Category: America

As 40,000 Palestinians Rush Gaza Border, Israeli Snipers Kill 38, Wound 1,000 Ahead Of US Embassy Opening

Israeli snipers have killed 25 Palestinians and hundreds more have been injured as 35,000 joined protests over the opening of America’s embassy today. At least 900 more have been injured with about 450 of them by live bullets, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry after the army warned that anyone attempting to approach the security fence would be risking their lives. A 14-year-old and two men in their 20s were among those shot dead along the Gaza border on what is already the deadliest single day of protests since weekly border demonstrations started on March 30.

 

by Geoffrey Grider May 14, 2018

Israeli snipers have killed 38 Palestinians and hundreds more have been injured as 40,000 joined protests over the opening of America’s embassy today.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.” Zechariah 12:2 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The US Embassy in Jerusalem will open officially in the next 50 minutes at 10:00 AM EST, 4:00 PM Israeli time today. Tens of thousands of Palestinians are right now engaged on the Gaza border, rushing the protective fence behind which live Israeli citizens. The stated goal of the rioters is to ‘loot, destroy and kill Israelis’. IDF snipers have already killed scores of these Gazan rioters, with over 1,000 wounded, and the death toll is climbing by the minute. These figures will be out of date the moment this article is published. With mere minutes until the Embassy opening in Jerusalem, it would appear that nothing is going to stop it. 

At least 900 more have been injured with about 450 of them by live bullets, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry after the army warned that anyone attempting to approach the security fence would be risking their lives. A 14-year-old and two men in their 20s were among those shot dead along the Gaza border on what is already the deadliest single day of protests since weekly border demonstrations started on March 30.

U.S. Embassy Jerusalem Dedication Ceremony

Click here to watch a live stream of the US Embassy dedication ceremony coming in real-time from Jerusalem, or watch below.

It comes as a White House delegation and Israeli officials gathered for an inauguration ceremony for the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

US President Donald Trump tossed aside decades of precedent when he recognised the city as Israel’s capital in December – a  decision that sparked global outcry, Palestinian anger and exuberant praise from Israelis.

Russia said today it feared the embassy opening would increase tension in the Middle East while Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan warned the US it had forfeited its role as a mediator in the region and was now ‘part of the problem rather than the solution’.

As violent clashes broke out this morning, Trump, in a tweet, hailed the scheduled embassy opening as ‘a great day for Israel’.  Trump made no reference to the violence in an early morning tweet, instead inviting Twitter followers to watch live coverage of the embassy opening.

Amid heightened tensions in the region, al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri last night called for followers to carry out jihad against America. In a new message, he said America’s decision was evidence that negotiations and ‘appeasement’ have failed Palestinians as he urged Muslims carry out jihad against the United States.

The Israeli air force struck five targets in a Hamas military camp near the city of Jabaliya, the IDF said. The strike came following three “serious” incidents in which IDF troops were targeted by Palestinians along the border fence. According to the army, 40,000 Palestinians are demonstrating in 12 different locations along the border fence. source

Trump ‘was clear and explicit as he revealed the true face of the modern Crusade, where standing down and appeasement does not work with them, but only resistance through the call and jihad,’ Zawahiri said, according to a transcript provided by the SITE monitoring agency.

It follows Trump’s announcement last week that the United States is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and Israeli strikes two days later on dozens of Iranian targets in Syria. Those strikes came after rocket fire toward Israeli forces in the occupied Golan Heights that Israel blamed on Iran.

This morning, the Israeli military said troops shot and killed three Palestinians who were trying to place an explosive device by the border fence in Gaza during mass protests.

The shooting in the southern Gaza town of Rafah came as the army said an Israeli aircraft had bombed a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip after Israeli troops came under fire. No Israeli casualties were reported.

The Israeli military says over 35,000 protesters are taking part in demonstrations at 12 points along the Gaza border. The Trump administration has vowed to restart the moribund Middle East peace process but the embassy move has inflamed feelings across the globe.

Monday’s inauguration ceremony at 4pm Israel time will include some 800 guests – though Trump himself will not attend – at what until now had been a US consulate building in Jerusalem.

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will lead the Washington delegation that includes Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, both White House aides, as well as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Ivanka Trump thanked Benjamin Netanyahu for the Israeli Prime Minister’s hospitality at a welcome reception

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9182

Netanyahu’s Popularity Skyrockets After Successfully Orchestrating Iran Missile Attack Response And May 14th US Embassy Opening In Jerusalem

Benjamin Netanyahu placed his chips on Trump and on him leaving the nuclear deal and he is now celebrating big-time with 35 seats. He has shown that there is nobody to match him in the diplomatic-security field,” Israel Radio political analyst Hanan Kristal said.

by Geoffrey Grider May 11, 2018

Israel’s tough stance on Iran has boosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s popularity at home, and he can expect more good press in the coming days when the United States opens its embassy in Jerusalem.

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The speed at which events have transpired over the past few weeks is truly breathtaking. In America, President Trump seemed pinned to the mat with allegations from porn actress Stormy Daniels about an affair, a payoff and a coverup. Fake news media talking heads gleefully predicted Trump’s soon impeachment and removal from office. Yet today, President Trump has not only managed to bring home 3 American prisoners from North Korea, he announced last night a June 12th Summit with Kim Jong-Un to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. And he’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in the process. In Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has been weathering relentless charges of corruption with his enemies also gleefully anticipating his downfall. Yet today he stands as a heroic defender of Israel after skillfully responding to an Iranian missile attack on Friday, and preparing to open the new US Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday. Why are these two world leaders – Trump and Netanyahu – not just surviving but thriving in this hostile political environment? I submit to you it is because both men, however flawed and human they may be, are each God’s appointed leaders for the end times to fulfill Bible prophecy regarding Judah and Jerusalem. And until they complete the work that God has ordained for them to do, they will remain untouchable. 

