“I am the LORD”

100% Jesus

Exodus 3.34

8I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Isaiah 42:8

9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth. Isaiah 43:9

10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. Isaiah 43:10

11I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. Isaiah 43:11

12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange

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Police say hoax 911 call led to fatal shooting of unarmed Kansas man

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

Police say hoax 911 call led to fatal shooting of unarmed Kansas man

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Police and the FBI are investigating whether an argument over an online game prompted a hoax call that led to a house where an officer shot and killed a Kansas man who apparently wasn’t involved in the dispute.

Wichita Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston on Friday blamed a “prankster” who called 911 and made up a story about a shooting and kidnapping. He did not mention reports that an argument over online gaming was at the heart of the prank, although he said investigators had made good progress tracking online leads.

Police have not disclosed the name of the man who was killed Thursday evening, but relatives identified him as Andrew Finch, 28.

Livingston, speaking at a news conference, said the hoax call was a case of “swatting,” in which a person makes up a false report to get a SWAT team to descend on an address.

“Due to the actions of a prankster we have an innocent victim,” Livingston said. He said no one has been arrested in connection with the hoax.

Play

 Dangerous ‘swatting’ prank turns deadly in Kansas 1:13

Police played audio of the call to 911. A man said his father had been shot in the head. He said he was holding his mother and a sibling at gunpoint. The caller, speaking with relative calm, said he poured gasoline inside the home “and I might just set it on fire.”

Several officers arrived and surrounded the home, braced for a hostage situation. When Finch went to the door police told him to put his hands up and move slowly.

Image: Andrew Finch

Andrew Finch Courtesy Family

But Livingston said the man moved a hand toward the area of his waistband — a common place where guns are concealed. An officer, fearing the man was reaching for a gun, fired a single shot. Finch died a few minutes later at a hospital. Livingston said Finch was unarmed.

The officer, a seven-year veteran of the department, is on paid leave pending the investigation.

The Finch family on Friday allowed reporters inside their home. Lisa Finch told them her son was not a gamer.

“What gives the cops the right to open fire?” she asked. “That cop murdered my son over a false report in the first place.”

Lisa Finch said the family was forced outside barefoot in freezing cold and handcuffed after the shooting. She said her granddaughter was forced to step over her dying uncle and that no guns were found in the home.

Dexerto, an online news service focused on gaming, reported that the series of events began with an online argument over a $1 or $2 wager in a “Call of Duty” game on UMG Gaming, which operates online tournaments including one involving “Call of Duty.”

“We woke this morning to horrible news about an innocent man losing his life,” Shannon Gerritzen, a UMG vice president, said in an email to The Associated Press. “Our hearts go out to his loved ones. We are doing everything we can to assist the authorities in this matter.” She declined to disclose other details.

Image: Wichita

Wichita police investigate the 911 call near the corner of McCormick and Seneca on Dec. 28, 2017 in Wichita, Kansas. Fernando Salazar / The Wichita Eagle via AP

In addition to the 911 call, police also released a brief video of body camera footage from another officer at the scene. It was difficult to see clearly what happened.

The FBI estimates that roughly 400 cases of swatting occur annually, with some using caller ID spoofing to disguise their number. An FBI supervisor in Kansas City, Missouri, which covers all of Kansas, said the agency joined in the investigation at the request of local police.

In other cases of apparent swatting, three families in Florida in January had to evacuate their homes after a detective received an anonymous email claiming bombs had been placed at the address.

A 20-year-old Maryland man was shot in the face with rubber bullets by police in 2015 after a fake hostage situation was reported at his home.

Rep. Katherine Clark, a Massachusetts Democrat, introduced an anti-swatting bill in 2015 — then was herself the victim of swatting. Armed officers in 2016 responded to an anonymous call claiming an active shooter was at Clark’s home.

India miffed as Palestine envoy shares stage with Hafiz Saeed in Rawalpindi

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

India miffed as Palestine envoy shares stage with Hafiz Saeed in Rawalpindi

Photos of the Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, sharing the stage with Hafiz Saeed and addressing the rally organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council at Liaqat Bagh in Rawalpindi were circulated on social media on Friday. The rally was organised to condemn the US move on Jerusalem.

