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New Bible-based claim says world will end Saturday

If you have plans for Saturday, you might want to change them. Well, if you believe a new claim that says the world is going to end Sept. 23, that is.

>> Read more trending news

Christian publication Unsealed foretells the coming of the rapture in a four-minute YouTube video called "September 23, 2017: You Need to See This."

Why Saturday? According to David Meade, the date is derived from verses and numerical codes in the Bible. 

For example:

"Jesus lived for 33 years. The name Elohim, which is the name of God to the Jews, was mentioned 33 times (in the Bible)," Meade told The Washington Post. "It's a very biblically significant, numerologically significant number. I'm talking astronomy. I'm talking the Bible . . . and merging the two."

Ed Stetzer, a pastor and executive director of Wheaton College's Billy Graham Center, takes issue with Meade and his claims.

Read an in-depth look at how Meade came up with this doomsday date and why Stetzer disagrees with him on myajc.com

Meghan Markle likely to attend Prince Harry's Invictus Games amid engagement rumors, report says

Prince Harry will be kicking off his annual Invictus Games this month, and girlfriend Meghan Markle will likely be there to show her support, People reports.

>> PHOTOS: Prince Harry through the years

The Games will take place in Markle’s adopted hometown of Toronto next week, and she’s expected to be there in an unofficial capacity, possibly cheering from the sidelines as she did for one of Prince Harry’s recent polo matches, People reported. If she attends, the event will mark the second time the couple has appeared in public together.

>> On Rare.us: Meghan Markle opens up for the first time about being 'in love' with Prince Harry

The news comes after reports that Prince Harry and Markle reportedly vacationed together in Africa last month and took a short trip to Queen Elizabeth’s Scottish highlands estate for the royal’s birthday. Royal fans are now wondering whether the actress met the queen, an important step toward a royal engagement. 

>> On Rare.us: As their vacation nears its end, Prince Harry has a romantic surprise for Meghan Markle

Prince Harry created the Paralympic-style Invictus Games aimed at giving wounded service members around the world the opportunity to compete in a variety physical activities. The first Games took place in London in 2014, followed by the 2016 event in Orlando. Next year’s event is set to occur in Sydney, Australia.

>> Read more trending news

Read more here.

Donald Trump brands North Korea's Kim Jong Un with new nickname – 'Rocket Man'

President Donald Trump has never been shy about giving his opponents nicknames — “Crooked Hillary,” “Lyin’ Ted,” “Crazy Bernie,” “Goofy Elizabeth Warren,” “Low-energy Jeb” and “Little Marco” all immediately come to mind — and now North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has his own Trump moniker.

>> On Rare.us: North Korea fires another missile into Japanese airspace

“Rocket Man” is the latest of Trump’s derisive epithets.

>> WATCH: Trump's 'awkward' handshake with first lady Melania has internet buzzing

On Sunday morning, Trump launched Kim's new nickname into cyberspace.

>> See the tweet here

>> Trump retweets doctored video of golf ball hitting Clinton

“I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines in North Korea. Too bad!” Trump tweeted.

>> Read more trending news

The “Rocket Man” nickname is a clear jab at Kim Jong Un’s now semi-regular missile launching over Japan.

>> On Rare.us: Former NBA standout Dennis Rodman stands by his man Kim Jong-un in a bizarre interview — 'He jokes'

The most recent launch happened Thursday. North Korea has fired at least 21 missiles since February 2017 in 14 missile tests.

4 American tourists attacked with acid at French train station

Four female American tourists had acid thrown in their faces by a woman at a French train station, Reuters reported Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

The four women were at a train station in Marseille and were headed to Paris when they were attacked, police said, adding that authorities did not believe the incident was terror-related.

The attacker, a 41-year-old woman, was arrested at the scene, Reuters reported. 

Two of the women, in their early 20s, were treated in a hospital for burns to their faces, police said.

A police spokeswoman told USA Today that the suspect did not yell any out any terror-linked threats. She said there were no immediate indications that the attack was terror-related but added officials can’t rule out terror links at such an early stage of the investigation.

In previous incidents in Marseille, a driver rammed into two bus stops last month, killing a woman, USA Today reported.

In April, French police said they thwarted an imminent “terror attack” and arrested two suspected radicals in Marseille , USA Today reported.

Haley: Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ comment ‘not an idle threat’

Nikki Haley, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that President Donald Trump's “fire and fury” comment last month about North Korea's nuclear program was not an empty threat.

>> Read more trending news 

If the U.S. exhausts diplomatic options on North Korea, the U.S. military would "take care of it," Haley said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program Sunday morning. She added that Defense Secretary James Mattis has “an army of options” to destroy North Korea..

“We wanted to be responsible and go through all diplomatic means to get their attention first,” Haley said. “If that doesn't work, General Mattis will take care of it.”

Haley warned that a war would mean the destruction of North Korea.

“If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed,” Haley told CNN. “And we all know that, and none of us want that.”

Engaged couple seeking sponsorships to pay for dream wedding

Planning the perfect wedding is serious business for Jason Mielke and his fiancée, Rebecca Winter Hansen.

