2018: The Year of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Sloshing of Earth’s core may spike major earthquakes

By Paul VoosenOct. 30, 2017 , 1:45 PM

The number of major earthquakes, like the magnitude-7 one that devastated Haiti in 2010, seems to be correlated with minute fluctuations in day length.

SEATTLE—The world doesn’t stop spinning. But every so often, it slows down. For decades, scientists have charted tiny fluctuations in the length of Earth’s day: Gain a millisecond here, lose a millisecond there. Last week at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America here, two geophysicists argued that these minute changes could be enough to influence the timing of major earthquakes—and potentially help forecast them.

During the past 100 years, Earth’s slowdowns have correlated surprisingly well with periods with a global increase in magnitude-7 and larger earthquakes, according to Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado (CU) in Boulder and Rebecca Bendick at the University of Montana in Missoula. Usefully, the spike, which adds two to five more quakes than typical, happens well after the slow-down begins. “The Earth offers us a 5-years heads up on future earthquakes, which is remarkable,” says Bilham, who presented the work.

Most seismologists agree that earthquake prediction is a minefield. And so far, Bilham and Bendick have only fuzzy, hard-to-test ideas about what might cause the pattern they found. But the finding is too provocative to ignore, other researchers say. “The correlation they’ve found is remarkable, and deserves investigation,” says Peter Molnar, a geologist also at CU.

The research started as a search for synchrony in earthquake timing. Individual oscillators, be they fireflies, heart muscles, or metronomes, can end up vibrating in synchrony as a result of some kind of cross-talk—or some common influence. To Bendick, it didn’t seem a far jump to consider the faults that cause earthquakes, with their cyclical buildup of strain and violent discharge, as “really noisy, really crummy oscillators,” she says. She and Bilham dove into the data, using the only complete earthquake catalog for the past 100 years: magnitude-7 and larger earthquakes.

In work published in August in Geophysical Research Letters they reported two patterns: First, major quakes appeared to cluster in time

—although not in space. And second, the number of large earthquakes seemed to peak at 32-year intervals. The earthquakes could be somehow talking to each other, or an external force could be nudging the earth into rupture.

Exploring such global forces, the researchers eventually discovered the match with the length of day. Although weather patterns such as El Nino can drive day length to vary back and forth by a millisecond over a year or more, a periodic, decades-long fluctuation of several milliseconds—in particular, its point of peak slow down about every three decades or so—lined up with the quake trend perfectly. “Of course that seems sort of crazy,” Bendick says. But maybe it isn’t. When day length changes over decades, Earth’s magnetic field also develops a temporary ripple. Researchers think slight changes in the flow of the molten iron of the outer core may be responsible for both effects. Just what happens is uncertain—perhaps a bit of the molten outer core sticks to the mantle above. That might change the flow of the liquid metal, altering the magnetic field, and transfer enough momentum between the mantle and the core to affect day length.

Seismologists aren’t used to thinking about the planet’s core, buried 2900 kilometers beneath the crust where quakes happen. But they should, Bilham said during his talk here. The core is “quite close to us. It’s closer than New York from here,” he said.

At the equator, Earth spins 460 meters per second. Given this high velocity, it’s not absurd to think that a slight mismatch in speed between the solid crust and mantle and the liquid core could translate into a force somehow nudging quakes into synchrony, Molnar says. Of course, he adds, “It might be nonsense.” But the evidence for some kind of link is compelling, says geophysicist Michael Manga of the University of California, Berkeley. “I’ve worked on earthquakes triggered by seasonal variation, melting snow. His correlation is much better than what I’m used to seeing.”

One way or another, says James Dolan, a geologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, “we’re going to know in 5 years.” That’s because Earth’s rotation began a periodic slow-down 4-plus years ago. Beginning next year, Earth should expect five more major earthquakes a year than average—between 17 to 20 quakes, compared with the anomalously low four so far this year. If the pattern holds, it will put a new spin on earthquake forecasting.

doi:10.1126/science.aar3598

Antichrist Fights Against Terrorist Cells

Iraq’s Muqtada al-Sadr: Mosul is in danger

The head of the Iraqi Sadrist movement, and a leading player in Iraq’s political scene Muqtada al-Sadr has stated that “Mosul is in danger”, adding that terrorist cells are still active in the city, and that “corrupt hands” are taking advantage of the situation.

