Friday, June 29, 2018


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

Liberman blames Abbas, PA terror payments for Gaza’s woes-Defense chief also attacks Palestinian Authority for freezing salaries of employees in Strip and opposing international aid push-By Alexander Fulbright-TOI-JUN 28,18

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday took aim at Mahmoud Abbas, accusing the Palestinian Authority leader of exacerbating the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip by starving the enclave of funds.“Abu Mazen is the problem,” Liberman wrote on Twitter, using the PA leader’s Arabic nickname.Specifically, Liberman blamed the PA’s policy of paying salaries to Palestinian prisoners convicted of terrorism, as well as its freezing of salaries for tens of thousands of public employees in Gaza.“As he prevents the [payment of] salaries for thousands of officials in Gaza during the month of Ramadan and blocks every international attempt to inject money that would ease the situation in Gaza, he pays NIS 100 million ($27.4 million) in salaries every month to terrorists and murderers,” added Liberman, a frequent Abbas critic.His tweet came as the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee gave its approval to legislation allowing Israel to deduct the monetary equivalent of the payments from taxes it collects on the PA’s behalf, setting up the bill for the final plenary vote it needs to become law.“The bill that we initiated and approved in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is a clear message,” said Liberman. “No more.”The measure, which would cut hundreds of millions of shekels from tax revenues transferred to the PA, is similar to a measure recently passed in the US, known as the Taylor Force Act, withholding funding to the PA over stipends to terrorists and their families.According to the Defense Ministry, the PA in 2017 paid NIS 687 million ($198 million) to the so-called “martyrs’ families fund” and NIS 550 million ($160 million) to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club — some 7 percent of its overall budget.Liberman’s broadside at Abbas also came amid international efforts to enlist funds to alleviate the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blamed for fueling deadly Hamas-led clashes on the enclave’s border with Israel.Aides to Abbas, whose Fatah party has been at loggerheads with Hamas since the terror group violently took over Gaza in 2007, have spoken out against the aid drive, claiming it is an attempt to divide the Strip from the West Bank, where the internationally recognized PA is based.Adding to the myriad problems in Gaza, which include a lack of electricity, clean water and proper sewage treatment, Abbas has taken punitive steps toward the enclave as part of his feud with Hamas, among them the freezing of salaries for PA employees in the Strip.Raoul Wootliff contributed to this report.

Netanyahu hails Iranian people’s ‘courage’ in anti-regime protests-In video, PM also congratulates Iran national soccer team on World Cup draw with Portugal, expresses hope it will play Israel-By TOI staff-JUN 28,18

