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05-12-2017, 09:48 PM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker
Deutsche Bank subpoenaed to provide Trump accounts' data
Special counsel Robert Mueller has asked Deutsche Bank to share data on the US president's business dealings, as his investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the US election widens.

[Image: 36750929_303.jpg]

A person familiar with Mueller's investigation told the news agency Reuters on Tuesday that Germany's largest bank received a subpoena from the US special counsel several weeks ago to provide information on certain money and credit transactions, confirming a report by German daily Handelsblatt published on the same day.

Read more: Donald Trump owes Deutsche Bank big bucks
Deutsche Bank has loaned the Trump organization an estimated $300 million (€253 million) for its real estate dealings prior to Donald Trump becoming president. The lender said Tuesday it would not comment on any of its clients, adding that Deutsche Bank "always cooperates with investigating authorities in all countries."
Mueller is investigating alleged Russian attempts to influence the 2016 US presidential election and potential collusion by Trump aides. Russia has denied meddling in the election and Trump has called the special counsel's investigation a "witch hunt."

Dealings with Russia suspected
In June, Deutsche Bank already rejected demands by US House Democrats to provide details of Trump's finances, saying sharing client data would be illegal unless it received a formal request to do so.

Read more: Trump releases financial disclosure for 2016
Representative Maxine Waters of California and other Democrats have asked whether the bank's loans to Trump, made years before he ran for president, were in any way connected to Russia.

Deutsche Bank faces questions about a series of so-called Russian mirror trades, in which it allegedly helped Russian clients move money out of the country. Those trades are being investigated in multiple probes in the US and Europe. The Mueller investigation now wants the bank to detail any ties between those trades or other Russian financing as it seeks to identify anyone connected to Donald Trump, his family or advisers.

Read more: Russian tax authorities homing in on Deutsche Bank
Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bank stretches back some two decades and the roughly $300 million he owes to the bank represents nearly half of his outstanding debt, according to a July 2016 analysis compiled by Bloomberg news agency.

That figure includes a $170-million loan Trump took out to finish a hotel in Washington. He also has two mortgages against his Trump National Doral Miami resort and a loan against his tower in Chicago.

An internal investigation carried out by Deutsche Bank didn't yield any evidence of connections between the client relationship with Trump and the bank's mirror trades affair, a person briefed on the matter said.

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05-12-2017, 09:51 PM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker

Catalan arrest warrants withdrawn by Spain's Supreme Court

[Image: _99063987_cataloniasreuters.jpg]
A Spanish judge has withdrawn European arrest warrants for ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and four other ex-ministers.

Quote:They fled to Belgium a month ago after declaring unilateral independence in a referendum ruled illegal by Spain.

Despite the move, the judge said they still faced possible charges for sedition and rebellion.

Rebellion is considered one of the most serious crimes in Spain, carrying a jail term of up to 30 years.

Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llareno announced the warrant's withdrawal on Tuesday morning, citing the willingness the Catalan leaders had shown to return ahead of fresh regional elections being held on 21 December.

He said the European-wide warrant would complicate the Spanish legal probe, and its removal allows Spain to gain full control over the investigation.

The ministers turned themselves into Belgian authorities after the warrant was issued last month, but were freed after being questioned.

A Belgian judge was previously expected to rule whether to extradite the ministers on 14 December. The five were fighting the move, saying they may not receive a fair trial on their return.

Mr Puigdemont has previously said he would return if this was guaranteed.

On Monday six Catalan ex-ministers being held in a prison near Madrid were released from prison on bail. But two others, including former Catalan Vice President Orial Junqueras, were remanded in custody.

Campaigning has now officially started ahead of the new vote organised by Spanish authorities in an attempt to try and resolve the Catalonia crisis.

Mr Puigdemont labelled the election as a choice between "nation or submission" while speaking on a video link from Belgium to a rally in Barcelona on Monday night.

He said voters must chose "between Catalan institutions or dark characters in Madrid".

A seat reserved for the former leader at the event was marked with a yellow ribbon, an emblem that has become a symbol of support for the jailed politicians.

All but one of the 13 Catalan leaders sacked by the Spanish government after the independence referendum are standing for election again in the fresh vote.

[Image: _99065479_catalan_poll_v2_640-nc.png]

A new opinion poll, conducted by the Spanish Centre for Sociological Research (CIS) in late November, suggests that pro-independence parties will fall narrowly short of an absolute majority in the December election.

Mr Puidgemont and Mr Junqueras' pro-separatist parties are campaigning separately in the new vote, after a divide emerged over the future of the region following the nulled referendum.

The parties ran together in the 2015 election when separatist parties won an overall majority in the Catalan parliament when they won 72 seats.
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05-12-2017, 09:53 PM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker

Honduras: police refuse to obey government as post-election chaos deepens
All national police will refuse to enforce a curfew after days of deadly violence triggered by allegations of electoral fraud

[Image: 5225.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto...be133096cb]Supporters of Salvador Nasralla set fire to a barricade to block the passage between San Pedro Sula and El Progreso on Monday. Photograph: Jordan Perdomo/AFP/Getty Images

Quote:Honduran police have announced they will refuse to obey orders from the government of the incumbent president, Juan Orlando Hernández, and will remain in their barracks until a political crisis triggered by last Sunday’s contested presidential election has been resolved.