On his official Twitter account on Wednesday, Sadr said: “Mosul is in danger. Terrorist cells are active and corrupt hands are snatching,” adding the hashtag ‘Save Mosul’.

Late last year, Iraq announced it had successfully ousted ISIS from the group’s urban strongholds across the country.

But extremist cells still wage hit-and-run attacks. This month alone, a deadly string of attacks hit the capital and a car bomb exploded in ISIS’s onetime capital Mosul, killing three.

At least five civilians were also killed in a car bomb blast in Iraq’s Tikrit earlier this week.

Three of the dead were women, the sources said, and another 16 people were wounded.

Tikrit spent nearly 10 months under ISIS rule before Iraqi security forces retook it in the spring of 2015.

Nineveh province’s commander, Major General Najm al-Jabouri had earlier declared his unwillingness to hand over command of security to any province.

During a meeting with the governor of Mosul, Nofal al-Akoub, and senior officers of the province, Jabouri questioned their readiness to give up their posts and leave the city, referring to the stance of the officers of the interior and defense ministries in 2014 during ISIS’s invasion of Mosul, where they had left their military uniforms and fled the province.

Jabouri stated that all officers must support the morale of their soldiers and fighters, and not intimidate residents.

The Iraqi government had announced the liberation of Mosul, the last city occupied by ISIS, and the completion of military operations in December of last year, but has not yet begun reconstruction of liberated cities or the return of displaced families.

Last Update: Wednesday, 21 November 2018 KSA 06:58 – GMT 03:58

More Casualties Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)


In this Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 photo, Palestinians protesters raise the hand of a young boy while posing for a photo during a protest at the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, east of Gaza City. Eight months after demonstrations against Israel’s long blockade of Gaza began, the casualty toll keeps rising, and there is no end in sight. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

MALAKA, Gaza Strip — Atalla Fayoumi hobbles on crutches across the sunbaked plain near Israel’s perimeter fence in the Gaza Strip, gazing toward plumes of smoke that have begun rising from a clutch of burning tires in the distance.

The 18-year-old Palestinian’s right leg was amputated after Israeli soldiers shot him here in April at one of the mass demonstrations against Israel’s long blockade of Gaza that are held every week. Yet he has kept returning to the protests — just like thousands of other desperate, unemployed men who feel they have nothing left to lose.

Eight months after the demonstrations began, there appears to be no end to what has become a predictable routine that has killed dozens. Over the next few hours, Fayoumi knows the crowds will swell into the thousands. They’ll burn so many tires, the sky will turn black. They’ll attack the fence with stones and firebombs, Israeli gunfire will ring out, and Palestinian ambulance sirens will wail non-stop.

By the time it is over, at least 80 Palestinians will be wounded and three will be dead.

At sunset, Fayoumi and the others will abruptly turn around and walk home, while the Israelis will emerge from their positions and march the other way.

In a week, like clockwork, they will be back, poised for the deadly ritual to start all over again.


The Gaza Strip has been the front line of confrontations between Palestinians and Israel for generations. But the territory has been brought to its knees over the last decade by three punishing wars with Israel and an air, sea and land blockade.

The 11-year blockade, imposed by Israel and Egypt, is aimed at weakening Hamas, the militant group that seized power in Gaza from the internationally-backed Palestinian Authority in 2007. But its impact is felt by all. Raw sewage flows directly onto once-scenic Mediterranean beaches, tap water is undrinkable, and electricity is available just a few hours a day. Over half the Gaza Strip’s 2 million people are unemployed, and most residents cannot leave what has become, in essence, a mass prison, even for medical reasons.

The blockade and growing anger over the harsh living conditions have put enormous pressure on Hamas, which is trying to redirect it toward Israel with relentless protests, said Mkhaimar Abusada, an associate professor of political science at Gaza’s al-Azhar University.

