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          UN Extends Sanctions Mandate Over Illegal Oil Sales From Libya      Cache   Translate Page      
The United Nations Security Council voted to extend until February 15, 2020 the mandate of the Panel of Experts who oversee the sanctions targeting the illicit export of crude oil and refined products from Libya. The Security Council—which adopted a resolution by 13 votes in favor and none against, with abstentions from Russia and China—underlined that the primary responsibility of the Government of National Accord (GNA) is taking appropriate action to prevent the illicit export of petroleum, including crude oil and refined petroleum…
          UN denies forcing Aasia Bibi's lawyer to leave Pakistan       Cache   Translate Page      

The United Nations on Tuesday denied that it had forced Saiful Mulook, the lawyer of Aasia Bibi, to leave the country.

Saiful Mulook had fled to the Netherlands after violence erupted over the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the conviction of Aasia Bibi, who was on death row until her acquittal.

At a news conference in The Hague on Monday, Mulook said he was “put on a plane against my wishes” even though he had refused to leave the country without ensuring that his client was out of prison.

The UN, however, rejected his claim today, with its spokesperson Eri Kaneko explaining: “The UN in Pakistan extended its assistance to Mr. Mulook at his request and did not force him to leave the country against his wishes, nor can the UN force someone to leave Pakistan against his or her will."

Mulook said he contacted a UN official in Islamabad after the outbreak of clashes.

“And then they (the UN) and the European nation ambassadors in Islamabad, they kept me for three days and then put me on a plane against my wishes,” he said.

Asia Bibi had spent nearly a decade on death row after being accused of blasphemy following a dispute with fellow villagers over drinking from the same bowl of water.

But she remains in Pakistan after Prime Minister Imran Khan struck a deal with the hardliners behind the protests to bar her from leaving until a final court appeal is heard.

Mulook, her attorney, had previously told AFP before his departure on Saturday that he was leaving because “in the current scenario, it's not possible for me to live in Pakistan”.


          Aasia lawyer holds EU, UN responsible for his Pakistan exit       Cache   Translate Page      

THE HAGUE: The lawyer, who saved Aasia Bibi convicted of blasphemy from death row, disclosed on Monday that the UN and EU made him leave the country “against my wishes” because his life was at risk.

Saiful Mulook, who has fled to the Netherlands, said he contacted a United Nations official in Islamabad after violence erupted following the Supreme Court’s acquittal of Aasia Bibi on Wednesday.

“And then they (the UN) and the European nation ambassadors in Islamabad, they kept me for three days and then put me on a plane against my wishes,” the lawyer told a press conference in The Hague.

“I pressed them that I would not leave the country unless I get Aasia out of the prison... I am not happy to be here without her, but everybody said that you are the prime target at the moment and the whole world is taking care of Aasia Bibi.

“They were of the view that I was the prime target to be killed, and that my life was in imminent danger. For three days they did not let me open the door, one day I called the French ambassador and said I do not want to be here.” The lawyer had previously said before his departure on Saturday that he was leaving because “in the current scenario, it’s not possible for me to live in Pakistan”.

Mr Mulook arrived in The Hague at the weekend after a short stopover in Rome, with the help of the HVC Foundation, a Dutch group that focuses on the human rights of Christian minorities.

The government struck a deal with the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) group after its supporters blocked main roads in major Pakistani cities in protest against the court judgement.

Mr Mulook dismissed the deal as a “face-saving” exercise for the TLP and insisted that Aasia would “100 per cent” be freed soon.

“This compromise is nothing but a piece of paper that can be thrown in the dustbin,” he said.

It was not clear whether Aasia had had any firm offers of asylum if she left Pakistan, added the lawyer, who said he was “legally authorised” to choose a country for her.

The lawyer said a UN official in Pakistan told him “we are taking care of her” but that “when I said which country, they said we can’t say.

“I asked the French ambassador `would your country be willing to offer asylum to Aasia Bibi. He said if you request us legally, I said ‘OK I request her’.”

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


          ‘PM advised to sign convention against enforced disappearances’       Cache   Translate Page      

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Human Rights has suggested that the prime minister sign the International Convention against Enforced Disappearances, Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said on Monday.

She also said that the PTI was committed to ending enforced disappearances.

“Country-wide legislation takes a lot of time as bills get stuck in different ministries. So for quick redress, we should sign the convention with reservations over three clauses which do not suit Pakistan,” she said at a meeting of the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights.

Although she did not reveal what these three clauses are, it has been suggested during various parliamentary committees to express reservations over section 26 of the convention, which empowers a United Nations body to conduct raids in countries and make surprise visits to check missing persons.

Truth and reconciliation commission should be established, work will continue on domestic enforced disappearances bill, minister says

Dr Marazi added that “we can ratify the convention later”, but signing the convention would send the message to the people and the international community “that we are serious about it”.

She said families were suffering while their loved ones had been missing for years, so a truth and reconciliation commission should also be established.

She said Prime Minister Imran Khan also wishes to address the issue, as he spoke about it while in opposition.

The minister said that they would simultaneously continue working on the domestic bill and “with the passage of time we will pass a comprehensive domestic bill regarding enforced disappearances”.

There is a long list of missing persons, which has even been tabled in parliament, Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini from the Balochistan National Party (BNP-M) said during the meeting.

“The people of Balochistan have confidence in Justice Kamal Mansoor’s report. However, they have reservations over the reports of Justice Noor Mohammad Meskanzai and Justice Javed Iqbal on enforced disappearances.

“Retired Justice Iqbal says that the majority of missing persons are out of the country and others are in feudals’ jails. According to him, only 3pc of missing persons are in internment centres. If this is correct, why are the relatives of missing persons running after politicians and wasting their time,” he asked.

Senator Jamaldini said that under the National Action Plan (NAP), missing persons are to be produced in court within 10 days of their arrest. However, this could not be implemented.

“Relatives are waiting for their loved ones, and they have every right to know if those missing persons are alive or not. Moreover, the committee should record the statements of those who have been recovered,” he added.

Committee chair Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar from the PPP said enforced disappearance is a burning issue. The National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) had drafted a bill on enforced disappearances which was rejected by the government, he added.

There is currently no law regarding enforced disappearance in Pakistan, and a law should be made at the earliest, he said.

“While we were in government we tried to sign the International Convention against Enforced Disappearance, but failed. It could not be signed during the PML-N government and may not be signed during the PTI government. So serious efforts should be made for domestic legislation along with the signing of the convention,” he said.

The committee has decided to hold its next meeting solely on the missing persons issue and associated legislation.

Piera briefs senators

The committee was also given a comprehensive briefing by the chairman of the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority regarding steps taken against undue fee increases by private schools.

Senators were told the matter was deliberated on at length by the NCHR and a committee has been constituted under the federal ombudsman by the Supreme Court as well to report on the matter.

The committee decided to defer the matter until the end of the month so the report may be discussed.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


          Saudi Arabia’s human rights record under fire at UN       Cache   Translate Page      

GENEVA: Saudi Arabia insisted at the UN on Monday that its investigation into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi would be “fair”, amid a barrage of criticism from countries over the brutal murder.

The half-day public debate at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva comes just over a month after the royal insider-turned-critic was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The so-called Universal Periodic Review — which all 193 UN countries must undergo approximately every four years — came as a Turkish official charged on Monday that Saudi Arabia had sent experts to Turkey to cover up the journalist’s murder before allowing Turkish police in to search the consulate.

During Monday’s review, Western countries especially voiced outrage at the killing, with many calling for a “credible” and “transparent” investigation, and some, like Iceland and Costa Rica, going further and demanding an international probe.

British Ambassador Julien Braithwaite told the council his country was “gravely concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in Saudi Arabia”, pointing to women’s rights, mass arrests of rights defenders and extensive use of the death penalty.

The Saudi delegation meanwhile barely mentioned the case, choosing instead to highlight the “progress made towards the protection and promotion of human rights”, including reforms that among other things have allowed women to drive in the ultra-conservative country.

But the delegation chief and head of the Saudi Human Rights Commis­sion, Bandar Al Aiban, did touch on the case briefly, stressing at the end of the review that “our country is committed to carry out a fair investigation”. “All persons involved in that crime will be prosecuted,” he said, stressing that “the investigation is continuing in line with our domestic laws”.

The review also focused heavily on the use of the death penalty in the country, especially for alleged crimes committed when the perpetrator was under the age of 18. The kingdom has one of the world’s highest rates of execution, with suspects convicted of terrorism, homicide, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking facing the death penalty.

Many countries urged Saudi Arabia to introduce a moratorium on the death penalty or to abolish it altogether, and to explicitly ban its use for juvenile offenders.

Women’s rights were also high on the agenda. While many countries hailed some progress in this area, including the fact that the country now permits women to drive, they warned that much more reform was needed. The country especially faced criticism over its male guardianship system which allows men to exercise arbitrary authority to make decisions on behalf of their female relatives.

Experts sent to cover up Khashoggi murder

Saudi Arabia sent two experts to Istanbul with the specific aim of covering up evidence after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its consulate in Istanbul, a Turkish official said on Monday.

“We believe that the two individuals came to Turkey for the sole purpose of covering up evidence of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder before the Turkish police were allowed to search the premises,” a senior Turkish official said, asking not to be named.

The official confirmed a report in the Sabah newspaper saying that chemicals expert Ahmad Abdulaziz Al Janobi and toxicology expert Khaled Yahya Al Zahrani were among a team sent from Saudi Arabia purportedly to investigate the murder last month.

The report said they visited the consulate every day from their arrival on Oct 11 until Oct 17. Saudi Arabia only allowed Turkish police to finally search the consulate on Oct 15.

The sons of Khashoggi, Salah and Abdullah, told CNN they wanted Saudi Arabia to return the body so that he could be buried in Madina with the rest of his family.

Yemen clashes rage

Battles raged on Monday near a Yemeni port crucial for humanitarian aid, but Saudi Arabia and its allies said they were committed to de-escalating hostilities with rebels as calls for a ceasefire mount.

The United Nations has appealed for urgent peace talks and warned that an assault on the Red Sea port city of Hodeida would threaten millions of lives.

Rebels and government sources both reported intense fighting in the area on Monday, despite calls by the UN and the United States — which pro­vides military support to the Saudi-led camp — for an end to the war.

A source in the Saudi-led coalition told AFP the clashes were not “offensive operations”, adding that the alliance was “committed to keeping the Hodeida port open”.

The coalition source said the government alliance was “committed to de-escalating hostilities in Yemen and strongly supportive of the UN envoy’s political process”.

“If the Houthis fail to show up for peace talks again, this might lead [us] to restart the offensive operation in Hodeida,” the source said.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


          Lawyer who saved Pakistani woman convicted of blasphemy from death says EU, UN made him leave ‘against my wishes’      Cache   Translate Page      
The Pakistani lawyer who saved a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy from death row said on Monday that the UN and EU made him leave the country “against my wishes” because he was a “prime target.” Saif-ul-Malook, who has fled to the Netherlands, said he contacted a United Nations official in Islamabad after Islamist violence erupted following the Pakistani Supreme Court’s acquittal of Asia Bibi on Wednesday. China promises more economic aid for Pakistan, but...
          Digital Content Creator      Cache   Translate Page      
Posting Title: Digital Content Creator Department/Office: United Nations Human Settlements Programme Duty Station: NAIROBI Posting Period: 01 November 2018 – 21 November 2018 Job Opening Number: 18-United Nations Human Settlements Programme-106353-Consultant Staffing Exercise N/A   Result of Service Deliverables • Digital communication strategy for UN-Habitat’s corporate communication • Standards, templates and guideline document for consistent […]
          Lavrov: Israeli strikes in Syria increase regional tensions      Cache   Translate Page      
"Military operations cannot resolve Israeli security concerns but will only help increase regional tensions," Lavrov said in an interview with Spain's El Pais newspaper. The minister added that Israel endangered the life of Russian troops in Syria's Palmyra in 2017 by failing to stick to its own commitments. "Unfortunately, Israel has not always met its obligations, primarily those related to the warnings by the Russian military against military operations in Syria. In some cases, this endangered the life and health of our soldiers in Syria, for example when Israeli planes bombed targets near Palmyra in March 2017," he stressed. Lavrov also said that Moscow regrets that the Western countries rejected the idea of Russian President Vladimir Putin to create an international counter-terrorism coalition under the auspices of the United Nations. "The idea to establish a broad anti-terrorism coalition under the auspices of the United Nations was raised by Russian President Vladimir Putin...
          UK: 'Millions still in poverty' reports UN poverty rapporteur      Cache   Translate Page      
A special UN advisor on extreme poverty and human rights is touring the UK to assess the impact of austerity on people living in some of the most deprived areas of the country. UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston's primary goal is to identify examples of social inequalities and systematic neglect, which according to the United Nations, is then used to develop "constructive dialogue with governments, international organizations, civil society and other relevant actors." Since 1998, the UN special rapporteur has travelled to examine extreme poverty in places like Ghana, Yemen, Benin, Sudan, the US, Portugal and Saudi Arabia. The UK will now join these ranks thanks to concerns over its austerity measures. In a statement ahead of Alston's tour, the UN said submissions from charities, academics, and public institutions were "by far" the most they've ever received before a country visit.
          The United States and the Middle East nations are bracing themselves for the sanctions that will be reimplemented on Iran      Cache   Translate Page      
Listen to Today's Program Play

JD: Ken yesterday I got a Twitter from Potus President of the United States Donald Trump he made the statement that the United States was going to re-implement the sanctions on Iran. So I guess now that means that the United States and Middle Eastern forces are going to brace for trouble over these new or renewed Iranian sanctions.

KT: Well it’s certainly possible the Iranians themselves are making a lot of noise about this. They’re calling the United States an illegal power where as they are legal and they are respecting the world order. They claim that we are not because these sanctions have not been approved by the United Nations. But the Iranians also know that they will pay a very high price for any direct attack on US forces in the Middle East.

Now they could attack us indirectly they could for example reinforce those Shabbat militia that I was telling you about in northern Iraq that are outside of Mosul that are in the Nineveh plain. They could also conduct provocative actions along the land bridge into Syria and on to the Lebanese border with Israel. There’s lots of things Iran can do. They have many many military forces throughout the region. I happen to think they’re a little bit over extended but I do not see them launching any kind of direct attack against the US. I think they know very well that the price would be very high.

JD: And that land bridge you’re talking about includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon all the way from Iran to the Mediterranean and that’s key for what their plans are for the future.

KT: That’s correct. Absolutely, and they’ve been testing that since last December when they opened it for the first time. We’ve been talking about that regularly here on this broadcast. You don’t hear a lot of people in the national media talk about it but it’s a very important event.

JD: Ken Timmerman and his insights on what Iran’s response may well be as the United States re-implaments the sanctions on the Islamic State of Iran.

We report this information because it is setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

Remember President Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal. As of today the United States has applied sanctions once again on Iran. The Middle East nations and the United States are braced for Iran’s reactions. We don’t know what Iran will be willing to do. We do know however that as we move deeper and deeper into the last days Iran will become a major player as foretold by the ancient Jewish prophets Daniel and Ezekiel, that was Daniel 11:44 and Ezekiel 38:5 where Iran is mentioned as Persia.

The stage is set for these prophecies to be fulfilled.
·       Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR) have developed ‘Oneer’ for disinfecting water
·       The European Space Agency launched a scientific mission named ‘BepiColombo’ to Mercury.
·       China successfully launched twin BeiDou-3 navigation satellites into space on 15 October 2018 to strengthen its satellite navigation network.
Imp Govt Policies & Schemes (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       The government of India has announced 100 crore rupee award scheme under Saubhagya scheme.
·       The government of India has launched the ‘Youth Road Safety Learners Licence’ programme on 15 October 2018.
·       Earth Sciences Minister Dr Harshvardhan unveiled an Air Quality early warning system for Delhi.
·       The government of India launched ‘Swasth Bharat Yatra’ campaign on 16 October 2018.
Important India & World News (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       India and China have launched their first joint programme for Afghanistan to train its diplomats.
·       The sixth meeting of the UAE – India High-Level Joint Task Force on Investments (‘the Joint Task Force’) was held in Mumbai on 15 October 2018.
·       Defence Minister NirmalaSitharaman attended 12th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and the 5th ADMM-Plus in Singapore on 19 and 20 October 2018.
Important Books & Authors (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       “Brief Answers to the Big Questions” written by Stephen Hawking was launched on 15 October 2018.
·       A new book was released on Maharana Pratap titled “Maharana Pratap: The Invincible Warrior” written by Rima Hooja.
·       “Indian Sports: Conversations and Reflections” written by Vijayan Bala was released on 18 October 2018.
Important National Affairs (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       IRCTC launched a chatbot named ‘Ask Disha’ which will answer users’ queries.
·       The Shahi litchi of North Bihar has got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
·       The North Central Railways (NCR) launched two apps – ‘NCR RASTA’ (Railway assets Summarised Tracking Application) and ‘Yatri RASTA’ (Railway Approach to Station Tracking Application) for its staff and passengers respectively.
Imp Business & Economy News (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       The RBI purchased government securities (g-secs) worth ₹120 billion under Open Market Operations.
·       Kreditech has got the license from RBI to operate as Non-Banking Financial Company for digital lending business and app-based financing.
·       RBI has released the guidelines for interoperability between Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs).RBI eased liquidity coverage ratio norms for banks.
Important Indexes & Reports (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       India has been ranked as the 58th most competitive economy on the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index for 2018.
·       According to the Rural Development Ministry survey, Kuligod in Karnataka is the India’s best-developed village.
·       According to Credit Suisse’s 2018 Global Wealth Report, wealth in India grew a modest 2.6% and wealth per adult stayed flat at US$ 7,020.
Important Days & Events (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       International Day of Rural Women is observed on 15 October every year.
·       RashtriyaMahilaKisanDiwas is observed on 15 October in India.
·       World Food Day is held annually on the 16th of October.
·       International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed every year on 17 October.
·       World Osteoporosis Day 2018 is observed on October 20.
Important Defence News (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       The Indian Air Force (IAF) has announced India’s first competition in the defence sector, the Mehar Baba Prize.
·       India and China will resume the annual joint Army exercise ‘Hand-in-Hand’ in December 2018 in China’s Chengdu region.
·       India and Japan will hold the joint military exercise ‘DHARMA GUARDIAN-2018’ at Vairengte, Mizoram from 1 November to 14 November 2018.
Imp International News-2 (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       Lieutenant General Laura J. Richardson has become the first woman Commanding General of the United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM).
·       The world’s longest sea bridge ‘Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge’ will be opened on 24 October 2018.
·       China’s indigenously designed and built amphibious aircraft ‘AG600’ successfully carried out its first take-off and landing tests on 20 October 2018.
Imp International News-1 (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       The 6th RCEP Inter-sessional Ministerial Meeting (IMM) was held in Singapore.
·       Canada has become the second country to legalise possession and use of recreational marijuana.
·       Palestine will lead the ‘Group of 77 plus China’ at the United Nations.
·       China has successfully tested the world’s largest unmanned transport drone which can carry a payload of 1.5 tonnes.
Important Sport News-2 (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       Akash Malik became the first Indian to win a silver medal in archery at the 2018 Youth Olympics.
·       The 2019 Military World Games will be held in China.
·       The organisers of Wimbledon have introduced a final set tie-breaker in all the events from 2019. A tiebreaker match will be played when the score reaches 12-12 in the final set.
Important Sport News-1 (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       Tennis player Leander Paes won the Santo Domingo Open trophy.
·       Tennis player Novak Djokovic won the Shanghai Masters title.
·       In Hockey, Great Britain won the 2018 Sultan of Johor Cup.
·       SurajPanwar won the silver medal in men’s 5000m race walk event in Youth Olympic Games 2018.
·       Praveen Chitravel won the bronze medal in triple jump at the Youth Olympics Games 2018.
Important Awards & Honours-2 (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       Suheil Tandon has won the International Olympic Committee’s Sport and Active Society Commission’s Grant Award.
·       Minal Patel Davis has been honoured with a Presidential award for her contribution towards combatting human trafficking in Houston, USA.
·       Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania awarded ‘Carnot Prize’ to Union Minister Piyush Goyal.
Important Awards & Honours-1 (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       Sikkim has won 2018 UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Future Policy for Gold Award.
·       Author MaryseConde won an alternative award formed in protest to the Nobel Literature Prize which got cancelled in 2018.
·       Author Anna Burns won the Man Booker Prize for her novel “Milkman”.
·       Mohammed Zahur Khayyam Hashmi has been named for 2018 Hridaynath Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Important Appointments (15-20 Oct 2018)
·       ShekharMande has been appointed as Director-General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.
·       Nimesh Shah has been elected as Chairman of Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI).
·       RBI has approved Sandeep Bakshi’s appointment as MD and CEO of the ICICI bank for three years.
·       World Steel Association has elected JSW Steel CMD Sajjan Jindal as its treasurer.

Important Current Affairs 22nd October 2018
Indian Carpet Expo in Varanasi inaugurated
Prime Minister NarendraModi Inaugurated 36th Indian Carpet Expo in Varanasi on 21 Octber 2018.The expo is being organised under the aegis of the Deen Dayal Hastkala Sankul – a trade facilitation centre for handicrafts – at Varanasi..The expo has become a world-famous international fair amongst the buyers of Handmade carpets, rugs and other floor coverings.
200 ‘Nirmal’ Ganga projects to be completed
Union Minister NitinGadkari said that the government intends to complete 200 projects for ghats and crematoria.The government is taking various measures to ensure ecological flow or the minimum quantity of water at different stretches of the Ganga.The government had in May 2015 approved Rs 20,000 crore under its ambitious ‘Namami Gange’.
#MeToo: SC declined urgent hearing of PIL
The Supreme Court declined urgent hearing on a PIL seeking the registration of FIRs based on allegations of sexual misconduct and assault levelled by women across various sectors,It is a part of what is being referred to as India’s #MeToo movement.#MeToo spread virally in October 2017 on social media in an attempt to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment.
Nobel chemistry laureate Shimomura passed away
Japanese-born Marine biologist Osamu Shimomura, who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry, has died.Shimomura and two American scientists shared the 2008 Nobel prize for the discovery and development of a jellyfish protein that later contributed to cancer studies.In 1962, Shimomura isolated green fluorescent protein from jellyfish.
NASA names gamma-ray constellations
NASA scientists have devised a new set of 21 modern gamma-ray constellations and named them after fictional characters such as the Hulk and Godzilla.The constellations were devised to celebrate the completion of 10 years of operations of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.Fermi’s Large Area Telescope has been scanning the entire sky each day, mapping and measuring sources of gamma rays.
Paytm launched PayPay in Japan
Paytm has launched a payment service called ‘PayPay’ in Japan.PayPay is based on QR (quick-response) code technology.The payment service has been launched in association with SoftBank Corporation and Yahoo Japan Corporation.SoftBank Group is one of the largest investors in Paytm.PayPay Corporation was established in June 2018.
27th Fusion Energy Conference inaugurated
The 27th Fusion Energy Conference (FEC) was inaugurated in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on 22 October 2018.The six-day event is organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and hosted by the Department of Atomic Energy and Gandhinagar-based Institute of Plasma Research.FEC aims to provide a forum for the discussion of key physics and technology issues.
NITI Lecture Series on artificial intelligence
Prime Minister NarendraModi attended the fourth edition of the NITI Lecture Series focussed on ‘leveraging artificial intelligence for inclusive growth’ on 22 October 2018.The 2018 theme for the lecture series was ‘AI for All: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Inclusive Growth’.The lecture series is part of the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence.
Hurricane Willa approaching towards Mexico
Hurricane Willa has grown rapidly into an ‘extremely dangerous’ near-Category 5 storm in the eastern Pacific and is moving towards Mexico’s western coast.The hurricane was recognised as ‘life-threatening’ by the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).It has maximum sustained winds of about 130 miles per hour (209 km).
Sujatha Gidla won Shakti Bhatt Prize
SujathaGidla has won the 2018 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize.She won the award for her book, ‘Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India’.The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize is funded by the Shakti Bhatt Foundation.It was set up in 2008 in memory of writer Shakti.It carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh.
Global meet on maternal, child health

OCTOBER 1 TO 10  CA     PL READ

http://www.sbank.in/2018/11/current-affairs-october-1-to-10-2018.html

Important Current Affairs 11th October 2018
‘Olly’ made Hockey World Cup mascot
Turtle ‘Olly’ has been declared as the official mascot for the Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup.Hockey World Cup is scheduled to be held at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar from November 28 to December 16, 2018.‘Olly’ represents the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles.Olly was also the mascot for Asian Athletics Championships held in 2017.
INS & Aircraft reach for IND-INDO CORPAT
Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kulish and an Indian Dornier (naval maritime time patrol aircraft) from Andaman and Nicobar command entered Belawan harbour, IndonesiaINS Kulish and Indian Dornier will attend the 32nd edition of ‘India – Indonesia coordinated patrol’ (IND-INDO CORPAT).IND-INDO CORPAT began on 11 October 2018 and will end on 27 October 2018.
Pravin appointed as Chief Statistician
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has appointed Pravin Srivastava as Chief Statistician of India, and Secretary of the Statistics Ministry.Before this, he worked as additional director general in the national accounts division of the Statistics Ministry.Pravin Srivastava is the 1983-batch Indian Statistical Service officer.
‘Bioelectronic medicine’ which repair nerves        
Researchers at Washington University have developed the first bioelectronic medicine.The medicine is an implantable, biodegradable wireless device that speeds nerve regeneration and improves the healing of a damaged nerve.The device provides therapy and treatment over a clinically relevant period of time and directly at the site where it’s needed.
Nirmala on a 3-day visit to France
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman began a three-day visit to France on 11 October 2018.Ms Sitharaman will hold wide-ranging talks with her French counterpart Florence Parly on ways to deepen strategic cooperation between the two countries.Ms Sitharaman will also take stock of progress in the supply of 36 Rafale jets by Dassault to the Indian Air Force under a Rs. 58,000 crore deal.
Sundar Singh won silver in javelin throw
Indian javelin thrower Sundar Singh Gurjar won a silver medal in the men’s F46 category of the Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.The F46 category of disability covers upper limb deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement.Gurjar won the silver medal with an effort of 61.33m in his fifth attempt.
32nd conference of WUWM inaugurated
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Purushottam Rupala inaugurated the 32nd world conference of ‘World Union of Wholesale Markets’ (WUWM).The Conference was held at Gurugram, Haryana on 11 October 2018.The theme of the conference is  ‘The Wholesale Markets in the Digital Era: Challenges and Opportunities’.
Sunil Bhaskaran to head AirAsia India
Sunil Bhaskaran has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of low-cost carrier AirAsia India with effect from November 15, 2018.The AirAsia airline is jointly owned by Tata Sons and Air Asia Bhd.Mr Bhaskaran is currently vice-president, Corporate Services at Tata Steel.AirAsia India has a market share of less than 5% and a fleet of 19 aircraft.
RBI board gets two new directors
The government has appointed Sachin Chaturvedi to the central board of the Reserve Bank of India.Revathy Iyer, a former Indian Audit and Accounts Services officer, was also nominated to the RBI board.Both are appointed for a period of four years with effect from September 19, 2018.With these appointments, RBI will now have 18 members on its central board.
International Day of the Girl Child:11 October
International Day of the Girl is observed on 11 October 2018.The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.The theme for 2018 is ‘With Her: A Skilled Girl Force’.October 11, 2012, was the first International Day of the Girl Child.
Sushma Swaraj to attend SCO meeting
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj participated in the 17th Council of Heads of Government (CHG) meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.The meeting was held in Tajikistan on 11 October 2018.This is the second CHG meeting since India became a full member of SCO in June 2017.In 2017, CHG meeting was held in Sochi, Russia.
Online Assurances Monitoring System inagurated
Minister of State (MoS) for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel inaugurated the Online Assurances Monitoring System (OAMS).OAMS has been developed by the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry.This system has made the information regarding assurances given on the floor of the Houses of Parliament paperless and available in digital format.
Cabinet approved the merger of NCVT & NSDA
The Union Cabinet has approved the merger of the regulatory institutions in the skills space – National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) and the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA).The new merged will be named as National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET).NCVET will regulate the functioning of entities engaged in vocational education and training.
IWAI launched Ro-Ro service to Majuli Island
Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) started Roll on-Roll off (Ro-Ro) facility in collaboration with the Government of Assam for Majuli Island.IWAI has procured a new vessel ‘MV Bhupen Hazarika’ for the new Ro-Ro service.Majuli is one of the biggest riverine islands in the world located on river Brahmaputra in Assam.
Cabinet approves MoC between India and Finland
The government approved an agreement between India and Finland on cooperation in environment protection in both the countries.The agreement is expected to bring in the latest technologies and best practices suited for bringing about better environment protection.The areas of cooperation also includes air and water pollution prevention and purification, remediation of contaminated soils.
Goa Maritime Symposium – 2018
The Indian Navy will host the ‘Goa Maritime Symposium’ on 16 October 2018.The event is a follow-on to the maiden Goa Maritime Conclave held in 2017.The theme for the one day symposium is “Building Stronger Maritime Partnerships in Indian Ocean Region”.The focus of the symposium is on capacity building among Indian Ocean Region navies to tackle emerging maritime threats,
MoU between India and Lebanon approved
The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Lebanon for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.The MoU will promote understanding of best Agricultural practices in the two countries.The MoU will also help in better productivity at farmer fields as well as improved global market.
Tushar Mehta is the new Solicitor General
The Government of India has appointed Tushar Mehta as the Solicitor General of India.At present, Tushar Mehta holds the charge of Additional Solicitor General.He will remain in office till 30th of June, 2020 or till further orders.Solicitor General of India is the second highest ranking law officer of the government.
Saurabh Chaudhary won gold in 10m air pistol      
Indian shooter Saurabh Chaudhary clinched the gold medal in the 10m air pistol event at the Youth Olympic Games on 10 October 2018.Saurabh also won gold medal in the Asian Games and Junior ISSF World Championship.This is India’s third gold medal in Buenos Aires and the fourth medal overall for the shooting contingent.
Govt sets ‘minimum river flows’ for the Ganga
The government of India had notified the minimum ‘environmental flows’ for Ganga river.Environmental flows are the acceptable flow regimes that are required to maintain a river in the desired environmental state or predetermined state.The upper stretches of the Ganga would have to maintain 20% of the monthly average flow between November and March.

