Football rumours from the media   

Real Madrid are ready to rival Juventus in a bid to to sign Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, according to Spanish publication Sport. The LaLiga side could pay a fee in the region of £70million for the France international.

Trump left isolated as Republican allies revolt over US withdrawal from Syria   


Trump left isolated as Republican allies revolt over US withdrawal from SyriaMitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham lead condemnation of foreign policy move that could prove ‘disaster in the making’Donald Trump with Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, in the Cabinet Room on Monday. Lindsey Graham said abandoning the Kurds would be ‘a stain on America’s honour’. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/APDonald Trump was dangerously isolated on Monday as, in a rare rebuke, some of his most loyal allies revolted against his decision to withdraw US troops from north-eastern Syria.Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell led a chorus of Republicans who, having defended the president on almost every other issue – including over impeachment – decided to draw a line in the sand.“A precipitous withdrawal of US forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime,” McConnell said. “And it would increase the risk that Isis and other terrorist groups regroup.”He added: “As we learned the hard way during the Obama administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal.”The criticism was significant because McConnell is usually at pains not to cross Trump even at his most capricious. Last week the Kentucky senator released a Facebook video promising to stop Democratic-led impeachment in its tracks.Article 1 of the United States constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to initiate impeachment and the Senate the sole power to try impeachments of the president. A president can be impeached if they are judged to have committed "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" – although the constitution does not specify what “high crimes and misdemeanors” are.The process starts with the House of Representatives passing articles of impeachment. A simple majority of members need to vote in favour of impeachment for it to pass to the next stage. Democrats currently control the house, with 235 representatives.The chief justice of the US supreme court then presides over the proceedings in the Senate, where the president is tried, with senators acting as the jury. For the president to be found guilty two-thirds of senators must vote to convict. Republicans currently control the Senate, with 53 of the 100 senators.Two presidents have previously been impeached, Bill Clinton in 1998, and Andrew Johnson in 1868, though neither was removed from office as a result. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before there was a formal vote to impeach him.Martin BelamThe unusual fracture emerged on Sunday night when, shortly after a phone conversation between Trump and Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the White House announced removal of US troops from the Syria-Turkey border area. “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” it added.Critics of all political stripes have long feared that the move could open the way for a Turkish strike on Kurdish-led fighters in the area. Kurdish groups have fought alongside a small US presence in Syria to drive Islamic State militants from the region.The Republican backlash was rapid and potentially unnerving for a president whose fate is tethered to the party and the assumption that it will acquit him in the Senate if, as widely expected, the Democratic-led House of Representatives votes for impeachment.Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, who has become an outspoken defender (and frequent golf partner) of Trump, did not acquiesce this time. Abandonment of the Kurds would be “a disaster in the making”, he said, and “a stain on America’s honour”.Graham told Fox News: “I hope I’m making myself clear how short-sighted and irresponsible this decision is. I like President Trump. I’ve tried to help him. This, to me, is just unnerving to its core.”Graham wrote on Twitter that if the plan goes ahead, he will introduce a Senate resolution opposing it and seeking reversal of the decision. He added: “We will introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if they invade Syria and will call for their suspension from NATO if they attack Kurdish forces who assisted the US in the destruction of the ISIS Caliphate.”Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the House, whose attempts to defend Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president have provoked mockery, said: “If you make a commitment and somebody is fighting with you, America should keep their word.”Michael McCaul of Texas, the lead Republican on the House foreign affairs committee, also urged the president to reconsider. “The United States should not step aside and allow a Turkish military operation in north-east Syria,” he said. “This move will undermine our ongoing campaign to prevent an Isis resurgence and will ultimately threaten our homeland.“Additionally, the United States needs to stay engaged to prevent further destructive involvement in the region from our adversaries like the Assad regime, Putin and Iran.”Notably, senator Marco Rubio of Florida, reluctant to criticise Trump even when the president suggested that China investigate former vice president and 2020 election rival Joe Biden, was clear , describing the retreat as “a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria”And Nikki Haley, Trump’s former UN ambassador, admonished Trump without mentioning his name. “We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back,” she tweeted. “The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake. TurkeyIsNotOurFriend”Ominously for Trump, even conservative Fox News aired dissent. Host Brian Kilmeade described the pullout as “a disaster”, telling viewers of Fox & Friends: “Abandon our allies? That’s a campaign promise? Abandon the people that got the caliphate destroyed?”Republicans who have contradicted Trump before did so forcefully again. Utah senator Mitt Romney described Trump’s announcement as “a betrayal”, adding: “It says that America is an unreliable ally; it facilitates ISIS resurgence; and it presages another humanitarian disaster.”Romney and Democratic senator Chris Murphy issued a joint statement insisting Trump’s administration “explain to the American people how betraying an ally and ceding influence to terrorists and adversaries is not disastrous for our national security interests”.Democrats also piled in but there was a lone voice of support for the president on Capitol Hill. Republican senator Rand Paul, long a critic of foreign intervention, said: “So many neocons want us to stay in wars all over the Middle East forever. [Trump] is absolutely right to end those wars and bring the troops home.”Trump himself was undeterred by the blowback. Speaking at the White House on Monday, he said he has “great respect” for the prominent Republican critics. And added: “People are extremely thrilled because they say it’s time to bring our people back home. We’re not a police force. They’re policing the area. We’re not a police force. The UK was very thrilled at this decision … many people agree with it very strongly.”


GOP Senators Unnerved and ‘Concerned’ About ‘Betrayal’ of Kurds in Syria   


GOP Senators Unnerved and ‘Concerned’ About ‘Betrayal’ of Kurds in SyriaBRENDAN SMIALOWSKIPresident Donald Trump’s decision to pave the way for a Turkish invasion of northern Syria at the expense of Kurdish allies in the region has infuriated Republican allies in the Senate who have spent the last two weeks twisting themselves in knots to defend him from an impeachment inquiry. Late on Sunday, the White House released a one-paragraph statement declaring that a Turkish invasion of northern Syria was imminent, and the United States would “not support or be involved in the operation” and “will no longer be in the immediate area.” For Kurds in the region—who have been fighting ISIS with U.S.-supplied weapons and are largely considered the strongest fighting force in Syria—the declaration amounts to an abrogration of agreements with the United States to defend them against Turkey, which considers them to be terrorists. In June, Trump himself warned that abandoning the alliance would allow Turkey to “wipe out the Kurds, who helped us with ISIS.”Trump’s Crazy Syria Move Will Wipe Out America’s Allies and Set Up a Big ISIS ComebackThe backlash from his Republican allies was swift.  Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), led the way on Monday morning, with the South Carolina senator calling the move “shortsighted and irresponsible” on Fox & Friends, a show that effectively serves as a televised presidential daily brief for Trump.“This impulsive decision by the president has undone all the gains we’ve made, thrown the region into further chaos, Iran is licking their chops, and if I’m an ISIS fighter, I’ve got a second lease on life,” Graham said. “I will do everything I can to sanction Turkey’s military and their economy if they step one foot into Syria. I hope I’m making myself clear how shortsighted and irresponsible this decision is.”Graham even referenced the House’s impeachment inquiry, unprompted, before adding that while “I’ve tried to help him,” the president’s behavior was “just unnerving to its core.”Graham, who has spent years trying to steer Trump closer to the hawkish foreign policy stances held by his Republican predecessors, opened the floodgates for Republicans who see Trump’s move as a threat to a critical U.S. ally in the region, and a potentially disastrous embrace of an autocratic regime.Indeed, Monday saw widespread pushback from around the Senate GOP, from lawmakers who’ve cozied up to Trump to those who have been more willing to call him out. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a Trump ally who has nudged him toward more hawkish positions on Venezuela and Iran policy, called the decision “a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria.” Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) said that he was “deeply concerned” that the decision could leave Kurds who risked their lives to fight ISIS in harm’s way.And Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), probably Trump’s most vocal Senate GOP critic, characterized the pullout as “a betrayal” that “presages another humanitarian disaster” in Syria. Romney went so far as to join Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) to demand that administration officials explain their move to lawmakers and the public. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), meanwhile, has toned down his Trump criticism lately but warned that the retreat would “likely result in the slaughter of allies who fought with us, including women and children.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) managed to subtweet the president, calling Trump’s move “a terribly unwise decision” moments after the president described his wisdom on the matter as “great and unmatched.”Even Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a rare rebuke of the president whom he has pledged to protect from removal from office, pleaded with Trump to maintain an American presence in the region and to prevent Turkey from invading.“I urge the president to exercise American leadership to keep together our multinational coalition to defeat ISIS and prevent significant conflict between our NATO ally Turkey and our local Syrian counterterrorism partners,” McConnell said in a statement. Major new conflict between Turkey and our partners in Syria, McConnell said, “would seriously risk damaging Turkey’s ties to the United States and causing greater isolation for Turkey on the world stage.”Among Trump’s allies seeking to thread the needle between opposing the withdrawal and ensuring that the president didn’t feel attacked was Sen. Ted Cruz, who tweeted that while Trump was “right to want to bring our soldiers home,” it would be “DISGRACEFUL” (capital letters Cruz’s) to allow Turkey to attack Kurdish allies in the region.“Our enemies and rivals (Iran, Russia, etc.) don’t abandon their allies,” Cruz said. “If we want allies to stand with America in the future, we shouldn’t either. Honorable nations stand by their friends.”Seemingly alone among Senate Republicans in supporting the withdrawal was Sen. Rand Paul, who is perhaps the biggest cheerleader of Trump’s isolationist instincts. The Kentucky senator told reporters that he stands with Trump “as he once again fulfills his promises to stop our endless wars and have a true America First foreign policy.”Other Senate Republicans have remained tight-lipped on the president’s decision, perhaps praying that Trump will reverse course on the withdrawal—as he did in December 2018, after sharp rebukes from within the party and the resignation of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis halted a hastily announced drawdown of U.S. troops from Syria.Asked during an event celebrating a trade agreement with Japan on Monday afternoon about whether he had consulted with the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the decision, Trump insisted that he had.“I consulted with everybody,” Trump said.Additional reporting: Sam Brodey Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


