Angola bans Islam will destroy all the mosques

By popular demand, Angolan authorities have taken preemptive action and decided to ban the Muslim religion, which they consider a cult, NOT a religion. They see what Muslims are doing to Christians, especially in Africa, and are taking steps to prevent the same from happening in Angola.

Xibaaru  In early October 2013, the Muslims living in Luanda in the municipality of Viana Zango were shocked to see the minaret of their mosque dismantled into pieces on the ground without permission. On Thursday 03 October in the morning, the Angolan authorities decided to destroy the mosque Zango located in the urban district of Viana 17 km. The governor of Luanda Bento announced in a radio spot that radical Muslims are not welcome in Angola and the Angolan government is not ready for the legalization of mosques in Angola.

And on Tuesday, November 19, the Minister of Culture, Rosa Cruz e Silva said. “Regarding Islam, the legalization process has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. Therefore all mosques would be closed until further notice. ” It should be noted that the Angolan government has made closing of all mosques a priority. The only two mosques located in Luanda have already received a warning document  signed by the mayor of the municipality of Viana José Moreno.

Poste reveille  (h/t Susan K) The provincial governor of Luanda, Bento Bento, said on the airwaves of local radio that “radical Muslims are not welcome in Angola and the Angolan government is not ready for the legalization of mosques.” Minister of Culture, Rosa Cruz e Silva explained that the law on freedom of religion will be reviewed given the current national context , noting that the Government will redouble its efforts to fight relentlessly against religious cults like Islam which are contrary to the customs of Angolan culture.

After Angola banned Islam, one of the country’s few mosques had its minaret was taken down in October. The city of Zango had its only mosque completely destroyed after the ban as well.

95% of Angola’s population is Christian. A quarter belongs to Protestant churches founded during the colonial period, including congregational evangelical church.

This decisive action taken by the Angolan head of state is based on a desire to guard against the rise of the Wahhabi ideology that has created havoc, death and destruction in Africa and elsewhere. And as rightly explained Tunisian philosopher Mezri Haddad: “Islamism and Islamophobia feed each other. Worse, long-term Islamism as an ideology destroy Islam as religion. “

Africalap  According to the International Religious Freedom Report 2008, Islam in Angola is a minority religion with 80,000 – 90,000 adherents, composed largely of migrants from West Africa and families of Lebanese origin. The Muslims comprise between 2.5 to 3 percent of Angola’s overall population of 17 million people, most of them Christians.


in the last decade, but especially during the last few years the Muslim community in Angola has grown appreciably and Islamic activities have become more common in major cities. Mosques have sprung up in a number of places and Qur’anic schools have been built to provide Islamic instructions and teach Arabic language to adherents.

Public attitudes toward Islam have been generally negative. Cultural differences between Angolan and Muslim West African immigrants have been the basis for negative views toward Islam, as was the perceived link between Islam and illegal immigration. Since the September 11 attacks, there has been a deliberate attempt to link Muslims with terrorism. It has become a matter of routine at Luanda airport for security officers to detain Muslims arriving from Sahelian countries.

On September 1, 2008, a Muslim mob attacked the Christian community in the town of Andulo. The school-age daughter of a deacon at one of the churches was decapitated. Forty Christians were assaulted or tortured. The mob burned three church buildings. They also went to Christians’ houses to intimidate them or destroyed items of property. Stones were thrown at the headquarters of a local Christian project, causing some damage. An Angolan Christian leader said that the local police were unable to stop the attack and fled the scene.

wpml_yahooUPDATE! BNI has received several messages from people in Angola confirming that the ban on Islam is definitely true.

Islam in Angola is not considered a religion anymore, but a SECT!

Angola has a constitution similar to those of Western nations. The Angolan constitution guarantees freedom of religion. That religious freedom does not include questionable sects, only proper world religions enjoy religious freedom in Angola!

Now Islam is no longer considered a legal religion, Cultural Minister of Angola Rosa Cruz says,  “The process of legalization of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, their mosques would be closed until further notice.” That means that Islam is now considered a cult or sect and with that is looses all privileges of a recognized religion!

This is nearly the same as banning Islam, because as a sect, Islamists have no constitutional rights to build mosques, run Islamic schools, or even promote Islam.