As the closest Middle East ally of President Donald Trump, Netanyahu has been central to U.S. decisions that have reshaped the political map of the region. On April 30, he appeared on prime-time television to present Israel’s case that Trump should abandon the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran. The president did so barely a week later.

Netanyahu publicly hailed the decision and followed up with air strikes on Iranian military positions in Syria, a country that borders Israel and which Israel fears may increasingly be used as a base by Iran to attack the Jewish state.

A poll on Channel 2 television the day after Trump scrapped the Iran deal showed Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party would gain five seats if elections were held now, winning 35 in the 120-seat parliament and strengthening its position in a ruling coalition. A poll in April had Likud on 28 seats.

On Thursday Israel accused Iran of firing rockets from Syria into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the first time that Iran has attacked Israel with rockets. Israel struck back with its heaviest air strikes in Syria since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, saying that it attacked nearly all of Iran’s military infrastructure.

That attack came too late for a poll in the Israeli daily newspaper Maariv on Friday. But the survey found that 69 percent of respondents were satisfied with Netanyahu’s handling of “Israel’s policy regarding Iran’s presence in Syria.”

The survey also showed 59 percent of Israelis polled said they considered Trump’s decision to pull out of the deal and reimpose U.S. sanctions on Tehran would aid Israel’s security.

But 54 percent of respondents said they feared a direct military confrontation with Iran was looming and agreed with officials who said that it would be better “to have the fight now and not at a later stage,” the paper said.

Israel’s next elections are set to be held in November 2019, but Netanyahu could seek an early ballot to capitalize on the boost in popularity.

“Benjamin Netanyahu placed his chips on Trump and on him leaving the nuclear deal and he is now celebrating big-time with 35 seats. He has shown that there is nobody to match him in the diplomatic-security field,” Israel Radio political analyst Hanan Kristal said.

Abraham Diskin, political science professor with the Hebrew University said standing up to Iran was likely to increase support for Netanyahu, as it would for any government, left or right. Despite Likud’s surge, Diskin said, the balance of power between right- and left-wing blocs in the Israeli Knesset, pr parliament, had not significantly changed.

“According to the poll, Netanyahu doesn’t have a majority but he does hold all the cards,” he said in a phone interview with Reuters.

The corruption investigations against Netanyahu “are perceived by his supporters as persecution and as the probes drag on, his supporters are strengthened in this belief,” Diskin said.

The next few days see “Jerusalem Day” on Sunday, the date in the Hebrew calendar when East Jerusalem was captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

A day later, on May 14, the United States will open its embassy in Jerusalem. The ceremony is timed to coincide with the day in 1948 — on the western calendar — that Israel declared its independence.

May 15 is the day Palestinians commemorate what they call the “Nakba“, or “Catastrophe”, when hundreds of thousands fled or were driven out of their homes in 1948.

Israel’s security forces have readied themselves for Palestinian protests to mark the embassy move from Tel Aviv and the anniversary, with the Islamist militant group Hamas talking of attempts to breach the Gaza-Israel border.

Most Israelis, from across the political spectrum, see the U.S. embassy move as a rubber stamp on recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Israel has always regarded the city as its eternal and indivisible capital but the city has not gained that recognition internationally. The United Nations regards East Jerusalem as being held under military occupation by Israel, and Palestinians say it must be the capital of their future state.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9178

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano could be ready to blow, scientists say

By Stephen Sorace | Fox News

An ash column rises Wednesday from the overlook at Halema’uma’u Crater at the summit of Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawaii.  (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)

Geologists warned Wednesday that Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano could soon experience explosive eruptions from its summit and launch large rocks and ash into the air.

The threat of explosive activity will rise as lava drains from the summit of Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and explosions will be possible in the coming weeks if the lava dips below the groundwater table, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

If lava drops below the groundwater level, it could heat up the water and create steam. The steam could build in pressure as rocks fall and form a dam within the volcano’s walls and “cause steam-driven explosions” with “very little warning,” the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The volcano could then eject “ballistic rocks” of lava up to several feet in diameter, the USGS said. It may also send pebbles shooting into the air several miles away.

“Debris expelled during such explosions could impact the area surrounding Halemaʻumaʻu and the Kīlauea summit,” the HVO told the Star-Advertiser.

There could also be potential for ash and sulfur dioxide emissions. Ash can cause eye and breathing irritation, reduce visibility and interfere with electrical lines, the Los Angeles Times reported.

So far, the eruption has destroyed 36 structures since it began releasing lava from fissures that opened in a Big Island neighborhood about 25 miles east of the summit crater. A 15th vent opened Wednesday, spreading lava through Leilani Estates and neighboring Lanipuna Gardens, Hawaii officials said.

Separately, Hawaii Gov. David Ige said the Puna Geothermal Venture energy plant near the lava outbreak was accelerating its removal of about 50,000 gallons of stored pentane, a flammable gas, from the site.