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Iranians on Wednesday for showing “courage” in mass protests this week against their government and its economic policies, following the collapse of the country’s currency amid the renewal of US nuclear sanctions.The protests, which began on Monday in Tehran and around the country — including economically hard-hit cities like Kermanshah in western Iran — featured shouts of “Death to Palestine,” “No to Gaza, no to Lebanon” and “Leave Syria and think of us,” highlighting Iran’s continued support for Palestinian groups and Syrian President Bashar Assad despite the country’s dire economic state. Chants of “We don’t want the ayatollahs” and “Death to the dictator” were also heard at some rallies.Showcasing his soccer skills in a video posted on social media, Netanyahu drew a parallel between the demonstrations and the Iranian soccer team’s “impossible” feat on Monday, when it scored a 1-1 draw against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in the FIFA World Cup, including blocking a penalty kick by the superstar. He added that he hoped to eventually see Iran play a match against Israel.Stopping Ronaldo is “almost impossible,” said Netanyahu, “but the Iranian team just did the impossible.”“To the Iranian people I say: You showed courage on the playing field, and today you showed the same courage in the streets of Iran,” the prime minister said in the video.“Iran has many problems — air pollution, water scarcity, billions wasted on terror,” he added. “Can you imagine what would happen if the Iranian government, instead of wasting your money in Syria, in Yemen, and in unnecessary wars in the Middle East, would start investing it in solving these problems in Iran? “That’s why I’ll never stop advocating for peace with the Iranian people,” he continued. “One day, I hope to watch Iran’s soccer team go head to head against Israel in a free Tehran. On that day, we’ll all be winners.”Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman made a similar appeal to the Iranian people in a Persian-language post to his social media accounts on Tuesday.“Citizens of Iran, where’d your money go?” Liberman wrote. “As of today, despite the economic difficulties at home, the Iranian regime continues to invest billions in Syria, Hezbollah, [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad, the Houthis in Yemen and Shiite militias in Iraq,” Liberman wrote, according to a Hebrew translation from his office.He said Iran had agreed to provide those groups with $2.5 billion in 2018 alone, on top of the $14 billion he said the country has invested in Syria over the years.Liberman similarly congratulated Iranians on their national team’s “wonderful” World Cup performance. Iran was knocked out of the tournament Monday after the tie with Portugal, despite an inspiring performance.Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday sought to calm growing discontent at the tanking economy, assuring the public the country would be able to withstand the new sanctions imposed by US President Donald Trump in the wake of the American exit from the Iran nuclear deal earlier this year.In speech broadcast live on state TV, Rouhani blamed the spontaneous demonstrations that erupted across the country a day earlier on “foreign media propaganda,” and accused the US of waging “an economic war” against Tehran.“Even in the worst case, I promise that the basic needs of Iranians will be provided. We have enough sugar, wheat, and cooking oil. We have enough foreign currency to inject into the market,” Rouhani said according to the Reuters news agency.The president accused Washington of waging a “psychological, economic, and political war” on Iran, and warned it would pay a high price for exiting the 2015 accord that lifted international sanctions in exchange for a scaling back of Tehran’s atomic program.“Withdrawal was the worst decision he [Trump] could make. It was appalling. It hurt America’s global reputation,” he added. “The US cannot defeat our nation, our enemies are not able to get us to their knees.”In recent years, Iran has provided financial aid to Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Yemen’s Houthi rebels and Shiite militias in Iraq. Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Tehran has poured a reported $6 billion into propping up Assad’s government.At the end of last year, similar economic protests roiled Iran and spread to some 75 cities and towns, becoming the largest demonstrations in the country since its 2009 disputed presidential election. The protests in late December and early January saw at least 25 people killed and nearly 5,000 arrested.Agencies contributed to this report.

Alberta municipalities call for provincial help to offset cannabis legalization costs-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-June 28, 2018

The provincial government isn't doing enough to support municipalities with the costs of cannabis legalization, says an association that represents over 260 Alberta cities, towns and villages.Cannabis will be legal on Oct. 17. The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association says legalization will have a significant impact on the cost of some municipal services such as police enforcement of impaired driving laws, bylaw enforcement, administration and emergency services.It says municipalities need to receive a fair share of the cannabis excise tax to offset these costs.Barry Morishita, mayor of Brooks and president of the AUMA, says without it, property owners could be facing higher taxes."We didn't ask for cannabis legalization. This is a federal law and subsequently a provincial that has come on board and has created all the rules," Morishita said Tuesday."Now municipalities are having to pay for the result of that activity without the offsetting costs being reimbursed, and it shouldn't be on the backbone of property owners."We're not trying to make money off cannabis. We just want our costs to be equitably covered, and right now there's no indication that that's going to happen."Morishita said he is still unsure of the exact costs municipalities will face due to legalization, but according to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, it will be anywhere from $5 to $9 per resident each year. The AUMA is working on a tool to help municipalities track these costs.The City of Edmonton estimates legalization will cost the city $3.7 million to $4.1 million annually in the first five years. The Edmonton Police Service says its costs could rise by $5-7 million a year for up to 30 new police officers.The AUMA has requested funding support, including 70 per cent of the cannabis excise tax that the province receives from the federal government.It is also asking for $30 million in the 2018-19 budget to help with the transition to legalization.In Westlock, legalization brings uncertainty-Westlock Mayor Ralph Leriger agrees municipalities deserve a piece of the pie when it comes to revenue from legalization.The agriculture town about 90 kilometres north of Edmonton already has plenty to handle, he said, with maintaining roads, sewers and sidewalks — core services that have been provided on very little revenue for years.But Leriger said he's not buying the argument that legalization will mean higher policing costs."I think it's a little bit counterintuitive," he said. "Why would it cost more to police a substance that is legal than one that is illegal? It should cost less, not more."The town has not yet discussed the logistics of cannabis legalization, said Coun. Clem Fagnan.But the first signs of legalization are already showing — the town has received its first business application for a retail cannabis store.That store is expected to open on 106th Street, two doors down from The Outback Western Wear and Tack.Owner Dale Ehmler is not looking forward to operating beside a cannabis store. He doesn't think it should be located in the downtown shopping core, but isn't sure where else would be a better location. He's worried it will affect his own business.Ehmler said Westlock residents haven't heard much about how legalization might affect their town, but he's not convinced they're ready for cannabis legalization."I don't think anybody is," he said. "I don't know if even the whole province or country is ready for it."