That's why the Canadian groom and bride-to-be are looking for sponsors to fund their Nov. 25 wedding.

According to the Moose Jaw Times Herald, Mielke lost his job in January, shortly after he asked Hansen to marry him.

Eloping or getting married at the courthouse isn't an option for the Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, couple, Mielke said. He also didn't want to ask family members for money, so he decided to seek sponsors for their special day.

"I've always been good at marketing, forming relationships in the community, sponsorship, stuff like that," he told the Times Herald. "I thought maybe I could do something here."

>> See their wedding website here

According to the CBC, Mielke and Hansen are "asking individual community members to donate money in return for a seat at their winter wedding reception." They're also hoping companies will pay for a red carpet, spa services, a gluten-free wedding cake and other items.

But Mielke and Hansen have some lines they won't cross.

>> Read more trending news

"I Googled some pictures, and some brides have the logos of the companies on their dress, and I don't know if we're going that far," Mielke told the Times Herald.

Hansen said contributing to the couple's happy moment would lead to a "long-lasting and double-fold reciprocal return," the CBC reported.

"The power of giving always moves everyone toward greatness and making the impossible possible," she told the CBC.

Read more here or here.

London train bombing: 5 things to know

Here are five things to know about the bombing at the London Underground train station at Parsons Green on Friday, which caused 30 injuries. Police in Kent arrested an 18-year-old man Saturday in the port area of Dover and are holding him for questioning under the Terrorism Act. He has not been charged or identified.

>> Read more trending news

  • This is the fourth time the United Kingdom’s national terror threat level has been raised to "critical" since the system was made public in 2006. The last time was in May after the Manchester Arena bombing.

  • Mark Rowley, the London Metropolitan Police’s assistant commissioner, said a suspected improvised explosive device (IED) was thought to be responsible for the blast.   

  • Police sources said the device only partially exploded. Initial examination by explosives experts led them to conclude it was “viable,” meaning the device was meant to explode more fully. A circuit board was recovered from the scene.

  • Three of at least 30 people injured remained in a London hospital Saturday.

  • ISIS has claimed involvement in the attack without any evidence to support that claim.  The organization said via its Amaq news agency that a "detachment" from the group had carried out the attack.

Prince William: Princess Charlotte is going to be ‘trouble’

The Duke of Cambridge is well aware of what he’s in for when daughter Princess Charlotte gets older, and he’s getting ready.

>> Read more trending news

“She’s going to be trouble when she gets older,” Prince William told Pagan Tordengrav while visiting with patients at Aintree University Hospital on Thursday. “All fathers say that to me — watch out for the little girls.”

The royal’s joke comes a few months after the 2-year-old princess threw a royal fit on a tarmac in Germany. Luckily mom Duchess Kate came to the rescue and calmed her down, but the adorable photos still circulated online. Even earlier this year, the Duchess of Cambridge admitted Princess Charlotte is “the one in charge” of their household.

On the other hand, Prince William said he believes his son will a breeze as he grows up.

“George has been really easy,” he told patient Theresa Jones when asked about George starting school. “He hasn’t said, ‘Have I got to do this for the rest of my life?'”

UK raises terror alert level to ‘critical’ following train bombing

Several people were injured at a London underground station Friday after a blast on a packed commuter train, Reuters reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Who are the Rohingya Muslims? 7 things to know about the 'world’s most persecuted minority'

Since August, more than 370,000 Rohingya Muslims have escaped the Buddhist-majority country of Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship and reportedly face an array of human rights abuses, to seek refuge in neighboring countries such as Bangladesh.

>> Read more trending news

Many Rohingya refugees have been turned away, leaving thousands stranded at sea.

Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein, the United Nations human rights chief, has called what's happening to Rohingya in Myanmar “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

Who are the Rohingya and where do they live?

The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic group living primarily in the Buddhist nation of Myanmar (or Burma). There are approximately 1.1 million Rohingya living in the country.

According to Al Jazeera, the Rohingya have been described as the “world’s most persecuted minority,” and have faced systematic persecution since Myanmar’s independence in the late 1940s.

Most Rohingya in Myanmar reside in the Rakhine State on the country’s western coast.

Rakhine State is regarded as one of the country’s poorest areas and lacks basic services in education and health care.

The Rohingya’s history in Myanmar

According to historians, the group has been residing in Arakan (now Rakhine State) since as early as the 12th century, Al Jazeera reported.

When the British ruled between 1824 and 1948, they administered Myanmar as a province of India and, thus, any migration of laborers between Myanmar and other South Asian countries (like Bangladesh) was considered internal. The majority of the native Myanmar population did not like that.

After gaining independence in 1948, the Burmese government still frowned upon any migration that occurred during the period of British rule, claiming it all to be illegal.

In fact, many Buddhists in Myanmar consider the Ronhingya to be Bengali, or people from Bangladesh.

The discriminatory 1982 Citizenship Law officially prevented them from obtaining citizenship.

And according to a Human Rights Watch report from 2000, this is the basis the Myanmar government uses to deny Rohingya citizenship in the country.