„But it’s a very slippery slope,“ Abusada said. „Because they’re not going to stop until the siege is lifted — or there is another war.“

That almost happened this month, when an Israeli raid into Gaza left seven Palestinian militants and a senior Israeli military officer dead. The raid prompted Hamas and other armed groups to fire hundreds of rockets and mortar shells into Israel, triggering a devastating wave of Israeli airstrikes in return — the heaviest fighting here since a 2014 war.

Both parties pulled back from the brink with a truce, and Hamas kept last Friday’s protests restrained — though not enough to keep 40 Palestinians from being wounded.

While most Gazans see the protests as the inevitable reaction to Israel’s siege, Israel has a different view altogether.

„We don’t see them as protests … we’re not seeing somebody exercising their democratic right to gather and voice their opinion,“ said Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. „We are confronting attacks, violent attacks along our security fence from an entity, Gaza, that is controlled by a terrorist organization, Hamas.“

Since they began March 30, Israeli troops — using live ammunition against Palestinians mostly armed with rocks — have killed more than 170 people and shot nearly 6,000 others, among them scores of children. Thousands more have been wounded during the protests by tear gas or rubber-coated bullets. On the Israeli side, one soldier has been killed by a sniper and six others wounded.

Every Friday, there are more.


It is 2:30 p.m. in Malaka, one of five protest sites along the border, and several boys are practicing for a fight.

They are flinging large rocks onto a barren field with homemade slingshots. One of them, 17-year-old Ahmed al-Burdaini, shows off a bucket filled with fragments of steel rebar he says he spent the week collecting from the rubble of homes destroyed in past Israeli airstrikes.

„We want to use it against them,“ he says proudly.

Another boy points across the frontier and writes in a reporter’s notebook: „This Is Our Land.“ It is a reference to another demand of the protests, that Palestinians be allowed to return to lands lost during the 1948 war that created the Jewish state — a demand Israel rejects outright.

The perimeter fence itself is a few hundred meters (yards) away. Israeli soldiers on the other side peer out from bunkers built atop pyramid-shaped berms along the fence.

The protest site is still largely empty, but people are trickling in. Among them is the amputee, Fayoumi, who says he was throwing rocks near the fence and was shot as he rushed to help a wounded friend. A few days earlier, speaking at a clinic run by Doctors Without Borders, he swore he would keep participating in the protests despite his wounds. But why risk it?

„Because I want to die,“ he said.

He would prefer for the blockade to be lifted so he could leave Gaza to get a new, prosthetic leg. But if that doesn’t happen, „what’s the point of living?“

The sun is bearing down intensely when a couple dozen Palestinians roll a few tires toward the fence and set them on fire. The first gunshots ring out at 3:14 p.m., in the standard Israeli response to the start of the protests. An armored Israeli jeep at the edge of the fence fires a volley of tear gas canisters that leave white arcs trailing across the sky as they fall. The protesters are unfazed.

Among the growing crowds is an incongruous sight: five street vendors pushing dilapidated food carts hawking seeds, nuts, and frozen slushies. One is affixed with a cheap wooden speaker blaring traditional Bedouin music. It gives the protest the atmosphere of a country fair.

Vendor Adam Badwan, 17, has a simple explanation for coming: „Business is good here, much better than in town.“

Plainclothes Hamas security agents appear. A local television crew arrives with flak jackets and helmets. A single ambulance pulls up.

After Friday noon prayers, around 4 p.m., Hamas dispatches huge buses to many mosques to bring supporters to the border. But many more come on their own — on foot, in cars, motorcycles, bikes and wheelchairs. Within one hour, at least 13,000 people are gathered along the border.


Dr. Khalil Siam is standing inside a medical triage tent about a kilometer (half a mile) from the border when the ambulance sirens begin to howl just after 5 p.m.

The first one to arrive drops off a 22-year-old man who was shot in the left leg. The second brings an 18-year-old, blood streaming from his bandaged face, who was struck by shrapnel.

When the third comes shortly after, bearing a 31-year-old shot in the chest, there is shouting and panic — and no doubt the most dangerous phase of the protests has begun. The bullet has punctured the man’s lung, and he is lowered gently onto a gurney as eight doctors and nurses gather round.

One of the doctors inserts a clear tube into the man’s chest, and within seconds, blood and liquid is draining into a blue plastic bowl on the floor.