It would be “very, very hazardous” if a volcanic vent were to open under the facility where the fuel is stored, the governor said. He expected it would all be removed by Thursday.

The explosive conditions resembled Kilauea’s 1924 summit eruption that killed one person and spewed rocks, ash and dust into the air for 17 days, said Tina Neal, scientist-in-charge at the USGS Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory.

Steam and gas rise from Kilauea’s summit crater in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii on Wednesday.  (Associated Press)

No one lives in the immediate area of the summit crater. But people have continued to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which includes the crater and surrounding region. The park will be evacuated before conditions worsen, officials said.

Nearly 2,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate the neighborhoods close to the vents, but some ignored the order and remained to watch over their property. Authorities went door-to-door in Lanipuna to get people out of their homes Tuesday.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9175

Trump announces plans to withdraw from Iran nuclear agreement

By Alex Pappas | Fox News

President Trump on Tuesday announced plans to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, saying it has failed to halt the country’s nuclear ambitions.

Speaking in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, Trump said: “I am announcing today the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.”

He said, “The Iran deal is defective at its core.”

A source said that Trump’s announcement will start a 90-day countdown to the restoration of sanctions.

Once sanctions are re-imposed, the U.S. effectively would be out of the deal.

It’s not clear which sanctions lifted under the deal Trump plans to immediately re-impose. He has several options. A more limited move could leave Trump more room to potentially stay in the deal if other members agree to toughen it.

If he follows through on a sweeping imposition of sanctions, the move threatens to topple the Iran nuclear agreement as a whole – and with it, his predecessor’s signature foreign policy achievement.

The president began briefing foreign and congressional leaders on his decision ahead of his 2 p.m. announcement.

And he started the day by warning former Secretary of State John Kerry not to meddle in the negotiations.

“John Kerry can’t get over the fact that he had his chance and blew it! Stay away from negotiations John, you are hurting your country!” Trump tweeted early Tuesday.

This was a reference to reports that Kerry was meeting with foreign officials in a bid to salvage the pact. Speaking at a summit Tuesday in Italy, Kerry did not back down, saying the Middle East is “safer with this agreement” and framing this juncture as a choice between peace and war.

Trump’s announcement comes ahead of a May 12 deadline to make a decision on sanctions.

It follows efforts by European allies to convince Trump to keep the deal, even with changes.

But Trump reportedly was unconvinced. Since the 2016 presidential campaign, he has railed against the agreement and its Obama administration negotiators.

The 2015 pact lifted most U.S. and international sanctions against the country, in exchange for Iran agreeing to restrictions on its nuclear program making it impossible to produce a bomb, along with rigorous inspections – terms generally set for 10-15 years.

But Israel, Gulf Arab states and many congressional Republicans said the deal was a giveaway to Tehran that ultimately paves the path to a nuclear-armed Iran several years in the future.

“Perhaps the nuclear deal’s most unforgivable flaw is that its original architects chose to stand with and empower Iran’s mullahs over the Iranian people, whose opposition to their corrupt and criminal government continues to grow,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote in a Fox News op-ed urging Trump to abandon the pact and ratchet up sanctions.

But Trump’s decision could lead to retaliation from Iran in the near-term.

If the deal collapses, Iran could resume prohibited enrichment activities, while businesses and banks doing business with Iran would have to scramble to extricate themselves or run afoul of the U.S.

While Trump himself was tight-lipped about his decision in the run-up to the announcement, Iranian officials also were left guessing.

In Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani sought to calm nerves. “It is possible that we will face some problems for two or three months, but we will pass through this,” Rouhani said.

Rouhani earlier warned of “grave” consequences if Trump pulled back on the agreement.

Obama foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes, who played a key role in the deal, also tweeted that “Trump is blowing that up with no understanding of what’s actually in the Deal, no plan for what comes next, and no support from our closest European allies, Russia or China.”

A factor leading to Tuesday’s decision may have been Israel’s public lobbying. A week ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to the U.S. president by making explosive allegations that new evidence proved Tehran had lied about its nuclear program and adherence to the pact.

But even Trump’s secretary of state and the U.N. agency that monitors nuclear compliance have agreed that Iran, so far, has lived up to its side of the deal.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9170

Trump Fully Intends to Leave Iran Nuclear Agreement: Report

By Jonathan Benedek May 3, 2018 , 12:30 pm

“For you have said, ‘We have made a covenant with Death, Concluded a pact with Sheol. When the sweeping flood passes through, It shall not reach us; For we have made falsehood our refuge, Taken shelter in treachery.’” Isaiah 28:15 (The Israel Bible™)

US President Donald Trump has already decided to withdraw from the international nuclear agreement with Iran, according to a report by Reuters.

According to one White House official referred to in the report, top aides in the White House are no longer attempting to convince Trump to stay in the deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),

At the same time, Trump’s strategy in leaving the agreement has yet to be fully established.

One White House official mentioned in the report spoke of a scenario that “is not a full pullout” but offered no specifics. The official stressed that Trump was “most of the way there toward pulling out of the deal” and “seems poised to do it, but until a decision is made by this president it is not final.”

Additionally, it is quite possible that Trump decides to extend US participation in the JCPOA due to “alliance maintenance” with European parties to the agreement such as France.

Ultimately, Trump must decide by May 12 whether to extend the sanctions relief or to leave agreement if the E3 allies (United Kingdom (UK), France and Germany) fail in implementing sufficient “fixes” to the JCPOA.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is imploring Trump to stay in the agreement.