Over the years, military crackdowns on the Rohingya have forced hundreds of thousands to escape.

According to the HRW report, Rohingya refugees reported that the Burmese army had forcibly evicted them. Many also alleged widespread army brutality, rape and murder.

Between 1991 and 1992, more than 250,000 Rohingya refugees fled to southeastern Bangladesh. But with the influx of refugees, the Bangladeshi government insisted the refugees return to Arakan (Rakhine State).

By 1997, according to the HRW report, some 230,000 refugees returned.

That same year, the Burmese government said it would not accept any more returning refugees after Aug. 15, 1997, leading to a series of disturbances in Bangladeshi refugee camps.

The Human Rights Watch has called the crisis a deadly game of “human ping-pong.”

What’s happening to the Rohingya now?

Myanmar, a Buddhist-majority country, continues to deny the Rohingya citizenship, freedom to travel, access to education and the group still faces harsh systematic persecution.

In October 2016, the Burmese government blamed members of the Rohingya for the killings of nine border police, leading to a crackdown on Rakhine State villages in which troops were accused of rape, extrajudicial killing and other human rights abuses — all allegations they denied.

And most recently in August, violence erupted after Rohingya fighters were accused of attacking police posts and an army base in Rakhine, Al Jazeera reported.

Following the August event, at least 370,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh to escape the aforementioned allegations of human rights abuses, according to the Associated Press.

Women, children and the elderly made up the bulk of the that group.

Over the past three years, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have tried to escape by boat to neighboring countries that refuse to let them in.

Approximately 8,000 migrants have been stranded at sea.

Why won’t other countries take them in?

Many of Myanmar’s neighboring countries, including Bangladesh and Thailand, refuse to take them in.

The Thai navy has actually turned them away.

Lex Rieffel, an expert on Southeast Asia at the Brookings Institution, told NPR in 2015 that the Buddhist-majority nation of Thailand has been battling an Islamist insurgency for decades and has "no stomach" for bringing in more Muslims.

“Where will the budget come from? That money will need to come from Thai people's taxes, right?” Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters in 2015.

Malaysia and Indonesia, despite being Muslim-majority nations, have also prevented Rohingya from entering their countries, citing “social unrest.” And Indonesia worries about “an uncontrolled influx.”

“What do you expect us to do?” Malaysian Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Jafaar told The Guardian in 2015. “We have been very nice to the people who broke into our border. We have treated them humanely, but they cannot be flooding our shores like this.”

What is Aung San Suu Kyi saying?

The crisis has drawn worldwide criticism of Myanmar's government and its leader, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi

According to the BBC, Suu Kyi said “a huge iceberg of misinformation” was distorting the crisis.

“We know very well, more than most, what it means to be deprived of human rights and democratic protection,” she is quoted as saying to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a recent statement. “So, we make sure that all the people in our country are entitled to protection of their rights as well as ... not just political but social and humanitarian defence.”

But stories of human rights abuse can't be investigated because of the Burmese government’s decision to deny media access to its troubled areas, BBC’s Tn Htar Swe said.

"If they allowed the UN or human rights bodies to go to the place to find out what is happening then ... misinformation is not going to take place.”

Condemnation of Suu Kyi’s inaction and response have led to calls for the rescindment of her Nobel Peace Prize, which she won in 1991 as a result of her long fight for democracy in Burma. According to the Washington Post, the Nobel Committee said that will not happen.

How is the world reacting to the Rohingya crisis?

International aid to much of Myanmar’s Rakhine State have been suspended, leaving approximately 250,000 Rohingya Muslims without medical care, food and other vital humanitarian assistance, the Human Rights Watch reported Tuesday.

“The United Nations, ASEAN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation need to ramp up the pressure on Burma, and provide more assistance to Bangladesh, to promptly help Rohingya and other displaced people,” said Philippe Bolopion, deputy diretor for global advocacy at Human Rights Watch.

Earlier this year, the United Nations Human Rights Council approved an investigative mission, but was denied entry into Myanmar in June. And when an envoy entered in July, the visit was met with protests.

On Monday, the White House released this statement: “We call on Burmese security authorities to respect the rule of law, stop the violence and end the displacement of civilians from all communities.”

Bangladesh, which is facing the largest influx of Rohingyas from Myanmar, has called on the international community to intervene.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the world's largest Muslim body, issued a statement Tuesday urging Muslim countries to work together to help the Rohingya refugees.

Who is helping the Rohingya?

Aid groups continue efforts to reach Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and send aid to refugee camps.

According to the Indian Express, India announced it is sending an aircraft Thursday that will carry the first shipment of humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslim refugees.

“We want to go home and we want peace. But I believe the world is watching our crisis and that they are trying to help us,” Rahimol Mustafa, a 22-year-old Rohingya Muslim, told Al Jazeera in an interview Tuesday.

Mustafa fled Rakhine State a few weeks ago and is currently safe at a refugee camp in Bangladesh, but with “no shelter and no future.”

Read Mustafa’s story on AlJazeera.com

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