INDIA Updated: Dec 30, 2017 08:30 IST

Rezaul Hasan Laskar
Rezaul Hasan Laskar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Walid Abu Ali (L), Palestine ambassador to Pakistan, seated next to Hafiz Saeed at a rally in Rawalpindi.
Walid Abu Ali (L), Palestine ambassador to Pakistan, seated next to Hafiz Saeed at a rally in Rawalpindi.(Photo: Twitter)

India reacted with anger after Palestine’s envoy to Pakistan joined Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed at a rally organised by jihadi groups on Friday, just days after New Delhi backed a UN resolution that denounced the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Photos of the Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, sharing the stage with Saeed and addressing the rally organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council at Liaqat Bagh in Rawalpindi were circulated on social media on Friday. The rally was organised to condemn the US move on Jerusalem.

The development triggered an angry response from the external affairs ministry, with spokesperson Raveesh Kumar saying in a brief statement: “We are taking up the matter strongly with the Palestinian ambassador in New Delhi and with the Palestinian authorities.”

The statement noted that the Palestinian envoy had been seen at the rally “organised by the JuD chief and mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack Hafiz Saeed”.

Officials said a strongly worded demarche would be sent to the Palestinian government.

The external affairs ministry was especially angered as the development came less than 10 days after India joined 127 other members of the United Nations to back a resolution criticising US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The countries disregarded Trump’s threat to cut aid to countries that voted for the resolution.

India’s decision to back the resolution prompted a protest from Israel, a key ally in defence and security matters.

New Delhi explained the vote by saying its position on Palestine is “independent and consistent” and “shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country”.

The “Tahafuz Baitul Maqdas” rally organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) in Rawalpindi featured several jihadi leaders condemning the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The event was attended by thousands, including members of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah.

Photos on social media showed the Palestinian envoy seated next to Saeed and addressing the large gathering. Several speakers at the gathering, including Saeed, also referred to the Kashmir issue and made anti-India remarks. Saeed also called on Muslim nations to act in the defence of Jerusalem.

The DPC is a grouping of some 40 extremist and jihadi groups that was formed by Hafiz Saeed and other extremists in 2012. It has campaigned for long for snapping ties with India and the US.

Did You Fly?

helenvalentina

Image credit: Sergey IT/Shutterstock.com

And did you fly?
I often wonder
When I wonder why
And yet I think I know
Your reasons
And your trajectory
And what it meant
To be set free
So you could fly
Resplendent in the sky
The man relinquished
To the child
Finally wild

And did you sing
As in such heavens
You could wing?
Knowing nothing now
And everything
Forgetting all
Forgetting me
Your presence, youth and family
So you could fly
A soul against a glorious sky
The knowing of the man
The innocence of a child
Finally wild

(c ) Helen Valentina 2017

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There’s more to Trump’s ‘fair’ prediction on Mueller probe than meets the eye

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

There’s more to Trump’s ‘fair’ prediction on Mueller probe than meets the eye

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Trump raises questions on how he’ll act if Mueller doesn’t end his probe soon
  • “I hope that he’s going to be fair,” Trump told The New York Times

(CNN)President Donald Trump’s latest interview with The New York Times is a many layered exercise of political positioning, calculated ambiguity and veiled menace.

On the face of it, the President appears to undercut a holiday season campaign by Hill Republicans and the pro-Trump media to discredit Robert Mueller’s probe by saying he believes the special counsel will be “fair” to him.
Yet Trump raises implicit questions about how he will act if Mueller does not soon end his investigation and clear him. Other comments in the interview are already prompting new concerns about the President’s perception of his own powers of jurisdiction over the Mueller inquiry and the Justice Department itself.
Trump also used the session to direct a stinging new critique toward Jeff Sessions, revealing the President’s still boiling fury with the attorney general, which will provoke new speculation about how long the former Alabama senator will survive in his job.
The interview, conducted Thursday during Trump’s stay at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, offers a fascinating glimpse into the President’s mind and mood as the Russia investigation hangs over his administration despite a strong end-of-year streak that saw the passage of the most sweeping tax reform law in 30 years.
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He stayed true to his recent strategy of not criticizing Mueller personally, though many of his supporters among Republicans on Capitol Hill and in the pro-Trump media are waging an escalating campaign against the special counsel and arguing that his subordinates are biased against Trump.
“I hope that he’s going to be fair. I think that he’s going to be fair. … There’s been no collusion. But I think he’s going to be fair,” Trump said.
The President’s comments could be seen as an above-the-board attempt to ensure that Mueller’s capacity to finish his investigation is not compromised. Or perhaps his motivation is to set up a good guy/bad guy scenario as his allies continue to attack the special counsel.

