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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: ARE WE NOW IN THE END TIMES?
5/20/2017 12:15:48 AM

US-led coalition strike against Syrian pro-govt forces ‘unlawful’ – Russia

Edited time: 19 May, 2017 17:42


FILE PHOTO: Two US F-15E Strike Eagles © Reuters

The US-led coalition strike on a pro-government convoy in Syria is illegitimate and represents yet another violation of Syria’s sovereignty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“The American command explained the strike on pro-government Syrian forces, saying that these forces represented a threat to opposition which cooperates with the US-led coalition,” Lavrov said on Friday. “Whatever the reason for the US command to make this decision, this strike is illegitimate and unlawful. It’s yet another harsh violation of Syria’s sovereignty.”

Apart from violating Syrian sovereignty, such strikes hamper international efforts to reach a political solution of the Syrian crisis, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov stated earlier on Friday.

“Any military actions leading to the aggravation of the situation in Syria definitely affect the political process. Especially if such actions are committed against the Syrian armed forces.” Gatilov said.

Damascus said on Friday that the Thursday strike hit a Syrian Army position on Al-Tanf road in the Syrian desert “which led to casualties and material damage,” Sana reports.

The US-led coalition airstrike on pro-government forces in Syria was called “aggression” and “government terrorism” by Syria’s ambassador to the UN and the government’s chief negotiator at the Geneva talks, Bashar al-Jaafari. He also said the US actions amounted to a “massacre,” which was discussed during the talks with Staffan de Mistura.

“We discussed the massacre that the US aggressor committed yesterday in our country,” Jaafari stated, as cited by Reuters.

“We want to focus on fighting terrorism represented by armed groups and the state and government terrorism happening against our country. This includes the American aggression, French aggression and British aggression.”

Senior Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev also condemned the strike, questioning whether it was a deliberate attack.

“You cannot consider the US-led coalition airstrike against pro-government forces on Thursday an accident or a mistake anymore. This is a deliberate action and its consequences are yet to be estimated,” Kosachev wrote on his Facebook page.

“This is not only an attack in Syria and against Syria, but also against Geneva [negotiations]. The US is irritated that the Geneva process is not under its control and, what is worse, it can be successful.”

The sixth round of Syrian peace talks in Geneva which started on Tuesday was “short, but productive,” Gatilov said. He also noted that UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura wanted the experts’ meetings to continue beyond the negotiations.

Earlier, the US-led coalition admitted striking a militia group fighting alongside Syrian government forces in southern Syria on Thursday. They said in a statement that the Syrian forces “posed a threat” to US and allied troops at Tanf base near the Syria-Iraq-Jordan border.

The incident took place as pro-government forces reportedly entered one of the recently implemented de-escalation zones in Homs province, where they allegedly clashed with the US-backed Maghawir Al-Thawra militant group (formerly known as ‘New Syrian Army’).

“We notified the coalition that we were being attacked by the Syrian Army and Iranians in this point and the coalition came and destroyed the advancing convoy,” Reuters cited a militant representative as saying.


(RT)

"Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: ARE WE NOW IN THE END TIMES?
5/20/2017 12:34:33 AM

ON THE WAR FOOTING US prepares for drills with TWO giant aircraft carriers on Kim Jong-un’s doorstep – as tyrant braces himself for cruise missile strikes

USS Ronald Reagan and its crew of 4,500 will join USS Carl Vinson in show of strength against wayward North Korea

Updated: 19th May 2017,

US forces have deployed another massive aircraft carrier to the Korean peninsula to front up against tyrant Kim Jong-un.

USS Ronald Reagan, which holds 4,500 crew and dozens of planes, will join up with USS Carl Vinson to carry out war drills in the hugely tense region.

USS Ronald Reagan will sail to Korea from its home port in Japan as tensions with North Korea reach boiling point

EPA

USS Ronald Reagan will sail to Korea from its home port in Japan as tensions with North Korea reach boiling point

Kim Jong-un, seen celebrating North Korea’s latest missile test, warned his people to prepare for war

REUTERS

Kim Jong-un, seen celebrating North Korea’s latest missile test, warned his people to prepare for war

Kim launched another ballistic missile this week, ratcheting up tensions in the region even further

RODONG SINMUN

Kim launched another ballistic missile this week, ratcheting up tensions in the region even further

Today’s announcement by the US Pacific Fleet comes after unhinged Kim told his enslaved people to prepare themselves for cruise missile strikes from “imperialist” America.