Warning of an outbreak of war if the Iran nuclear agreement were to fall apart, Guterres told the BBC, “we should not scrap it unless we have a good alternative.”

Iranian Ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad implied that the regime in Tehran may revert to enrichment levels before the JCPOA was signed if Trump decides to withdraw from the agreement.

“The consequence would be that Iran would in fact be ready to go back to the previous situation,”  Baeidinejad told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9158

BRACING FOR 70: United States Sending Massive Delegation To Israel For Embassy Relocation Opening In Jerusalem On May 14th

President Trump announced with great fanfare on December 6 that he would relocate the embassy, which will temporarily be located in the current American consulate in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood. Immediately after the US Embassy is relocated to Jerusalem, Guatemala will follow suit, President Jimmy Morales announced at last month’s AIPAC policy conference. After that, Honduras will move its embassy, becoming the third country to do so.

by Geoffrey Grider April 25, 2018

Mike Pompeo, the incumbent CIA director and nominated US Secretary of State, is slated to lead the delegation of some 250 American officials and Jewish leaders at a ceremony inaugurating the United States Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, Channel 10 reported on Wednesday.

“And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God.” Zechariah 12:5 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Immediately after the United States officially opens their Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14th, the nation of Guatemala, Honduras, Romania and the Czech Republic will also follow suit. As we have long told you, the timeclock of Bible prophecy is Israel in general and Jerusalem in particular. If you want to see where God is going to move next, keep your eyes on Jerusalem. The prophet Jeremiah says that ‘after 70 years’ the LORD will again visit Israel, and we have 19 days and counting until May 14th at the moment. Will the LORD pay His chosen people a visit? All I can say that as watchmen, we should be, well, watching. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. 

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:7 (KJV)

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Vice President Mike Pence had both indicated they might attend. The earlier report did not say whether Haley would be coming. Some 40 senators are expected to join the delegation, along with congressmen and the heads of major American Jewish organizations.

President Trump announced with great fanfare on December 6 that he would relocate the embassy, which will temporarily be located in the current American consulate in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood.

Immediately after the US Embassy is relocated to Jerusalem, Guatemala will follow suit, President Jimmy Morales announced at last month’s AIPAC policy conference. After that, Honduras will move its embassy, becoming the third country to do so.

Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila confirmed earlier this month that his government had approved moving its embassy to Jerusalem. But under Romanian law, the final say on embassy relocation belongs to President Klaus Iohannis, who has spoken out against the move.

Dancila is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Wednesday and meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely met with Dancila in Romania on April 10 in what her office described as the first leg of a campaign to persuade countries to move their embassies to the capital.

Hotovely told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that as part of that campaign, she will fly to Prague on Thursday to meet with Czech Republic President Miloš Zeman. The Czech Parliament has already decided in favor of moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9149

Steven Mnuchin Will Head to China as Trade Tensions Mount

By Alan Rappeport and Ana Swanson

April 24, 2018

WASHINGTON — With trade tensions mounting between the United States and China, President Trump said he would dispatch his Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, and other top economic advisers to Beijing next week to try to forestall an all-out trade war.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump said he was optimistic that the United States could reach a deal with China. But he warned that if the Asian nation did not live up to its promises to open its markets, his administration would proceed with the tariffs he has threatened to impose on as much as $150 billion worth of Chinese products.

“I think China is very serious, and we’re very serious,” Mr. Trump said between meetings with President Emmanuel Macron of France. “We have no choice but to be very serious.”

Mr. Trump said that the United States delegation was making the trip at China’s request and that he was heartened by recent remarks by its president, Xi Jinping, suggesting that he was prepared to open his country’s economy to more foreign investment and ease restrictions on imports of American cars.

The two economic giants have been locked in a tit-for-tat battle over tariffs, with the United States threatening to tax Chinese products like TVs and medical devices and the Chinese retaliating with tariffs on pork and threatening to impose additional penalties on soybeans and other American goods.

Mr. Mnuchin is expected to be joined on the trip by Larry Kudlow, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council, and Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative. The delegation comprises a wide range of views on trade, with Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Kudlow, a former CNBC economic commentator, more receptive to free trade and resistant to draconian tariffs, and Mr. Lighthizer encouraging the president to take a harder line. Peter Navarro, a trade adviser and the author of the book “Death by China,” may also travel with the group, but an administration official said the details were not yet finalized.

Chinese officials have increasingly turned to Mr. Mnuchin as their primary contact in trade talks, which some observers say may stem from China’s perception that he is more sensitive to their concerns. After the formal “economic dialogue” between the United States and China stalled last summer, Mr. Mnuchin has held regular discussions with his Chinese counterparts, including Liu He, China’s new economic minister.

The Chinese view Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Kudlow, who both previously worked on Wall Street, as potentially more moderate voices who would be more reluctant to start a trade conflict that could damage American businesses and cause stock markets to plunge. They hope the two men will be more sympathetic to offers to open up China’s financial market and reduce its trade surplus by making purchases of American natural gas and other products, people briefed on the deliberations said.

Mr. Navarro and Mr. Lighthizer, meanwhile, have criticized China’s offerings and insisted that the Chinese make more sweeping changes to its economy, including removing industrial subsidies and rolling back government intervention in the economy.