All national police – including elite US-trained units – in the capital, Tegucigalpa, would refuse to enforce a curfew ordered by the government after days of deadly violence triggered by allegations of electoral fraud, a spokesman said on Monday night.

Thousands protest in Honduras in chaos over contested presidential election
Read more
“We want peace, and we will not follow government orders – we’re tired of this,” said the spokesman outside the national police headquarters.

“We aren’t with a political ideology. We can’t keep confronting people, and we don’t want to repress and violate the rights of the Honduran people.”

Crowds of anti-government protesters greeted the announcement with cheers and chanted: “The people united will never be defeated!”

Earlier a member of the Cobras anti-riot squad said: “This is not a strike, this not about salaries or money. It’s that we have family. We are tired. And our job is to give peace and security to the Honduran people, not repress them. We want all Hondurans to be safe.”

The announcement marked a dramatic twist in a week-long electoral debacle that has plunged the volatile country into its worst political crisis since a coup in 2009.

It came shortly after international observers called for Honduran voting authorities to carry out a recount, and the opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla again claimed victory in the election.

“I am the president-elect of Honduras, the president chosen by the people,” said Nasralla, who had a five-point lead when nearly 58% of the votes were counted in the first hours after the 26 November election. The count then slowed dramatically and his lead gradually disappeared as results dribbled out, leading the opposition to claim the election was being stolen by President Hernández.

Jorge Quiroga, the head of an Organisation of American States mission to Honduras said the OAS mission called for the recount, saying that irregularities, errors and systematic problems meant that they could not be certain of the result.

Early on Monday the government-controlled electoral commission found that Hernández was ahead of Nasralla, by 42.98% to 41.39%, after a recount of suspicious votes from just over 1,000 polling stations.

But the Supreme Electoral Commission, known as the TSE, refrained from declaring a winner and hinted that a wider recount could still be possible.

The string of irregularities has fuelled growing frustrations that have boiled over on to the streets and caused many people, including international observers, to question the legitimacy of TSE’s results.

Since Sunday, Hondurans have taken to the streets across the country, facing off against security forces clad in riot gear, who used teargas and water cannon. A night-time curfew imposed on Friday has curbed protests but not put an end to the violence.

A number of international journalists have been detained by security services including Jihan Hafiz who said she was being deported along with fellow reporters Ed Augustin and Reed Lindsay.

Jihan Hafiz
At the moment, I am being detained and will be deported from #Honduras along with award-winning journalists @reedlindsay and @ed_augst - We are not the first international journalists to be deported for attempting to cover this crisis #Journalismisnotacrime #HondurasElections2017
7:07 PM - Dec 4, 2017

As negotiations continued on Monday, Nasralla’s Alliance party repeated calls for a recount of results from more than 5,000 polling stations that were tabulated after an alleged glitch in the TSE’s vote-counting system on Tuesday – and ultimately reversed a trend that indicated he would be the winner. Protestors accuse Hernández of manipulating votes and “stealing” the election.

“We a going to demand they review the votes from 5,179 stations. If not, we will protest,” spokesperson Rodolfo Pastor wrote to the Guardian.

On Monday the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reported that they had received preliminary information on the deaths of 11 Hondurans during the protests that have gripped the streets since the election crisis began.

“We condemn all forms of repression [and] regret all the deaths. In a democracy it’s normal that people have the right to peacefully protest,” said Marisa Matías, head of the EU mission. The United States’ top official, Heide Fulton, congratulated the TSE for the “orderly count” of votes it conducted on Sunday night.

Hernández is a close ally of the United States and his government has closely cooperated with Washington on border security, counternarcotics operations and migration policy.

On Monday, Reuters reported that the US state department had certified that Honduras had been supporting human rights and fighting corruption. The certification would allow the Hernández government to receive millions in US security assistance. In 2017 the US provided $17.3m in security assistance to Honduras.
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05-12-2017, 09:57 PM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker

Russia banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang

[Image: da000b2fa0d1130eebf64ec0e97a93e9]Russia’s elaborate and extensive doping scheme during the 2014 Sochi Olympics has gotten them banned . (AP)

Quote:Citing “systematic manipulation” of anti-doping rules, the International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday it has banned Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. An 14-person panel had been mulling a confidential IOC report that detailed Russia’s official doping program during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and the extensive cover-up.

As a result of this ban, no Russian officials will be allowed to attend the games. Their flag will be excluded from any display, and if any “clean” Russian athletes are given permission to attend, they won’t be competing under the Russian flag. They’ll compete under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia” (OAR) and the Olympic flag, any medals they win won’t be credited to Russia and the Olympic anthem will be played in any ceremony.

“This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport,” IOC president Thomas Bach said. “The IOC EB [executive board], after following due process, has issued proportional sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes. This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency].”

The question now is, will Russia allow its “clean” athletes to compete or will it impose a mandatory boycott?