US withdrawal from Syria leaves fate of Isis fighters and families in detention uncertain   


US withdrawal from Syria leaves fate of Isis fighters and families in detention uncertainTrump’s latest move has officials scrambling to understand the implications as Turkish forces gather near the Syrian borderTurkish fighters gather near the north-east Syrian border in preparation of a widely-anticipated invasion. Photograph: Nazeer Al-Khatib/AFP via Getty ImagesKurdish forces in Syria have said the fate of tens of thousands of suspected Islamic State fighters and their families is uncertain, after US forces began a sudden withdrawal from the country, abandoning their former ally on the eve of a widely-anticipated Turkish invasion.The effects of the shock retreat continued to reverberate through the region on Monday as Turkish forces massed near the border with the Kurdish stronghold of north-eastern Syria.The looming offensive– which was green-lighted by Donald Trump in a phone call to Recep Tayyip Erdogan late on Sunday – came as a surprise to US officials and allies, who were scrambling to understand the implications. There was a furious backlash in Congress, including from some of Trump’s closest allies, who accused the president of betraying the Kurds.The decision represents the latest in a series of erratic moves by Trump, who is fighting impeachment at home, apparently taken without consultation with, or knowledge of, US diplomats dealing with Syria, or the UK and France, the US’s main international partners in the country.A White House statement on Sunday night after his conversation with his Turkish counterpart said that: “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into northern Syria”, adding that US forces were being removed from the area.The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Monday its US partners had already begun withdrawing troops from areas along Turkey’s border. Footage aired on Kurdish news agency Hawar purportedly showed US armoured vehicles evacuating key positions in the border region.The SDF spokesman, Mustafa Bali, accused the US of leaving the area to “turn into a war zone”, adding that the SDF would “defend north-east Syria at all costs”.But on Monday the Pentagon, which has been cooperating with Turkey along the Syrian border, issued a statement saying: “The department of defence made clear to Turkey – as did the president – that we do not endorse a Turkish operation in northern Syria. The US armed forces will not support or be involved in any such operation.”State department officials also sought to minimize the announcement, telling reporters that only about two dozen American troops would be removed from the Turkey-Syria border, and suggesting that Turkey might not go through with a large-scale invasion.In the face of fierce criticism from both political rivals and allies in Congress, Trump took to Twitter to try to defend the move and threaten Turkey.“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” he said.“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!),” he said.It was unclear however, what was “off limits”.In earlier tweets, Trump had appeared unsentimental about the Kurds, noting that they had been paid “massive amounts of money and equipment” in the four year campaign, when they were used as the main US proxy to fight Isis in Syria.But the issue of Isis foreign fighters, most of them European, has clearly preoccupied the US president.Both Trump and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have repeatedly called on European states to repatriate around 20,000 foreign nationals currently held in north-east Syria for trial and rehabilitation at home.Trump argued it was up to Turkey and Europe and others, “to watch over the captured Isis fighters and families”.An SDF spokesman, Amjed Osman, said on Monday it was not clear what would happen to the prisoners. “We repeatedly called for foreign states to take responsibility for their Isis nationals. But there was no response,” he said in a statement. It is far from clear if Turkey has the capacity – or desire – to take custody of the detainees being held in crowded Kurdish jails and displacement camps, stretching the SDF to its limits and prompting warnings that militants are using the prisons to regroup.Some 74,000 women and children of the caliphate are held at the infamous Hawl camp, where they are guarded by just 400 SDF soldiers. But the camp, a hotbed of violence and extremist ideology, falls outside the parameters of the 32km-deep safe zone on the Turkish-Syrian border that Erdogan has said his forces would establish.Aid agencies warned that an offensive could displace hundreds of thousands of people, and create a new humanitarian disaster.Save the Children said that more than 9,000 children from 40 countries were being held in camps and depended on humanitarian aid to survive.“Reports of imminent military operations and troops already sent to the border are deeply troubling. The international community, including the UK, should take urgent steps to do what’s best for these children and bring them to their home countries before access becomes even more unpredictable,” the group said.The Guardian understands that the SAS and French special forces present in Rojava would be tasked with securing the camp perimeters if the Kurds withdrew. However, with only several hundred troops between them, their numbers would need to be quickly boosted by regular soldiers to avoid a catastrophic collapse in security.In Washington, the move was condemned by allies and opponents of the president. House speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said the move “poses a dire threat to regional security and stability, and sends a dangerous message to Iran and Russia, as well as our allies, that the United States is no longer a trusted partner”.Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said: “A precipitous withdrawal of US forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. And it would increase the risk that Isis and other terrorist groups regroup.”Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump loyalist on most issues, said he would call for Turkey’s suspension from NATO and introduce sanctions against Ankara if the Turks attack Kurdish forces.“This decision to abandon our Kurdish allies and turn Syria over to Russia, Iran, & Turkey will put every radical Islamist on steroids. Shot in the arm to the bad guys. Devastating for the good guys,” Graham wrote in a tweet.During the campaign against Isis, the SDF did the bulk of the ground fighting to defeat Isis in Syria, losing 11,000 troops in the grinding battle. The senior ranks of the organisation are dominated by members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought a four-decade guerilla war against the Turkish government.Ankara has long complained that, while fighting Isis, PKK forces were also waging war in Turkey.