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)

Kremlin: Agreement reached for Putin-Trump summit to be held in third country-Announcement follows 'constructive and businesslike' talks on Syria, North Korea, Iran with John Bolton in Moscow-By AP-JUN 27,18

MOSCOW (AP) — A foreign affairs adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow and Washington reached an agreement Wednesday on the date and location for a summit of Putin and US President Donald Trump.Presidential adviser Yuri Ushakov made the announcement after a meeting in Moscow between Putin and US National Security Adviser John Bolton. The time, venue and other details of the summit will be announced jointly by the Kremlin and the White House on Thursday, Ushakov said.He said the summit would take place in a third country, but did not name it as part of the plan for a joint declaration with Washington.Austria previously offered to host the summit in Vienna. Some media reports have mentioned Finland’s capital, Helsinki, as a possible venue.The summit will include one-on-one talks between the presidents and conclude with a joint news conference, Ushakov said. He said Trump and Putin are expected to issue a joint statement.Ushakov said the Kremlin was satisfied with the talks with Bolton, describing them as “constructive and businesslike.”The discussions touched on the state of bilateral ties, nuclear arms control, the situation in Syria, the Ukrainian crisis, developments around North Korea and the US exit from the Iranian nuclear deal — topics Ushakov said would shape the summit agenda.He said the issue of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election was raised during the talks, and reaffirmed the Kremlin denial of any interference with the vote. Ushakov said US sanctions on Russia were not discussed.Ushakov wouldn’t comment on what Russia expects from the summit, but voiced hope it would give a “strong impulse” to normalize US-Russia and would be “this summer’s most important international event.”

Southern Syria pounded as assault on provincial capital begins-8 killed, three hospitals damaged in Syrian and Russian airstrikes as Daraa-area residents flee towards Israeli, Jordan borders-By Mohamad Abazeed-TOI-JUN 28,18

DARAA, Syria (AFP) — Deadly air strikes hit rebel-held towns across southern Syria on Wednesday, putting three hospitals out of service after the government launched a Russian-backed push for the region’s main city Daraa.President Bashar Assad has set his sights on retaking the south, a strategic region that neighbors Jordan and the Israeli Golan Heights.A ceasefire was put in place in the region last year, brokered by Jordan, Russia and the United States. But, after clearing the last rebel pockets around Damascus in recent months, government forces have waged an intensifying assault over the past week against the much larger rebel zone in the south.After days of air strikes and artillery fire against rebel-held towns and villages across Daraa province, on Tuesday it was the turn of the rebel-held sector of the divided provincial capital.The bombardment of rebel-neighborhoods in the south of the city lasted throughout Tuesday and into Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.“There are rockets, barrel bombs and Russian and Syrian air strikes hitting rebel areas of Daraa, particularly the Daraa al-Balad neighborhood,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.The rebels hold a horseshoe-shaped band of territory and government forces have already isolated one end of it with the recapture of two strategic villages on Monday night.They are seeking to cut rebel territory into more manageable chunks, a strategy they have successfully employed elsewhere in Syria.But they have yet to make any ground advance on the rebel sector of Daraa city.Air strikes on the south killed eight civilians on Wednesday, the Britain-based Observatory said, bringing the civilian death toll over the past week to 54.-Hospitals damaged-The strikes also ravaged infrastructure, with health services taking the brunt of the bombardment.Three hospitals were forced to close after strikes hit the rebel-held towns of Saida, Al-Mseifra and Al-Jiza, the Observatory said.“The hospital in Al-Jiza was damaged this morning. There were Russian air strikes close to the hospital, which damaged it and put it out of service,” Abdel Rahman said.The latest closures bring to five the number of hospitals that have been put out of service by the government’s offensive in the south.Syria has become infamous for attacks on health workers.The United Nations said earlier this year that more hospitals and clinics had been hit in the first four months of 2018 than in all of last year.It has warned that the government’s offensive in the south is putting more than 750,000 people in rebel-held areas in harm’s way.More than 45,000 have already fled their homes, it added.Among them is Ahmad Abazeid, a media activist who fled the town of Al-Herak in the east of Daraa province.“For more than three days, Syrian and Russian warplanes — and barrel bombs — didn’t leave the sky,” Abazeid said.Government troops reached the outskirts Al-Herak on Tuesday, and Abazeid fled with other residents.“People are lost — they don’t know where to go. Some are along the border with Jordan, others on the border with Israel,” he told AFP.“But the warplanes are following them wherever they go.”‘Nowhere else to turn’ The UN has said most of the 45,000 who fled were heading towards the sealed border with Jordan.Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said late Tuesday that the border crossings would stay closed.“We’ll keep doing all we can for them. But we can’t host more (refugees). UN can help IDPs (internally displaced persons) inside Syria and we’ll fully help,” he tweeted.Jordan already hosts more than 650,000 registered Syrian refugees and estimates the actual number is closer to 1.3 million.The Norwegian Refugee Council appealed to Amman on Wednesday to grant asylum to those fleeing the latest violence.“The fighting in Syria is squeezing people further and further south. They will eventually be left with nowhere else to turn,” said the NRC’s acting Regional Director Youri Saadallah.“Jordan has done so much over the years to accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, but unfortunately the international community must rely on it to be generous once more.”In a bid to avoid greater bloodshed, Russia is leading talks with Syria, Jordan, Israel and the United States to reach a negotiated settlement for the south but so far there has been no public progress.