This ban was a long time coming. The McLaren Report, released in two parts by the World Anti-Doping Agency in July and December 2016, detailed the doping and subsequent cover-up by the Russian state. It started as far back as 2011 and involves at least the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, though the IOC panel was only asked to rule on the doping that occurred during the 2014 Olympics. Over 1,000 athletes were involved.

The doping, and the hiding of the doping, were extensive. At one point, small rods were used to pry open the sealed tops of urine testing containers, fluids were switched and the caps replaced, with the containers being exchanged through small holes in a wall of the lab where athlete urine samples were kept. Russian officials would add substances like salt to the clean, switched urine samples to make them appear more real. This is just the tip of a very elaborate iceberg of doping and cover-ups.

On top of that, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency, Russia’s anti-doping organization (Rusada) was not compliant with WADA’s rules as of last month. Add it all together, and the IOC had no choice but to act in some way, and it chose to enact a full-scale ban.

There were other punishment options. The IOC panel could have simply fined Russia, which would have amounted to a slap on the wrist. There were also scenarios that could have resulted in some Russian athletes competing if they met certain standards of testing, or the individual Winter Sports governing bodies could have examined and permitted individual Russian athletes to compete.

The IOC ultimately chose to “invite” certain Russian athletes to the 2018 Games, though under certain guidelines. Those athletes will be determined with “absolute discretion” by an IOC panel and “must not have been disqualified or declared ineligible for any Anti-Doping Rule violation.”

The ban is far from the end of the story, though. Russia can appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the country is considering an all-out boycott. In fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that an all-out ban would be “humiliating” for Russia, and could possibly provoke a boycott. Of course, since Russia is now completely banned from the games, a boycott doesn’t really seem like it would be that effective.

The IOC Disciplinary Commission's Report is featured in the Yahoo.com Article
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05-12-2017, 10:10 PM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker

Ventura County wildfire rages over 50,000 acres, destroys more than 150 structures; 27,000 residents flee

[Image: la-me-ln-school-fire-20171204]

Quote:A fast-moving, wind-fueled wildfire swept into the city of Ventura early Tuesday, burning 50,000 acres, destroying homes and forcing more than 27,000 people to evacuate.

About 3,000 homes were threatened by flames, a firefighter was injured and Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Ventura County on Tuesday morning, as some 1,000 personnel continued to battle the Thomas fire.

At least 150 structures — including at least one large apartment complex and the Vista Del Mar Hospital, a psychiatric facility — were consumed by flames. But Cal Fire suspects the true number is hundreds more; firefighters just haven’t been able to get into areas to know for sure.

The fall weather sequence helped spark the Thomas fire, which as of 5 p.m. Tuesday was 0% contained and moving west, fire officials said. In the last couple of years, the rains came before the Santa Ana winds. But this year, with no rain in three months, the winds hit dry fuels.

"This fire is very dangerous and spreading rapidly, but we'll continue to attack it with all we've got," Brown said. "It's critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so."

The state sent resources to help with firefighting efforts as authorities expanded mandatory and voluntary evacuation areas, and opened new shelters throughout the county. Ventura County officials have asked the state for eight fixed-wing firefighting aircraft to help douse the flames, said Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Kevin Donoghue.

The blaze started about 6:25 p.m. Monday in the foothills near Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, a popular hiking destination. It grew wildly to more than 15 square miles in the hours that followed — consuming vegetation that hasn't burned in decades, Ventura County Fire Sgt. Eric Buschow said.

Sarah Parvini
VCFD Capt. Kaufmann says there are no containment lines for #ThomasFire, which is at 50,000 acres.
7:52 PM - Dec 5, 2017 · Ventura, CA

[Image: UUPE45X7ZBDIJEX5FWFT7U5DJE.png]Source: Ventura County Fire, Mapzen, OpenStreetMap ()

"The burn area is pretty much all the mountains between Ventura and Ojai and extending east to Santa Paula," Donoghue said. "It's a challenge because of the enormity of it, and it's a challenge because it's pretty rugged terrain."
Power outages also caused problems for firefighters Monday night and rendered some pumping systems inoperable, said Ventura County Fire Capt. Steve Kaufmann. Some hydrants couldn't get water pumped to them because there was no power, he said.

At one point in Ojai, the entire water system went down, including hydrants and drinking water, because a pumping system was damaged by the fire, Kaufmann said.

On Tuesday morning the water district had sent people to Ventura to repair the problems, but he did not know status of the repair.
"It definitely presented a challenge to us," he said.

By 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, authorities had ordered a mandatory evacuation of the entire community of Casitas Springs, northwest of Ventura. The evacuation area spreads from the northern portion of Highway 33 into Ojai, said Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Stan Ziegler. The county also issued a voluntary evacuation order for all parts of Ojai Valley not under mandatory evacuation.

In addition to the Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura and Nordhoff High School in Ojai, evacuation centers have been set up at the Oxnard College gymnasium and Santa Paula Community Center.

The size of the fire will likely grow, Ziegler said. Authorities are still seeing "erratic fire behavior and erratic winds so it's making the firefight very difficult," Ziegler said.

Aircraft are available for firefighting efforts, but will usually only drop retardant when winds are below 30 mph, said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott McLean.

