hammond said.Hammond and Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison signed a "fintech bridge" agreement to help UK-based fintech firms sell products and services in Australia and promote regulatory cooperation.Ramsden said the rise of fintech could help Britain improve its long-standing problem of weak productivity growth as well as help the BoE improve its internal infrastructure.(Additional reporting by William Schomberg; Editing by Catherine Evans)

Vatican media chief resigns over doctored letter scandal-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

VATICAN CITY — The head of the Vatican's communications department resigned Wednesday after he mischaracterized a private letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI, then had a photo of it digitally manipulated and sent out to the media.A week after The Associated Press exposed the doctored photo, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Monsignor Dario Vigano and named his deputy to run the Secretariat for Communications for now. But Francis kept Vigano on in the department in a lesser capacity, indicating that he doesn't believe the problem was all that grave.The so-called "Lettergate" scandal erupted last week when Vigano read aloud part of a private letter from Benedict at a book launch for a Vatican-published, 11-volume set of books about Francis' theology.Marking Francis' fifth anniversary as pope, Vigano had held up Benedict's letter as a sign of the continuity between the two popes, to blunt critics who complain that Francis' mercy-over-morals papacy represents a theological break from Benedict's doctrine-minded, theology-heavy papacy.Vigano didn't read the whole letter, and omitted the part where Benedict objected to one of the authors in the volume because he had been a longtime critic of Benedict and St. John Paul II. A press release sent out by Vigano's office only contained Benedict's words of praise for Francis and the book initiative, without mentioning that he hadn't even read the books and had no plans to.The AP reported that the photograph of the letter that accompanied the press release had digitally blurred out the lines where Benedict began to explain that he didn't have time to read the books and wouldn't comment on them, as requested by Vigano. The photo manipulation violated basic photojournalism ethical standards that forbid such distortion, especially when it misrepresents the content of the image.The scandal embarrassed the Vatican and led to accusations that the pope's own communications office was spreading "fake news," just weeks after Francis dedicated his annual media message to denouncing "fake news" and the intentional distortion of information. Francis has frequently chided journalists for only giving half of the story.In his resignation letter dated March 19, Vigano said he wanted to step aside so that his presence "wouldn't delay, damage or block" Francis' reform of the Vatican's communications operations.He didn't acknowledge that he had misrepresented Benedict's letter or doctored the photo, saying only that he realized that his actions — despite his intentions — had created controversy and destabilized the communications reform.In his own letter accepting the resignation, Francis said he was removing Vigano reluctantly and praised him for his humility and willingness to work for the good of the church. He asked Vigano to stay on in the communications secretariat in the new position of "assessor," which in Vatican offices usually amounts to the No. 3 spot.The current No. 2, Monsignor Lucio Adrian Ruiz, will run the office until a new prefect is named.It is rare for the Vatican press office to release such an exchange of letters, suggesting that the pope wanted to make clear that he still has faith in Vigano to help oversee the consolidation of the Vatican's vast media operations.Francis named Vigano, an expert in film, to head the new Secretariat for Communications in 2015. The department was created to bring under one umbrella the Vatican's various media operations, to cut costs and improve efficiency. But Vigano's reforms and management style soured relations with many longtime employees.After the AP revealed the doctored photo and another Vatican commentator, Sandro Magister, hinted that there was even more in the letter that Vigano had concealed, the communications office released the full text of Benedict's letter, which had been sent to Vigano by the retired pope as "personal" and "reserved," suggesting that it was never meant to be made public.The previously concealed part of the letter provided the full explanation why Benedict had declined Vigano's request that he write a commentary on the books: In addition to saying he didn't have time, Benedict noted that one of the authors involved in the project, German theologian Peter Huenermann, had launched "virulent" and "anti-papist" attacks against papal teaching during Benedict's papacy. He wrote that he was surprised the Vatican had chosen the theologian to be included in the 11-volume "The Theology of Pope Francis."In the parts of Benedict's letter that Vigano read during the book launch and included in the press release, Benedict confirmed that Francis has a solid theological and philosophical training and he praised the book initiative for showing the "interior continuity" between the two papacies. He wrote it was "foolish prejudice" to paint Francis as only a practical man devoid of theology and Benedict as a mere academic who knew nothing of the lives of ordinary faithful.But Benedict's full caveat about his refusal to comment on the volume was never made public in Vigano's presentation, press release or accompanying photo. That omission left the impression that the 91-year-old retired pope had read the volume and fully endorsed it, when in fact he hadn't.As a result, Vigano's effort to show papal continuity effectively backfired. Benedict's harsh criticism of Huenermann laid bare the differences in theological approaches of the two popes, and showed the retired pope still bore something of a grudge.Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press.

