Pope Apologizes for Pedophile Priests

On Tuesday, the first day of a week-long Latin-America trip, Pope Francis asked “for forgiveness” for the “irreparable damage” done to children who were raped and molested by Catholic priests in Chile.

The pontiff met with a small group of abuse survivors at a “strictly private” gathering at the Vatican’s Apostolic Nunciature embassy in the capital, Santiago, the Vatican said.

Francis listened to their stories, “prayed with them and wept with them,” spokesman Greg Burke told reporters.

Earlier in the day, the pontiff made his first public remarks about abuse in a speech at La Moneda presidential palace.

Addressing Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, lawmakers, judges and other authorities, the pope said he felt “bound to express my pain and shame” that some of Chile’s clergy had sexually abused children who were in their care. (Read more from “Pope Apologizes for Pedophile Priests” HERE)

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New Scandal in Obama’s War Against Netanyahu

. . .Last October, WND CEO Joseph Farah pointed out the Obama administration sent money in 2015 to a non-profit U.S. group that sought to prevent Benjamin Netanyahu from forming a coalition government to remain as prime minister.

Now there’s new information, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, that the Obama administration’s intervention was even worse.

ACLJ said that in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, it “uncovered a startling revelation.”

“Yasser Mahmoud Abbas, son of Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the terrorist-allied Palestinian Authority, was also a senior leader and advisor to OneVoice – and, as demonstrated by the contents of the documents themselves, the Obama administration knew this,” ACLJ said in a report Wednesday.

“In short, the Obama State Department gave U.S. taxpayer dollars to a terrorist-affiliated organization (the PA recently united with the terrorist group Hamas) to unseat the democratically elected leader of the only free democracy in the Middle East and a vital U.S. ally.” (Read more from “New Scandal in Obama’s War Against Netanyahu” HERE)

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Even the Eyelashes Freeze: Russia Sees Minus 88.6 Degrees

Even thermometers can’t keep up with the plunging temperatures in Russia’s remote Yakutia region, which hit minus 67 degrees Celsius (minus 88.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in some areas Tuesday.

In Yakutia — a region of 1 million people about 3,300 miles (5,300 kilometers) east of Moscow — students routinely go to school even in minus 40 degrees. But school was canceled Tuesday throughout the region and police ordered parents to keep their children inside.

In the village of Oymyakon, one of the coldest inhabited places on earth, state-owned Russian television showed the mercury falling to the bottom of a thermometer that was only set up to measure down to minus 50 degrees. In 2013, Oymyakon recorded an all-time low of minus 71 degrees Celsius (minus 98 Fahrenheit). (Read more from “Even the Eyelashes Freeze: Russia Sees Minus 88.6 Degrees” HERE)

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Trump Chief of Staff: Mexico Won’t Be Paying for Border

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told Democratic congressmen Wednesday there will be no wall stretching the complete length of the 2,100-mile U.S.-Mexico border and that some of President Trump’s campaign promises on immigration were “uninformed,” according to a Washington Post report Wednesday.

Kelly also reportedly indicated that the Mexican government will not fund the planned 700 miles of wall, which is expected to cost $20 billion.

The chief of staff is said to have made the comments in a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., and Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif.

The Post said its report is based on notes from two congressmen who were in the room during the meeting and confirmed by two other lawmakers and a senior aide who were also present.

Kelly requested the meeting after being asked to do so by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., according to the paper, which noted that Pelosi “has been in frequent contact with Kelly over the last several months and told him that the group is critical to reaching a deal” on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. (Read more from “Trump Chief of Staff: Mexico Won’t Be Paying for Border” HERE)

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The US Military Is Preparing for War Against North Korea

The United States military is preparing for a still-unlikely war with North Korea.

That’s the takeaway from two big stories that broke over the long weekend. On Sunday, the New York Times reported that US troops are actively holding training exercises specifically geared toward a possible war with North Korea. And the Associated Press reported on Monday that the US has now started sending ships and bombers toward the Korean Peninsula, beefing up its military presence in the region.

But that’s not all. It looks like Japan has started thinking about ways to evacuate thousands of its citizens from South Korea if war with North Korea does break out . . .

According to the Associated Press, the US has started moving planes, ships, and troops closer to North Korea. Three B-2 bombers are now positioned in Guam, a US territory with military bases only 2,200 miles away from country. That’s significant: The B-2 is the Air Force’s most advanced bomber — and it can carry nuclear weapons. The Air Force also sent six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to Guam.