The stakes of the trip are high after months of increasing strain between China and the United States. Fears about a trade war between the world’s two biggest economic powers emerged in March after Mr. Trump unveiled tariffs on global imports of aluminum and steel. The threat of tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese imports followed.

Next month, the Treasury Department is expected to release a plan to further restrict Chinese investment in American companies, including industries such as semiconductors and artificial intelligence that are sensitive for national security reasons. The rules could also restrict American partnerships with Chinese companies abroad.

China has not taken such threats lightly. In recent weeks it has hit back with its own threats, raising concerns among farmers and businesses in the United States that the escalating dispute could be a drag on the economy and blunt the effect of the tax cuts Mr. Trump signed into law in December.

But Mr. Xi has also signaled that he is open to negotiating with Mr. Trump. He said this month that China would reduce its tariffs on autos, which Mr. Mnuchin called “a big step in the right direction.”

While some trade experts warned that China has failed to deliver on such promises before, Mr. Trump insisted on Tuesday that he was encouraged about the possibility of a deal.

“President Xi made a speech four days ago where he said that China is going to be opened up,” Mr. Trump said. “Because it’s not opened up right now. They trade with us. We can’t trade with them.”

Some China analysts were not so impressed by Mr. Xi’s speech. “I thought it was a bunch of warmed-over repetition of things we had heard before,” said Scott Kennedy, a China analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “For me, the concern is that the level of mixed messaging that we’re sending the Chinese makes them expect that they can get through this with a very limited offer.”

Edward Mills, a public policy analyst at Raymond James Financial, said he still viewed negotiations that averted tariffs as the most likely outcome. That could include, for example, China promising to reduce tariffs on American cars, open up its financial sector and drop rules that require American companies to partner with Chinese firms in many industries. But the negotiations could drag out for months, damaging business relations.

Mr. Trump “hasn’t actually identified what he wants as the end game” of the negotiations, Mr. Mills said. “I think that is something that gives a lot of flexibility to Mnuchin and the president to declare a number of things as a victory.”

Some veterans of trade talks with China caution that Mr. Trump’s approach could backfire.

“I think that it’s very dangerous to get into a tit-for-tat war in trade, because even if your goal is to be moderate and proportional in response, one thing can lead to another and it can get out of control,” Jacob J. Lew, the Treasury secretary under President Barack Obama, told CNBC last week.

However, Paul H. O’Neill, who was President George W. Bush’s first Treasury secretary and traveled to China for talks in 2001, said it was a good sign that the American delegation was making the trip. Negotiations with Chinese officials tend to be well choreographed, he said, so it is likely that the dimensions of a trade agreement are starting to take shape.

“There’s already been endless conversations, and tweets, from our side,” Mr. O’Neill said in an interview. “They are shadow dancing with each other, but behind the scenes where we can’t see what is going on, apparently they are making some progress.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9147

We Are Closing In Upon A ‘Trigger Event’ That Could Unleash Total Pandemonium In America As ‘Deep State’ Warns ‘Massive Terror Attack’ Coming

By Stefan Stanford – All News Pipeline – Live Free Or Die

In a recent story that Steve Quayle linked to on his website on April 18th it is reported that more than 600 pounds of explosives had been stolen in Pennsylvania and Iranian ‘sleeper cells’ were suspected to have carried out the theft.

Reporting that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had warned that the Gregory General Contracting Company had reported the stolen dynamite and at least 400 blasting caps, the story also reports that according to law enforcement officials, they believe that those who stole it are “moving aggressively toward an actual attack here in the U.S.“.

While the Daily Mail recently reported that ISIS has also recently threatened to bomb New York’s subway system via a chilling poster showing a militant with sticks of dynamite at a subway station near the Brooklyn Bridge, the poster came along with a chilling warning: “You will not expect where we will attack.

Also recently threatening to attack Paris and the World Cup finals in Russia, this ‘global terror campaign‘ comes as ISIS continues to lose territory in the Middle East, as if they’ve admitted to themselves that they are outmatched in Syria and Iraq and will soon turn their ways of terror to other, less prepared areas than the war-torn Middle East.

In this new story from Intellihub they report that ISIS has also ‘set its sights’ upon ‘satanic CNN’, NASA and the Federal Reserve, with the terrorist organization’s latest release of propaganda suggesting an attack may be coming.

Yet as Infowars reports in this new story and as we hear from them in the 1st video below, with absolute proof that ISIS was created and armed by the globalists, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during his term in office as is pointed out in this news release from Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, “the ‘Deep State’ is poised to strike back with staged terror attacks as the phony Russia investigation is drawing to a close, and lasting peace with North Korea in the region is within reach.

Would ‘enemies of America within’ launch crippling terror attacks upon their own nation?

While we’ll hope and pray that America stays peaceful in the days, weeks and months ahead, as Mike Adams points out in this new story over at Natural News, should Hillary Clinton, James Comey and other members of the ‘deep state’ be indicted, there may be nothing that is able to stop civil war in US streets. And with the Democrats long-supporting terror groups such as ISIS and Antifa, there’s little doubt which ‘side’ such cretins would be on should civil war break out in America. From Adams:

It’s important to recognize events that are likely to trigger the coming civil war. And by “civil war,” I mean a domestic, kinetic conflict between anti-American Leftists and pro-American patriots. In this case, “civil war” is not a political metaphor. I’m warning about actual kinetic conflict.