Zuckerberg apology fails to quiet Facebook storm-[AFP]-Glenn Chapman, with Robin Millard in London-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

San Francisco (AFP) - A public apology by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg failed Thursday to quell outrage over the hijacking of personal data from millions of people, as critics demanded that the social media giant go much further to protect user privacy.Speaking out for the first time about the harvesting of Facebook user data by a British firm linked to Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, Zuckerberg admitted Wednesday to betraying the trust of its two billion users, and promised to "step up."Vowing to stop data leaking to outside developers and to give users more control over their information, Zuckerberg also said he was ready to testify before US lawmakers -- which a powerful congressional committee promptly asked him to do.With pressure ratcheting up on the 33-year-old CEO over a scandal that has wiped some $60 billion off Facebook's value, the initial response suggested his promise of self-regulation had failed to convince."Frankly I don't think those changes go far enough," Britain's culture and digital minister Matt Hancock told the BBC."It shouldn't be for a company to decide what is the appropriate balance between privacy and innovation and use of data," he said."The big tech companies need to abide by the law and we are strengthening the law."In Brussels, European leaders were sending the same message as they prepared to push for tougher safeguards on personal data online, while Israel became the latest country to launch an investigation into Facebook.The data scandal erupted at the weekend when a whistleblower revealed that British consultant Cambridge Analytica (CA) had created psychological profiles on 50 million Facebook users via a personality prediction app, developed by a researcher named Aleksandr Kogan.The app was downloaded by 270,000 people, but also scooped up their friends' data without consent -- as was possible under Facebook's rules at the time.- 'Breach of trust' -Facebook says it discovered last week that Cambridge Analytica may not have deleted the data as it certified -- although the British firm denies wrongdoing."This was a major breach of trust and I'm really sorry that this happened," Zuckerberg said in an interview with CNN, after publishing a blog post outlining his response to the scandal."Our responsibility now is to make sure this doesn't happen again."With Facebook already under fire for allowing fake news to proliferate during the US election, Zuckerberg also said "we need to make sure that we up our game" ahead of midterm Congressional elections in November, in which American officials have warned Russia can be expected to meddle as it did two years ago.Cambridge Analytica has maintained it did not use Facebook data in the Trump campaign, but its now-suspended CEO boasted in secret recordings that his company was deeply involved in the race.And US special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race, is reportedly looking into the consultant's role in the Trump effort.- 'Abused and misused' -Zuckerberg's apology followed a days-long stream of damaging accusations against the world's biggest social network, which now faces probes on both sides of the Atlantic.In Washington on Thursday, leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee urged Zuckerberg to testify without delay, saying a briefing a day earlier by Facebook officials had left "many questions" unanswered."We believe, as CEO of Facebook, he is the right witness to provide answers to the American people," said a statement from the panel, calling for a hearing "in the near future."America's Federal Trade Commission is reportedly investigating Facebook over the scandal, while Britain's information commissioner is seeking to determine whether it did enough to secure its data.On Thursday, Israel's privacy protection agency said it had informed Facebook of a probe into the Cambridge Analytica revelations, and was looking into "the possibility of other infringements of the privacy law regarding Israelis."Meanwhile, EU leaders were due to press digital giants "to guarantee transparent practices and full protection of citizens' privacy and personal data," according to a draft summit statement obtained by AFP.A movement to quit the social network has already gathered momentum -- with the co-founder of the WhatsApp messaging service among those vowing to #deletefacebook -- while a handful of lawsuits risk turning into class actions in a costly distraction for the company.World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee described it as a "serious moment for the web's future"."I can imagine Mark Zuckerberg is devastated that his creation has been abused and misused," tweeted the British scientist."I would say to him: You can fix it. It won't be easy but if companies work with governments, activists, academics and web users we can make sure platforms serve humanity."burs-ec/sst.

Thousands to march in U.S. gun protests, but will they vote?-[Reuters]-By Katanga Johnson-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As hundreds of thousands of young people protest for stricter gun laws at "March For Our Lives" demonstrations across the United States on Saturday, the Democratic Party and nonpartisan groups plan to register first-time voters.That could be the easy part.The hard part will be ensuring that they go to the polls in November to vote in midterm congressional elections."It's on us," said Sabrina Singh, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee. "We have to make sure that even after young people march across the country, they take time to vote, to register and to actually turn out to do it."Organizers of the voter registration drive hope to sign up at least 25,000 people at more than 800 marches, a potentially big boost for Democrats who generally favor more stringent gun control, including over sales of assault-type weapons, bump stocks that allow semiautomatics to fire like automatic weapons, and tighter access to guns by young people and people who are mentally ill.In America's history of mass murders involving firearms, the February massacre of 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida has had at least one unusual outcome: it has prompted students to take a high-profile stand on gun control.Their public statements, organized protests and upcoming marches planned for 80 U.S. cities have cast partisan politics over U.S. gun laws in a harsh light. They have also sent a message to Washington that many students are eligible to vote this year and more future voters are right behind them."March For Our Lives might just be the largest audience of exclusively first-time voters anywhere," said Tappan Vickery, a volunteer coordinator with the nonprofit voter registration group, HeadCount.Vickery has a team of nearly 5,000 volunteers mobilized to sign up first-time voters in 30 cities on Saturday."There are 4 million Americans who are turning 18 this year. Match that with the good deal of 19- to 21-year-olds who have never registered to vote. We're looking at a sum that is one massive number of prospects nationwide," said the group's spokesman and mobilization trainer Aaron Ghitelman.Other groups with plans to register voters on Saturday include Everytown for Gun Safety, NextGen and Giffords, named for former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords, who was shot in the head in an attempted assassination in 2011.Participation in U.S. elections by young voters is often low. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday showed that 64 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds said they would vote on Nov. 6; 27 percent said they would not. Nine percent said they were uncertain or declined to answer."The trend among young, first-time voters in midterm elections has never been anything great," said Dr. Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University.The turnout has been steadily declining since 1990 and hit the lowest level, at 20 percent, in 2014, according to the U.S. Current Population Survey.Yet Kawashima-Ginsberg said it is still important to maintain "conscious optimism about young people's vote.""They feel the need to make a difference and because of that, Saturday's march becomes an opportunity for their activism to impact their parents and relatives, whether they themselves turn out to the polls or not."Democrats said they intend to follow up with newly registered young voters mainly by text messages.(This version of the story corrects to reflect that young voter turnout has been declining since 1990 instead of since 2014, paragraph 14, changes source of that information to U.S. Current Population Survey instead of Kawashima-Ginsberg, corrects title of Tappan Vickery to volunteer coordinator instead of volunteer, paragraph 8)(Reporting by Katanga Johnson; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh)