About 7 a.m., the wind appeared to be pushing the fire east toward Camarillo and north toward Ojai, said Ventura County Sheriff's Senior Deputy Tim Lochman.

On Tuesday firefighters continued trying to save homes in Ventura, where the fire was active. They faced a red-flag wind advisory that notes ridgeline winds of 35 to 45 mph, with gusts up to 70 mph. Winds are expected to decrease somewhat in the afternoon, said Chad Cook, Ventura County Fire Department division chief.

Al Seib
Adam Maingot describes saving his parents home in the La Cumbre Circle neighborhood of Ventura
11:53 AM - Dec 5, 2017 · Ventura, CA

The fire hopscotched through hillside neighborhoods Monday night, burning some homes and sparing others. Some residents hoped the worst might be over in the early hours of the morning when the wind died down. But it picked up with a fury around daybreak, causing more destruction.

Engulfed in flames, the Hawaiian Village Apartments above central Ventura collapsed about 4 a.m.
Water gushed down North Laurel Street as firefighters worked to put out the flaming complex and residents watched, holding cameras and cellphones. The sound of bursting propane tanks filled the air.

Hundreds of firefighters working through the night tried to prevent the blaze from spreading, block by block, as they were confronted by wind gusts of up to 50 mph.
One firefighter was hit by a car while he was protecting homes. He was at a hospital, said Ventura County Fire Capt. Scott Quirarte.
Fire officials said the intensity of the fire, coupled with the high winds, made it pretty much unstoppable.

Schools in the Oxnard, Ventura, Hueneme and Santa Paula school districts were closed Tuesday.

California authorities have secured a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist in firefighting efforts, the Office of Emergency Services announced Tuesday morning.

Fire officials expected flames would rip through at least 50,000 acres in the mountains between Santa Paula and Ventura.

The destruction comes in what was already the worst year on record for wildfires in California. Forty-four people were killed and more than 10,000 structures were lost when fires swept through Northern California's wine country in October.

The Thomas fire's movement bears some similarity to Northern California's Tubbs fire, which ravaged the town of Santa Rosa and killed more than 20 people in October, McLean said.

The Thomas fire has moved almost as quickly as the Tubbs did, with winds pushing flames that started north of a community into a city, he said. Like the Tubbs, there are access issues with the Thomas fire because of the topography, McLean said.

What's different, though, is that authorities began the morning of the Tubbs firefighting more than a dozen blazes in the area, whereas the Thomas fire is currently the greatest threat in Southern California. The Creek fire, near Sylmar, was at 11,000 acres early Tuesday afternoon and had destroyed at least 30 structures.

There were no confirmed fatalities in the Thomas fire as of 2 p.m., authorities said.
Southern California has been under red-flag weather conditions since Monday, with “the strongest and longest duration Santa Ana wind event we have seen so far this season” expected through at least Thursday, the National Weather Service said.
The dry, gusty Santa Ana winds will continue for at least the next three days, the National Weather Service said.

"Generally, it's awful fire weather today, tomorrow and Thursday," said forecaster Ryan Kittell. "The winds we're seeing right now are … plenty strong to drive a fire."
It doesn't matter that the winds are relatively cool compared to typical Santa Anas because wind gusts are so powerful and dry, he said.

Ventura County fire officials reported Monday night that one person was killed in a traffic accident on a road closed due to the Thomas fire. But at about 6 a.m. Tuesday, authorities said no human fatalities were confirmed — although they added that one dog had died.

At least 1,000 homes in Ventura, Santa Paula and Ojai were evacuated.

More than 260,000 customers in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties lost power as the fire raged. By noon Tuesday 15,000 homes in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties were still without power, said Southern California Edison spokesman Paul Netter.

More homes may lose power as the fires continue to spread, and some may be without power for days, Netter said.

"We're encouraging conservation because of the power fluctuations," he said. "Every little bit helps when it comes to maintaining power as we restore it."
Just north of Foothill Boulevard, along Hilltop Drive, Mark Urban, 53, took a moment about 7 a.m. Tuesday to inspect the front of his home, where at least two spot fires had broken out; one was put out by firefighters and the other by himself, using a garden hose.

Urban said he and his wife began evacuating their Spanish-style home about 11 p.m. Monday and headed to the Ventura fairgrounds. About 1 a.m., though, he returned to grab more belongings and decided to stay to defend their home with a hose, he said.

"I just kept hitting the hot spots," Urban said.

A crowd gathered Tuesday morning in the street at the top of a hilly Santa Paula neighborhood, watching as black smoke and flames crept along a tawny ridge near dozens of white, tan and pink houses.

Gusts ripped red flowers off a bougainvillea and sent flames billowing upward a few hundred feet from houses along Coronado Circle.

Doctors and nurses in scrubs who had stepped out of nearby Santa Paula Hospital put on face masks and pulled out cellphones to record the fire.

The hospital was closed Tuesday to incoming patients and all surgeries were canceled, according to a doctor and a technician who were not authorized to talk to the media. About 16 patients remained in the 28-bed facility and could be quickly evacuated if fire officials gave the word, they said.

Beverly Moore stood on 10th Street with a black hoodie drawn tightly over her head to block the strong winds, watching the fire.