Finally, after years of cover-ups, the participants in the Clinton criminal cartel may be facing indictment and imprisonment. Earlier this week, lawmakers joined forces to send a criminal referral to the Dept. of Justice that recommends criminal investigations into James Comey, Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Andrew McCabe, all “swamp creatures” who have committed outrageous criminal acts against the people of America.

Also, as reported on JamesComey.news, Comey transformed the FBI into a corrupt, treasonous deep state apparatus that actively obstructed justice in order to make sure Hillary Clinton got elected President.

The point is, unless President Trump is literally killed in some brazen assassination coup — which is always a possibility — he’s going to make sure Hillary Clinton and her cohorts get indicted. Regardless of what happens in the 2018 mid-terms, Trump is still President through 2020, and there’s no way he’s leaving office without making sure the corrupt deep state gets some serious payback.

While we wouldn’t recommend that anybody hold their breaths until the Clinton crime family is indicted, as Susan Duclos reported in this April 20th ANP story, every day we’re getting more and more indications that indeed, the ‘criminal deep state’ might be taken down with investigations, criminal referrals and James Comey memos opening up a huge can of worms.

Will we soon be watching Hillary Clinton and friends indicted over massive crimes against America and the world?

And would such indictments lead to civil war upon US soil? Once again, from Mike Adams must-read story over at Natural News

The unhinged Left, of course, will immediately start rioting once Hillary Clinton gets indicted. Once the riots begin, I fully expect “kinetic engagement” to begin. Note that I do not support such bloodshed, and I don’t condone it. The last thing I want to see is the blood of Americans spilled on the streets of America. Yet I fear this is exactly where things are headed for the simple reason that Leftists can no longer participate in a free society in any rational, lawful way. They are deranged, hate-filled lunatics who despise law and order and literally seek to murder their political enemies. The very idea that their own deep state treasonous swamp creatures might face the rule of law will drive Leftists to unhinged extremism, which is likely to include their bombing of government buildings, mass arson, chaos in the streets, the widespread targeting of police officers and the attempted murdering of conservatives and Trump supporters.

The extreme intolerance, irrationality, anger and lawlessness of the Left, in other words, is simply irreconcilable with a free society. The current situation cannot persist much longer without something breaking.

We aren’t far away from a trigger event that could unleash all this. In fact, as I’ve explained on Natural News, there are globalist elements that actively seek to push America into a civil war in order to call for United Nations “peacekeeping” intervention (run by Obama, of course).

As we’ve warned time and again on ANP, should the criminal deep state be about to ‘be taken down’, we should expect some kind of real or false flag ‘event’ to be carried out that takes all attention away from them and with many recent indications that ‘an event’ is being planned, we should all keep our eyes and ears wide open in the days and weeks ahead.

And while economist Peter Schiff recently warned that we are witnessing the ‘calm before the storm’ as heard in the 2nd video below after US missile strikes in Syria, rumblings of a trade war and a generally weak dollar, we remind you Gerald Celente has long warned “when all else fails, they bring us to war“, with 9/11 proving a ‘false flag event’ is a great way to get us into a war.

We close here with a quote from one of Nazi Germany’s most powerful military men between 1933 and 1945, Hermann Goring, who spoke these blunt words of truth decades ago, lessons that all Americans should have learned by now.

“Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood.

But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9143

Drought Returns to Huge Swaths of U.S., Fueling Fears of a Thirsty Future

  • April 17, 2018
  • By David Montgomery

Residents line up in February to fill plastic water bottles and containers at a natural water spring on the site of a local brewery in Cape Town, South Africa. As a waterless Cape Town has become a potential reality, its story has sparked new concerns over the growing scarcity of the planet’s most basic resource.

AUSTIN, Texas — Less than eight months after Hurricane Harvey pelted the Texas Gulf Coast with torrential rainfall, drought has returned to Texas and other parts of the West, Southwest and Southeast, rekindling old worries for residents who dealt with earlier waves of dry spells and once again forcing state governments to reckon with how to keep the water flowing.

Nearly a third of the continental United States was in drought as of April 10, more than three times the coverage of a year ago. And the specter of a drought-ridden summer has focused renewed urgency on state and local conservation efforts, some of which would fundamentally alter Americans’ behavior in how they use water.

In California, for example, officials are considering rules to permanently ban water-wasting actions such as hosing off sidewalks and driveways, washing a vehicle with a hose that doesn’t have a shut-off valve, and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians. The regulations, awaiting a final decision by the California State Water Resources Control Board, were in force as temporary emergency measures during part of a devastating five-year drought but were lifted in 2017 after the drought subsided.

Water restrictions, either forced or voluntary, are nothing new to states and communities where battling drought is often a part of life. In Amarillo, Texas, the city’s water department stresses conservation with the message, “every drop counts,” and urges customers to do “at least one thing a day to save water.” A similar mantra — “squeeze every drop” — is part of the water-saving culture in Oklahoma City, where officials enforce mandatory lawn-watering restrictions and impose higher rates for excessive water use.

Years of studies by government and environmental groups have warned that future demand for water is threatening to outstrip availability, particularly in the drought-plagued West and Southwest, unless policymakers take steps to reverse those trends.

“More and more cities around the world are running into limits on how much water they have available to meet their needs,” said Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute and an expert on water and climate issues.