Lawmakers reject PM’s demand to soften bill freezing PA funding for terrorists-Knesset committee authorizes final votes on measure to deduct welfare payments paid to Palestinian prisoners and their relatives from tax revenues collected by Israel-By Raoul Wootliff-JUN 28,18-TOI

Lawmakers gave the final go-ahead on Wednesday for a decisive vote on a bill that would slash funds to the Palestinian Authority by the amount Ramallah pays out to convicted terrorists, rejecting a request by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to give the top-level security cabinet the final say on whether to “freeze” the payments.The bill, proposed by Yesh Atid MK Elazar Stern and Likud MK Avi Dichter, says that welfare payments paid out by the PA to Palestinian prisoners and their relatives must be deducted from tax revenues Israel transfers annually to the administrative body. The money withheld in this way would instead go into a fund designated to help victims of terror attacks.Two weeks ago, the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee gave its approval for a final plenary vote on the bill, but the government filed an emergency motion to amend the text of the law to include a clause that would have given ministers the ability to effectively opt out of it.In a clear act of defiance, lawmakers rejected the motion, voting instead to go ahead with a plenary vote on the original version of the law.Declaring bipartisan support for the tougher version of the bill, lawmakers from both the coalition and opposition railed against the government request for the power to override the measure, saying that including such a clause in the legislation would render it useless.Dichter, the bill’s co-author who is also the committee chairman, told lawmakers that the softened proposal was unacceptable, and would “effectively allow the current situation to continue.”The motion to amend the bill was proposed by coalition chairman David Amsalem (Likud), though he sought to distance himself from the request, saying in statements before and after the committee meeting that he was only acting “at the request of the government.”A coalition source told The Times of Israel that the Prime Minister’s Office was behind the request made by Amsalem.The source also said that the bill is now set for a final plenary vote on Monday.Speaking at the committee meeting, Likud lawmakers also complained that the amendment would render the bill worthless.“Why do we need a law if we are going to let the government decide anyway?” asked Likud MK Anat Berko. “They can decide now if they want to anyway. The point of legislation is to stop that.”Under the current law, based on the 1994 Oslo Accords that established the PA and the mechanism for Israeli funding, the finance minister already has the ability to freeze funds.The measure, which would cut hundreds of millions of shekels from tax revenues transferred to the PA, is similar to a measure recently passed in the US, known as the Taylor Force Act, withholding funding to the PA over stipends to terrorists and their families.According to the Defense Ministry, the PA in 2017 paid NIS 687 million ($198 million) to the so-called “martyrs’ families fund” and NIS 550 million ($160 million) to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club — some 7 percent of its overall budget.Palestinian prisoners serving 20- to 30-year sentences for carrying out terror attacks are eligible for a lifetime NIS 10,000 ($2,772) monthly stipend, the Defense Ministry said, citing PA figures. Those prisoners who receive a three- to five-year sentence get a monthly wage of NIS 2,000 ($554). Palestinian prisoners who are married, have children, live in Jerusalem, or hold Israeli citizenship receive additional payments.The Defense Ministry last month released figures alleging that some terrorists who killed Israelis will be paid more than NIS 10 million ($2.78 million) each throughout their lifetimes by the PA.Critics of the current bill have warned it could bankrupt the PA, leading to its collapse.Under an economic agreement signed in 1994, Israel transfers to the PA tens of millions of dollars each year in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports.The PA has refused to cease its payments to Palestinian prisoners.In June 2017, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, in a speech read by his foreign affairs adviser Nabil Shaath, argued that “payments to support the families are a social responsibility to look after innocent people affected by the incarceration or killing of their loved ones.“It’s quite frankly racist rhetoric to call all our political prisoners terrorists,” Abbas said. “They are, in actuality, the victims of the occupation, not the creators of the occupation.”Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Primary Takeaways: A liberal newcomer ousts top Dem leader-[Associated Press]-BILL BARROW-YAHOONEWS-June 27, 2018