Moore moved to Coronado Circle about eight years ago, when the neighborhood was new. She knew fire was a risk, because the street opens onto hundreds of acres of open space that is covered in dry brush, she said. Even so, she wasn't prepared to watch the fire come so close to her house.

In her rush to leave home, Moore said, she'd grabbed her violin, but forgot her jewelry and her daughter's guitar.

Police cars blocked the street, stopping residents from returning to their homes. A Santa Paula police officer allowed Moore back in, telling her to hurry.

She returned 15 minutes later, smiling, her jewelry in a brown shopping bag, her father's will in a manila envelope, and her daughter's guitar slung across her back.
"It's all she wanted," Moore said. "I've done what I could."

By late Tuesday morning, evacuees were beginning to learn the fate of their homes.

Darlene Gonzalez and her husband scrambled to evacuate Monday by 6 p.m., just after they got off work. They fled with clothes, passports and other paperwork, but left her husband's most cherished possessions in the garage: A 1959 Chevrolet El Camino and a 1928 Ford ("a Bonnie and Clyde car," Gonzalez said).

"You work so hard all your life, and now this," Gonzalez said. "But what can you do? Fire is fire."

At least two buildings on the campus of Vista Del Mar Hospital burned down as the Thomas fire ravaged the canyons above Ventura.

The hospital treats adolescents and adults with mental health issues, and among its specialties is treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Patients were evacuated and by Tuesday morning, two buildings were completely destroyed by flames, with the rubble of stucco walls and clay roofs smoldering under the smoky sky.

"There's a huge need for this facility," said Roger Case, 76, explaining that it welcomes patients from Fresno to the San Fernando Valley. Case is an advisory board member.

In addition to serving about 80 patients at a time, the facility also employs about 230 people.

Many have found their way to evacuation centers, waiting out the fire.

Inside the shelter at the Ventura County fairgrounds Tuesday morning, some volunteers handed out water and bananas to evacuees who spent the night. Others grabbed the green cots that crowded the concrete floor and walked them over to the larger livestock shelter where the evacuees were being moved.

Rudy Avendano and his family voluntarily evacuated their home on Richmond Road about 3 a.m. His daughter Felicia had woken up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom when she saw flashing lights on the street.

She stepped outside and asked the police if they were being evacuated.
"We strongly suggest it," she remembered the officer saying.

She quickly woke her parents and two sisters. They grabbed the items they'd packed earlier in the day — clothes, blankets, documents, photo albums and a mandolin — and jumped into their cars with their pit bull-Labrador mix, Bear.

Avendano, 60, said he saw a continuous ribbon of orange flames licking the hills on the drive to the fairgrounds.

Throughout the drive, he said, he thought of the extra food he should have thrown in the car. A gallon of Sunny Delight and a box of crackers from Trader Joe's weren't enough, he said with a laugh.

NWS Los Angeles
Potentially the strongest and longest duration #SantaAnaWind event so far this season (Mon-Thu). Here are the projected damaging wind gusts on Tue during peak of event. #LAwind #LAWeather
7:02 PM - Dec 2, 2017


Parvini, Nelson, Vives and Hamilton reported from Ventura County, Kohli from Los Angeles. Times staff reporters Jaclyn Cosgrove, Alene Tchekmedyian and Joseph Serna, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

6:40 p.m.: This article was updated with fire behavior information.
5:20 p.m.: This article was updated with latest containment information.
4:50 p.m.: This article was updated with acreage information.
2:50 p.m.: This article was updated with acreage information
1:40 p.m.: This article was updated with information about power outages, evacuations and issues with fire hydrants.
11:30 a.m.: This article was updated with information about the state of emergency announcement and evacuees.
10:00 a.m.: This article was updated with information about firefighting efforts, power outages and evacuations.
8:10 a.m.: This article was updated with information about acreage burned and firefighting efforts.
6:20 a.m.: This article was updated with information about a reported animal fatality and a hospital evacuation.
4:15 a.m.: This article was updated with interviews with Ventura residents.
3:55 a.m.: This article was updated with new numbers on acreage burned, structures destroyed and people evacuated.
3:40 a.m.: This article was updated with a new evacuation number and an interview with the son of evacuees.
3:10 a.m.: This article was updated with new acreage-burned numbers and a report of an injury to a firefighter.
2:10 a.m.: This article was updated with updated acreage-burned figures and reports of homes on fire.
1:50 a.m.: This article was updated with interviews with Ventura residents.
1 a.m.: This article was updated with information from Southern California Edison and an interview with a resident outside the evacuation zone.
Dec. 5, 12:05 a.m.: This article was updated with information about power outages and an interview with a Santa Paula resident.
11:10 p.m.: This article was updated to reflect two structures have been destroyed.
10:35 p.m.: This article was updated with information about power outages.
10:25 p.m.: This article was updated with a larger acreage-burned number and new evacuations.
10:10 p.m.: This article was updated with more information about the emergency response to the fire.
9:40 p.m.: This article was updated with a larger acreage-burned number.
9:10 p.m.: This article was updated with more information from fire officials.
8:55 p.m.: This article was updated with a new acreage-burned number.
8:15 p.m.: This article was updated with information about evacuations.
7:55 p.m.: This article was updated with a new acreage-burned number.