The aircraft carriers are riddled with deadly jets capable of carrying out precise but catastrophic strikes.

It is not routine for two aircraft carriers to be deployed to a specific theatre — a sign of the unprecedented tensions.

USS Ronald Reagan holds dozens of aircraft and has a crew of 4,500

EPA

USS Ronald Reagan holds dozens of aircraft and has a crew of 4,500

Vice President Mike Pence made a speech to US forces on board the Reagan in Japan last month

EPA

Vice President Mike Pence made a speech to US forces on board the Reagan in Japan last month

“USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan are in the Western Pacific, but they are not in close proximity to each other,” a US Navy spokesman said.

After sailing from its home port in Japan, the Reagan is expected to reach the area by the end of this month.

A fighter jet lands on the USS Carl Vinson, which has already been deployed to Korea

GETTY IMAGES

A fighter jet lands on the USS Carl Vinson, which has already been deployed to Korea

US and South Korean warships including the USS Carl Vinson, centre, have been engaged in war drills

GETTY IMAGES

US and South Korean warships including the USS Carl Vinson, centre, have been engaged in war drills

Meanwhile, South Korea have warned that Kim is ready to conduct a nuclear test.

This week the dictator was pictured celebrating after yet another ballistic missile launch.

Footage of North Korea launching ballistic missile from test facility


(THE SUN)


"Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: ARE WE NOW IN THE END TIMES?
5/20/2017 9:44:10 AM

Judge Blocking Travel Ban Joined By Lawyer, Agrees To Allow It If Trump Will Say One Thing

Posted by | May 18, 2017

Neal Katyal, the lawyer representing the case against President Trump's travel ban.

Neal Katyal, the lawyer representing the case against President Trump’s travel ban.

President Trump during his presidential campaign made a very popular promise that he would attempt to place a halt on immigration or travel from terror-prone countries. However, this ban was blocked by a lawyer and former Obama solicitor general Neal Katyal who has made several outrageous claims on how such a ban would violate the constitution.

In his most recent outrageous statement, Neal Katyal when asked by Judge Richard Paez’s what, if anything, Trump could do to make the executive order acceptable; Katyal’s response was He could say, like President Bush did right after September 11th, ‘The face of Terror is not the true face of Islam, that’s not what Islam is about, Islam is Peace.’ Instead, we get ‘Islam hates us’,”. Implying his obstruction would be stopped by acceptance of the “Islam is peace” mantra of leftists in denial.

Activist Judge Derrick Watson who stopped implementation of President Trump's travel ban in March.

Activist Judge Derrick Watson who stopped implementation of President Trump’s travel ban in March.

After activist Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii stopped the implementation of the travel ban in March, Katyal took it upon himself to represent the alleged “victims” of the travel ban. The ruling was seen as controversial by many and was based on previous statements by President Trump rather than the actual content of the executive order itself.

For example, the ruling referred to a “Muslim ban” which is factually inaccurate, and claims that President Trump’s history of statements about Islam made the executive order a violation of the first amendment. Apparently, the judge is unaware that the executive order made no mention of religion.

Other statements have been made by Neal Katyal in regards to what Trump has to do in order to “possibly” pass the travel ban. In one example Katyal stated that Trump could disavow all statements he has made in regards to Islam, in addition to the aforementioned repeating of liberal mantra that “Islam is Peace”. Katyal also suggested that references to honor killings would have to be removed in order to not violate the first amendment.

Katyal also attempted to cut off arguments that pointed out the lack of reference to Islam or Muslims in the travel ban by rattling off a long list of biased studies from left-wing think tanks that argue for open borders. Katyal’s argument stating that open borders are such a universal positive that the only possible reason to close borders would have to be due to racism.

Torching cars has become a past-time in Sweden thanks to Islamic immigration, Katyal assures us this is a universal positive.

Torching cars has become a past-time in Sweden thanks to Islamic immigration, Katyal assures us this is a universal positive.

Despite the claims of these propagandists, research shows that illegal immigration has a gigantic fiscal impact of up to $55 billion a year. In addition, nations that have faced large amounts of immigration from the nations in the travel ban have seen massive amounts of crime spikes, such as Sweden.

Omar Jadwat, the ACLU lawyer that admitted the case against travel ban was because of Trumpophobia.

Omar Jadwat, the ACLU lawyer that admitted the case against travel ban was because of Trumpophobia.