On top of that, the USS Carl Vinson is on its way toward the western Pacific Ocean. The Navy says it’s for a regularly scheduled deployment, but North Korea may still find the move threatening. That’s because an aircraft carrier can, well, carry aircraft. Think of them as floating airports that the US can place near almost any country it wants. The US can put multiple attack planes on it, moving them much closer to their potential targets in North Korea should war break out. (Read more from “The US Military Is Preparing for War Against North Korea” HERE)

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Former CIA Officer – Charged with Unlawful Possession of Secrets – Is Suspected of Much Worse Crime

A former CIA officer who was charged Tuesday with unlawful possession of secrets is suspected of a much worse crime: betraying U.S. informants in China, sources familiar with the case told NBC News.

The former officer, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, was arrested Monday after flying into New York on a Cathay Pacific flight from his home in Hong King, federal authorities announced.

Lee, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, was charged with a single count of unlawfully possessing national defense information, based on a 2012 search that found him to be in possession of two notebooks containing the true names of CIA assets and covert facilities, which are some of the agency’s most closely guarded secrets.

But sources familiar with the case say he is suspected of funneling information to China that caused the deaths or imprisonment of approximately 20 American agents, in one of the worst intelligence breaches in decades.

The New York Times reported last year that the Chinese government systematically dismantled CIA spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward. (Read more from “Former CIA Officer – Charged with Unlawful Possession of Secrets – Is Suspected of Much Worse Crime” HERE)

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A US Scientist Reveals Findings After Inspecting North Korea’s Nuclear Facilities

An American nuclear scientist who visited a secret nuclear complex in Yongbyon, North Korea, claims that Kim Jong Un’s regime is not bluffing when it comes to the dictatorship’s nuclear weapons capabilities.

As he recounted in an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday on CBS, Sig Hecker — who was once in charge of helping design nuclear weapons for the U.S. — was invited to North Korea and shown evidence of the country’s nuclear capabilities.

Hecker was at one time the director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is known as the “birthplace of the American atomic bomb,” according to CBS.

Hecker described his shock at being invited to North Korea, and said he was also shocked when the U.S. government allowed him to travel to the infamously hostile nation.

“I was immensely surprised by how much they showed me and with the openness with which they showed and explained that to me,” he said.

“There’s no way in the world they’re going to let me in. By the way, I also thought the U.S. government wouldn’t let me go but it turns out I was wrong on both accounts.”

Hecker first visited Yongbyon in 2004. At that point, the North Koreans were believed to be operating a small nuclear reactor.

While describing the facility as “primitive,” Hecker pointed out he thought it was functional.

“I would call it primitive but functional. And in fact, all of the instrumentation sort of reminded me when I first got to Los Alamos in 1965 you know, no modern electronics or anything of that nature,” he said.

“This is a reactor that was not very good for producing electricity, but it was very good for making plutonium.”

Indeed, the North Korean officials would go on to prove just that.

After seeing the reactor, Hecker said he was taken to a building where the North Koreans claimed to be turning used fuel from the reactor into weapons-grade plutonium.

“They just showed me the facility and basically said, ‘Look, you have to believe us, we extracted the plutonium,’” Hecker said.

CBS’ David Martin then asked, “Did you believe them?”

“The answer was yes, but I didn’t let them think that I believed them,” Hecker responded.

Hecker went on to say that the complex’s director offered to show him plutonium.

“You know plutonium when you see it,” Martin said.

“Plutonium by itself is sort of a silvery color if it’s not oxidized,” Hecker replied. “If it rusts, oxidizes a little bit, it sort of turns gray and black and this stuff was gray and black.”

Hecker elaborated on the weight and heat of the plutonium, further indicating that the product was legitimate.

“So I said … I’d like to hold the jar with the metal in it. And they allowed me to hold it. So what do I learn from holding? Well, first of all plutonium is dense. … It ought to be heavy. It was. The other thing plutonium is radioactive. So it … Glass jar ought to be warm and it was warm.”

The question remains, though — Why would the North Korean regime want to confirm the news of its nuclear capabilities to the U.S.?

“They wanted to show Sig that they really did have plutonium,” said CBS consultant Robert Carlin, a former intelligence analyst for the CIA and State Department.