Islam is legally socially dead in Angola. Apparently the top government officials in this poor African nation are showing more sane good judgment than the Europeans and Americans!


New York Jews Considering Immigration to Israel at Highest Rate Ever


TEL AVIV – A record number of New York Jews are considering immigration to Israel. This was demonstrated by the number of registrations for this year’s Nefesh B’Nefesh New York City aliya fair on Sunday, NBN Executive Vice President Zev Gershinsky stated.

Aliya is the Hebrew name for Jewish immigration to Israel. 1,300 people registered for the fair, the highest ever rate of attendance.

“We ended 2015 with nearly 3,800 olim,” Gershinsky told the Jerusalem Post at the event. “We are aiming to pass our 4,000 people goal this year and the registration for this event indicates we are on the right track. It was the highest ever and we see great interest in moving this year.”

The fair was part of Nefesh B’Nefesh’s “Come Home to Israel” tour, which will take place in eight cities across North America this month, including Los Angeles, Montreal, Toronto, Baltimore, Washington, Chicago, and Fort Lauderdale.

The aliya fairs are co-hosted by NBN, the Immigration and Absorption Ministry, the Jewish Agency, Keren Kayemeth Le’Yisrael-Jewish National Fund, and JNF-USA.

David Gershuny, Nefesh B’Nefesh’s National Chair, told Breitbart Jerusalem that one of the most important ways to support the Jewish state is to bolster its population.

“The Nefesh story is about building Israel through human capital,” Gershuny, who is currently touring the country with the Jewish National Fund, said. “When we build a state, the first thing that’s necessary is bringing people, and what better way to do that than to bring the Jewish people back to their homeland?”

In aliya fairs all around the U.S., NBN provides prospective immigrants, or olim, with all the information and logistic aid they need. According to Gershinsky, one of the main concerns for potential olim is job security and navigating Israel’s infamous bureaucracy.

“I think our motto here is ‘one step forward,’ ” Gershinsky explained to the Post. “Not giant leaps, not a huge move, but ‘one step forward,’ which means ‘come and explore.’ Aliya is something we encourage, we want to help you feel confident it’s something you can do and be successful at.”

“This event gives you the empowerment and confidence you need to make that one step forward,” he added.

“Aliya by choice” was the term Gershinsky used to refer to people who immigrate from North America. Aliya from European countries, such as France and the former USSR, often occurs out of necessity; for example, to escape anti-Semitism.

“We know that people making aliya from the United States or Canada are choosing Israel because they believe it is the right place for them to be,” he told the Post. “That’s how we view it and how we treat the olim.”

One of the fair’s attendees, Moshe Greene, said that America is no longer as safe as it once was for Jews.

“You see Europe being taken over by the Muslims, and you see slowly but surely Canada, America, Australia; these places are also affected. You can’t escape it,” Greene told thePost.

“I won’t call Israel safe, but I’d rather be fighting with a country that is definitely there for our security,” he added.

Since its establishment in 2002, Nefesh B’Nefesh has chartered more than 50 aliya flights from North America and assisted nearly 50,000 people in the aliya process.

Blame Hillary for Rape Epidemic?!!!  Michael Snyder

Fear Woman - Public DomainMillions of women in Europe are now deathly afraid to walk outside their own homes at night, and with each passing day more news reports of absolutely horrific rapes and sexual assaults come pouring in from all over the continent.  So who is to blame for this epidemic of rape?  I think that the answer might surprise you, because a very famous politician in the United States is at least partially responsible.  But first, let’s examine why women all over Europe are living in such fear right now.  I have written previously about this rape epidemic, but since that time it has gotten even worse.  At this point, this plague is even affecting small towns in the far northern portions of the continent.  For example, just consider what is happening in a small town in northern Sweden known as Ostersund…

Women in a town in northern Sweden have been warned not to walk alone at night in the wake of a spike in violent assaults and attempted rapes.

Police in Östersund made the unusual move to ask women not to go out unaccompanied after dark, after reports of eight brutal attacks, some by ‘men of foreign appearance’, in just over two weeks.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, police said they ‘have never seen anything like it in Östersund’, a small town in the north of Sweden with a population of just 45,000.