Senate Republicans Recoil From Trump’s Decision to Abandon Kurds   


Senate Republicans Recoil From Trump’s Decision to Abandon Kurds(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria and abandon Kurdish allies has prompted a furious backlash among key members of his most important bulwark against an impeachment conviction: Senate Republicans.Hawkish GOP senators, whom Trump will need to keep him in office if the House moves ahead with impeachment, condemned the president’s decision as a win for terrorists and a defeat for American credibility. Some are already discussing legislation to push back.“A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran and the Assad regime,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. He urged the president to “keep together our multinational coalition to defeat ISIS and prevent significant conflict between our NATO ally Turkey and our local Syrian counterterrorism partners.”Foreign policy has long been the issue where Republicans are most likely to disagree with Trump, and it’s not clear that strong words against the president’s Syria policy will cost him any political support. Trump would have to lose the support of at least 20 Republican senators to be removed from office if the House votes to impeach him.The harshest criticism Monday came from South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a strong Trump ally and frequent golf companion. Graham said this “impulsive decision” will benefit Iran and cost the U.S. leverage in the region.Graham also said he and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen will introduce sanctions against Turkey if the NATO ally invades Syria. He said he expects such sanctions to get a two-thirds majority -- enough to override a Trump veto.After criticism from Graham and others, Trump tweeted that he would “totally destroy and obliterate” Turkey’s economy if it took “off limits” actions that he didn’t specify. He also said Turkey must “watch over” about 12,000 captured Islamic State fighters and tens of thousands of their family members living in jails and camps in Kurdish-held territory.The Senate earlier this year had a veto-proof margin to pass an amendment authored by McConnell opposing a withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan. On Monday, Criticism in Congress was bipartisan, focused on the move to abandon Kurdish forces who helped U.S. forces fight ISIS, and who are holding thousands of ISIS fighters in custody.Other Senate Republicans pushing back on the president include Marco Rubio of Florida, Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine, though none other than Graham have yet said they plan to act on their dismay.Romney, who heads a Foreign Relations subcommittee on the Middle East and counterterrorism, released a joint statement with Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, the top Democrat on the panel, saying Trump’s decision “severely undercuts America’s credibility as a reliable partner and creates a power vacuum in the region that benefits ISIS.” They demanded that the administration explain the decision to the full committee.Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, who is up for re-election next year, warned against partnering with Turkish President Recep Erdogan.“If the president sticks with this retreat, he needs to know that this bad decision will likely result in the slaughter of allies who fought with us, including women and children,” Sasse said in a statement Monday. “I hope the president will listen to his generals and reconsider.”Some House Republicans also criticized the abrupt withdrawal. Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, a member of GOP leadership, called the decision a “catastrophic mistake.” New York Republican Elise Stefanik recently returned from a bipartisan trip to the region and joined a statement with Democratic representatives condemning Trump’s “rash decision.”“Not only will this decision further destabilize the region, it will make it more difficult for the United States to recruit allies and partners to defeat terrorist groups like ISIS,” the statement said.One of Trump’s Senate allies approved of Trump’s decision: Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has long called for withdrawing troops from Syria and Afghanistan.(Updates with McConnell quote in third paragraph)\--With assistance from Erik Wasson.To contact the reporter on this story: Steven T. Dennis in Washington at sdennis17@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at, Anna Edgerton, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Lindsey Graham Blasts Trump’s ‘Irresponsible’ Syria Decision: ‘Unnerving to Its Core’   


Lindsey Graham Blasts Trump’s ‘Irresponsible’ Syria Decision: ‘Unnerving to Its Core’REUTERSOne of President Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters in the Senate raged against the president’s Sunday night announcement that America will bow out of Syria while Turkey attacks allied Kurds in the region, calling the decision on Monday “shortsighted and irresponsible.”Appearing on Trump-boosting morning show Fox & Friends, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was asked whether he supported the president’s move, prompting the hawkish Republican lawmaker to exclaim, “Absolutely not.”“If I didn’t see Donald Trump’s name on the tweet, I thought it would be [former President] Obama’s rationale for getting out of Iraq.” he said. “This is gonna lead to ISIS’s reemergence!”Graham went on to say this was a “big win for ISIS,” claiming that the Kurds in the area will align with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad because they’d have no choice due to the United States abandoning them. “So this is a big win for Iran and Assad,” he added.(During another Fox & Friends segment, co-host Brian Kilmeade criticized the president as well, calling the president’s decision “disastrous” and that it would leave the Kurds to fend for themselves.)The South Carolina senator then stated that the “Kurds stepped up when nobody else would to fight ISIS,” noting that if we abandon the Kurds at this point, nobody will want to help America in the future in fighting radical Islam. Graham also pushed back on Trump’s claim that ISIS has been eradicated.“The biggest lie being told by the administration [is] that ISIS is defeated,” he declared. “This impulsive decision by the president has undone all the gains we’ve made, thrown the region into further chaos. Iran is licking their chops. And if I’m an ISIS fighter, I’ve got a second lease on life. So to those who think ISIS has been defeated, you will soon see.”“I hope I’m making myself clear how shortsighted and irresponsible this decision is, in my view,” Graham concluded.The GOP lawmaker continued to blast the president’s move on Twitter following his Fox & Friends appearance, saying he doesn’t “believe it is a good idea to outsource the fight against ISIS to Russia, Iran and Turkey.”“I feel very bad for the Americans and allies who have sacrificed to destroy the ISIS Caliphate because this decision virtually reassures the reemergence of ISIS. So sad. So dangerous,” he wrote in another tweet. “President Trump may be tired of fighting radical Islam. They are NOT tired of fighting us.”Furthermore, piggybacking off his assertion on Fox & Friends that he would do everything he can to sanction Turkey if they invade Syria, Graham announced that he would “introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if they invade Syria and will call for their suspension from NATO if they attack Kurdish forces who assisted the U.S. in the destruction of the ISIS Caliphate.”Graham wasn’t alone among Trump’s allies and loyalists to call out the president over his decision to stand aside as Turkey attacks one of America’s most reliable allies in the region. For example, Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said we “must always have the backs of our allies” and leaving the Kurds to “die is a big mistake.” And Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), weeks after competing with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) for Trump’s affections, called it a “catastrophic mistake” to pull out of Syria, adding that terrorists “thousands of miles away can and will use their safe-havens to launch attacks against America.”Facing overwhelming criticism from within his own party on the Turkey-Syria decision, Trump tweeted late Monday morning that if Turkey does anything that “I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Graham Says Trump’s ‘Biggest Lie’ Is of Islamic State’s Defeat   