To understand the potential dangers, U.S. officials might look halfway around the world, to parched Cape Town, South Africa, where residents this year faced a crisis that seems straight from science fiction. After three years of drought, the city of 4 million spent months united in a struggle to fend off Day Zero, when Cape Town was projected to become the world’s first major urban center to run out of water.

Residents skimped on dishwashing and laundry, took minishowers, washed their hands with sanitizer, flushed the toilet with leftover shower water, and made numerous other sacrifices to daily routines. The objective: to cut individual water consumption to 50 liters a day, or 13.2 gallons, far below the U.S. average of 80 to 100 gallons. Hundreds queued up for daily water rations as the city deployed law enforcement officers — widely dubbed “the world’s first water police” — to enforce restrictions.

The day of reckoning was originally expected to fall in mid-April, but was postponed to May and then to June.

The draconian conservation campaign had enabled Cape Town to proclaim at least partial success in March when it pushed back Day Zero to sometime in 2019. But the executive deputy mayor, Ian Neilson, said the city is still in crisis mode until it completely replenishes its water supplies.

Cape Town Scenarios in the U.S.?

The picture of a coastal metropolis going without water once seemed inconceivable. But as a waterless Cape Town has become a potential reality, its story has sparked new concerns over the growing scarcity of the planet’s most basic resource.

U.S. government and environmental experts generally agree that no major city is in imminent danger of the kind of scenario confronting Cape Town. But residents in some small communities have struggled, and at the same time, U.S. experts worry that protracted global warming, worsening droughts, vanishing groundwater and growing populations will erode future supplies and make Americans increasingly vulnerable throughout the 21st century.

One critical water resource threatened by shortages is the Colorado River System, which includes parts of seven states and provides water for up to 40 million people. In the absence of “timely action to ensure sustainability,” the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said in a 2012 assessment of the river basin, “there exists a strong potential for significant imbalances between water supply and demand in coming decades.”

Lake Mead, a reservoir sprawling 120 miles behind the Hoover Dam in Nevada, is less than half full after years of drought. The reservoir, which is part of the Colorado River System, serves nearly 25 million people in Nevada, Arizona and California.

Burgeoning population growth is also straining water resources. The Texas Water Development Board has authorized $6.2 billion in financing for 48 municipal and regional projects after state water planners warned that the population of the second-most-populous state would grow by 70 percent over the next 50 years. Available water supplies were projected to fall by 11 percent during that same period without new investment.

The Environmental Protection Agency, in a January 2017 snapshot of the impact of climate change, predicted that the Southern Plains will face more “extreme heat” in the future, saying that the number of days of 100 degrees or hotter will quadruple by 2050.

“Increasing temperatures and more frequent and severe droughts,” the EPA said, “are expected to heighten competition for water resources for use in cities, agriculture and energy production.”

Adding to America’s water insecurity is a decadeslong decline in groundwater resources, which supply half of the nation’s residents and nearly all of its rural population, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Sustained groundwater pumping has steadily taken its toll on aquifers throughout the country, lowering groundwater levels by hundreds of feet in some places. Water levels in the High Plains aquifer system, which underlies parts of eight states, have dropped by more than 100 feet in places, largely as a result of extensive irrigation, according to the USGS.

“As more wells and deeper wells have been drilled to access groundwater, it exacerbates the groundwater level decline and there is often no way to get that back,” said Breton Bruce, a scientist with USGS in Denver. “Basically, we are pumping groundwater faster than it recharges.”

Large sections of the United States are all too familiar with drought and its devastating impact on both surface and groundwater. Over the past decade, Texas and California endured — and are still recovering from — record multiyear droughts that plunged lake levels, killed millions of trees, and cost billions of dollars in lost crops and livestock. Georgia went through four droughts from 1998 to 2016. Arizona has been confronting drought throughout the 21st century.

Two small communities, East Porterville in California and Spicewood Beach in Texas, drew national attention during their states’ droughts after their wells ran dry and outsiders came to the rescue with water deliveries. As many as 30 other Texas communities came close to running out of water during the drought, according to press reports.

“Things were grim. I didn’t get water for 20 months,” recalls Jim Burr, a peace justice and 33-year resident of Terlingua, a small community of about 800 people in the remote Big Bend region of Texas. After his 16-foot-deep well ran dry during the height of the last drought, Burr was forced to dig another that extended 45 feet deep.

The E.V. Spence Reservoir near the town of Robert Lee in West Texas ran so dry in 2011 that there were fresh water stations for residents. Texas droughts are expected to have long-term environmental and financial impacts. Many state officials worry about how U.S. cities will handle extreme drought.

Water Policy Is Fraught With Conflict

The latest wave of droughts has descended on more than a dozen states across the country. The largest band stretches across the Southwest and includes parts of southern California, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma. Pockets of drought are also in the Northern Plains, including parts of Montana and the Dakotas, and the southeastern states of Georgia and South Carolina.

Brian A. Fuchs, associate geoscientist and climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said the Southwestern drought that started in October is “the most intense significant drought area that we have going on right now.” The ultimate impact, he said, depends on how long it lasts. For now, he added, “the jury is still out.”

“It’s one of those situations where time is definitely going to tell,” he said. “If we see conditions continue to worsen over the next six months without any improvement, the situation is going to be a lot more significant than where we’re at right now.”

Most of the states on the front lines of the current drought already have spent decades shoring up their defenses, operating on a proven regimen that whenever one drought ends, another is lurking not far in the future. But at the same, the search for effective state water policy also has been fraught with conflict, often displaying the competing interests of agriculture, property owners, big cities, small communities, energy developers, conservationists and environmentalists and a host of others. Solutions never come easy.