Defining ‘fair’

Lead Chalian new CNN Russia poll live_00011812

  
New CNN poll on Russia 
It’s impossible to know what the President is really thinking, since his remarks are characteristically ambiguous and open to so many interpretations. They allow his supporters and adversaries to take specific messages, while allowing him plausible deniability that he is trying to lean on Mueller or Justice authorities.
One example of this is when Trump defines what fairness means in his mind: a swift conclusion by Mueller that there was no cooperation between his campaign and Russia in last year’s election. The implications of a verdict that does not measure up to his expectations remain unspecified but ominous possibilities are left hanging in the air.
“Everybody knows the answer already. There was no collusion. None whatsoever,” Trump said, before returning over and over again to the “no collusion” line throughout the interview.
While there has been no proof offered of collusion so far either by Mueller or multiple congressional investigations into the matter, no probe into the affair has yet concluded that collusion did not exist. And Trump’s comment that all Democrats say there is no collusion — while not being true — also appears to be an attempt to prejudge the outcome of the various inquiries.
Mueller is not investigating the collusion issue alone. His moves so far — for instance, the plea deal with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and interviews with White House staff — suggest he is also probing whether the President obstructed justice.
In the interview, Trump maintains that the prevailing shadow of the Russia investigation is detrimental to the best interests of the United States at large. His gambit follows reports by CNN that his lawyers have told him they believe the Mueller probe will be wrapped up soon and that he will be exonerated, despite the lack of outside signs that the special counsel is anywhere near that point.
“The only thing that bothers me about timing, I think it’s a very bad thing for the country. Because it makes the country look bad. It makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position,” Trump said.
“So the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.”
Taken at face value, those comments can be read as evidence of altruistic concern by a head of state for the damage a divisive affair is wreaking on US political and judicial institutions, and they will be perceived that way by Trump supporters.
“We have one investigation, let alone three right right now currently going on to address issues related to the last election,” Republican Rep. Rodney Davis said on CNN’s “New Day” on Friday.
“I think the President is clear in his distaste for the disarray that any investigation causes. And I think he’s right to say that.”
Yet to critics concerned about an authoritarian streak that Trump has displayed throughout his 11 months in power, and his propensity to attack institutions like the FBI and the Justice Department, his motive in equating his personal, political interests with those of the nation may appear more sinister.
Some Republicans don’t agree with the President, saying the nation’s interests are better served by pursuing the Russia probes to their rightful end and that the investigations show the robustness of American civic institutions.
“I believe the Russia investigation, you know, speaks to our transparency in many ways,” Republican Rep. Charlie Dent told “New Day.” “The Russians meddled in our elections, and not only here but throughout the world, and it’s important this be investigated by Congress and Director Mueller.”
“We have to let him do his work and let’s see what he finds before we jump to conclusions,” Dent said.

Justice Department powers

Analyst: No job safe in Trump administration

  
Analyst: No job safe in Trump administration
Trump’s interview also contains a remarkable assertion of presidential power over the Justice Department that will do little to quell concerns among the President’s critics who fear he may eventually move to dismiss Mueller as the investigation gets ever closer to the Oval Office.
Asked whether the investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private email server should be reopened, Trump makes a case that such a move could be within his purview.
“What I’ve done is, I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter,” Trump told the Times.
While the President can remove top Justice Department officials and the head of the FBI, presidents have traditionally sought to avoid perceptions they are influencing or politicizing the act of implementing the law.
The word “absolute” in this context is a loaded one. And should Trump order the department to end an investigation into his own conduct, he could open himself to accusations that he is obstructing justice.
The hint that Trump retains the right to use the department to investigate his enemies will raise fresh worries that he could test constitutional norms in the future.
Former US Attorney Michael Moore said Trump’s comments made him sound like a king or an emperor.
“He has absolutely no idea what his constitutional role or responsibilities or limitations are,” Moore told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on Friday.
“The Justice Department is not his tool. It maintains independence for a very specific reason. It is not a tool of the administration either to persecute your political enemies or to somehow be a cheerleader for political accomplishments,” Moore said.
Trump’s interview also aimed another body blow at Sessions, who the President has repeatedly criticized for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, given Sessions’ previous role as a member of the President’s campaign team.
Trump was asked if former Attorney General Eric Holder was more loyal to his President, Barack Obama, than Sessions is to him.
“I don’t want to get into loyalty,” Trump said, while also taking a characteristic swipe at the previous administration.
“I will say this: Holder protected President Obama. Totally protected him,” Trump said.
“When you look at the things that they did, and Holder protected the President. And I have great respect for that, I’ll be honest,” he said.