Graham Says Trump’s ‘Biggest Lie’ Is of Islamic State’s Defeat(Bloomberg) -- One of Donald Trump’s biggest defenders in Congress rebuked the president’s decision to step aside from Kurdish allies in Syria while Turkey’s military advances, saying it would result in the re-emergence of ISIS.“ISIS is not defeated, my friend. The biggest lie being told by the administration is that ISIS is defeated,” Senator Lindsey Graham told “Fox and Friends” in a phone call Monday. “The Caliphate is destroyed, but there’s thousands of fighters” still there.Graham said he would sponsor a resolution urging Trump to reconsider the decision he called “shortsighted and irresponsible.” Graham said he and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen will also introduce a resolution to impose sanctions on Turkey if it invades Syria.The sharp criticism from Graham, a South Carolina Republican who usually is one of Trump’s fiercest defenders in the Senate, signals the president’s plan could meet resistance on Capitol Hill. Other Republican lawmakers were joining in expressing misgivings on Monday, echoing the admonishment that prompted Trump to reverse course on a similar pullout announced last year.Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, said on Twitter that “the Trump administration has made a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria.”Representative Peter King, a Republican from New York, tweeted that the move “betrays Kurds, strengthens ISIS and endangers American homeland.”And Trump’s former United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley, emphasized the risks of the U.S. abandoning allies in the Mideast. “We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back,” she said on Twitter. “The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake.”Even before the pushback, Trump was defending his decision Monday, insisting on Twitter that the U.S. can’t afford to be stuck in “ridiculous endless wars.” The U.S. was only supposed to be in Syria for 30 days but stayed and “got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight,” Trump tweeted, insisting he’d held off this fight for almost three years.Trump’s move represents a significant shift in U.S. policy that raises questions about the fate of tens of thousands of Islamic State detainees and casts further doubt on the reliability of the U.S. as an ally in the region.Trump said Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to “figure the situation out, and what they want to do with the captured ISIS fighters in their ‘neighborhood.”’The White House said Turkey would take responsibility for any Islamic State fighters captured in the area over the past two years. It gave no details and it wasn’t immediately clear what, if any, plan the NATO allies had agreed to handle the detainees or how they would be transferred to Turkish custody.But the assurance represents a potential win for Trump, who has insisted that the U.S. would bear no responsibility for any Islamic State detainees, as he gears up for the 2020 election.Close U.S. AllyThe Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have been a close U.S. ally in the fight to defeat Islamic State. But Turkey considers Syria’s Kurdish militants a threat to its national security, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his forces are ready to begin a military operation against them in northeastern Syria.The U.S. in 2015 provided air support for Kurdish militias to retake the critical town of Kobani from Islamic State and has since used Kurdish fighters as ground troops in the campaign to clear Syria of the group.Trump’s approach to Syria has previously caused friction with administration officials. Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, resigned last December after Trump said the U.S. would withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan -- a decision Trump later reversed.Graham, who has not shied from criticizing other Trump moves on foreign policy, said that fatigue with the fight is not a reason to abandon it. Leaving the U.S. wartime Kurdish allies will only make it harder to find allies in the future, he warned.“If we abandon them, good luck getting anybody to help America in the future with radical Islam, al Qaeda and ISIS,” Graham said. “You may be tired of fighting radical Islam, but they’re not tired of fighting you.”Graham called Trump’s decision “impulsive” and said the ensuing chaos in the region will only help U.S. foes. “Iran is licking their chops,” he said. “And if I’m an ISIS fighter, I’ve got a second lease on life.”An adviser to the Syrian Democratic Forces said that Trump’s move will strengthen Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Iran and Russia.“The Kurds told me this morning they were going to fight,” Moti Kahana, an adviser to the Kurdish-led forces, said by telephone from New Jersey. “They have two options. They can partner with Iran and Assad in order to prevent Turkish intervention into Syria or face a fight against Turkey in the northern border area and with Iran” in the southeast.Even if the Kurds don’t fight, Kahana said, “they will shift their alliance from the Americans” to Russia, Assad and Iran.Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet that the U.S. is “an irrelevant occupioer in Syria” and it’s “futile to seek its permission or relyl on it for security.”(Updates with comment from adviser to Syrian Kurds, Iran’s Zarif in final paragraphs.)\--With assistance from Steven T. Dennis.To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer A. Dlouhy in Washington at;Glen Carey in Washington at gcarey8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at, Elizabeth Wasserman, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Ancient 'New York': 5,000-year-old city discovered in Israel   

The 5,000-year-old city is said to be one of the most significant archaeological finds in the region from that era.

Rainy-Day, Comforting (Best) Ratatouille   

I was craving vegetables. It was a rainy summer day during my visit home to see my family in Saskatchewan. After being pummeled by rain and cleaning up puddled basements, I wanted to be in the kitchen, to cook and soothe souls. So I ended up in the grocery store. I love shopping for groceries. We all need to eat, and I rarely feel guilty spending money at the grocery store. It is always justified in my head. A tasty tomato is worth the price. (At least that’s how I think.) While wandering the aisles, I waited for inspiration. I saw the eggplant first. Though I’m not a fan of this bitter vegetable, I love its purple suit and wondered if I tried it one more time if I might become a fan. So I googled: "best ratatouille recipe" on my phone in the middle of the produce aisle. Ratatouille dates back to the 1800s and the region of Nice,...

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As impeachment looms, GOP revolts against Trump on Syria   


WASHINGTON – They may have his back on impeachment, but some of President Donald Trump’s most loyal allies are suddenly revolting against his decision to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria.

On Monday, one chief Trump loyalist in Congress called the move “unnerving to the core.” An influential figure in conservative media condemned it as “a disaster.” And Trump’s former top NATO envoy said it was “a big mistake” that would threaten the lives of Kurdish fighters who had fought alongside American troops for years.

Trump’s surprise move, which came with no advance warning late Sunday and stunned many in his own government, threatened to undermine what has been near lockstep support among Republicans. It also came against the backdrop of a congressional impeachment inquiry in which the backing of Republicans in the Senate is the president’s bulwark against being removed from office.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who has been among Trump’s most vocal defenders, called the Syria decision “a disaster in the making” that would throw the region into chaos and embolden the Islamic State group.

“I hope I’m making myself clear how short-sighted and irresponsible this decision is,” Graham told Fox News. “I like President Trump. I’ve tried to help him. This, to me, is just unnerving to its core.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who has shrugged off the key allegation in the impeachment inquiry – that Trump pressured foreign powers to investigate a top Democratic rival – tweeted that Trump’s shift on Syria is “a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria.”

And Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who has been more willing than many Republicans to condemn Trump’s calls for foreign intervention in the 2020 election, called the Syria move “a terribly unwise decision” that would “abandon our Kurdish allies, who have been our major partner in the fight against the Islamic State.”

A more frequent Republican Trump critic, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, cast Trump’s announcement as “a betrayal.”

“It says that America is an unreliable ally; it facilitates ISIS resurgence; and it presages another humanitarian disaster,” Romney tweeted.

Nikki Haley, who was Trump’s hand-picked ambassador to the United Nations, also cast the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Iraq as a betrayal of a key ally.

“The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake,” she wrote on Twitter.

Former Rubio aide Alex Conant highlighted the risks ahead for a president whose political future depends on Republican support.

“For Trump to make a very controversial move on Syria at the exact moment when he needs Senate Republicans more than ever is risky politics,” Conant said, noting the significance for many Senate Republicans of the United States’ policy in northern Syria, where Kurds would be particularly vulnerable to a Turkish invasion.

“They’re not just going to send out a couple of tweets and move on,” Conant said. “At the same time, the White House is going to need these guys to carry a lot of water for them.”

While a number of Republicans criticized Trump’s decision, one of their most important leaders, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, was sanguine, offering little concern about Syria or impeachment during an appearance at the University of Kentucky.

“There are a few distractions, as you may have noticed,” McConnell said. “But if you sort of keep your head on straight and remember why you were sent there, there are opportunities to do important things for the country and for the states that we represent.”

After the appearance, McConnell issued a statement warning that Trump’s proposed withdrawal “would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.”

“As we learned the hard way during the Obama Administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal,” McConnell said.

Outside government, leaders of conservative groups backed Trump.

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., a prominent evangelical leader, said Trump was simply “keeping his promise to keep America out of endless wars.”

He suggested Trump could easily reengage in the region if the decision backfires.

“The president has got to do what’s best for the country, whether it helps him with this phony impeachment inquiry or not,” Falwell said in an interview.

Former Trump campaign aide Barry Bennett noted that the president has been talking about reducing troop levels in the Middle East since before the 2016 election.

“I understand that they don’t like the policy, but none of them should be shocked by the policy,” Bennett said. “He’s only been talking about this for four or five years now. I think he’s with the vast majority of the public.”

Still, the backlash from other Trump loyalists was intense.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., a member of the House Armed Services and Intelligence committees, called it a “misguided and catastrophic blow to our national security interests.”

And on Fox News, a network where many rank-and-file Trump supporters get their news, host Brian Kilmeade said it was “a disaster.”

“Abandon our allies? That’s a campaign promise? Abandon the people that got the caliphate destroyed?” Kilmeade said on “Fox & Friends.”