Of course things were not always this way in Sweden.

At one time, Sweden had some of the lowest rates of violent crime in the world, but now the number of reported rapes in Sweden has risen by more than 1,000 percent since the mid-1970s.

So what is causing this?

A massive influx of immigrants from the Middle East and other third world nations is fundamentally changing Swedish society.  During 2015, Sweden brought in an additional 163,000 migrants and refugees, and that was the highest level in all of Europe per capita.

Politically-correct Swedish citizens have opened up their arms to warmly welcome their new friends, but all of this kindness has not prevented an absolutely chilling wave of sexual crime.  In particular, public pools have quickly gained a reputation as places where young Swedish women are very likely to be raped or sexually assaulted.  The following is an excerpt from an outstanding article by Ingrid Carlqvist

In 2015, when roughly 163,000 asylum seekers came to Sweden, the problems at public pools increased exponentially. More than 35,000 young people, so-called “unaccompanied refugee children,” arrived — 93% of whom are male and claim to be 16-17 years old. To prevent complete idleness, many municipalities give them free entrance to the public pools.

During the past few months, the number of reports of sexual assaults and harassment against women at public pools has been overwhelming. Most of the “children” are from Afghanistan, widely considered among the mostdangerous places in the world for women. When the dailyAftonbladet visited the country in 2013, 61-year-old Fatima toldthe paper what it is like to be a woman in Afghanistan: “What happens if we do not obey? Well, our husbands or sons beat us of course. We are their slaves.”

In her article, Carlqvist lists example after example of sex attacks by immigrants at public pools.  This is just one of those examples

On January 21, there were reports that the number of sexual assaults had increased dramatically at the Aquanova adventure pool in Borlänge. In 2014, one case was reported; in 2015, about 20 cases were reported. The incidents involved women having their bikinis ripped off, being groped in the water slide and sexually assaulted in the restrooms. Ulla-Karin Solum, the CEO of Aquanova, told the public broadcaster Sveriges Television that many incidents “are due to cultural clashes.”

And this kind of sexual violence is not just limited to Sweden.  Wherever there has been a large influx of refugees we are seeing the same things happen.

Here is one recent example from Belgium

HORRIFIC footage has emerged of a group of young men, including five migrants, laughing, dancing and singing in Arabic as they gang rape an unconscious 17-year-old girl.

It is believed the attack happened after the girl passed out after drinking at a party.

One of the rapists later told police: “She can’t complain. Women must obey men.”

Next, here is an example from Germany

An Algerian man who almost killed his 25-year-old student victim shouted out ‘if Allah wills it’ in Arabic as he raped her in a darkened alley, a court has heard.

The man, identified only by his first name Rheda, is accused of following the student as she walked home from a nightclub at 5am in Hannover, Germany.

Afterwards, with his victim badly beaten, he is alleged to have climbed off her and asked her if she enjoyed it.

Finally, here is a particularly disturbing example from Austria

An Iraqi migrant has admitted to raping a ten year old boy in a Viennese swimming pool so ferociously that the boy had to be hospitalised for his injuries. The man said he knew it was wrong but couldn’t help himself as he hadn’t had sex in months.

Police investigators have ascertained that the 20 year old man entered Austria on the 13th September, travelling into the country via the Balkans.

Because most European leaders are so politically correct, they simply cannot face the truth.

In fact, some top European politicians have resorted to blaming the victims in a desperate attempt to maintain the fiction that these immigrants are responsible citizens…

One particularly divisive issue is the extent to which officials have tended to “blame the victim”, so to speak. For instance, Cologne mayor Henriette Reker drew sharp criticism for suggesting that it was German womens’ duty to prevent assaults by keeping would-be assailants “at arm’s length.”

Then there was the now infamous case of the 17-year-old Danish girl who faced a fine from police after she allegedly used “illegal” pepper spray to deter an attacker.

Okay, I promised that I would reveal a top politician in the United States that is at least partially responsible for this epidemic of rape.  So let me try to explain how I arrived at my conclusion.

Most of the immigrants that are flooding into Europe are coming from areas that have been ravaged by war.  In particular, more immigrants are flooding into Europe from Syria than anywhere else.