Important Current Affairs 12th October 2018
Centre approved land pooling policy for Delhi
The government of India has approved a land pooling policy for Delhi.The policy was approved by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) under the chairmanship of Lt Governor Anil Baijal in September 2018.Under the policy, agencies will develop infrastructures like roads, schools, hospitals, community centres and stadia on part of the pooled land
Over 900 prisoners get special remission
As part of the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, over 900 prisoners have been released in the first phase of the Government’s scheme for grant of special remission to specific categories of prisoners.The decision was taken by the Union Cabinet on July 18, 2018.The prisoners will be released in three phases- October 2, 2018, April 6, 2019, and October 2, 2019.
Silver Jubilee celebrations of NHRC began
Silver Jubilee celebrations of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) began on 12 October 2018.The Commission will organize a ‘Human Rights Mela’ and ‘Human Rights Street Theatre Festival’.NHRC is an autonomous public body responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights.Retired Justice HL Dattu is the Chairperson of NHRC.
Govt hiked import duty on electronic items
The government has increased basic customs duty on electronic and telecom equipment to 20% from the current 10%.The items that will face customs duty hike include smartwatches, optical transport equipment and voice over internet protocol equipment.The hike will come into effect on 12 October 2018.Restricting imports is a part of the government’s strategy to arrest the rupee’s fall.
World Arthritis Day observed on October 12
World Arthritis Day is observed on the 12th of October every year.The theme of World Arthritis Day 2018 is “It’s in your hands, take action”.World Arthritis Day was launched by the Arthritis Foundation.The objective of the day is to spread awareness about arthritis, and how it affects the lives of those that suffer with it.
India suffered economic loss due to disasters
The report titled ‘Economic Losses, Poverty and Disasters 1998-2017’ was released by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.According to the report, India suffered a $79.5 billion economic loss due to climate-related disasters in the last 20 years.The greatest economic losses have been experienced by the US at $944.8 billion, followed by China, Japan, India and Puerto Rico.
WB to provide $195 million to Nepal
The World Bank (WB) has announced that it will provide around US$195 million concessional loans to Nepal.The loan amount will be used by Nepal to reform the country’s financial and energy sectors.An agreement to this effect was reached during the ongoing annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) at Bali in Indonesia.
Arun Kumar appointed as Bhilai Steel Plant CEO
Arun Kumar Rath took charge as the new CEO of Bhilai Steel plant on 11 October 2018.He succeeds M Ravi who was removed from the post on October 10 after the fire accident at Bhilai Steel Plant.Rath was earlier the CEO of Durgapur Steel Plant.Anirban Dasgupta, CEO of SAIL’s IISCO Steel Plant at Burnpur, takes additional charge of Durgapur Plant.
Centre for 4th Industrial Revolution launched
The World Economic Forum launched its new Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in India.The centre would be based in Maharashtra.It has selected drones, artificial intelligence and blockchain as the first three project areas.The WEF has also entered into partnerships with the Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh governments for the new initiative
Amway hires Milind Pant as first global CEO
Direct selling company Amway has announced Milind Pant as its Chief Executive Officer.Mr. Pant will report directly to Amway’s Board of Directors effective January 2, 2019.Amway has been co-led by Van Andel who has served as Amway Chairman since 1995 and Doug DeVos who has served as Amway’s president since 2002.
BoB CEO P.S. Jayakumar gets one-year extension
The government extended the tenure of Bank of Baroda Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer P.S. Jayakumar by one year.Before joining Bank of Baroda, Jayakumar founded VBHC Value Homes Pvt. Ltd along with Jaithirth Rao and worked with Citigroup bank.Jayakumar is a chartered accountant by qualification.
21% Indian children are under-weight: GHI
According to the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2018, at least one in five Indian children under the age of five are wasted, which means they have extremely low weight for their height, reflecting acute under-nutrition.Overall, India has been ranked at 103 out of 119 countries in the Index.GHI is a peer-reviewed publication released annually by ‘Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide.
Punjab govt released 3 apps
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh launched three mobile apps aimed at checking crop residue burning.The apps also aim to create awareness about the effects of crop residue burning on the environment and human health.The three Android mobile applications have been developed by Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC).The three apps are i-Khet Machine, e-PEHaL and e-Prevent.
Sushil Modi released book ‘Lalu Leela’
Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi has come out with a nearly 200-page book titled “Lalu Leela”.The book documents “benami” land deals allegedly involving the RJD national president, Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members.The preface has been penned by another Union minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad.
‘Save Ganga’ crusader Agarwal dead
GD Agarwal who devoted his life to the cause of saving river Ganga, died on 11 October 2018.Agarwal was on a fast-unto-death for the last 111 days.He was a former professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur.In 2012, he formally renounced the world and adopted the name Swami Gyanswaroop Sanand.
Malaysia abolishes capital punishment
Malaysia’s cabinet has agreed to abolish the death penalty and halt pending executions.Capital punishment in Malaysia is currently mandatory for murder, kidnapping, possession of firearms and drug trafficking, among other crimes.In April 2017, human rights group Amnesty International ranked Malaysia 10th in the use of the death penalty.
Govt package for footwear and leather sector
The Central Government has approved a special package for employment generation in leather and footwear sector.The package involves implementation of Central Sector Scheme – Indian Footwear, Leather & Accessories Development Programme (IFLADP) with an approved expenditure of Rs. 2600 Crore for 2017-20.The scheme aims at development of infrastructure for the leather sector.
Space centre to be set up at Jammu University
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) signed a MoU with the Central University of Jammu (CUJ) in Jammu for setting up of the Satish Dhawan Center for Space Science in the University.The centre will take care of the emerging geospatial and space technology requirements for the development of the region.Apart from this, the disaster management centre will also be set up.
World Bank’s Human Capital Index released
The World Bank released a Human Capital Index (HCI) as part of the World Development Report 2019.The broader theme of the World Development Report (WDR) 2018 is “The Changing Nature of Work”.India is ranked at 115.The report almost reiterated that Indian children are not learning enough in schools.
AIM & IBM India design Internship Programme
NITI Aayog and IBM India announced a first-of-its-kind internship programme for students selected by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM).The Atal Innovation Mission conducted the Atal Tinkering Marathon in 2017.The students will be equipped with the skills in areas like artificial intelligence, Internet-of-Things, cybersecurity, cloud computing and blockchain.

Important Current Affairs 13th October 2018
Hurricane Leslie heading to Portugal, Spain
Hurricane Leslie is heading toward Portugal and Spain.The Category 1 storm was about 910 km southwest of Lisbon, Portugal, and about 320 km northwest of Madeira, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.Leslie is moving northeast at 36 mph and it has maximum sustained winds of 80 mph.The storm is expected to pass north of Madeira.
Archer Harvinder Singh clinched gold
Archer Harvinder Singh notched up the men’s individual recurve gold, while track-and-field athletes added a silver and a bronze to India’s tally in the Asian Para-Games in Jakarta.Harvinder defeated China’s Zhao Lixue 6-0 in the W2/ST category final to claim the top honours and take India’s gold tally to seven.Monu Ghangas claimed the silver in the men’s discus throw F11 category.
PM Modi to visit Japan for India-Japan Summit
Modi will visit Japan on 28-29 of this month for the 13th India-Japan Annual Summit.This will be the fifth Annual Summit meeting between Modi and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and their twelfth meeting overall since 2014.Prime Minister’s visit will reaffirm the traditional bonds of friendship between the two countries and strengthen their multifaceted cooperation in diverse fields
Saurabh clinched gold in 10-m air pistol
Pistol shooter Saurabh Chaudhary bagged the Gold Medal in the 10-metre air pistol event in the ongoing Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.In Buenos Aires, the 16-year old blew the field away in the final as he finished a massive Seven and a half points ahead of his closest rival.It is India’s 3rd gold in the history of Youth Olympic Games and all 3 have come in this edition in Buenos Aires.
Deepa clinched bronze in Asian Para Games
At the Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Rio Paralympics medallist Deepa Malik bagged her second medal as she clinched a bronze in the women’s F51/52/53 discus throw event.Deepa produced her best effort in her fourth attempt, a 9.67 metre to claim the third spot.Elnaz Darabian of Iran took home the gold and set a new Asian record with her best throw of 10.71 meters.
ICC launched women’s T20I ranking
In the newly launched ICC global Women’s T20I Team Rankings, India is placed fifth while three-time champions Australia topped the 46-team table.The ICC’s move to launch the women’s T20I rankings follows its decision earlier this year to award international status to all T20 matches.An ICC release in Dubai said all women’s T20 matches between members have international status.
5 gold for India on penultimate day
India grabbed 5 gold medals on the penultimate day of the Asian Para Games at Jakarta.K Jennitha Anto clinched the gold in women’s individual rapid P1 chess event while Kishan Gangolli got the better of Majid Bagheri in the men’s individual event to claim the top spot.In para-badminton, Parul Parmar notched up a victory over Wandee Kamtam to win the gold medal in the women’s singles event.
Cyclone Luban in Oman
Oman has closed schools and ports in the southern part of the country while Yemen’s local authorities prepared health facilities ahead of cyclone Luban.Luban is currently a category one cyclone, which is likely to develop into a Category 2 cyclone within the next 48 hours.\ Luban is travelling northwest, and cloud bands of the cyclone are currently 327 kilometres away from the coast of Oman.
International Day for Disaster Reduction
The International Day for Disaster Reduction was started in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction.It is held every year on 13 October.The 2018 theme continues as part of the “Sendai Seven” campaign, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework.
India-Azerbaijan signed protocol
The 5th meeting of India-Azerbaijan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade and Economic, Science and Technology Cooperation (IA-IGC) was held on 11-12 October 2018 in New Delhi.Both sides agreed to take measures to enhance trade relations and expand business relations.Novruz Mammadov is the PM of Azerbaijan.
Online portal for grant of IEM and IL
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has developed a new online portal for facilitating the filing of online applications for IEM and Industrial Licence (IL) under Arms Act as well as Industries (Development & Regulation)[I(D&R)] Act, 1951 at https://services.dipp.gov.in.This portal will be available for public with effect from 16th October 2018 for filing application.
Word Egg day celebrated
The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries organized “World Egg Day” on 12 October.A booklet on poultry entrepreneurs’ success stories was released.International Egg Commission has declared the second Friday of October every year as World Egg Day.This is a unique opportunity to help raise awareness of the nutritional benefits of eggs.
13th convention of CIC inaugurated
Shri Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the 13th Convention of the Central Information Commission in New Delhi.The Convention will deliberate on three specific subjects – Data privacy and Right to Information, Amendment in the RTI Act and Implementation of the RTI Act.The Central Information Commission set up under the Right to Information Act is the authorised body, established in 2005.
SBI signed MoU with Nepal’s NBI
State Bank of India has signed an MoU with Kathmandu-based National Banking Institute (NBI) for the development of human resources of the latter.Under the MoU, the strategic training unit of SBI will impart education, training and development to facilitate transformation of NBI’s HR department.SBI signed the three-year MoU with NBI to establish a mutually beneficial strategic alliance.
India remains polio-free: UNICEF, WHO
The UNICEF and the WHO reiterated India’s status as a polio-free country.This came after some oral polio vaccine vials were found contaminated with the type-2 polio virus last month.India has a high routine immunisation coverage and so the risk of children getting vaccine-derived polio virus was “minimal”, said the two global organisations in a joint statement.
India’s biggest Zika outbreak in Jaipur
Fifty cases of Zika have been confirmed in Jaipur in India’s biggest outbreak of the disease with 11 pregnant women among them.The mosquito-borne virus puts the unborn child at risk of microcephaly, a birth defect where the baby’s head is smaller than normal.The symptoms include high fever, rash, joint and muscle pain, headache and conjunctivitis.
First IIIC Opened in Bengaluru
The country’s first India-Israel Innovation Centre (IIIC), an entrepreneurial technology hub, was launched in Bengaluru.The IIIC is a significant step towards facilitating penetration of Israeli companies in India.It aims to forge local partnerships and joint ventures between companies from the two countries.It will provide an ecosystem to support entrepreneurship.
NSE signed a pact with Uttarakhand
Leading stock exchange NSE has signed a pact with the Uttarakhand government to provide access to capital to MSMEs.This which will fuel the growth of such entities in the state.The bourse will play an active role in nurturing the SMEs and start-ups by increasing awareness.NSE’s SME Platform has currently 182 companies listed, which together raised over Rs 2,850 crore.
India elected to UNHRC
India has been elected to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council with the highest vote among all candidates.It secured 188 votes in the Asia-Pacific category for a period of three years beginning January 1, 2019.In the Asia Pacific category, India got 188 votes followed by Fiji with 187 and Bangladesh 178 votes.
Legendary musician Annapurna Devi passed away
Legendary musician Annapurna Devi has passed away in Mumbai. She was 91.Annapurna Devi was an Indian surbahar player of Hindustani classical music and she was the daughter and disciple of Allauddin Khan.She was married to sitar maestro Ravi Shankar.

Important Current Affairs 14th October 2018
Important sports News (8-13 Oct 2018)
          CURRENT AFFAIRS OCTOBER 1 TO 10 2018 BANK EXAMS.SSCGL/TNPSC VAO AND OTHER EXAMS./LIC AND OTHER GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY EXAMS)      Cache   Translate Page      


Important Current Affairs 01st October 2018
RBI to pump Rs 360 bn into bond markets
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would pump Rs 360 billion into money markets in October to stem fears of a cascading credit crunch.The auctions would be conducted during the second, third and fourth week of October.The government will effectively cut its market borrowing by Rs 700 billion due to higher-than-expected earnings of Rs 750 billion through its small savings scheme.
Harmonium exponent Tulsidas Borkar passed away
Renowned harmonium player Pandit Tulsidas Borkar passed away in Mumbai.Borkar was conferred with the Padma Shri award in 2016 and also the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.He had accompanied legendary singers such as Ustad Amir Khan, Bhimsen Joshi and Kishori Amonkar.Borkar was known for both solo performances as well as his unique style of accompanying Indian classical singers.
5th World Internet Conference in China
China will hold the fifth World Internet Conference (WIC) in its river town of Wuzhen on November 7-9 2019.Theme:  “creating a digital world for mutual trust and collective governance – towards a community with a shared future in cyberspace”.The conference will advocate exchanges, mutual learning, cooperation and sharing in the digital fields.
7-member panel set up on ‘calamity tax’
The GST Council has set up a seven-member Group of Minister (GoM) panel.The panel will examine the legality of imposing a new tax on certain goods and services to raise resources for natural calamity-hit states.The seven-member Group of Ministers (GoM), would include representatives from North-Eastern, hilly and coastal states.
‘NABARAD Grameena Habba’ in Bengaluru
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development is organizing “Grameena Habba” at Bengaluru.Habba is an exhibition cum sale of rural artisan products September 28- Oct 7, 2018.It would expand the market for weavers, rural artisans and craftsmen etc.NABARD supports rural artisans via its special fund ‘Gramya Vikas Nidhi’ that promotes rural innovation, rural livelihood options etc.
Goa, Portugal signed MoU on water management
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Portuguese Environment Ministry and the Public Works Department of Goa.The MoU proposes technical partnership in the areas of water supply operation and energy efficiency,As part of the MoU, the assessment of two of the biggest water treatment and supply plants at Selaulim and Opa in Goa would be undertaken.
New LNG terminal at Anjar inaugurated
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated the Mundra LNG terminal, the Anjar-Mundra Pipeline Project and the Palanpur-Pali-Barmer pipeline project, at Anjar, Gujarat on 30 September 2018.The LNG terminal is promoted by Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd.India has two more LNG terminals, Dabhol in Maharashtra and Kochi in Kerala.
1st corn festival of country in Chhindwara
The first corn festival of the country held in Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh from 29-30 Sept.The event will see scientists working on maize from across the country who will share their knowledge of the new developments and opportunities for corn based products.Madhya Pradesh is one of the largest corn producing states in India with Chhindwara being the highest corn producing district.
SATAT initiative launched by Petroleum Min
The government of India launched ‘SATAT’ initiative to promote Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) as an alternative fuel.The initiative is aimed at providing a Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) as a developmental effort that would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs.Use of CBG will also help bring down dependency on crude oil imports.
Wage Compensation Scheme for pregnant women
Assam government launched a wage compensation scheme for Pregnant Women in tea gardens of the state.The scheme will provide better health and nutrition supplements to the pregnant women.An amount of Rs.12,000 will be given to the pregnant woman to take care of herself and unborn baby.The wage compensation scheme will reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in the tea areas of Assam.
VP to give “Vayoshreshtha Samman-2018”
The Vice President of India M. Venkiah Naidu gave “Vayoshreshtha Samman-2018” to senior citizens on October 1, 2018.The award is given to eminent senior citizens and institutions in recognition of their services towards the cause of the elderly persons.Vayoshreshtha Samman is a Scheme of National Awards instituted by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
Sale of micro insurance via PoS allowed
Insurance regulator IRDAI has allowed the distribution of all micro-insurance products through point-of-sales (PoS).It aims to increase insurance penetration in the country.Micro-insurance policies are designed to promote insurance coverage among economically vulnerable sections.A micro-insurance policy is a general or life insurance policy with a sum assured of Rs. 50,000 or less.
Madhya Pradesh to have cow ministry
Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced the setting up of a ministry for cows.The cow ministry will replace the existing Madhya Pradesh Gaupalan Evam Pashudhan Samvardhan Board (MPGEPSB).If Madhya Pradesh implements the decision, it will become the second Indian state after Rajasthan to get a cow ministry.
livestock census commenced from Oct. 1
The 20th Livestock Census will be conducted in all States and Union Territories from October 1, 2018.The 20th Livestock Census would, for the first time, capture breed-wise headcount of livestock and poultryThe Census would help in identifying the threatened indigenous breeds.The exercise would also cover fisheries.
Peace Padyatra in in the Red heartland
Around 150 people, from various states affected by the Maoist insurgency, will begin a 186-km long ‘Peace Padyatra’ on 1 Oct.The Peace Padyatra will start from the Shabri Gandhi Ashram in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh to the Jagdalpur town of Bastar.The padyatris will walk along the National Highway 30, that passes through the  Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.
Good samaritan bill of Karnataka approved
Karnataka has become the first state in the country to give legal protection to good Samaritans.President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to Karnataka Good Samaritan and Medical Professional (Protection and Regulation during Emergency Situations) Bill, 2016.The bill aims to provide legal protection to the good samaritans in Karnataka, who help accident victims with emergency medical care.
NITI Aayog and Oracle sign SoI
NITI Aayog and Oracle signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to pilot a real drug supply-chain using blockchain distributed ledger and Internet of Things (IoT) softwareThe SoI was signed in order to fight the growing problem of counterfeit drugs in India.Apollo Hospitals and Strides Pharma Sciences will partner in this effort.
Yuvraj Wadhwani won Asian Junior Squash title
India’s Yuvraj Wadhwani won Asian Junior Squash Championship title on 30 September, 2018.Yuvraj has become the second Indian to win the Under-13 title after Veer Chotrani, who had won the title in 2014 in Iran.Overall, Indian squash players won one gold, one silver and four bronze medals.
Int Day of Older Persons observed on 1st Oct
International Day of Older Persons is observed on 1st October every year.The theme for 2018 is ‘Celebrating Older Human Rights champions’.The objective of the International Day for Older Persons is to recognise the contributions of older persons and to examine issues that affect their lives.
Govt sets up Competition Law Review Committee
The Government has constituted a Competition Law Review Committee to review the Competition Act.The committee will be headed by corporate affairs secretary Injeti Srinivas.The committee will review the competition regulations in India.The Competition Act was passed in 2002 and the Competition Commission of India was set up in 2009.

Important Current Affairs 02nd October 2018
AM Raghunath Nambiar takes over as AOC-in-C
Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar on October 1, 2018, took over as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) of the Eastern Air Command.He is also a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was the Project Test Pilot for the Light Combat Aircraft, ‘Tejas’.He had served as a Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) at the IAF’s Eastern Air Command in the past.
Birth anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri
The nation celebrates the 114th birth anniversary of India’s second Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on October 2.He was the 2nd Prime Minister of India and a senior leader of the Indian National Congress political party.Prime Minister visited the Vijay Ghat to pay tributes to the former prime minister.Shastri coined the slogan ‘jai jawan jai kisan’.
PPC launched on 2nd October 2018
The Central government launched its People’s Plan Campaign (PPC) for panchayats from October 2, 2018, with the slogan “Sabki Yojana Sabka Vikas”.During the campaign, structured Gram Sabha meetings will be held for preparing Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) for the next financial year 2019-2020.GPDP aims to strengthen the role of elected Panchayat leaders and Women.
Govt releases agri census data for 2015-16
The government of India released agriculture census for 2015-16 on 1 October 2018.The average size of operational holding declined to 1.08 hectares (ha) in 2015-16 compared to 1.15 ha in 2010-11.The percentage share of female operational holders has increased from 12.79% in 2010-11 to 13.87% in 2015-16.Agriculture census is conducted by Ministry of Agriculture for every five years.
HRD min gave ‘Swachhata Ranking Awards 2018’
Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar announced the “Swachh Campus rankings” under 8 different categories on 1 October 2018.Haryana’s Maharashi Dayanand University has been ranked the cleanest government university by the HRD Ministry.Among the technical institutions, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Coimbatore bagged the top rank.
Government took control of IL&FS
The government of India took control of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) on 1 October 2018.The government replaced its board and appointed new board members.Uday Kotak was named as non-executive chairman of the new board.The government moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for replacing the IL&FS Board.
BSE launches commodity derivative contracts
Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) became the first stock exchange in India to launch the commodity derivative contracts in gold and silver.Till now, commodity contracts were available only on MCX and NCDEX, the two specialised commodity derivatives exchanges.BSE also waived off transaction charges for the first year in the commodities derivatives segment.
U.S., Canada agree on free trade pact
Canada and the U.S. have agreed on a new free trade pact that will include Mexico.The new trade deal will be known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).USMCA replaces the nearly 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).The trade pact will come up for review every six years.
ADB and India sign $150 Million Loan
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $150 Million Loan.The loan amount will be used to improve road connectivity and efficiency of the International Trade Corridor in West Bengal and North-Eastern Region of India.The project will give a boost to India’s efforts to promote regional connectivity in South Asia.
NALCO CMD conferred with NIPM Ratna award
NALCO CMD Dr Tapan Kumar Chand was conferred with the ‘NIPM Ratna Award’ at the 37th NIPM Annual National Conference (NATCON-2018).He was given the award for his contribution to People Management & Strategic Leadership.National Institute of Personnel Management (NIPM) is the highest body of HR professionals in India.NIPM organized the NATCON-2018 at Pune.
Int Day of Non-Violence observed on Oct 2
The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October in honor of the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.The International Day of Non-Violence is a global observance that promotes non-violence through education and public awareness.On 15 June 2007 the United Nations General Assembly establish 2 October as the International Day of Non-Violence.
Niwari is 52nd district of MP
The Madhya Pradesh government announced the creation of a new district ‘Niwari’.The new district would include three tehsils of the present Tikamgarh district – Niwari, Orchha, and Prithvipur.The government’s decision came into effect from October 1.The district has been carved out of the Tikamgarh district.
BCCI comes under RTI Act
Central Information Commission brings The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is covered under the RTI Act.CIC directed the BCCI to form, online and offline mechanisms to receive applications for information under the RTI Act within 15 days.The BCCI is the national governing body for cricket in India formed in December 1928.
India, Uzbekistan signed 17 agreements
India and Uzbekistan inked 17 agreements on 1 October 2018, including in the areas of defence, space, health and agriculture.They also signed an agreement on cooperation in combating illicit drug trafficking.Two agreements in the sectors of innovation, and health and medical science were also signed.The two countries also entered into a pact on cooperation in the pharma sector.
Nobel prize for medicine
Two immunologists, James Allison of the US and Tasuku Honjo of Japan won the 2018 Nobel prize in medicine.They won the prize for the discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.They will receive their prize at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on 10th December.Allison and Honjo also have won the Tang Prize in 2014 for their research.
12 Indian firms in Forbes best companies
12 Indian companies features in a list of the world’s best regarded firms compiled by Forbes.Entertainment giant Walt Disney, with a market cap of USD 165 billion topped the list.US companies dominate the list with 61 of the total 250 firms.The Indian companies are-  Infosys, TCS, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, L&T, Grasim Industries, GIC, Mahindra & Mahindra, Asian Paints, SAIL, ITC and HDFC.
1st Swachhata Mela at AIIMS Delhi
Health Minister J P Nadda inaugurated the First Swachhata Mela organised by All India Institute of Medical Sciences New Delhi.AIIMS Delhi has bagged first position in Kayakalp awards with prize money of Rs. 5 crore in the last two editions of the awards.Kayakalp awards were initiated to recognise the efforts of the hospitals for maintaining cleanliness in their premises.
India’s flag-bearer at Youth Olympic Games
16-year-old shooting star Manu Bhaker is named as the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent for the 3rd Youth Olympic Games at Buenos Aires.A contingent of 68 members, including 46 athletes, departed for Argentina to take part in games from October 6-18.Bhaker had won gold in 10m air pistol at Guadalajara World Cup as well as Commonwealth Games.
Mushtaque Ahmad- new Hockey India President
Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad was is named as the new President of Hockey India (HI).Ahmad is currently serving as the post of Secretary General.He takes over President Rajinder Singh after being elected unopposed.Hockey India is the governing body having an exclusive mandate to conduct all activities for both men and women hockey in India.
Gita Gopinath appointed IMF Chief Economist
India-born economist, Gita Gopinath has been appointed chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).She will succeed Maurice Obstfeld, who announced his retirement in July.Gita Gopinath is the second Indian economist to be appointed as IMF chief economist after Raghuram Rajan.She currently serves as professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University.