Bulent Aliriza, director of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the controversy reminds him of former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ decision to resign late last year after Trump announced plans to withdraw troops from Syria.

“Ultimately, Trump reversed himself,” Aliriza said. “The question is whether he will actually reverse himself again in view of the opposition from Capitol Hill led by several of his closest allies.”


Os dois pesos e duas medidas da Organização dos Estados Americanos   

Losing Legitimacy? The Organization of American States and its inconsistent defense of democracy, por Adam Ratzlaff (Global Americans):
Luis Almagro, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), has been an outspoken proponent for democracy in Venezuela. Even before Juan Guaidó invoked the country’s Constitution and declared the Venezuelan presidency vacant, under Almagro’s direction the OAS has become a fierce promoter of democracy in the Americas and the defender of free and fair elections. But although Almagro has championed the cause of democracy in Venezuela and Honduras, he has failed to protect democracy in other countries in the region and, in so doing, has threatened the legitimacy of the OAS to respond to democratic crises like the one currently occurring in Venezuela.


VEON Armenia launches 4G network in Echmiadzin   

VEON Armenia, formerly ArmenTel and trading under the brand Beeline, has announced the launch of fourth-generation LTE services in the city of Echmiadzin, allowing users to access the internet at speeds of up to 100Mbps. reports that the cellco’s launch in the region is supported by a network of 4G base stations operating at 1800MHz, which offers improved in-building coverage. Since the start of this year, VEON Armenia – a wholly owned subsidiary of Amsterdam-based VEON – has increased the number of 700MHz/1800MHz 4G base stations in the country by 24% and will continue to actively expand network coverage throughout the country in future. The cellco claims that in 2019 smartphone take-up has increased 6% and the number of mobile internet users among smartphone users is up 10%.

BIO 27R - Wildlife Habitat Specialist *CLOSING DATE EXTENDED* - BC Public Service - Williams Lake, BC   

The region has both rainforest and arid grassland all within one hour of Williams Lake. October 3rd (posting closing date extended until October 18, 2019).
From BC Public Service - Fri, 13 Sep 2019 22:07:01 GMT - View all Williams Lake, BC jobs

Meth easier to get than marijuana in Hawke's Bay   

A community support worker in Hawke's Bay says the region is awash with methamphetamine, causing a crisis that is aggravated by the dropping prices of the drug. A new study from Massey University has found the price of a gram of methamphetamine is down nationwide, with record lows reported in some regions. Ole Peka, a community support worker in Napier, works with people addicted to meth. He told Morning Report for many users it's easier to get meth than marijuana.

OTT Xtra 26.1   


Well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first episode in our new series: On The Track Xtra! We hope that you enjoy it. 

It is a little more rough and ready than the normal show, but I think that is no bad thing. If you hear strange noises in the background of the segments which feature me doing a piece to camera, those are the filters of the two tanks in the office; one containing Clarence the walking catfish, and another containing a large and massively elusive leaf fish that we have been looking after for Max ever since he went off to university, something in the region of ten years ago. At least, I’ve always thought it was a leaf fish, and worse, have been telling everyone it’s a leaf fish for the last decade. However, when I looked her up today to try to display my academic chops by giving her Latin name, she doesn’t look like any of the leaf fish on Google. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles. 

This episode contains Richard and Carl talking about Reinhold Messner and the yeti, me and Charlotte on the Loch Ness Monster, giant eels, and Richard Freeman meeting Wally the comedy rhinoceros with dramatic results. 



Bolivian Amazon fires: relief as rains douse two-month inferno   


Heavy rains have helped military contain blazes that have burnt more than 4m hectares of land

Heavy rains over recent days in the Bolivian Amazon have helped put out forest fires that have raged for two months across the land-locked South American nation, charring more than 4m hectares of land, local authorities said on Monday.

The storms helped Bolivia’s military contain blazes in the region of Chiquitania, home to large areas of dry forests and indigenous communities that have lived in them for centuries.

Continue reading...

Trump's shock Syria retreat reverberates as Turkish troops mass   


Officials scramble to understand implications of US move as Kurds face prospect of invasion alone

Kurdish forces in Syria have said the fate of tens of thousands of suspected Islamic State fighters and their families is uncertain, after US forces began a sudden withdrawal from the Turkish-Syrian border, leaving their Kurdish allies to face the prospect of a Turkish invasion alone.

The effects of the shock retreat continued to reverberate through the region on Monday as Turkish forces massed near the border with the Kurdish stronghold of north-eastern Syria.

Continue reading...

Weekly Roadwork Report – TxDOT Atlanta District For Oct. 6-12, 2019   

Traveling across the region this week be advised  of road construction that continues in our region. Continue reading…

Consider Napa’s Other Cab   


It is a chilly, sunny February afternoon in Napa Valley.  Tasting rooms are packed and wine routes are busy, much busier than I remember from previous visits.

It’s been five years since my last visit to the region and just over a decade since I spent weekends roaming Napa’s wine routes while working on a nine-month project in the Bay Area.

Napa served as my introduction to wine a dozen years ago and the foundation of my initial wine education. Those early trips were largely about cabernet sauvignon, but today I’m in search of Napa’s other Cab — cabernet franc.

Cabernet sauvignon may be King of Napa Valley — 23,000 of the 43,000 acres of vines in the region are planted to the grape — but, over 30 grape varieties are being cultivated for wine across the region.

Among the other varieties thriving in vineyards across the Valley is cabernet franc, the ancient red grape of the right bank of Bordeaux and the Loire Valley where it’s grown for centuries (though recent genetic analysis indicates the grape originated in the Spanish País Vasco, Basque Country).  It’s also the genetic parent of cabernet sauvignon.

Often used to add bright aromatics to red blends, cabernet franc wines are lighter, juicier, softer, more perfumed and versatile than those made from its progeny.  

Two weeks before this trip, I organized a Napa BYOB dinner with friends to get reacquainted with wines of the region.

There were several exceptional cabernet sauvignons and chardonnays, a serviceable merlot and a seriously delicious ribolla gialla shared that evening, but it was a 2016 cabernet franc from Detert Family Vineyards that stole the evening.  

Aromatically charming and intense, a perfect blend of new world fruit and old world spice and earthy notes, the grapes for the Detert Cabernet Franc were grown in To Kalon, the iconic American vineyard.

To Kalon — Ancient Greek for ‘the highest beauty’ — is situated between Highway 29 and the edge of the Mayacamas mountains in western Oakville in the heart of Napa Valley.

Established in 1868 by Napa wine pioneer Hamilton Walker Crabb, To Kalon spans 678 acres today and is the source of Cabernet Sauvignon for some of the most prestigious and expensive American wines.

The origins of cabernet franc in Napa are opaque but one of the first plantings is thought to be seven decades ago in To Kalon. Planted along the northwestern edge of To Kalon in 1949, the seven acre plot has been farmed by the Deterts Family Vineyards team for six decades.

Like the cabernet sauvignons made from grapes grown in the gravelly soils of Ta Kalon, the complex and expressive Detert Cabernet Franc is one of the most acclaimed in Napa.

About 20 miles southeast of the Detert vineyard at To Kalon, cabernet franc is thriving in vineyards planted on Sugarloaf Mountain East in southeast Napa.  

Cabernet franc evangelist John Skupny, and his wife Tracey, founded Lang & Reed (the middle names of their two sons) in 1996 in St. Helena to focus on Napa’s other cabernet.   

The Skupnys left their careers in the restaurant industry in the midwest to move to Napa in 1980.  “We drank a lot of cab franc when we lived in the midwest working in the restaurant industry so we had an appreciation for the potential the grape and believed it could make excellent wines in Napa,” explained Skunpy.

“We made an experimental cab franc in 1993, started commercial production in 1996 and have made one every vintage since.”