If we go back five years ago, Syria was actually a very peaceful place.  In the early portions of 2011, the Arab Spring was raging, and leaders all over the Middle East were being deposed.  At that time, a decision was made by officials in the Obama administration that it would be an ideal opportunity to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria as well.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies in the region were quite eager to get rid of Assad.  Syria is part of “the Shiite crescent” that stretches across the Middle East, but 74 percent of all Syrians are actually Sunni.  So the idea was to create a “popular uprising” that would overthrow Assad, and Syria would then be transformed into a full-fledged Sunni nation and the balance of power in the Middle East would be fundamentally altered.

This effort was spearheaded by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Huge protests were organized against Assad in Syria, and those protests rapidly turned violent.  A civil war began, and members of “the coalition” poured millions upon millions of dollars into jihadist groups that were attempting to overthrow Assad.  And at first the plan was working well.  The “resistance” was taking lots of ground and it looked like they were going to be able to push all the way to Damascus and topple Assad.

But then Assad enlisted the help of Iran, Hezbollah, Shiite militias from Iran and most importantly the Russians.

Russian air power has completely turned the tide of the war, and now the Sunni militant groups are being routed.  This is why Saudi Arabia and Turkey are in such a panic, and they are looking to the Obama administration to finish what it started.

Of course all of this has brought us to the brink of World War 3, and most Americans have absolutely no idea how we got here.

And it is this horrific conflict in Syria which Hillary Clinton played such a key role in starting that has caused the worst refugee crisis that Europe has experienced since World War 2.

So how will Hillary Clinton be rewarded for her fine work?

Well, it appears quite likely that she is going to become the next president of the United States, and that is a very, very depressing thought.

Day Of Reckoning: The Collapse Of The Too Big To Fail Banks In Europe Is Here

A major banking collapse is developing across Europe. Start with Deutsche Bank.  The stock of the most important bank in the “strongest economy in Europe” plunged an additional 8% lately and it is now hovering just above the all-time record low that was set during the last financial crisis.  Overall, the stock price is now down a staggering 36 percent since 2016 began, and Deutsche Bank credit default swaps are going parabolic

In addition to Deutsche Bank, the list of other “too big to fail” banks in Europe that appear to be in very serious trouble includes Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, HSBC and BNP Paribas.  Just about every major bank in Italy could fall on that list as well, and Greek bank stocks lost close to a quarter of their value on Monday alone.  Financial Armageddon has come to Europe, and the entire planet is going to feel the pain.

The collapse of the banks in Europe is dragging down stock prices all over the continent.  At this point, more than one-fifth of all stock market wealth in Europe has already been wiped out since the middle of last year.  That means that we only have four-fifths left.  The following comes from USA Today

The MSCI Europe index is now down 20.5% from its highest point over the past 12 months, says S&P Global Market Intelligence, placing it in the 20% decline that unofficially defines a bear market.

Europe’s stock implosion makes the U.S.’ sell-off look like child’s play. The U.S.-centric Standard & Poor’s 500 Monday fell another 1.4% – but it’s only down 13% from its high. Some individual European markets are getting hit even harder. The Milan MIB 30, Madrid Ibex 35 and MSCI United Kingdom indexes are off 29%, 23% and 20% from their 52-week highs, respectively as investors fear the worse could be headed for the Old World.

These declines are being primarily driven by the banks.  According to MarketWatch, European banking stocks have fallen for six weeks in a row, and this is the longest streak that we have seen since the heart of the last financial crisis…

The region’s banking gauge, the Stoxx Europe 600 Banks Index FX7, -5.59% has logged six straight weeks of declines, its longest weekly losing stretch since 2008, when banks booked 10 weeks of losses, beginning in May, according to FactSet data.

The current environment for European banks is very, very bad. Over a full business cycle, I think it’s very questionable whether banks on average are able to cover their cost of equity. And as a result that makes it an unattractive investment for long-term investors,” warned Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank.

Overall, Europe’s banking stocks are down 23 percent year to date and 39 percent since the peak of the market in the middle of last year.