This article was originally published on Dec. 4 at 7:10 p.m.
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05-12-2017, 10:16 PM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker

Jerusalem: Turkey warns Trump against crossing 'red line'

[Image: _99061835_gettyimages-134211908.jpg]No country has recognised Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem

Quote:Turkey's president has warned it could sever ties with Israel if the US recognises Jerusalem as its capital.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said such a move would cross a "red line" for Muslims.
Donald Trump called Middle Eastern leaders on Tuesday amid growing warnings against taking the step.

Reports say the president will dramatically shift the US position on the status of Jerusalem this week. Its fate is one of the thorniest issues between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel has always regarded it as its capital city, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

If Washington recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital, it would be the first country to do so since the foundation of the state in 1948.

What did Turkey say?
In a televised speech, Mr Erdogan addressed the US president directly, saying "Mr Trump! Jerusalem is a red line for Muslims.

"We could go as far as cutting diplomatic ties with Israel over the issue," he added.

Turkey and Israel restored diplomatic relations last year, six years after Turkey severed ties in protest at the killing of nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists in clashes with Israeli commandos on board a ship trying to break Israel's naval blockade of Gaza.

Israeli minister Naftali Bennett rebuffed the Turkish president, saying:

"Unfortunately, Erdogan does not miss an opportunity to attack Israel.

"There will always be those who criticise, but at the end of the day it is better to have a united Jerusalem than Erdogan's sympathy."

Mr Trump has been having conversations with numerous world leaders a day before his anticipated announcement.

A Palestinian spokesman said President Mahmoud Abbas had told Mr Trump that moving the US embassy to Jerusalem would have dangerous consequences. He said Mr Abbas gave the warning after Mr Trump informed him of his intention to move the embassy.

Jordan's King Abdullah has taken a similar line on the issue. He told Mr Trump that moving the embassy would have "dangerous repercussions on the stability and security of the region", a statement from the Jordanian palace said.

Jordan acts as custodian of the Islamic sites in Jerusalem.

What is so contentious about Jerusalem's status?
The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians, who are backed by the rest of the Arab and wider Islamic world.

The city is home to key religious sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity, especially in East Jerusalem.

[Image: _99065461_east_jerusalem_detail_624map_v3-2.png]

Israel occupied the sector, previously occupied by Jordan, in the 1967 Middle East war and regards the entire city as its indivisible capital.

The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, and according to 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, its final status is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.

Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally, and all countries, including Israel's closest ally the US, maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv.

Since 1967, Israel has built a dozen settlements, home to about 200,000 Jews, in East Jerusalem. These are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

If the US recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital, it will put it out-of-step with the rest of the international community and reinforce Israel's position that settlements in the east are valid Israeli communities.

Who else has spoken out?
France's President Emmanuel Macron told Donald Trump he is "concerned" the US leader could unilaterally recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying any decision on its status must be "within the framework of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians".

The European Union, part of the so-called Middle East Quartet of mediators which includes the US, the UN and Russia, warned of "serious repercussions on public opinion in large parts of the world".

Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit warned it would be "a dangerous measure that would have repercussions".

Saudi Arabia said such a move before a final settlement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would "have a detrimental impact on the peace process".

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has also warned against the move. A statement said the leader had told Mr Trump not to complicate matters in the Middle East.
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05-12-2017, 10:19 PM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker

White House: Jerusalem embassy move a 'recognition of reality'

[Image: 171205161205-01-jerusalem-1204-large-169.jpg]

Quote:(CNN) - President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday and direct the State Department to begin the process to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, senior administration officials said.

The decision, which is already being cheered by the President's supporters and the Israeli government, is expected to roil the region, with US Arab allies warning Trump on Tuesday that it will undermine regional stability and stymie the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Trump will sign a waiver delaying the embassy move for another six months to comply with the law, as senior administration officials said it will take years for the move to be completed.

The Trump administration on Tuesday cast the move, which Trump will announce Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET, as a "recognition of reality" that Jerusalem has long been the seat of the Israeli government. Officials stressed that the decision would have no impact on the boundaries of future Israeli and Palestinian states as negotiated under a final status agreement.

Senior administration officials briefing reporters Tuesday evening rejected suggestions that the decision would hurt the peace process, but offered no arguments to suggest the move would advance the peace process or US interests in the region.

Instead, the officials said keeping the US embassy in Tel Aviv -- despite legislation calling for a move to Jerusalem -- had not advanced peace in more than two decades.

"It seems clear now that the physical location of the American embassy is not material to a peace deal. It's not an impediment to peace and it's not a facilitator to peace," one senior administration official said. "After having tried this for 22 years, an acknowledgment of reality seems like an important thing."

Another senior administration official said Trump "came to the judgment that this was both the right time and the right step to take specifically with respect to his hopes that a peace can be achieved," but offered no further specifics.

The officials said Trump would reaffirm that he is prepared to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if both sides can agree to such a deal.