„Keep breathing! Keep breathing!“

„Every Friday we wait for the injuries, and every Friday it’s always the same,“ says Siam. „They always come.“

Outside, a convoy of vehicles passes. Young men are standing on them, thrusting fists in the air, their faces hidden with scarves and white Guy Fawkes masks. It is the „Burning Tire Unit“ — and soon it will fill a vast section of the frontier with a wall of fire and billowing sheets of smoke.

A few dozen meters (yards) away, five men in checkered, black and white headscarves are performing a traditional folk dance with their arms crossed for a captivated crowd under a massive tent. Behind them, in the distance, the border fence looks like a war zone; the sky is completely black, burning tires are shooting flames into the air, and gunfire is ringing out every few minutes.

But nobody is looking toward the border, and few notice the steady stream of ambulances that are crisscrossing the adjacent road, non-stop. Here, vendors are selling corn on the cob and peanuts, and fathers are balancing children on their shoulders.

In the sky behind the stage, four kites flutter in the wind, several with flaming, incendiary trails; such kites have burned thousands of acres of Israeli farmland and set vehicles alight.

Colorful balloons also float overhead; Israel says they have found them on the other side of the fence, tied to small, homemade bombs.

It is 5:45 p.m. now, and the air is growing cooler. The dancers are soon replaced by a poet, then a play featuring two actors dressed as Israeli guards who shove a Palestinian prisoner to the ground. At one point, the prisoner tells the guard: „Resistance is not terrorism.“

The crowd applauds.


By 6 p.m., at the border, all hell is breaking loose.

Hundreds of hard-core protesters are swarming the 12-foot-high fence. The wall of smoke has allowed some, armed with wire cutters, to clip through the rolls of barbed wire. One man is hanging from the top of the fence, shaking it back and forth with the weight of his body. Another is hanging from the other side, and yet another is trying to melt the fence with a flaming tire.

The noise here is constant, like a waterfall. Men are blowing whistles. Others are screaming at the top of their lungs.

„Allahu akbar!“ — God is great!

Most are throwing rocks over the fence, thrusting their fists in the air, taking selfies, making the V sign for Victory. There are women too, wearing black and waving Palestinian flags. There is a man with a speaker on his back, playing Palestinian music to encourage them. Some boys pick up smoking tear gas canisters and smack them back over the fence with tennis rackets.

Every time a gunshot rings out, the crowds duck, like a school of fish darting in unison. Sometimes a man falls, and within seconds he is surrounded by medics in orange uniforms, who bandage him on the spot and rush him on a stretcher to the ambulances waiting in the rear.

Further back stands a vast sea of spectators. One, an older man named Khalil Ayesh, is sitting inside a light blue Subaru with his family, as if he has come to a drive-in movie. He was in the same spot last week, watching intently as an Israeli drone crisscrossed the sky like a black spider, dropping tear gas on the crowds from above.

„I bring them every week,“ Ayesh said of the three children in the back seat — his son and daughter, and his daughter’s neighbor, „so they can understand what this struggle is about.“

After the sun sets, the crowds dissipate rapidly as two black drones circle overhead. At 6:52 p.m., a huge blast a kilometer (half a mile) from the frontier sends shards of concrete and debris hurling into the air. Eight minutes later, it happens again. Later, in a statement, the Israeli army will say that aircraft and a tank struck two Hamas watchtowers after one of their soldiers was wounded by a pipe bomb.

It is time to go.

At the medical tent, it is now pitch dark, and the last casualty arrives at 7:24 p.m. It is a man, bleeding from the head, who has been hit by a tear gas canister.

Siam says his team treated 25 people on this Friday, mostly for gunshot wounds. Half were shot in the leg, the others in the chest, stomach, back, pelvis. One doctor had to take leave when his nephew arrived, shot in the head.


Almost every Friday protest in Gaza is followed by at least one funeral on Saturday. This week, there are three.

One, for an 11-year-old boy named Shady Abdel-al, is remarkable because it is quiet. Funeral processions here typically are accompanied by young men doing something they usually avoid at the border: firing Kalashnikov rifles into the sky.