The financial crisis that began during the second half of 2015 is picking up speed over in Europe, and it isn’t just Deutsche Bank that could implode at any moment.  Credit Suisse is the most important bank in Switzerland, and they announced a fourth quarter loss of 5.8 billion dollars.  The stock price has fallen 34 percent year to date, and many are now raising questions about the continued viability of the bank.

Similar scenes are being repeated all over the continent.  On Monday we learned that Russia had just shut down two more major banks, and the collapse of Greek banks has pushed Greek stock prices to a 25 year low

Greek stocks tumbled on Monday to close nearly eight percent lower, with bank shares losing almost a quarter of their market value amid concerns over the future of government reforms.

The general index on the Athens stock exchange closed down 7.9 percent at 464.23 points — a 25-year-low — while banks suffered a 24.3-percent average drop.

This is what a financial crisis looks like.

Fortunately things are not this bad here in the U.S. quite yet, but we are on the exact same path that they are.

One of the big things that is fueling the banking crisis in Europe is the fact that the too big to fail banks over there have more than 100 billion dollars of exposure to energy sector loans.  This makes European banks even more sensitive to the price of oil than U.S. banks.  The following comes from CNBC

The four U.S. banks with the highest dollar amount of exposure to energy loans have a capital position 60 percent greater than European banks Deutsche Bank, UBS, Credit Suisse andHSBC, according to CLSA research using a measure called tangible common equity to tangible assets ratio. Or, as Mayo put it, “U.S. banks have more quality capital.”

Analysts at JPMorgan saw the energy loan crisis coming for Europe, and highlighted in early January where investors might get hit.

“[Standard Chartered] and [Deutsche Bank] would be the most sensitive banks to higher default rates in oil and gas,” the analysts wrote in their January report.

There is Deutsche Bank again.

It is funny how they keep coming up.

In the U.S., the collapse of the price of oil is pushing energy company after energy company into bankruptcy.  This has happened 42 times in North America since the beginning of last year so far, and rumors that Chesapeake Energy is heading that direction caused their stock price to plummet a staggering 33 percent on Monday

Energy stocks continue to tank, with Transocean (RIG) dropping 7% and Baker Hughes (BHI) down nearly 5%. But those losses pale in comparison with Chesapeake Energy (CHK), the energy giant that plummeted as much as 51% amid bankruptcy fears. Chesapeake denied it’s currently planning to file for bankruptcy, but its stock still closed down 33% on the day.

And let’s not forget about the ongoing bursting of the tech bubble that I wrote about yesterday.

On Monday the carnage continued, and this pushed the Nasdaq down to its lowest level in almost 18 months

Technology shares with lofty valuations, including those of midcap data analytics company Tableau Software Inc and Internet giant Facebook Inc, extended their losses on Monday following a gutting selloff in the previous session.

Shares of cloud services companies such as Splunk Inc and Inc had also declined sharply on Friday. They fell again on Monday, dragging down the Nasdaq Composite index 2.4 percent to its lowest in nearly 1-1/2 years.

Those that read my articles regularly know that I have been warning this would happen.

All over the world we are witnessing a financial implosion.  As I write this article, the Japanese market has only been open less than an hour and it is already down747 points.

The next great financial crisis is already here, and right now we are only in the early chapters.

Ultimately what we are facing is going to be far worse than the financial crisis of 2008/2009, and as a result of this great shaking the entire world is going to fundamentally change.

The best Money to own in this situation is gold and silver coins. More HERE

Turkey Offers To “Take Migrants Back.”

Merkel’s Turkish gamble: breakthrough or landmine in migrant crisis?

For the second time since Europe’s migration crisis began last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stunned her European Union partners by staking her political capital on a unilateral initiative and demanding their support.

After rolling out the welcome mat in September for Syrian refugees streaming into Europe, to the alarm of many European leaders who were not consulted, she has now gambled on a last-minute deal with Turkey to stop the migrant flow.

Whether that tentative bargain – improvised in the middle of the night a week before German regional elections in which her party faces losses – will turn out to be a breakthrough or a landmine in the migrant crisis remains to be seen.

Reaction at home to Merkel’s Turkish gamble has been mixed. Top-selling Bild newspaper welcomed the deal with the headline “Ball in Turkey’s court”, but some of her own conservative lawmakers object to giving Turks visa-free travel in exchange.