An ambitious senior Democrat in the House lost his job Tuesday in a stunning primary upset. Mitt Romney moved closer to an office in Washington, just not the oval one. That's still occupied by President Donald Trump, who declared victory as voters across seven states continued pushing the two major parties on divergent paths in a turbulent era.Key takeaways from the latest round of voting ahead of the November midterms.THE PROGRESSIVE LEFT: A NEW YORK STUNNER, BIG MARYLAND VICTORY-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's ouster of Rep. Joe Crowley was more evidence that the Democratic Party's left wing is going to be a force to contend with for years to come.The 28-year-old community organizer has never held political office and ran a shoestring campaign. But she managed to defeat a top Democratic House leader who had eyes on the speaker's gavel from his safe New York City seat Tuesday.Ocasio-Cortez's win is a sign that Democrats are hungry for generational change and some are open to unabashedly liberal policies. Ocasio-Cortez backed single-payer health insurance, a federal jobs guarantee and abolishing ICE as the nation's immigration policing agency. She cast Crowley, a 56-year-old white male with plenty of Wall Street campaign cash, as elitist and disconnected from his diverse constituents.Her message won't necessarily play everywhere. The Queens district is far more liberal than the moderate areas Democrats are hoping to flip in November. But it's likely to embolden the left as the Democratic Party tries to strike the right balance between harnessing the energy of progressive activists while putting up candidates with broad enough appeal.Other New York Democrats, including Rep. Yvette Clarke, faced close calls. In Maryland, former NAACP chief Ben Jealous' nomination for Maryland governor wasn't an upset, but gave progressives another momentous win. With backing from liberal icon Bernie Sanders, Jealous outpaced Prince George's County executive Rushern Baker.DEMOCRATIC ESTABLISHMENT HOLDS ELSEWHERE-Tuesday was huge for the progressive movement, but it still doesn't reverse what Democratic primary voters have been doing for weeks: choosing nominees, particularly for the House, who come from the party's mainstream and often enjoy party backing.That trend mostly continued Tuesday, including in GOP-held districts that will determine which party controls the House.Upstate New Yorkers coalesced around state lawmaker Anthony Brindisi, the Washington establishment choice, to try to unseat vulnerable Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney. Suburban Denver Democrats took the same course, giving former Army Ranger Jason Crow the nod to take on Rep. Mike Coffman in a district that is a battleground every two years. Trump lost there by 9 percentage points in 2016. In a neighboring liberal Colorado district, Rep. Diana DeGette withstood a primary challenge from the left.WHITE HOUSE HAS A GOOD NIGHT ...President Donald Trump went all in for South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, returning the favor of McMaster's early 2016 support with an election-eve rally that presaged McMaster's comfortable-but-competitive primary runoff win over political newcomer John Warren.It was vintage Trump. McMaster is a three-decade mainstay in South Carolina, the kind of political creature Trump lambastes in Washington. But McMaster, then the lieutenant governor, was the first statewide elected official anywhere to back Trump over myriad GOP presidential rivals.Two other candidates backed by Trump also won Tuesday. Mitt Romney became the GOP nominee and likely November victor for a Senate seat from Utah. New York Rep. Daniel Donovan dispatched former Rep. Michael Grimm, who sought to regain his old seat after completing a federal prison stint for felony tax evasion.... BUT TRUMP'S ENDORSEMENT IS STILL COMPLICATED-The results further solidify Trump's hold on the Republican Party, but it doesn't necessarily clarify what that means.In choosing McMaster, South Carolina Republicans who love Trump opted for a near-career politician over a self-made businessman who styled his outsider bid after the president's path to the White House. In New York, Donovan won despite having voted against the GOP tax cuts that rank as Trump's biggest domestic policy achievement thus far. And Romney, though he's toned down his criticism of Trump considerably from when he called him a "con artist" in 2016, has maintained that he won't be a silent rubber stamp for a president who still gives him pause.So it's still an open question as to whether it's more important simply to have Trump's endorsement or to share his profile and show voters an authentic alliance.A DEEPLY CONCERNED, UNHAPPY ELECTORATE-Associated Press interviews with voters around the country Tuesday suggested a predictably divided midterm electorate, but perhaps even more starkly, one that is profoundly uncomfortable with the course and tone of national politics.In Colorado, independent Vincent Clouse, 32, said Trump's overall approach leaves him looking for candidates interested in "healthy communication and working together" instead of playing "games on this 'false news.'"Baltimore contractor James Dorsey said "this political air we're breathing, it's not good for us." A black man who grew up in Alabama, Dorsey called particular attention to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders being asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia over the weekend, and compared it to discrimination against African-Americans. "That's like some Jim Crow stuff," Dorsey said.Of course, both parties typically view midterms as base elections decided by which side turns out more of its core supporters. So that, in combination with Trump's tendency toward blood sport, almost certainly means voters wanting polite policy debate won't find it in 2018.That's enough for 27-year-old Jalen Rosedale not to cast a Maryland ballot at all. "If I saw these politicians fixing things, hey, maybe I'd think different," he said outside a Baltimore polling place. Instead, he said, "all I see is their face on a sign."IN THE YEAR OF THE WOMAN, MARY JANE IS ON THE MARCH-In the first cannabis ballot referendum of the year, Oklahomans voted to make it legal to grow, sell and use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Now it'll be up to Oklahoma's Republican-controlled government to set the regulations for the broadly worded statute. The referendum continues a two-decade trend of voters in Democratic- and Republican-controlled states — from California and Arkansas to Maine and Massachusetts — using ballot referenda to legalize cannabis in some form. Marijuana votes are scheduled for later this year in Michigan and Utah.___Associated Press writers Brian Eason in Denver, Sean Murphy in Oklahoma and Randall Chase and David McFadden in Maryland contributed to this report.___Find all of our primary coverage here:

In Europe's east, a border town strains under China's Silk Road train boom-[Reuters]-By Brenda Goh and Marcin Goettig-YAHOONEWS-JUN 27,18

YIWU, China/MALASZEWICZE, Poland (Reuters) - When cargo trains from China began arriving at the Polish border town of Malaszewicze almost a decade ago, they were considered a novelty - able to ship laptops and cars to Europe in as little as two weeks, but extremely infrequent, with one service a month.However a surge in the number of trains over the past year, fueled by Beijing's plans to grow trade along ancient Silk Road routes to Europe, has left authorities scrambling to meet demand that has ballooned to as many as 200 locomotives a month.Rail shipments have experienced delays of over ten days at land ports in both Europe and China, bogged down by insufficient infrastructure and paperwork pileups, shippers say. That congestion is anticipated to worsen as Chinese authorities encourage a further ramp up in volumes.The situation illustrates how China's Belt and Road initiative is delivering some successes but also how its partners are struggling to keep up.The rail network, used by companies like Hewlett Packard, the sports gear company Decathlon and the carmaker Volvo, handled 3,673 train trips between China and Europe in 2017, up from 1,702 in 2016 and just 17 in 2011, according to China Railway, the national operator.The network remains unprofitable and heavily supported by subsidies, but Chinese city authorities have launched new services with fervor after it was subsumed under the four-year-old Belt and Road initiative.In 2016, China's top state planner named the network "China Railway Express" and said it wants train trips to hit an annual number of 5,000 by 2020.By April, the number of regular rail services linking China and Europe jumped from just one in 2011, between Chongqing and Duisburg in Germany, to 65, connecting 43 Chinese cities and 42 destinations in 14 countries including Spain and Britain, China Railway said on its website.Carsten Pottharst, managing director of InterRail Europe, is among a number of freight forwarders who expressed frustration to Reuters about congestion on the network, citing insufficient government investment in European railway infrastructure."They believed that they would come, but they didn't believe that it would become that big," he said.-CONGESTION-While congestion occurs across the network, much of the shippers' frustrations are being directed at Malaszewicze, which handles roughly 90 percent of the cargo.There, containers which travel from China through Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus on Russian gauge tracks are transferred to other trains running on European standard ones.The land port processed nearly 74,000 containers in 2017, four times the volume it handled in 2015, earning Poland nearly 400 million zlotys ($109.02 million) in tax and customs revenues last year, Polish tax and customs authorities said.But PKP Cargo, the Polish state-controlled rail operator that runs the main terminal, said in March that the current infrastructure was unable to handle the anticipated growth. Europort, which runs a private rail terminal, said that in late 2017 there were queues as long as 100 trains awaiting entry to Poland from Belarus."This is a huge challenge and a huge chance," said PKP Cargo's chief executive, Czeslaw Warsewicz in March.PKP Cargo said in an e-mail that there were currently no queues at its terminal, and that it was looking to expand capacity and cooperate with private terminal operators to shorten loading times. Poland's infrastructure ministry, meanwhile, said the government was considering opening a second border crossing with Belarus.However, shippers say they are concerned that the improvements will not happen fast enough.This is worrying locals such as Krzysztof Iwaniuk, mayor of Terespol Municipality, which includes Malaszewicze, who has seen the town and surrounding areas benefit from the rail trade.On