Important Current Affairs 03rd October 2018
National Khadi Festival 2018 inaugurated
A month-long National Khadi Festival 2018 has been inaugurated on 2 Oct 2018, by Union MSME minister, Shri Giriraj Singh.The fest is being organized by Khadi and Village Industries Commission at Mumbai.Various types of Khadi products of different states would be available at the festival.Around 100 institutions from all over of the country are participating in the exhibition.
Mount Soputan erupts in Indonesia
Indonesia’s Mount Soputan volcano erupts on the tsunami-hit island of Sulawes.The authorities raised the volcano’s status to Level III of the four-level national alert system.It is about 1,000 km from the town of Palu where a 7.5 magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami.Indonesia is situated on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where frequent quakes and volcanic activity strikes.
Lilima to receive Ekalabya Puraskar, 2018
Hockey player Lilima Minz from Odisha has been selected for the prestigious Ekalabya Puraskar, 2018.The annual award is instituted by the charitable wing of Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys (IMFA) comprises of a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh along with a citation.Ekalabya Puraskar has been instituted to promote literature, sports, the arts, culture, and other socially meaningful activities.
N. Ravi elected as PTI chairman
N. Ravi, Publisher and former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, was unanimously elected Chairman of the Press Trust of India (PTI).Mr. Ravi succeeds Viveck Goenka, chairman and managing director of the Express Group.Also, Vijay Kumar Chopra, Chief Editor of the Punjab Kesari Group of newspapers, was elected as Vice-Chairman.
PM Modi received UNEP Champions of the Earth
PM Narendra Modi received the United Nations highest environmental honour, the UNEP Champions of the Earth award at New Delhi.The award is presented by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.The award was announced on 26th Sept, on the sidelines of 73rd UN GA in New York.The annual prize is awarded to leaders from government whose actions had a positive impact on the environment.
SIDBI launched ‘Udyam Abhilasha’ campaign
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), had launched a National Level Entrepreneurship Awareness Campaign, Udyam Abhilasha on 2 October 2018.The campaign was launched in 115 Aspirational Districts identified by NITI Aayog.The campaign would create and strengthen cadre of more than 800 trainers to provide entrepreneurship training to the aspiring entrepreneurs.
Japan space probe launched new robot
A Japanese probe launched a new observation robot towards an asteroid.The Hayabusa2 probe launched the French-German Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT), towards the Ryugu asteroid’s surface.MASCOT’s launch comes after the Hayabusa2 dropped a pair of MINERVA-II micro-rovers on the Ryugu asteroid.MASCOT can take images at multiple wavelengths and measure magnetic fields.
World Peace monument inaugurated
Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the World Peace Monument at the Maharashtra Institute of Technology’s World Peace University campus at Loni, Pune.The monument has one of the world’s largest dome of 160 ft. in diameter and 263 ft tall.It is larger in area than the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.The dome is built atop the MIT World Peace Library and the World Peace Prayer Hall
PM inaugurated first assembly of the ISA
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 1st Assembly of the International Solar Alliance on 2 October 2018 in New Delhi.The same event also marked the inauguration of the 2nd IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting, and the 2nd Global RE-Invest (Renewable Energy Investors’ Meet and Expo).The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Antonio Guterres, was present on the occasion.
Stamps on International Day of Non-Violence
The UN postal agency issued a new collection of stamps in commemoration of the International Day of Non-violence, marked on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary.Stamps feature artistic interpretation of ‘The Knotted Gun’, an iconic global sculpture.The sculpture was created by the Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswrd as a tribute to  Beatles member John Lennon after his murder.
Barham Salih as new president of Iraq
Iraq’s Parliament has elected a veteran Kurdish Politician Barham Salih as the country’s new President.Salih is a former prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government.He has named Shiite Adel Abdul Mahdi as Prime Minister of the country.The move will pave the way to form a new government, nearly five months after national elections.
New dwarf planet spotted
An extremely distant dwarf planet, named The Goblin, has been discovered by the astronomers.The dwarf planet was officially designated as ‘2015 TG387’.Astronomers first observed the dwarf planet on October 13, 2015, from the Subaru telescope.This is the third dwarf planet found to be orbiting on the frigid fringes of our solar system.
Thangvellu- flag-bearer for Asian Para Games
Rio Paralympic gold medallist Thangvellu Mariyappan is named as flag-bearer of the Indian contingent for the 3rd Paralympic Asian games.India will field its biggest ever contingent of 302 members for the games.3rd Asian Para Games will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia from October 6-13.The official mascot of the Games is a Bondol eagle named Momo.
Manipur clinch National Football Championship
Manipur claimed victory in the final of the 24th Senior Women’s National Football Championships, defeating hosts Odisha by 2-1.It was the 19th occasion when a state from the northeast of India won the trophy.Manipur captain Bala Devi scored the first goal in the 45th minute.The final match was held at the Barabati Stadium, Cuttack, Odisha.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi sworn in as 46th CJI
Justice Ranjan Gogoi was sworn-in as the 46th Chief Justice of India on 3 October 2018.He was administered the oath by President Ram Nath Kovind.CJI Ranjan Gogoi is the first Chief Justice of India from the north-east and his tenure will end in November 2019.Justice Gogoi started his career as a Permanent Judge of the Gauhati High Court in February 2001.
Odisha launched own food security scheme
The Odisha government has launched its own food security scheme on 2 October 2018.The scheme will be benefiting 25 lakh people who were left out of the National Food Security Act.The beneficiaries will get 5 kg of rice per person per month at the rate of Rs. 1 per kg.Each poor man will get 5 kg of rice per month as per the provision of the National Food Security Act, 2013.
WHO launched global guidelines on sanitation
The World Health Organization (WHO) launched the first global guidelines on sanitation and health.The WHO said that by adopting its new guidelines, countries can significantly reduce diarrhoeal deaths due to unsafe water and poor sanitation and hygiene.The new guidelines were developed because current sanitation programmes are not achieving anticipated health gains.
Assam government launched pension scheme
Assam government launched pension scheme covering all senior citizens of the state.The name of the pension scheme is ‘Swahid Kushal Konwar Sarbajanin Briddha Pension Achoni’.All senior citizens above 60 years of age are entitled to get the benefit of the scheme through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to their bank accounts.
IBSAMAR-VI kicks off in South Africa
The sixth edition of IBSAMAR is being held at Simons Town, South Africa from 01 – 13 October 2018.IBSAMAR is a joint Multi – National Maritime Exercise between the Indian, Brazilian and South African Navies.The aim of the exercise is to undertake collective training for participating navies and building interoperability.The last edition of IBSAMAR was conducted in Goa.
Ashkin, Mourou, Strickland won Nobel prize
Scientists Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics.They were awarded for their work in the field of lasers used for surgery as well as scientific study.Ashkin invented optical “tweezers” that could grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells.Mourou and Strickland separately created the shortest and most powerful laser pulses ever.

Important Current Affairs 04th October 2018
Trials of Astra BVR-AAM Completed Successfully
A series of flight trials of ‘Astra’ Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVR-AAM) was conducted by the Indian Air Force from September 26 to October 3 2018.The test was conducted at Integrated Test Range, Balasore.Defence Research and Development Organisation has developed the missile.The missile is expected to be inducted into Indian Air Force in 2019.
Youngest Indian to score century on Test debut
Prithvi Shaw scored a century in the first Test against West Indies at Rajkot to become the youngest Indian to score a century on debut.Shaw surpassed the record set by Abbas Ali Baig who had sco
          Golden Triangle's drug production expands, diversifies amid opioid concerns      Cache   Translate Page      
Organised crime groups are expanding and diversifying drug production in Southeast Asia's Golden Triangle amid fears the region could emerge as a hub for synthetic opioids like fentanyl, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

          200 mass graves of thousands of ISIS victims found      Cache   Translate Page      
Mass gravesthat may contain up to 12,000 bodies have been found in areas formerly controlled by ISIS, a United Nations report revealed on Tuesday.
          A worried India keeps a close watch      Cache   Translate Page      
A worried India is keeping a close watch on Sri Lankan politics, following fresh reports of horsetrading and deal-making after President Maithripala Sirisena decided to convene Parliament on November 14, sidestepping appeal by sacked PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s party for an early session. United National Party …
          A Tussle Between Parties?      Cache   Translate Page      
The answer to Sri Lanka’s current political crisis is complex. The split between United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and United National Party(UNP) turned into a struggle for power between the Sri Lankan President Sirisena, the leader of UPFA alliance comprising the Sri Lanka Freedom Party(SLFP) …
          "The modern faith in democracy is sometimes perverse"      Cache   Translate Page      

miller

Democracy is widely regarded as the ideal form of government. In practice, however, we are living in an era where, the world over, trust in elected representatives is plummeting. Democracy is sometimes seen as a sham, a political puppet show in which hidden elites pull all the strings. In his latest book, "Can Democracy Work" (Oneworld), James Miller - professor of politics and liberal studies, and faculty director of the MA in creative publishing and critical journalism at the New School for Social Research - maps out the history of democracy. He shows that the concept has always generated tensions and contradictions, and reminds us that the very meaning of democracy has changed dramatically over the two thousand years since it emerged. So can it work?

Why write this book now?

I have been teaching about, and studying, the history of democracy for more than 40 years. In the 1980s, I published two books on the topic, one about Jean Jacques Rousseau and his influence on the French Revolution, the other on the idea of "participatory democracy" as a rallying cry for young American radicals in the 1960s.

In the past few years, several people had been asking me to return to the subject, and write a short history of democracy, notably Astra Taylor, a former student who was working on a documentary film about democracy, now out, entitled What is democracy? In the summer of 2014, I was also dismayed by developments in Europe when I visited Prague; Wroclaw, Poland; and Dresden, Germany -- in all three cities, nationalist parties espousing a very narrow view of democratic citizenship were on the march. At the same time, I met students from Ukraine who had participated in the Maidan uprising in Kiev, demanding a more liberal and democratic society. So clearly democracy, especially in its liberal form, had become an embattled idea. And this made me interested in taking up the challenge of writing a short, summary account of democracy and its manifold problems as these have appeared in various historical contexts.

You note that countries around the world – from Vladimir Putin in Russia to Kim Jong-un in North Korea – pay lip service to democracy. Why does the idea have such currency?

After World War II, most surviving regimes claimed to represent the will of a sovereign people - this was certainly true of the Soviet Union and North Korea, but also of course it was true of the United States and the United Kingdom. Despotic monarchies and totalitarian tyrannies were widely seen as illegitimate. That is why the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights affirms that "everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country."

You start by drawing a distinction between democracy and liberalism. Could you explain?

Modern democracy hinges on the right to take part in government, and is based on some idea of popular sovereignty. Modern liberalism grows out of a revulsion against the violence of the French Revolution, which put democracy on the agenda of modern politics. Modern liberals vary in their positive views, but some stress free markets as a check on government power; other stress juridical limits on state power; while still others looking to a powerful administrative state to curtail the excesses of raw capitalism, as an antidote to revolutionary forms of democratic socialism and communism.

How has the meaning of democracy changed over time?

The core of its meaning - literally, in the Greek, people power - hasn't changed much at all. But what the power of a people in practice means has varied quite a bit. In ancient Athens, ordinary citizens governed the city directly in regular popular assemblies, and staffed up the administration and justice systems through random selection by lot. In modern democratic societies, citizens characteristically get to choose periodically among professional politicians, and in some societies they also have a right to free speech, and to protest peacefully in between elections.

How does democracy slip into despotism?

The ancient authorities, Plato for example, assumed ordinary people would attempt to redistribute the wealth of richer citizens, which in fact happened to some extent in ancient Athens - they feared that ordinary people, as a group, could exercise a kind of tyranny over those who were wealthier and better educated. They also feared that ordinary people would rally around a popular leader (or "demagogue"), who might gradually assume tyrannical powers, though such powers were in fact quite difficult to obtain in ancient Athens. In modern democracies, unfortunately, it is easier for a single person, even if democratically elected by the people, to try to usurp the powers of legislatures and courts - this is the threat we currently see in countries as different as Hungary, Poland, the United States and Brazil.

What are some of the most common misconceptions about democracy?

In the UK and US, many people simply assume that liberal and democratic institutions and norms are mutually reinforcing, rather than standing in tension, if not contradiction. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a lot of people also assumed that liberal democracy is the logical end of political history, and that the world was on the right political path. Those assumptions were obviously mistaken.

How would you view the election of Donald Trump in relation to modern democracy?

It is a notable irony of the American situation that Donald Trump became President because of the most undemocratic feature of the US Constitution (which was designed specifically to thwart majorities, and limit the power of ordinary citizens): the Electoral College. He was not supported by the majority of Americans who voted in 2016. In that sense, Trump lacks the kind of democratic legitimacy enjoyed by the current rulers of Poland, Hungary and Brazil.

What about Britain’s Brexit vote?

This will surely go down in history as one of the biggest political blunders and unforced errors made by a duly elected Prime Minister. Why would an avowed conservative like David Cameron think it wise to ask ordinary citizens to vote on a complex and fairly technical policy matter in an up or down referendum vote? His was the hubris of a technocratic liberal, a professional politician who in fact holds ordinary people in contempt, and therefore assumes they will follow the lead of elite opinion. Oops.

You talk about “new ways” in which democratic systems (and people’s faith in them) might be restored. What might those new ways look like?

What I wrote in my book was that "we should explore new ways to foster a tolerant ethos that accepts, and can acknowledge, that there are many incompatible form of life, and forms of politics, not always directly democratic or participatory, in which humans can flourish." It was a bit of a wan prayer, to be honest. But I also meant to suggest that the modern faith in democracy is sometimes otiose, even perverse. It should be tempered by a certain humility, and sense of "the enigma of life," as Vaclav Havel once put it. We shouldn't let democracy be turned into a pseudo-scientific utopia.

Are you optimistic for the future of democracy?

My outlook is perhaps best summed up in a phrase of Romain Rolland, repeated by Gramsci in his prison writings: "pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will."


          Don’t Deport Pakistani Asylum Seekers      Cache   Translate Page      

(Bangkok, November 6, 2018,) The Thai government should ensure that recently arrested Pakistani asylum seekers are not returned to face persecution, torture, or other serious abuse in Pakistan, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the Thai prime minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha. Almost all of the dozens of detained asylum seekers are from Christian and Ahmadiyya communities that have been prosecuted under discriminatory laws or attacked by religious extremists in Pakistan.

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) should have constant and unimpeded access to the Pakistani asylum seekers to help ensure that no one is deported to a place where their lives or freedom are threatened, under the international customary law principle of nonrefoulement.

“The Thai government may not fully appreciate the grave dangers facing Pakistani Christians and Ahmadis back in Pakistan,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “It’s critically important for Thai authorities to free Pakistanis recognized as refugees from detention and not to return any into harm’s way in violation of international law.”

Pakistani refugees and asylum seekers have been targeted for arrest and prosecution for illegal entry or visa overstays as a part of a Thai immigration crackdown called Operation X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner in which thousands of people have been detained. In a number of instances, immigration raids have targeted buildings where Pakistani and other South Asian community members live.

Thai authorities should not detain recognized refugees under any circumstances, Human Rights Watch said. The Thai authorities should recognize the critical importance of careful case-by-case consideration of asylum claims and abide by UNHCR determinations to ensure respect for the principle of nonrefoulement. They should also ensure compliance with Thailand’s obligations under the UN Convention against Torture.

Source: 
https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/05/thailand-dont-deport-pakistani-asylum-seekers

          UN body petitioned over the longest ongoing detention of a lèse-majesté defendant      Cache   Translate Page      

Bangkok, Paris, 5 November 2018: FIDH and its partner organization Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) today petitioned the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) to seek the release of lèse-majesté defendant Siraphop Kornaroot. Since August 2012, the WGAD has found the detention of seven other individuals detained under Article 112 of the Thai Criminal Code (lèse-majesté) to be “arbitrary.”

Siraphop, 55, has been detained for more than four years and four months - the longest time for a person currently charged or serving a prison sentence under Article 112. Siraphop was arrested on 1 July 2014 in Bangkok and is currently incarcerated at the Bangkok Remand Prison. Since July 2014, the Bangkok Military Court has rejected Siraphop’s bail applications seven times, the most recent today, 5 November 2018. His trial before the Bangkok Military Court has been ongoing since 24 September 2014.

“The detention and prosecution of Siraphop Kornaroot violate his fundamental rights to liberty, freedom of expression, and a fair trial – all rights guaranteed by international treaties to which Thailand is a state party. It is very disturbing that after more than four years there is no end in sight for Siraphop’s trial and the military court, which should not try civilians in the first place, continues to deny him bail,” said FIDH Vice-President Adilur Rahman Khan.

Siraphop has been detained and prosecuted for the exercise of his right to freedom of opinion and expression. He was charged with violations of Article 112 of the Criminal Code and Articles 14(3) and 14(5) of the 2007 Computer Crimes Act in connection with three posts he had made online on 7 November 2009, 15 December 2013, and 22 January 2014. Police deemed these posts (which included a poem and two caricatures) to be offensive to the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away on 13 October 2016. Siraphop was held in pre-trial detention for the maximum period allowed by Thai law (84 days), before the start of his trial on 24 September 2014.

The case of Siraphop shows that there are still many individuals who continue to languish in jail as a result of the abuse of lèse-majesté since the May 2014 military coup. Until Article 112 is reformed and brought into compliance with international law, the risk of arbitrary detentions and unfair prosecutions for lèse-majesté remains high,” said TLHR Head Yaowalak Anuphan.

Article 112 imposes jail terms for those who defame, insult, or threaten the King, the Queen, the Heir to the throne, or the Regent. Persons found guilty of violating Article 112 face prison terms of three to 15 years for each count.

FIDH and TLHR call for the immediate and unconditional release of Siraphop and for all the charges against him to be dropped. FIDH and TLHR also urge the government to end the abuse of lèse-majesté and immediately and unconditionally release those detained or imprisoned under Article 112 for the mere exercise of their fundamental right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Since the 22 May 2014 coup, at least 127 people have been arrested for violating Article 112. Fifty-seven of them have been sentenced to prison terms of up to 35 years. At the time of the military takeover, there were six individuals behind bars on lèse-majesté charges.

In the last several years, many UN bodies have repeatedly expressed their concern over the prosecutions, the prolonged detentions, and the lengthy prison sentences under Article 112. They have called for the amendment of Article 112 and the release of lèse-majesté detainees, emphasizing that the deprivation of liberty stemming from the enforcement of lèse-majesté is inconsistent with Thailand’s obligations under international law with regard to the right to freedom of opinion and expression.


The International Federation for Human Rights, known by its French acronym FIDH, is an international human rights NGO representing 184 organizations from 112 countries. Since 1922, FIDH has been defending all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights as set out in the Universal Declaration for Human Rights.

Source: 
https://www.fidh.org/en/region/asia/thailand/un-body-petitioned-over-the-longest-ongoing-detention-of-a-lese

          UN agencies immune to litigation: Malaba      Cache   Translate Page      
UNITED Nations (UN) agencies and other international organisations operating in Zimbabwe enjoy absolute immunity from every form of legal process and execution instituted in the local courts, including labour suits, Chief Justice Luke Malaba has ruled.
          Iconic Washington Painting Restored at the GW Memorial      Cache   Translate Page      
George Washington as Master of His Lodge (1932) by Hattie Burdette
(Image before its restoration)
On Thursday this past week, the George Washington National Masonic Memorial in Alexandria proudly reinstalled a famous Masonic portrait of Washington, dressed in the regalia of Worshipful Master of Virginia's Alexandria-Washington Lodge 22. The Memorial recently undertook the task of having the original painting restored, and it now hangs near the Memorial's South Lodge Room.

It was just in time. 

This evening - Sunday, November 4th, 2018 - marks the 266th anniversary of the initiation of then 20 year-old George Washington into the Lodge at Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1752.


If this portrait looks familiar to many of you, it should. The portrait was commissioned in 1931 by Freemason and U.S. Congressman Sol Bloom for the George Washington Bicentennial Commission, and painted by artist Hattie Elizabeth Burdette (1875-1955). It depicts Washington presiding as Master of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22, gavel in hand. If not the most famous image of Washington as a Freemason, it's arguably the most widely circulated one that is seen regularly in lodges all across the United States. Yet, it was commissioned by a Congressional committee and paid for by the government, not Masons. Imagine such a proposal today.

How is it that this particular painting of Brother George dressed as Worshipful Master wind up in so many American lodges? According to William D. Moore and John D. Hamilton's detailed essay, 'Washington As the Master of His Lodge: History and Symbolism of an American Icon',

New York Congressman Sol Bloom, director of [the Memorial] and a member of New York's Pacific Lodge No. 233, took pride in his agency's insistence on "realism." In consultation with F. Walter Mueller, a member of Century Lodge No. 100 in South Orange, New Jersey, Bloom reviewed many Masonic portraits of Washington before rejecting them all as inaccurate. He then hired Burdette to- create a portrait in which the figure was based upon Houdon's statue of Washington while the overall work incorporated the relics maintained by Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22... As well as appearing repeatedly both in the Masonic press and in publications of the Washington Bicentennial Commission, more than fifteen hundred photolithographic reproductions of Burdette's painting were distributed by congressmen to Masonic organizations throughout the United States.
Brother Sol Bloom
Brother Sol Bloom represented the 20th Congressional District (Manhattan's west side) in the House of  Representatives, serving fourteen terms from 1923 until his death in 1949. As a Mason, he was a member of New York City's Pacific Lodge 233. During the critical years leading up to and through the end of World War II, he was Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and he later went on to become one of the first signers of the United Nations charter. 

Prior to his congressional career, he had been both a newspaper and music publisher. He also understood showmanship. Early in life he was a theatrical and boxing manager, and he had been the creator of the Midway of the famous Chicago Columbian Exhibition in 1893.

In 1931, Bloom was named Director of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial's Bicentennial Committee, commemorating the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth the following year. On that date, the new Masonic Memorial towering above Alexandria would be dedicated and opened to the public. Bloom requested eight Washington D.C. area artists to each create a poster which would be used to promote the national celebration of Washington's birthday in 1932. Artist Hattie E. Burdette asked permission of Alexandria-Washington Lodge 22 to use their lodge room and Washington's Masonic gavel, sash, Past Master's jewel, his chair, and other items to depict in her painting. 


Teft Johnson, George's stand-in
Her model was Teft Johnson (photo), an actor who portrayed the role of Washington in several historical plays under the direction of famed Broadway producer David Belasco. Of all the posters submitted, Burdette's was selected by the Commission to advertise the Memorial's dedication.

On November 29, 1931, Congress and the National Bicentennial Commission decided that second week of May in 1932 would be set aside as Masonic Week. Consequently, May 12th would be the official opening and dedication of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial

Invitations to this gala event were sent to thousands of American citizens and to regular Freemasons around the world. Although not a Mason himself, President Herbert Hoover and the First Lady were among the first to accept the invitation. Others included every member of Congress, the Justices of the Supreme Court and members of President Hoover’s cabinet, along with all 49 of the Grand Masters of the U.S. The mayor of Alexandria, the governor of Virginia, and many other government, military, religious and civic leaders joined the celebration. 

President and Mrs. Hoover leaving the Memorial on May 12th, 1932
As bad luck would have it, a torrential five-day downpour nearly ruined the ceremony - 50,000 attendees and onlookers had been expected and planned for, but the rain and flooding kept all but 1,500 from attending at the Memorial itself. Bleachers outside sat wet and empty as reportedly hundreds of onlookers watched from the bottom of Shooters Hill safe and dry, huddled in railroad coaches at the Alexandria train station.

On September 17, 1932 Teft Johnson again portrayed Washington for a reenactment of the President laying the cornerstone of the United States Capitol with full Masonic ceremony. The cornerstone ceremony reenactment was filmed by the Bicentennial Commission.

I am told with as much confidence as is possible that reproductions of Hattie Burdette's painting were circulated to every U.S. lodge possessing a charter in 1932, and that even today, every lodge in Virginia still has one hanging in its building. The original hung in the U.S. Capitol throughout 1932, and was then gifted to the George Washington National Masonic Memorial when the year was over.

And to come full circle, the historic Bible upon which young Brother George placed his hands that evening in Fredericksburg 266 years ago when he took his obligation as an Entered Apprentice is still preserved by Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4. The lodge has recently started a restoration fund to have the fragile book properly curated for future generations. We were honored to have it here in Indiana for our Grand Lodge Bicentennial and the Conference of Grand Masters this year.



          Record 435 Afghans killed or wounded in legislative poll: UN      Cache   Translate Page      
More than 400 Afghans were killed or wounded in poll-related violence during three days of voting last month, the United Nations said Tuesday, making the parliamentary ballot the deadliest on record. The vast majority of the 435 casualties — 56 dead
          UN must bring more women police officers into the fold       Cache   Translate Page      
More women officers are needed at UN Police, to make the work of the Organization more efficient and reach the whole population they are meant to serve, a senior United Nations peacekeeping official told the Security Council on Tuesday, adding that, ...
          Children at risk as clashes in Hudaydah near hospital      Cache   Translate Page      
Intense fighting near a major hospital in the Yemeni port city of Hudaydah has put scores of children at “imminent risk of death”, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Tuesday, calling on the warring parties to stop hostilities ...
          ISIL’s ‘legacy of terror’ in Iraq: Over 200 Mass Graves      Cache   Translate Page      
Investigators have uncovered more than 200 mass graves containing thousands of bodies in areas of Iraq formerly controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), according to a United Nations human rights report out on Tuesday.
          Magraw & Puig: Greening Investor-State Dispute Settlements      Cache   Translate Page      
Daniel Magraw (Center for International Environmental Law) & Sergio Puig (Univ. of Arizona - Law) have posted Greening Investor-State Dispute Settlements (Boston College Law Review, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Climate change poses serious threats to human society. Climate change is already affecting our environment and thus, many aspects of human and economic activity. Among the challenges ahead, governments will need to more actively adopt regulatory policies given the international obligations in this area, such as the Paris Agreement, as well as promote green private investment as a means toward unlocking sustainable growth. How can international investment law be adapted and modernized to respond to these challenges? In this Essay, we summarize a comprehensive set of innovations that could be included in International Investment Agreements to address international obligations regarding climate change. Our discussion, based on a Green Treaty Model, first stresses the role of balanced obligations for investors and host countries, and then focuses on dispute settlement. We conclude by explaining how the current process of reform under the auspices of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law can be used for a more ambitious transformation of international investment; a transformation in which investment treaties can act as catalysts for green foreign direct investment necessary to reverse the momentum for climate change already built into the atmosphere.

          Call for Papers: Global Governance at a Critical Moment: Insights from Asia       Cache   Translate Page      
A call for papers has been issued by the Japan Chapter of the Asian Society of International Law for its 10th Anniversary Annual Conference, to be held July 14, 2019, at Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo. The theme is: "Global Governance at a Critical Moment: Insights from Asia." Here's the call:
Call for Papers

The Japan Chapter of the Asian Society of International Law

The 10th Anniversary Annual Conference

14 July 2019

Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan

All academics, practitioners, lawyers, and government officials around the world are invited to submit a proposal.

Conference Theme: Global Governance at a Critical Moment: Insights from Asia

The year 2019 will mark a century since the signing of the Covenant of the League of Nations. In the wake of the two world wars, people pledged to establish conditions under which justice and respect for international law can be maintained.

International organizations and institutions, including treaty and non-treaty bodies as well as administrative and judicial bodies, have since been developed in the pursuit of peace and prosperity. They range from universal organizations, such as the United Nations, to regional ones, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Their respective mandates extend over a wide range of areas such as security, environment, human rights, economy, and dispute settlement. They have been lauded as contributing to global governance, of which Asia has been both a beneficiary and a promoter.

Today, distrust of international organizations and institutions is spreading among people. They are being criticized for not only failing to properly address the concerns of the international community but also undermining its essential values. The demand for the restructuring of global governance is growing. Amid the rise of populism, global governance stands at a crossroads of demise or resurrection. The objective of the Conference is to look back at the history of global governance and look ahead to its future.

Proposals for papers are welcome in all areas of international law, including:

  • theory and history of international law
  • international organizations and other systems and institutions
  • international dispute settlement, including international courts and tribunals
  • security
  • international humanitarian law
  • international environmental and energy law
  • law of the sea
  • international commercial law
  • international trade and investment law
  • international human rights law
Submission Details

Proposals must be sent to asiansil-jp2019@nifty.com by 31 January 2019.