German officials say it was Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who surprised everyone by arriving at a meeting with Merkel and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Brussels on Sunday night with a bold plan offering to take back all migrants who cross into Europe in return for political and economic rewards.

Merkel immediately sensed that the deal could “change the whole dynamic”, a German official said, adding that the gains would far outweigh concessions the EU would make in return.

Davutoglu’s price was a doubling of European money to keep Syrian refugees in Turkey, faster visa liberalization for Turks and accelerated EU membership talks for Ankara.

European Union diplomats and officials in Brussels were flabbergasted by the proposal sprung on them at a summit on Monday, with some irritated at having been kept in the dark during the preparations.

“Ask Mrs Merkel,” one responded when asked how the idea of sending back all migrants, including Syrian refugees, to Turkey was compatible with international law.


European Council President Donald Tusk – who chaired Monday’s summit – spent two days in Ankara and Istanbul last week meeting Davutoglu and President Tayyip Erdogan, working for a different deal, and was given little clue of what was coming.

Neither Tusk nor European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was invited to the Sunday night preparatory meeting.

Nor was France, Germany’s closest European partner, which has minimized its commitment to take in refugees due to security fears since last November’s Islamist attacks in Paris but also to the rise of far-right anti-immigration leader Marine Le Pen.

While Merkel took care to involve French President Francois Hollande in her diplomacy with Russia over Ukraine, she turned to Rutte this time as one of the few EU leaders willing to take in Syrian refugees directly from Turkey. Rutte also has a role in running the six-month Dutch presidency of EU meetings.

The proposal for a one-for-one swap in which Europe would admit one Syrian refugee from Turkey for each one the Turks took back from Greek islands – among the most contentious aspects of the draft deal – was first introduced by the Dutch. That left open how many might be brought to Europe – after Merkel found no takers for earlier German suggestions of accepting hundreds of thousands.

Diplomats said that when some leaders asked Tusk why he had not briefed them about the Turkish plan after his trip, he acknowledged that he had not known about the crucial offer to take back all migrants and refugees until Monday morning.

In fact, the former Polish prime minister was caught in a tug-of-war between Merkel and Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, who infuriated her by holding a conference of central European and Balkan countries last month, without Germany or Greece, to coordinate the closure of their borders to migrants.

“There was a race between Merkel’s Plan A and the central Europeans’ Plan B, which she suspected Tusk of supporting,” one EU envoy said. “So Tusk was sidelined.” Tusk was indeed pushing hard for a closure of the Balkan migration route and had secured broad support for that from EU envoys on Sunday afternoon.

Plan A, which Merkel called a “European solution”, entailed persuading Ankara to stop migrants leaving its shores, returning those who do not qualify for asylum to home countries or to Turkey, and sharing out legitimate refugees among EU countries.

Plan B, reflecting scepticism that Ankara would deliver and exhaustion with continued arrivals, involved shutting borders across the Balkans and bottling up new migrants in Greece. For Tusk, that was a way of showing the Turks that if they did not halt departures, Europe would act alone and withdraw its offers.

Davutoglu’s Plan C was more ambitious than either, but there are big doubts about whether it can be implemented, whether it will work and whether it is legal.


Although Merkel denied domestic motives, the timing was helpful. The initiative offered a crucial sign of progress six days before votes in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt on which her political future may be riding.

Heavy defeats for her Christian Democrats could weaken her and might raise question marks over her ability to lead the party into next year’s general election, although her popularity is still high and no alternative leader is in sight.

The legality, enforceability and feasibility of Davutoglu’s offer will only be tested after the state polls.

Officially, the European Commission is clinging to the line that a formal agreement with Turkey to be concluded at the next summit on March 17-18 will “at the end of it” comply with both European and international law.

Juncker said European law allowed the return of irregular migrants to any “safe” third country, but added that Greece and Turkey would need to amend some domestic rules.

EU insiders say for the proposed arrangement to be legal, Turkey would have to change the way it applies the Geneva Convention on refugees to include non-European nationals, and Greece would have to create a special court to hear asylum seekers’ appeals against being sent back to Turkey.