Despite the announcement, a senior administration official said Tuesday Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital would not change the US policy opposing Israeli construction of settlements in East Jerusalem.

Ahead of his announcement, Trump spoke Tuesday to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Jordan's King Abdullah, prompting statements from each leader's country opposing the plan, warning that it will undermine regional stability and scuttle any hopes of peace for the foreseeable future.

Palestinian leaders have already called for three "days of rage" in protest and the State Department issued a travel warning about the West Bank and Jerusalem's Old City.

Trump also spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has long lobbied for the embassy to move to Jerusalem.

The President is expected to make a public announcement Wednesday declaring his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his intent to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv, diplomatic officials and a person familiar with the plans tell CNN. Trump is also expected to sign a waiver delaying the embassy move for six months, citing the logistical challenges of moving US personnel.
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05-12-2017, 10:21 PM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker

UAE announces new Saudi alliance that could reshape Gulf relations
Latest development in six-month-long Qatar dispute throws future of Gulf Cooperation Council into doubt

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Foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries meet in Kuwait City. Photograph: Reuters

Quote:The United Arab Emirates has announced the formation of a new political and military alliance with Saudi Arabia, throwing into doubt the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Gulf states’ 36-year-old political and trading bloc.

The announcement, made at a GCC summit in Kuwait City, marks the latest development in a six-month dispute that has pitted the GCC members Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as well as Egypt, against tiny, gas-rich Qatar.

Since June the four countries have mounted a land, sea and air blockade of Qatar. Numerous efforts at mediation made by fellow Gulf states and European leaders have failed.

Saudi Arabia has accused Qatar of funding terrorism, interfering in its neighbour’s internal affairs and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Western leaders fear the Saudi action is pushing Qatar – which houses a major US military base – closer to Iran.

The new Saudi-UAE committee is bound to be seen as an alternative, if not substitute, to the malfunctioning GCC.

Both countries are strong militarily, and are likely to take a more aggressive approach towards Iran – a foreign policy hallmark of Saudi Arabia’s young, risk-taking crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia has not yet commented on the UAE announcement.

In recent weeks, Iran and Saudi Arabia have been at loggerheads in Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon. Saudi Arabia is trying to sponsor a Palestinian peace deal that critics will say concedes too much to Israel.

It is not clear if Bahrain is going to join the grouping, or was invited to do so.

The new formation came despite calls for unity by the GCC secretary general, Abdullatif al-Zayani.

Opening the summit, the Kuwaiti foreign minister, Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid, insisted GCC leaders were keen to “meet the challenges of security and stability in response to the aspirations and hopes of the Gulf people for the importance of cohesion”.

“The GCC is a continuous project in which the will of member states meets to build a unified Gulf body”.

Despite the poor state of relations across the Gulf, the Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, has attended the GCC summit, and was due to meet leaders of the states mounting the boycott of Qatar.

Founded in 1981, the GCC is a political and economic union grouping Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.

Britain had been keen to negotiate an early post-Brexit free trade deal with the GCC, and at one stage was going to host the GCC summit in London in a diplomatic display of unity with the Gulf states. But the collapse in relations within the GCC in the summer has put the plans on hold.

The Gulf states have approved a customs union, a common market, a single currency and a single central bank but most of these plans have yet to be fully implemented.

In October Bahrain openly called for Qatar’s membership of the GCC to be suspended until it accepted the demands made by the four boycotting states.

This article was amended on 5 December 2017. An earlier version said Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani was the Qatari foreign minister. He is that country’s emir.
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06-12-2017, 07:27 PM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker

Why evangelicals are 'ecstatic' about Trump's Jerusalem move

(CNN) - American evangelicals, especially those close to President Donald Trump, hailed his announcement on Wednesday that the United States now recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital. But other religious leaders, including Pope Francis and Christians living in Israel, expressed dire concerns that the move would incite unrest in the volatile region.

"I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," Trump said in the White House's Diplomatic Reception Room. "After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians."

Trump also described the move as keeping a campaign promise that other presidents had failed to fulfill.

Quote:Johnnie Moore, the de facto spokesman for Trump's informal group of evangelical advisers, said Jerusalem's status was a key part of the President's outreach to evangelical voters.

"This issue was -- to many -- second only to concerns about the judiciary among the President's core evangelical supporters. President Trump has -- yet again -- demonstrated to his evangelical supporters that he will do what he says he will do," Moore said.

Paula White, a Florida megachurch pastor who is close to Trump, likewise said the President has fulfilled a campaign promise.

"Once again, President Trump has shown the world what I have always known — he is a leader who is willing to do what is right however loud the voices are of the skeptics and the critics. Evangelicals are ecstatic, for Israel is to us a sacred place and the Jewish people are our dearest friends."

According to a recent survey, a plurality of American evangelicals -- 45% -- said the Bible is the biggest influence on their opinion about Israel. Just 41% of evangelicals said Jews not only have a "biblical right" to the land of Israel but also a responsibility to share the land with Palestinian Arabs.

"Jerusalem has been the object of the affection of both Jews and Christians down through history and the touchstone of prophecy. But most importantly, God gave Jerusalem — and the rest of the Holy Land — to the Jewish people," said the Rev. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas and a member of Trump's evangelical advisory board.