“Water is fundamental to all the interests,” said Luke Metzger, executive director of Environment Texas, “and, at times of scarcity, it can be a feeding frenzy, where all the interests are competing for a finite supply.”

Water necessity has also led to innovation. Two Texas cities — Big Spring and Wichita Falls — have drawn accolades from environmentalists with projects to recycle waste water into potable water. In 1980, Arizona enacted what has widely been hailed as a pioneering initiative with its Groundwater Management Act, which, among other things, required new developments to prove they could assure enough water to last 100 years.

“Arizona has had a longtime history of marshaling its water forces,” said Doug MacEachern, communications administrator for the Arizona Department of Water Resources. MacEachern said the state uses less water overall today than it did in 1957 when there were at least 5 million fewer people.

California has also produced an array of water-saving initiatives, including enacting its version of a groundwater management act in 2014. The same year, Californians approved a $7.5 billion bond package on water projects that included expanding water storage, protecting rivers and lakes, bolstering groundwater sustainability and water recycling. In June, voters will be asked to spend another $4.1 billion for initiatives that include water infrastructure and flood protection projects.

“We’re running fast to try to make ourselves resilient for the long term,” said Felicia Marcus, who chairs the California State Water Resources Control Board.

In Texas, memories of destructive droughts and fears of future water shortages prompted voters in 2013 to create the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) to help ensure abundant water supplies through 2070. The initiative empowered the Texas Water Development Board to authorize low-interest loans and other incentives to finance municipal and regional projects envisioned under the state’s long-range water plan.

“In general, there’s enough water for the projected future population … if we do it right,” said Janice Bezanson, executive director of the Texas Conservation Alliance. She acknowledges the potential of “case by case” shortages in small communities, but said that the state is “planning far enough in the future” to assure its cities of sufficient water resources.

The Texas plan calls for the creation of 26 new reservoirs as well as for other initiatives: recycling, an expanded push for desalination and replacing infrastructure to get rid of aging, leaking pipelines blamed for water loss. Some of the proposed new reservoirs have ignited a fierce pushback from landowners and conservationists, who say new lakes would threaten farm and ranch land, endanger wilderness areas, and encroach on wildlife habitat.

Meanwhile in Cape Town, Executive Deputy Mayor Neilson said the race against Day Zero has fundamentally redefined the city’s water strategies. Officials there, too, want to find alternatives.

The city, which doesn’t have a reliable source of groundwater, draws its supplies almost exclusively from surface water in its six major reservoirs. Neilson said officials have learned that they’ll need to diversify their water supply to other sources: groundwater where possible, along with water re-use and desalination.

And what about Day Zero? Neilson said the city is placing its hopes on good fortunes from the upcoming rainy season as well as quick steps such as building temporary desalination plants, which would eventually be followed by permanent plants.

City officials will then reassess toward the end of the year, he said.

“You start off from having years of luxury and having plentiful water,” he said. “You have certain behaviors that you develop, and you then have to teach yourself to do things differently.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9136

‘New world order’ could stem from US-China trade battle

  • A tit-for-tat trade standoff between the U.S. and China has fueled market fears that the dispute could soon spiral into a full-blown trade war.
  • “The signal must be there is a new order emerging, and how that new order emerges will depend upon the wisdom, the patience and the understanding of the top leaders,” Andrew Sheng, chief advisor at China’s Banking Regulatory Commission, said Friday.
  • Sheng added he was hopeful of a positive outcome given that the world wants to see “a sensible and measured way of negotiations.”

Sam Meredith | @smeredith19

Published 7:12 AM ET Fri, 6 April 2018 CNBC.com    

A trade showdown between the world’s two biggest economies could be the flashpoint for a new international order, according to the chief advisor of China’s Banking Regulatory Commission.

A tit-for-tat trade standoff between the U.S. and China has fueled market fears that the dispute could soon spiral into a full-blown trade war. Washington and Beijing have been embroiled in escalating tariff threats since early March — with market participants concerned about the potential impact of an ensuing trade war.

“The signal must be there is a new order emerging, and how that new order emerges will depend upon the wisdom, the patience and the understanding of the top leaders,” Andrew Sheng, chief advisor at China’s Banking Regulatory Commission, told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick on the sidelines of the European House Ambrosetti Forum in Italy Friday.

When asked whether he was optimistic about the prospect of political leaders finding an effective solution to the world’s problems, Sheng replied: “I think so … We are now seeing a much more complex, much more subtle (and) much more nuanced search for the new order.”

‘Sensible and measured’

Late on Thursday, President Donald Trump instructed the U.S. Trade Representative to consider $100 billion of additional tariffs on Chinese goods. The further charges were being proposed “in light of China’s unfair retaliation” against prior U.S. trade actions, Trump said in a statement.

China on Wednesday announced it would introduce tariffs on 106 U.S. products, including soybeans, cars and whiskey. The duties were introduced as a retaliatory measure against Trump, who just 24 hours prior, had unveiled a list of Chinese imports he planned to target with tariffs.

Sheng said the world was finally getting to grips with the “massive labor shock” brought about by globalization. And while Sheng said the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China was a “very confusing situation,” he added that he was hopeful of a positive outcome given the world wants to see “a sensible and measured way of negotiations.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9128