9 June 2017

Magnitude-5.3 earthquake strikes Hawaii’s Big Island
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered about 11 miles (18 kilometers) southeast of Volcano town on the state’s southernmost island at a depth of 5 miles (8 kilometers.) That’s on the south flank of Kilauea volcano, which has been erupting continuously since 1983.

China “gravely concerned” as teachers reported killed in Pakistan
China said on Friday it was “gravely concerned” at Islamic State claims that the group killed two Chinese teachers it kidnapped in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province last month, where Beijing is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure projects.

Qatar vows no surrender in Gulf crisis as U.S., Kuwait seek solution
Qatar vowed on Thursday to ride out the isolation imposed on it by fellow Arab states over its alleged support for terrorism and said it would not compromise its sovereignty over foreign policy to resolve the region’s biggest diplomatic crisis in years.

Liberman: We are ‘closer than ever’ to deal with Palestinians
“We are far closer to an agreement than ever before,” Liberman told Channel 2 on Thursday. “I hope we will be able to realize this option.” Liberman did not offer any details about the agreement on the table, referring to it only as an “arrangement,” but indicated US President Donald Trump’s administration had played a role in cobbling the pact together and that it would include other regional players.

North Korea says it has tested new anti-ship missile
North Korea said Friday it has test-launched a new type of cruise missile capable of striking U.S. and South Korean warships “at will,” as South Korea found a suspected North Korean drone near the tense border between the rivals. The missiles are the fourth new missile system North Korea has disclosed and tested this year, sending a defiant message that it will continue to pursue a weapons program that has rattled its neighbors and Washington.

Accused leaker wanted to ‘burn the White House down’
Reality Winner appeared before a judge in Augusta, Ga., on Thursday who ordered her to remain jailed until her trial. Prosecutors argued that the 25-year-old might try to flee the U.S. if she was released on bond. They added that Winner wrote in her notebook alleged plans to set the White House on fire, travel to Afghanistan and pledge her allegiance to the Taliban, WSB-TV reported.

NYT ‘Looking Into’ Massive Russia Scoop James Comey Said Is Almost Entirely False
The New York Times is “looking into” whether one of its big Russia scoops is actually true, after former FBI Director James Comey disputed the report in Thursday testimony before Congress

DOJ Says Comey Wasn’t Honest In Senate Hearing
A Department of Justice spokesman denied several claims made by former FBI Director James Comey in a Senate hearing Thursday.

Defense Minister: Closer than ‘ever before’ to agreement with Palestinians
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas could hold direct peace talks for the first time in seven years, Channel 20 said on Thursday night in a report on a three-way Washington meeting with US President Donald Trump scheduled next month. The report comes just two months after Trump began to formally work to bring Israelis and Palestinian back to the negotiating table.

LIVE: Tens of thousands march in Tel Aviv LGBT Pride parade
Tel Aviv’s streets have been transformed into an incredible sea of color as tens of thousands take part in the annual Pride celebrations on Friday…

Israeli, Indian partners team up with Motorola to launch Jerusalem incubator
Aiming to give Jerusalem-based start-ups a global edge, Israeli and Indian partners have teamed up with American data communications giant Motorola Solutions to launch a new incubator. The incubator, led by equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd, will focus on frontier technologies such as big data, analytics, artificial intelligence, fintech, storage, Internet of things and computer vision, according to the partners.

South Africa: 10,000 Knysna residents evacuated amid fire
Up to 10,000 people have been evacuated from a scenic coastal town in South Africa that has been devastated by wildfires, officials have said. Military equipment was being deployed to douse more than 25 fires in Knysna, they added. At least eight people have been killed in the storms and fires that have been raging in the town and other areas of the Western Cape region.

Juncker: EU needs stronger defence arm
EU nations must step up their military co-operation as they cannot simply rely on the US to defend them, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says. “Our deference to Nato can no longer be used as a convenient alibi to argue against greater European efforts. “We have no other choice than to defend our own interests in the Middle East, in climate change, in our trade agreements,” he said in Prague.

Qatar vows ‘no surrender’ in row with Arab states
Qatar has vowed it will “not surrender” its foreign policy in a row with other Arab states over its alleged connections to extremism. Foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said he favoured diplomacy to resolve the escalating crisis and that there was no military solution, Reuters reported. Qatar rejects claims it is a leading supporter of Islamist extremism.