Submission must include the following:

1. An abstract of an unpublished paper (The abstract must be no more than 500 words, including the title.)

2. The proposal author’s CV of no more than 2 pages (The CV must include the author’s contact details and a list of relevant publications. It should also indicate whether the author is a member of the Japan Chapter of the Asian Society of International Law and/or the Asian Society of International Law.)

*The abstract and the CV must be in English and in a single PDF file.

Review of Proposals

Proposals will be reviewed by the Research and Planning Committee of the Japan Chapter of the Asian Society of International Law. The authors of accepted proposals will be notified by early March 2019.

Full Papers

The authors of accepted proposals must submit a full paper by 30 June 2019. The paper must not be published elsewhere. The paper will be made available to the participants of the Conference.

Registration Fees and Expenses

All speakers and panelists are exempt from registration fees for the Conference. Please note that the registration fees do not include lunch and reception. All participants, including the speakers and panelists, must be able to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Best Paper Award

The Best Paper Award is awarded to a speaker who presents the best paper at the Conference. The awarded speaker will receive a grant of JPY50,000.

Language

The working language of the Conference is English. A few sessions in Japanese may be conducted concurrently.

Inquiries

For inquiries about the Conference, please contact asiansil-jp2019@nifty.com


          After Decades Of Global Action, The Ozone Layer Is On The Road To Recovery      Cache   Translate Page      

In a rare piece of good news about the environment — and proof of what concerted global action can achieve — the United Nations announced in a Monday report that the ozone layer, which was significantly damaged over the course of decades by humans, is on the road to recovery.

Parts of it could even be fully repaired by the 2030s, the report said. And if current rates of recovery continue, the entire protective layer ― even the highly depleted parts over the poles ― could heal completely by 2060.

The ozone layer’s recuperation has been credited to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which mandated that countries phase out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting chemicals. The treaty, which was signed by 197 nations, has been described as the most successful environmental global action in history. 

“If ozone-depleting substances had continued to increase, we would have seen huge effects. We stopped that,” Paul Newman, a NASA scientist and co-chairman of the new UN report, told the AP. He noted that if nothing had been done, two-thirds of the ozone layer would have been destroyed by 2065. 

“It’s really good news,” Newman said of the protective layer’s recovery.

According to the report, the ozone layer, which protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, has been recovering steadily at a rate of 1 to 3 percent since 2000 thanks to the global efforts to reduce ozone-depleting chemicals. 

If this rate of recovery continues, the ozone layer over the northern hemisphere and mid-latitudes could heal completely by the 2030s, the report said. Over the southern hemisphere and the polar regions, full recovery of the layer could be expected to occur around 2050 and 2060, respectively.

Despite the promising news, scientists have cautioned against doing a “victory lap” too soon. Recent reports have found that emissions of a banned CFC are increasing in China — something the Chinese government has vowed to crack down on. And the Montreal Protocol is set to be enhanced in early 2019 with the ratification of the Kigali Amendment, which seeks to curb future climate change by targeting powerful greenhouse gases used in refrigeration and air conditioning. Newman said we’ll need to ensure that the replacements for these gases don’t worsen global warming.

Scientists have also noted that the recovery of the ozone layer above Antarctica could slightly worsen the impacts of climate change in that region as the hole in the protective layer there has shielded the area from the full impacts of global warming. It’s unclear, however, how much more warming can be expected once the Antarctic ozone hole heals. 

“I don’t think we can do a victory lap until 2060,” Newman told AP.  “That will be for our grandchildren to do.”

Still, the UN said they were heartened by their findings about the ozone layer ― and what its recovery could mean for future climate action.

“The Montreal Protocol is one of the most successful multilateral agreements in history for a reason,” Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, said in a statement. “The careful mix of authoritative science and collaborative action that has defined the Protocol for more than 30 years and was set to heal our ozone layer is precisely why the Kigali Amendment holds such promise for climate action in future.” 


          Panglima TNI Sematkan Satyalancana Santi Dharma Personel Satgas MTF TNI Konga XXVIII-J UNIFIL      Cache   Translate Page      

intelijen – Panglima TNI Marsekal TNI Hadi Tjahjanto, S.I.P., menyematkan tanda kehormatan Satyalancana Santi Dharma kepada personel Satuan Tugas (Satgas) Maritime Task Force (MTF) TNI Kontingen Garuda (Konga) XXVIII-J/Unifil (United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon) dan personel Military Observer pada misi Minusca Central Afrika serta personel Staff Officer pada misi Unisfa pada saat upacara penerimaan... Read more »

The post Panglima TNI Sematkan Satyalancana Santi Dharma Personel Satgas MTF TNI Konga XXVIII-J UNIFIL appeared first on INTELIJEN.


          United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)      Cache   Translate Page      
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          United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)      Cache   Translate Page      
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          A ‘Legacy of Terror’: ISIS Left More than 200 Mass Graves in Iraq      Cache   Translate Page      
BAGHDAD — Over 200 mass graves holding as many as 12,000 bodies have been found in areas of Iraq once controlled by the Islamic State, the United Nations said on Tuesday. The findings were highlighted in a joint report released by the United Nations mission to Iraq and the Office of the High Commissioner for […]
          As Famine Looms in Yemen, Saudi-Led Coalition Redoubles Attacks      Cache   Translate Page      
HUDAYDAH, Yemen — The fight in Yemen has escalated drastically over the past week, exacerbating a dire humanitarian crisis that the United Nations says could spiral into famine — despite, or even because of, a diplomatic push by the United States to get both sides to the peace table. The Saudi-led coalition, which the United […]
          Itb-Ukra-2018-30/Litb-2018-9143768 So 20201992 – Circuit Breakers And Other Equipment      Cache   Translate Page      
Documents :
LITB-2018-9143768 (eng)
LITB-2018-9143768 (ukr)
9143768_Annex B
9143768_Annex C - Vendor registration form

Overview :

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF)
INVITATION TO BID (ITB) – reference ITB-UKRA-2018-30/LITB-2018-9143768

Subject: SO 20201992 – Circuit breakers and other equipment.     

Date: 25th of October, 2018.
Expires on: Thursday, 8st November 2018, at 15:00 Kyiv time.

Address for Bids delivery: the sealed envelope with your Tender proposal (1)completed, signed and stamped BID FORM (pages 3-7); (2) commercial offer completed with UAH Net Amount and Lead Time for each offered item; (3) Income Statement/Profit and Loss Statement; (4) Balance Sheet; (5) Registration Certificate (only companies, or at least the lead entity in case of joint venture/consortium/association, which are duly registered in Ukraine are eligible for submitting the proposals to this tender; (6) reference letters (with confirmation that during recent 2 years minimum 3 contracts were successfully completed and delivered) with indication of year of contract’s issue, client’s name and contacts; (7) Licenses and VAT Registration Certificate (copy)/Single tax payer (if applicable); (8) statement of cash flows, if available; (9) statement of changes in shareholders’ equity, if available; (10) report from the external auditor, if available; (11) notes to the financial statements, if available; (12) all documents requested from suppliers for each item; (13) mandatory documentation, unless the same the same information has been provided within the last 12 month: (i) VENDOR MASTER REGISTRATION TEMPLATE FOR GSSC, (ii) bank certification letter, (iii) copy of charter of bidding company) in a sealed envelope with the quotation number (LITB-2018-9143768) shall be delivered to tender box placed in UNICEF office at 28 Institutska Str. by 15:00 of 8.11.2018.

Inquiries may be addressed to e-mail: dgalic@unicef.org and mkazachynska@unicef.org

 See attached files:

  1. 9143768_Annex B;
  2. 9143768_Annex C - Vendor registration form;
  3. LITB-2018-9143768 (eng);
  4. LITB-2018-9143768 (ukr).

          Former Bellevue medical director finds second career as TV writer      Cache   Translate Page      

Public hospital setting gives NBC’s New Amsterdam the chance to explore race, gender, opioid addiction, and other social issues

Having served as medical director at Bellevue Hospital from 1997 to 2012, Dr. Eric Manheimer is now re-creating his experiences on NBC's New Amsterdam. The show, based on Manheimer's 2012 book, Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital, recounts the daily challenges and goings-on at a cash-strapped public hospital in Manhattan and mirrors Manheimer's experience with throat cancer. The adaptation centers on Dr. Max Goodwin, the rebellious medical director at New Amsterdam Hospital, portrayed by actor Ryan Eggold, as he shakes up the staff, faces a gas leak at the United Nations and treats a patient suspected of having Ebola—all in the first episode. The network picked up the show for a full 22 episodes after its first three airings.

I was pretty hard-charging. The issues were dire. The No. 1 goal was the training of house staff and the medical students. The idea was to get it 100% patient-focused. Max is the young me. He has got a tremendous amount of drive and energy. He's not compliant. He's not afraid of taking on complicated issues. Not everybody likes him, and he's not there to be liked.

I closed the program down for a year. We rebuilt it, and it became a very excellent program. With the state Department of Health, we were able to put it on hold. We had the talent. But it's like a basketball team where no one talks to each other. It was getting people to communicate and trust each other and to be able to critique each other without taking it personally.

I had four networks interested in buying it, and I interviewed them. I chose NBC because David Schulner, the showrunner, had the clearest idea of maintaining the notion of the social issues, including race, gender, mass incarceration, the opioid epidemic, obesity, chronic disease and mental health, that were going to be illustrated by the patients. 

I start off in the morning and I go over scripts that I've gotten emailed to me from L.A. I send corrections back with my thoughts. One of my jobs is to keep an ongoing, detailed log of key issues that come up [in the news]. I try to get several hours on the set. I'm working on another book, so I try to spend a couple of hours on that every day. It's a busy day but fun.

 

There were two—not because they were bad but because they were so successful that you've had enough. One was Grey's Anatomy—the relationship between the house staff that was in a telenovela style but not getting into the weeds enough. The other was House, who was a Sherlock Holmesian character. Medicine is a lot more than these oddball diagnoses.

In a hospital, there are good days and bad days, but the people collaborate. We're trying to get people to realize there's too much medicine. There's too much overprescription of medication. When you see someone walking out of the hospital with eight prescriptions, that's bad medicine. 

 


          Prophetic Dreams Precede God's Power at Work in Peru      Cache   Translate Page      

Getting ready for my fifth short-term mission trip was the smoothest yet. I had peace because I knew the organizers of the trip, the weather would be on the chilly side in Lima and for the first time, I didn't even need any shots.

I had seen God work in miraculous ways in my past trips, so I went with great anticipation for what God would do in Peru.

It didn't even bother me much that I was the lone New Yorker on this team of 136 missionaries who would saturate Lima with the love of Jesus.

Leading up to this trip, I had seen a lot of my friends and coworkers in dreams. I felt prompted to tell some of them the dreams, and to my surprise it would mean something to them. It would be a word of confirmation or an invitation to share the struggle they were going through, and they would ask me to pray for them. I perceived the Lord was testing me to see if I would deliver the messages to the people. I asked one prayer warrior on the team about this, and she nonchalantly said the Lord was training me to hear from Him. I welcomed the training and by now knew God wanted to do something special in Peru.

Three powerful dreams also stood out as my trip drew closer. In one dream, I prayed for a woman, and she was delivered from her affliction. In a second dream, I was bitten by a serpent and was able to shake it off. In a third dream, I saw a dead man rise and sit up. I knew these dreams were all symbolic, but they reminded me of various Bible accounts, including Luke 10:17–20, when Jesus sent out the 72 to preach the gospel and heal the sick. I could tell the Lord was increasing my faith for this next mission. And He was reminding me of the authority we have in Him. I looked forward to seeing how God would show up in Peru.

Once in Lima, we had a packed week of street outreaches in the plazas and parks. We prayerfully picked a spot, set up our amplifier, blasted upbeat Christian songs and danced in the street. We then shared short testimonies, did a few skits, and ended with the drama we performed in Honduras and invited people to that Saturday's festival.

Prayer in the Park

The location for our final ministry stop for the week changed at the last minute. We had planned to visit a school, but we were redirected to a nearby park, which was mainly concrete. I must admit I wasn't enthused about going there because we would be visiting other Christians. I didn't mind ministering to other Christians, but our presentation was geared toward unbelievers.

Still, I trusted there was a reason why we were sent there and was happy to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ.

We walked around the corner and found a grassy area and started our presentation.

This would be the team's last performance of the drama, and I had volunteered to reprise my role of "death" that I hadn't performed since Honduras.

Hidden behind a mask again, I transformed into the evil role. I tried to embody sin, temptation and death. I wanted the onlookers to be impacted and to cheer when the guy playing Jesus defeated the enemy.

My teammates were surprised that I was so good at playing bad. I was glad to reprise that despicable role that one time in Peru for the glory of God.

We then invited the crowd to accept Jesus and prayed for them.

When my teammate and I were finished praying with a little boy and his father, we returned to where the rest of the team was. They were still praying for people. I noticed a person lying on the ground. That was astonishing enough, but then I looked around and noticed people lying on the ground all around. Speechless, all I could do was whip out my phone and snap pictures to document this holy moment. It was as if the power of the Holy Spirit had breathed on them and knocked them down all at once.

I knew this was common in some churches, but I was in awe that it was happening right in front of my eyes in this little park in Lima, Peru. And to think we weren't supposed to make this stop.

I can only say that God knew His people in this area needed a fresh touch from Him. It was truly a wonder to see His people be ministered to while on the ground and to rise up refreshed and restored.

Is God still moving among His people on the earth? Yes! {eoa}

Nancy Gavilanes is an author, speaker, life coach and evangelist who has a passion to encourage people to live their God-given dreams. She is the author of By Faith, Waiting on God Well, Abounding Faith and Crossing Your Jordan River. Nancy has a master's degree in journalism from New York University, has been on short-term missions trips to five countries and has spoken to various groups, including to Christians working at the United Nations, students at Nyack College, and has given her brief testimony at her home church, Times Square Church. Connect with Nancy at AboundingFaith.com.

This article is an excerpt from By Faith


          Everyone knows settlers (jewish terrorists) cut down Palestinian olive trees. But israel (apartheid state) doesn’t care      Cache   Translate Page      
 by Amira Hass

Everyone knows settlers cut down Palestinian olive trees. But Israel doesn’t care

Israelis coming from a nearby northern West Bank outpost damage trees, steal olives and throw stones, yet the Palestinian villagers say involving the police is a waste of time

The October 4 video looks like the scene of an olive harvest. After all, it’s that season. Two young people, at least one of whom is a minor, are holding a large tarp. The smaller of the two of them is holding a stick and hitting a tree, but rather than knocking off the olives, the blows break the tree’s branches.
The olive trees in the West Bank Palestinian village of Burin in the northern West Bank do not belong to these young men, and no one gave them permission to harvest olives in this grove west of the Hawara checkpoint. They are unmistakably Jewish. Their white skullcaps, sidecurls and tzitzit ritual fringes make that clear.
A Burin resident who will be identified only as N. was asked to film what was happening. He managed to get to the scene around 20 minutes later. He called the police, and by the time they arrived, 15 to 20 minutes later, he had managed to film the young men hitting three trees.
When the intruders saw a police vehicle, they fled. Three sacks of olives would later be found by police in one of two abandoned houses in the grove, one of which belongs to the owner of the grove. The second house belongs to a family from Nablus whom Jews evicted, tossing out all their furniture and belongings, at the beginning of the second intifada, around two decades ago, N. said. That family has never returned to live there.
The two homes and the hundreds of dunams of privately owned land around them are considered a dangerous area that Palestinians need to coordinate with the Israeli army to enter. Permission is only granted two or three times a year. Why is it dangerous? Because the area also has a spring that had been used to irrigate Burin’s groves for years. Israelis have turned it into a religious ritual bath and leisure spot.
It is a also near the Jewish settlement of Har Bracha and the unauthorized outpost of Givat Ronen. To avoid “friction,” the Israeli authorities bar the Palestinian owners of the land from access to it.
The policemen eventually found the young men with the ritual fringes under a large tree. N. saw them being taken away in the police car. When the owner of the olive grove arrived, he discovered that other trees had been hit in the same way, apparently two or three days earlier, and that a considerable portion of the olives were no longer there.
The spokesman’s office for the West Bank district of the Israel Police issued the following statement on the case: “Due to the decisive action of the Israel Police, three juvenile suspects were arrested for suspected agricultural theft and racially motivated offenses. The investigation is still underway, and when it’s concluded, the case will be transferred for review and a decision by the State Prosecutor’s Office.”
N. was asked to come to the police station at the West Bank settlement of Ariel to provide an account of the incident. “Not inside it, but outside the eastern gate of the settlement,” he said, adding that the policeman used the exterior of his cruiser as a desk in writing out N.’s account. N. does not remember the number of times he has reported to the police about similar incidents in his village. But the villagers’ complaints have never resulted in criminal charges or convictions that might deter others.
According to United Nations figures and information supplied by N., the recent olive theft was one of 48 acts of violence and vandalism by Israeli civilians in Burin alone in the past three years. There were six attacks in 2016; 18 in 2017; and 24 so far this year. The nature of the incidents has varied: raids by civilians accompanied by soldiers who have provided them cover; stone throwing at people, including shepherds and houses; the torching of fields and orchards; the theft of olives; trees that have been chopped down or damaged; and attacks on farmers at work.
On Saturday, October 20, Palestinian farmers were permitted access to their land near the settlement of Yitzhar for the sole purpose of harvesting olives, and only with prior coordination with the army. One farmer’s grove is in the wadi, N. said. When he came to harvest his olives, there was a military jeep there. As the soldiers in the jeep looked on, 12 Israelis descended from one of Yizhar’s mushrooming outposts, and threw stones at him, he said. But someone called the Border Police and when they arrived, the intruders scattered. As a result of the incident, the farmer was given special permission to work on his plot on another day — last Tuesday.
A week earlier, on October 13, N. was present for an olive harvest on land belonging to villagers from Burin and Hawara, south of Givat Ronen. It was the same story: Israelis descended from the outpost to throw stones, and the olive pickers fled. Then one of the Israelis approached the tarps on which the olives had been gathered, tossed the olives into the brush and took the tarps. “And everything was caught on video,” N. said.
Since 2016, individual Israelis have staged raids at the nearby village of Urif 16 times and 35 times at Hawara. According to United Nations figures, of the 99 attacks documented in these three neighboring villages, 13 involved arson. At least 1,700 trees and large amounts of crops have been vandalized in the three villages over the course of the last three years.
Madama, Asira al-Qibliya and Einabus are also on the list of villages that have been hit within the same territory of 25-square kilometer (16-mile). This is just a small portion — half a percent — of the West Bank, and it is the subject of a recent report issued by the Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din, which focuses on that violent epicenter. The report is entitled “Yizhar — A Case Study: Settler violence as a vehicle for taking over Palestinian land with state and military backing.”
Yesh Din has documented 275 attacks against these six villages between 2008 and 2018 that were allegedly committed by Israeli citizens. There are other such cases in this area, but these are the ones that Yesh Din documented. In 167 of the documented cases, the Palestinian victims filed complaints with the police. As of May of this year, 152 complaints had been processed. Only five (3 percent) ended in an indictment, while 117 (77 percent) were closed because the perpetrator could not be identified. Another 22 cases (14 percent) were closed due to insufficient evidence.
These statistics and rate of impunity are similar to data on crimes against Palestinians for the West Bank as a whole. In October alone, the Israeli organizations B’Tselem and Yesh Din documented 12 cases of attacks on olive harvesters or damage to trees allegedly committed by Israelis in the central West Bank.
In a response for this article, the Israel Police West Bank district spokesman’s office, said it was unaware of the statistics and could not determine their reliability.
The army and police are both aware that the groves that have been hit are prone to such assaults carried out by Israelis, since they have been attacked in the past. Palestinian access to them is usually restricted. Since the beginning of the second intifada, which erupted in 2000, it has generally been limited to two or three times a year. Dozens of trees are usually damaged in each attack, meaning that several people are involved.
When the trees are young, they can be easily uprooted, but more mature trees require an electric saw. This means the attack requires planning, and even if there are two saws, cutting them down takes time and makes a lot of noise. In other words, the assailants likely feel fairly confident that they will not be punished, even if they are caught.
The areas are dotted with army surveillance cameras. At times, the attacks (mainly arson and assaults on harvesters) have been carried out with soldiers present. The material damage is extensive, and the emotional damage cannot be quantified.
Muhammad Awwad of the village of Turmus Ayya is 80 years old. Agriculture is his main source of income, and he is considered one of the major farmers in the area. He told Iyad Haddad, a B’Tselem fieldworker, of his shock when he came to his grove on October 7, in coordination with the army. He discovered that dozens of olive trees had been destroyed, their branches severed from the trees’ trunks. “I thought I was imagining,” he said.
The trees were of particularly high quality and were planted 40 years ago. An officer from the Israeli District Coordination and Liaison Administration, along with a policeman and a soldier, arrived, but Awwad told Haddad categorically: “I have no desire wasting my time filing a complaint that isn’t worth it and the results of which are known in advance.”
In fact, in recent years, both B’Tselem and Yesh Din researchers have noted a clear drop in the number of Palestinian victims who bother to complain to the police over such incidents.
For his part, Abu Atta of the village of Awarta did file a complaint in October 2017 about the theft of his olives. The prospect that his complaint would be investigated and turned into an indictment as an example to others was ostensibly high. After all, it was no less than an Israeli officer at the Israeli District Coordination and Liaison Administration who caught the Israeli citizen stealing olives from the Palestinian grove near the entrance to the settlement of Itamar. He had photographed the thief and even took the trouble to seek out the owner of the plot, Abu Atta, and to help him file a complaint.
An investigation closed
A team from Yesh Din and lawyer Michael Sfard sought to monitor the progress of the investigation of the theft of Abu Atta’s olives, but they received no information for six months. To their surprise, in August, they were informed that it had been decided to close the case without even questioning the suspect. Sfard wrote to Israeli attorney and officer Gil Deshe at the Samaria district of the Israeli police, to ask why. He also asked that a Yesh Din representative be allowed to photocopy the investigation file.
At the end of September, Deshe, replied that the file was closed due to lack of public interest, which is why he would not allow the file to be copied. Sfard has since filed an appeal over the closure of the case. Only following Haaretz questions 10 days ago, regarding the case, was Sfard informed that the file could in fact be copied.
“This story isn’t any different from hundreds of other cases that were closed without [questioning] suspects, without indictments and without even a real investigation,” Sfard told Haaretz. “What was new this time was that I got an official confirmation from the law enforcement system of what we’ve known for a long time: that harm inflicted on a Palestinian farmer doesn’t interest them.” In comments relating to Deshe’s official response, Sfard said Deshe had “so internalized the spirit of the times” that he forgot to engage in a “masquerade” and “simply told the truth: the case was closed because there’s no public interest.”
For its part, the spokesman’s office for the Israel Police in the West Bank said no request to photocopy the file had been made to the prosecutor’s office. “And to the extent that the complainant wishes to do so, he needs to submit an orderly request,” but it did not provide an explanation as to why the case was closed for lack of public interest.
Following Sfard’s filing of an appeal, “the prosecution is examining the investigation file and the existing evidence,” the spokesman’s office said.
The spokesman’s office also said that over the past month, the olive harvest has been taking place in the West Bank, and “security forces are deployed on the ground to prevent friction between the various populations, thereby enabling the Palestinians to harvest the olive trees that they own in their area.”
“The Israel Police regard any act of violence or thuggery as serious, and accordingly, whenever a complaint is received by the police, it is thoroughly investigated to arrive at the truth, regardless of the origin or identity of the victim or offender, or the location of the violation. The statistics presented [showing that most of the cases were closed] are not known to the police, and the extent of their reliability is not clear,” spokesman’s office said.
The statement continued: “What is clear is that in recent years, the police have been working to arrest and prosecute a large number of suspects for causing damage to and stealing Palestinian property. Therefore, despite the relatively low rate of complaints over damage to agricultural property, the police usually act on their own initiative, initiating an investigation and enforcement and prevention operations, together with the Israel army and security forces. The Israel Police will continue to act decisively, openly and covertly, together with the other security forces in the area and at the points of friction to prevent such incidents, enforce the law [and] investigate and prosecute those involved.”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

          Iran will break US sanctions: President Rouhani      Cache   Translate Page      


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gestures during a meeting with the directors and deputies of Iran's Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, in Tehran, the Iranian capital, on November 5, 2018. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran will break US sanctions: President Rouhani

Mon Nov 5, 2018 08:19AM
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran will break the sanctions imposed by the United States on Tehran as well as on countries that do business with it, shortly after a round of anti-Iran sanctions by America took effect.
Speaking at a meeting with the directors and deputies of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance on Monday, President Rouhani said, “We should break the sanctions very well, and we will do that.”
“With the help of the people, and the unity that exists in our society, we have to make the Americans understand that they must not use the language of force, pressure, and threats to speak to the great Iranian nation. They must be punished once and for all,” the Iranian president said.
The meeting and remarks came shortly after a new round of US sanctions took effect. The new bans target, among other things, Iran’s oil sales and Central Bank. More Iranian individuals have also been targeted by the US Department of the Treasury.
The US measures also include so-called secondary sanctions — punitive measures against third countries doing business with Iran.

