Turkey ‘will absolutely retaliate’ if US weapons sales are threatened

(Worthy News) – A move by House lawmakers to try to block the sales of U.S. arms to Turkey could lead to retaliation by the country, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned on Sunday.

Such a provision was included in the proposed fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, a $717 billion defense policy bill. Under the legislation, U.S. sales to Turkey would be halted while the Department of Defense compiles a report for Congress on the relationship between the two countries.

“If the United States imposes sanctions on us or takes such a step, Turkey will absolutely retaliate,” Cavusoglu said, according to a Reuters report. “What needs to be done is the U.S. needs to let go of this.” [ Source: Washington Examiner (Read More…) ]

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Israel fears ‘explosion of violence’ as US prepares to open embassy in Jerusalem

(Worthy News) – Police in Israel has started patrols and security sweeps of a southern Jerusalem neighborhood, anxiously preparing for a US embassy inauguration that Israelis and Palestinians fear may launch a week of violence.

The move on 14 May will mark the start of a potentially volatile week when Israel will celebrate its 70th anniversary and Palestinians mark the “catastrophe”, or Nakba, of their displacement on the 15th.

Nakba day has previously seen violence as the Israeli army responds to demonstrations in the occupied territories. This year, tensions are far higher than usual. Six weeks of protests along the Gaza border, during which Israeli soldiers have shot dead nearly 40 people and wounded hundreds, will culminate that week. [ Source: UK Guardian (Read More…) ]

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Hawaii Residents on Big Island Face Triple Threat: Lava, Earthquakes and ‘Lethal’ Gas

(Worthy News) – Hawaii officials are evacuating areas of the Big Island following a series of earthquakes and volcanic activity that have put thousands of lives in danger and are damaging homes and infrastructure.

Although 1,700 residents have been ordered to leave, some are choosing to stay behind — a grave mistake, officials say, as volcanic activity shows little sign of slowing down.

Among the many threats they face are lava, sulfur dioxide poisoning and earthquake damage. [ Source: Fox (Read More…) ]

Officials: 26 homes, 4 other buildings destroyed by volcano

The number of homes destroyed by Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano jumped to 26 on Sunday as scientists reported lava spewing more than 200 feet (61 meters) into the air.

In revised figures, Hawaii County officials said another four unspecified structures were covered by lava.

Some of the more than 1,700 people who evacuated prepared for the possibility they may not return for quite some time. [ Source: Miami Herald (Read More…) ]

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Hezbollah Growing in Power after Low Turnout in Lebanon vote

(Worthy News) – Hezbollah was poised to seal its dominance of Lebanon Monday with results for the decade’s first general election expected to confirm the Iran-backed party as the main winner.

The polls were also marked by a low turnout of 49.2 percent and the emergence of a civil society movement challenging Lebanon’s oligarchs that could clinch a pair of seats in parliament.

Lebanon’s sectarian-based power-sharing politics mean no single alliance in the 128-seat parliament will enjoy a stable majority and analysts expect a fragile status quo to be preserved. [ Source: AFP (Read More…) ]

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Netanyahu Says Better to Face Iran Sooner Rather Than Later

(Worthy News) – Israel will do what’s needed to block Iranian aggression, sooner rather than later, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.

“Nations that didn’t act in time against murderous aggression against them paid a much higher price later on,” said Netanyahu, who often invokes European powers’ 1938 agreement to let Nazi Germany annex portions of Czechoslovakia. “We don’t seek escalation, but are prepared for any scenario.”

Frictions between Israel and Iran have escalated in the runup to President Donald Trump’s decision this month whether to quit the Iran nuclear deal, and Netanyahu’s comments reinforced concerns that the two Middle East powers might clash directly in Syria, Iran’s client. Other Israeli officials have suggested that a withdrawal from the accord and renewed U.S. sanctions could either bring Iran back to the negotiating table with a weaker hand, or even lead to regime change. [ Source: Bloomberg (Read More…) ]

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Judge rejects Mueller’s request for delay in Russian troll farm case

(Worthy News) – A federal judge has rejected special counsel Robert Mueller’s request to delay the first court hearing in a criminal case charging three Russian companies and 13 Russian citizens with using social media and other means to foment strife among Americans in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In a brief order Saturday evening, U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich offered no explanation for her decision to deny a request prosecutors made Friday to put off the scheduled Wednesday arraignment for Concord Management and Consulting, one of the three firms charged in the case.

The 13 people charged in the high-profile indictment in February are considered unlikely to ever appear in a U.S. court. The three businesses accused of facilitating the alleged Russian troll farm operation — the Internet Research Agency, Concord Management, and Concord Catering — were also expected to simply ignore the American criminal proceedings. [ Source: Politico (Read More…) ]

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Disney World Cancels Annual Christian Concert ‘Night of Joy’ After 34 Years

(Worthy News) – Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida has officially confirmed that the popular family tourist attraction has canceled its annual Christian concert event, Night of Joy, after 34 years.

In a statement shared with the Orlando Sentinel, a Disney spokeswoman confirmed that the event will not be returning to the Walt Disney World Resort.

“Last year was our last event,” the spokeswoman said. [ Source: Christian Post (Read More…) ]

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Spy agency NSA triples collection of U.S. phone records: official report

(Worthy News) – The U.S. National Security Agency collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a U.S. intelligence agency report released on Friday said.

The sharp increase from 151 million occurred during the second full year of a new surveillance system established at the spy agency after U.S. lawmakers passed a law in 2015 that sought to limit its ability to collect such records in bulk.

The spike in collection of call records coincided with an increase reported on Friday across other surveillance methods, raising questions from some privacy advocates who are concerned about potential government overreach and intrusion into the lives of U.S. citizens. [ Source: Reuters (Read More…) ]

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South Carolina Senate Approves Bill Banning 97 Percent of Abortions

(Worthy News) – The South Carolina Senate approved a measure this week that would ban about 97 percent of abortions in the state.

The proposal amends a bill that already bans dismemberment abortions. The new measure bans all abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or threats to the mother’s life, according to The State.

Senators voted 28-10 to approve the proposal. The measure needs one more vote of approval before it can be sent to the state House for consideration. [ Source: Christian Headlines (Read More…) ]

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