Yemen cholera cases pass 100,000 amid ‘unprecedented’ epidemic
The number of suspected cases of cholera resulting from a severe outbreak in Yemen has passed 100,000, the World Health Organization says. A total of 798 deaths associated with the disease have been recorded in 19 out of 22 provinces since 27 April. The charity Oxfam said the epidemic was killing one person almost every hour.

Israel angry Turkish ambassador hosted Islamist at Iftar
Israel recently sent a harsh message to Turkey’s ambassador to Israel, Kemal Ökem, for having hosted the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, at his home for an Iftar dinner at the end of the Ramadan fast last week. Salah is known for his positions that deny the legitimacy of the State of Israel and its rights to the Temple Mount. He was previously sentenced to imprisonment for rioting and inciting to violence and racism.

Russia may seize U.S. property if its own compounds not returned: Kommersant
Russia may seize U.S. diplomatic property in Moscow and complicate life for an Anglo-American school unless Washington hands back two diplomatic compounds in the United States before July, the daily Kommersant newspaper reported on Friday. In December, then U.S. president Barack Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russians over what he said was their involvement in hacking last year’s U.S. presidential election, allegations Moscow flatly denies.

China says it is vigilant as two U.S. bombers fly over South China Sea
China said on Friday it was monitoring U.S. military activities in the South China Sea, after two U.S. bombers conducted training flights over the disputed waters. The U.S. Pacific Command said on its website that two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flew a 10-hour training mission from Guam over the South China Sea on Thursday, in conjunction with the Navy’s USS Sterett guided-missile destroyer.

Woman detonates bomb in crowded Friday market in Iraq, killing at least 30
A woman detonated her explosive belt in a market east of the Shi’ite holy city of Kerbala on Friday, killing at least 30 and wounding 35, Iraqi security sources said. Islamic State claimed the attack in the town of Musayab, south of Baghdad, in a statement on its Amaq news agency. It didn’t identify the bomber. A security officer said the assailant was a woman who hid the bomb under the customary full-body veil.

Korea says launch tested ‘new type’ of cruise missile
Pyongyang on Friday hailed the successful test of a new type of surface-to-ship cruise missile, which it said was designed to hit “any enemy group of battleships” that threatened North Korea.

The Thrill Is Gone: Chris Matthews Admits “There’s No ‘There’ There” On Trump-Russia ‘Collusion’
“I’ve always assumed that what Trump was afraid of was that he had said something to Flynn and Flynn could be flipped on that and Flynn would testify against the President that he’d had some conversation with Flynn in terms of dealing with the Russians affirmatively.  And if that’s not the case, where’s the there-there?”

PICTURES: FGM-Linked Muslim Sect Given First Chance to Lay Flowers at London Attack Vigil
Thousands of Londoners gathered Monday in a park near London’s Tower Bridge to express grief over the deaths of those killed by radical Islamic terrorists on Saturday evening. The vigil, led by London mayor Sadiq Khan, saw a procession of Muslims given the opportunity to first, and separately, lay flowers at the scene. …The group is believed to have been from the Bohra sect of Islam, perhaps best known for their adherence to the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation.

Watch Live: UK Election Results – BBC/ITV Forecast ‘Hung Parliament’, Farage Warns “Brexit Is In Trouble”
Conservatives will do slightly better than the exit poll predicted – but will still be just short of an overall majority… Porjection – Conservatives: 322 (4 short of majority, down 9 from 2015), Labour: 261 (up 5 from 2015)

OY VEY: Sea of Galilee, Dangerously Salty, Reported in Danger of Becoming Desolate As Prophesied The Regional Council of the Jordan Valley published its annual report with the disturbing finding that the salinity of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) is 30 percent higher than it was just five years ago and the highest it has been in 50 years. This dire situation may be remedied by prayers and good acts, and is described in Jewish sources as an aspect of the pre-Messianic age.

Clinton’s charity confirms Qatar’s $1 million gift while she was at State Dept
The Clinton Foundation has confirmed it accepted a $1 million gift from Qatar while Hillary Clinton was U.S. secretary of state without informing the State Department, even though she had promised to let the agency review new or significantly increased support from foreign governments.