Iranians trample on huge prints of US 100-dollar banknote images during a demonstration outside the former US embassy in the capital, Tehran, on November 4, 2018, to mark the anniversary of its takeover in 1979. (Photo by AFP)
US President Donald Trump introduced a first round of “primary” and “secondary” sanctions against Iran and its trade partners in August.
In May, he unilaterally pulled the US out of a multilateral deal with Iran. Two months later, footage reportedly came out in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed he had personally convinced Trump to withdraw from the Iran deal.
Iran struck the deal with originally six world powers and the European Union (EU) back in 2015, agreeing to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of restrictions mainly on its oil sales.
Despite the US withdrawal, Iran has stayed in the deal but has stressed that the other parties to the agreement have to work to offset the negative impacts of the US pullout. Europe has been taking a range of measures to meet the Iranian demand for practical guarantees.
President Rouhani said Europe, too, was angry at US policies.
“Today, what the Americans are doing is merely pressure [ordinary] people, and no one else. It’s pressure [that is being put] on [the Iranian] people, other nations, other [foreign] businesses, and other governments,” he said. “Today, we are not the only ones who are angry at US policies; even European businesses and governments are angered by US policies, too.”
The US had since the May 8 withdrawal designated November 4 as the date when it aimed to bring Iran’s oil sales down to “zero.” However, three days ahead of that much-advertised deadline, the US granted waivers to eight major state buyers of Iranian crude.
President Rouhani said US officials had in fact conceded defeat.
“They (the Americans) saw that they couldn’t replace [Iranian oil on the market]; and even assuming they did not concede defeat and did not grant waivers to countries, we would still be able to sell our oil [because] we have adequate capabilities to do that,” the Iranian president said.
‘Europeans want Trump gone’
In his Monday remarks, President Rouhani also said he believed that America had never before seen as lawless an administration as that of Trump’s.
He said all US administrations had violated international law, but “these (current officials) score on top on the lawlessness rankings.”
“I don’t recall a group assuming power at the White House that was racist as these,” the Iranian president said.
“This is not [just] us who wish for the life of this incumbent administration in the US to become shorter and shorter; their (the Americans’) own European allies have told me in [private] meetings that that is one of their wishes,” President Rouhani said.
‘Dialog needs no intermediary, but US must honor promises’
President Rouhani said that when he was in New York for the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in September, “the leaders of four major countries” sought to broker a meeting between him and the US president. He did not name those leaders.
The Iranian chief executive said, however, that there was no need for mediation.
“Honor your obligations first! We will speak then,” Rouhani said, addressing American officials. “We have no problem with talking. If our interlocutor honors its word and promises, what will be wrong with talking?”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meets with United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York, the US, on September 26, 2018, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. (Photo by AFP)
He noted that the unilateral withdrawal from the Iran deal has isolated the US.
“Just look at how many countries support the US move and how many don’t,” he said. “The fact America insists on something and the entire European Union resists that same thing is nothing simple. That means victory for [our] diplomacy and foreign policy.”
Earlier, President Rouhani’s chief of staff announced that Trump had eight times requested a meeting with the Iranian president while he was in New York but had been rejected all eight times.
‘Iran in economic war with US’ & ‘Iran’s economic problems will end’
President Rouhani also said that the Islamic Republic was engaged in “an economic war” with the US.
“We have to stand and fight, and win,” he said. “God will make us win.”
The Iranian president also said the current economic problems faced by Iran will not continue.
“We will re-launch economic growth. No one should think the trend we have been seeing in the past several months will continue like that. This trend will be stopped.”
Iran’s national currency has lost some of its value against the US dollar over the past months. While the Iranian rial has partially rebounded, it continues to be at a low exchange rate against the US dollar.
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          Did the Fledgling United Nations Have a Legitimate Mandate in 1947 to Partition Palestine?      Cache   Translate Page      
It is a fact that is hardly credible, but a fact nevertheless, that the vast majority of people, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim, have now little or no idea of the political machinations that brought about the establishment of an Israeli state in Palestine – a region that was predominately Muslim Arab for well over a thousand years. A period over which there had only ever been a minority Jewish presence. That fact is verified as follows – the documented proof being in the public domain, available to anyone at the touch of a key.
The present United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 50 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. It replaced the ineffective pre-war League of Nations, after WW2.
On 25 April 1945, the United Nations Conference on International Organization began in San Francisco. Fifty nations were represented who signed and ratified the Charter of the United Nations on 24 October 1945, and the UN was officially formed.  [Those 50 signatories, however, have to be seen in the context of the 193 UN Member states that in 2018 now represent the entire global population i.e. fifty is just over 25% of the present total].
On 29 November 1947, the resolution to recommend to all current Members of the then fledgling United Nations the adoption and implementation, with regard to the future government of Palestine, of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union, was put to a vote in the UN General Assembly.  The result was 33 to 13 in favour of the resolution, with 10 abstentions. That is 33 out of a current total of 193 UN member States i.e. 17%.   (Britain, of course, abstained).
Barely six months later, on May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel, and U.S. President Harry S. Truman unexpectedly recognized the new nation on the same day. However, that does not tell the full story. President Truman was not at all in favour of a Jewish state in Palestine and was heavily leaned upon by B’nai Brith International, a powerful Jewish service organisation in America.
In the event, Truman was persuaded to change his opinion. And that decision was of vital importance because a handful of U.N. Member States would inevitably follow America’s lead as a result of intense Zionist lobbying. Consequently, it was in fact only a tiny minority of the global population that actually voted to impose a Jewish state in the midst of the Muslim Middle East.
If the same resolution were to be put to the vote today before a UN that now genuinely represents the entire global population, the result would be vastly different from that in 1947/8. And Gaza would now be a thriving sea-port on the eastern Mediterranean with an international airport, a strong fishing industry and operating as a popular tourist destination as the gateway to the Middle East and its hinterland.
Instead, we have nearly two million civilians under an inhuman siege from an occupying army that is armed and funded by both the US and the UK; that has blockaded essential supplies including electricity for over eleven years in a bid to starve an entire civilian population into submission and effect a regime change.
It’s a story of raw colonial power, political greed and personal ambition through the subjugation of an entire people by an internationally armed and funded, military occupation and illegal settlement, in open violation of the international Geneva Conventions on Human Rights.
In 2018, supported by a US Republican Congress (and a compliant UK Conservative Government), it continues as the spark that will eventually cause a devastating war – unless there is a paradigm shift in policy.  That seems most unlikely under the current Trump White House that is already intent on waging an American war against Iran by deliberately bankrupting the Iranian oil industry against the unanimous will of Europe, China, India and most of the international community.  It’s a very dangerous game by a dangerous man.
*
 Hans Stehling (pen name) is a political analyst based in the UK. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
The original source of this article is Global Research

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          ARAB-AMERICAN ISRAEL HATER WOMAN DETAINED AT AIRPORT,TO BE DEPORTED.      Cache   Translate Page      
JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

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

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

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

EZEKIEL 20:47
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.

ZEPHANIAH 1:18
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

MALACHI 4:1
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

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

European signatories to Iran nuclear deal condemn new US sanctions-France, UK, Germany and EU ‘deeply regret’ American measures, call accord ‘essential for the security of Europe, the region and the whole world’-By AFP-5 November 2018

PARIS — France, Germany, Britain and the European Union issued a joint condemnation Friday of the US move to place fresh sanctions on the Iranian economy, vowing to protect European companies doing “legitimate” business with Tehran.“We deeply regret the reimposition of sanctions by the United States stemming from their withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” the statement said in reference to the hard-fought 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.Struck between world powers and Tehran after years of fraught negotiations, the deal was aimed at limiting Iran’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for sanctions relief.But US President Donald Trump announced in May that he was walking away from the deal and would reimpose sanctions, leaving the EU scrambling to protect companies that have forged trade links with Iran.Friday’s statement from EU nations defended the deal as “essential for the security of Europe, the region and the whole world.”“Our objective is to protect European economic actors involved in legitimate commercial trade with Iran,” it added.Europe will also seek to “maintain financial channels operational with Iran and to ensure the continuation of Iranian oil and gas exports,” it said.US officials said Friday that Washington was adding 700 individuals and entities to its Iran blacklist and pressuring the global SWIFT banking network to cut off Tehran when expanded sanctions are put in place next week.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the sanctions were aimed at getting Tehran to halt its nuclear activities and what the US says is broad support for terrorism in the region.The EU says 12 consecutive reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency show that Iran has stuck to the terms of the deal.

US reimposes all sanctions on Iran lifted under nuclear deal-Pompeo says new measures aimed at forcing Tehran to give up ‘its well-documented outlaw activities,’ grants temporary waivers to 8 countries-By Matthew Lee-TOI-5 November 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Friday announced the reimposition of all US sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, ramping up economic pressure on the Islamic Republic as President Donald Trump completed the unraveling of what had been one of his predecessor’s signature foreign policy achievements.The sanctions, which will take effect on Monday, cover Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors and are the second batch the administration has reimposed since Trump withdrew from the landmark accord in May. The rollback ends US participation in the nuclear deal, which now hangs in the balance as Iran no longer enjoys any relief from sanctions imposed by the world’s largest economy.Shortly after the announcement, Trump tweeted a movie poster-like image of himself walking out of what appears to be fog with the phrase “Sanctions are Coming, November 5.”With limited exceptions, the sanctions will hit countries that do not stop importing Iranian oil and foreign firms that do business with blacklisted Iranian entities, including its central bank, a number of private financial institutions, and state-run port and shipping firms, as well as hundreds of individual Iranian officials.pic.twitter.com/nk2vKvHuaL— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2018-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the sanctions are “aimed at fundamentally altering the behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” He has issued a list of 12 demands that Iran must meet if it wants the sanctions lifted. Those include ending support for terrorism and military engagement in Syria and a complete halt to its nuclear and ballistic missile development.“Our ultimate aim is to compel Iran to permanently abandon its well-documented outlaw activities and behave as a normal country,” Pompeo told reporters in a conference call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “Maximum pressure means maximum pressure.”Pompeo said eight nations will receive temporary waivers allowing them to continue to import Iranian petroleum products for a limited period as they move to end such imports entirely. He said those countries, which other officials said would include US allies such as Turkey, Italy, India, Japan and South Korea, had made efforts to eliminate their imports but could not complete the task by Monday.The waivers, expected to be announced Monday, will be valid for six months, during which time the importing country can buy Iranian oil but must deposit Iran’s revenue in an escrow account. Iran can spend the money but only on a narrow range of humanitarian items. Pompeo said two of the eight countries would wind down imports to zero within weeks.Mnuchin said 700 more Iranian companies and people would be added to the sanctions rolls. Those, he said, would include more than 300 that had not been included under previous sanctions.“We are sending a very clear message with our maximum pressure campaign: that the US intends to aggressively enforce our sanctions,” he said.Iran hawks in Congress and elsewhere were likely to be disappointed in the sanctions as they had been pushing for no oil import waivers as well as the complete disconnection of Iran from the main international financial messaging network known as SWIFT.One group that has been highly critical of the deal welcomed the new sanctions but said there should be no exceptions.“We encourage the Trump administration to fulfill the promise of a maximum pressure campaign — no exceptions — until Iran permanently and verifiably changes its behavior,” United Against a Nuclear Iran said in a statement. “Oil and gas firms, including those from friendly countries like India, South Korea and Japan, should not be granted sanctions waivers. Similarly, financial entities — including SWIFT — must sever ties with Iranian banks and financial institutions.”Mnuchin defended the decision to allow some Iranian banks to remain connected to SWIFT, saying that the Belgium-based firm had been warned that it will face penalties if sanctioned institutions are permitted to use it. And, he said that US regulators would be watching closely Iranian transactions that use SWIFT to ensure any that run afoul of US sanctions would be punished.Pompeo, meanwhile, defended the oil waivers, saying US efforts to cut Iran’s petroleum revenue had already been successful. He noted that since May, when the US began to press countries to stop buying Iranian oil, Iran’s exports had dropped by more than 1 million barrels per day.Pompeo and Mnuchin both said the sanctions will have exceptions for humanitarian purchases.The 2015 nuclear deal, one of former president Barack Obama’s signature foreign policy achievements, gave Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, which many believed it was using to develop atomic weapons. Trump repeatedly denounced the agreement as the “worst ever” negotiated by the United States and vowed to withdraw from it during the 2016 presidential campaign.Trump and other critics of the deal said it gave Iran too much in return for too little, allowed Iran to gradually resume nuclear activity that could eventually be used for weapons development and did not address any of the country’s other problematic activities.Obama-era officials as well as the other parties to the deal — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union — have vehemently defended it. The Europeans have mounted a drive to save the agreement from the US withdrawal, fearing that the new sanctions will drive Iran to pull out and resume all of its nuclear work.

New defence for Infowars in copyright case? "Pepe the Toad"-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-November 5, 2018

The internet trolls who turned Pepe the Frog into a hate symbol may be disappointed to hear a new claim about the cartoon character's origins, courtesy of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' Infowars website .Infowars' attorneys claim in a court filing Thursday that Pepe the Frog creator Matt Furie based his character on a "pre-existing, strikingly similar" Argentine cartoon character named "El Sapo Pepe," or "Pepe the Toad."That's a new defence for Infowars against a copyright infringement lawsuit that Furie filed in March over the site's sales of a poster copying the character.Infowars' attorneys argue Furie could be precluded from asserting any copyright interest in his creation if Pepe the Frog is an "unauthorized derivative work" based on Pepe the Toad. Or it could "at least severely the scope of copyright protection in the character," they wrote."You've got to ask yourself if Mr. Furie's work is truly original," Infowars attorney Marc Randazza said during a telephone interview Friday. "I think it's at least worth taking a closer look."Louis Tompros, one of Furie's attorneys, said the California-based cartoonist had never heard of "El Sapo Pepe" before receiving a letter from Infowars's attorneys about it."So, it definitely did not inspire his creation of Pepe,' Tompros wrote in an email Friday.A federal judge set a July 2019 trial date for the lawsuit Furie filed against Infowars in Los Angeles.It was the second such case that Furie has brought as part of a legal campaign to reclaim his creation.Infowars' website is the online platform for right-wing radio host Jones. Furie's lawsuit says he didn't authorize the site to sell a poster that depicts the anthropomorphic frog alongside images of Jones, President Donald Trump, far-right agitator Milo Yiannopoulos and other right-wing figures.Jones has described the lawsuit as a "publicity stunt" and said he views it as an expression of political speech protected by the First Amendment."My listeners understand this is all frivolous," Jones told The Associated Press in March.Infowars was selling the Pepe-adorned "MAGA" poster for $29.95 and says it was created by "renowned artist and patriot" Jon Allen. Jones said Infowars has sold about 1,000 of the posters but added that it's hardly one of the site's most popular items.Furie's "chill frog-dude" debuted in a 2006 comic book called "Boy's Club" and became a popular canvas for benevolent internet memes. But the user-generated mutations grew increasingly hateful and ubiquitous more than a year before the 2016 presidential election, when Furie's creation become an online mascot for white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists.The Anti-Defamation League branded Pepe as a hate symbol in September 2016 and promoted Furie's efforts to reclaim the character.Twitter banned Jones and Infowars from the social media platform earlier this year for abusive behaviour . Jones has been sued by targets of his conspiracy theories, including parents of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012. Jones questioned whether the shooting rampage was a hoax.Michael Kunzelman, The Associated Press.

EARTH DESTROYED WITH THE EARTH IN NOAHS DAY(BECAUSE OF SIN,VIOLENCE AND GODLESS PEOPLE)

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.

HOSEA 4:1-3
1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.
3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

DEUTORONOMY 28:22-24
22  The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.
23  And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.
24  The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

STORMS HURRICANES-TORNADOES

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

THE FIRST JUDGEMENT OF THE EARTH STARTED WITH WATER-IT ONLY MAKES SENSE THE LAST GENERATION WILL BE HAVING FLOODING
GENESIS 7:6-12
6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.
8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,
9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.
10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
GOD PROMISED BY A RAINBOW-THE EARTH WOULD NEVER BE DESTROYED TOTALLY WITH A FLOOD AGAIN.BUT FLOODIING IS A SIGN OF JUDGEMENT.

FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS

REVELATION 8:7
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

Entering a modal-UN chief warns of famine in Yemen, urges halt to violence-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-November 5, 2018

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Friday that Yemen could face "the worst famine we have seen in decades" and urged the country's warring parties to immediately halt the violence.The UN chief told reporters "the urgency of the humanitarian crisis leaves no room for complacency" and the "building wave of momentum" for peace must be seized.UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warned last week that "there is a clear and present danger of an imminent and great big famine engulfing Yemen" that could affect 14 million people — half of the country's population.The conflict began in 2014 when Houthi Shia rebels toppled the internationally recognized government. A Saudi-led coalition allied with the government has been fighting the Houthis since 2015.Guterres said more and more countries are engaged in helping create conditions for the warring parties to understand the need to cease hostilities and engage in serious negotiations.He urged the coalition and the Houthis "to overcome obstacles and resolve differences through dialogue" at UN facilitated talks later this month.Guterres stressed that "violence must stop everywhere — with an immediate halt around critical infrastructure and densely populated areas.""My objective is to appeal to the parties to the conflict to understand that there is an opportunity that must be seized, and to say that the humanitarian situation is so dire that if that doesn't happen" the world will have to deal with a famine in Yemen next year, he said."I must say, I hope the voice of reason will prevail," Guterres said.

WORLD POWERS IN THE LAST DAYS (END OF AGE OF GRACE NOT THE WORLD)

EUROPEAN UNION-KING OF WEST-DAN 9:26-27,DAN 7:23-24,DAN 11:40,REV 13:1-10
EGYPT-KING OF THE SOUTH-DAN 11:40
RUSSIA-KING OF THE NORTH-EZEK 38:1-2,EZEK 39:1-3
CHINA-KING OF THE EAST-DAN 11:44,REV 9:16,18
VATICAN-RELIGIOUS LEADER-REV 13:11-18,REV 17:4-5,9,18

WORLD TERRORISM

OH BY THE WAY WHEN THE MEDIA SAYS ALLU-AK-BAR MEANS GOD IS GREAT LIE. IN ISLAM ALLU-AK-BAR MEANS OUR GOD IS GREATER OR GREATEST. THIS IS HOW THE MEDIA SUCK HOLES UP TO ISLAMIC-QURANIC-MUSLIMS. BY WATERING DOWN THE REAL MEANING OF THE SEX FOR MURDER DEATH CULT ISLAM. TO MAKE IT SOUND LIKE A PEACEFUL RELIGION (CULT OF DEATH AND WORLD DOMINATION).

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)

Khashoggi crisis may tip Middle East power balance towards Turkey-October 2 killing inside Saudi consulate in Istanbul, by a team sent from Riyadh, has already severely tarnished Arab state’s reputation-By Ezzedine SAID-TOI-NOV 5,18

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AFP) — The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi could alter the power dynamic in the Middle East by strengthening Turkey’s influence at Saudi Arabia’s expense as they compete for leadership of the Islamic world, analysts say.This certainly appears to be the goal of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the main regional supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia and its allies Egypt and the United Arab Emirates consider a terrorist group.The killing inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul by a team sent from Riyadh on October 2 has already severely tarnished Saudi Arabia’s global reputation.But it is the potential involvement of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the oil-rich Gulf nation’s de facto leader known by his initials MBS, that could permanently damage Riyadh’s influence in the region.After initially insisting Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed, then saying he died in a brawl, the Saudi regime finally stated he was killed by a “rogue operation” and arrested 18 suspects, some with links to the crown prince.Analysts say Erdogan could use the ensuing crisis to weaken the 33-year-old prince, even potentially leading to the royal family removing him from power — though that seems unlikely.“The killing of Khashoggi has proven to be a golden opportunity for President Erdogan to pressure Saudi Arabia and work towards presenting Turkey as the new leader of the Muslim world,” said Lina Khatib, director of Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House.“The Khashoggi crisis is a big geo-political gamble for Turkey and so far it looks like it is playing the game masterfully. But Turkey alone will not be able to push for the removal of MBS. The ball lies in the American court,” she added.For Erdogan, promoting the Muslim Brotherhood — which Saudi Arabia has sought to marginalize in the Arab world and which was ousted from power and brutally repressed in Egypt in 2013 by current President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi — is at the heart of this power struggle.The Turkish leader could also try to extract concessions from Riyadh for its ally Qatar, facing a Saudi blockade backed by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt since 2017.“I think that Erdogan sees this as an opportunity to push back against a triple entente in the Middle East that opposes his policies. That triple entente is composed of MBS, MBZ’s (Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan) UAE and Sissi’s Egypt,” said Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkey Research Program at the Washington Institute.“These three countries, all Arabs, oppose Erdogan’s policies of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. Now Erdogan sees a golden opportunity because MBS is vulnerable.”But Sinan Ulgen, president of the Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy, said “it remains to be seen whether Ankara can continue to leverage this conjuncture and turn it into a permanent advantage raising Turkey’s regional influence to the detriment of Saudi Arabia”.Nicholas Heras, an analyst at the Center for a New American Security, said the Khashoggi case was the “latest chapter in Turkey and Saudi Arabia’s ongoing contest over which country is better” to lead the Muslim world.“Erdogan clearly seems to believe that he can use the Khashoggi crisis as a way to cut Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and by extension, Saudi Arabia, down to size,” Heras added.By not directly pointing the blame at the crown prince over Khashoggi, Erdogan is seeking to keep him under pressure, according to Karim Bitar of the Paris-based French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs think-tank.“Erdogan knows that he still has ammunition that could weaken MBS in the international arena so basically he is rolling the dice these days trying to figure out how to maximise his profit after this huge Saudi blunder,” he told AFP.While the Muslim Brotherhood is important to Turkey, the West — especially the United States — is wary of the group and wants to focus any pressure on the crown prince towards ending the Yemen war and lifting the blockade on Qatar, the experts said.“I expect the blockade on Doha will likely come to an end in the near future and the Saudis find a way to support the UN’s efforts in Yemen,” said Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations.Bitar noted that the US administration relies on Prince Mohammed’s support for any possible peace plan for the Israel-Palestinian conflict as well as containing Iran, long a Saudi foe.Washington could also push the crown prince towards “a rapprochement with Israel and to maintain a hawkish line towards Iran”, Bitar added.

Emerging Gaza ceasefire to significantly ease blockade — report-Lebanese daily says Egypt prepared to slash 70% of its own border restrictions under 3-year truce deal; Israel will be required to grant work permits and expand fishing zone-By TOI staff-NOV 5,18

An emerging cease-fire agreement aimed at calming months of violence on the Israel-Gaza border will last for three years and see a significant easing of the blockade on the Hamas-controlled territory, Lebanon’s Al-Akbar newspaper reported Saturday.According to the report, the deal being brokered by Egypt stipulates a gradual stop to the ongoing, Hamas-orchestrated violent border protests and maritime flotillas over the next two months. In addition, Hamas will be obligated to punish Gazans caught engaging in violent demonstrating along the border with Israel.In return, Egypt will permanently open its Rafah border crossing and lift 70 percent of its blockade on the Hamas-controlled territory, the report said, citing officials familiar with the emerging agreement.Al-Akbar said the deal would require Israel to grant 5,000 work permits for Gazans, and expand the Strip’s fishing zone from nine to 14 nautical miles.Israel had no immediate comment on the report.In addition, the paper reported the Palestinian Authority would pay 80% of the salaries of Hamas officials in Gaza, and would not object to Qatar bankrolling those wages for at least six months, like it has in the past.Within the framework of the agreement, the report said various economic projects in Gaza would be advanced to create jobs for some 30,000 jobs and alleviate the humanitarian situation in the Strip.The truce is slated to last three years and will be under the supervision of the United Nations and Russia. At later stage after the deal is implemented, Al-Akbar said Egypt would work to advance a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas.The report was released after Friday’s weekly protests along the Gaza border saw a significant decrease in violence.According to the Hamas-run health ministry in the strip, 12 Palestinians were injured from live Israeli fire, and dozens injured from tear gas inhalation. The Associated Press said the figures were the lowest reported since the start of the demonstrations seven months ago.Official Fatah account posts a picture of what it says is a member of the Hamas-run security forces forcibly preventing protesters from approaching the border fence between Gaza and Israel https://t.co/XAgD08xXWL— Adam Rasgon (@adamrasgon1) November 2, 2018-A senior Hamas member said the clashes were scaled down to give diplomatic efforts a chance amid talk of a breakthrough in months of Egyptian-led negotiations.The official Twitter account of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction even posted a picture of what it claimed to be a member of the Hamas-run security forces forcibly preventing protesters from approaching the Gaza border fence during Friday’s protests.Khalil al-Hayya said the terror group was “testing” Egyptian-led efforts to broker a ceasefire to ease an 11-year-old blockade on Gaza, but warned the clashes would resume if the blockade was not lifted.The IDF put turnout Friday at some 7,000 demonstrators with about half of those present approached the border fence, while the rest remained at a distance and did not clash with soldiers. The protest ended earlier than usual.For months, Egypt and UN officials have been engaged in indirect talks between Hamas, the Islamist terror group that runs the Gaza Strip, and Israel.Israel has accused Hamas, which is sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state, of leading the protests and using them as cover to carry out attacks against troops stationed the border.Last week, seven Palestinians were reported killed in the weekly border protests. The bloodshed was followed by rockets launched at Israel by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group, which were met with and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes, dashing hopes of what was expected to be a calmer week in Gaza.Since the often violent protests began on March 30, over 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire during demonstrations and clashes along the border, including a number of people who broke through the fence into Israel. Dozens of the fatalities were Hamas members. During that time, one Israeli soldier has been killed by a Palestinian sniper.

Palestinian-American woman detained at airport, to be deported-Immigration authorities say decision to deny Susan Abulhawa entry due to past incident at border crossing and not connected to BDS-By AFP-5 November 2018

A Palestinian-American writer has been detained on arrival at Israel’s main airport and will be deported, Palestinian and Israeli officials said Friday.Susan Abulhawa was refused entry at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday evening, said a spokesman for the Palestinian Literature Festival, which Abulhawa had been set to attend.She appealed the decision in an Israeli court Friday morning but her appeal was rejected, meaning she was likely to be deported in the coming hours, the spokesman added.Abulhawa, author of the novel “Mornings in Jenin,” had been due to appear at panel events in both Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah during the festival, which is co-sponsored by the British Council.Immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP the writer was refused entry because of an incident in 2015 when she refused to answer questions by security personnel when attempting to enter though a land crossing from neighboring Jordan.“She was refused entry then and told that the next time she arrived she had to coordinate in advance,” Haddad said in Hebrew.This time “she landed without arranging entry in advance.”Haddad added that Abulhawa’s detention was not related to support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.In March 2017, Israel’s parliament passed a law barring entry to supporters of BDS, which seeks to isolate the Jewish state internationally.Last month an American student spent two weeks in Israeli detention appealing an entry ban over her past involvement in a campus group that supports boycotting Israel.Lara Alqasem was eventually allowed to enter Israel after its Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling upholding the state’s decision to deny her entry.Alqasem’s detention came after a number of other high-profile cases in which travelers to Israel were questioned over their political views and alleged support for BDS, drawing scrutiny to the law barring boycott supporters.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Egyptian delegation tours Gaza clashes as promised calm largely holds-Hamas member says violence reined in to give Egyptian truce efforts a chance, but warns of escalation if blockade not lifted-By TOI staff and Agencies-5 November 2018

An Egyptian security delegation toured the Gaza border protests Friday, and even though thousands of Palestinians turned up, they were the quietest in several months, witnesses said.The visit came amid efforts by Egypt to broker a ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers.The delegation briefly attended the demonstrations in northern Gaza, a statement from the head of the organizing committee said. Eyewitnesses said a car carrying the delegation briefly drove to a protest site a few hundred meters from the border, before departing.A senior Hamas member said the clashes were scaled down to give diplomatic efforts a chance amid talk of a breakthrough in months of Egyptian-led negotiations.Khalil al-Hayya said the terror group is “testing” Egyptian-led efforts to broker a ceasefire to ease an 11-year-old blockade on Gaza.Fiercer clashes will resume if the blockade remains in place, al-Hayya warned.Israel and Egypt largely sealed their borders with Gaza after Hamas seized control in 2007 from the Palestinian Authority, citing a need to prevent weapons smuggling.Thousands again gathered at multiple sites near the frontier Friday but largely stayed away from the border fence, AFP correspondents said.Security forces loyal to Hamas prevented protesters from approaching the border too closely, the correspondents said.The Haaretz daily put turnout at some 7,000 demonstrators and quoted the Israel Defense Forces as saying about half of those present approached the border fence, while the rest remained at a distance and did not clash with soldiers.The protest ended earlier than usual.The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said 32 Palestinians were injured during the protests, including seven by Israeli fire, which The Associated Press said was the lowest casualty figures reported since the start of the demonstrations.Armed factions in Gaza on Thursday had agreed to rein in violence along the security fence in light of the latest Egyptian-efforts to reach a ceasefire with Israel.A senior Hamas member told the Ynet news site groups in Gaza agreed to stop protesters from burning tires, throwing firebombs and approaching the border during rallies until Sunday.He said the protesters would also refrain from launching incendiary devices toward Israel over the weekend.Egypt and UN officials have been engaged in indirect talks between Hamas, the Islamist terror group that runs the Gaza Strip, and Israel.Israel has accused Hamas, which is sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state, of leading the protests and using them as cover to carry out attacks against troops stationed the border-Since often violent protests began on March 30, over 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire during protests and clashes along the border, including a number of people who broke through the fence into Israel. Dozens of the fatalities were Hamas members.One Israeli soldier has been killed by a Palestinian sniper.In a statement after a meeting of their leaders in Gaza on Thursday, Hamas and Islamic Jihad said the marches would continue, albeit without violence.Both groups praised Egyptian and UN efforts to broker a deal.A separate statement by Islamic Jihad carried by Israeli media threatened that it would use a “new tactic” along the border, without providing details.A leader of the Iran-backed terror group told Haaretz the Egyptians had agreed to work to curb any Israeli response to the protests over the next three weeks. The unnamed official said the protests could be called off after that period if Israel keeps to its commitment to ease a blockade on the Strip.There was no comment from Egyptian officials.Last week’s clashes, in which seven Palestinians were reported killed, was followed by Islamic Jihad rocket launches at Israel and retaliatory Israeli Air Force raids, dashing hopes of what was expected to be a calmer weekend along the border.

          ABBAS, SISSI HOLD RARE MEET ON BACKDROP OF CEASEFIRE.      Cache   Translate Page      
JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

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

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

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

EZEKIEL 20:47
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.