a recent visit to Malaszewicze, Reuters saw navy blue shipping containers emblazoned with the China Railway Express logo stacked up in rail terminals, as well as new roads and a local government headquarters.Iwaniuk said he was worried that PKP Cargo's upgrade plan would not meet anticipated volume growth and that the town would lose traffic to other transhipment hubs."We are sounding an alarm that we use this historic opportunity," he said. "If we don't properly use these five minutes in history, it will be over."AMBITIOUS TARGETS-In China, meanwhile, the flood of containers into Europe is expected to keep surging as city authorities try to outdo each other promoting Belt and Road, President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy initiative.Chongqing in southwestern China, which recorded 663 trips last year, is targeting 1,000 trips, while Xi'an, home to China's terracotta army, also wants to hit 1,000 trips, according to state media and government statements.Yiwu city in the eastern province of Zhejiang, home to one of the world's largest wholesale trading centres, plans to increase trip numbers from 168 in 2017 to 350 this year, said Simon Jian, assistant to the chairman of Yiwu Timex Industrial Investment, a rail service provider.Industry executives say the network is currently unprofitable as cargo volumes have not reached a sustainable level, and costs are higher than shipping by sea.But it is attracting business from companies selling goods like cars and electronics because it can deliver them as much as 20 days faster than sea at a lower cost than by air."We've probably managed to reduce our logistics costs thanks to China Railway Express," said Hu Jie, a Suzhou-based logistics director at Pegatron Corp, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer that began using the rail route in 2015.For now, Chinese government subsidies are supporting the rail operations.A study published by the Shanghai-based Donghua University last year estimated that provincial governments in China had collectively spent $303 million subsidizing China-Europe block trains - generally those carrying goods to destinations without being split up en route - between 2011 to 2016.Jian said that firms would likely need to charge $10,000 per container to make a profit but subsidies allowed many to charge about $3,000-6,000 per container. Some were offering rates as low as $1,000 per container, about the same as shipping by sea."It's very chaotic," he said.INFRASTRUCTURE-There is currently far less rail congestion on trips back from Europe to China, reflecting the large trade deficit between two partners.Polish government sources said there was concern that China was not doing enough to open its market to foreign producers. One official said there was growing concern that the new Silk Road might become a one-way gateway to flood Europe with China-made goods.The United States is currently threatening a trade war with Beijing in a bid to cut its own trade balance with China.As trains pile up in Malaszewicze, some shippers are looking to move goods through Finland, which launched a rail freight service with China in November, or Lithuania and Estonia.But new transhipment hubs also had drawbacks, they said, citing longer travel times and less familiarity with services and issues like processing paperwork."We need the entire network to be upgraded and more railway stations to be built," said an executive at Wuhan Asia-Europe Logistics, which manages trains from Wuhan, in central China.Ronald Kleijwegt, the managing director of Jusda Europe, a logistics unit of the contract manufacturer Foxconn, said that would be an uphill task in Europe."It's a win-win if we start ironing out all these bottlenecks," said Kleijwegt. "But the demand and requirements of supply chain are sometimes difficult to understand for politicians to understand."(Additional Reporting by Andrius Sytas in VILNIUS and SHANGHAI Newsroom; Editing by Philip McClellan)