Other officials involved in the blocking of the travel ban have been caught in controversial statementsand situations as well. Omar Jadwat and the ACLU have repeatedly cited comments by President Trump in relation to Islam as evidence of a violation of the first amendment in reference to a travel ban. However, when Omar Jadwat was asked by Judge Paul Niemeyer “We have a candidate who won the presidency, some candidate other than President Trump won the presidency and then chose to issue this particular order, with whatever counsel he took. Do I understand that just in that circumstance, the executive order should be honored?”, Jadwat was forced to respond with a statement that said “Yes, your honor, I think, in that case, it could be constitutional,” which showed that his real reason for blocking the ban was more to do with President Trump than the constitution.

A potentially incriminating fact is that it was shortly after former President Obama landed on Hawaii that Judge Derrick Watson blocked the travel ban. Similar to how Bill Clinton met with Loretta Lynch while Hillary Clinton was under investigation by the FBI and shortly before James Comey stated they would not pursue charges, this meeting has sparked suspicion that the visit was related.

While there is no proof that Obama forced the Judge to make the decision it is important to note that Obama was the one who appointed Derrick Watson to his position. Obama has openly condemnedTrump’s travel ban, in addition, Obama has joined networks that are opposing Trump in every way possible.


(conservativedailypost.com)


"Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: ARE WE NOW IN THE END TIMES?
5/20/2017 10:00:40 AM
Thanks to global warming, Antarctica is beginning to turn green


Researchers in Antarctica have discovered rapidly growing banks of mosses on the ice continent’s northern peninsula, providing striking evidence of climate change in the coldest and most remote parts of the planet.

Amid the warming of the last 50 years, the scientists found two different species of mosses undergoing the equivalent of growth spurts, with mosses that once grew less than a millimeter per year now growing over 3 millimeters per year on average.

“People will think of Antarctica quite rightly as a very icy place, but our work shows that parts of it are green, and are likely to be getting greener,” said Matthew Amesbury, a researcher with the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom and lead author of the new study. “Even these relatively remote ecosystems, that people might think are relatively untouched by human kind, are showing the effects of human induced climate change.”

The study was published Thursday in Current Biology, by Amesbury and colleagues with the University of Cambridge, the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Durham.

Less than 1 percent of present-day Antarctica features plant life. But in parts of the peninsula, Antarctic mosses grow on frozen ground that partly thaws in the summer — when only about the first foot of soil ever thaws.

The surface mosses build up a thin layer in the summer, then freeze over in winter. As layer builds on top of layer, older mosses subside below the frozen ground, where they are remarkably well preserved due to the temperatures.

Amesbury said that made them “a record of changes over time.”

Soil samples from a 400-mile area along the northern part of the Antarctic peninsula found dramatic changes in growth patterns going back 150 years.

The Antarctic peninsula has been a site of rapid warming, with more days a year where temperatures rise above freezing. The consequence, the study found, was a four- to five-fold increase in the amount of moss growth in the most recent part of the record.

Photos taken by the authors during the research also captured some strikingly green Antarctic landscapes, like this one on Green Island:

“This is another indicator that Antarctica is moving backward in geologic time — which makes sense, considering atmospheric CO2 levels have already risen to levels that the planet hasn’t seen since the Pliocene, 3 million years ago, when the Antarctic ice sheet was smaller, and sea-levels were higher,” said Rob DeConto, a glaciologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who was not involved in the study but reviewed it for The Washington Post.

“If greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked, Antarctica will head even further back in geologic time…perhaps the peninsula will even become forested again someday, like it was during the greenhouse climates of the Cretaceous and Eocene, when the continent was ice free,” DeConto continued by email.

The authors agree the current observed changes are probably just the beginning. “These changes, combined with increased ice-free land areas from glacier retreat, will drive large-scale alteration to the biological functioning, appearance, and landscape of the [Antarctic peninsula] over the rest of the 21st century and beyond,” they wrote.

The moss growth is still modest compared to what’s happening in the Arctic, where a large-scale greening trend has even been captured by satellite. In the Arctic, there’s now so much plant growth that some scientists are hoping it will at least partially offset the loss of carbon from thawing permafrost beneath those plants.

Those days are probably very far off for the Antarctic, but it’s clear the continent used to be a very different landscape.