ZEPHANIAH 1:18
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

MALACHI 4:1
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

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

Abbas, Sissi hold rare meet on backdrop of ceasefire, reconciliation efforts-Last publicly known time Palestinian, Egyptian leaders met was 10 months ago; Abbas praises Cairo’s ‘efforts’-By Adam Rasgon-TOI-NOV 4,18

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi met on Saturday in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm al-Sheikh, the official PA news agency Wafa reported.The last publicly known time the two leaders held a bilateral meeting was some ten months ago.“The two presidents discussed developments in the Middle East, especially those related to Palestine in light of the dangers the Palestinian issue is facing,” the Wafa report said.Abbas arrived in Egypt on Friday to meet Sissi and attend a conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.The PA president also praised Sissi “for the efforts the Arab Republic of Egypt has exerted” under his leadership, without elaborating.Azzam al-Ahmad, a Palestine Liberation Organization official who attended the meeting between the two leaders, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Egypt has recently made efforts to revive the reconciliation process between Hamas and Fatah, meeting with leaders from the two rival parties for separate talks in the past several weeks.In October 2017, Hamas and Fatah signed an Egyptian-brokered deal to advance reconciliation and bring the West Bank and Gaza under one government, but they failed to implement it.Hamas has controlled Gaza since ousting the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority from the territory in 2007.Egypt, alongside United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Nikolay Mladenov, has also recently played a key role in attempts to mediate a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.Arabic media reports have said that if achieved, a ceasefire would include at least a partial lifting of Israel’s restrictions on the movement of goods and people into and out of Gaza.Israel holds that its restrictions on movement serve security purposes including preventing the entry of weapons into the Strip.Ramallah-based Palestinian officials have said Fatah-Hamas reconciliation should precede any possible ceasefire. They have also contended that the Palestine Liberation Organization is the sole party with the legitimacy to negotiate a ceasefire with Israel.Egyptian intelligence officials joined Palestinians protesting in the border region between Israel and Gaza on Friday, Deputy Hamas Chief in Gaza Khalil al-Hayya told the London-based Al-Ghad TV.Friday’s rally was largely peaceful. Hayya said the protests were scaled down to give the ceasefire efforts a chance, according to the Associated Press.The protests, which have included many violent acts, have taken place weekly since March 30. Their organizers have said the protests aim to achieve the return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to lands which are now part of Israel, and pressure the Jewish state to lift its restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of the coastal enclave.Hayya suggested efforts to achieve a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas had been making progress.“Their success is becoming visible in the horizon,” he told Al-Ghad TV, referring to the efforts to conclude a ceasefire.On Saturday, the Egyptian Intelligence officials left Gaza through the Erez crossing, according to the Hamas-linked Palestinian Information Center.

U.S. allows eight importers to keep buying Iran oil for now-[Reuters]-YAHOONEWS-By Arshad Mohammed, Lesley Wroughton and Patricia Zengerle-November 4, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Friday it will temporarily allow eight importers to keep buying Iranian oil when it re-imposes sanctions on Monday to try to force Iran to curb its nuclear, missile and regional activities.U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who announced the decision, did not name the eight, which he referred to as "jurisdictions," a term that might include importers such as Taiwan which the United States does not regard as a country.Having abandoned the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, U.S. President Donald Trump is trying to cripple Iran’s oil-dependent economy and force Tehran to quash not only its nuclear ambitions and its ballistic missile program but its support for militant proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.On Twitter, in a message designed to emphasize his "maximum pressure" policy toward Iran, Trump included a photograph of himself modeled on a entertainment industry poster with the headline: "Sanctions are coming November 5."China, India, South Korea, Turkey, Italy, the United Arab Emirates and Japan have been top importers of Iran’s oil, while Taiwan occasionally buys cargoes of Iranian crude but is not a major buyer.Turkey has been told it will temporarily be allowed to keep buying Iranian oil, its energy minister told reporters, as has Iraq, as long as it does not pay Iran in U.S. dollars, three Iraqi officials said.India and South Korea were also on the list, said a source familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. Under U.S. law, exceptions can be granted for up to 180 days.Oil prices fell on Friday for a weekly loss of over 6 percent, as investors worried about crude oversupply after the U.S. waivers.Brent crude futures fell 6 cents to settle at $72.83 a barrel, while U.S. crude declined 55 cents to end the session at $63.14 per barrel, a 0.86 percent loss.U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said Washington had told the Brussels-based SWIFT financial messaging service it was expected to disconnect all Iranian financial institutions that the United States plans to blacklist as of Monday. He declined to name the targeted institutions.Trump set in motion the resumption of sanctions on May 8, when he announced U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers under which Tehran had agreed to curtail its nuclear program in return for relief from sanctions."This part of the campaign is aimed at depriving the regime of the revenues it uses to spread death and destruction around the world, Pompeo said.ZERO CRUDE-Pompeo said Washington will issue temporary waivers to the eight Iran oil importers "only because they have demonstrated significant reductions in their crude oil and cooperation on many other fronts."Two would stop imports and the other six would greatly reduce them, Pompeo said.He later said the ultimate goal was to stop all Iranian crude exports."We will ultimately move Iran to zero crude oil. That’ll take us some number of months to do that," Pompeo told Fox News according to the transcript of the interview released by the State Department. "We’ve been able to do that in a way that hasn’t had a huge impact on crude oil prices. That’s a good thing for American consumers."Iran said it was not troubled over the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions, which target not only its vital oil and gas sector but also shipping, ship-building and banking industries."America will not be able to carry out any measure against our great and brave nation ... We have the knowledge and the capability to manage the country's economic affairs," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi told state TV.However, ordinary Iranians fear an even more painful squeeze, from businesses struggling to buy raw materials to the sick and elderly unable to afford life-saving medicines."I cannot even buy rice to feed my children or pay my rent," said elementary school teacher Pejman Sarafnejad, 43, a father of three in Tehran.The European Union, France, Germany and Britain, parties to the nuclear agreement who are trying to keep it alive, said they regretted Washington's decision to re-impose sanctions. The EU is creating a special mechanism that would circumvent U.S. financial sanctions on Iran.The United States is able to pressure other nations to stop buying Iranian oil under a 2012 law that allows the president to cut off foreign banks, including central banks, from the U.S. financial system unless they significantly reduce purchases.The United States believes global oil supplies will exceed demand next year, making it easier for countries to cut Iranian oil imports to zero, Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, told reporters.(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed, Patricia Zengerle, Lesley Wroughton; Additional reporting by Timothy Gardner and Humeyra Pamak in Washington, Devika Krishna Kumar in New York; Henning Gloystein in Singapore, Aizhu Chen in Beijing, Dmitry Zhdannikov in London; Hyonhee Shin in Seoul, Osamu Tsukimori in Tokyo, Gulsen Solaker in Ankara and Parisa Hafezi in Dubai; Editing by Susan Thomas, Grant McCool and Tomasz Janowski)

Fearing 'angry mob', lawyer of freed Christian woman leaves Pakistan-[Reuters]-By Saad Sayeed and Asif Shahzad-YAHOONEWS-November 4, 2018

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The Pakistani lawyer who helped a Christian woman overturn her death sentence for blasphemy said on Saturday he had left the country in fear of his life after her acquittal earlier this week sparked street protests by Islamists.Leaders of the ultra-Islamist Tehreek-e-Labaik (TLP) group blocked main roads in Pakistan's biggest cites for three days, calling for the murder of the Supreme Court judges who acquitted Asia Bibi on Wednesday -- urging their cooks and servants to kill them.Saiful Mulook had kept a low profile during the years he represented Bibi, a mother-of-five who has been on death row since 2010, due to the highly sensitive nature of the case. Two politicians who had tried to help her have been assassinated.Mulook told Reuters in a WhatsApp message he had gone abroad "just to save (my) life from angry mob" and because of fears for the safety of his family."I consulted and everybody is of this opinion (that I should leave)," he said, adding that he would return to the country to continue his work on the case if he was given protection by security forces.The TLP called off the protests late on Friday after striking a deal with the government that would see authorities seek to put Bibi on an 'exit control list' barring her from leaving the country.Bibi's whereabouts are unknown, but Islamists have warned the authorities against taking her out of the country."There will be a war if they send Asia out of country," TLP leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi said after the deal was reached.Earlier in the week one of Rizvi's deputies called for Pakistan's Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and two other judges who ruled in the case to be murdered."Whoever, who has got any access to them, kill them before the evening," TLP co-founder Muhammad Afzal Qadri told supporters.The TLP was founded out of a movement supporting a bodyguard who assassinated Punjab provincial governor Salman Taseer after he spoke in Bibi's defence in 2011. Federal minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti was also killed after calling for her release.Bibi was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 for allegedly making derogatory remarks about Islam after neighbours objected to her drinking water from their glass because she was not Muslim. She always denied having committed blasphemy.The case has outraged Christians worldwide and been a source of division within Pakistan, where Islamist parties such as the TLP have framed Bibi's release as Pakistan's government caving into Western demands.Bibi's acquittal is being reviewed, though it is extremely rare for a review to overturn a Supreme Court ruling.(Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Helen Popper)

WORLD POWERS IN THE LAST DAYS (END OF AGE OF GRACE NOT THE WORLD)

EUROPEAN UNION-KING OF WEST-DAN 9:26-27,DAN 7:23-24,DAN 11:40,REV 13:1-10
EGYPT-KING OF THE SOUTH-DAN 11:40
RUSSIA-KING OF THE NORTH-EZEK 38:1-2,EZEK 39:1-3
CHINA-KING OF THE EAST-DAN 11:44,REV 9:16,18
VATICAN-RELIGIOUS LEADER-REV 13:11-18,REV 17:4-5,9,18

WORLD TERRORISM

OH BY THE WAY WHEN THE MEDIA SAYS ALLU-AK-BAR MEANS GOD IS GREAT LIE. IN ISLAM ALLU-AK-BAR MEANS OUR GOD IS GREATER OR GREATEST. THIS IS HOW THE MEDIA SUCK HOLES UP TO ISLAMIC-QURANIC-MUSLIMS. BY WATERING DOWN THE REAL MEANING OF THE SEX FOR MURDER DEATH CULT ISLAM. TO MAKE IT SOUND LIKE A PEACEFUL RELIGION (CULT OF DEATH AND WORLD DOMINATION).

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)

UAE minister says Iran’s aggression to blame for renewed US sanctions-Anwar Gargash cites Tehran’s ‘aggressive policies’ as largely responsible for reintroduction of punitive measures that were lifted under 2015 nuclear deal-By TOI staff-TOI-NOV 4,18

The United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said Saturday that Iran’s “aggressive policies” were “largely responsible” for the US decision to reimpose sanctions against the Islamic Republic, according to Reuters.The UAE along with Saudi Arabia have adopted a more confrontational approach to Shiite rival Iran in recent years, accusing it of supporting terror groups and fueling turmoil in regional countries.The two Sunni states head a military coalition in Yemen aimed at toppling the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group and returning the internationally recognized government to power.On Friday, the US announced that it will reintroduce sanctions against Tehran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. They are the second batch the administration has reimposed since it withdrew from the international accord in May.The rollback, which will go into effect on Monday, ends US participation in the nuclear deal, which now hangs in the balance as Iran no longer enjoys any relief from sanctions imposed by the world’s largest economy.Shortly after the announcement, US President Donald Trump tweeted a poster-like image of himself in a play on TV show Game of Thrones, with the phrase “Sanctions are Coming, November 5.”pic.twitter.com/nk2vKvHuaL— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2018-With limited exceptions, the sanctions will hit countries that do not stop importing Iranian oil and foreign firms that do business with blacklisted Iranian entities, including its central bank, a number of private financial institutions, and state-run port and shipping firms, as well as hundreds of individual Iranian officials.The waivers will be valid for six months, during which time the importing country can buy Iranian oil but must deposit Iran’s revenue in an escrow account. Iran can spend the money but only on a narrow range of humanitarian items. Pompeo said two of the eight countries would wind down imports to zero within weeks.

Florida imam: Palestine must be liberated, even at cost of millions of martyrs-Hasan Sabri says ‘Palestine in its entirety is Islamic land, and there is no difference between what was occupied in 1948 and 1967’-By TOI staff-NOV 4,18

During a recent sermon at the Islamic Center of South Florida, an imam called for the “liberation” of Palestine, even at the cost of tens of millions of Muslim lives.“If a land is occupied or plundered, it should be liberated from the occupiers and plunderers, even if this leads to the martyrdom of tens of millions of Muslims,” said Hasan Sabri in a sermon last month translated Friday by the Middle East Media Research Institute.“This is the ruling, and there is no room for discussion or concessions.”Sabri referred to “Palestine in its entirety” as “Islamic land” and asserted that there is no difference between the land captured by Israel in the 1948 Independence War and the 1967 Six Day War. “All of it is Islamic waqf land that was occupied by force. The responsibility for it lies with the entire Islamic nation, and the [Palestinians] should benefit from this land.”Florida Friday Sermon – Imam Hasan Sabri: Palestine In Its Entirety Should Be Liberated, Even If This Leads to the Martyrdom of Tens of Millions of Muslims pic.twitter.com/tbuJNiOSry— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) November 2, 2018-The Imam also criticized the yet-to-be-released peace plan of US President Donald Trump. “They call it ‘the Deal of the Century.’ Why do they call it a deal?’ Because whoever is involved in this treason is not a man of principles,” Sabri said.“These are peddlers, not men with a cause. All they want are positions and jobs. That is why for them, the cause is nothing but a deal, a matter of give and take. For them, it is nothing but a deal.”

Christians in Egypt bury their dead after jihadist attack-Local Islamic State affiliate claims its gunmen killed 7 Coptic pilgrims in ambush attack near Cairo-By Samy Magdy and Hamza Hendawi-TOI-NOV 4,18

MINYA, Egypt (AP) — Hundreds of Egyptian Coptic Christians gathered Saturday for a funeral service south of Cairo to bid farewell to six of seven people killed the previous day when militants ambushed three buses carrying pilgrims on their way to a remote desert monastery.The service at Prince Tadros church in the city of Minya was held amid tight security and presided over by Minya’s top cleric, Anba Makarios. He and members of the congregation prayed and chanted over a row of six white coffins.Relatives of the victims cried and held each other for support.All but one of those killed were members of the same family, according to a list of the victims’ names released by the church, which said a boy and a girl, ages 15 and 12 respectively, were among the dead. A total of 19 were wounded in the attack, according to the Coptic Orthodox Church.The local Islamic State group affiliate, which spearheads militants fighting security forces in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, claimed responsibility for the attack south of Cairo. It said the attack was revenge for the imprisonment by Egyptian authorities of “our chaste sisters” but did not elaborate.The IS affiliate claimed that 13 Christians were killed and another 18 wounded, but it was not immediately possible to independently verify the claim or reconcile the discrepancy in the number of dead and wounded given by the group and the church.The attack was likely to cast a dark shadow on one of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s showpieces — the World Youth Forum — which opens Saturday in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The forum is drawing thousands of local and foreign youth to discuss a wide range of topics, with Egypt’s 63-year-old leader taking center stage.The Islamic State has repeatedly vowed to go after Egypt’s Christians as punishment for their support of el-Sissi. As defense minister, el-Sissi led the military’s 2013 ouster of an Islamist president, whose one-year rule proved divisive. The group has claimed responsibility for a string of deadly attacks on Christians dating back to December 2016.El-Sissi, who has made security among his top priorities since taking office in 2014, wrote on his Twitter account that Friday’s attack was designed to harm the “nation’s solid fabric” and pledged to continue fighting terrorism. He later offered his condolences when he spoke by telephone with Pope Tawadros II, spiritual leader of Egypt’s Orthodox Christians and a close el-Sissi ally.In a somber message of his own, Tawadros said in a video clip released by the church that the latest attack would only make the Christians stronger.“I think that this is a terrorist act which is targeting Egypt through playing the card of the Copts,” said Begemy Nassem Nasr, priest of the church of St. Mary in Minya. “We know that … President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is hosting the youth forum and they meant to embarrass him.”Embarrassingly, Friday’s attack is the second to target pilgrims heading to the St. Samuel the Confessor monastery in as many years, indicating that security measures put in place since then are either inadequate or have become lax. The previous attack in May 2017 left nearly 30 people dead.It was the latest in a string of IS assaults against Christians. Previous ones targeted churches packed with worshippers in Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and Tanta in the Nile Delta north of the capital, leaving at least 100 people dead.The attacks led to tighter security around Christian places of worship and Church-linked facilities, where metal detectors and armed police are routinely deployed. They have also underlined the vulnerability of minority Christians in a country where many Muslims have since the 1970s grown religiously conservative and less tolerant of non-Muslims.The Interior Ministry, which oversees the police, said Friday’s attackers used secondary dirt roads to reach the buses carrying the pilgrims, who were near the monastery at the time of the attack. Only pilgrims have been allowed on the main road leading to the monastery since last year’s attack.Some Christians in Minya said police negligence was partly to blame for the latest attack, arguing that they stopped providing armed escorts for pilgrims’ buses headed to the old monastery.“They should have escorted them. They know it is dangerous to leave them alone on that road,” said Youssef Attya, a 38-year-old health worker from Minya.The Interior Ministry said police were pursuing the attackers, who fled the scene.Egypt’s Christians, who account for some 10 percent of the country’s 100 million people, complain of discrimination in the Muslim majority country. Christian activists say the church’s alliance with el-Sissi has offered the ancient community a measure of protection but failed to end frequent acts of discrimination that boil over into violence against Christians, especially in rural Egypt.In Minya, the scene of Friday’s attack, Christians constitute the highest percentage of the population — about 35 percent — of any Egyptian province. It’s also in Minya where most acts of violence, like attacks on churches and Christian homes and businesses, take place.Christians there accuse the local police of being soft on Muslims who attack them and complain that, in their pursuit of keeping the peace between the two communities, they insist on resolving sectarian disputes through tribal-like reconciliation meetings rather than rule of law.

Clocks 'fall back' on Sunday, offering 1 more hour of sleep-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-November 3, 2018

Twice a year, most Canadians change the time of their clocks by an hour.We "fall back," as we'll do this Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 a.m. And a few months later, on March 10, 2019, we'll "spring forward."We know that the time shift helps us make the most of light in the morning and evening, and that it can temporarily upset our sleep schedules.But why do we do it? The idea was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in the 1770s, but wasn't implemented until around 1915. Germany was the first country to use it, then Britain. It was adopted more widely during the First World War, which is when Canada started using daylight time.Reducing energy consumption and making the best use of daylight hours were the main reasons daylight time was used.There have been changes to the dates when clocks would change over the years, most recently in 2007, when legislation in the United States moved the start of daylight time three weeks earlier in the spring and the return to standard time a week later in the fall.The change was aimed at trying to help save energy. Canada followed the move in the U.S. so the time zones would remain aligned. That means clocks now:Fall back the first Sunday in November.Spring forward the second Sunday in March.Only in some parts of Canada-Most of Saskatchewan has not observed daylight time since 1966, staying on central standard time all year round. Some border towns follow the time schemes of their neighbours in Manitoba or Alberta.Areas of Quebec east of 63 degrees west longitude do not change to daylight time and remain on Atlantic time year round. Pockets of Ontario and British Columbia do not use daylight time.Daylight time is observed in most of the United States. Just two states — Arizona and Hawaii — and three territories — American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands — do not participate.There have been debates about whether daylight time remains useful. A March 2013 telephone survey of 1,000 adults by Rasmussen Reports in the U.S., for example, suggested 45 per cent of people thought it had no value, and 19 per cent were unsure.A similar survey of Europeans in the summer of 2018 found 84 per cent want to stop changing their clocks twice a year. That prompted the European Commission to announce in August that it would recommend that European Union member states abolish daylight savings.The time change can also affect sleep cycles. "Falling back," is generally thought to be less physically stressful, because people can get an extra hour of sleep, but studies show that's not always the case.Time changes are not always beneficial to traffic and pedestrians. A study by U.S. researchers found there were more pedestrian deaths during the evening rush hour in November than October as drivers and pedestrians adjusted to the earlier darkness.Upcoming time changes (ET)-2019: Spring forward Sunday, March 10 at 2 a.m. Fall back Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2 a.m.2020: Spring forward Sunday, March 8 at 2 a.m. Fall back Sunday Nov. 1 at 2 a.m.2021: Spring forward Sunday, March 14 at 2 a.m. Fall back Sunday, Nov. 7 at 2 a.m.

Federal ministers defend cannabis rollout after Enquête uncovers ties to organized crime-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-November 4, 2018

Federal ministers defended the rollout of legal cannabis Friday after a Radio-Canada investigation revealed that the financial backers of some producers have links to organized crime.The French-language investigative program Enquête found that two individuals connected to illegal drug trafficking, including one with links to the Rizzuto crime family, were able to invest in a major legal cannabis producer.Another individual with ties to the illegal market was able to sell his cannabis business to one of Canada's biggest legal players in exchange for shares in the company."It's not something that happens overnight, but there are laws in place to ensure that we do everything we can to capture individuals that are involved in organized crime," said Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.RCMP Supt. Yves Goupil told Enquête that while the police force conducts background checks on those applying to be licensed producers, uncovering everyone who is investing in the venture is a much more costly process.He said the RCMP cannot afford to employ deep surveillance techniques on every producer.Opposition parties said it's a troubling sign that, two weeks into the era of legal cannabis, the black market appears to have infiltrated Canada's legal supply chain."On its face, problems begin to emerge," said Conservative Member of Parliament Gérard Deltell.NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice said it's essential that the government uncover who is financing Canada's legal cannabis producers."They take the patch off their back and put on their jacket and tie and become a legitimate businessmen and continue to profit off drugs," he said.Making the verification process more difficult is the use of trusts, the Enquête report found, which hide the names of beneficiaries from the public."We have robust physical and personnel security screening processes in place for the existing industry designed to guard against infiltration by organized crime," said Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair.He pointed to the fact that all officers and board members of a licensed producer are subject to background checks.Blair said the government has also proposed expanding those checks to board members of any company that controls the corporation doing the actual cannabis production.Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor defended the government's cannabis law, calling the current verification system "exhaustive."She reiterated that Health Canada had found no connections to organized crime in the companies approved to produce cannabis."It's a new regime. We will ensure that the right resources are in place," she said.At a news conference in Churchill, Man., Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged there is still work to do be done the cannabis file, but that he is happy with the rollout so far.With files from Radio-Canada.

          Nov 27, 2018: US Retreat from Globalism: Responses from the Rest of the World at Bob and Sheila Hoerle Lecture Hall, Room UL105, University Center      Cache   Translate Page      

The gap between the US and the rest of the world has demonstrably widened under the Trump administration, and this phenomenon has consequences. In the week after his dismissive remarks and display of raw ego — provoking laughter in the General Assembly — talk among government leaders and commentators worldwide has turned to the reality that the US has opted out of constructive leadership.

Now, the question is what the rest of the world will do about it. Hear their voices from this panel discussion with academics and policy makers from across the world.

Panel guests:

Barbara Crossette, Former foreign correspondent for the New York Times and current senior consulting editor for PassBlue an electronic news outlet providing independent coverage of the United Nations.

Peter Hoffman, Assistant Professor of International Affairs in the Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs at The New School, and Research Fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, The Graduate Center of The City University of New York.

Camelia Entekhabifard, Iranian journalist, political commentator and author based in New York. She contributes to several media outlets including al-Jazeera, the Huffington Post and AP and writes primarily on Iranian foreign policy. She is the author of Save Yourself by Telling the Truth - A Memoir of Iran.

Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, As a career diplomat the Ambassador has extensive experience working on issues of peace, sustainable development and human rights, his career has included the positions and awards: Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to United Nations form 1996-2001, President of the UN Security Council, President of UNICEF Board, UN Under-Secretary-General, the Senior Special Advisor to the UN General Assembly President, and recipient of the U Thant Peace Award, UNESCO Gandhi Gold Medal for Culture of Peace, Spirit of the UN Award and University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor’s Medal for Global Leadership for Peace.

H.E. Lachezara STOEVA, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Bulgaria

Presented by the Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs at The New School.

View on site | Email this event


          Ozone layer will be completely HEALED by the 2060s      Cache   Translate Page      
The hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica is slowly healing and will be fully intact over the poles by the 2060s, a United Nations study has found.
          S/2018/981      Cache   Translate Page      
UNITED NATIONS INTERIM ADMINISTRATION MISSION IN KOSOVO (UNMIK) : REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
[ Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish ]
          UN HRC publishes concluding observations on Belarus      Cache   Translate Page      

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has published its Concluding observations adopted following the consideration of Belarus’s fifth periodic report on 8 and 9 October.


          APAC Judicial Conf. on Environmental and Climate Change Adjudication begins      Cache   Translate Page      

Naypyitaw, October 29

 UNION Chief Justice U Htun Htun Oo attended and ad-dressed the opening ceremony of the Asia-Pacific Judicial Conference on Environmental and Climate Change Adjudication held at the Hilton Hotel, in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning. The conference was jointly organized by the Union Supreme Court, Asian Development Bank (ADB), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Asian Judges Network on Environment (AJNE).

         

 The conference is held with the aim of strengthening in trying cases related to the natural environment and climate change. It is also aimed for judges and legal experts to discuss widely on cooperating among Asia-Pacific countries for fairness in maintaining the natural environment, hearing and judging natural environment cases, and strengthening the need to follow precedence and best practices in the area of environmental management.

         

         

 The conference will be held for two days on 29 and 30 October and challenges related to environment and climate change, enacted laws on protection and maintaining of the environment, implementation of the laws, trials relating to environment and climate change and challenges and the role of judges in the era of climate change will be discussed by people participating in wide ranging sectors from different views and angles.

         

         

 The conference is attended by Chief Judges, judges, judicial officers and high ranking officials from ASEAN countries, South Asia countries, Pacific region countries, Britain, Australia, United States of America, Brazil, New Zealand and Kiribati; officials from ADB and UN Environment Programme; experts from Train-the-Trainers Program Environmental Champion; legal experts; Constitutional Tribunal of Myanmar Chairman; Union Minister; Union Supreme Court judges; Pyidaungsu Hluttaw,Pyithu Hluttaw and Amyotha Hluttaw commissions and affairs committees chairmen, secretaries and members; officials from Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation; professors from legal departments of Yangon and Mandalay Universities; chairmen of Yangon and Mandalay bar associations; district level judges; judicial officers from Union Supreme Court and media personnel.The conference was hosted by Myanmar.

         

English

Category: 


          Comment on World News (November 1, 2018 Edition): Trump Says Military May Fire on Rock-Throwing Migrants – United Nations Warns Trump: #MigrantCaravan Must Be Allowed Into US – Russia Vows “It Will Act” If Ukraine or Georgia Join NATO – Secret History of the Order of the Illuminati – Why American Consumers Are About To Be Blindsided By An Inflationary Shockwave – “Don’t Ever Repeat This”: Beto Aides Busted Funneling Caravan Funds In Undercover Sting by squodgy      Cache   Translate Page      
Worth a re-post if only to emphasise how DT is simply perpetuating the Agenda 2030 plan by his latest appointment of Aurelia Skipwith, a former exec of Monsanto to the head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The King is dead....Long Live the King https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khfdjPbecwM
          Comment on World News (November 1, 2018 Edition): Trump Says Military May Fire on Rock-Throwing Migrants – United Nations Warns Trump: #MigrantCaravan Must Be Allowed Into US – Russia Vows “It Will Act” If Ukraine or Georgia Join NATO – Secret History of the Order of the Illuminati – Why American Consumers Are About To Be Blindsided By An Inflationary Shockwave – “Don’t Ever Repeat This”: Beto Aides Busted Funneling Caravan Funds In Undercover Sting by kevin a      Cache   Translate Page      
https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2018/11/02/wild-west-top-cop-reveals-70000-uk-kids-wounded-a-year-in-violent-crime-wave/
          "Flashpoint For War": U.S. And Japan Plan Military Response To Chinese Incursions Of Disputed Islands      Cache   Translate Page      

Things are again rapidly heating up in the East China Sea amidst already heightened tensions in a region where Washington is increasingly asserting the right of navigation in international waters against broad Chinese claims and seeking to defend the territorial possessions of its allies. 

According to a bombshell new Reuters report the tiny and rocky Senkaku Islands which lie between northern Taiwan and the Japanese home islands are "rapidly turning into a flashpoint for war". Alarmingly, Japanese government sources have been quoted as saying Tokyo and the United States are drawing up an operations plan for an allied military response to Chinese threats to the disputed Senkaku Islands

The Senkaku Islands, historically claimed by both Japan and China.