After protests, Iran's Khamenei demands punishment for those who harm economy-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-By Babak Dehghanpisheh-June 27, 2018

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran's supreme leader demanded punishment for those who disrupt business, signaling a tougher line after two days of strikes by market traders, the biggest unrest since the start of the year.With the economy facing the prospect of new U.S. sanctions, the country's leadership signaled it was taking a united front toward the unrest. In a speech, President Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist who has long sought more open economic relations with the outside world, blamed Washington for Iran's hardship, calling on Iranians to "bring America to its knees".At Tehran's Grand Bazaar on Wednesday, business was back to normal after the two-day strike had closed most shops.On Monday traders had massed outside parliament to complain about the plunge to record lows of Iran's currency. Reuters was unable to verify footage that showed police clashing with protesters. Public demonstrations are rare in Iran but in recent months there have been several over the state of the economy.Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the hardline cleric in power since 1989, demanded the judiciary punish those "who disrupt economic security", in remarks clearly intended to send a message to Iranians who may plan more demonstrations."The atmosphere for the work, life and livelihood of the people must be secure," he said in a meeting with judiciary officials, according to his official website. "And the judiciary must confront those who disrupt economic security."The bazaar strike is the biggest sign of domestic disquiet in Iran since the United States abandoned a deal to lift economic sanctions in return for curbs to Tehran's nuclear program. The deal was the centerpiece of Rouhani's plans to open Iran's economy, which won him two landslide elections but has yet to bring widespread economic benefits for many Iranians.Washington has pledged even tighter sanctions than before, although its European allies and other world powers say they still support the nuclear deal."We will take problems. We will take pressure. But we will not sacrifice our independence," said Rouhani in an address broadcast on state television.In the latest U.S. push against Tehran, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday that countries buying oil from Iran should prepare to halt all imports of it starting in November or face punishment.IMPORT COSTS RISE-The threat of restored U.S. sanctions has caused the rial to collapse, hurting business by driving up the cost of imports. The rial traded at 78,500 against the dollar in the unofficial market on Wednesday, according to foreign exchange website This compares to around 43,000 at the end of last year."It should surprise no one #IranProtests continue. People are tired of the corruption, injustice & incompetence of their leaders. The world hears their voice," tweeted U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.An Iranian oil official dismissed U.S. efforts to squeeze Iran's oil industry."Iran exports a total amount of 2.5 million barrels per day of crude and condensate, and eliminating it easily and in a period of a few months is impossible," the official told the semi-official Tasnim news agency.Trump's determination to deprive Iran of funding raises the stakes for Rouhani, who has attempted to appease anger over his government's handling of the economy.The Iranian parliament showed the level of discontent over Rouhani's performance, issuing a letter, signed by 187 representatives -- more than half of the total -- asking that the president change his administration's economic team.Mehrdad Emadi, an Iranian economist who heads energy risk analysis at London's Betamatrix consultancy, estimated U.S. sanctions could cause Iran's crude oil exports to drop by between 500,000 and 800,000 bpd in coming months.He said a fall below 1.4 million bpd -- the level two years ago, before the nuclear deal -- was unlikely as Iran would remain able to sell some oil abroad through barter deals. Turkey said on Wednesday it did not consider itself bound by the U.S. effort to stop Iran exporting oil.But the sanctions may stifle Iran's long-term plans to expand its oil industry. After a deal reached this month among global oil producers to raise output, Saudi Arabia and Russia look set to take market share from Iran."Iran is in a weaker position to cope with these sanctions than it was during the last sanctions period two years ago," Emadi said.Then, Iran had some $150 billion of currency stored abroad in countries such as China and Turkey as well as European banks. Detailed figures for foreign exchange reserves are secret, but Tehran has now drawn down much of that buffer to handle expenses such as capital flight and foreign intervention, Emadi said.He predicted Iran might ultimately enter a fresh recession as lower oil revenues prompted the government to put public sector projects on hold and as the economy became more militarized in response to U.S. pressure.A downturn in growth could worsen bad debt problems in the banking sector, which the International Monetary Fund has warned could destabilize the economy.(Additional reporting by Andrew Torchia in Dubai; Writing by Michael Georgy, Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky, William Maclean)