Other religious leaders, however, worried that Trump's announcement could spark unrest and even violence in the volatile Middle East.

"I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days and, at the same time, I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations," Francis said on Wednesday during his general audience at the Vatican.

"I pray to the Lord that such identity be preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the entire world, and that wisdom and prudence prevail, to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world already shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts."

Leaders of Christian communities in Jerusalem issued even more dire warnings about Trump's decision.

"We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division," 13 patriarchs and leaders of Christian Orthodox communities wrote in an open letter to Trump on Wednesday.
"Any sudden changes would cause irreparable harm."

The announcement divided American Jewish groups. The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and American Jewish Committee hailed Trump's move, calling it a long-delayed recognition of Israel's own determination that Jerusalem is the nation's capital.

But Rabbi Rick Jacobs of the Union for Reform Judaism said that while his group supports moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it is concerned about the timing of the announcement and the lack of a comprehensive peace process to address the larger disputes between Israelis and Palestinians.

American Muslims expressed nearly universal dismay at the move.
"In an already volatile region, Mr. Trump's action will be akin to dousing gasoline on a burning fire," said Ebrahim Moosa, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Notre Dame. "The US will also sign itself into irrelevance in Mideast matters. Without a two-state solution the very future of Israel might be in jeopardy."
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06-12-2017, 07:35 PM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker

Jerusalem: Trump move prompts negative world reaction

US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital has been met with a wave of disapproval.

Leaders from within the Muslim world and from the wider international community were swift to criticise the move, and some warned of the potential for violence and bloodshed as a result.

Mr Trump also approved moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, making America the first country in the world to officially recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The status of Jerusalem lies at the heart of the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
White House officials have said Mr Trump's decision is a "recognition of current and historic reality" but is not a political statement, and will not change the physical and political borders of Jerusalem.

President Mahmoud Abbas said the decision was tantamount to the United States "abdicating its role as a peace mediator" after a decade of sponsoring the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

"These deplorable and unacceptable measures deliberately undermine all peace efforts," he said in a pre-recorded speech on TV.

He insisted that Jerusalem was the "eternal capital of the state of Palestine".
Palestinian Islamist group Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said: "Our Palestinian people everywhere will not allow this conspiracy to pass, and their options are open in defending their land and their sacred places."

A spokesman for the group said the decision would "open the gates of hell on US interests in the region".

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said President Trump's announcement was a "historic landmark".

He called the US president's decision "courageous and just".
The Israeli prime minister said the speech was "an important step towards peace, for there is no peace that doesn't include Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel".

He said that the city had "been the capital of Israel for nearly 70 years".
Education Minister Naftali Bennett also hailed the decision, saying "the United States is adding another brick to the walls of Jerusalem, to the foundation of the Jewish nation", and urged other nations to follow Mr Trump's lead.

Muslim world
The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the decision was "irresponsible."
He wrote on Twitter that "the decision is against international law and relevant UN resolutions".

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Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu‏
Press Release of Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on US decision to move its Israel Embassy to #Jerusalem
2:08 PM - Dec 6, 2017

Saudi Arabian media say King Salman told Mr Trump by telephone on Tuesday that the relocation of the embassy or recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital "would constitute a flagrant provocation of Muslims, all over the world".

His views were echoed by President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, who warned against "complicating the situation in the region by introducing measures that would undermine chances for peace in the Middle East".

The Arab League called it "a dangerous measure that would have repercussions" across the region, and also questioned the future role of the US as a "trusted mediator" in peace talks.

Iran said the decision risked a "new intifada", or uprising. Its foreign ministry said the US had clearly violated international resolutions.

Meanwhile, Jordan's King Abdullah called for joint efforts to "deal with the ramifications of this decision" and a Jordanian government spokesman said Mr Trump was violating international law and the UN charter.

Lebanon's president Michel Aoun said the peace process would be set back decades, while Qatar's foreign minister said the move was "a death sentence for all who seek peace".

International community
Pope Francis said: "I cannot silence my deep concern over the situation that has emerged in recent days. At the same time, I appeal strongly for all to respect the city's status quo, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions."
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, said President Trump's statement "would jeopardise the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians".

Mr Guterres said Jerusalem was "a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties".
Such negotiations must take "into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinians and the Israeli sides," he said.

The European Union called for the "resumption of a meaningful peace process towards a two-state solution" and said "a way must be found, through negotiations, to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, so that the aspiration of both parties can be fulfilled".

French President Emmanuel Macron said Mr Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital was "regrettable".

He called efforts for "avoid violence at all costs."

Both China and Russia also expressed their concern that the move could lead to an escalation of tensions in the region.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK government disagreed with the US decision which was "unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region".
In a statement she said: "The British embassy to Israel is based in Tel Aviv and we have no plans to move it.

"Our position on the status of Jerusalem is clear and longstanding: it should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states. In line with relevant [UN] Security Council Resolutions, we regard East Jerusalem as part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said on Twitter that Berlin "does not support this position because the status of Jerusalem can only be negotiated within the framework of a two-state solution".
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