“We’re starting back on a journey towards that sort of environment,” said Amesbury. “Certainly, Antarctica has not always been the ice place it has been now on very long timescales.”

Climate change is turning the Arctic green
NASA scientists used almost 30 years of satellite data to track changes in vegetation in Alaska and Canada. 30 percent had increases in vegetation. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Matthew Radcliff)


(washingtonpost.com)


"Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: ARE WE NOW IN THE END TIMES?
5/20/2017 10:32:47 AM

WHO IS LYUDMILA PUTIN? RUSSIAN PRESIDENT'S EX-WIFE TIED TO MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR PROPERTY BUSINESS


BY


The former wife of Russian president Vladimir Putin helped create and now supports a foundation that owns a historic Moscow property generating millions of dollars from tenants, a Reuters examination of property records has found.

The building was renovated with help from associates of Putin, and the rental income is paid to a private company owned by a person whose name is the same as the maiden name of Putin's former wife, corporate records show.

The rent comes from Volkonsky House in central Moscow, which was an aristocrat's home in pre-Soviet times and is now owned by The Center for the Development of Inter-personal Communications (CDIC). Lyudmila Putina helped set up the non-commercial foundation, according to a report in state newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta and two sources who worked with the center. Lyudmila was Putin's wife from 1983 until their divorce, which was announced in 2013.

The foundation was created in 2002, and in September 2006 Rossiiskaya Gazeta described Lyudmila as a "trustee" of the organization. In an interview with the newspaper that year, she used the term "we" when discussing the foundation, and three sources currently familiar with the foundation's work said Lyudmila supports a literary prize and publishing arm that the foundation runs.

The CDIC has offices in Volkonsky House, but most of the building is let out to tenants, including two big state banks, documents show.

The tenants pay rent to a company called Meridian, which is 99 per cent owned by a company called Intererservis, corporate and property records reviewed by Reuters in early May showed. Intererservis, according to a state register of corporate entities, has been wholly owned since 2014 by a woman called Lyudmila Alexandrovna Shkrebnyova – which is the maiden name of Putin's former wife.

Reuters was unable to find documents confirming that Shkrebnyova and Putin's ex-wife are the same person. But other connections, besides the name, point to the former first lady and the owner of Intererservis being the same person. A previous general director of Intererversis was Olga Alexandrovna Tsomayeva. Several Russian media reports refer to her as the sister of Putin's former wife. Tsomayeva could not be reached for comment.

In addition, the other 1 percent of Meridian is owned by Tatiana Shestakova, who was the wife of Vasily Shestakov, an old friend and judo sparring partner of Putin, until the Shestakovs divorced in 2013. Shestakova, who also helped create the CDIC, according to the state registry of corporate entities, could not be reached for comment.

The Kremlin property department supervised the renovation work on the Volkonsky House in Moscow's Vozdvizhenka Street, according to rental documents reviewed by Reuters, even though the building no longer belonged to the state at the time.

A source involved in the renovation said Lyudmila Putina, then still the president's wife, visited Volkonsky House to inspect the work. "We all knew that the (Kremlin property) department was constantly overseeing the process," said the source, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. "When Mrs Putin made an inspection visit, they immediately closed down the whole of Vozdvizhenka Street."

The Russian bank VTB, one of the current tenants in Volkonsky House, alone pays more than $2 million in annual rent, according to a tender document posted on a government website in 2015.


Vladimir Putin (L) and his wife Lyudmila attend a service to mark the start of his term as Russia's new president at the Kremlin in Moscow, May 7, 2012.ALEKSEY NIKOLSKYI/RIA NOVOSTI/POOL/FILE PHOTO/REUTERS

Reuters was unable to establish the total income Meridian receives from renting out space in the Moscow property or what it pays to the CDIC foundation. The company's accounts for 2015 show revenues of 225 million rubles ($3.89 million), but do not disclose where the money goes.

Reuters sought comment from Meridian and the CDIC, via letters, telephone calls and visits, but received no reply. The Kremlin press service did not respond to questions about the president's former wife.

The arrangements appear to fit a pattern in Putin's Russia, whereby people close to the president benefit from contracts, loans, grants or assets from state enterprises or entities closely linked to the Kremlin. Reuters has previously reported how Putin's son-in-law, Kirill Shamalov, became a billionaire after marrying a daughter of the president by acquiring a large stake in a leading Russian gas and petrochemicals company. Reuters also reported how Shamalov acquired a substantial property in Biarritz, France, from a close associate of Putin.

