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Showing posts from March, 2017

Trump officials defend immigration arrests at California courthouses

Federal agents have arrested illegal immigrants at California courthouses because local authorities have made such apprehensions at jails difficult, the Trump administration's top two law enforcement officials told the state's chief justice, who had requested a halt to the practice.
In a letter to Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye made public on Friday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly gave no indication that agents would stop the arrests.
Sessions and Kelly criticized California officials for limiting the cooperation of state and local law enforcement officers with U.S. agents, preventing them from going to jails to pick up illegal immigrants arrested for other crimes.
"As a result, ICE officers and agents are required to locate and arrest these aliens in public places, rather than in secure jail facilities," Sessions and Kelly wrote in the letter dated on Wednesday, using the acronym for Immigration and Custo…


Since its release, Google Earth has turned up some amazing information about the mysteries of this planet. 

All over the world amateur sleuths have used the technology to search the globe for hidden gems and have uncovered lost pyramids, mysterious towers and even entire cities that appear to have sunk into the ocean. 
But a new discovery may be the most spectacular Google Earth find yet.

A YouTube channel named Flat Earth Arabic has turned up an incredible find. 
It is claimed that Google Earth clearly depicts a wall measuring at least 2.4 miles in width off the coast of Baja in California. 
This discovery has piqued the interest of many people who have pointed out that the sheer size of the wall and its apparent linear structure clearly indicates that it is not a natural sea formation and must have been constructed by human hands. 
This could be yet another piece of a phenomenal puzzle which contradicts the received wisdom concerning the trajectory of human civilization. 
It has long been …

Germany rebukes Tillerson over call for Nato allies to boost defense spending

The US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has reassured his nervous European counterparts over Washington’s commitment to Nato, but his calls for them again to spend more on defense triggered a rebuke from Germany.

Germany’s foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, said it was neither “reachable nor desirable” for Germany to spend the agreed Nato target of 2% of member states’ economic output on defense. 
Nato allies have until 2024 to do that.
“Two per cent would mean military expenses of some €70bn [$75bn]. 
I don’t know any German politician who would claim that is reachable nor desirable,” Gabriel told the first meeting of Nato foreign ministers attended by Tillerson.
“The United States will realise it is better to talk about better spending instead of more spending,” he said, noting that humanitarian, development and economic aid to stabilise countries and regions should also count.
Tillerson said allies would need to pay up or outline plans for meeting that target when Nato leaders meet on 2…

Ex-cyclone Debbie: two dead as disaster zones declared in NSW

Two people have died and others are feared drowned in flooding in New South Wales in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.

Police found one woman’s body on a flood-affected property in the north of the state, where five natural disaster zones have been declared. 
She had disappeared on Thursday night in floodwaters at a rural property at Upper Burringbar, 20km south of Murwillumbah, and her body was found by a family member at about 8am on Friday, police said in a statement.
A second victim died after the car she was in was swept away.
About 20,000 people were ordered to evacuate northern NSW as flooding continued to hit the area. 
On Friday, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Tweed, Lismore, Byron, Richmond Valley, and Kyogle and Ballina local government areas were natural disaster areas, meaning residents can access disaster assistance funding.
“I just want to thank the people who are trying very hard in very trying circumstances. 
... but also to ensure that everybody heeds our messages: do no…

Atlanta: major interstate bridge collapses after huge fire

An elevated section of a major north-south highway in the south-east of the US has collapsed in a massive fire.

Atlanta’s notoriously tangled commutes were thrown into disarray when a bridge on Interstate 85 collapsed after a fire burned for more than an hour under the northbound lanes, shutting down the busy highway through the heart of the city during rush hour on Thursday afternoon.
Traffic was bumper to bumper in the area as people scrambled to find alternative routes.
Officials said no one had been hurt despite towering flames and plumes of smoke captured in dramatic video footage.
“This is about as serious a transportation crisis as we can imagine,” said Atlanta’s mayor, Kasim Reed.
Commuters in some of Atlanta’s densely populated northern suburbs face the prospect of needing to find alternative routes or take public transport for weeks or even months.
Georgia’s top transport official said there was no way to tell when the highway, which carries 250,000 cars a day, could be safely reo…

EU delay on Brexit trade deal hits Sturgeon's referendum timetable

Nicola Sturgeon’s proposals for a vote on Scottish independence within weeks of a Brexit deal have been thrown into doubt by the EU’s decision to delay a trade deal.

The first minister has insisted Scotland must be given a vote on staying in the UK or independence after the terms of Brexit and once the terms of the UK’s new free trade deal with the EU are clear and agreed by both sides.
Sturgeon wrote to the prime minister, Theresa May, on Friday formally requesting talks on setting up that referendum after the Scottish parliament endorsed her call for a vote between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.
She cited that vote and May’s indication in their private talks on Monday that the prime minister wanted the trade and Brexit deals finalised by March 2019. 
Sturgeon told May in her letter there was “no rational case” for rejecting referendum talks before then.
But the EU’s negotiation guidelines, published by European council president Donald Tusk on Friday morning, have rejected that timetable. 

'No surprises really': politicians react to Tusk's EU negotiating guidelines

Donald Tusk’s letter setting the terms for negotiating the UK’s departure from the EU was the moment when Theresa May’s rhetoric collided with reality, according to a string of politicians who have been warning against a hard Brexit.

Chris Leslie, the former shadow chancellor, said the letter by the president of the European council marked the emergence of “the cold, hard realities of modern international trade and diplomacy after all the talking to ourselves for the last nine months”.
He said some of the worrying aspects were “ruling out staying in the single market, and the no-go on sector-by-sector deals and the ban on trying to go round the commission to different heads of state is a pretty firm message, almost like they are going to police it”.
Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrats’ leader, whose party is leading the political fight against Brexit, said: “The terms are clear: no sector-by-sector deals, no bilateral negotiations and no new trade deal until the withdrawal terms are agreed…

Israeli guidelines point to largely unconstrained settlement expansion

Israel has indicated it will pursue a unilateral policy of largely unconstrained settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories, as it announced the first new settlement in two decades.

While Israel’s new settlement construction guidelines were presented as evidence of restraint and a “goodwill gesture” to the administration of US President Donald Trump – who has asked Israel to slow construction – the details seem to indicate the opposite.
Under the arrangements outlined on Thursday night by the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel plans to build within the boundaries of existing settlements adjacent to them, and when that is “not possible”, close to those blocs.
The only limit would involve so-called illegal outposts built by hardline settlers without permission.
The disclosure of the guidelines comes after the apparent failure of Israel and US officials to agree a road map for what settlement construction would be acceptable to the Trump administration.
The details e…

Future of Gibraltar at stake in Brexit negotiations

The EU has put the future of Gibraltar at stake in the coming Brexit negotiations, in effect backing Spain in its centuries-old dispute with the UK over the British overseas territory.

After lobbying from Spanish diplomats, the EU’s opening negotiating position for the Brexit talks presents the British government with the choice of reaching agreement with the Spaniards about Gibraltar’s future, or exposing its citizens to economic peril by pushing “the rock” outside any EU-UK trade deal.
“The union will stick up for its members, and that means Spain now,” a senior EU official said. 
Residents of Gibraltar, which Spain has sought to reclaim almost since it was ceded to Britain in 1713, voted 96% to remain in the EU.
The announcement came towards the end of a nine-page draft document sent by the European council president, Donald Tusk, to member states on Friday outlining negotiating guidelines for the upcoming Brexit talks.
The guidelines, which will be refined at a summit of EU27 leaders …