Though the Health Ministry initially reported Abdel-al was shot by Israeli fire, the Israeli army claimed he was accidentally struck by a rock thrown by protesters. Two Gaza rights groups say he died after being hit „with a solid object.“

During his funeral, Gaza’s political complexity is laid bare. His body has been wrapped in a yellow flag with a grenade and automatic rifle on it; it belongs to Fatah, the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and a bitter rival to Hamas.

Abdel-al’s mother, Isma, says she told the boy not to go, but he boarded a bus to the border organized by Hamas, whose supporters were teaching him the Quran.

As the boy’s body is carried through the neighborhood, it is surrounded by a sea of yellow flags. But when it reaches the mosque, there is another huge group of teenagers waiting with the green flag of Hamas. Hassan Walli, a Fatah official, is with the family as the distraught father stands over his son, kissing him on the forehead.

„We will never break the siege this way,“ Walli says, shaking his head. „The only way we can do it is with Palestinian unity.“


It is Sunday in Gaza, and Atalla Fayoumi is sitting on the small bed in his small room, showing off pictures of himself at Friday’s protest.

He is proud that he went. Proud that he stood up for the Palestinian cause. But when asked if having a job would have changed anything, his answer is clear: „I would never have gone.“

After his injury, Fayoumi received a payment of US$200 from Hamas. It was spent long ago, he says, on medical bills.

Now he has nothing. No work. No hope. And little else to lose.

Next Friday, he says, he will return to the protests again.


Associated Press writer Fares Akram in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

NW News on 11/21/2018

Starting the Saudi Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7:7)

Image result for saudi nuclearSaudi energy minister says kingdom launches uranium exploration progra

CAIRO (Reuters) – Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday the kingdom had launched a uranium exploration program and initial indications were positive, Al-Arabiya Business reported on Twitter.

Falih added that a project to construct two nuclear plants, was proceeding at an excellent pace according to plan, according to Al-Arabiya. No further detail was given.

Saudi Arabia has said it wants to build the nuclear power stations with the help of U.S. technology.

Non-proliferation advocates are concerned that any civilian nuclear deal between Riyadh and Washington that could allow the kingdom to enrich uranium and reprocess plutonium could one day be covertly altered to produce fissile material for atom bombs.

Saudi Arabia has said that if it does not get U.S. assistance to build reactors it may turn to other international partners. The kingdom is also in talks with companies from Russia, China, South Korea and other countries on nuclear power.

Reporting by Nayera Abdallah; Editing by Mark Heinrich

Preparing the Asian Nuclear Horns (Daniel 7/8)

Image result for asian nukesDangerous Nuclear Arms Race Brewing in Asia Between India, Pakistan, China, Iran and Israel

November 19, 2018

A dangerous Nuclear Arms Race is brewing in Asia involving India, Pakistan, China, Iran, Israel and North Korea. The Nuclear Arms Race which was initially prevalent in the West has now precariously shifted to Asia. The Asian region urgently needs new diplomatic initiatives to reduce nuclear dangers and prevent the arms race in the region before a catastrophe strikes. A EurAsian Times Analysis.

Experts that EurAsian Times talked to say that one cannot deny the glaring gap between the ambitious disarmament goals set out in the relevant goal treaties, namely the 1968 UN adopted ‘Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)’ and the ‘Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)’. Moreover, one cannot overlook the growing regional arms race, which even Saudi Arabia plans to join.

The three Asian neighbours – India, China and Pakistan are all nuclear powered and have made South Asia a very dangerous place. The pattern is quite obvious. If one country masters nuclear technology and announces it, its neighbours and enemies will immediately develop weapons, both for national defence as well as national pride.

More countries are now developing state-of-the-art weapons, and sharing technology and resources. More money is being spent on it, nuclear proliferation is very much evident now than ever before. According to various media reports and analysis, Pakistan has been accused of assisting Iran in nuclear development, while the US has suspected Iran and North Korea of colluding on weapons development.

What Could Happen

Experts are of the opinion that even a small-scale nuclear incident would prove to be disastrous. According to Brookings “it would produce casualties of unprecedented magnitude given the region’s weak medical and emergency infrastructure and the close proximity of urban areas. 

Even a single nuclear detonation over a major South Asian city would produce considerable devastation.