From nearly the start of his entering the White House, President Trump has said he's committed to upholding Article 5 of the US-Japan security treaty signed the post-war years of the mid-20th century: “We are committed to the security of Japan and all areas under its administrative control and to further strengthening our very crucial alliance,” Trump had promised from the first official reception of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe back in February 2017, and since consistently maintained. 

Japanese government sources have told regional media that the joint plan of response with the United States involves "how to respond in the event of an emergency on or around the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea" — which is set to be completed by next march, according to the statements. 

Beijing claims the islands as part of its historical inheritance — as it does neighbouring Taiwan, despite failing to seize the protectorate during the Chinese Civil War.

Taiwan, however, was a Japanese protectorate before World War II.

It’s a messy historical scenario, thought resolved through United Nations conventions and treaties established after the conflict. — Reuters/news.com.au

The Japan Times reports that “The plan being drawn up assumes such emergencies as armed Chinese fishermen landing on the islands, and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces needing to be mobilized after the situation exceeds the capacity of the police to respond.”

The situation is now taking on a greater urgency as both the US and Japan participate in the two nations' largest ever join war games, which involves the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier. The exercise, called Keen Sword began on Monday and is set to run through Thursday, and involved a combined force of 57,000 sailors, airmen and marines with Japan contributing 47,000 of those military personnel. Canadian warships are also involved in the exercises. 

Japan is seeking greater direct commitment and resolve on the part of the United States to defend its territorial claims against Chinese encroachment, which Japan says is already beginning to happen through informal provocative raids of fishing boats organized by Beijing. 

Reuters reports that "ongoing aggressive incursions by Chinese fishing boats — organised as a state militia — and a freshly militarized coast guard has seen tensions in the East China Sea flare." And the report further confirms: “The plan being drawn up assumes such emergencies as armed Chinese fishermen landing on the islands, and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces needing to be mobilized after the situation exceeds the capacity of the police to respond.”

Though the United States has in the past expressed deep reluctance on outright defending claims to the Japan-administered islands (indicating it will take no official position on the issue), which China calls the Diaoyu, Japan's Self-Defense Forces says the focus of talks with the US has involved how to incorporate the US military’s strike capabilities in any potential Chinese invasion of the Senkaku Islands scenario

One Japanese military analyst was quoted as saying: “Given that military organizations always need to assume the worst possible situation, it is natural for the two countries to work on this kind of plan against China.”

The two already have a framework for such talks based on recently created 2015 defense guidelines known ans the Bilateral Planning Mechanism, or BPM. It stipulates the US and Japan's Self-Defense Forces will “conduct bilateral operations to counter ground attacks against Japan by ground, air, maritime, or amphibious forces”. Currently there's a similar contingency plan in place for a potential emergency threat on the Korean peninsula.

Between now and the spring - when the plan is set to be finalized and agreed upon - China will likely ramp up its incursions on the islands, or just seize them altogether before US commitments can be firmed up, in which case the great unknown will be whether the United States actually steps up to come to Japan's aid while risking war with China — something that up until now has been carefully avoided.


          Another Truce? Why Hamas Cannot Be Trusted - by Bassam Tawil      Cache   Translate Page      
...Israel is being asked to give those who seek its destruction yet another chance. Israel is being asked to give those who seek its destruction more fishing areas that will facilitate their mission of smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip. Israel is being asked to open its borders to oblige those who call for its destruction day and night. Israel is being asked to send fuel and medical aid to those who burn its flags and, on a daily basis, in the mosques and public squares of the Gaza Strip, call for its obliteration.

Bassam Tawil..
Gatestone Institute..
05 November '18..

It is no secret that most of the Arab countries do not trust Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group. President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, for instance, as well as many Palestinians, do not have any confidence in Hamas, particularly after the summer of 2007, when the Islamist movement violently seized control of the Gaza Strip. Earlier this year, Abbas threatened that "shoes will be pouring" onto the heads of Hamas leaders.

Now, however, Israel is being asked to trust Hamas. This request is coming from Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations, whose representatives have been working hard the past few weeks to arrange a truce agreement between Israel and Hamas.

According to unconfirmed reports, the proposed truce calls for reopening all the border crossings between the Gaza Strip on one side, and Israel and Egypt on the other. The truce also apparently calls for expanding the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip coast to 9 miles; paying salaries to thousands of Hamas employees, and increasing fuel supplies to the only power plant in Gaza. Qatar -- a country that has long been supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoot, Hamas -- will be required to pay for the fuel and the salaries, according to the proposed truce agreement.

What will Israel get in return? Calm. This means a Hamas promise temporarily to stop launching terrorist attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip. This promise by Hamas also includes temporarily halting the weekly, Hamas-sponsored, violent riots along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

(Continue to Full Post)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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          China Faces Off With Critics of Muslim Detentions      Cache   Translate Page      
Chinese delegates delivered a defiant defense of its mass detentions of Muslims at a United Nations human-rights panel in Geneva on Tuesday that became a showdown with the U.S. and other critics of the Chinese policy.
          Islamic State Left 200 Mass Graves in Iraq, U.N. Says      Cache   Translate Page      
Islamic State left more than 200 mass graves in Iraq, the United Nations said, burial sites that could provide some of the first evidence of war crimes committed during the extremist group’s three-year rule in the north of the country.
          Changing Behaviors through Communication for Development      Cache   Translate Page      
A three-day working session facilitated by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, is taking place in Belize City. Representatives from several institutions are being trained to expand their skills [...]
          GPS to Locate Crime Hotspots?      Cache   Translate Page      
The Ministry of National Security, through the Belize Crime Observatory, received a donation of GPS equipment earlier today from the United Nations Development Programme.  The handing over of thirty-seven devices [...]
          FAO warns of impact of price and currency trends on smallholder incomes      Cache   Translate Page      
Declining international agricultural commodity prices should ease the bill the worlds poorest countries pay for food imports, although the strengthening US dollar poses serious concerns, a new United Nations report says.Worldwide food imports are likely to reach 1.467 trillion dollars in 2018, 3.0 per cent above the previous years level but slightly down from the July forecast, according to the Food Outlook, a semiannual publication by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Declining prices for coffee, tea, cocoa and sugar are easing global import costs, although the rising freight charges are expected to offset that effect. For Least-Developed Countries (LDC) and Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDC), sharp drops in the international price of sugar are offsetting rising costs for imported vegetables and cereals.Broadly speaking, the outlook for global food supplies in the coming year remains in line with earlier assessments, with robust production prospects and inventory levels taming prices. However, erratic weather, trade policies and currency exchange rates all pose mounting uncertainties, FAO says.Food Outlook analyses trends and developments in the markets for cereals, the oilseeds complex, sugar, meat, dairy and fish products. The November edition also offers a detailed analysis of the cassava markets and the protracted decline in international coffee prices. An additional feature article analyses the recent conditions in the global markets for bananas and major tropical fruits, where world trade is foreseen to surge by 18 per cent from last year.The Food Outlook review of the trends in the main food commodities, including cereals - wheat, maize and rice - points to generally tightening conditions, compared to a robust baseline for supply and stocks.The focus of this report is on markets for cassava, an important crop for food security with highly regionalised nature. Worldwide production in 2018 is projected by FAO to rise to 277 million tonnes, a 0.5 per cent annual increase after two decades of much more rapid expansion. Trade volumes, meanwhile, are forecast to decline by 36 per cent.That slowdown mostly reflects uncertainty in Southeast Asia, where cassava is widely grown by smallholders for export to China. China, which typically accounts for two-thirds of world cassava imports, is auctioning off large stockpiles of maize, the crops main rival for energy, feed and industrial use, in a process that could last several years. The prospects for an international cassava market expanding beyond Asia remain largely elusive, says FAO.More UNI RSA JW0905
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Thousands of Child Soldiers Still Trapped After South Sudan War: U.N.
Tom Miles

GENEVA (Reuters) - Thousands of child soldiers dragged into South Sudan’s civil war are unlikely to be freed soon because aid agencies lack the funds to look after them, a U.N. envoy said on Tuesday.

The government signed a peace deal with rebel factions in September to end a civil war that killed at least 50,000 people, but many children who were forced into the conflict are still stuck in military camps in the bush, Virginia Gamba, U.N. envoy for children and armed conflict, said.

Gamba, who has spoken to former child soldiers in the country, said a lack of resources to re-integrate the children meant they remained at extremely high risk of abuse.

Since January, 900 child soldiers have been freed and Gamba expects a further 1,000 releases by the end of the year. But there are many more, she told reporters.

“The first group of released children ... kept telling me that at least two or three of their friends were still in the bush waiting to be released or waiting to be negotiated and asking me to intervene on their behalf,” she said.

“We are talking of thousands still out there.”

U.N. funds for reintegrating children had halved over the past seven years while needs doubled, and aid workers could not cope with a sudden mass release, she said.

“For every day that a kid is in the bush they will be revictimised, there’s just no question about it.”

After being abducted, children might be raped or sent to attack their own families to sever their ties to home. Escape attempts were punished by hand amputation or molten plastic poured onto the skin, Gamba said: “They were terrified.”

Four-fifths of the violations were committed by the army, but all warring parties were guilty, Gamba said.

A South Sudan army spokesman declined to comment.

Gamba said the number of violations of children’s rights was greater than in Syria and Afghanistan.

“It is really huge, it’s quite gross. I mean, decapitation of children, the use of sexual violation against very small children as part of a weapon and a tactic of war to cow communities, the abduction of children, the recruitment of children, forced use of children in support of war efforts.”

94-year-old tried in youth court for Nazi crimes

South Sudan has agreed a joint action plan with the United Nations that would allow aid workers to reach deep into the former war zone and verify child numbers in military camps.

Freed children - 40 percent of them girls - might get six months of help to learn a skill like carpentry or sewing so they could fend for themselves, but they would never go to school.

“These kids are condemned for the rest of their life ... their dreams will never be achieved,” Gamba said.

Reporting by Tom Miles, additional reporting by Denis Dumo; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

          Truth Never Dies: Justice for Slain Journalists      Cache   Translate Page      

Violence and toxic rhetoric against journalists must stop, say United Nations experts. Marking the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, U.N. Special Rapporteurs David Kaye, Agnes Callamard, and Bernard Duhaime expressed concern over the plight that journalists are increasingly facing. “Journalists around the world face threats and attacks, often instigated by government […]

The post Truth Never Dies: Justice for Slain Journalists appeared first on Inter Press Service.


          More than 200 mass graves of Islamic State victims found in Iraq - UN report      Cache   Translate Page      
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) BAGHDAD: More than 200 mass graves have been uncovered in Iraq in areas formerly controlled by Islamic State militants, the United Nations said on Tuesday....
          In Colombia, Artist Renders Tons Of Rebel Guns Into Floor Tiles      Cache   Translate Page      
Under Colombia's peace deal, FARC guerrillas turned over their weapons to the United Nations. Now many of them lie in the ground of a Bogotá museum.
          Woodrow Wilson or the Virgin Mary: Who Was Right About Peace?      Cache   Translate Page      

Arrogant men throughout history have claimed that they can establish peace on earth. Modern examples abound. The United Nations Charter talks of faith, but not of God. At their “summit meetings” world leaders constantly talk … Continue reading

The post Woodrow Wilson or the Virgin Mary: Who Was Right About Peace? appeared first on Return to Order.


          Fujitsu Receives EcoBalance 2018 "Award for Best Business Practices"      Cache   Translate Page      

Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. have received the Award for Best Business Practices at EcoBalance 2018 (the 13th Biennial International Conference on EcoBalance), for initiatives relating to evaluating the environmental impact of energy and resource use, with an aim toward the fulfillment of the United Nation's sustainable development goals (SDGs). These initiatives were conducted as part of a feasibility study with the goal of reducing data center emissions to zero. The Fuj...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=230976


          Saudi Arabia's Permanent Mission to UN: Kingdom top donor to YHRP 2018      Cache   Translate Page      
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) New York, Safar 29, 1440, November 07, 2018, SPA -- The delegation of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Permanent Mission to the United Nations has confirmed...
          Yemeni FM discusses his country's humanitarian situation with UN officials      Cache   Translate Page      
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) JEDDAH, Nov 6 (KUNA) -- Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Yamani discussed on Tuesday the humanitarian situation in Yemen with United Nations o...
          UN begins investigation into UK's extreme poverty      Cache   Translate Page      
UN begins investigation into UK's extreme poverty
- The United Nations has launched an investigation into extreme levels of poverty in one of the richest countries in the world: the United ...

          Human rights advocates: UN must address Chinese internment camps      Cache   Translate Page      

Geneva, Switzerland, Nov 7, 2018 / 12:41 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Human rights advocates are calling on the United Nations to address reports of Chinese internment camps holding 1 million Muslim minorities in Northwest China.

The call comes shortly before a review of China’s human rights record on November 6 by the U.N. Human Rights Council. The last review of China’s human rights was in 2013.

Ex-detainees have said these camps include abuse and political indoctrination, the Guardian has reported.

Researchers believe an estimated 1 million Muslim Uighurs have been detained at these camps. British diplomats, who visited Xinjiang in August, have confirmed those numbers, according to officials.

“The Human Rights Council must send an unequivocal message to the Chinese government that their campaign of systematic repression in the XUAR (Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region), including the arbitrary detention of up to 1 million people, must end,” said Patrick Poon, China researcher at Amnesty International.

Poon was among numerous human rights advocates at an activist forum on China held in Geneva Nov. 2.  

Sharon Hom, executive director Human Rights in China, also attended the forum.

“The detention of over a million ethnic Uighurs is a tipping point for the international community. They really can’t look the other way now,” Hom told Reuters.

Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uighur Congress, stressed the urgency of the situation.

“In the last five years, generally the human rights situation in China has been getting worse, particularly in east Turkestan (Xinjiang) and Tibet, there has been an unimaginable deterioration,” he told Reuters.

The Washington Post reported that the chairman of China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, Shohrat Zakir, stated earlier this month that the camps do exists but are a “vocational education and training program” aimed at curbing terrorism.

China has said that it is responding to threats in Xinjiang posed by Islamist militants and separatists. However, it has rejected accusations of mistreatment in Xinjiang or Tibet.

 


          "Flashpoint For War": U.S. And Japan Plan Military Response To Chinese Incursions Of Disputed Islands      Cache   Translate Page      

Things are again rapidly heating up in the East China Sea amidst already heightened tensions in a region where Washington is increasingly asserting the right of navigation in international waters against broad Chinese claims and seeking to defend the territorial possessions of its allies. 

According to a bombshell new Reuters report the tiny and rocky Senkaku Islands which lie between northern Taiwan and the Japanese home islands are "rapidly turning into a flashpoint for war". Alarmingly, Japanese government sources have been quoted as saying Tokyo and the United States are drawing up an operations plan for an allied military response to Chinese threats to the disputed Senkaku Islands

The Senkaku Islands, historically claimed by both Japan and China.

From nearly the start of his entering the White House, President Trump has said he's committed to upholding Article 5 of the US-Japan security treaty signed the post-war years of the mid-20th century: “We are committed to the security of Japan and all areas under its administrative control and to further strengthening our very crucial alliance,” Trump had promised from the first official reception of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe back in February 2017, and since consistently maintained. 

Japanese government sources have told regional media that the joint plan of response with the United States involves "how to respond in the event of an emergency on or around the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea" — which is set to be completed by next march, according to the statements. 

Beijing claims the islands as part of its historical inheritance — as it does neighbouring Taiwan, despite failing to seize the protectorate during the Chinese Civil War.

Taiwan, however, was a Japanese protectorate before World War II.

It’s a messy historical scenario, thought resolved through United Nations conventions and treaties established after the conflict. — Reuters/news.com.au

The Japan Times reports that “The plan being drawn up assumes such emergencies as armed Chinese fishermen landing on the islands, and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces needing to be mobilized after the situation exceeds the capacity of the police to respond.”

The situation is now taking on a greater urgency as both the US and Japan participate in the two nations' largest ever join war games, which involves the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier. The exercise, called Keen Sword began on Monday and is set to run through Thursday, and involved a combined force of 57,000 sailors, airmen and marines with Japan contributing 47,000 of those military personnel. Canadian warships are also involved in the exercises. 

Japan is seeking greater direct commitment and resolve on the part of the United States to defend its territorial claims against Chinese encroachment, which Japan says is already beginning to happen through informal provocative raids of fishing boats organized by Beijing. 

Reuters reports that "ongoing aggressive incursions by Chinese fishing boats — organised as a state militia — and a freshly militarized coast guard has seen tensions in the East China Sea flare." And the report further confirms: “The plan being drawn up assumes such emergencies as armed Chinese fishermen landing on the islands, and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces needing to be mobilized after the situation exceeds the capacity of the police to respond.”

Though the United States has in the past expressed deep reluctance on outright defending claims to the Japan-administered islands (indicating it will take no official position on the issue), which China calls the Diaoyu, Japan's Self-Defense Forces says the focus of talks with the US has involved how to incorporate the US military’s strike capabilities in any potential Chinese invasion of the Senkaku Islands scenario

One Japanese military analyst was quoted as saying: “Given that military organizations always need to assume the worst possible situation, it is natural for the two countries to work on this kind of plan against China.”

The two already have a framework for such talks based on recently created 2015 defense guidelines known ans the Bilateral Planning Mechanism, or BPM. It stipulates the US and Japan's Self-Defense Forces will “conduct bilateral operations to counter ground attacks against Japan by ground, air, maritime, or amphibious forces”. Currently there's a similar contingency plan in place for a potential emergency threat on the Korean peninsula.

Between now and the spring - when the plan is set to be finalized and agreed upon - China will likely ramp up its incursions on the islands, or just seize them altogether before US commitments can be firmed up, in which case the great unknown will be whether the United States actually steps up to come to Japan's aid while risking war with China — something that up until now has been carefully avoided.


          Legacy of Islamic State 'terror': more than 200 mass graves verified by U.N. in northern and western Iraq      Cache   Translate Page      

From the forlorn resting place of a handful of victims to a huge sinkhole that may contain thousands of bodies, more than 200 mass graves dot the bleak landscape of northern and western Iraq, a testament to the grisly three-year reign of Islamic State, a United Nations report released Tuesday says.

...
          LCQ4: Promotion of green finance      Cache   Translate Page      
     Following is a question by the Hon Chan Chun-ying and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr James Lau, in the Legislative Council today (November 7):

Question:

     It is learnt that there were 16 cases of local green bond issuance in the first half of this year, raising funds of US$6.8 billion in total, which was three times the amount for the whole of last year. Some analyses have pointed out that the green industries on the Mainland will have a capital demand of about RMB3 trillion to RMB4 trillion per year during the period covered by the country's 13th Five-Year Plan for the National Economic and Social Development, and the infrastructure projects in the countries along the Belt and Road will have a capital demand of US$1.5 trillion per year between 2016 and 2030, as estimated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Such situations have presented opportunities for Hong Kong to develop green finance. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) as there are views that there is a need for the Government to set up a green financial system framework comprising clear green standards, specific development guidelines and comprehensive regulations, and at present some 20 countries and regions across the globe have rolled out a green finance development roadmap, whether the Government has considered developing (i) a green financial system framework, and (ii) a green finance development roadmap; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(2) as some analyses have pointed out that private capital participation is crucial to the development of green finance, whether the Government has considered, by making reference to the approach of the United Kingdom (UK), financing the establishment of an independent green investment bank to mobilise private capital to invest in green projects; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(3) whether it has considered, by making reference to the experience of countries such as the UK and Germany, boosting the development of green finance through fiscal policies, such as introducing tax concessions, offering profit tax exemption to funds investing in green finance products, as well as granting interest subsidies to green lending products; if so, of the details; if not, the reason for that?

Reply:

President,

     Our replies to the three parts of the question are as follow:

(1) and (3) Green finance is a new but rapidly expanding area of financial activities that seeks to bring a positive impact on the environment through emphasis on social responsibility and sustainable development. Riding on the increasing global demand for green financial products, Hong Kong, as an international financial centre and the global Renminbi business hub, is well-equipped to develop green finance, in particular serving as a premier financing platform for international and Mainland green enterprises/projects in raising funds through issuing bonds and initial public offerings.

     The Government is making progress on various fronts to develop and firmly establish Hong Kong as a leading hub for green finance in the region, with focus on the Mainland of China and economies along the Belt and Road. The Government would facilitate and provide the necessary infrastructure and catalyst for jump-starting market developments. We will at the same time build up our international profile on green finance with increased international visibility and proactive promotion targeting audience overseas.

     On promoting local certification for green finance products, the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) established a Green Finance Certification Scheme (GFCS) early this year to provide third-party conformity assessments for issuers on their green financial instruments by making reference to a number of international and national standards. Representatives of the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau and the Environment Bureau attended meetings of the HKQAA's Technical Committee as observers upon their deliberation on the technical details of GFCS. We will continue to support GFCS's implementation and encourage local, Mainland and overseas enterprises to make use of the Scheme and our capital markets for financing their green projects.

     Many local, Mainland and international organisations, such as the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, have made use of Hong Kong to issue green bonds. This attests to the strengths of our competitive capital markets. To attract more green bond issuance and promote market development in Hong Kong, the Government has launched the Green Bond Grant Scheme to subsidise eligible green bond issuers in obtaining certification under the GFCS, as well as the Pilot Bond Grant Scheme to provide grant to eligible enterprises issuing bonds (including green bonds) in Hong Kong for the first time. We have also enhanced the Qualifying Debt Instrument Scheme to provide tax concession for bond investment in Hong Kong. We hope that the Legislative Council would authorise the Government to implement the Government Green Bond Programme as soon as possible by making the proposed resolution under the Loans Ordinance to facilitate the inaugural government green bond issuance, with a view to setting a good example for the green finance market in Hong Kong and attracting more local, Mainland and international investors and financiers to participate therein. Moreover, we are reviewing the tax arrangements applicable to funds and we plan to introduce a legislation by the end of the year, so that different types of both onshore and offshore funds operated in Hong Kong, subject to certain eligibility requirements, can enjoy profits tax exemption for transactions in qualifying assets including securities, futures and shares of private companies, etc. This tax arrangement would be applicable for funds investing in green finance products which can be classified as such qualifying assets.

     We would strengthen efforts to publicise Hong Kong's competitive capital markets, highlight our edge in developing green financial products and raise green finance awareness at regional and international forums including the Asian Financial Forum organised in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority hosted the International Capital Markets Association's Green and Social Bond Principles Annual General Meeting and Conference and a seminar with the People's Bank of China on Mainland-Hong Kong green finance opportunities this June, which altogether attracted some 1 300 market participants.

     Furthermore, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) became a Partner of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative this June, committing to further promotion of sustainable and transparent capital markets. The Securities and Futures Commission published its Strategic Framework for Green Finance this September and looks forward to fostering cross-agency and public-private collaboration to develop green finance, on which it has started discussions with the HKEX, other financial authorities, key stakeholders along the investment chain and the wider financial community.

(2) Most of the large-scale green infrastructure projects in Hong Kong, such as sewage treatment, waste management and district cooling systems, etc., are carried out by the Government. Investors who are interested in financing green projects of the Government can participate in our Government Green Bond Programme. In addition, private organisations can make use of our capital markets to issue green financial instruments. Thus, the market effect of and actual demand for a green investment bank in Hong Kong are limited at the moment.

     Moreover, the Government has various initiatives in place to support local environmental and recycling industries and attract private capital to invest in different green projects. For instance, the $1 billion Recycling Fund was launched in October 2015 to provide funding support for the local recycling industry in general or in specific sectors in enhancing their operational standards and productivity. On promoting the development of renewable energy (RE), the Government and the two power companies have introduced Feed-in Tariff Scheme under the post-2018 Scheme of Control Agreements to provide economic incentives for individuals and non-government bodies to invest in RE.
          Chief Secretary clears air on Hong Kong's human rights situation at UN Forum (with photos)      Cache   Translate Page      
     The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) held a review meeting in Geneva, Switzerland today (November 6, Geneva time) to consider China's third report, which covers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and Macao Special Administrative Region. 
 
     A team of HKSAR Government officials, led by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, attended the meeting as members of the China delegation.
 
     Mr Cheung spoke at the meeting in his capacity as the Deputy Head of Delegation led by the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Le Yucheng. 
 
     Some 150 Member States spoke at the meeting today and eight of them gave oral comments and four submitted written comments on the report submitted by the HKSAR.
 
     In response to concerns and questions raised by Member States, Mr Cheung reiterated that Hong Kong enjoyed a high degree of autonomy under "one country, two systems" and that fundamental rights and freedoms were all guaranteed by the Basic Law. 
 
     "Recent concerns over some aspects of Hong Kong's human rights situation are unwarranted, unfounded and unsubstantiated.  They arise from misconception and a lack of understanding of our real situation," he stressed. 
 
     "We are firmly committed to protecting press freedom. We do not exercise any censorship.
 
     "On a recent work visa extension case, we will not comment on any specific decision on our immigration control.  All such decisions are made by our immigration authorities under the laws and prevailing policies, having regard to individual circumstances of each case.  
 
     "Any concerns that Hong Kong's freedom of speech and of the press is under threat are totally groundless.  On the contrary, we maintain an environment conducive to the operation of a free and active press.   Some 80 foreign media organisations operate in Hong Kong and rigorously perform their role as a watchdog," Mr Cheung emphasised.
    
     Speaking on the eligibility for running in the Legislative Council election, Mr Cheung pointed out that "Article 1 of the Basic Law stipulates that HKSAR is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China." 
 
      "HKSAR has the duty to safeguard our country's sovereignty, security and development interests.  A person who promotes 'Hong Kong independence' or 'self-determination' or advocates independence as an option cannot uphold the Basic Law and swear allegiance to HKSAR," he emphasised. 
 
     Mr Cheung said that the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress had the ultimate authority to interpret the Basic Law under Article 158.  The Court of Final Appeal agreed that the Standing Committee's interpretation was valid and binding on our courts.  As for Article 104 relating to oath-taking when assuming specified public offices, the Standing Committee's interpretation simply explained clearly the meaning of that Article without changing its content.
 
     Whilst the HKSAR Government would not comment further on the decision to ban an organisation under the Societies Ordinance as appeal has been lodged, Mr Cheung pointed out that "Hong Kong people do enjoy freedom of association and expression but, like any other jurisdictions, such freedom is not absolute.  The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides that restrictions may be imposed by law if this is necessary to protect national security or public safety, public order, or the rights and freedoms of others.  This is mirrored in the Hong Kong Bill of Rights."
     
     Mr Cheung took the opportunity to dispel the misunderstanding that some protesters were targeted for exercising their civil rights. 
 
     "I must clarify that these protesters were convicted not because of their beliefs or their exercising civil rights, but because of their disorderly or violent conduct in breach of the law.  They have crossed the line separating the lawful exercise of constitutional rights from unlawful activities subject to sanctions," Mr Cheung explained.
 
     "I must say that the number of public meetings and processions in Hong Kong last year was ten times over 1997, and the overwhelming majority of these activities were orderly and peaceful.  This demonstrates that freedom of peaceful assembly is fully respected," Mr Cheung said.
 
     On speculations of authorities of other jurisdictions taking law enforcement actions in Hong Kong, Mr Cheung said that the Hong Kong Police had investigated and found no evidence in support of such claims.  
 
     The UN Working Group meeting noted that since the establishment of the HKSAR in 1997, Hong Kong had remained the world's freest economy, a vibrant international financial and business centre, a thriving logistics and tourism hub, as well as one of the safest cities in the world. 
 
     "We are committed to building a caring and fair Hong Kong, with the Government investing heavily in education, medical services, welfare, infrastructure, poverty alleviation and helping the ethnic minorities. 
 
     "Such remarkable achievements are underpinned by our core values and unique institutional strengths which make Hong Kong tick.  Hong Kong will continue to forge ahead as Asia's world city with openness, inclusiveness and diversity under the successful, innovative and well-tried 'one country, two systems'," Mr Cheung highlighted. 
 
     The delegation will attend the meeting to be held on November 9 when the report on China will be adopted by the UNHRC Working Group.
 
     The human rights situation in Hong Kong was reported to the Working Group during the review meeting. 
 