Iran says 52 arrested in Thursday’s anti-government protests

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Iran says 52 arrested in Thursday’s anti-government protests

Tehran officials say suspects detained for using ‘harsh slogans’ against President Rouhani; demonstrators chanted ‘death to the dictator’

A still from video footage of protestors in Iran's second-largest city demonstrating over rising prices and high unemployment. (Twitter screen capture)

A still from video footage of protestors in Iran’s second-largest city demonstrating over rising prices and high unemployment. (Twitter screen capture)

An Iranian official said Friday that 52 people had been arrested in the previous day’s protests against high prices that highlighted deep-rooted economic problems in Mashhad, the second-largest Iranian city.

Hundreds took to the streets of Mashhad, a site of holy pilgrimage in the northeast of the country, on Thursday, with slogans mostly directed at President Hassan Rouhani’s government for failing to tackle a range of economic problems.

The head of Mashhad’s revolutionary court, Hossein Heidari, said people were arrested for chanting “harsh slogans,” the Fars news agency reported.

“We consider protest to be the people’s right but if some people want to abuse these emotions and ride this wave, we won’t wait and will confront them,” Heidari said.

Videos published by a small reformist media group, Nazar, showed people in Mashhad chanting “Death to Rouhani.”

More provocatively, there were also chants of “Death to the dictator,” and “Not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran” — a reference to anger in some circles that the government is focusing on the wider region rather than improving conditions at home.

A handout photo provided by the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shows him speaking during a meeting with farmers in Tehran, November 21, 2017. (AFP/Iranian Presidency)

Similar yet smaller protests reportedly took place in a few other cities, responding to calls on the Telegram messaging service for a day of demonstrations to say “no to high prices.”

Egg prices have doubled since last week due to the government’s culling of millions of chickens diagnosed with avian flu, government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht told reporters on Tuesday.

But the reasons behind the protests were more deeply rooted, according to one local lawmaker.

“There is a major crisis in Mashhad caused by illegal financial institutions,” Hamid Garmabi, who represents the city of Neyshabour near Mashhad, told Fars.

He was referring to the mushrooming of unauthorised lending institutions under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad between 2005 and 2013. A poorly regulated banking sector combined with a construction boom left many credit companies stuck with toxic debts and unable to repay investors.

Since coming to power in 2013, Rouhani’s government has sought to clean up the financial sector, shutting down three of the biggest new credit institutions — Mizan, Fereshtegan and Samen al-Hojaj.

He has tasked the central bank with reimbursing lost deposits, but progress has reportedly been slow.

Imam Reza Shiite shrine in the Iranian city of Mashhad. (CC BY-SA IA Iahsan, Wikimedia)

Mashhad was one of the worst-hit areas by the closure of Mizan, which had around one million accounts, leading to several protests in the city since 2015, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Other financial scams have also hit the region, notably the collapse in 2015 of a mega project to a build the new town of Padideh next to Mashhad, which left more than 100,000 investors out of pocket.

“The shadow of stagnation in Mashhad and Khorasan Razavi province is more than other places in the country due to the unfortunate investment events in companies such as Padideh, Mizan Financial Institution and other credit funds,” a senior housing official in the province told IRNA last year.

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Gaza rocket barrage appears to target ceremony for captured soldier

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Gaza rocket barrage appears to target ceremony for captured soldier

Video from scene shows family members of fallen sergeant Oron Shaul taking cover during concert marking his 24th birthday


The military censor did not allow the exact location of the strike to be published, as it could assist terrorist groups in fine-tuning their targeting for future attacks.

The launches were also directed toward the area where the ceremony was being held, at Kibbutz Kfar Aza, overlooking the place where Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul was killed in the 2014 Gaza war.

Sgt. Oron Shaul, whose death in Gaza on July 20, 2014 was formally confirmed by the IDF on July 25, 2014 (Photo credit: Courtesy)

The time and location of the event were publicized ahead of time.

Yesh Atid MK Haim Jelin, a former head of a regional council just outside Gaza who was at the ceremony, filmed the event for a Facebook Live video. The ceremony was attended by dozens of people, including a number of politicians.

The barrage came just after a musical performance, setting off loudspeakers in the area, which blared, “Code Red. Code Red,” the term for an incoming rocket attack.