A ‘small’ nuclear war would be an unprecedented catastrophe for the region, a ‘major’ one would have global, physical, environmental and biological repercussions.” This is a wake-up call for the world.

Lack of Arms Control Leadership

There is a lack of arms control leadership distinctly in Asia. Experts say that strategic communities in Asia have been preoccupied with nuclear and missile developments in states that haven’t been constrained by the INF treaty; China, India, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have been free to test and deploy dual-capable missiles that are banned under the treaty.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was a Cold War-era US and Soviet arms control agreement. It still remains in force but talks have been to dissolve it but US allies have warned that a dissolution would undermine European security.

China has been openly sceptical about arms control and this will definitely pose a big challenge. According to an expert, “Asian leaders can pursue a common strategy of diplomatic persuasion to encourage the extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), designed to verifiably reduce the US and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals.”

Therefore, the New START extension is an essential building block for Asian arms control and strategic stability in general. But getting Asia’s nuclear-armed states on board will definitely be a tedious task.

Antichrist Straightens Out Iraq’s Government

Sadr, Amiri in row over allegations of corruption in the nomination of Iraqi ministers

Amiri’s Fatih leads the al-Bina Coalition, which includes prominent Sunni entities, as well as the State of Law Coalition led by Nouri al-Maliki, Sadr’s main adversary. (Photo: Reuters)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Monday warned the head of the al-Fatih Alliance, Hadi al-Amiri, of a rift in their coalition should the latter not move to deter what Sadr described as the “purchasing of ministries” with “unprecedented” foreign backing.

Following months of political deadlock after the May 12 national elections, Sadr reluctantly allied with Amiri to defuse a possible conflict between Shia parties and agreed to nominate Adil Abdul-Mahdi as prime minister.

Amiri’s Fatih leads the al-Bina Coalition, which includes prominent Sunni entities as well as the State of Law Coalition led by Nouri al-Maliki, Sadr’s main adversary.

Allegations of backdoor deals trading high-level positions in Abdul-Mahdi’s yet incomplete cabinet has led public anger in the country, still wracked by rampant corruption 15 years after the fall of the former regime.

“There are huge deals between some members of al-Fatih and Sunni politicians among the al-Bina Coalition to buy ministries with large [sums] of money and with unprecedented external support,” Sadr wrote on his Twitter account on Monday.

We agreed together that Iraq should be managed in a [transparent] manner and in a new way that preserves its independence and sovereignty,” Sadr stated, directing his criticisms toward Amiri.

The firebrand cleric warned the alliance would only continue as long as Amiri “tries to change” what is “happening under his watch” and remain committed to “not compromise the nation.”

Following an election, parliamentary factions normally enter deals to form the largest bloc, present a candidate for the premiership, and form government.

These elections, however, were less straightforward as two major coalitions claimed to be the largest bloc: the Sadr-led Reform and Reconstruction Bloc, and the Amiri-led al-Bina Coalition. The two eventually banded together to name a single candidate for the post of prime minister.

Sadr reaffirmed his agreement with Amiri in that “Iraq is the largest bloc,” and said, “I am allied with you” not “the corrupt and the militias.”

Sadr appeared to refer to both Sunni and Shia leaders in the al-Bina Coalition, more notably those with close ties to Tehran.

“I hope that your eminence will be able to send the information available to you in order to follow it seriously with the judiciary,” Amiri later responded to Sadr’s claims.

Sources with close links to the coalitions told Kurdistan 24 that Sadr was specifically referring to the leader of the al-Hilal Party, Jamal al-Karbouli, and prominent leaders in the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi.

“Sadr’s message does not indicate that there is a lot of tension (with Amiri),” he said. “It’s too early to talk about the coalition breaking up.”

Another source said that Sadr was “upset” by al-Bina nominating former national security advisor and Chairman of the Hashd al-Shaabi, Falih al-Fayyadh, to take the post of Minister of Interior, demanding another candidate be presented.

The post of Interior Minister is among eight that have yet to be filled since Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi formally took office last month.

The parliament is scheduled to hold a meeting on Wednesday, but voting on the remaining posts is not on the agenda, further delaying the formation of the government.

Editing by Nadia Riva