In 2007, Napa viticulturist Bill Hill contacted Skupny about buying cab franc grown on Sugarloaf Mountain in southeast Napa.  “I’ve been working with cab franc in Napa so long I’m like an orphanage for it, growers often contact me about buying fruit,” said Skupny with a chuckle.

“I wasn’t looking for new fruit sources at that time but said I’d be interested in walking the vineyard.  Bill sent me a map and I noticed it was planted with the Entlav 214 clone that originated in the Loire Valley and thrives in cool sites like Sugarloaf Mountain east.”

In his over two decades of experience working with cabernet franc in Napa, Skupny has gained a deeper appreciation for the importance of site and clonal selection, “I’ve found Entlav 214 performs great here in cooler sites that drain well and are planted on the mid to upper benchlands.  Cab franc vines on Sugarloaf Mountain are planted just above the fog line on a 20% slope with southwest exposure which is why the wine is so expressive.”

Elizabeth Vianna, winemaker at Chimney Rock Vineyards who farms nearly four acres of cabernet franc in the Stags Leap District, is a big fan of the grape and feels it’s underrated but starting to get more deserved attention, “Cab Franc is a niche grape here [in Napa] but there is definitely a growing buzz around the grape as a varietal wine for sure.”    

Adding to cabernet franc’s appeal is the grape’s versatility as a varietal wine.

Winemaker Steve Matthiasson says, “Cab Franc is actually an adaptable variety, making more Cabernet Sauvignon-like wine planted up-valley where it’s warmer, and lighter more aromatic wines in the south part of the valley.  It can work on east or west exposures, but again, it’s a bit of a chameleon style-wise, and it will be riper and more powerful on the southwestern exposures, and more aromatic on the northeastern exposures.”

“Cab Francs from the cooler AVAs like Stags Leap express a brighter personality but it is thriving across the Valley because it’s so versatile,” said Vianna, who farms nearly four acres of Cabernet Franc in the Stags Leap District.

“In a blend, Cab Franc brings freshness and liveliness but has a lot to stay on it’s own as a varietal wine,” says Brian Kay, winemaker at Trefethen Family Vineyards, who farms just over five acres of the grape in the Oak Knoll District.

At $8,505 per ton in 2018, cabernet franc is the most expensive grape in the region (compared to $7,925/ton for Cabernet Sauvignon) but is often a serious bargain in bottle compared to the cabernet sauvignon. [Ref. 1]

Cabernet franc may not be the first cabernet that comes to mind when you think of Napa Valley and may always be in the shadow of its progeny, but these wines are compelling and worthy of a place at your table.

For a taste of Napa’s other Cab, seek out Cabernet Franc wines from Corison, Detert, Beringer, Cornerstone, PRIDE Mountain, Crocker & Star, and these producers:

Ref. 1: Price per ton as reported in the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service Grape Crush Report and Napa County Agricultural Crop Report (page 10).
Lang & Reed 2016 Two-Fourteen Cabernet Franc

Named for the Entav 214 clone, Two-Fourteen is 100% cabernet franc grown on the sloped hillside of Sugarloaf Mountain.  This is the only Cabernet Franc in the region made exclusively from the Entav 214 clone.  Medium-bodied and ruby in color, this wine pulls you in to the glass with aromas of red raspberry, blueberry and spice.  Energetic, revealing a complex range of flavors including raspberry, cherry, dried strawberry, tobacco leaf, violet and spice with hints of black olive on the edges. Lengthy dried herb and dark berry finish. Seriously delicious.

Matthiasson 2016 Cabernet Franc

Made from 100% Cabernet Franc from Matthiasson’s home vineyard in the western Oak Knoll District.  An aromatically charming Cabernet Franc from the restrained hand of winemaker, Steve Matthiasson; a bridge from new to old world.  Pale ruby in color, offering aromas of red fruits, spices and dried herbs followed by flavors of ripe plum, sage and mineral.  Mouthwatering acidity with a long herbaceous finish. A compelling expression of Cabernet Franc.

Trefethen 2016 Cabernet Franc

Founded in 1968, Trefethen is now managed managed by the third generation. Made 100% Cabernet Franc grown in Trefethen’s estate vineyard in the Oak Knoll District in southern Napa from vines planted in 2003. Aged 18 months in French oak (22% new).  Cab Franc offering notes of tobacco leaf, violets, dark cherry, and cranberry around a core of dried herbs.  Hints of toasty oak and black tea linger on the finish.

Chimney Rock 2014 Estate Cabernet Franc  

Made from 100% Cabernet Franc grown in the Chimney Rock estate vineyard in the Stags Leap District AVA in southern Napa Valley.  A robust and complex Cab Franc offering pronounced dark fruit, violets, baking spice, and leather aromas with savory notes lingering. Energetic and powerful in the mouth, revealing a range of dark berry and earthy flavors.  Ample acidity. Lengthy vanilla and blueberry notes on the finish.

Barnett 2016 Cabernet Franc

Made from grapes grown in Barnett’s estate vineyard on Spring Mountain in St. Helena at 1,800 feet in elevation, just above the fog line.  A complex and layered Cabernet Franc, offering ripe plum, tobacco leaf, pomegranate, and bright raspberry aromas; the 6% Merlot adds ripe blueberry and cocoa powder aromas on the edges.  Medium-bodied, the palate is expressive, full of dark fruits, cedar, violets, olive tapenade, framed by moderate tannins and a lively red acidity with mint tea on the finish.


A Virginia native, Frank Morgan founded nine years ago to chronicle his wine experiences and share stories of local wines and winegrowers. Morgan is the wine columnist for VA Growler Magazine.  He contributes to Piedmont Virginian Magazine, The Virginian-Pilot online, edibleDC, the wine site Snooth, and PBS.  He is the founder of Virginia Wine Chat, a monthly virtual tasting series featuring notable wines and winemakers.  He lives in the Coastal Virginia region with his wife and daughter.  Connect with him on Instagram:  /DrinkWhatYouLike


Trump defends decision to withdraw troops from Syria amid GOP criticism   

President Trump vigorously defended on Monday his decision to withdraw United States troops from northern Syria ahead of a planned invasion of the region by Turkey, even as his Republican allies in both the Senate and House vehemently criticized the move.

Youth Global Newsletter OWOS   

Número 144 - 06 de octubre de 2019
Nota inspiradora...
En 2017, un Satsang mantuvo en la presencia divina en México un devoto preguntó cómo lograr la unidad?

Esto es lo que dijo Swami

La unidad viene de entender la verdad. Sus manos son diferentes de sus pies, que son diferentes de su cara, que es diferente de su estómago, que es diferente de sus ojos. Aún así, ninguna de estas partes lastimó a los demás. En cambio, todos trabajan en unidad porque creen que pertenecen al mismo cuerpo. Del mismo modo, sólo cuando te des cuenta de que eres parte de un ser más grande, una cosa más grande, que es la sociedad – tu país – seguirá la unidad. Mientras vivas en tu manera estrecha y egoísta, sólo preocupándote por ti mismo y por tus propias cosas, la unidad seguirá eludendote. Por lo tanto, la solución está en una perspectiva espiritual y moral, donde consideras a todos como tus propios parientes. Entonces no habría razón para que lastimes o lastimes a nadie más, entonces crees en la unidad de todos, para ayudar al país a cambiar más rápido. Por lo tanto, las perspectivas deben cambiar de una de diversidad y multiplicidad a una de unidad. Ese cambio en el panorama llegará sólo cuando la gente quiera cosas buenas. Para ello, necesitarán orientación; por lo tanto, estos Centros y estos mensajes son extremadamente importantes para un futuro mejor para los mexicanos.
Actualizaciones de servicio
Salud sobre ruedas
Campamento médico súper exitoso en Waidalice, Tailevu
28 de septiembre de 2019
Un equipo de más de 50 médicos, profesionales de la salud, voluntarios de One Fiji y miembros de la Fundación Sai Prema pasaron su sábado sirviendo a 180 personas en Waidalice, Tailevu.