     The meeting noted that since the establishment of the HKSAR in 1997, the HKSAR Government "has been implementing 'one country, two systems' and 'Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong' under a high degree of autonomy in strict accordance with the Basic Law of the HKSAR and with the full support of the Central People's Government." 
 
     The rule of law, executive, legislative and independent judicial power and power of final adjudication, as well as human rights and freedom are all fully guaranteed by the Basic Law.  Hong Kong has been ranked as the world's most open and freest economy for many years.  Such achievement is underpinned by HKSAR's strengths such as the fine tradition of rule of law, a free and open market, an efficient public sector and a robust institutional framework.  
 
     The Working Group also noted that, alongside with the promotion of economic development, the HKSAR Government had devoted significant resources to education, poverty alleviation, helping the disadvantaged, caring for children and support for the ethnic minorities, with a view to building a caring, equitable, inclusive and "people-oriented" society.  All these bear strong testimony to the successful implementation of "one country, two systems", the achievements of which are widely recognised.
Photo  Photo  

          Response by CS at UNHRC Universal Periodic Review meeting      Cache   Translate Page      
     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, attended the meeting under the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council today (November 6, Geneva time) in Geneva, Switzerland.  Following is the response made by Mr Cheung at the meeting:
 
Mr President,
 
     Human rights in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) are fully protected by the Basic Law, Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and other laws.  The rule of law, an independent judiciary and freedom of speech are amongst Hong Kong's core values. 
 
     Recent concerns over some aspects of our human rights situation are unwarranted, unfounded and unsubstantiated.  They arise from misconception and a lack of understanding of our real situation.  Let me explain.
 
     Under "one country, two systems", Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy.  Fundamental rights and freedoms are all guaranteed by the Basic Law.      
 
     We are firmly committed to protecting press freedom.  We do not exercise any censorship.  On a recent work visa extension case, we will not comment on any specific decision on our immigration control.  All such decisions are made by our immigration authorities under the laws and prevailing policies, having regard to individual circumstances of each case.  Any concerns that Hong Kong's freedom of speech and of the press is under threat are totally groundless.  On the contrary, we maintain an environment conducive to the operation of a free and active press.   Some 80 foreign media organisations operate in Hong Kong and rigorously perform their role as a watchdog.  
 
     As for the eligibility for running in the Legislative Council election, upholding the Basic Law and swearing allegiance to HKSAR is a basic legal duty of a legislator.  One cannot do so if one promotes "Hong Kong independence" or "self-determination" or advocates independence as an option. These run counter to the constitutional and legal status of Hong Kong SAR.  Article 1 of the Basic Law stipulates that Hong Kong SAR is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China.  It is our duty to safeguard our country's sovereignty, security and development interests.
 
     On speculations of authorities of other jurisdictions taking law enforcement actions in Hong Kong, our Police have investigated and found no evidence in support of such claims.  
 
     On the decision to ban an organisation under the Societies Ordinance, as an appeal has been lodged, we will not comment further.  But let me stress that Hong Kong people do enjoy freedom of association and expression but, like any other jurisdictions, such freedom is not absolute.  The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) provides that restrictions may be imposed by law if this is necessary to protect national security or public safety, public order, or the rights and freedoms of others.  This is mirrored in the Hong Kong Bill of Rights. 
 
     On the misunderstanding that some protesters were targeted for exercising their civil rights, I must clarify that these protesters were convicted not because of their beliefs or their exercising civil rights, but because of their disorderly or violent conduct in breach of the law.  They have crossed the line separating the lawful exercise of constitutional rights from unlawful activities subject to sanctions.  I must say that the number of public meetings and processions in Hong Kong last year was ten times over 1997, and the overwhelming majority of these activities were orderly and peaceful.  This demonstrates that freedom of peaceful assembly is fully respected.
 
     On interpretation of the Basic Law, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (the Standing Committee) has the ultimate authority to do so under Article 158 of the Basic Law. This is part of our constitutional order.  Our Court of Final Appeal agrees that the Standing Committee's interpretation is valid and binding on our courts. 
 
     As for Article 104 relating to oath-taking when assuming specified public offices, the Standing Committee's interpretation simply explains clearly the meaning of that Article without changing its content. 
 
     Since the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 1997, Hong Kong has remained the world's freest economy, a vibrant international financial and business centre, a thriving logistics and tourism hub, as well as one of the safest cities in the world.  We are committed to building a caring and fair Hong Kong, with the Government investing heavily in education, medical services, welfare, infrastructure, poverty alleviation and helping the ethnic minorities.  These remarkable achievements are underpinned by our core values and unique institutional strengths which make Hong Kong tick.
 
     Mr President, Hong Kong will continue to forge ahead as Asia's world city with openness, inclusiveness and diversity under the successful, innovative, and well-tried "one country, two systems".  Thank you.
          Is China persecuting its Uighur Muslim minority?      Cache   Translate Page      
The United Nations' Human Rights Council is examining Beijing's alleged crackdown on Uighur Muslims.
          11/6/2018: NEWS | WORLD: UN says Earth’s ozone layer is healing      Cache   Translate Page      

WASHINGTON — Earth’s protective ozone layer is finally healing from damage caused by aerosol sprays and coolants, a new United Nations report said. The ozone layer had been thinning since the late 1970s. Scientist raised the alarm and ozone-depleting...
          India pledges of $13.36 mn for UN agencies development activities - Millennium Post      Cache   Translate Page      

Millennium Post

India pledges of $13.36 mn for UN agencies development activities
Millennium Post
During the 2018 United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities here Monday, First Secretary in India's Permanent Mission to the UN Mahesh Kumar said India has been a regular contributor to the UN since its founding and believes that the ...


          China Confronts Critics Of Vast Detention Program      Cache   Translate Page      
BEIJING—China’s government delivered a defiant defense of its mass detentions of Muslims at a United Nations human-rights panel in Geneva on Tuesday that turned into a showdown with the U.S. and other critics of the policy.
          Latin America's Homicide Problem      Cache   Translate Page      
The United States is at the tail end of a steady decline in crime, including homicide and violent crime, which is just starting to level off from a peak in the early 1990s. The homicide rate in 1991 in the U.S. was 9.8 per 100,000 people per year. As of 2016, the murder rate in the U.S. was 5.3, after hitting a low of 4.4 in 2014. Further back in time, the homicide rate in the U.S. is estimated to have been over 30 per 100,000 people in 1700, dropping to under 20 by 1800, and to under 10 by 1900.

Colombia too, has seen homicides decline precipitously from a 2003 peak, although its homicide rates are still extraordinarily high. Homicides peaked in 2015 in El Salvador but remain extraordinarily high, and while homicides in Venezuela peaked in 2014, they remain very high in a country that is also in a state of economic collapse and hyperinflation.

Drug cartels (to a significant extent meet U.S. based, rather the domestic demand) armed with guns smuggled in from the United States are usually considered the leading cause of the high homicide rate in Latin America, although, as the Economist notes in the case of Columbia, it is more complicated than that.

Mexico's murder rate is near a peak of about four times the U.S. rate, although it is still much lower than many other countries in Central and South America. In Mexico, the homicide rate appears to be due to warfare between drug cartels caused by the decapitation strategy of its anti-drug law enforcement effort that has splintered and destabilized existing drug cartels without putting much of a dent in the volume of the drug trade itself.

Latin America boasts just 8% of the world’s population, but it accounts for 38% of its murders. The number of criminal killings in the region came to around 140,000 people last year. . . .  
In many Colombian cities murder used to be the leading cause of death. The rate in Cali in 1994 was 124 per 100,000, four times worse than New York at its most lethal. The mayor was a surgeon who realised that murder was like a disease. Following an approach pioneered in New York and copied across the rich world, he set up “violence observatories” to study precisely how people, places and behaviour led to killings. They found that, even amid a raging drugs war, most murders resulted from drunken brawls. Restrictions on alcohol and guns helped cut murders by 35%. . . Medellín . . . targeted drug cartels. . . . In 2017 Colombia’s murder rate was 24 per 100,000, the lowest for 42 years.
Via The Economist (April 11, 2018 article).

The power vacuums caused by demobilization of the FARC and a weak government are also blamed for the still high murder rates in Columbia.

More here. Basically, cartel and kingpin organizations have been replaced by more of a domesticated mafia. Homicide is also a big problem in Brazil:
In Brazil to the south (NYT):
In Rio de Janeiro state alone, more than 5,197 people have been killed this year — far more than the 3,438 civilians killed in conflict last year in Afghanistan, according to United Nations figures.
One-quarter of those may have been killed by the state, a sign of state weakness not strength.

          Soenke Ziesche Published New Paper on AI      Cache   Translate Page      

The objective of this article is to identify synergies for two relevant challenges, which are currently faced by the world community, yet addressed separately: The artificial intelligence value-loading problem and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. First, the challenges and their significance are outlined. Subsequently, opportunities and risks are discussed to utilize the Sustainable Development Goals to set the values of an artificial intelligence. History has shown that it is complex to agree on universal and sufficiently specific human goals. Nevertheless, this is a prerequisite to approach the artificial intelligence value-loading problem, which is closely linked to artificial intelligence safety. So far, it has not been considered harnessing the Sustainable Development Goals in this context. Yet, the Sustainable Development Goals can be seen as the closest and most comprehensive existing approximation towards common human goals since it is what the United Nations, i.e. the world community, currently agrees upon. Such an attempt entails various risks, which are discussed and which are anticipated given that the artificial intelligence value-loading problem is considered very hard. However, due to the urgency it is argued here that the Sustainable Development Goals constitute an innovative as well as promising interim heuristic towards artificial intelligence safety.


          SCBD/OES/CPP/DC/CE/87388 (SCBD/OES/CPP/DC/CE/87388): High-level Segment of the 2018 United Nations Biodiversity Conference (Fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and third meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing, 17 - 29 Novemb      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Iran officials mock, warn U.S. over renewed sanctions      Cache   Translate Page      
TEHRAN, Iran – The “largest-ever” U.S. sanctions list targeting Iran drew mockery from Iranian officials on Tuesday for including mothballed Boeing 747s, a bank that closed years earlier and a sunken oil tanker that exploded off China months ago.

However, the new list of sanctions, which also aims to cut Iran’s vital oil industry off from international sales, also included for the first time its state airline and its atomic energy commission, further highlighting the maximalist approach of President Donald Trump’s administration.

Trump pulled America out of the 2015 nuclear deal Iran struck with world powers in May. United Nations monitors say Iran still abides by the deal, in which it agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in return for the lifting of international sanctions.

The U.S. Treasury Department imposed penalties on more than 700 Iranian and Iranian-linked individuals, entities, aircraft and vessels in the new sanctions. Among those are 50 Iranian banks and subsidiaries, and more than 200 people and ships.

However, scattered among the list are surprising entries, such as the crude oil tanker Sanchi. That vessel collided with a bulk freighter and caught fire off China’s east coast in January, killing all 32 sailors aboard.

Another entry was Iran’s Tat Bank, which closed in 2012.

Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif took to Twitter to mock some of the targets of the sanctions, describing it as a “desperate” psychological ploy.

“The U.S. designated a bank that was closed 6 years ago, and a ship that sank in a widely televised saga,” he wrote, ending the tweet with “(hashtag)USisIsolated.”

But for the first time, the United States targeted Iran Air. It also sanctioned the state carrier’s mothballed fleet of Boeing 747s, which were manufactured in the 1970s.

It also appeared that the U.S., in another first, was directly sanctioning the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, the government agency that oversees Iran’s nuclear program. Prior sanctions targeted specific subsidiaries of the organization.

Eshaq Jahangiri, President Hassan Rouhani’s senior vice president, also criticized the sanctions.

“Americans think their list is more effective if it is longer,” Jahangiri said, according to the state-run IRNA news agency. He said he had discussed the list with other officials, with many saying it was “less than what we expected.”

Still, Jahangiri warned that “Americans intend to damage economy of the country” through psychological warfare.

Zarif later issued an online video criticizing America’s “indiscriminate assault” on his country.

“The U.S. administration appears to believe that imposing illegal draconian sanctions on Iran will bring about such pain to our nation that it will force us to submit to its will, no matter how absurd, unlawful or fundamentally flawed its demands are.”

Zarif urged America to re-examine its “catastrophes” in the Mideast, including its support for Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Iran is already in the grip of an economic crisis. Its national currency, the rial, now trades at 150,000 to one U.S. dollar; a year ago, it was about 40,500. The economic chaos sparked mass anti-government protests at the end of last year, resulting in nearly 5,000 reported arrests and at least 25 people being killed.

Sporadic smaller demonstrations still reportedly erupt from time to time.

The new sanctions particularly hurt Iran’s vital oil industry, which provides a crucial source of hard currency. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the sanctions already had cost Iran the sale of over 1 million barrels of crude oil a day.

Analysts feared in the run-up to the sanctions that global oil prices could spike on tight supply and increasing demand. However, the Trump administration allowed some of its allies – Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey – as well as rival China to continue to purchase Iranian oil as long as they work to reduce imports to zero. The price of benchmark Brent crude has dropped from over $80 a barrel in recent days.

During a visit to Madrid on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the U.S. decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran was “not legitimate” and that the rest of the parties to the 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by Washington are working to make economic cooperation with Tehran possible.

Lavrov’s remarks were Russia’s first reaction to Washington’s new list of sanctions against Iran. The Russian diplomat said the sanctions go against international law and practices, and that the U.S. “policies of issuing an ultimatum and making unilateral moves are unacceptable these days.”


          Biodiversity loss is our extinction      Cache   Translate Page      
SUBHEAD: The world has two years to  halt a ‘silent killer’ as dangerous as climate change, says UN.

By Joinathan Watts on 6 November 2018 for the Guardian -
(https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/03/stop-biodiversity-loss-or-we-could-face-our-own-extinction-warns-un)


Image above: Deforestation in Indonesian to make way for a palm oil concession. Photograph: Ulet Ifansasti/Greenpeace From original article.

The world must thrash out a new deal for nature in the next two years or humanity could be the first species to document our own extinction, warns the United Nation’s biodiversity chief.

Ahead of a key international conference to discuss the collapse of ecosystems, Cristiana Pașca Palmer said people in all countries need to put pressure on their governments to draw up ambitious global targets by 2020 to protect the insects, birds, plants and mammals that are vital for global food production, clean water and carbon sequestration.

“The loss of biodiversity is a silent killer,” she told the Guardian. “It’s different from climate change, where people feel the impact in everyday life. With biodiversity, it is not so clear but by the time you feel what is happening, it may be too late.”

Pașca Palmer is executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity – the world body responsible for maintaining the natural life support systems on which humanity depends.

Its members – 195 states and the EU – will meet in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, this month to start discussions on a new framework for managing the world’s ecosystems and wildlife. This will kick off two years of frenetic negotiations, which Pașca Palmer hopes will culminate in an ambitious new global deal at the next conference in Beijing in 2020.

Conservationists are desperate for a biodiversity accord that will carry the same weight as the Paris climate agreement. But so far, this subject has received miserably little attention even though many scientists say it poses at least an equal threat to humanity.

The last two major biodiversity agreements – in 2002 and 2010 – have failed to stem the worst loss of life on Earth since the demise of the dinosaurs.

Eight years ago, under the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, nations promised to at least halve the loss of natural habitats, ensure sustainable fishing in all waters, and expand nature reserves from 10% to 17% of the world’s land by 2020. But many nations have fallen behind, and those that have created more protected areas have done little to police them. “Paper reserves” can now be found from Brazil to China.

The issue is also low on the political agenda. Compared to climate summits, few heads of state attend biodiversity talks. Even before Donald Trump, the US refused to ratify the treaty and only sends an observer. Along with the Vatican, it is the only UN state not to participate.

Pașca Palmer says there are glimmers of hope. Several species in Africa and Asia have recovered (though most are in decline) and forest cover in Asia has increased by 2.5% (though it has decreased elsewhere at a faster rate). Marine protected areas have also widened.

But overall, she says, the picture is worrying. The already high rates of biodiversity loss from habitat destruction, chemical pollution and invasive species will accelerate in the coming 30 years as a result of climate change and growing human populations.

By 2050, Africa is expected to lose 50% of its birds and mammals, and Asian fisheries to completely collapse. The loss of plants and sea life will reduce the Earth’s ability to absorb carbon, creating a vicious cycle.

“The numbers are staggering,” says the former Romanian environment minister. “I hope we aren’t the first species to document our own extinction.”

Despite the weak government response to such an existential threat, she said her optimism about what she called “the infrastructure of life” was undimmed.

One cause for hope was a convergence of scientific concerns and growing interest from the business community. Last month, the UN’s top climate and biodiversity institutions and scientists held their first joint meeting.

They found that nature-based solutions – such as forest protection, tree planting, land restoration and soil management – could provide up to a third of the carbon absorption needed to keep global warming within the Paris agreement parameters.

In future the two UN arms of climate and biodiversity should issue joint assessments.

She also noted that although politics in some countries were moving in the wrong direction, there were also positive developments such as French president, Emmanuel Macron, recently being the first world leader to note that the climate issue cannot be solved without a halt in biodiversity loss. This will be on the agenda of the next G7 summit in France.

“Things are moving. There is a lot of goodwill,” she said. “We should be aware of the dangers but not paralysed by inaction. It’s still in our hands but the window for action is narrowing. We need higher levels of political and citizen will to support nature.”

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          Earth • Water • Fire • Air      Cache   Translate Page      
SUBHEAD: New UN report warns of impending catastrophe as world warms, and glaciers melt.

By Dahr Jamail on 2 November 2018 for TruthOut -
(https://truthout.org/articles/new-un-report-warns-of-impending-catastrophe-as-world-warms-glaciers-melt/)


Image above: Glacier Peak in the central Cascade Mountains, seen from the East. The rapid retreat of the glaciers on this 10,541-foot mountain is starkly apparent in this photo of the fourth-highest mountain in Washington State. Photo from Dahr Jamail.=
“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” —Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
I have come to accept the bittersweet nature of my mountain trips. I venture into the heights for solace from the political, social and ecological demise that is raging across the planet. While camping at 7,000 feet in the central Cascade Mountains, I take in the view of the grand east face of Glacier Peak from atop Fortress Mountain. I gulp in the thick stars above. I find solace in the fact that those who are wrecking the planet will never be able to desecrate the stars.

However, while marveling at the glaciers glowing in the morning sun on Glacier Peak, their rapid retreat is starkly highlighted by the barren Earth below, where they once resided.

My last trip was on October 20, and from the summit, a 360-degree view revealed no less than four wildfires still burning. It was well into the fall in the Pacific Northwest, yet smoke still covered vast swaths of the state and was rapidly filling in the valleys below me.

While hiking out later, the after effects were inescapable. Portions of the forest I hiked through bore the scars of previous wildfires, and served as a warning of more to come.

The biggest news in the corporate media regarding climate change since my last dispatch has been the UN report stating that we have 12 years left to limit a full-on climate change catastrophe. To avoid this fate, we would need to spend those 12 years curbing global emissions dramatically.

Essentially, there would need to be a government-mandated plan across the globe that would enable us to limit warming to 1.5 degrees centigrade (1.5°C) rather than the 2°C goal of the 2015 Paris climate talks.

Eliminating that extra .5 of warming would save tens of millions of people from sea level rise inundation, and hundreds of millions from water scarcity and a myriad of other catastrophic impacts.

Limiting warming to 1.5°C would, scientists have said, require a radical rethinking of virtually every facet of modern society, including an abandonment of our entire fossil-fuel based economy.

However, currently, we are headed for at least a 3°C increase by 2100, with no mass government mobilization in sight.

Meanwhile, the warnings that the catastrophe is already upon us continue.

A recent study in a paper published August 31 in the journal Science warned that for each degree of rise in global temperature, insect-driven losses to the staple crops of rice, wheat and corn increase by 10-25 percent.

Given we are already at 1.1°C warming, we are already seeing these losses, which are sure to increase. “In 2016, the United Nations estimated that at least 815 million people worldwide don’t get enough to eat,” the University of Washington Press wrote of the study.
 “Corn, rice and wheat are staple crops for about 4 billion people, and account for about two-thirds of the food energy intake, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.”
At the same time, scientists are deeply concerned about the fact that non-pest insect numbers are declining rapidly. Bees, moths, butterflies, ladybugs and other insects are far less abundant, and scientists around the world warn that these insects are crucial to as much as 80 percent of all the food we eat.

“You have total ecosystem collapse if you lose your insects,” University of Delaware entomologist Doug Tallamy told the AP. “How much worse can it get than that?”

Meanwhile, in the realm of sea level rise, things are irreversibly catastrophic. A recent study of Antarctic ice sheets shows them to be far more sensitive to temperature increases than previously believed.

The study showed that when global temperatures were only slightly warmer than they are currently, sea levels were 20-30 feet higher than they are right now. “It doesn’t need to be a very big warming, as long as it stays 2 degrees warmer for a sufficient time, this is the end game,” David Wilson, a geologist at Imperial College London and one of the authors of the new research told The Washington Post.

Equally disturbingly, lakes in the Arctic are literally bubbling and hissing: They are releasing methane in large quantities as the ground underneath them thaws.

Methane is a greenhouse gas 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide on a 10-year timescale, and the widespread release of methane was a key driver of the Permian Mass Extinction event which annihilated more than 90 percent of life on Earth.

Meanwhile, the Arctic sea ice is melting rapidly. Ice extent reached its annual minimum recently, which is normally when the ice would begin reforming rapidly, particularly right in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. Instead, the ice continued to decline.

To underscore how governments are not doing enough to mitigate climate change impacts, Brazil, a major greenhouse gas emitting country, recently elected right-wing extremist Jair Bolsonaro as president. To say he is anti-environment (in addition to homophobic, racist and sexist) would be a gross understatement.

Known as the Trump of the Tropics, his plans include disempowering federal environmental agencies, opening up Indigenous reserves in the Amazon to mining and farming, and building hydroelectric dams in the rainforest, where deforestation, already at crisis levels, is set to explode.

Earth

Impacts of human-caused climate disruption across the terrestrial plane are becoming increasingly stark.

A recently published study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that global insects are in a crisis, and the problem is even more widespread than previously realized.

While previous studies had revealed a 45 percent decrease in invertebrates like bees and beetles in the last 35 years and another study showed a 76 percent decrease in flying insects in the last few decades in German nature preserves, the new study shows a startling loss of insects now extending into the Americas.

The report cites climate change as the cause. “This is one of the most disturbing articles I have ever read,” David Wagner, an expert in invertebrate conservation at the University of Connecticut told The Washington Post of the study.

Another recent study, also in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that more than 300 species of mammals have been driven to extinction by human activities.

The study showed that even if humans ceased destroying wilderness areas and ended poaching and pollution within 50 years, and extinction rates fell back to normal levels, 5-7 million years would be required for the natural world to recover from what we have done to it.

“We are doing something that will last millions of years beyond us,” Matt Davis, a research leader at Aarhus University in Denmark, told The Guardian. “It shows the severity of what we are in right now.

We’re entering what could be an extinction on the scale of what killed the dinosaurs. That is pretty scary. We are starting to cut down the whole tree [of life], including the branch we are sitting on right now.”

In the US West, a region iconic for its vast expanses and the freedom to roam in the wilderness that comes with them, some people refer to themselves as “prisoner[s] of the environment” (as reported in this piece in The Guardian) due to increasingly unhealthy air quality from wildfire smoke, water shortages and drought. Many residents are now wondering whether they should move.

Longer, hotter fire seasons, increasingly warm temperatures, less snowfall, changes in plants, and shorter winters are in the process of fundamentally changing Yellowstone National Park in the next few decades.

“That conclusion is pretty much inescapable,” John Gross, ecologist with the National Park Service’s Climate Change response program, told USA Today. “It’s really more a question of the when and how it occurs than if.”

And it’s not just Yellowstone. The recently published study, “Disproportionate magnitude of climate change in United States national parks,” has shown that the parks have warmed twice as fast as the US average, and could well see the worst impacts of climate change. This is due to the fact that vast portions of national park areas are located at higher elevations, in the arid southwestern US, or in the Arctic.

The iconic trees of Joshua Tree National Park may soon find their environment uninhabitable. Glacier National Park will eventually be free of glaciers. And many other national parks could be left virtually unrecognizable by climate change.

Meanwhile, as permafrost continues to thaw and water seeps deeper into mountain crags, increasingly severe storms (thanks to climate change) will destabilize mountains and increase the risk of landslides and rockfall.

Speaking of permafrost, a recent report showed that coastal erosion in the Arctic is intensifying climate change. As the coast there eroded during the end of the last glacial period (20,000 years ago), dramatic amounts of the frozen CO2 were released into the atmosphere.

Now, this feedback loop — with climate change causing melting, melting causing CO2 release, and CO2 release exacerbating climate change — is beginning to occur again.

A recent study in Canada’s British Columbia showed that climate change is pushing alpine animals higher up mountains, as well as into extinction. The study showed that both plants and animals are shifting upslope 100 meters for every 1°C in temperature increase.
It’s not just plants and animals being forced to higher ground.

Some humans in the US are also moving to higher ground, as the era of mass climate migration has begun. The Great Migration in the US, a period during the 20th century when roughly 6 million black people fled the Jim Crow South for cities elsewhere, was the previous largest internal migration in the US.

One study showed that by the end of this century, sea level rise alone could displace 13 million people, six million of those in Florida alone. That number doesn’t include people fleeing drought and wildfire-prone areas, nor those having to move for lack of water, or ensuing violence.

Making matters worse, another leading climate scientist warned that 15-20 feet of sea level rise is possible within the next 70 years. That amount of sea level rise would mean the end of, literally, every major coastal city on Earth.

The number of people displaced would be in the hundreds of millions, as New York City, Boston, Miami, Lagos, Jakarta, Shanghai, Mumbai, New Orleans, vast swaths of Boston, and Ho Chi Min City would all be underwater.

A recent report from Yale 360 argued that the current system of rating hurricanes needs to be scrapped, because it fails to account for how climate change-augmented hurricanes are now carrying far more powerful storm surges, often moving slower, and bringing flooding from rainfall that the current system cannot account for.

If all of this information makes you feel despair, you are not alone. Another recent study warned of “catastrophic” mental health changes that are tied to climate change, including high levels of stress, anxiety and depression.

Water

As usual, climate change-induced disruptions are glaringly apparent in the watery realms of Earth.
A massive iceberg is now poised to break off Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. The iceberg is notably larger than the one that broke off the same glacier a year ago, which was 4.5 times the size of Manhattan.

In the US, given how many millions of people live in coastal flooding zones, with more looking to move to the coast, no one is required to even tell you if your future home is likely to flood.

According to a recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Sabin Center for Climate Law, “[i]n 21 US states there are no statutory or regulatory requirements for a seller to disclose a property’s flood risks or past flood damages.”

The other 29 states have varying degrees of requirements to disclose this information.

In the low-lying coastal nation of Bangladesh, an entire country already beset by regular flooding, there is now an ongoing rural exodus into cities that is literally reshaping the country.

With 163 million people, Bangladesh is the world’s most populous delta. There, riverbank erosion alone displaces between 50,000-200,000 people annually, and the capital city of Dhaka is absorbing between 300,000-400,000 people — mostly climate migrants — each year.

On the other side of the spectrum of climate change-induced water disasters is drought.

In the US, a crisis at Lake Powell, between Utah and Arizona, is looming as the ongoing long-term drought impacts plaguing the Southwest are reaching farther and farther upstream. Water rationing has reached far upriver as places in Colorado have had to ration water due to diminishing snowpacks and the ongoing drought.

In New Mexico, water reservoirs are nearing bottom as they have been used to help people survive the record drought of 2018, but now they are nearly dry, prompting worries about how to deal with the future, for which only increasing widespread drought is predicted. For example, by late September, the largest reservoir in the state was at only 3 percent capacity.

Down in Australia, an ongoing drought is hotter and drier than anything people in the impacted areas have ever known, and it is getting worse.

“It’s quite unusual to get over 40C here but this last summer and the last couple of summers have been so scorchingly hot,” a sheep farmer there told The Guardian. “You can see the water being sucked out of the dams, sucked out of the soil, sucked out of my life and you can’t plan for that.”


Wildfires, made more frequent, hotter and larger due to climate change, a