Zehava Shaul, whose son Oron’s remains are being held by the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza, is led away from a ceremony in his honor after rockets are launched at Israel from the coastal enclave on December 29, 2017. (Screen capture)

Far from bomb shelters, Jelin and the other members of the audience took cover on the grass, lying on the ground with their hands over their heads.

In the video, Oron Shaul’s clearly distraught mother Zehava could be seen being escorted away.

The loud blasts of the rockets being intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system could be heard in the video, though they could not be seen because of heavy cloud cover.

In the video, one member of the audience could be heard shouting in anger, saying repeatedly that Israel should “conquer Gaza.”

An organizer of the event called for everyone to keep calm and to make their way back to the kibbutz’s bomb shelters.

However, Jelin and others said the ceremony should continue “for Oron’s sake.”

In a statement, Labor Party chief Avi Gabbay, who attended the event, said he was “filled with pride” that the ceremony went forward despite the attack.

Shortly after the rocket barrage, the Israel Defense Forces retaliated by attacking two Hamas positions with tank shelling and strikes from aircraft.

The rocket attack was the first such incident since December 18.

Police said one rocket that wasn’t shot down by the Iron Dome system was found outside a building that had sustained damaged from the impact. There were no reports of casualties.

This month saw two weeks of near-daily rocket launches, the largest incidence of missile-fire from the Strip since the 2014 Israel-Hamas war. These daily attacks had recently seemed to have come to an end.

According to Israeli assessments, the rockets are not being launched by Hamas, but by other terrorist groups in the Strip. However, analysts have noted that Hamas has been either unwilling or unable to clamp down on the groups, as it has in the past.

Protesting Trump’s December 6 declaration that Jerusalem is the Israeli capital, terror group Hamas, which runs Gaza and seeks Israel’s destruction, has called for a new intifada and vowed to liberate Jerusalem.

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The Road to Cunca Rami

robbo worldtraveller

Brick houses next to concrete houses next to wooden shacks, women bathing and washing clothes in roadside drains or some flowing water source. Water buffalo straddle the road demanding you go around, people sitting seemingly in the middle of nowhere and someone is always “fixing” something roadside.

I pass cars with names. Titanic, ATOYOT, Naughty Kiss, Predator, God Bless. Through fields, some of indistinguishable crop, some flooded, others tiered with rice. Clothes drying on bushes in front of houses, seeds drying on tarps. Children all wave, some try and slap your hand as you pass as if knowing the trepidation with which I was riding my scooter. Every child sings out “”mister mister” as I ride by.

15000 rupiah gains me a coconut a guy in an army uniform (who was not in the army – he was a barber) had to cut down fresh from the tree. It was…

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Masquarade

helenvalentina

Image credit: Guschenkova/Shutterstock.com

We were dancers all
In the masquerade
We were innocent
Of the part we played
We just revelled in
The bizarre parade
Merely dancers in
The black masquerade

Of the deaths that came
In our merry wake
We are innocent
Just a sad mistake
We’re just players here
For the highest stake
Nothing we could gain
Or we sought to take

They’ll portray us grim
In the aftermath
Not the gaiety
Of our glittering path
But we’ll pay the price
And in full not half
Dancing on the bones
Of the aftermath

We were dancers all
In the masquerade
Fully innocent
Of the pacts they made
But we held the form
When we should have strayed
So we’re lost within
This black masquerade

(c) Helen Valentina 2017

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Civilians fire back against Helwan (Egypt) church attacker  

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE EGYPT INDEPENDENT)

 

Video: Civilians fire back against Helwan church attacker



Video footage of the militant attack targeting the Church of Saint Menasin the Cairo’s suburban Helwan district has emerged, showing the militant opening fire against a number of civilians and security officials attempting to guard the church.

The militant exchanged fire with and killed a member of the security forces guarding the church.

A number of the civilians seized the gun of the killed security member and fired back towards the militant, but failed to kill him.

Another video showed a militant lying on the ground, injured after exchanging fire with security forces that arrived to the scene. Health Ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahd said that this militant is now dead.

Nine people were killed and another ten injured in clashes after two armed militants attacked the church.

Security forces had already imposed barriers in the area surrounding the church, as a measure for heightening security procedure during the Christmas and holiday period.

Yet, despite this, the militants targeted the church, opening fire against the security checkpoint surrounding the church.

The second fled the scene, according to reports from state-run media outlets.

As an emergency measure following the attack, police and armed forces increased security and closed all churches inside the Helwan suburb.

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