En un lapso de cinco horas, los aldeanos de la región recibieron consultas médicas y dentales gratuitas y medicamentos gratuitos.

Tres miembros de "Salud en Kind Australia" también se unieron al equipo cuando comenzaron oficialmente su asociación con la Fundación Sai Prema para servir a la población rural de Fiji.
Actualizaciones de Australia Healthcare
En la Reunión de la Juventud de Asia y el Pacífico de 2019 celebrada en Kuching en agosto, Swami alentó enérgicamente a la región a unirse y trabajar unidamente por el bien común del mundo. El equipo de Salud en Kind de Australia, que es el brazo médico de la Fundación Heart of Love, ya lo ha puesto en acción, forzando una asociación internacional con la Fundación Sai Prema en Fiji para ayudar a prestar servicios médicos en su país .
Un mundo un saiOWOS,OWOS, CA 99999

Issue 144 - October 06, 2019
Inspirational Note...
In 2017 a Satsang held in the divine presence in Mexico one devotee asked how to achieve unity?

Here is what Swami said

Unity comes from understanding the truth. Your hands are different from your feet, which are different from your face, which is different from your stomach, which is different from your eyes. Still, none of these parts hurt the others. Instead, they all work in unity because they believe they belong to the same body. Similarly, only when you realize that you are part of a larger being, a larger thing, which is the society – your country – will unity follow. As long as you live in your narrow, selfish way, only worrying about yourself and your own things, unity will keep eluding you. Therefore, the solution lies in a spiritual and moral outlook, where you consider everyone as your own kin. Then there would be no reason for you to harm or hurt anyone else, then you believe in the unity of all, in order to help the country change faster. Thus the outlook should change from one of diversity and multiplicity to one of unity. That change in outlook will come only when people want good things. For that, they will need guidance; hence, these Centers and these messages are extremely important for a better future for Mexicans.
 Service Updates
Health On Wheels
Super Successful Medical Camp In Waidalice, Tailevu
September 28, 2019
A team of over 50 Doctors, Health Professionals, One Fiji Volunteers and members of Sai Prema Foundation spent their Saturday serving 180 people in Waidalice, Tailevu.

In a span of five hours, villagers of the region were given free medical and dental consultations and free medications.

Three members from "Health in Kind Australia" also joined in the team as they officially commenced their partnership with Sai Prema Foundation to serve the rural population of Fiji.
Australia Healthcare Up

Divine Will Foundation - October 2019 Newsletter   


Divine Will Foundation


October 2019

Library Books for Swami's Campuses
in Karnataka, India

Providing Education for Life
It has come to light that there is a great need for books to fill all the libraries in all the new Educational Campuses that have been built in the State of Karnataka over the pastfew years by the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust. As part of the Each One Educate One, School Library System, a 'Library Books Seva' is being set up.  Please view helpful suggestions here:  Guidelines for Book Donations 

If you wish to donate books and/or have space in your luggage to take books to India during the Birthday events:  Please sign up here.
Even bringing one book would be wonderful.

Library at Sri Sathya Sai Niketanam in Gulbarga, Karnataka

Divine Visit to Singapore and Malaysia

August 24 - 31, 2019


Swami embarked upon His annual visit to Singapore and Malaysia and arrived at Sai Anandam in Singapore on August 24th. The Brass Band of the Muddenahalli Campus comprising of forty students and their teacher, Dimitris Lambrianos preceded Him by a day. On the 25th, the students toured the City in the morning while Swami attended to business. A Public Satsang was held in the evening. 
Sai's Angels Touring the City of Singapore
Departing the Public Satsang after filling the hearts of His devotees!
The Brass Band, Sai's Angels performed their Gratitude Program at the Singapore Chinese Orchestra Hall in front of 500 attendees on August 26th. There were many dignitaries from Singapore, Turkey and the European Union who attended the performance. The young boys from ages 12 to 17, made Swami proud as they played perfectly, several pieces of music from around the world! 
Gratitude Programme at the Singapore Chinese Orchestra Hall
On the morning of August 27th, Swami visited SWAMI (Sunshine Welfare Action Mission) Home in Singapore. He opened the Training and Resource Center and advised the team to train healthcare staff from around the region and provide them with certification in elder care. At the end of the tour, everyone gathered at the auditorium and welcomed Swami with bhajans. The staff of SWAMI Home presented their gratitude through colorful dances and songs. During His Divine Discourse, Swami said that it was important to pray for the happiness of the entire world and not just one's kith and kin. He was very happy with SWAMI Home for providing a good example and announced a similar home to be established in Japan. "Taking the ideals from SWAMI Home in Singapore, we will have to replicate it in every country. We are all born crying, without a choice, at least we should leave the world smiling and help others smile." 
 Living in the Home with much Joy and Happiness
Expressing Love and Gratitude to their Divine Benefactor!
Swami visited devotees in their homes on the 27th evening and the 28th morning before departing Singapore for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He arrived late afternoon at Sai Amrutham and attended a Satsang in the evening where He spoke on the value of true devotion. He then gifted T-shirts to the men and Saris to the women before retiring for the night. On the 29th morning, the students left early on a tour of the City. Swami attended a Bhoomi Pooja for a new residence for Brother Ayavoo and Dr. Vimala, sponsors of several projects in Malaysia. This was followed by a visit to Sri Sathya Sai Sevashram where he was greeted ceremoniously. After Bhajans He gave a discourse and blessed all the devotees.
Gifts and Blessings for All!
A Public Satsang was held on the 29th evening at Sai Anandam. Swami toured Ananda Cares for single mothers and the Dialysis Center and the Dental Clinic before attending the evening program. Bal Vikas students began the evening with Vedic Chants followed by a music program by the youth. B.N. Narasimha Murthy addressed the devotees followed by Swami's Divine Discourse. Swami blessed all the children after they presented a musical drama called 'Dasha Avatar".
With Bal Vikas Students
And All the Children who Participated in 'Dasha Avatar'
On the morning of August 31st which happened to be Malaysia's Independence Day, the Asia Pacific Youth Meet was held in Kuching and was attended by youth from several Asia Pacific Countries along with youth from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. A valedictory meeting was held in the evening at Vishwa Niketanam Ashram. Swami arrived with His guests, including a State Official and was regaled by Sai's Angels and their Brass Band. They infused the proceedings with high energy as they performed! It was well appreciated by everyone there, including the Minister who praised, congratulated and invited them back! Swami then delivered His benediction and asked everyone to inspire all by leading a life of unity, purity and divinity and thereby creating an ideal society. The program concluded with the singing of the Malaysian National Anthem! 
A Standing Ovation for Sai's Angels 
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Fundación Divina Voluntad

Boletin informativo

de octubre de 2019

Los libros de la biblioteca para los Campus de Swami
en Karnataka, India

Proporcionar educación para la vida
Ha salido a la luz que hay una gran necesidad de libros para llenar todas las bibliotecas en todos los nuevos campus educativos que se han construido en el estado de Karnataka en los últimos años por el pastfew Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust. Como parte de la Cada Uno Educar Uno, School Library System, una 'biblioteca de libros Seva' se está creando. Por favor, ver sugerencias útiles aquí: Directrices para la donación de libros

Si usted desea donar libros y / o tienen espacio en su equipaje a llevar libros a la India durante los eventos de cumpleaños:   Por favor regístrese aquí.
Incluso llevando un libro sería maravilloso.