When Martin asked Carlin why any country would so willingly hand over what would surely be one of the regime’s most guarded military secrets, Carlin simply asserted that it was the only way anyone would believe North Korea.

“Nobody would believe them otherwise, right? People would say, ‘Oh, they’re just posturing. Oh, it’s propaganda.’ So how are you going to convince the Americans?” Carlin said.

“You get an expert who knows plutonium when he sees it and you, you hand it to him. You say, ‘Here it is. What do you think?’”

Hecker returned to North Korea in 2010. At that time, a different part of the base was revealed to him, where 2,000 centrifuges were on display.

According to The U.K. Daily Mail, it was suspected that uranium was being manifested for use in another type of chemical bomb.

CBS reported that U.S. intelligence experts believe North Korea may currently posses enough material for 60 weapons.

However, that number is much larger than an estimate from David Albright, the director of the Institute for Science and International Security. Albright suspects the North Koreans have between 13 and 30 nuclear weapons.

But as Hecker pointed out, its less about how many they have, but rather how small North Korean scientists can make the weapons.

During his interview with Martin, the pair are shown viewing a television monitor. Looking at a spherical object on the screen, Hecker hypothesized that the object was a “spherical fission bomb” — also known as an atomic bomb.

“It looks like a simple bomb. However, what I found most important about this is the size of it. It looks to be about 60 centimeters,” Hecker said.

Sixty centimeters is small enough to fit on some of North Korea’s missiles, according to CBS.

Hecker acknowledged that the North Koreans must be taken seriously.

“They’re going to get there, you know, that’s, that’s one thing you can count on. We’ve tried to sanction them into submission. They’ve not submitted. They just keep testing and keep evolving.” (For more from the author of “A US Scientist Reveals Findings After Inspecting North Korea’s Nuclear Facilities” please click HERE)

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Kim Jong Un Arming, Training Children for World War 3

Lieutenant General In-Bum Chun, one of South Korea’s most decorated military leaders in history, claims a 14-year-old North Korean gets more than 100 hours of military training each year.

This means by the time they reach conscription age and serve their time in the military they are able to fire an array of weapons, including an AK-47 machine gun, as well as launch grenades and effectively fend for themselves . . .

He added the “entire state looks for talented people” in order to better prepare the country for conflict.

One of the hermit state’s most powerful tools is its computer hacking abilities, and the caste system that dictates people’s roles is set aside when it comes to selecting recruits for this special task.

These “computer whizz kids” are selected from as young as 12 or 13 years old. (Read more from “Kim Jong Un Arming, Training Children for World War 3” HERE)

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City Cancels All-Ages Naked Swim Party After ‘Volatile’ Public Backlash

Calgary city officials have canceled a private all-ages naked swim-and-slide party scheduled this Sunday at one of its leisure centers, citing security concerns as well as “volatile public commentary.” The decision comes after massive public backlash to the event that included a petition signed by tens of thousands.

James McLaughlin, acting director of recreation services, announced the cancellation Thursday following a review by Calgary Police Service and corporate security on the event, reported Calgary Herald . . .

The City of Calgary stated on Thursday in a news release that it had canceled the event “due to concerns about safety and security arising from volatile public commentary.”

“Under the terms and conditions of facility rental agreements, the city reserves the right to cancel or amend permits should special circumstances arise,” the city stated.

“Unfortunately, recent events have created the potential to impact the safety of participants, public and staff, and required the cancellation of this booking,” it added. (Read more from “City Cancels All-Ages Naked Swim Party After ‘Volatile’ Public Backlash” HERE)

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Cops Destroy Evangelical Megachurch

Chinese authorities demolished the $2.6 million building of a 50,000-member evangelical congregation in the country’s northern Shanxi province.

The order to destroy the Golden Lampstand Church in the city of Linfen apparently came from China’s top officials instead of the less-powerful local authorities, according to the Christian organization China Aid.

The group explained that the communist country’s notorious military police, which carried out the demolition Jan. 9, has been under the direct control of the central government since the head of the public security bureau was arrested last year.

It’s the second large church building to be demolished in the province in the past month.

People’s Armed Police forces used excavators and dynamite to destroy the building in Linfen, which had been financed by the congregation. (Read more from “Cops Destroy Evangelical Megachurch” HERE)

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