Artur Ocheretny, described in Russian media as Shkrebnyova's new husband since 2015, is the chairman of the management board of the CDIC. In 2014, after a low-profile career running a seafood business and an event-organizing company, he too became the owner of an Art Deco villa in a suburb of Biarritz, according to local sources. His villa is estimated by estate agents to be worth about 6 million euros.

Ocheretny did not respond to a request for comment passed to him via the CDIC.

Helpful friends

The building at 9 Vozdvizhenka Street is known as the Volkonsky House after its former owner General Nikolai Volkonsky, the grandfather of author Leo Tolstoy. In the 20th century, Sergei Yesenin, a popular poet, wrote some of his works there.

This historic site was later owned by the Russian Foreign Ministry, according to a 1992 presidential decree signed by Putin's predecessor. By 2005, property records show, it had passed to a body called the Center for the Development of the Russian Language, which later changed its name to the Center for the Development of Inter-personal Communications.

Reuters was unable to establish on what terms the language center acquired the building. The agency that handles state property, Rosimushchestvo, did not respond to Reuters questions about the building.

The property was in need of renovation, and around 2005 major refurbishment was carried out. The president's allies stepped in to help. The Konstantinovsky Foundation, which was set up soon after Putin became president to restore the Konstantinovsky Palace near Putin's native St Petersburg, provided financial help, according to its website. The president often uses the palace to host foreign leaders.

Vladimir Kozhin, who from 2000 until 2014 was head of the Kremlin property department, was on the board of the Konstaninovsky Foundation at the time the renovation work was carried out on Volkonsky House. Kozhin remains on the board, which has at least one other associate of Putin on it. Neither the Konstantinovsky Foundation nor Kozhin, who is now a presidential aide, responded to requests for comment.

Yelena Krylova, a spokeswoman for the Kremlin property department, said she had no information about the department having been involved in the renovation.

The first phase of work was completed by 2005, according to property documents, and later an extra floor was added. Natalia Samover, a historian who campaigned against the addition, told Reuters: "The building has lost its historical appearance. We no longer have the Volkonsky House, we have an eyesore half a kilometer from the Kremlin."

Volkonsky House now has 5,288 square meters of floor space available for rent, according to the state property register – an area slightly larger than the White House in Washington D.C.

Valuable tenants

Foundations such as the CDIC can be created for "social, charitable, cultural, educational, scientific and management objectives," according to the Russian Justice Ministry. They can carry out entrepreneurial activity so long as it serves the purpose for which a foundation was created.

For an undisclosed amount, the CDIC lets most of Volkonsky House to Meridian, which sublets out space in the property. VTB, one of Russia's largest banks, rents 3,011 square meters, according to the 2015 tender document posted on the state procurement website. That document gives the value of the contract as 584 million rubles over a five year period, or $2.02 million per year.

Asked to comment, VTB said in a statement: "We rent these premises for the needs of the retail and corporate businesses of VTB group."

Other tenants include state lender Sberbank; the Severstroygroup construction company, which has won defense ministry contracts; a travel agency; a sushi restaurant; and a Burger King outlet. Sberbank said it had rented space at market rates as part of its branch strategy; Severstroygroup did not respond to requests for comment.

Knight Frank, an agency that specializes in high-end real estate, said that current market rates in the building were about $600 per square meter per year. If all the leasable space in the building were let at that rate, it would generate annual revenue of $3.18 million.

Meridian's income does not appear to go to its main owner, Intererservis, which reported revenues in 2015 of just 2.4 million rubles ($41,478) and a net profit of 1.76 million rubles ($30,417).

The CDIC's most recent available accounts show that in 2015 its income from all sources was 343,350,000 rubles ($5.93 million). It was not clear what all those sources were.

In 2015 the CDIC spent 262,317,000 rubles ($4.53 million), according to the accounts, of which 3.4 percent was spent on social and charitable help, 6.5 percent on holding conferences and seminars, 22 percent on administrative costs and 29 percent on "other activities." The remaining 39 percent was spent on acquiring fixed assets, stock and other property, and on "miscellaneous" items.

The CDIC did not respond to questions about the sources of its income and how it spent its money.

The Justice Ministry said the foundation had not made annual reports on its activities – as opposed to its financial accounts – publicly available, despite being required to do so by law. The ministry said the foundation had therefore been issued with a warning.


(Newsweek)

"Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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