Biblioteca en Sri Sathya Sai Niketanam en Gulbarga, Karnataka

Visita divina a Singapur y Malasia

24 de Agosto - 31, 2019


[Video] Eritrea - Minister for Foreign Affairs Addresses General Debate, 74th Session   




New York

30 September 2019

Mr. President;

Mr. Secretary-General;

Heads of State and Governments; Distinguished delegates;

The current United Nations General Assembly meeting is occurring at a very auspicious time for the Horn of Africa. Positive developments are underway in the region. The sad, painful chapter of domestic turmoil and regional conflicts is giving way to new vistas of internal resurgence and regional cooperation.

In global terms, this is a sensitive and delicate period, when the world is at a crossroads; on the cusp of a new world order, so to speak.

All vital parameters indicate that the unipolar world order has come to an end or is in its twilight years. The economic power balance is inexorably changing, with a spike in attendant, intense rivalries and upheavals. In the event, the current UN General Assembly session cannot but grapple with these issues and chart out viable paths on the way forward.

Africa’s lot in the past quarter of a century has been onerous indeed. Africa’s resources were plundered wantonly; and in spite of hollow phrases of “conflict prevention” and “conflict resolution”, wars and upheavals continue to increase and fester. Almost one billion Africans remain marginalized, through the collusion of external predators, their local surrogates and corrupt entities of special interests. This tragic reality requires utmost and urgent attention for effective remedies, beyond sincere expressions of concern and understanding.

In this context, the Horn of Africa and Middle East regions have been immensely and inordinately afflicted in the past 25 years by externally instigated, intractable, internecine ethnic and clan conflicts, as well as peacelessness and wars among neighboring countries. As a result, they have been, and remain, hotbeds of instability and impoverishment.

This grim reality is in stark contrast to the promising events and hopes engendered in the early

1990s. However, the external and internal complications have obstructed and reversed laudable initiatives for regional cooperation and integration that were in the offing at the time. Furthermore, these conditions have created vacuums and favorable climates for terrorist and other subversive forces to proliferate and expand. Here again, a large part of the blame falls on corrupt local actors that avidly sought to promote their narrow interest at the expense of their peoples.

All these tribulations notwithstanding, the numerous challenges and impediments that afflicted the Horn of Africa region have been overcome at this juncture. A new promising chapter is indeed in the offing again.

We, in the region, are ready, as ever, and with the requisite political will and determination, to work with higher vigor, to promote our collective growth through robust coordination and cooperation. In the event, we wish to underline that ill-advised, obstructive and detrimental external interferences must cease fully to allow the region to effectively address its own matters.

In Eritrea, in addition to shouldering our regional responsibilities, we have embarked on a substantive and sustainable program for economic and social development. We are building our human capital, revamping our infrastructure, and developing key productive and service sectors. We are also intensifying our efforts and significantly increasing investment to ensure that all citizens, throughout the country, enjoy adequate basic services of water, health, education, transport and decent livelihoods.

Eritrea has been making modest strides towards the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in its three dimensions: economic, social and environmental, with its long-standing policy of a balanced and integrated approach to development. It has already achieved, over the past two decades, significant results in several pillars of the MDGs in spite of limited material resources as well as crippling external adversity, including imposed war and sanctions. Most notable is Eritrea’s achievement in the 4 health related MDGs.

The Horn of Africa region is prone to droughts and erratic rainfall and Eritrea’s soil and water conservation strategy to mitigate the effects of climate change and achieve food security, include the building of small, medium and large dams across the country and terracing its mountainous topography. Eritrea has been able to harvest adequate water, but will require incorporating innovative water technologies to distribute this water efficiently. Eritrea’s sustained tree planting project that also began 1994 continues with full participation of the population.


The international community will have to glean important lessons from the recent past to ensure that the current period, which many have termed as a transition towards a new global order, will lead to and enhance global stability and prosperity. In this regard, it is both timely and proper to revamp and strengthen the United Nations so that it will shoulder its obligations and responsibilities with higher effectiveness.

I thank you.


Comment on TICAD7 by Ambassador Estifanos    

Ambassador Estifanos Afeworki

Comment on TICAD7 by H.E. Mr. Estifanos Ambassador of the State of Eritrea, Strengthening Peace and Stability Flagship and Compass of Navigation in the Horn of Africa

The annexation of Eritrea to Ethiopia imposed by the wining powers of World War II has exposed the people of the Horn of Africa since 1952 - to the long drawn out war, conflict, displacement of populations, refugees, underdevelopment, recurrent drought, famine, which sadly resulted in the total dilapidation of the promising Horn of Africa’s physical and social infrastructures for more than half a century. The recovery and rehabilitation challenges that this region had to face and tackle after the end of the independence war were daunting and complex as a result.

Although the long trek of the struggle to self-determination of the people of Eritrea was put in the ballot box, and the guns that roared for 30 long years were silenced through referendum, in 1993, the proxy politicking that haunted this region since the end of World War II remained unabated, even after, for the last two decades.

The vacuum left in 1991 by the forced evacuation of the powerful presence of USSR of 17 years - in the Horn of Africa - sucked-in new players to the region. Very rich individuals/extremist groups, including Osama Bin Laden, and new interest groups from far and near, took no time to put-in their ideological and monetary power to fill-up the vacuum. These powerful forces, with their tentacles spread all over our planet, tried all in their means – to deploy fully direct tools of subversion, including and not excluding carrot and stick, to take full control of the Horn of Africa.

Newly independent State of Eritrea born after half a century of political and armed struggle, roughly the size of England straddling on the strategic world trade corridor of the Red Sea 3300 km coast of East Africa – with 354 Islands and islets - bordered by Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti, was targeted and attacked, by one after another, from all sides since independence in 1993. The Horn of Africa was simultaneously exploited to the highest level by willful forces in power. The rule of law was given a deaf ear. Humanitarian disasters, piracy, illegal trafficking of human beings, finance, material, illicit drug, arms, ammunition and the prairie fire of corruption have spread engulfing the region for decades until now. Fortunately, these evil toolboxes did not and could not challenge the long history and cherished course of solidarity of struggle for freedom, equality and justice by the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Reversing the aims and damages inflicted by the different forces involved in the above-mentioned activities, the phenomenal tie-up of common past and destiny once again bear fruit to the Eritrea Ethiopia Peace and Friendship Agreement signed in Asmara on July 9, 2018.

This peace is based on our common struggle, resilience and trusts of the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia and has no illusion of the power and capacity of the dark forces both upstream and downstream. This historic agreement is also aware of the continued challenges that can be posed by the same forces of darkness. At the same time, Eritrea and Ethiopia have high expectation that the “international community” is currently convinced fully and shall unequivocally desist reviving any of the past experiences of the rules of military engagements in the Horn of Africa. And they will be firmly willing and ready to promote and opt to engage constructively, with the only best future option availed by this agreement, i.e. to build partnerships through mutual efforts of boosting peace, stability, prosperity and cooperation in the Horn of Africa.

Peace building within this historic and very important region of the Horn of Africa also means peace to the Nile Basin countries, Middle East and beyond.

Japan has fully embraced strengthening peace and stability as a flagship and compass of navigation for its cooperation with the Horn of Africa in TICAD7 Yokohama 2019. Building mutual trust based on concrete diplomacy of common interest is the benchmark now.

By ESTIFANOS Afeworki, Ambassador
September 4, 2019


Call to Collect Milkweed Seed Pods Aims to Help Monarch Butterfly Populations    

L ocal agencies are encouraging people to help grow the food source for a beloved butterfly. The Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District and the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative have teamed up to collect Milkweed Seed pods, the food source of Monarch butterflies. SWCD Program Manager Amy Roskilly says that the Common Milkweed is not as common as it used to be. "T he Monarch population has decreased by about 80% or 90% over the past several years, so we need to increase this common milkweed plant, so these butterflies can produce the next generation to go down to Mexico." Roskilly says they are accepting milkweed seed donations at their Cleveland office through the end of October. The office is located at 3311 Perkins Ave., Suite 100. Roskilly says they will plant them in the spring throughout the region to bolster Monarch populations.
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