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)

GENESIS 7:6-12
6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.
8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,
9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.
10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

Southern California evacuation orders lifted as mudslide threat eases-[Reuters]-By Alex Dobuzinskis-YAHOONEWS-March 22, 2018

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Authorities in Southern California lifted evacuation orders on Thursday for more than 60,000 people living adjacent to fire-scarred foothills and mountain slopes along the Santa Barbara coast as rains and the threat of dangerous mudslides abated.The evacuation was put into effect on Tuesday in the same general area where torrential rains in January unleashed cascades of mud, boulders and other debris that killed 21 people, injured dozens of others and damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes.Most of that devastation occurred in the affluent hillside community of Montecito, 85 miles (137 km) northwest of Los Angeles, in a region where vast swaths of the coastal landscape were stripped of vegetation by huge wildfires in December.In the aftermath of that disaster, authorities instituted a policy of enforced evacuations in slide-prone areas of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties whenever forecasts call for downpours that might exceed the capacity of the region's catchment and drainage systems to control flash floods.The latest Pacific storm, the third in two weeks, had been expected to drench local mountainsides with up to 10 inches (25 cm) of rain, and some street flooding occurred in Montecito, said Amber Anderson, a spokeswoman for the unified incident command.By late Thursday, showers had subsided with no severe mudslides or debris flows reported, officials said."We haven't had any significant problems and the bulk of the rain has passed through the area, so there doesn't appear to be any significant threat," Ventura County sheriff's spokesman Sergeant Eric Buschow told Reuters.A Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office notice said minor debris flows were still possible "but will not threaten populated areas."All evacuation orders were lifted as of 5 p.m., Buschow said. But the showers were not without consequences.In northern California, heavy rains caused a small dam on the Moccasin Reservoir, east of San Francisco, to overflow, prompting the National Weather Service to warn that the structure was in danger of imminent collapse.Local authorities evacuated areas below the dam, including a campground, a fish hatchery and a marina, and said that even if the dam failed, its water would flow harmlessly downstream into the much larger Don Pedro Reservoir, the sixth-largest in the state.Several roadways in coastal counties northwest of Los Angeles were flooded, and there have been a number of car crashes on slick roadways, though no deaths, California Highway Patrol spokesman Danny Maher said.As rains soaked parts of California, the East Coast was digging out from the fourth major snowstorm this month, which closed schools, grounded flights and halted bus and train service across the region. Two people died in separate traffic crashes, local media reported.(Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; editing by Dan Grebler and Leslie Adler)

Fourth U.S. Northeast storm in March snarls air traffic-[Reuters]-By Alana Wise-YAHOONEWS-March 21, 2018

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Airlines canceled thousands of flights in the U.S. Northeast on Wednesday as a swirl of strong winds, snow, sleet and ice from the fourth major storm this month crippled the region.Airlines scrapped more than 4,400 flights within, to or from the United States, according to flight tracking website FlightAware, and more than 3,000 other U.S. flights were delayed as the latest "nor'easter" dumped snow and ice on New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington.The cancellations piled on to thousands more canceled flights due to an unrelenting series of late-winter storms.In addition to creating headaches for passengers, these storms can rack up millions of dollars in costs for airlines, as carriers reallocate aircraft and crew, and swallow the cost of passengers who don't re-book travel."This has been a much harsher late winter than we've seen for quite some time. It does have an impact on carriers' bottom lines," CFRA Research analyst Jim Corridore said.While the full financial impact of the storms was not yet known, Corridore said accurate weather forecasts helped carriers quickly move planes and crew as well as plan for resuming normal operations."There is a small silver lining in that it does help load factors and yields," he said, noting that passengers from canceled flights often help fill later flights that would have otherwise sat empty.U.S. carriers are offering change-fee waivers from flights in the affected regions, including from New York's three major airports, Philadelphia International and Boston Logan International.LaGuardia Airport in New York City said on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon that airlines had canceled all remaining flights at the facility for the rest of the day.(Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Editing by James Dalgleish and Sandra Maler)