Under EU rules, migrants are entitled to appeal against being returned to a third country on grounds of a risk to their life or safety there, but the court would not consider their claim for protection from their own country.

Merkel’s embrace of the Turkish plan may pose political problems for Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron – struggling to win a referendum in June on staying in the EU in which immigration is a big issue – and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, whose country is the most outspoken in the EU about Turkey’s human rights record.

However, most fellow leaders are reluctant to resist Merkel, the EU’s longest-serving national leader at the head of its most powerful member state, in her hour of political need.

North Korea fires missiles, liquidates Seoul’s assets in its territory

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Thursday in defiance of a U.N. Security Council resolution, as South Korean and U.S. forces conducted massive war games. 

The North also announced on Thursday it has scrapped all agreements with the South on commercial exchange projects and would “liquidate” South Korean assets left behind in its territory.

North Korea has a large stockpile of short-range missiles and is developing long-range and intercontinental missiles as well. The missiles fired on Thursday flew about 500 km (300 miles) off its east coast city of Wonsan and were likely from the Soviet-developed Scud series, South Korea’s defense ministry said.

Japan, which is within range of the longer-range variant of Scud missiles or the upgraded Rodong missiles, lodged a protest through the North Korean embassy in Beijing, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported.

North Korea often fires short-range missiles when tensions rise on the Korean peninsula. Pyongyang gets particularly upset about the annual U.S.-South Korea drills, which its says are preparations for an invasion.

The U.S. and South Korea remain technically at war with the North because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armed truce instead of a peace agreement.

Around 17,000 U.S. military personnel are participating alongside some 300,000 South Korean troops in what South Korea’s Defence Ministry has called the “largest-ever” joint military exercises.

North Korea on Sunday warned it would make a “pre-emptive and offensive nuclear strike” in response to the exercises.


After Thursday’s missile launches, North Korea announced it would “liquidate” South Korean assets left behind in the Kaesong industrial zone and in the Mount Kumgang tourist zone.

Seoul suspended operations in the jointly-run zone last month as punishment for the North’s rocket launch and nuclear test.

Mount Kumgang was the first major inter-Korean cooperation project. Thousands of South Koreans visited the resort between 1998 and 2008. Seoul ended the tours in 2008 after a North Korean soldier shot dead a South Korean tourist who wandered into a restricted zone.

North Korea is also livid about stepped up United Nations sanctions adopted last week following its recent nuclear test and long-range missile launch.

South Korea’s foreign ministry said the Thursday’s missile launches again violated a series of U.N. Security Council resolutions and it would refer the matter to the Council sanctions committee mandated to enforce the resolutions.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hong Lei described the situation on the Korean Peninsula as “complex and sensitive”.

“All sides should stop their provocative words and deeds to avoid a further rise in tensions,” he said.


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country has miniaturised nuclear warheads to mount on ballistic missiles, state media reported on Wednesday, and called on his military to be prepared to mount pre-emptive attacks against the United States and South Korea.

It was his first direct comment on the technology needed to deploy nuclear missiles. North Korean state media released photographs it said showed Kim Jong Un inspecting a spherical miniaturised warhead. State media has previously made that claim, which has been widely questioned and never independently verified.

South Korea’s defense ministry said it did not believe the North has successfully miniaturised a nuclear warhead or deployed a functioning intercontinental ballistic missile.

State Department spokesman John Kirby declined to comment on Kim’s claim to have miniaturised nuclear warheads and accused him of “provocative rhetoric.”

“I’d say the young man needs to pay more attention to the North Korean people and taking care of them than in pursuing these sorts of reckless capabilities,” Kirby said.

The Pentagon said this week it had not seen North Korea demonstrate a capability to miniaturise a nuclear warhead. But Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the department was working on U.S. ballistic missile defences to be prepared.

North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 but its claim to have set off a miniaturised hydrogen bomb last month has been disputed by the U.S. and South Korean governments and many experts, who said the blast was too small to back it up.

(Additional reporting by Kaori Kaneko in Tokyo and David Brunnstrom and David Alexander in Washington. Editing by Bill Tarrant.) 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets scientists and technicians in the field of researches into nuclear weapons in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 9, 2016.